Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Let's hope London's Red Ken loses the May election

I assume that most people have heard of Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, who has long carried the nickname Red Ken.

For over 20 years he has worked assiduously to weaken British society by limiting free speech, promoting extremist causes and associating with the worst types of populist, leftist, totalitarian world figures.

Check out his Wikipedia entry to get a full understanding of his anti-Semitic, socialist views.

People like Livingstone are a major reason that organisations such as the BNP are gaining increasing support.

From the UK's socialist rag, The Guardian, comes this amazing defence of Red Ken, which shows just how much The Guardian lives in a parallel universe.
It's as if the last 25 years had never happened. For the past week we've been back in the days of Margaret Thatcher's war on Red Ken and the Greater London Council. Every morning, the media have brought new revelations of the horrors at City Hall and Ken Livingstone's manifest unfitness to be re-elected mayor of London. Just as in the time of the GLC, Livingstone is denounced for consorting with dangerous leftists and terrorist apologists. Only the details have changed: for lesbian workers' cooperatives, read the Arab women's network, and for Sinn Féin and the Irish community, substitute Islamist groups and London's Muslims.
Livingstone not only cavorts with those obnoxious, anti-progressive groups but believes, and promotes, their causes to the detriment and against the opposition of the huge majority of proper thinking people.
Leading the charge until now has been the capital's only paid-for daily newspaper, the Evening Standard, which is to all intents and purposes running the Tory candidate Boris Johnson's campaign for the mayoral election in May. But now most of the national press has fallen in behind, as stories have multiplied of Livingstone's whisky tippling, alleged dodgy grants to black businesses and a "secret Marxist cell" of advisers intent on turning London into a "socialist city state", or maybe fomenting a "bourgeois democratic revolution" - the specifics were never quite clear.
Good on the Evening Standard for exposing the little fraud.
The trigger for this retro onslaught was Monday's almost comically slanted Channel 4 Dispatches programme on Livingstone, presented by the New Statesman's Martin Bright, who wrote that he felt it his "duty to warn the London electorate that a vote for Livingstone is a vote for a bully and a coward who is not worthy to lead this great city of ours". Quite how Channel 4 managed to describe an hour of primetime vilification as a "fair and balanced investigation" with a straight face will be a mystery to most of those who watched a programme without a single supportive interview. Instead, we were treated to a hotchpotch of allegations and denunciations from disgruntled ex-employees and political opponents, ranging from the bizarre and sub-McCarthyite to the more serious but unproven.
Livingstone most certainly is "a bully and a coward" not worthy to lead a chook raffle let alone the great city of London.
Among them was an attack on Livingstone's deal with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez to subsidise half-price travel for London's unemployed, his dialogue with non-violent Islamist groups, the use of public funds to commission research for his dispute over multiculturalism with the then head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, and the well-aired fact that several aides have been members of the one-time Trotskyist group Socialist Action - though since they have been working happily with the police and City grandees for the past eight years, that might seem to be of somewhat specialist interest. Most of the real issues that will dominate the mayoral elections - housing, transport, crime, the environment - barely got a walk-on part. But the programme was certainly an effective party political broadcast on behalf of Johnson.
Finally, people are sick of Livingstone and are 'attacking' him. Why pointing out reality is an attack is beyond me but I presume it's because The Guardian supports his disgusting positions.
What has given this latest assault on Livingstone a special edge is that the people driving it trade as being on the left: Bright as a representative of Britain's main centre-left political weekly and Nick Cohen, who has more openly lined up behind Johnson, as an Observer columnist. In reality, both writers share a broadly neoconservative agenda on Islamism and the "war on terror" - though Bright opposed the Iraq invasion - and that is the central issue that has turned them and their allies against Livingstone. Bright wrote a pamphlet for the rightwing thinktank Policy Exchange attacking government dialogue with Islamists, warmly praised by the leading US neocon Richard Perle. Cohen famously declared after meeting Iraq war architect Paul Wolfowitz for drinks at the Mayfair nightclub Annabel's: "I was in the presence of a politician committed to extending human freedom."
Ahhh, it's the neocons; part of the Bushitler cabal that seeks to control the world. The article's author, Seumas Milne, is a lunatic.
As the most powerful British politician to have opposed the Iraq and Afghan wars and supported engagement with mainstream political Islam, Livingstone has naturally attracted the enmity of the neocons. After hearing Bright dismiss Chávez's administration as a "government with links to Iran and cocaine-smuggling guerrillas and accused of human rights abuses", it should come as no surprise that he, Cohen and their friends prefer to see a high Tory elected mayor of London rather than the radical Labour incumbent.
Venezuela is slowly heading down the same path as Zimbabwe. Will Seumas Milne defend Chavez when the place runs out of oil and ends up as a clone of Cuba?
To the rest of London, it's scarcely news that London's mayor has his faults, or controversial that he should be held to account. It's right that the less than 1% of the London Development Agency's budget that went on grants to failed business startups should be properly investigated, even if that isn't a bad record compared with the private sector. You'd never know it from all the chatter about Bolshevik cabals, but there's also a strong left critique of Livingstone: for his embrace of the City and property developers, for example, and defence of the Metropolitan police commissioner over the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

