According to Iain Dale, Brian Paddick has given his second preference vote to Lindsey German, the Left List candidate who in 2004 stood under the RESPECT banner. I am shocked speechless.
Don't get me wrong, I think Paddick has been a very impressive mayoral candidate. He may not have the slickness of a career politician, but his interview performances have improved dramatically over the course of the campaign. His refusal to name a second choice was absolutely spot on. Quite why he's broken his silence now is beyond me.
But that's not the real problem. I suppose, now the polls are closed and the results are being counted, that Paddick's entitled to tell the media whom he cast his second preference for, that's his business. But a vote for Lindsey German? Is he mad, in a coma, or back in time?!
If Paddick had cast his second ballot for Ken or for Boris, I'd say fair enough. It may not be an appetising choice, but you've got to pick the least worst of the two. If he'd backed the Greens, he'd have thrown away a vote in a truly misguided fashion, but I could just about understand his decision. But what business does a Lib Dem have voting for a socialist, far-left, RESPECT candidate? A candidate who believes that economic freedom is the greatest threat to social justice? A candidate who supports Iraqi insurgents in their attacks on our own armed forces?
There should be a blacklist of parties that Lib Dems will never cooperate with, under any circumstances. The BNP and RESPECT (and its derivatives) should be on there without any question.