What would Clement do?

A Labour blog that witters on about Clement Attlee. Hurrah for The Major!

Archive for the tag “ken livingstone”

OH! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING!

And as the results continue to come in, oh what a beautiful day?

Lib Dems trounced nationally, Labour winning over 500 seats and over twenty councils throughout England and Wales. We have taken seats from the Tories, BNP, Lib Dems, Plaid and UKIP. And it looks as though the SNP may not have won Glasgow as predicted. From Great Yarmouth to Plymouth this is a great result for Labour and Ed Milibands leadership.  Even in Bradford, where we lost seats to Respect, overall we have gained two seats!

Harlow, Southhampton, Dudley – directly from the Tories

Birmingham, Carlisle, Derby, Norwich, Reading – from No Overall Control.

The London results are not yet in, and Scotland is only counting now. The Ken & Boris show is over – too close to call, although whichever way the votes go, David Cameron will have to watch his back…

 

VOTE LABOUR TODAY

Today is polling day in local government across the UK.

Here in London, we elect our Mayor and the GLA, & across the country you get a say in how your local services are managed.

Please remember the awful example of Tory-run Suffolk, where the council is trying to destroy jobs, and make the council “virtual”. The former Chief Executive was payed more than the Prime Minister! In fact, you will find that amongst the unelected Chief Executives, those with huge pay-packets tend to be employed by Tory councils.

After a campaign best described as one huge dirty trick, Mr Johnson and Mr Livingstone will have to wait for the votes to be counted.

The choice is clear – vote Boris for ineffective, though amusing government. Cutting Police numbers, stockpiling Plastic Bullets, ignoring inner London, cutting transport projects. Rambling on in a funny way. Denying the importance of investigations into the corrupting influence of Murdoch. Denying growth. Pressing for tax cuts for his friends and masters. Earning £250,000 outside of his actual job – paid ultimately by tax exiles. His utter incompetence in dealing with the RMT – after all, we have had many more tube strikes under Johnson in 4 years than we had under Ken in 8.


Brian Paddick, Jenny Jones and Ms Benita cannot win, but they have all raised serious points along the way. Johnson will ignore everything they have said once in City Hall, and carry on with Coleman, Malthouse et al.

For Lib Dem, Green and independent voters, the second choice is clear – it must be Ken Livingstone.

– A vote for Ken Livingstone is a vote for fair fares on London Transport, investment in infrastructure, creating jobs. It is a vote for a City Hall that will strive to unite Londoners, not divide them. It is a vote for substance over style. Restoring the EMA Londonwide, a lifelong dedication to London, a proven track record spanning over thirty years.

Of course, the national issues matter – Economic mismanagement, making us pay for the Bankers’ mistakes, pasty taxes, the amazing inability to read a calendar. Cutting too far, too fast, leading us back into recession. Gutting the armed forces, trussing up the NHS to sell off to their mates. Student Fees.Oh, and should I mention Murdoch???

Today you get a voice. Today, just for once, shout “ENOUGH!!!” And vote Labour.

 

Boris’ Best Mates – Number Two: KIT MALTHOUSE…

Residents of Pimlico in Westminster will probably remember Kit Malthouse as the Tory Deputy Leader of Westminster Council who agreed to reducing the amount Dame Shirley Porter should have payed for her part in the “Homes for Votes” fraud and gerrymandering scandal from £42 million to just £12.3 million. It still took the Tesco Heiress until 2004 to cough up, after first fleeing to Israel.

So it may have seemed surprising that Boris Johnson chose someone so lenient towards criminal behaviour to become his Deputy Mayor in charge of Policing. Is it at all possible that there was a deeper agenda here???

2008 – Kit and Boris engineer the ousting of Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. In response to Blair’s offer to stay on until a suitable candidate is found, the national press reports that he was told not to bother, as;

We don’t want a successor appointed. We will have an acting arrangement until a Conservative Home Secretary arrives.

2009 – Step forward Sir Paul Stephenson, manfully into the breach, who must not have got the message because less than a year later he and Sir Hugh Orde, President of ACPO are publicly complaining of political interference and the politicisation of the police, specifically The Met. Apparently Kit had been boasting to hacks that London Conservatives now had their “hands on the tiller” of The Metropolitan Police Service.

