Livingstone campaign reaction to Newsnight debate

April 5, 2012 12:46 am

After the Newsnight Mayoral Debate, Ken Livingstone’s team accused Boris Johnson of rehashing old stories and negative attacks. Their statement is as follows:

“The Tories’ campaign is entirely about negative attacks and raking up old stories. In 45 minutes of debate Boris Johnson hardly said a positive thing about what he would do for London.

‘This election is about who will make Londoners better off. Ken has set out a series of ways in which he will do this, from cutting fares to introducing a London-wide Education Maintenance Allowance, reducing rents and cutting energy bills.

‘Its clear from tonight’s debate the Tory Mayor has nothing positive to offer.”

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  • derek

    Yep! I think that’s the way most people would have seen and heard it, Ken being positive about EMA. Energy, Transport and London in general, while Boris just shut the door of debate with angry rhetoric. 

    • Andrew

      Derek, (or should I call you Ken?), talking positively about something, doesn’t get it done. It still has to be paid for. That is the hole in Mr Livingstone’s arguments. In the current financial climate finding spare cash for anything is desperately hard and taking something from this or that pot will inevitably have a knock-on effect elsewhere for someone or something else.

      Now, it seems that the current breed of socialists in this country seems to think that you can just walk out into the garden and harvest whatever you need for whatever Moneytree is the flavour of the month. Unfortunately, the bankers’ bonus money tree has been laid bare by Milliband’s various plans and, regardless of what you think of the banks (and I hate them more than I hate lawyers and estate agents), the fact is that they are all still losing money and have to sort out their balance sheets before there is any point in trying to strip their tree bare again, too. I suppose that you can hold the uber-rich upside down by their ankles to see what drops out of their pockets but, in the scheme of things, this wouldn’t reap much and would be a short-termist approach, akin to eating next year’s seed-crop. Whether you like it or not, companies and the rich can up-sticks and skeddadle and whilst you might think good riddance, that will leave you, metaphorically, like the starving of Somalia; nothing to eat, nothing to drink and praying that someone else will come and help you. Er, like Greece.

      In short, we have to stop promising people more and more and with no real idea who or what is going to pay for them. That is the real mistake that the Greeks made. They cry that they had nothing to do with the crisis and therefore shouldn’t suffer for bankers’ mistakes. Well, like it or not, for decades they continued to vote in government after government who lied and lied and lied again. The people knew itand the government knew that the people knew it – and everyone kept doing it. That is the direction that Mr Livingstone would take us as he seeks re-election; as he uses tribalism and obfuscation and lies to con the voters into voting him back in again.

      It’s a bit of a hackneyed phrase now, but for goodness sake wake up and smell the coffee.

      • derek

        Andrew, the EMA didn’t cause the banking crash, Boris removed it and replaced it with nought, he then piled more misery onto the London public by raising public transport fares well above his council tax freeze while lobbying for a tax cut for himself and the rich, Ken raised the energy cost, Boris replied with religious bile, Ken raised the plight of youth unemployment, Boris replied with who got the most money, Ken raised the positive future for London, Boris was just plain negative.

        London isn’t economically stronger because of Boris? it’s economically weaker because unemployment is higher, transport cost are higher, house orders to evict are higher, education attainment is lower, London is poorer because of Boris and that’s a fact.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Derek,

          you are wrong about Boris removing EMA.  It was the coalition government.  Boris has actually publicly tried to get the decision reversed.  See http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/apr/01/boris-johnson-calls-rethink-emas

          Elsewhere, it has been revealed that Boris Johnson has paid an effective rate of income tax of 45.1% on his earnings, Brian Paddick 24.5%, and Ken Livingstone 14.5%.  Guido Fawkes has put the figures up on his website.

          Boris’ figures were signed off by a firm of accountants, Brian Paddick released the actual tax returns, and Ken released his on an otherwise blank sheet of paper with no proof that they are the real figures.

          It also appears that Ken’s funding of his wife through his company for political activity breaches company rules on what is an offsettable expense, and the value of the political activity his wife performs has not been declared to the electoral commission.

          I would say that on balance, Ken’s in a bit of a hole, and should stop digging.

