Last night was the first of doubtless many debates between the candidates for Mayor of London.
To be honest I have been in a gentle kind of despair about the idea of Ken Livingstone, who I believe to be incompetent, doctrinaire and rather crooked, holding on to his job.
Certainly, the idea of Boris Johnson- the clownish, gaffe prone Conservative candidate- replacing Livingstone is really not appealing at all. I think I prefer the dubious crook to the embarrassing clown.
However, one candidate last night actually did come over as a sound and sensible figure. Brian Paddick was a guy who one can imagine dealing with - God forbid- a major terrorist incident. He also has interesting ideas about how to tackle the mess in transport and already knows far more than other two do about Policing.
He is clearly thoughtful and intelligent.
Between the posturing of the two gargoyles -Ken and Boris- Brian Paddick looks extremely good. If Boris's campaign implodes , as it easily might, and the rumours of Mayoral shenanigans prove to be more than rumours, then Brian Paddick could even end up as the winner of the contest.
I certainly hope so- I believe him to be much better qualified than the other two.