The question she now faces is a vital one for the left across Europe – can she really put her ideas into practice?
In the weeks following her victory Colau signalled what might be new about the new politics with a series of headline-grabbing reforms.
‘This is the end of a political class removed from the people’ she announced – cutting expense accounts and salaries of elected officials.
She reduced her own pay from €140,000 to €28,600 – slashed the budget for her own inauguration ceremony and replaced her predecessor’s Audi with a more efficient mayoral minivan.
She suggested withdrawing the annual €4m subsidy to Barcelona’s Grand Prix circuit – restored school meal subsidies to the city’s poorest children and levied fines worth a total of €60,000 on banks that owned vacant properties.
(At the posturing end of the spectrum of political action she removed a bust of the recent King of Spain, Juan Carlos I from the city hall’s council chamber.)
(ed:..(sigh!) and here in auckland we are looking forward to the choice between ‘neo-lib phil’ goff…one of the architects/executers of the rightwing-revolution here in new zealand..(who seem to have been around for forever – and he has – talk about goff-fatigue..eh..?..)
…and it is very wise for those running his campaign using/having the wisdom/tactic of keeping him hidden under a rock and hoping nobody notices he is actually running for the mayoralty..hoping he can literally sleepwalk to victory..can bore his way into the mayoralty..
..every time goff is wheeled out it just reminds people of his history and how much and the many reasons for disliking him..being totally bored by him..the very mention of his name.
..and the cloud of ennui that descends for most in auckland when contemplating a goff-mayoralty..
..goff is our hillary clinton – also with more historical-baggage than auckland international airport @ xmas – and being looked forward to by many/most as much as an outbreak of foot-fungus..
..currently we have the choice between goff and a gaggle of indistinguishable from each other rightwing-trouts..i.e no choice..
..and i reckon someone like sue bradford should throw their hat into the ring..
..bradford may well be surprised by the amount of support she would receive..
..especially if she adopts the playbook from the above-featured ‘radical-mayor’..and promises to slash her own (and others’) salaries/expenses/swap limos for vans/electric-bikes etc. etc…(cull those 300+ p.r.-trouts currently leeching around the place..that would be popular..eh..?..)..
..and to pledge the council to build social-housing/house the homeless/green the city..
..as was proven by/in her time in parliament bradford given reins of power is a very effective operator..(she is the reason russel norman won the co-leadership of greens when he did – but that’s another (dark-political) story..)
..and unlike her previous run at the mayoralty some 17 yrs ago (when me and my then 4 yr old son were her main(?) campaign workers..heh..!..talk about an under-resourced campaign.that one set the benchmark..)
..this time bradford has that track-record in parliament to stand behind her…and for many aucklanders..even if they don’t like her politics..they don’t doubt her personal integrity..
..and whereas her messages then may have fallen on deaf ears..
..that was then..and this is now..this is the age of corbyn/sanders/’radical’-ideas appealing to many..(especially the young/millennials..they would flock to support bradford..)
..and the more i think about it the more i would like sue bradford to run for the auckland mayoralty..
..and as i noted..i think she would be surprised at the amount of support she would receive..
..as is demonstrated by the candidates on offer (right and far-right) there is a vacuum in this race..
..one that bradford could fill..
(..and it’s no small matter that sue bradford would make a bloody great mayor for auckland..)
(disclaimer:..sue bradford knows nought of this call from me..but i think i am articulating the despair many are feeling at the goff-prospect..a labour-mayor in name only..and i hope she can see /grasp the opportunity and also that those close to her are able to prevail upon her to stand..
..and if she does..as with 17 years ago..i will volunteer to help in any way i can/deemed suitable..and i think ‘the boy’ might even be able to be persuaded to reprise his role in that first run..eh..?…)