          • derek

            Jaime, I don’t recall Boris saying he wanted to bring back EMA.

            Boris, isn’t on some London plinth overlooking the righteous path of moral standards, truth is Boris is taxed on two separate incomes, that have been thrown together to give Boris a substantial tax cut.

            Jaime, guido is someone most people would take seriously, a bit of a poison pen if you ask me.

            Ken, raised the issue of London underground buying it’s electricity at half the cost than most consumers, why isn’t that a good point?

            It would seem that Boris and his team are doing the dirty digging while Ken tries to address the impact of a weaker London due to Boris and his conservative chums.

          • derek

            Should have read above.
            Guido isn’t someone most people take seriously!

          • Hugh

             Ken isn’t someone most people take seriously.

          • derek

            And Boris is? Boris seems to riddle his fiddle while he piddles over the majority of Londoners.

          • Winston_from_the_Ministry

            Pot. Kettle.

        • Andrew

          Place fingers in ears and say after me, “lah, lah, lah, lah. Not listening!”.WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?

          You cannot just picking spots in the sky and say that this or that hasn’t been done, or that the world is an unfairer place, or we need to do this or that. It has to be paid for. Someone or something has to stump up the cash.

          I haven’t been paid for a year. I cannot draw job finder’s allowance because I have a tiny pension (£500/month). I desperately need some money but I don’t want the government to give it to me because I know they will have to borrow it to do so.

          For goodness sake! When will you people learn that things have to be paid for – or the shit just gets deeper and deeper!

        • Andrew

          Place fingers in ears and say after me, “lah, lah, lah, lah. Not listening!”.WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?

          You cannot just picking spots in the sky and say that this or that hasn’t been done, or that the world is an unfairer place, or we need to do this or that. It has to be paid for. Someone or something has to stump up the cash.

          I haven’t been paid for a year. I cannot draw job finder’s allowance because I have a tiny pension (£500/month). I desperately need some money but I don’t want the government to give it to me because I know they will have to borrow it to do so.

          For goodness sake! When will you people learn that things have to be paid for – or the shit just gets deeper and deeper!

        • Andrew

          Place fingers in ears and say after me, “lah, lah, lah, lah. Not listening!”.WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?

          You cannot just picking spots in the sky and say that this or that hasn’t been done, or that the world is an unfairer place, or we need to do this or that. It has to be paid for. Someone or something has to stump up the cash.

          I haven’t been paid for a year. I cannot draw job finder’s allowance because I have a tiny pension (£500/month). I desperately need some money but I don’t want the government to give it to me because I know they will have to borrow it to do so.

          For goodness sake! When will you people learn that things have to be paid for – or the shit just gets deeper and deeper!

        • Andrew

          Place fingers in ears and say after me, “lah, lah, lah, lah. Not listening!”.WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING TO COME FROM TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?

          You cannot just picking spots in the sky and say that this or that hasn’t been done, or that the world is an unfairer place, or we need to do this or that. It has to be paid for. Someone or something has to stump up the cash.

          I haven’t been paid for a year. I cannot draw job finder’s allowance because I have a tiny pension (£500/month). I desperately need some money but I don’t want the government to give it to me because I know they will have to borrow it to do so.

          For goodness sake! When will you people learn that things have to be paid for – or the shit just gets deeper and deeper!

  • http://free-english-people.blogspot.com/ Paul Perrin

    So should I be in an election with the devil as an opponent, should I refrain from mentioning his bad points?

    If Labour wanted to compete on ‘positive points’ they should have put up a candidate who wasn’t starting from from such a totally negative starting position…

    With Ken in the frame “don’t vote for satain, again” is the obvious campaigning line…

    • derek

      Who or what is “satain”  

      • http://free-english-people.blogspot.com/ Paul Perrin

        If you can’t work out a typo, I doubt you’d understand any reply.

        • derek

          O’ the infidel, the dark one? do you really believe that? and by what saintly authority do you proclaim  Boris? 

