Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not in good conscience

Londoners were treated to a Channel 4 Dispatches expose on the methods and madness of our dear leader, Mayor Ken Livingstone. Among the charges:

  • violating electoral rules - appointed staff working on his re-election campaign while being paid from the public purse - on his orders.

  • spending vast amounts of money on thinly justified foreign junkets

  • allowing millions of pounds to be funneled to sham companies owned by cronies and fellow travellers

  • drinking on the job, not just at his desk, but brazenly drinking whisky at council meetings and at "town hall" style question time with the public

  • appointing inappropriately skilled cronies to high paying jobs

Really, this is more than enough to not only turn the man out of office - this is enough to start criminal investigations. Any one of these alone represent a bad sort of politics, but together render the man wholly unfit to represent perhaps the finest capital city in the world.

And this is before taking into account that the man acts like an ass. That he refuses to answer legitimate questions from friends and foes alike - the key means of accountability for elected officials. That he bullies, blusters and evades. That he name calls like a child in the playground.

And this is all before you take account that he associates with some rather nasty characters like Qaradawi and seems to overtly endorse a radical, political Islam. And anyone who questions his association with Muslim Brotherhood fronts and members is called an Islamophobe.

The worst thing about all of this is that dear old Red Ken is likely to get away with it. His jocular bluster seems to sway large parts of the electorate. And in this country Socialist is not a dirty word, so his association with the Socialist Alliance doesn't sound so bad. Never mind that they don't practice the kind of socialism that's essentially benign -no - it's that deconstructionist, let's destroy everything that's good so somehow, some way a new society will come rising from the ashes - meanwhile we'll wander around drinking champagne and totter around on our hind trotters unless our snout is in the trough type socialism. And folks seem blind to the difference.

I know a lot of people don't like Boris Johnson. I know his manner is odd and his hair is wild and he's a master of the self-deprecating. I know that Mr Johnson hasn't yet really communicated his vision for London - and he must do that. But please, Londoners, you cannot in good conscience re-elect Ken Livingstone.


St. Caffeine said...

Gee, Vol, who would have thought all those years ago at LCHS that you and I would agree politically on the U.S. presidential race and the London mayoral contest?

Go figure.

Vol Abroad said...

I'm with you on Red Ken, but is Bozzer really a viable option? I mean, I really like the guy but that's largely for his colorful personality - can he run London?

Chris put the comment on the wrong post - ooops - it's hard with a baby in the house!!

Anyway - yes, I think he can do it. Actually, the way the GLA is set up, it doesn't actually require that much executive nous. The GLA doesn't run that much, but it does have a lot of oversight of a lot of money and a lot of other executive bodies and local councils.

Any experienced MP probably has the skill set to do it - and the bigger the personality the better. Ken has a big enough personality and he's not unskilled - it's just he has too many personality flaws and frankly he appears unprincipled - or at least lacks the traditional democratic principles that we know and love in the West.

Despite the outward buffoonery of Boris - the man is a first class thinker, incisive and creative. And he does have executive experience from his role at The Spectator.

Sam said...

Can y'all tell me if Galloway's departure from RESPECT does anything to his chances for re-election? Does RESPECT still have any political currency?

Vol Abroad said...

Who knows? As I understand it - there's been a split between the Islamist and Trotskyite factions of RESPECT (who woulda thunk that such peaceable pals would ever split?) Galloway was staying true to the Islamist part. In a way Red Ken works the same coalition, but in a less obvious way.

Seems to me that Galloway could win in the right place, but I'm not sure what that place is. Maybe it's his same constituency. But surely he will have pissed off his hard core Islamic constituency with some of his ridiculous Big Brother shenanigans.