THEY are beginning to to whistle why are we waiting around City Hall after London Mayor Boris Johnson and his officers failed yet again to answer why the actors who play the unlicensed cab drivers who attack female passengers in public safety adverts are always played by ethnic minority actors. The deliberately-terrifying adverts are shot for Cabwise, Transport for London’s cab licensing programme, and are screened in cinemas with the aim of steering people away from from hopping into random touts’ cars and placing themselves in potential danger. Labour’s Andrew Dismore, Camden’s rep at City Hall, has asked about this every month for the last three, but keeps getting back the London Assembly equivalent of auto-reply email: Officers are drafting a response. He warns: “One of the unlicensed cab drivers shown is of Asian origin and the other Afro-caribbean. I have received complaints from constituents who are offended about the commercial’s apparent racial stereo-typing.” One for Trevor Phillips to discuss maybe. Either way, Andrew is probably due an answer now.
THE EMPTY CHAIR
AS reported in the New Journal last week and on these pages last night, health campaigners in Islington reacted to Lib Dem Lynne Featherstone’s no-show at election hustings at Islington Town Hall last night by using the familiar symbolism of an empty chair with her name on it. For added mischief, a picture of her was extended on a stick at the front row. Campaigners are still cross at her ‘Lynne Saved The Whittington’ headline on the election leaflets, which they say does not tell the real story of their work over two major campaigns to save important services at the hospital. The CNJ will also try not to be offended that she didn’t mention the newspaper’s protest battlebus.
Parliamentary candidates in Hampstead and Kilburn meet at the Tricycle in Kilburn tonight. 7.30pm. Age Concern are the hosts.
FILE UNDER ‘CELEBS READING THE CNJ’
Thanks to Dame Judi Dench for being the latest good sport.
Former local Lib Dem/Tory/Labour supporter and more recently an independent council election Nigel Rumble reacts to the news here last night that Tory leader Claire-Louise Leyland is to stand for Parliament in Northern Ireland.
When Cllr Francis is offered an honour, we now know she’s going to be a refusenik.
Former Islington councillor Phil Kelly’s assessment of Henry Kissinger’s appearance on Newsnight yesterday.