OPINION: The Big Question - How would you build the Dobson brand to rival that of Livingstone? - The battle to become mayor of London continues to be one which is being waged on the basis of personalities, rather than policies, and it is a fight in which

LAURIE MAYER - Harrods director of public affairs

LAURIE MAYER - Harrods director of public affairs

’I think Dobson is a lost cause, but the best thing he could do is to

steal some of Ken’s clothes by reacquainting himself with Londoners at

grass roots level. For Dobson the Labour Party is a huge disadvantage as

everyone feels that he will be unable to be his own man. The issues that

the candidates need to address are his strong points. Health and

transport are both areas that he has a lot of experience in and he

should be turning this to his advantage. He is seen as an aggressive,

earnest bumbler, when in fact he has a superb sense of humour. He ought

to be using that at Ken’s expense.’


’Dobson needs to focus on the facts and explain that if Londoners really

want things done then they need to vote for the official Labour

candidate. Since Dobson is close to the corridors of power he is going

to have real influence. Dobson also has a lot of real friends unlike Ken

Livingstone. Livingstone seems to make two enemies for every friend. To

transfer this into votes, Dobson needs to be more accessible to the

public and have a higher profile. He needs to be less on the defensive

and more willing to take the fight to Livingstone. I do not think that

there is anything wrong with his image. He has a great sense of humour

and he ought to show that off more often than he does.’


’Rather than attack Ken Livingstone for being a maverick and turncoat,

Dobson should concentrate more on the issues that the new Mayor of

London will need to address and he needs to make these interesting and

exciting. London needs a visionary leader and where Livingstone has done

well is where he trades on his image as being a populist. However, I

think a lot of people do not see him as someone they can trust. Dobson

is trustworthy and he should be capitalising on that. I don’t think he

needs to change his image, and any attempt to do so would damage his


KIZZI NKWOCHA - Nkwocha and Associates

’Dobson must hammer home the message that he knows he will be the best

mayor for London because he has the best core policies for the capital.

I would also focus the media spotlight on his achievements in health.

The coup would be to conduct a ’friendly’ poll among doctors and nurses

and find some who will say that, because of their first-hand experiences

of being governed by Mr Dobson, they would vote for him as London mayor.

As any good political journalist will tell you, surveys are used in the

same way a drunk uses a lamp-post: more for support than illumination.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in