UK Labour’s fading light…

There’s six days until the London Mayoral election decides the contest between Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson (I should be on the ground Twittering for Brassneck). Certainly the Tories are pushing the idea that its outcome will be a weather vane for the outcome of the general election. Certainly they have had huge help from Andrew Gilligan at the Standard, who’s anti Ken spin on every single story is unremitting. Boris is being kept in check by hawk eyed Australian minder Lynton Crosby. The polls are sending out conflicting, but it cannot help that Labour’s Prime Minister is beginning look like the incredible melting man. His opponents think its comic, but to his supporters it is nothing less than a slow burning tragedy. More on Brassneck.

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  • DC

    Perhaps Gordon Brown is a leading Labour star burning out; but, is David Cameron really the next rising sun?

    And as for Boris…people of London are exasperated with Red Ken’s punitive parking issues but then again something had to be done.

    Who knows, personally Boris is a complete whack, can see why certain people love him but not for me. With London facing some tough financial times I suppose how better to lighten such gloom with the introduction of a jester in the form of a conservatively comic Boris.

  • percy

    Should’nt the DUP be fielding a mayoral candidate, as they are a UK party?
    Who would be the ideal candidate?

  • Rory

    Stop, please, Percy. Contemplating the possibility of Johnson as Mayor is nightmare enough – the thought of a DUP mayor would have us nostalgic for the Blitz.

  • Greenflag

    Did’nt Red Ken have aspirations one time towards the Labour Party leadership ? Could this be his big chance . I suspect he’ll see off Johnson in the election . Labour voters and Londoners generally may be ticked off with Brown’s handling of the reins and with the faltering economy but
    I can’t see them electing the clown Johnson !
    Poor Gordon picked a wrong time to inherit the ‘whirlwind’. Scots Nats will of course be ‘delighted’ at this turn of events

  • Bobby

    Who is Gordon Brown? Is he the man taking over from Bertie?

  • Rory

    I also think that Livingstone will hold it, Greenflag. There has been some speculation that the “gay cop” LibDem will draw off a large section of his traditional (and in London) significant gay, or more correctly GLBT** vote (Christ! it keeps getting harder to keep up to speed on these misnamed “gender issues”). But that supposes that the gay (oh! all right – GLBT) community are more daft than other Londoners which I do think is true.

    **That’s Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transsexuals.

    I understand from a television documentary I caught that there is a society in the USA (where else?) that campaigns for legalising what they term “consensual sexual relations” between humans and “non-verbal sentient beings” (that’s dumb animals to you and me) but as far as I know London has yet to catch up. Meanwhile I keep a close eye on Rover.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Meanwhile I keep a close eye on Rover.’

    Not molesting the cat is he ? I’d watch that if I were you. One minute the cat the next your prize budgie . Before long the mother in law will no longer visit you . Now theres an idea that could have merit :)?

    ‘that campaigns for legalising what they term “consensual sexual relations” between humans and “non-verbal sentient beings”’

    Sheep in Wicklow and Wales will be relieved perhaps not the correct term to read of this ‘progressive’ move in advancing species cooperation/exploitation. From thence it will only be a short hop until some non verbal sentient being lover starts making the point that how we as ethical humans cannot eat something that we just screwed the day before ? A vegetetarian dictatorship of the sentient being lovers would be on it’s way 🙁 DUP majority rule would appear as paradise lost or like that place where the Allah lads keep the 72 year old virgins intacto for the suicide bombers 🙁

    No prizes for guessing what awaits the sentient being lovers beyond the pearly gates. Eternal rump of Wicklow Ewe perhaps, or Cheviot Hills Ramsbottom au naturelle? Not as boring perhaps as singing from a blasted Hymn Book for eternity but somehow oddly unfulfilling !

  • percy

    I was perhaps speculating that modernisers like willie mcrea or maurice morrow could bring in some fresh thinking/ideas to the Big smoke.
    Ok I’ll get me coat 😉

  • Greenflag

    Mick ,

    ‘Certainly the Tories are pushing the idea that its outcome will be a weather vane for the outcome of the general election.’