2011 – After a decent interval, and in no way connected to the quote above, the Conservative Home Secretary appoints Bernard Hogan-Howe as Met Commissioner. Transparent eh? Still, Sir Paul got the top pension, so no hard feelings.

This makes for three Commissioners in four years, an unprecedented turnover in what is not only Britain’s largest Police Service, but also a key post in UK Counter Terrorism. Anyone notice 2012 coming up? Olympics? Diamond Jubilee? Anyone??? Bernard, do you feel safe in the hot seat?

We can all agree at least, that the past four years have been very interesting times for The Service:

April 2009 – G20 Protests. Ian Tomlinson unlawfully killed. Boris describes press coverage as “an orgy of cop bashing”. The trial of PC Simon Harwood for manslaughter will begin on June 13th 2012.

2010 –  Anti fees Protests. The Met fail to protect Tory Central Office at Milbank, a predictable target for protesters. Subsequently their tactics lead to accusations of brutality, with further use of the disputed “kettling” tactic. Parliament Square becomes a battleground.

May 2011 – TUC Anti Cuts Demo.  201 arrested, 66 injured, including 31 police. Police arrest the non-violent UK UNCUT protesters at Fortnums, whilst leaving the violent anarchists to have at The Ritz.

2011- The Riots. Neither Johnson nor Malthouse emerge until all is safe. Dozens of police injured, yet eyewitnesses talk of Police reluctance to actually protect life and limb.Would this have been different if the riots had been in Mayfair?

2012 – Twelve officers so far referred to IPCC inalledged racist incidents.

2006 – Ongoing – News International Hacking and Bribery scandal. Both Kit and Boris have been vocal in calling for these investigations to be downgraded. Boris called it “a Labour Plot”.

And now some figures:

  • Police numbers 2010 – 33,260 :    2011 – 32,380    DOWN NEARLY ONE THOUSAND

Detection rates for 2010/11 (Home Office figures)

  • VIOLENCE AGAINST THE PERSON –  London  35%  : England & Wales- 44%
  • BURGLARY DETECTION RATE –            London  11%  :  E&W – 13%
  • ROBBERY DETECTION RATE    –            London  17%  :  E&W – 21%
  • SEXUAL OFFENCES  RATE –                     London 23%  :  E&W – 30%
Kit Malthouse is standing for the GLA in West Central against a his nearest rival, Labour’s Todd Foreman. If you, like me, are seriously worried by the way that Malthouse and Johnson have further politicised our Police Service, then I suggest that you vote for Todd.
To Properly ensure that Kit Malthouse has no power over The Met on May 4th, I advise all Green and Liberal Democrats to vote for Ken Livingstone as your second preference in the Mayoral contest.

Boris Bloggers carry on regardless…

Well, you couldn’t make it up…

…or could you?

Well, today has been mixed in terms of news for Labour and Ken Livingstone, firstly some of the prominent Jewish Labour supporters who signed the leaked letter to Ed Miliband a few weeks ago have now posted an open letter on blogspot supporting Ken, and pretty much damning Mel Philips and andrew Gilligan.

Read it here: http://jewishlabouractivists.blogspot.co.uk/

I pretty much agree with everything posted above, and have indicated my support in the comments page.

The bad news was this morning’s ComRes poll for ITV Daybreak, which has given Mr Johnson an eight point lead across London. Ulp!!! Or as Johnson would say, “lawks!”.

However, there are a number of glaringly odd figures within the ComRes detail, for instance Ken getting 100% support in Kensington and Chelsea, or Johnson leading in Tower Hamlets and Hackney. Let me just say that I would love Labour to win in Kensington and Chelsea, however I suspect that George Osborne’s neighbours (well, those that aren’t non-dom) won’t vote Labour any time soon. Labour List goes into more detail about this here:  http://labourlist.org/2012/04/a-poll-with-holes/

Out of sheer curiosity, I decided to have a look at our old friends blogging for Boris, and as usual I was not disappointed:

A quick look at the Boris Johnson fan  sites today confirmed that they are still as strange as ever, none more so than the frankly hilarious CYBERborisjohnson, written by Angie, or Angelneptunestar to give this one-time knitting magnate her other alias.

