After all, at least the Greater London Authority is elected by proportional representation, ensuring that its assembly cannot be dominated by one party.
But Sonia Purnell's Just Boris - an excellent biography I hope to review here one day makes it clear that London has a far from ideal system too:
There is ... no shadow mayor - and virtually no open press conferences .... And just as Boris had earned a reputation for treating committees in the House of Commons with contempt so did he frequently trade insults rather than information with the 25 London Assembly members elected to hold him to account.
Anyone attending Mayor's Question Time at City Hall would not be wholly surprised to learn that Boris's favourite film is Dodgeball, with its running motto of "dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge". Knowing that each member is limited to a six-minute slot in which to ask him questions, he filibusters, goes off on tangents, asks for the question to be repeated, answers a totally different question, constantly shouts over question, and employs each and every tactic to avoid answering, to the continual annoyance of successive assembly chairmen.
And when that it not enough, he does what they do in Dodgeball and throws the ball right back at his opponents in the form of personal insults such as accusing Opposition members of needing "care in the community" of "suffering from Tourette's Syndrome" and patronising female members by addressing them as "my dear".You can blame Boris Johnson's personality and the fact that there are only 25 assembly members to represent a city the size of London. But at the heart of what is wrong here is the mayoral system itself.
As I wrote earlier this month:
Enthusiasm for that system is a hangover from Blairite heyday, when supporters of debate and discussion just did not get it and Richard Branson was expected to become the first elected mayor of London.