Any election yields a number of off-the-wall candidates as well as
the more serious propositions, and it would be excusable to class the
latest bidder for London Mayor, Sex Pistols impresario and punk icon
Malcolm McLaren, in the former category. The web site outlining his
manifesto, however, is a surprise.
The New Statesman was the launch vehicle for McLaren’s bid at the end of
December. There are links to the New Statesman’s web site and the
relevant pages from the issue in which the interview with McLaren
appeared, as well as links to the latest news from Yahoo on the race for
McLaren’s home page kicks off with a rousing extract from the New
Statesman piece, ’My vision of London’, which makes it clear that
McLaren is far from a party political contender for the role. He says
London needs an independent spokesperson at its helm, and goes as far as
describing the politicans who will ’destroy the capital’s true and
authentic self’ as ’its main pollutants’.
Also on the home page are extracts from national newspaper articles
which reinforce the seriousness, as well as the refreshing nature, of
The manifesto itself is a tight 16-point document with a broad
The staples of housing, education and transport are covered, but are not
dealt with in the same way as by Messrs Dobson and Norris. For instance,
McLaren proposes a London homeless lottery system, with tickets sold by
the homeless and all proceeds going to creating housing designed and
built by the homeless themselves.
Less radical ideas including the re-introduction of
environmentally-friendly trams across the capital, reducing organised
crime by legalising some drugs, and getting rid of fees for museums and
art galleries, are also on the agenda. He also calls for increased
business rates for cappuccino chains to save small businesses, and
legalising brothels outside the houses of Parliament.
McLaren also reckons that the internet has a role in play in the future
of London’s democracy, as a forum for London voters to voice their
Malcolm McLaren has never been an easy person to pigeonhole, and the
small web site is used to good effect to show that there is much more to
the man than his image. He’s not exactly about anarchy in the UK these
days, and his manifesto is a breath of fresh air in the ongoing fiasco
that is the political race for London mayor.
Subject: Malcolm McLaren
Issue: London mayoral bid