As with a number of other sites, such as “The Wonder of Boris Johnson”, the monomania seems to reach new levels of hysteria – you could almost imagine that mop-topped Boris was leading his very own Fab Four out on stage, deafened by the weeping & screams of such ardent fans to run through his greatest hits once again. And, to mirror those heady days of BritPop, the fans need a rival to hate – step forward London Labour’s answer to Blur, Ken Livingstone.

In recent weeks, Anne Sykes at “The Wonder of Boris Johnson” has pretty much posted a collection of  pro Boris pictures interspersed with insults aimed at Ken & demands to “Vote for Boris!” So not much that is too current here, and, lets face it, its fair enough that a Johnson fan blog would err, back Boris. 

 Ms. Neptunestar over at CYBERboris.com has taken another path, and is pretty strident in her advocacy, not only of Boris, but also that Ken is a fascist stooge/red/just plain evil guy.

Her take on todays ComRes poll is not simply the expected crowing, but the bizarre assertion that Boris Johnson is on the verge of winning a desperate battle similar to Wellington’s defeat of the Maratha army at Assaye in 1803.  For those not versed in military history, I should explain that Wellington’s vastly outnumbered soldiers won a decisive victory, paving the way for the consolidation of the British Raj. Until a fortnight ago, it looked as if Boris would walk this one, so a struggle it may be, but Boris certainly isn’t the underdog.

I do wonder how many British Asians will feel about such a reference to British conquest? Hardly sensitive is it? I suppose that Angie does have a point, Johnson is indeed like Wellington in one way. Both men were right wing Tories who failed to turn their undoubted talents in their respective professions into proficiency in the  sphere of civil administration.  Wellington, pretty much the head of the Army until his death, was so reactionary that many of the disasters that befell our brave troops in the Crimean War can be laid at his feet.

Characteristically, Boris sites have ignored the open letter mentioned above, but they would do, wouldn’t they?

Still, back on April 12th, Angie enlightened us on the burning issue of the day, to whit which Greek Goddess would Ken be linked to? Well, its Eris, Goddess of Discord (naturally). Boris is apparently linked to Athena, Goddess of Tennis Players bottoms (equally naturally). It may be that in June she will be able to tell us whether the stars are God’s daisy chain or not…

 The usual guff about Livingstone is here in abundance – the guilt by association, the personal digs, I am sure this is all her own work, but if Linton Crosby is her neighbour, I would not be surprised. The one bright spot in all this black humour would be that people like Angelneptunestar spend so much time blogging, that hopefully they will forget to get the vote out…

KEN4LONDON – A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES

Now in the past, I have been public about my attitude towards towards Ken Livingstone, Labours’ candidate for Mayor of London.  I voted for Oona King, and have stated several times that although I respect Mr Livingstone’s many accomplishments for London since 1981, it was time for someone else.

In an open and democratic election process, involving both party and trades union members (making it by farther widest selection electorate of ANY candidate), Livingstone was chosen by the London Labour Party as our candidate, fair and square. Having had our say, those who didn’t vote for him should have then got on with organising a Labour victory against this terrible government, Boris Johnson and his awful City Hall cronies. Most of have, although some, generally on the right of the party have decided that they would prefer to carry-on the infighting in public. Lets forget about vainglorious businessmen for a moment, as they are really the least of our worries. After all, whoever wins on May 3rd, Alan Sugar will still be rich.

The important issues of this election – the economy, housing, transport, and a fair deal for Londoners will only be successfully dealt with if Labour wins control of London. That means voting for ALL Labour candidates, no exceptions.

Victory for Boris Johnson in London strengthens the Tories in Whitehall as well as City Hall. It consolidates David Cameron’s position as Leader of his party, and gives the right evermore confidence in their attacks on our living standards.

Victory for Boris Johnson weakens Labour nationally – it would wrongly be taken as a signal for more idiotic sniping at Ed Miliband, just as we are developing a decent poll ratings.

I appeal to all Labour supporters and members in London – do not let Johnson, Malthouse and their cronies back in.

