Monday, February 05, 2024

“I almost got killed by elephants a number of times”: Rob Blackie interviewed by On London

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Rob Blackie, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, has been interviewed by Dave Hill for the On London website.

Though the most interesting part is Blackie's work in Namibia:
Blackie’s endeavours included elephant conservation and the development of an apparently now widespread model under which control of wildlife was placed in the hands of rural communities. “It meant they treated it better and were more anti-poacher,” he says. “It was a huge conservation success story,” though it meant “I almost got killed by elephants a number of times”.
he also has important things to say about national politics, informed by his time working for the party under Charles Kennedy:
Blackie says he learned ... that it is “always much better to be bold and stand up for what you believe in, rather than cowering in fear from people who might attack you.” He cites Kennedy’s opposition to the war in Iraq as the clearest example of this, but also the Lib Dem challenge to the Labour government of that time.

“I think we forget that a lot of the arc of Labour when they were in power was not unlike what Keir Starmer’s might end up being,” he relfects, “which is very, very cautious in order to get into power and then finding out that things don’t magically change just because you’re a nicer bunch of people”.
And he sets out his plans for London:
For Blackie, Britain’s most fundamental need is for decentralisation, a principle he thinks should also be applied to the running of London. In his, view, this is particularly true of policing. 
“Crime is going to be the biggest thing I’ll be talking about in this campajgn,” he says, pinning blame for a lot of the Met’s problems on the creation between 2017 and 2019 of 12 Basic Command Units (BCUs) to replace the previous 32 borough-based organisational structures.

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