Send the Tories a message they will never forget

April 29, 2012 2:07 pm

The stakes at the London election are not at all about the personality contest that the media prefer. They are much more important than that. If the Conservative Party win in London on Thursday there is a very real risk they will conclude that they can intensify their assault on working class people, trade unions, public services and the welfare state.

I have watched the Conservative Party for the whole of my life. They take every opportunity to improve the lot of the rich against everyone else. They are utterly ruthless. They need and want a victory in London and if they get it they will make lives worse for everyone.

Already the Conservative candidate in this election is making a direct appeal to his party’s core values, presenting himself as a “tax-cutting Conservative”. It indicates what would happen under a second Tory term in London. The office of the Mayor of London will be a right wing outpost, pushing the Conservative Party in ever more radical directions – opening up conflict and worsening the social divide in the capital.

Throughout this London campaign Ken Livingstone has been the subject of a ferocious character assassination attempt. For as long as I have been involved in politics the right wing media and the Conservative Party have tried to divert attention from the real issues in politics onto personal attacks and the soap opera of the Westminster bubble. That is all designed to get people to vote against their own interests.

In a few days time London voters have the chance to reject this and vote to make themselves better off, and get a Mayor who will stand up for them as a Conservative government attacks them from all sides – from student fees and the privatisation of the NHS to ripping off pensioners and cutting Education Maintenance Allowance.

Ken Livingstone’s Labour programme for London is rooted in Labour’s socialist values. It offers new and radical ideas to defend the 99%. Intervening in the private housing sector to improve standards and cut rents, or establishing an energy co-op to cut the cost of heating your home, are the sort of progressive measures our politics needs now.  Restoring EMA in London shows the total divide in values between the two parties.

By cutting fares Ken is tapping into his strongest London Labour traditions to help people facing hard economic times.

We are back with a right wing government punishing people on low and middle incomes whilst feathering the nests of the richest. If these people are let off the hook on Thursday in the single biggest election before the next general election they will not let up. They will go much further.

The real choice on Thursday is between Labour and Conservative.  Voting anything other than Labour in this election will damage the quality of life for millions.

I urge every Labour voter, every trade unionist, peace campaigner, community organiser, co-operator and campaigner for equality to turn out in massive numbers and send the Tories a message they will never forget.

  • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

    Mr Benn, I have the utmost respect for you. But this article is based in an outdated ‘The Tories are all baby-eating toffs’ mentality.

    You say that the election is about Ken’s policies for London, but also say it’s about stopping central Government delivering its policies. Which is it?

    Ken has not been the victim of ferocious character assassination. He’s been subject to strutiny over his values, personal practices and policy – if he has been found wanting, it is not the fault of the media, but the fault of himself. His policies on fare cutting and EMA have been labelled ‘fiction’ by independent fact checkers. That is his fault. People are concerned over his Galloway-style sectarianism, playing the Muslim vote off the Jewish vote. They too are concerned over his hypocrisy on tax and his use of the kind of private healthcare you deplore. People are also concerned as to how he made his money working for Iranian State Television, the propoganda arm of one of the most brutal Government’s in the world.

    These are all valid concerns, and to dismiss them is a discredit to ordinary voters. It is not the responsibility of Labour voters to support our party blindly. It is the responsibility of the Labour Party to encourage people to support us by producing concrete policies that cannot be torn apart under the most basic of scrutiny, and to provide a candidate who inspires, not divides.

    The problems of Livingstone’s campaign are of their own making, and people won’t fall for the same, tired old politics that amounts to little more than ‘vote Labour or the bunny gets it’.
     

    • Daniel Speight

       But this article is based in an outdated ‘The Tories are all baby-eating toffs’ mentality.

      So Jonathan you are saying that Johnson is a good London mayor? The Tories may not eat babies, at least we hope not, but their cuddly, not-nasty costume is beginning to slip.

    • Peter

      The Tories are demonising the disabled, and embarking upon a social genocide of the poor and vulnerable by capping housing benefit. Hundreds of people are committing suicide as a result of the Tories decision to force them to undergo humiliating and coercive assessments. Students are faced with a lifetime of debt. They have created a lost generation. Is it outdated to say that Tories are evil? Not at all.

      Tories are evil.

      • treborc1

        Sorry but that is rubbish

        • aracataca

          True colours coming out Treborc?

