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London Mayor A Black Eye For Blair

London elected itself a mayor this week. The city had been run by the British Parliament and several neighborhood councils. Letting the people elect their own representative to head the process was a vote-getting campaign promise. It helped the Labor party defeat the long-serving Tories in the last general election.

Unfortunately for Labor, this mayor thing hasn't turned out as planned.

It seems the party assumed that once it had graciously granted Londoners the right to have a mayor, they would gratefully vote for whichever candidate Labor chose to anoint.

But the man the party chose is a known Labor "yes" man. He is not someone Londoners believe will stand up for them, wrestling much-needed funds from a reluctant Parliament and Prime Minister's Office.

No, the man the opinion polls picked was "Red Ken," as the slightly liberal candidate Ken Livingstone is known. He was a member of the Labor Party, but the leadership wouldn't pick him. Too many of his own strongly held opinions, you see. Labor calls it, "Not adhering to party discipline."

So Labor kicked him out of the party for daring to run independently, and attacked him with some negative campaigning that made the U.S. primaries look like a sandbox kiddy brawl.

Well, people didn't like that, taking it as one more sign that the Labor party has gotten too big for its britches since coming to office. So they used this election to knock Tony Blair and crew down a peg or two.

The blindingly obvious message to Blair: Giving the people what you want isn't what anyone calls democracy. And it's the same mistake the last guys made. You know, the Tories -- the ones you beat to run the country, but at this rate, might not beat the next time.