Independence Day – All Tied Up By Broad Street Election Success

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, the traditional celebration day for American independence.  While some sci-fi film buffs may think it has something to do with freedom from aliens, the day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776 – “When in the Course of human events,…”

Yesterday, Thursday, was also election day for Broad Street Ward Alderman.  My opposing candidate and I spent 13 hours together, somewhat nervously, but passed the time in great conversation.  Though an eavesdropper might have paraphrased Winston Churchill, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average candidate.”  In the end, the result was 62% to 38% in my favour.  Alderman Ian Luder, acting as Lord Mayor locum tenens, kindly raised a glass of champagne, and I headed off to catch the digestif at the Gresham College annual dinner of the Professors.

So, what does the future hold?  Well, formal installation begins next week and I hope to keep folks informed about City and Ward business, albeit perhaps slightly frequently than during the election. It is a great honour to be taking over from former Lord Mayor and Alderman Sir David Lewis, and to be working with three great Common Councilmen, John Bennett, John Scott and Chris Hayward.   I  genuinely look forward to your advice on how best to advance Broad Street Ward and the City.

All that said, I did wonder about independence.  As this is a typical dress-down Friday and most of you know my aversion to neckties, it is a bit painful for me to realise that as Alderman I’ll be expected to wear ties far more often, let alone fancy dress of various forms, even silk stockings.  To see how it should be done with style, here is David showing off his good looks…

Lord Mayor  David Lewis

Expect a slightly frumpier, balding and not-quite-so-slim-but-striving-hard-to-look-good, Alderman in future.  Anyway, I’ll sign off by sharing this rather echoey quote from 1666 and Samuel Pepys, though it was 11 April and not 4 July – “Thence home, and after dinner to Gresham College, where a great deal of do and formality in choosing of the Council and Officers.  I had three votes to be of the Council, who am but a stranger, nor expected any.  So my Lord Bruncker being confirmed President I home, where I find to my great content my rails up upon my leads.”

Looking forward to greeting many of you at Guildhall in the future.