On May 3rd, vote Labour, vote Ken Livingstone. Let Johnson get on with what he does best – looking after himself.

 

DEAR MR JOHNSON…

With the London Mayoral Elections less than two weeks away, I have a few questions to ask Boris Johnson, our current Tory Mayor…

…dear Mr Johnson, I am struggling to find answers to these questions, I think you can help me on these;

  1. You are paid around £140,000 every year to be the Mayor of London. That is a huge amount of money compared to the London average of £25,000. You are also paid £250,000 a year by The Telegraph Group to write occasional articles. Which one of these is your main job?
  2. Until 2008, you were the Member of Parliament for Henley, which is outside London, although perfectly nice in its own way. You had never previously shown any interest in running this great city, and you were seemingly on-track to be a minister under your Eton schoolmate David Cameron. So why did you suddenly become so enthusiastic about the Mayoralty?
  3. Last year, as the News International scandal broke, you described it as “Labour nonsense”, and you & your political allies have consistently bemoaned money spent on the investigation. Do you have something to hide?
  4. Again, last year during the riots you were on holiday, and took your own sweet time to come back during the crisis. How can we trust you to directly run The Met???
  5. How is Darius Guppy getting on?
  6. At a recent meeting between Ken Livingstone and some of his online supporters, Paul Staines, a conservative blogger, interrupted, shouting “C*nt! You are a f***ing c*nt!” and then demanded someones’  name in a threatening manner. This has been seen by thousands on Youtube. Will you apologise for your supporters’ behaviour???
  7. Why should we pay £1.5 million for a Bus, no matter how nice it looks, when we already have a fleet of larger Buses in operation?
  8. Why are you wasting our money on proposing an airport we arguably do not need, and which will be outside your jurisdiction???
  9. Your supporters have spent the past few years smearing the Labour candidate as being anti-Semitic by virtue of association. As Ken Livingstone has Nicky Gavron (Jewish) as his running mate, and is in a party led by Ed Miliband (Jewish), will you repudiate these attacks, which have heightened racial and religious tension in the Capital.
  10. Why, as your chums in Government seek to make ordinary people pay for the financial crisis, did you decry “Banker Bashing”?
  11.  Which Mayor campaigned effectively, and brought the Olympic Games to London?
  12. Do you still believe that Gay marriage is equivalent to marriage between, say, a man and a dog?
  13. You have attacked Ken Livingstone for his (legal) tax arrangements, yet you gain £250,000 per annum from the Telegraph Group, owned by the tax-exile Barclay brothers, through Ellerman Investments, who also own The Ritz. You have yet to say anything about offshore tax avoidance – is this hypocrisy???
  14. Why have you had more meetings in the past four years with City financiers than with the heads of The Metropolitan Police?
  15. In which way are you to be admired for your many extramarital affairs, which you sought to hide?
  16. Should David Cameron watch his back if you lose, and find a safe Tory seat?
  17. Is £250,000 really “Chickenfeed”, as you said in 2009 during a BBC interview?

The Ken and Boris show….

Ok, hands up all those who are now enthused over the London Mayoral elections? Anybody? Anybody except Brian Paddick? No?… Oh well…

Could it be that since supporters of both the current and preceding Mayor have been running vindictive and negative campaigns for over a year now that voters, stupendously faced with the exact same faces as in 2008 are just a little pissed off? I mean, we all know that the two frontrunners hate each other, hell plenty of their respective parties hate them too. (Although in Johnsons case, most of the haters seem to be in the Cabinet.)

The former member for Henley-upon-UKIP has not been much of a success in his four years – a bike gimmick, some good PR, and that is about it. Oh, and costing Londoners dearly to see his pet Double Deckers replace the Bendy Buses. He has raised fares, rambled on about  Wiff-Waff, and generally been on the wrong side of every issue to affect us in half a decade;  Bankers – excellent chaps, not their fault, no need for regulation. The riots? Don’t expect him to be around if a brick hits your window, he’s on holiday. Policing? Lets just say that mathematics is not his strong point, so don’t expect the numbers to add up.  The Levenson Inquiry? Not needed, this is all a Labour ruse, apparently (maybe he asked his bosses, who own The Telegraph Group?).

