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Monday, January 21, 2008

Vote Ken, Vote Often

I've just watched Martin Bright's The Court Of Ken exposé of Ken Livingstone on Channel 4's Dispatches. I didn't think much of it as a piece of journalism - it was superficial, one-sided and in places - such as criticising Ken for promoting London to the EU, China and India, or for spending money on advertising and PR, just silly. As journalism, some might suggest that it was reminiscent of a Hackney Toady front page - although of course I couldn't possibly agree.

Amongst the hundreds of allegations against Ken, few of which I disagree with, are:

  • Ken wields a massive amount of power with little or no accountability to the London Assembly;
  • Ken runs a £10bn budget of taxpayers' money some of which is doled out to non-existent groups;
  • Ken has the final say on the running of the capital's transport network and yet almost never talks to TfL;
  • Ken invented the congestion zone which patently has not reduced congestion;
  • Ken chairs the city's development authority which is known locally as "The Mayor's piggy-bank";
  • Ken instigates costly and controversial policies at public expense without wider scrutiny or approval;
  • Ken encouraged his special advisors to campaign for him while still on the payroll during the last election;
  • Ken spends an enormous amount of public funds on marketing and advertising;
  • Ken's key advisers are mainly leading members of the Trotskyite group Socialist Action;
  • Ken encouraged his supporters, including paid staff, to pursue a vendetta against Trevor Phillips;
  • Ken officially invited the Muslim fanatic and outspokenly pro-suicide-bomber Yusuf al-Qaradawi to London;
  • Ken's views on the Middle East are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli;
  • Ken's support for Venezuela and Cuba satisfies his revolutionary ambitions but does nothing for Londoners;
  • Ken's comments to journalist Oliver Finegold were racist and antisemitic;
  • Ken managed to rack up £1m in room service in one night while on a hotel jolly;
  • Ken takes an entourage of thousands of staff with him every time he travels abroad;
  • Ken drinks whisky non-stop during official meetings including while addressing the GLA.
Support this Labour Party candidateAll of these were reasons to vote against Ken being the Labour candidate for Mayor. But that selection trigger ballot has happened. I was one of a small group of people who stood up against Ken and voted to trigger him last year. As a result of my vocal and forceful intervention he ended up with an estimated 98% of the vote. Now he's the official Labour candidate.

So, Ken may be an unaccountable, fraudulent, dictatorial, ineffective, wheeler-dealing, uncontrollable, criminal, PR-obsessed, Trotskyite, conspiratorial, pro-fanatical, anti-Israeli, revolutionary, anti-semitic, profligate, imperial alcoholic... but he's our unaccountable, fraudulent, dictatorial, ineffective, wheeler-dealing, uncontrollable, criminal, PR-obsessed, Trotskyite, conspiratorial, pro-fanatical, anti-Israeli, revolutionary, anti-semitic, profligate, imperial alcoholic.

At the end of the day, Ken represents The Labour Party and that's what counts. Make no mistake - the alternative is a Tory buffoon incapable of doing any of these things. It's a very long time since Linda and I were implicated on Panorama for conspiring to defeat Ken by illicitly obtaining the Party membership list and passing the information onto the Dobson opposition camp. A lot of water has flower under Tower Bridge since then. So vote Ken and vote often.


Cedric Smythe-Featherstonehaugh said...

Blimey! Pour me a stiff drink, will you.

Beppe Sapone said...

I'd rather vote for Boris Johnson's cleaning lady than Ken Livingston.
She's more likely to be sober for a start