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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ken in Amnesia, Boris In Short Trousers

Hackney blogger Dave Hill met up with Ken Livingstone yesterday in the NarrowWay in Mare Street, central Hackney, where Ken talked about the borough where I live:

Ken mentions about his experience representing Hackney North & Stoke Newington on the GLC from 1977, when he had already been active in London local government for the best part of a decade. Back in Ken's days as a local politician, he recalls, the borough was "dirt poor" with only two Indian restaurants in Stoke Newington Church Street. I'm not entirely convinced by this argument. The vast majority of Hackney's "dirt poor" population back in the 1970s couldn't afford to eat in either restaurant and can even less afford to eat in the much more expensive establishments that now pack the street. Also, although I was only a toddler growing up in Kent at the time, I've been told that there were various other restaurants in the street even in those days, including a Singaporean restaurant and two Greek Cypriot-run fish and chip shops at least one of which offered facilities for eating in. I'd be interested to hear from others with a better memory for Stokie dining than Ken appears to have.

Still, at least Ken was paying for restaurant meals in 1977. Boris Johnson was also paying for his meals at the time, but in the form of parental cheques made out to The King's College of Our Lady of Eton beside Windsor. Lots of beef and gravy, with plenty of this for afters. Yummy!


Lesney said...

Apparently Ken tried to get hold of a Council Street property in Homerton in 70's but wasn't that well connected with the Council Mafia even though he was in charge of Housing

Dave Spart said...

So - a right winger posturing to the left to effuse about a left winger posturing to the right in order to get re-elected on a New Labour platform. Meanwhile, one CCTV camera for every 14 people in Britain. Eat your heart out, George Orwell!