‘“So… How do you make this thing take off?” 
Who will be at the helm of City Hall for the next four years? It's going to be a close call, with promises of employment set to win votes
Boris vs. Ken – more jobs for the masses might just swing it!
April 25, 2012  //  By:   //  Apprenticeships, Community Matters, HugoFox.com, Local Business, London Olympics, Work experience
Victoria Poolman

Bio: Having written for a range of trade and consumer publications, Victoria brings her love of all things local to the role of HugoFox News Editor.

Victoria Poolman

On Thursday 3rd May, the residents of London’s 32 boroughs – as well as the City of London – will head to polling stations to decide the outcome of the city’s mayoral election. With the UK’s economy and job market having had a rough time of late, the key issue for many voters will be how each candidate plans to improve the employment rates for communities in and around the capital. But the job issue does not affect London alone, and all around the country people are eager to see which of the two top contenders will get their hands on that rather lovely necklace this time. Whose policies and personality will win the hearts of London’s citizens? HugoFox News examines the battle for City Hall.

The main contenders for the 2012 election are well known: bumbling but bright Conservative Boris Johnson vies with his nemesis “Red Ken”, a.k.a. Ken Livingstone, the Labour Party candidate. As London’s current mayor, Boris hopes to be re-elected into his second term, but he faces tough competition from outspoken Ken, whose experience of running London goes back to 1981 when he was the chairman of the now-abolished Greater London Council. The pair’s animosity has been evident from the start of the 2012 campaign, with a kerfuffle rising over Livingstone’s tax situation leading to a heated argument in a lift(!) after the first mayoral debate. And the tension is only set to rise as election day draws closer.

Which candidate will manage to trump the other? Let’s see how the two measure up…

Boris Johnson: ‘The Bumbler’

Party: Conservative

Powers: Colourful, familiar household name, surprisingly intelligent

Weaknesses: Gaffe-prone, questionable hairstyle, ill-timed holidays

The ‘Boris-mobile’ would be a: ‘Boris bike’

Has been called: ‘BoJo’ (The New Statesman newspaper)

Effect on employment: In July 2011, Johnson announced that he had created 28,000 new apprenticeships, exceeding his pledge that he would create 20,000 by September of that year. However, Green Party candidate Jenny Jones called Johnson’s new apprenticeships ‘low-quality’, with Livingstone claiming that the figure of 28,000 was ‘disingenuous’. Nevertheless, Johnson promises to create 200,000 new jobs in the UK capital over the next four years, stating that these opportunities will arise from his planned investments in housing, transport, the redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks, and further initiatives.

Fun fact: Boris has appeared on BBC panel show Have I Got News For You seven times in total, three as a guest presenter and four as a panellist.

Ken Livingstone: ‘Red Ken’

Party: Labour

Powers: Lots of experience governing London, intrepid personality, environmentalist

Weaknesses: Dubious alliances, suspicious tax affairs, general obnoxiousness

The ‘Ken-mobile’ would be a: Bendy bus

Has been called: ‘the most odious man in Britain’ (The Sun newspaper)!

Effect on employment: Livingstone blames Conservative policies for the present low employment levels. He supports Labour’s five-point economic strategy, which would include creating 11,500 jobs for young people, saying that it would put ‘the interests of ordinary Londoners first’. Livingstone has also introduced the concept of a statutory ‘London Living Wage’, which would raise the minimum wage of workers in the capital – although whether or not such a wage would be made legally binding is still in question.

Fun fact: Red Ken is known to adore newts!

The Houses of Parliament, where the leaders of our country go to shout at each other. Oh, sorry, I mean, to engage in mature and reasonable debate…

It’s a tough call to choose between these two characters! Indeed, according to a recent poll commissioned by the BBC, Johnson and Livingstone stand neck and neck when it comes to public trust in their economic policies. When asked whose plan for growth and employment they had most faith in, 27% chose Johnson whilst another 27% opted for Livingstone. It seems that Boris and Ken still have their work cut out for them before Thursday 3rd May!

At least here at HugoFox.com, our users are sure to find many fantastic job opportunities on our listings pages. Website founder Michael Thompson knows the value of apprenticeship schemes, and established HugoFox.com as a way of uniting locals and helping to present opportunities to all, filling the gaps in our businesses with qualified, committed individuals right on our doorstep, thus bringing our communities together.

By putting you in touch with local employers you might otherwise be unaware of, HugoFox.com seeks to alleviate some of the difficulties facing jobseekers at this time, and for poor Boris and Ken who have their own work cut out for them in trying to correct the problem! So if you’re looking for new employment, just head over to our Jobs page and search for opportunities in your area – you might just find something right up your street in more ways than one. Alternatively, if you’re seeking someone new to join your team, why not post with us? Each job listing costs just £24 – no commission, recruitment fees, or hidden extras. Just sign up and pop up your vacancy, and who knows – you might have it filled by tomorrow!

The way we see it, it’s not just up to politicians to address the issue of low employment – it’s up to us to look within our communities for hard working individuals who could benefit from some work, and could bring new skill and enthusiasm to our businesses.

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