    Could be a strategic mistake by the Tories to make such a claim . Methinks Red Ken posseses that almost ‘indefinable’ Bertie factor which will see him elected almost regardless of the Party Leader’s performance .

    I say that in view of the election being a few days away . Now three months down the road even the ‘Bertie teflon factor’ may be insufficient . All depends on how the current ‘implosion’ of the UK economy pans out . Tough times ahead and not much light on the horizon for any ‘ruling ‘ party in the English speaking world .

  • Charles in Texas

    ” Tough times ahead and not much light on the horizon for any ‘ruling ‘ party in the English speaking world.”

    Agreed Greenflag. Our economies just aren’t built around $120 oil. And now that the Scots won’t even refine the damned stuff…

  • Sorry: I thought this was “Notes on Northern Ireland politics & culture”, and that I was the statutory deviant.

    Also sorry, my craw cannot take it any longer.

    I am expected to regard, as a serious political candidate for Mayor of London, one who has been:

    a serial adulterer, who promised marriage to his mistress, impregnated her, then talked her into an abortion;
    a man sacked from the parliamentary Front Bench, not for sexual misconduct, but for blatant lying;
    a communicator who regards expressions of pity for a local man beheaded by fanatics as the “mawkish sentimentality of a society that has become hooked on grief and likes to wallow in a sense of vicarious victimhood”;
    an associate of a convicted fraudster and felon, and, because of that friendship, was prepared to aid and abet the beating-up and brutalising of a witness and fellow-journalist;
    one who regards references to “piccaninnies” with their “watermelon smiles” as acceptable currency;
    an innocent abroard who discovers, after others point it out, that he has casually forgotten that he owns shares in a television company, but failed to register them as an interest;
    who is the daily beneficiary of the London Evening Standard, in what must be one of the most biased and vitriolic press campaigns since the Zinoviev letter (which came from the same source) …

    No wonder the Tory Shadow Cabinet has spent time discussing how to chain him up should he be elected.

    And (considering the abuse I received as a result of previously saying that) let it be known that I’m still debating whether my first preference is for Siân Berry or Paddick.

  • Conor


    The difference is that Bertie is actually a likeable guy in the flesh whereas Red Ken is Grade A prize p***k!

  • willis

    How does a democratically elected politician properly engage with the un-elected but legitimate power which money brings?

    Ken may well be a plunk but for my money, sorry vote, he has made a better fist of answering the above question than Blair, Brown or Bertie.

  • Dewi

    Malcolm – Apart from that?

  • Malcolm

    Electing a policeman into office is always a dangerous thing to bet the house on. I have been very disappointed in Brian and his campaign for Mayor, I had heard some good things about him prior to this campaign, but he has been very authoritarian on the hustings.

    I also find his refusal to advise those who vote for him to give their second preference vote to Ken very revealing, as this cannot but benefit Mr Johnson. Which is against London Lib Dem policy, why the Libs placed him on their ticket is weird, it seems they were taken in by celebrity just like the Tories.

    Despite all of Ken’s faults he has been a good mayor of London and as the race is so tight I feel all progressives should give him their first preference despite Sian being a decent enough candidate.

    Not sure what DC mean by punitive parking, or did he mean increasing the congestion charge to 25 pounds for 4 by 4s driven by selfish gits who take up twice the road etc.

    If Mr Johnson can be elected then it will prove to me that some of London’s middle classes have sunk about as low as they can get. He reeks of anti working class prejudice, he is a liar and a racist and he wants to be Mayor of the most ethnically diverse city on earth. When Johnson called black people Picaninnies it should have been the last we heard of him, but hey the right on liberal Cameron would have stood Adolf if he thought it would help him and his ilk gain entry to number ten.

    I watched Johnson on Question Time last night and it is clear he is working tightly to a scrip, he is more like a talking clock than a politician and the media has acted in the most craven way. Last night he told Dimbleby, a vast swave of Londoners are no longer reporting crime to the police when they have become a victim of it. Dimbleby sat quiet until someone in the audience finally demanded to know how Johnson new this, as according to him these crimes have not been reported. par for the coarse.