  • Lll

    In response to Derek – Wow there are some seriously thick people in Britain if you thought people viewed the debate like that. Ken was revealed as a tax-dodging, anti-semitic liar with no clear policy on how he plans to fund a cut in fares. The independent ratings agency Moodys came out saying it was all a load of bull and that he was gonna bankrupt TfL. Coupled with his track record of consistently breaking promises in the past, surely common sense must start to kick in and tell you NOT to vote for him!

    Is this now the fall of Britain to Fascist twats. George Galloway winning Bradford West and now Ken Livingstone becoming Mayor of London again. G-d help us all! You don’t have to vote Borris but please people see sense and vote ANYONE BUT KEN!!!

    • derek

      O’ dear more dreadful attacks. Ken said he didn’t pay income tax on three employees, much the same as all business. Are moody’s advocating a tax rise for everyone that uses transport and a tax deduction on income for the top earners, while supporting a tax freeze on council tax while the future education allowance was removed?LII, you can’t eclipse central London from the general sunlight of North London, Jeez! I can only think your a 1% gainer? 

      • Lll

        You’ve just majorly misunderstood my point and conflated two issues (tax avoidance and ken’s pledge to cut fares – my Moody’s comment is only relevant to the latter) and I don’t even understand your North London point because it doesn’t make sense …

        Also one of his three employees is his wife, I’m guessing the other two are a cleaner and a PA – hardly a small business, come on! blatantly an attempt to avoid tax. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate businesses avoid tax. It’s the hypocrisy that’s got him into trouble though and is why people don’t trust him (among other reasons), not the actual tax avoidance. Again you’re missing the point.

        • derek

          Holy Cow! you’ve more twist and turns than a hurricane. The three employees paid income tax. You know, when the sunshines in London it doesn’t just shine for a certain few?

          Your lateral point was your first point but you’ve moved it to your second point, so your second point becomes your latter negative first point, Jeez! who is on first base with you?

          Angry Boris hasn’t a good word to say about London and that’s sad. 

          • Matt London

            The point is that there are real questions as to whether the employment of these people is actually an allowable expense against tax.  They appear to be working in support of Mr Livingstone’s political campaign and if so they (a)  would not be allowable and should be paid out of Mr L’s after tax income and (b) should probably have been declared to the electoral authorities.  It is very simple.  Just using income to pay  someone else doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay tax on that income yourself – eg – when you pay a  house cleaner, or a plumber.

          • derek

            I think that’s Ken’s point, the whole tax system is a shambles and made even more shambolic by Boris and his ilk, plumbers and cleaners have an additional rate of VAT on their working materials do they passively pass it on to the client?

          • Matt London

             Derek’s reply to my comment is pretty incomprehensible (try reading it, Derek) but I’ll have a go:

            i. The first thing is that I’ve never heard Ken complaininmg that the tax system is a shambles, just that it allowed rich b******s to avoid tax.  Ken lambasted the things he believed Boris was doing (which we now know Boris wasn’t) and has been embarassed by the discovery that Ken himself was doing it instead.  Doh!

            ii. “the whole tax system is a shambles and made even more shambolic by Boris and his ilk”  The system is pretty much the creation of the last labour government – chap called brown – look at the size of the UK tax code pre Brown and post 2011 – that’s where the shambles came from;

            iii. “plumbers and cleaners have an additional rate of VAT on their working materials do they passively pass it on to the client?”  I’m not sure what your point is or its relevance.  What does  “an additional rate of VAT” mean?  I don’t know if you know how VAT works (my experience is that many people don’t) but if you are VAT registered the passing on is automatic, via the VAT system.  If you are not then VAT is a cost you try to recover from your customer – if you can – but as I say, I’m not sure what your point is.

          • Bill Lockhart

            “Angry Boris hasn’t a good word to say about London and that’s sad.”

             So then it must have been Johnson who said, about young working class Londoners,

            “In seven years I have only been served coffee once by a born and bred Londoner….
            People have been left so far behind that they
            get sacked from jobs because they turn up late in the morning.
            “They have grown up their entire life in a house where nobody
            gets up before midday. We have really got to tackle this from
            scratch… otherwise a whole generation is going to be left
            behind.”

            Oh, no, it was Livingstone.

