What would Clement do?

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

Archive for the tag “London Mayor”

ONLY ONE JOHNSON…

Yes, sad but true, there is only ONE Boris Johnson.

To read the recent press coverage, some Tories, and possibly all Westminster hacks wish there were at least two, possibly three, with at least one in the House of Commons. One for City Hall, one to annoy Cameron, and one for “the ladies”. (Maybe another to make sure that the press is suitably gagged when any mention of his extra marital affairs and resulting possible offspring come up…)

Johnson has clearly been putting it about since the Olympics, parking his tanks on Davids lawn, getting the cheers whilst Hamface gets the boos, ignoring the debt he owes to previous incumbents and Governments for his good fortune, fudging figures and avoiding a scandal over provision for the London Fire Service. And it is working…

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (OE, Oxon) is the most popular politician in the country. 

There are some signs that this may be a cause for alarm for his own dear leader, yet before we rub our hands with glee, let us stop to think for a moment. Johnson is popular with the public for a number of reasons, and a skilful media operation is one of them. Not being in Parliament, and therefore not being really in the Coalition helps. So far in his career, Mr Johnson has had no significant national responsibility, save being in the Shadow Cabinet, which means he spent his time, at best, say “well would never do that…”. He even managed to get sacked from the front bench then.

So far in his career, Johnson has presented himself as something he isn’t. For example, although he has an Eton/Oxbridge background, and drops a classics reference at the drop of a microphone, he simply is not as posh as he would like us all to believe. Like many from the old “upper-lower middle class” (copyright Mr E.A. Blair), he spent much of his school and Varsity days aping the supposed manners of Waughs’ “Brideshead” set. His anachronistic language, his cultivated scruffiness, his shambling gait are all very much part of his mid-eighties “young fogey” image.

The BoJo & HamCam rivalry continues…

In his job as Mayor of London, he has been the cynics very epitome of a politician, in that he has so far been able to distance himself from both Central Government policies, and his own policies when they are unpopular, yet claim credit for anything and everything perceived as good that happens within his jurisdiction. He has, since being elected in 2008, been notably ruthless in his disposal of deputy Mayors, as long as he can evade any blame.

As of this week, fourteen letters have been received by the Tory 1922 committee to open nominations for a leadership election. Though hugely short of the forty-six letters needed, this comes less than three years into Camerons’ premiership, and within weeks of Tory part conference. Clearly there are concerns throughout the true blue mob that possibly they need someone less chillaxed in charge, someone other than The Hamfaced Crimson Tide…

I hate to agree with John Major, but last Sunday he did say one thing that fans of the Johnson forget – he is not an MP, and therefore cannot become Leader. True enough, a safe seat may be found, someone convinced to stand down, a by-election could be won, yet the history of Tory Leadership elections shows that it is never the original favourite who wins, as Heath, Heseltine, and David Davis know to their chagrin.

Personally, I think that he may prefer the job of Mayor, where you can ultimately cash-in with your Telegraph column, then blame central Government for any mess. Should ever stand for/become Leader of the Tories, I relish the challenge, because I doubt that his image would withstand the full force of public and media scrutiny that he would inevitably attract. He simply would not be able to keep his past indiscretions from becoming front page news.I also do not think that Johnsons’ right wing instincts actually chime with the general public. True enough, they finds him amusing, much in the same way that Jeremy Clarkson once was, but for a rightwing humorist, he is certainly no PJ O’Rourke, and as Clarkson knows to his cost, it only takes one slip to taint your brand…

So for me, the current shenanigans say more about Cameron and his weakness than they do about the popularity of Johnson.

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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.

 

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.

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 Pleases His Paymasters

Fans of Boris “bollocks”* Johnson must have been very pleased with his nonsense for The Sunday Telegraph decrying the TUC March and Ed Miliband.

Britains Berlusconi, the only Englishman currently involved in a love rectangle± (according to the Daily Mail), wrote a lengthy if predictable rant against opponents of The Coalition, bizarrely claiming that Ed would be “satisfied” with the results of the sit-ins and vandalism in the west end.

One of the victims of this, A famous Hotel, which is also owned by  tax-avoiders who officially live on a small Island off the coast of Sark. Who funnily enough, pay a certain Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson £250,000 a year to write this sort of trash. Johnson’s Mayoral salary is £144,000 – more than enough for a mortal, yet Boris describes his quarter of a million from the Telegraph Group as “Chickenfeed”.

One is reminded of Bill Hicks describing a pop star – “if money had a dick, this guy would be a flaming faggot…”, yet one blanches to use such homophobic language oneself, after all, thats what Boris is for…

No doubt his legions of fan will be happy to see him Jew-bashing in print, after all, we can’t leave this sort of thing to Ken can we?