But that's not what will be at stake in May's election. The choice will be between two candidates: one who has pioneered congestion charging and cut traffic by 70,000 cars a day, pushed up the supply of affordable housing, boosted bus ridership by one and a half million journeys a day, abolished fares for under-18s, is preparing to introduce emissions charging and free public transport for pensioners and has played a key role in cutting crime and maintaining community relations during a tense and dangerous period. On the other hand, you have a Thatcherite who thinks it's witty to refer to Africans as "piccaninnies" and regrets the end of colonialism, is an enthusiastic Bush and Iraq war supporter, opposed the Kyoto treaty, and is against the welfare state and the "teaching" of homosexuality in schools.
Seumas Milne lives in a different world. Crime rates in London are soaring and it's one of the least safe cities in the world. The police have had to rig the statistics and invent meaningless categories to show they're making any impact at all.
The choice could hardly be starker. No other candidate is in with a shout. Despite his record, Johnson's media profile and geniality mean he is the first serious challenge the mayor has had to face. With Livingstone and Johnson only one point apart in the latest opinion poll, the Tories have scented blood. Johnson's decision to hire the ruthless Lynton Crosby, who masterminded four election victories for John Howard in Australia, should be a warning. The Tory candidate knows he'll make little headway among the non-white third of London's electorate, so expect some dog-whistle appeals to white voters, perhaps dressed up as broadsides against political correctness. A defeat for Livingstone would not just be a blow to the broadly defined left, working-class Londoners, women, ethnic minorities and greens. It would represent a wider defeat for progressive politics, in Britain and beyond.
Hopefully, our own 'ruthless' Lynton Crosby can engineer a win for Johnson. Why it's a 'dog whistle' to appeal to white voters but not 'the non-white third' is a mystery.

It's amazing that people think the left is progressive. Backward economic policies, totalitarian instincts, limits on free speech - and thought - are not normally associated with progression. But for the left, believing in good is better than actually doing any good.

People like Livingstone ruin the world. Let's hope he loses the upcoming mayoral election.

(Nothing Follows)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Crime rates in London are soaring and it's one of the least safe cities in the world. The police have had to rig the statistics and invent meaningless categories to show they're making any impact at all.

So somehow you know the true figures which we poor Londoners are deprived of. Care to tell us what they are? I'm looking for a breakdown with numbers of each type of crime and not just a random unverifiable assertion that things are terrible, please.

Kevo said...

"....supported engagement with mainstream political Islam..."

What is mainstream political Islam to engage with anyway ?

Sheikhs at mosques are surely civil/religious figures.

Or does this mean dialogue with sovereign governments of Muslim countries ? Surely that is the job of the Foreign Office and the responsible ministers ?

But a veteran of Socialist Action is unlikely to be too coy about justifying whatever Means to achieve The Ends...whatever The Ends may be in this case ??