    He said he was going to reintroduce the route-master buses for 8 million pounds, when someone said[again a member of the public] that the actual cost would be over 100 million we have heard no more from him on this.

  • Debbie

    ‘Electing a policeman into office is always a dangerous thing to bet the house on.’

    Mick,I thought Brian Paddick was quite rude in the debate, my money is on Boris, and if Boris gets in it will look good for Cameron….I think labour is finished.

  • Rory

    I have known and worked with Ken since about ’77, on shared platforms, on election campaigns, having him as guest speaker at fringe meetings which I would act as chairman at Labour Party Conferences and as a speaker at the memorial service for Paddy O’Connor, who went from advanced alcoholism “underneath the arches” (literally) to become legendary mayor of Camden, at which I also acted as chairman. In all that time I always found him to be patient, pleasant, personable, courteous, down-to-earth, hard working, considerate… and yet…and yet Conor’s conclusion, that he really might be a bit of a p***k, never would quite leave my mind.

    But for me he’s miles ahead the best candidate and an alcoholic leperous armidillo would be preferable to Johnson and even, while swallowing repulsion, a LibDem (God forbid!)

  • Jo

    No chance of BP coming through between the main candidiates then… 🙂

  • Harry Flashman

    In the spirit of Malcolm above, how one of the greatest cities on earth could elect a corrupt, anti-semitic, philanderer and drunk as mayor twice absolutely defeats me and simply confirms my view that the average socialist voter would vote for an orang utan if he was put up as the ‘right-on’ candidate.

  • FYI

    Mick Hall

    I love the way all the trendy-lefties are bricking it at the notion of a Johnston win.

    Perhaps because Johnston threatens to upset the despicable clientelist cabal that have gathered around Red Ken over the last ten years, with their debilitating culture of cronyism and sleaze?

    Boris was friends with Darius Guppy, this is true, he made no secret of it (unlike Ken and his bastard children) but when last I checked he never invited a Muslim Fanatacist Hate-Preacher, who despises the mutli-culturalism which you claim to love so much to the House of Commons for a cosy wee chat and a press conference.

    I always find it amusing with Labour supporters resort to “you don’t support our man, your supporting a racist” type arguments, it demonstrates just how intellectualy bankrupt the modern left really is.

    If Johnston wins there’ll certainly be a glass raised in my house.

  • willis


    Two words

    Steve Norris

  • Jo

    Just thought these two lines should be reprinted:

    “demonstrates just how intellectualy bankrupt the modern left really is.”

    “If Johnston wins there’ll certainly be a glass raised in my house.”

  • All I will add to the above is:

    It helps to know the name of one’s chosen candidate; and nobody’s is “Johnston”.

    The joy of even qualified PR (such as we have in London) is that one can exercise a first choice out of principle, and a second one for pragmatism.

    I have no objection to standing by one’s friends, especially in adversity. My objection was to supplying the address of a potential victim, even after knowing the intended injuries would be “a couple of black eyes and a… cracked rib or something like that”, and then responding: “Yah, yah, I’ll help you.”

    Surely nobody can seriously equate reasonable discretion about consensual adult relationships with serial adultery, blatant dishonour on one’s wedded wife and family, and even coming close to bragging about it (as at the University of Exeter, ambiguously referring to “raising other issues” — apparently in the context of Petronella Wyatt’s aborted pregnancy).

    Cocaine and “dope”.

    Drunken revels and shop-breaking with the Billingdon Club.

    “If you vote for the conservatives, your wife will get bigger breasts, and your chances of driving a BMW M3 will increase.”

    And it helps if one remembers that, from the point of view of the Evening Standard, the main issue in the London Election is whether Associated Newspapers (the great moralists and democrats behind the Daily Mail) keep the contract with London Underground for Metro distribution.

    No wonder this freak is never allowed out except with an authorised minder.

    Since I’m about to venture off on the Northern Line, en route to watch London Irish tonk Toulouse, one testimony to the work of Livingstone and his coalition of the London Assembly is that I will no longer have to travel on rolling-stock built in the 1930s. Nor will my safety be in the hands of a man, kennelled in an underground cabin on a ten-hour shift, controlling with the aid of the human eye (version 1.0) the cross-over at Camden Town.

  • “unlike Ken and his bastard children”

    These comments just about sums the right up, how someone in the 21st century can stigmatize children in such a way breaks my heart. There are many reasons for a conservative to attack Ken’s political stance, but to do so in this manner is contemptible, the more so as no deceit or underhandedness etc is involved here.

    To call Livingstone anti Semitic is just so far off the mark it is infantile, more than any individual Livingstone has none more in London to bring people together. As to liking a drink, well a great hero of mine is Winston Churchill and like him as long as it does not effect his work I can live with this. the reason a section of Jewish people hate Ken is because he supports a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine tragedy

    As to us lefties shitting ourselves if Mr Johnson gets voted in, yes this one is, but it has nothing much to do with Ken. If Brian or the green won, or last time around Steve Norris, I would simply express my disappointment and say such is life. but Mr Johnson is really so unfit to lead a city like London with all its complexities and class differences. Just one example house prices in London are beyond the reach of all first time buyers bar those who have a rich parents or are Russian criminals.

    Livingstone is committed with government support to building 55 thousand houses, the overwhelming majority for rent. So far we do not know what Mr Johnson’s plans are all we are getting is I will await until I become Mayor.


    I agree with you on Paddick’s rudeness, although I think this highlights that in his former profession he was used to giving orders not having to gain a consensus, although having said this he had a very fine record as a police officer.


    I understand well the point you made about Ken and intend to return to it on my blog after the election, but like you I see this as such a black and white decision.

  • Greenflag

    Charles in Texas,

    ‘Agreed Greenflag. Our economies just aren’t built around $120 oil. And now that the Scots won’t even refine the damned stuff’

    Don’t worry when it gets to 200 dollars a barrel even the Scots may find the few barrels that are left worth ‘refining’ 🙂 unless of course they’ve changed their ‘religion’ which at one time was known not to turn bread into the body of christ but rather a copper halfpenny into a 50 yard length of copper wiring simply by offering a halfpenny to two Scotsmen to share between them .

    I can’t see Londoners electing a gobshite like Johnson . They may not be particularly keen on GB right now Ken Livingstone is the better choice by far .

  • Gregory

    “but as far as I know London has yet to catch up.”

    The animal sex thing is frequently an anti-God adaption, it is a way to renounce faith.

    There are web-groups, the Lib Dems are linked to the Partij voor Naastenliefde, Vrijheid en Diversitei.

    “A political party with a paedophile agenda has been registered in The Netherlands, prompting outrage among many parts of society. The party plans to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations to 12 from 16 and for legalisation of child pornography and sex with animals.”

    They’re an anti-God group.

    The Lib Dems gave the animals a miss, they have the same policy relatihg to child pornography though.


  • FYI

    Mick Hall

    Dry your eyes. I am not stigmatising Livingstone’s kids. I am stigimatising high-minded leftie dweebs who moralise about how racist and evil Boris is without responding to the glaring hyocrisy of Ken and the general scumminess of the people he chooses to keep company with. Darius Guppy vs. Muslim Hate-Preachers, hardly like-for-like is it now?

  • Nice to see that Arlene Foster’s bosom-friend (see slugger for April 2005) has carried on the good work by endorsing Johnson for London mayor.

    Can anyone shed light on how an individual can conscientiously swerve from being a Young Unionist to flirting with the Belfast Marxists to camouflaging sufficiently well to get one of the leftiest seats in London to chairing the Countryside Alliance (pledged to unseating Labour MPs, butchering vulpes vulpes etc)?

  • Gregory

    “As to liking a drink, well a great hero of mine is Winston Churchill and like him as long as it does not effect his work I can live with this. ”

    Norway, Gallipoli, the hopeless excursion to Greece in WWII, mindless bombing of Germany, so I rather think it did. On the other side of the coin,

    if ‘the work’ was telling Hitler to shove it, a few drinks did him no harm. Churchill had a problem with ‘the doing’.

    His finest days, were spectacularly fine.