Recently, our Ruling Joke has been involved in silencing peaceful (if scruffy) protests on College Green, backed Westminsters Tories in their attempts to close down Soup kitchens for the homeless, and has been castigated by the National Statistics Watchdog for his “misleading” (possibly “lying”?) use of  figures for his own ends.

So, how does the Boris fan feel? Over the moon and head over heels presumably…

* Bollocks – meaning “unworthy priest”

±What next? A Love Rhomboid?

So when is a reduction an increase Boris???

A startling example of new maths, or possibly Big Maths (to go with your Big Society) has appeared via City Hall, home of Boris Johnson, Mayor for (The City of) London.

According to the published Budget for this year, Police numbers have fallen, and continue to do so. Kit Malthouse claims this is all becsause of retirement and “people leaving” – raising the question as to why they are leaving, but no matter…

Boris and his chums, who froze recruitment to The Met, are now claiming that by reducing support officers, they will be increasing police numbers. Oh, sorry, Kit Malthouse has just been on The Politics Show, claiming that no support officers will be cut, if they are deemed vital. (Helpful hint – try to live in Bexley or Pimlico)

Assembly Members are somewhat puzzled – no consultation, and a pile of spin, but no official announcement, rather press releases that now contradict the published legal accounts.

So, business as usual for London under Boris. Smoke and mirrors once again…

An Open Letter To Honest Opponents.

In the past few months I have met many Conservative and Liberal Democrat supporters in the blogosphere, and in the main, I have found them to be courteous and respectful of other opinons. Obviously I avoid blowhards like the plague, and with Lady P at my side I know better than to simply be rude for the hell of it (however much fun it would be).

I have also noticed that supporters and members of both parties are disgruntled to say the least with certain aspects of the Coalitions policies. In politics, it never does to attribute uniform beliefs to your enemies. In this spirit I ask my Liberal Democrat colleagues in the Yes To Fairer Votes Campaign, and Conservatives of a truly One Nation frame of mind to read on and ponder…

Is it honestly true to your principles to restrict the British people’s access to their land? To sell off ancient forests held in common, for the benefit of all?

Is it wise to fillet our Defences, as this administration is doing?

Is it just to erode the living standards of agricultural workers by abolishing their independent wages council?

Is it wise to allow one multinational company unheard of control over the media?

What patriotic Government allows such levels of tax evasion by the wealthy and large British corporations?

Is it good Conservatism, or Liberalism to erode our access to, and connection with Parliament, by destroying long cherished geographical boundaries and regional loyalties?

Is it fair play to instigate campaigning by smear and inference, as in the London Mayoral campaign?

Do you really believe that the upheaval this Government is instigating is in the true benefit of the NHS?

Does it really make sense to further atomise our national Education system, potentially excluding the talented poor for a generation?

Is it not simply politically motivated spite to add further needless anti-Trades Union legislation to the toughest Trades Union laws in Europe? Is this not something Disraeli would have baulked at?

How wise and patriotic can it be to seriously harm Britain’s universally respected voice to the World – The BBC World Service? Is it responsible? Is it truly what you want?

Are you entirely comfortable with a Government that is enacting legislation that was in neither of your parties’ manifestos, nor written into The Coalition Agreement?

I realise that we will not agree on everything, that is the nature of politics. But I also see that many of you oppose some, if not all of the measures listed above. I hope that we can all work together to help ameliorate the flood of ill-written, ill thought out legislation we see coming out of westminster and Whitehall.

For our nations’ sake I know that we will be able to work together at times…

Boris Johnson and Dirty Tricks (Part 2)…

Just had a quick look at the fansite for BoJo, http://CYBERBORISjohnson.wordpress.com/  and found that Peter Reynolds can be confirmed.

I read the latest post, relating that tweets confirm that Labour supporters would prefer Alistair Campbell to Ken Livingstone – dubious, but interesting nonetheless.

Then, in the middle of her post Angelnstar mentioned Ken and Press TV – followed by the words “homophobic”, “Holocaust denying”, “anti-female” etc, with a clear inference of guilt by association. Make no mistake, these epithets describe the Iranian regime perfectly, they do not, however describe Ken Livingstone.

I left a reply in the following vein (this is not word perfect):

” Interesting that you follow the Boris line in guilt by association, by inferring that Ken Livingstone is a Holocaust denier. as far as I know, Ken has never been a holocaust denier, nor has he been a homophobe, nor a sexist.

This seems to be an exercise in guilt by association, as reported by Peter Reynolds at http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/

For the record, as a Labour member, I am not a Ken fan, and my views are set out at https://clemthegem.wordpress.com/

Usually, Angelnstar has accepted comments from me on her CYBERBORISjohnson blogsite, and we have had a few good discussions, however this time, my comment did not appear at all – moderation seems a might quicker than usual…

So, Peter, your point is proved

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