Last time we were the surprise, this time we’re the target

12 February 2016, Blog

The sweet shop is now open; incumbent Mayor, George Ferguson, last night launched his manifesto kicking off the Bristol Mayoral election race.

George’s message is clear; keep him in and Bristol’s days of political stasis and its inevitable management vacuum will be well and truly over. His independent party of one, Bristol First, cuts through the politics and unites the City. A message which strikes the very heart of Bristol’s independent scene. Cue rapturous applause from hordes of students and middle-class Liberals.

George canters through his Mayoral successes; the Green Capital; the Rockefeller Resilience City; the Metrobus and Bristol’s steps towards a more sustainable future. No stranger to a good old fashioned media storm he regaled tales of his more unpopular manoeuvres making clear why all the while he was in the right.

For a manifesto launch it was policy light. He’ll continue with existing projects; the arena, Great Western Cities and Metrobus but there was little in the way of new original policy. He did launch the Bristol Business Advisory Board. He’ll connect local businesses with deprived inner city Bristol to impart skills and knowledge; social mobility is the prize.

Speech over, the room vacated with only the schmoozers, boozers and those who bought a raffle ticket left.

Nikki Knowles observes:

Clearly, George is aware of the climate he has created and is on the defensive. His manifesto launch was him basically justifying the last four years of his premiership and letting his detractors know why they were wrong.

Policy and a comprehensive vision for Bristol was rather lacking which could be his downfall if it continues. Of course he needs to defend his record but this isn’t the time to persuade the electorate of his past but of his future as Mayor.

George has an excellent message which will connect with the electorate. As he testified himself, people don’t always agree with what he does but they like that he can actually get things done. An election is a referendum on the future and the electorate need to be inspired and convinced; they know he can get stuff done, it’s now just a case of outlining and selling his future.

JBP Staff Member

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