But my, he is a card, eh?

After all, who else would announce yesterday in Purley that he is in favour of some kind of economic devolution for London? Now think about this, most Londoners who come from the UK have family living outside this great smoke of ours. We know that outside the mostly affluent Southeast, inequality is high, and money needs to be spent in the regions. Not only is this superficially attractive, but it is pie in the sky – he is only saying that he will ask Gideon Whyborn for a rebate – with no guarantee that he will get it. Still, it sounded good, and well, Purley squire, famous place, nudge nudge…

Since his employment of Linton Crosby, the Australian right wing attack dog starting in 2008, bluff old Johnson and his supporters have developed a smooth and effective online campaigning team, and Livingstone has given them every opportunity to succeed. Now I do not believe that “Red Ken” is actually an anti-Semite, but he has been pally with some who are. Not, you understand, the likes of the Saudi Royal Family, they only deal with top people, like Margaret Thatcher and her son, but with extremist clerics.Oh, and taking money from Iranian Tv companies, as did Andrew Gilligan and a host of other unscrupulous coves. Ever since, there has been a sustained effort by “Bloggers for Boris” types to link Livingstone with Holocaust Denial, Anti-Semitism, and much else. Rather than debate the pros and cons of policy, these people have been resorting to the type of politics that leads to division in our capital, not unity. However, never let it be said that this is an organised campaign, or one of them will take you to task, and possibly threaten you with legal action.

Livingstone has been their best asset again and again, and his tax arrangements, although completely legal, have been a terrible blow. You see, Johnson and his Tory enemies in The Treasury have been happy to make London a tax haven, forgoing at least £1 billion in revenue to keep the super rich happy – yet it is the Labour candidate who looks like a tax cheat!

As a Labour member, I am committed to our candidate, knowing full well his weaknesses, and the quality of Labours policies as a whole. But the whole tone that these two retreads have fostered is one that gives me no cause for pride. With the Conservative candidate happy to run the same “doughnut” campaign as last time, pretty much ignoring inner London (well, he has done that for four years) because out won’t vote his way, and fostering a kind of communalist politics in North London by proxy, and the Labour candidate pretty much doing the same in reverse, I am not filled with hope for the future.

Last week Lady P told me that in the wake of the Budget, and fed up with Johnson, she was considering voting for anyone other than the Tories. Livingstone has put paid to her voting Labour.

The Soul of a Poet & the hands of an Artist…

… but they have to be back by a week on Thursday…

Having seen the triumph of fiction over fact that was “The Iron Lady”, I was thinking about the “image thing”, and the constant belittling of Labour Leaders. The magnificent Clement Attlee was a case in point – almost always portrayed as dry to the point of aridity, in fact inside the reserved exterior lay the passionate heart of a poet.

To prove this, here is one of his earliest published works, from 1909;

In Limehouse, in Limehouse before the break of day

I hear the feet of many men who go upon their way.

Who wander through the city

The grey and cruel city

Through streets that have no pity

The streets where men decay.

In Limehouse, in Limehouse by night as well as day

I hear the feet of children that go to work or play.

Of children born to sorrow,

The workers of tomorrow,

How shall they work tomorrow

Who get no bread today?

In Limehouse, in Limehouse today and every day

I see the weary mothers who sweat their souls away.

Poor,tired mothers trying

To hush the feeble crying

Of little babies dying

For want of bread today.

In Limehouse, in Limehouse I’m dreaming of the day

When evil times shall perish and be driven clean away.

When father, child and mother

Shall live and love each other

And brother help his brother

In happy work and play.

These are not the words of some prim and paltry lawyer, nor the vainglorious bombast of some posing buffoon. Clement Attlee dedicated his life to improving the lot of the workers, particularly those of his adopted East End home. In that, he was not alone in his generation. Not for him the learned phrases of the petty Oxbridge braggart, nor the empty posturing of the machine politician.

Sadly, in 2012 the good citizens of Limehouse will have no candidate of his stature standing for Mayor of London. It seems that today’s polite political class have no time left for passion or good works, only vanity and empty lies. With few exceptions, they certainly have no shame as they prostrate themselves before their tax-avoiding masters.

