Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign
Fighting threats from Stalinists and Fascists to use court injunctions and physical violence to silence free speech
The working class can kiss my arse, I've got the Councillor's job at last
The Luke Akehurst blog - The genuine Luke Akehurst weblog about politics, elections, the Labour Party and that ghastly Hackney place. Ignore counterfeit Luke Akehurst blogs - this is the genuine article from the chap who whips Hackney Labour councillors in his spare time.
Now with extra added ingredient Linda K Smith. Helps wash your family whiter!

"My favourite film is Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb" - Luke Akehurst
"Funny and clever but not particularly nice" - Time Out
"With added foie gras, steak, soft cheese, claret and port (hic!)" - Luke Akehurst
"In gustatus perquam putidus est" - Vatican Bank
"Not so much 'Who's Who?' as 'Who's Sleeping With Whom?'" - Peter Mandelson
"You can judge a blogger's politics by the colour of their blog banner" - The spoof Luke Akehurst
"By a coalition of Trots, tree huggers, anarchists, Tories and a nasty little clique over-excited about my hair colour" - Luke Akehurst

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What Is It About Tories, Labour, Me And Public Transport?

One of the weirder things about being a Councillor is being gifted with the ability to spell words like "weird". Another is seeing the anger of Tory councillors whenever anything negative is said about car-use or anything positive about other modes of transport.

"Dave" Cameron may cycle to work (with a car behind carrying his briefcase) but his footsoldiers (or rather car-mounted-soldiers) in my borough vote against controlled parking and campaign against speed limits outside local schools, and one of them goes into a rage every time we do anything to encourage cycling (I gather this is because "they get in the way of cars").

You or I might think Ken's London-wide free bus and tram travel for all under 18s in full-time education was a no-brainer - reducing the number of cars doing the school run and giving mobility to young people.

But it wasn't always a no-brainer. I must put my hand up and admit that I wasn't nearly as fond of Ken Livingstone or his support for public transport. Back in 1999, I was an organiser for Dobbo The Mule in his unsuccessful campaign as Labour candidate for Mayor of London against the same Mr. Livingstone. Of course in those days we'd thrown Red Ken out of the Party and, despite the obvious fact that Frank didn't want the job, we just reminded him of Alec Douglas Home's acceptance speech ("I've got to do PM").

One of Frank's key manifesto pledges was for reform and, ultimately, private control of the tube lines and buses under the management arm of Transport for London. Frank labelled his rival's generous plans for public transport as "gesture politics" that "would cost London £17.6bn and Londoners at least £1,200 a year each". Dobbo had difficulty expressing his support for these policies, so he tended to reply on his deputy Trevor Phillips to make his speeches for him.

So, albeit indirectly, seven years ago I was a campaigner against the social ownership of public transport. Oh well, it's not all bad. At least it goes to show that on some issues I've moved to the left.

No comments: