Game on for Labour in London

April 23, 2012 12:14 pm

The London election is neck and neck. It is game on for Labour. We can win this but only if we pull the stops out.

For weeks there seem to have been two Mayoral election campaigns. The one you read about in the papers where Labour has been written off. And the one that’s really taking place, where Labour has raised its game and taken the fight to every corner of London with a message that only a Labour Mayor will make you better off under a Tory government. On the doorstep the reaction is fantastic.

The polls have shown Ken closing the gap for weeks, though the coverage has often been framed as if the gap is widening. The Tories opened up an eight point gap last month. Over the intervening period the gap has narrowed. It has gone from eight points, to five points, to today’s nail-biter.

With each broadcast debate the whole issue of the tax affairs of the two candidates has been eroded as a story. Even in the debates where it arose, the real story was that Ken was winning on the arguments about fares, policing, housing, young people, the environment and the riots. And at the non-media debates the issue has not arisen at all. The Tories introduced this issue to divert from the real choices. It is literally the only thing they have got to say.

Labour’s campaign has taken the long view and talked relentlessly about the cost of living issues that matter to people. This hard work is paying off. The latest YouGov poll for the Standard today now has the two candidates neck and neck – Boris Johnson on 51% and Ken on 49. Momentum is with the Labour campaign.

We now have it in our hands to win this. It is too close to call and every thing we do between now and polling day will make a difference. But we have made real progress. Labour can win this.

This leads us to an important political choice. Too many people in our party prefer to fight each other than fight the real political opponent, the Conservative Party. When Ken narrowed the polls to neck and neck in January the Conservatives unleashed a brutal character assassination campaign on Ken Livingstone. Some ostensibly in Labour ranks joined them.

Commentators and websites claiming to be Labour showed they did not have the discipline to make a difference to Londoners’ lives. We had the ridiculous scenario of a Labour website leading the attacks on Labour’s brilliant London election broadcast.

This lack of discipline cannot be repeated. Labour needs Ken to win. Much more importantly, Londoners need a Labour Mayor. Whatever you think of the personalities involved only a Labour Mayor will make Londoners better off and stand up for them in hard times.

Ken nailed it in his speech at Labour’s campaign headquarters today:

“a victory for the Tories in ten days time will be used as a green light for deepening the Tory onslaught. They will use it to vindicate the next phase of their plans. Every single person in Britain therefore has a stake in ensuring the Tories do not get that endorsement.”

That’s right. Those are the stakes. There are very direct stakes for Londoners, who stand to be £1000 or more better off with Ken – or, put the other way, very much worse off under Boris Johnson.

Every single one of us must now hit the streets and the phones, put up more posters, talk to more voters, leaflet more stations, use our social media and our conversations with our neighbours to make this victory possible. The biggest ever push London Labour has ever seen in a London Mayoral election is now a duty.

We can win. It’s up to us.

Len Duvall AM is Chair of the London Labour Party

  • Anna

    Loyalty from the man who stood against Labour as an Independent, bragged that he never voted for Tony Blair and backed Lutfur Rahmen?

    • mattystiles

       How could he vote for Tony Blair?  Ken has never lived in Sedgefield so that would mean that he could only have voted for him in internal elections so that’s not disloyalty.  He stood as independent because the voting system had been gerrymandered.  Ken got a clear majority among party members and union members (a couple of affiliates got away with not balloting and then cast their block vote against Ken). 

      • ThePurpleBooker

        He voted Labour in 1997 and 2005, but not in 2001.

    • Alex

      The Lutfur Rahman situation is a bit more complicated than that. The whole selection was compromised when the guy who came 3rd was handed the candidacy by the NEC. It had no legitimacy.

      Anyway, I think in the grand scheme of things the Mayor of London is more important than the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, don’t you? Get a grip.

      • ThePurpleBooker

        I agree with you last point but to be fair Lutfur Rahman was expelled because he was an Islamist and the voting process was wrong. There were non-Labour members, even Respect voters, who were voting in that party ballot and it was the Labour Party in Tower Hamlets who wrote to the NEC. Also, Rahman is an Islamic extremist so he was expelled. Ken should not have campaigned for him but he didn’t believe it to be true. Ken should have at least been deslected and replaced with either Alan Johnson, Steve Reed, David Lammy or Jon Cruddas. But we’ve got Ken, he’s our candidate and we need a Labour Mayor – then we can kick him out before 2016 and get someone better.

    • Brumanuensis

      So we’re going to prove how wrong it is to be disloyal, by, er, being actively disloyal?

      Sure. That works. No logical inconsistency there.

      Oh and ditto Alex on Rahman. Not to mention the total stitch-up that the first mayoral selection was.

    • ThePurpleBooker

      I understand what you are syaing Anna, and if I was completely honest with you Ed Miliband should have deselected him as the Labour candidate in November, for his disloyalty, and replaced him with Alan Johnson, Steve Reed, Jon Cruddas or David Lammy – who all would have been brilliant candidates for the job. But I think that in light of the Conservative Party’s massive unpopularity in London and the fact that Boris’ poll lead has shrunk from 6% to 2%, it is very possible that we can win the election as well as and we are also likely to do well in the Assembly elections. We need to win the Mayoral election in order to send shockwaves through the Conservative Party and cause more havock for Cameron. Just this once, back Ken.

  • Amber Star

    Apparently Boris has admitted to the possibilty of London Fare reductions. He knows he is losing on this issue. It is too late for Boris to jump on the bandwagon; he has simply given credibility to that which Ken has said all along: There is a surplus which is being accumulated so that Boris can fund expensive ‘routemaster’ luxuries from the pockets of hard-pressed Londoners who need some fare reductions now.

    Good luck, Ken & all the best to your awesome campaign team!

    • AlanGiles

      Johnson appears to be getting twitchy in that he has very coyly raised the race issue, by calling for the government to  “get a grip” on immigration. (Reported in todays City  AM page 6)

      • aracataca

        Not forgotten Alan- You said Livingstone was going to lose and were revelling in that projected loss.

        • AlanGiles

          Don’t start that again. I said that the way his own party was gunning for him – Labour Uncut especially – he was quite likely to lose because you had so many people coming out againt him – not least on LL. We had Jon Roberts, Talbot (on this thread as well I notice), Marchant et al, all coming out of their traps within an hour or so of the thread going live.

          I at no time said or implied that I would “revel” in him losing and I told you more than once that Livingstone would obviously be better for London for poorer people, as Johnston is so much more attuned to the waelthy, therefore I supported him. I have made no secret of the fact that he is not my all-time favourite politician, and I am not that keen on the Mayoral syustem, but there you are.

          If it wasn’t for the fact that you are deliberately lying about what I said, I wouldn’t even bother to resdpond to this frankly pathetic attempt to stir up trouble, if you were merely mistaken, I would trawl back through the thread in question and req-quote myself, but as I have now told you three or four times about your “mistake/lie” (delete as a;ppropriate, frankly I can’t be botherd

  • GuyM

    Great, we can all look forward to increased taxes, muslim nutters and marxist dictators being back on the menu for London.

    Independence for the outer “doughnut” please? All the Ken supporting numpties can have him in inner London and they can pay for his crap as well.

  • aracataca

    Come on Ken wipe that smirk off the arrogant posh boy’s face.

    • Bill Lockhart

       Moronic leftist hate-politics in a nutshell.

  • aracataca

    Fact is you said he was going to lose, pure and simple. Alan just admit that like the rest of us you don’t know who is going to win.

    • AlanGiles

      I wish to Christ you would learn to read the English langauge.

      I think many people – not just me – have suggested that the anti Livingstone campaign CONDUCTED BY LABOUR SUPPORTERS was/is supplying ammunition to the opponents of Labour. I think Mark has more or less suggested that he thought the negative campaigning might well have an impact.

      Of course I don’t know who will win, but you do seriously  think the knocks Livingstone is suffering at the hands of the people I mentioned, and the idiotic Lord Sugar are actually HELPING the campaign?.

      What I am saying is that if he loses, it will be the fault of manhy “Labour” supporters. I have done my best to put an opposing point of view to his detractors – as – if you have eyese to see and brains to engage you will see on the site on various threads.

      Now could you stop going on like a broken record? and stop telling lies about my position and what I have said – LL  readers can read what I have said and they will judge if I am lying or you are.

      • Bill Lockhart

         If he loses it will be his fault for being an unscrupulous habitual liar and the Labour party’s fault for selecting him knowing him to be an unscrupulous habitual liar. The fact that some Labour members have the courage to speak the to-you-unpalatable truth about him suggests that there may be hope for the Labour party yet.

        • AlanGiles

          Bill you are acting almost as dim as “aracataca” is. Anyone who has read what I have written will know that I have said on numerous occasions that Livingstone isn’t a favourite of mine, however he is the candidate for Labour. There was only two options, him with previous experience or an ex Blairite failed MP who was so close to the right-wing of Labour she even managed to lose her seat in one of the poorest areas of East London.

          All that aside, what I was objecting to in the post above was “aracataca” deliberately twisting my words and making it appear I was against Labour winning this election. I have now told him or her 4 times what my position is, I have tried to put it in the most simple langauge possible yhet they still choose to come on here and tell lies about what I have actually said.

          If you want to make out your.e  as stupid as that pestential nusiance, just to score another silly point, go ahead and make a fool of yourself – you do on a daily basis on LL anyway.

          • ThePurpleBooker

            She lost her seat to the pathetic, dictator-supporting, Trot named  George Galloway who managed to whip up racial tensions and social divisions during the 2005 election because of the Iraq War, and she was actually a brilliant MP unlike that bastard Galloway who you practically give blowjobs to!

          • AlanGiles

            You seem to have a sexual obsession. Perhaps you think it makes you look clever and sophisticated – in fact all it does is make you sound like a teenager shouting out obscenities on a bus .

            Perhaps THE PERVY BOOKER would be a better screen name for you as you are too cowardly to post under your real name.

            King was very close to the leadership, pro Iraq war the whole Blairite tat – that is why she lost – her constituents didn’t liek her stance. Simples.

            Now run along and have another sexual fantasy about total strangers

            I MEAN! :-(

  • ThePurpleBooker

    I really hope that Ken wins.  However, I would have much rather Alan Johnson or Steve Reed than Ken Livingstone. Alan Johnson is uncontroversial, likeable and is a also a former Home Secretary and he would have been able to absolutely destroy Boris Johnson but the party has got Ken and regardless of what he has done he has got to win. If he does, I genuinely think that David Cameron will not only be angry but it will literally send shockwaves through the Conservative Party.
    I am very confident that we will make gains in the London Assembly from the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives (I know we have got great candidates like Flo Nosegbe, Christine Quigley and Andrew Dismore) but my feeling is that Ken will win based on second-preference votes. It looks close but good luck Ken.


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