What would Clement do?

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

Archive for the tag “London Mayoral Elections”

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…

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Morning shock – PORTILLO REFUSES TO BACK BORIS JOHNSON!!!!

Last night on this week, senior Tory Michael  Portillo said that he will NOT be backing Boris Johnson for Mayor of London.

It just goes to show what I have always thought, that the closer you get to Johnson, the less you trust him.

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???

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