The announcement of the LibDem shortlist to be their candidate for Mayor of London has made very little news - even in London - but is a really important one. The LibDems have controversial policeman Brian Paddick standing against two worthy but very little known candidates, both of whom will benefit from the experience even though they will be trounced.
Like the Tories the LibDem announcement is rather a fait accompli. Unlike the dull-but-worthy Susan Kramer and the controversial full time politican Simon Hughes, Paddick adds the star quality of almost-celebrity candidature without being too political. For them he's the best of a very poor bunch.
The next election has, thus, been decided by the parties rather than the people. When Livingstone, Johnson and Paddick battle it out - with apologies to smaller party candidates - the choice for Londoners will have been limited. This is an exciting job with a big budget and loads of responsibility. The Tories have "had a go" at an open primary but wouldn't a full US-style primary be an exciting prospect and where better to start than London? Just a thought.