According to the front page of today’s Evening Standard, Sir Alan Sugar has been approached to be the Labour candidate in 2012 London Mayoral elections. Apart from my doubts as to the accuracy of the piece written by Andrew Gilligan (the election is after all over three years away), I do wonder whether those who think Sir Alan might be the right answer are asking the right question in the first place.
Sir Alan is forthright in his opinions – for example, agreeing that we live in “a broken society” (who did I last hear using that phrase?) and that the answer is to scrap the Human Rights Act. That forthrightness is refreshing and London’s Mayor certainly needs to be forthright. But is that a sufficient qualification?
Perhaps I am old-fashioned but it does seem to me that whoever is the next Mayor should be someone who has demonstrably demonstrated that they care about London and that they have experience of the kind necessary to set the strategic direction for the city and carry people (including all the different organisations and groups that are the necessary partners for effective action) with them to deliver that direction.
As Sir Alan himself says:
“I’ve always been one of those people that walks in the office in the morning and says ’this is what we’re going to do’. I don’t think you can do that in politics and government.”
And if he were to be the Labour candidate, I rather suspect that the Labour Party members involved in the selection would expect some consistent signs that he was committed to Labour’s ideals.