    • AlanGiles

      “Is this now the fall of Britain to Fascist twats. George Galloway winning Bradford West”

      I’d advise you to be very careful making allegations of that sort. George Galloway is famously litigious, and you could find yourself in a very uncomfortable position legally – sort of weeping hinched up in the dock as you are found guilty of defemation.

      • Hugh

         Abuse isn’t actionable.

        • AlanGiles

          I just wish when people make ridiculous remarks like that one they had the guts to put their real and full name to it.

          • Hugh

            It’s not a ridiculous remark. I even thought you might be interested to know.

          • AlanGiles

            Not you Hugh. I meant the remark of “Lll”

          • Hugh

             Oh, I see, sorry.

          • Dave Hollins

            I very much hope calling someone a ‘tax-dodging, anti-semitic liar’ is actionable.  Then Ken’s campaign can be funded by Tories like Lll.  Sweet justice.

          • Hugh

            Well, truth is an absolute defence, so you’d be fine with “liar”; it looks increasingly likely you’d be fine with “tax dodging” too; in any case that and “anti-semitic” would  be covered by fair comment.

    • http://twitter.com/gonzozzz dave stone

      “Fascist twats”

      Little bit of over-excitement going on there. Unlike George and Ken, fascists (twats or otherwise) don’t accept the legitimacy of liberal democracy.

    • treborc

      I will agree with one of your sentiments we are full of thick people in the UK, you have proved your own point.  Thick as a brick.

  • shrapn0

    Ken’s fondness for Yusuf al-Qaradawi never offered anything positive to London. To willingly promote a man that advocates female circumcision, wife beating (as long as it’s done “gently”), the killing of homosexuals, and the killing of Muslims who choose to do what all of us are entitled to do, which is abandon their faith. Rather than support actual democrats and socialists from the Islamic world, he chose the far-right al-Qaradawi. And he claims to be a socialist? al-Qaradawi is certainly not a “progressive figure” as Livingstone described him and he just comes off as an advocate of condescending identity politics. Like a Galloway-lite. Don’t get me wrong, theres no need to support Boris, but it’s shocking to see so many people only rallying behind Liv. because he’s against Boris, rather than look at his character, or the company he decided to keep. Or rather, the socialists and democrats whose company he decided not to keep.

    • Daniel Speight

       Don’t get me wrong, theres no need to support Boris, but it’s shocking to see so many people only rallying behind Liv.

      Problem is it’s a two horse race. For the labour  movement not to vote for Livingstone is to help Johnson. The negative campaigning against Livingstone by both Johnson’s operation and the Blairites hides what a disaster Johnson has been, which is why policy and performance isn’t what he wants in the debate.

      • smcconnell

        Vote for ken

        You may hate him and everything he has done or stands for, you may even prefer the opposition candidate (or pretty much anyone) but at least your still voting labour…

        Inspiring slogan that…. And perhaps an insight into 2015′s general election campaign (because the “vote labour, keep out the tory” slogan did so well last time).

    • Dave Hollins

      There’s a lot of unpleasant people in the world but democratic leaders have to encourage dialogue.  Ken has met people with unpleasant views who are christians, jews, muslims, and atheists just as Cameron has and Blair did.  It doesn’t mean you agree with them on anything.  Should Cameron refuse to meet Putin?  Should Blair have refused to engage with Gaddafi when it led to detroying WMDs? Perhaps Churchill should have refused to meet Stalin?  What about Boris gladhanding all sorts in China?  And what about all the Tories who wore ‘hang Mandela’ teeshirts? – I bet Mandela would have even met them. 

  • TheE17Tory

    hahaha….beyond parody….they must of been wincing when writing that…

  • James

    Such a mistake to give Ken another shot. A fresh candidate could have really cut through with the Tories failing nationally.

  • Carolekins

    My main feeling during the debate was: how on earth could anyone vote for Boris?  This ridiculous posh boy, with just as many skeletons in his cupboard as Ken, but with nothing like as many achievements.  (Especially with what the Tories are up to at the minute)  OK, Ken has done and said a lot of stupid things, but come on, Londoners!

    • GuyM

      Saw “posh boy” and immediately placed you clearly.

      How about some people don’t vote for Ken as he’s an uppity working class oik? The opposite to your opinion on Boris, so equally valid?

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