And for all the heaps of prose they generate, they cannot match the masters’ poetry for its clean elegance and noble passion.

Sadly, it is possible to read the verses above and still recognise not only our Capital, but every town and city in our barely United Kingdom, thanks in great part to that great heroine, Margaret Hilda Thatcher. Somebody should tell Meryl Streep before she gives her winners’ speech.

In my opinion, our body politic is much worse off without poets such as these…

NAGGING, ANNOYING, AND IT WON’T GO AWAY

No, its not an STD, and strangely enough, its not even Caroline Spellman. It is actually my feelings about the Candidates for London Mayor in 2012.

Lets just ponder those names in full:

Boris Johnson

Ken Livingstone

Lembit Opik

CHRIST ON A BIKE!!!! THREE JOKE CANDIDATES IN A ROW!!??!!

Is there some kind of law that precludes the selection of candidates that are neither embarrassing nor egomaniacs?

I look at these names, and their media profiles with dread and disdain. It makes you want to find a candidate who actually wants to do the job well, keep out of the spotlight and actually increase the unity of this city, rather than appearing on “Come Dine With Me”, pandering to special interests, or quoting dog-latin in an awful self-parody…

As a Labour Member. I will have to campaign loyally for Ken, and I will. But I really wish that someone would stand under the banner of the soon to be formed “One of this lot? No, REALLY???” Party.

Jeremy Clarkson

Wolfie Smith

Beaker

People, is this really the best our respective parties can do???

Did the writers of the excellent “TwentyTwelve” on BBC set this up???

BORIS BALLS

Once again Boris and his ardent admirers in blogland have been up to their latest trick, in between watching Midsomer Murders and Top Gear…

Tory Mayor Boris, who’s dedicated support for his old mucker Toby Young has helped lead to Iranian dissidents having to apply to the Iranian Embassy for help (rather as if we had directed Russian emigres to the Soviet Embassy), has been up to his old tricks again, first of all claiming an increase in Police numbers for 2012, and then shutting up anyone who reminds us of the reduction in Police taking place since the 2009.

His fansites (all, of course, totally independent) are pressing his case, as eagerly as a gold-digger spying a rich widow presses his suit.

Yet his own Budget for 2011/12 talks of reducing Policer Officers from 32,481 now to 31,800 in 2014. To most people this is a simple subtraction sum, producing a figure of 681 Policemen less. But then again, most of us never had the benefit of an Oxford Classics education.

Todays vote on London’s Budget will see 100 Sergeants removed from Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

No wonder AM John Briggs castigated bluffer Boris on his mendacity (look it up, I did).

Yet de Pfeffel Johnson has not been idle on our behalf. It has come to light that in the twelve months between October 2009 and October 2010, our Mayor held 3 Press Conferences, 8 public meetings with Londoners, 22 meetings with Police Chiefs, and 31 with Government Ministers.

He also spent 35 meetings with denizens of the Square Mile – thats near enough  three a month!!!

But it wasn’t all work no play, here are a few examples from his published diary –

13/10/09      Fortune Forum Dinner

21/10/09      Meeting with Govenor of The Bank of Qatar (will this chap be needing asylum soon?)

04/12/09     Goldman Sachs Breakfast

19/12/09      Banking Industry Lunch ( AKA happy Christmas – you’re fired, we’re not)

27/10/10     Dinner with Bob Diamond (anyone else present?)

REMINDER – the City of London already has its own Lord Mayor – Boris is supposed to work for the rest of us.

No doubt his groupies will whine on about Mr Livingstone and Press TV – they are still repeating their “totally independent” yet strangely uniform line on this one, whilst forgetting to mention the other ex-Press TV employees, such as Boris backer Nick Ferrari, and Telegraph journo Andrew Gilligan…

Strange and sad to relate that Londoners are used to this kind of guff by now, and utterly fed-up with it.

I do hope to see Anne, Angie and Tory Aardvark et al putting their hands in their pockets to help out the abandoned Iranian Dissidents and Afghani Refugees that Boris’ Tory chums in Hammersmith have thrown to the dogs. Big Society eh?




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