Dear Mr Mayor,
On Tuesday night, I attended LBC radio's "State of London Address" with Boris Johnson, with my good friend Christine. Christine is quite left wing, while those of you who have read my blog know I am a Conservative. We both had our agendas for the event. Herr's was to discuss housing inequality (an important subject) mine was to deal with elitism in Britain, a rot that has set in throughout the public and private sector in Britain and which is being led by those at the top of British politics.
And so, 1 hour, 16 and 3 seconds into the debate I asked my question (which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9p_S6L4GEo) which in its shortened format asked "what are you doing to address inequality in Conservatives candidates for the 2016 London Mayor and GLA elections". You didn't answer the question and instead went off topic, talking about schools. That might help in 20 years for the next generation, but does resolve today's problem.
The issue you see Mr Mayor is that you connect success to being a millionaire and only those who are very wealthy can afford to take the time out to campaign and become politicians. It is very expensive becoming a politician, with some MPs saying they sold their home to fund their unsuccessful campaigns. Some of us don't currently have homes to sell to fund our campaigns. I said to you that "those lining up to replace you are billionaires, millionaires and members of your own political establishment". Your response was that one of the candidates was a self-made millionaire. That was my point.
The candidacy process for Mayor hasn't even been set yet for the Conservatives (I know, because I have applied) and yet in July the current rich and established candidates who have 'thrown their hat in the ring' will debate at Conservative Way Forward for the candidacy. I've thrown my hat in also Mr Mayor, but my application to join the debate has been ignored. Perhaps I need to be at least a millionaire to be in that club?
I asked you, very clearly, "what are you doing to encourage candidates from a wider background?" and you gave me no answer. How about a truly open process, with debates at all levels of the party? How about ensuring that anyone who has campaigned for at least the last year can enter, with the initial selection done through local chairpersons? What about ensuring that those who are talented and have good policies can apply and be supported, instead of only those on the inside and in "the know" with some cash in their pocket? Make it easier for us Mr Mayor, who are not from money, went to Eton or Oxbridge, to get involved.
I await your answer eagerly Mr Mayor,