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  • Like a squat helter skelter behind Tower Bridge, sits City Hall, lovingly referred to by our Mayor of London at times as 'The Glass Gonad.' And there Mayor Boris Johnson will again take up his office after a marginal win over his opposition in this week's election.

    But in other parts of the UK, cities rejected the idea of having a mayor in residence voting largely against the option in the varying referendums that took place. Bristol struck out against the trend and voted yes, and Doncaster already has a mayor in office that they have elected to keep.

    Aside from the mayoral choices, there's been a tipping of the political power balance at local level as those of us who live outside the Capital voted in local council elections. Here in Hertfordshire, where I reside, only the two main parties fielded candidates. Turnout to vote across the whole country was very low indeed, but with considerable gain in ground for the Labour presence overall in the regions.

    There's no doubt that the political temperature of the UK is cold right now, with local politics being judged, perhaps more by the national level of performance from the coalition government, than on local merit.

    In the last week or two alone, we've had scandal in the Cabinet, undue press influence uncovered in an ongoing and explosive judicial inquiry, a double dip recession announced and a month's worth of rain that has put most of us in a pretty unforgiving mood when it comes to having to put up with things we don't like but feel powerless to change. Apathy and a damp moodiness has set in and people by and large genuinely don't seem to want any extra layers of government added to plague their lives right now.

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the main reason Boris Johnson ended up with a slight majority today in the London mayoral election is that he comes across as a fun and generally happy soul, who, whether you agree with his policies or not, seems to brighten up our currently grim capital with his floppy yellow haired comedic presence, and his willingness to make a general ass out of himself while showing how much he cares about London all the same. The main opposition candidate, Labour's Ken Livingstone (affectionately known by Londoners as 'Red Ken') is by no means unpopular but can seem a bit grim, with his long history in left wing politics, particularly in London's always high profile and difficult political climate, that gives out from him a more jaded impression to a Joe Public, who frankly, are currently a bit fed up of any vitriol that does not stem from the public voice alone.

    The whole political climate is as wet as the weather and there are more storms to come. I hope walls are strong in City Hall. The 'Glass Gonad' is going to be under pressure to deliver more than ever now with the Olympics looming and the political skies glooming over an already dark horizon.
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