      • keggsie

         Totally agree Peter. As for Mr. Roberts. Is he a member of the Labour Party? If so, why? He obviously doesn’t share the values of the majority / non Progess (Blairite)  members.

        May I suggest to your Mr. Roberts you resign your party membership and join a party that seemingly fits your beliefs aka Conservative Party.

        Don’t come back and say I chose the Labour Party. So did Blair and look where that has got us now.

        His vision was as illusory as Thatchers. Funny – they are both the same.

        • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

          Keggise, what in my post did you disagree with?

          • AlanGiles

            Jon I think the thing is that if there is a thread about Livingstone, you seem to be the first one to comment, always in a detrimental way. It is almost as if you had a personal grudge against him.

             

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            Nothing personal at all. I’ve just provided some scrutiny.  Very few people ever offer comment on what I have said, they simply huff on about me resigning from the party.  Labour should not be about defending the indefensible – and I’d rather see the unthinking tribalists leave the party than those who actually put some thought into the issue at hand.

          • keggsie

             “I’d rather see the unthinking tribalists leave the party than those who actually put some thought into the issue at hand.”

            That seems to sum up your position. I presume you are a Blairite? If so then I am right. It is Progress and the Blairites / New labour that have destroyed the labourt and lost 5 million votes of traditional supporters along the way. Are they all unthinking tribalists?

            As has been said New Labour accepted Tory neo-liberal ideology and duped traditonal members in the process. If anyone should leave it’s them. And if you count yourself a member of ‘them’ they you should also re-consider your position in the party.

            As for me. I am quite happy to be called an unthinking tribalist.

          • GuyM

            You could always elect Benn to follow Foot and Kinnock… bound to get you elected.

          • keggsie

             We’ve moved on. And we’ve moved on from the disgrace of Blair’s Third Way.

            Blair isn’t a friend of Labour if he agrees with the Tories NHS and education policies. Which he publicly stated last week.

          • GuyM

            Ah at last, someone who knows where Labour has “moved on” to.

            Could you tell us all as it seems the UK is a little confused.

            Socialism or not?

          • keggsie

             Elaborate – your comment is confusing.

          • GuyM

            Simple enough, I think socialism is dead, the vast mojority hate the notion and all people like yourself have left is groups like SWP and other assorted trots who are as relevant as my cat is to political reality.

          • John Dore

            To where? Your either Loony left or in the real world.

          • treborc1

            The Tories are out in force today

          • keggsie

             They certainly are. The problem for them tough is that the left of the party is now more vocal. Blairites are a busted flush and they know it. Verbally abusing people is their only weapon now. They are not prepared to come up with ideas to help the millions of poor and others who will be destroyed as a result of   this Gvt’s policies. Blairites basically agree with them.  gvts

          • keggsie

            Just out of interests. Are you a member of the labour Party? If so, why?

          • ThePurpleBooker

            NO HE DIDNT.

          • keggsie

             Oh yes he did.

          • Peter

            You are so right. Progress are a poisonous influence on our party. We need to get back to our core principles and start representing the interests of working class people. Cosying up to big business and supporting illegal war have tarnished the reputation of our once great party.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             Your last sentence, and the people who ‘liked’ it, sum up everything that’s wrong with our entire political system.  Revelling, even bragging about not thinking speaks terrifying volumes.

          • treborc1

            Just shows your more Tory then labour,  your ilk only came to labour because you thought Blair was more Thatcher, now you have lost it all.  Thatcher is close to death and Cameron looks to be a novice.

            Your only hope is that David will somehow take the party back to the New labour fold, if he does not you have a choice to make and I suspect it will be to go home to the Tories.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             expressing concern about people who say ‘i am quite happy to be called unthinking’ is proof that I am Tory? So by that assertion you think Labour is summed up by the term ‘unthinking’?! Goodness.

          • treborc1

             Your still a Tory mate

          • John Dore

            That is so patronising.

          • keggsie

             It”s called sarcasm, something you evidently don’t understand.

          • treborc1

             Your not labour, you only came to the party due to Blair now he’s gone what have you got nothing, the slimy little  git is now more Tory then labour

          • John Dore

            TREBORC1,

            David will take over, only this time I hope all the Tribal voters leave to set up the “continuity Labour party”. That way we’ll all be happy.

          • AlanGiles

            In your dreams.

            Still approves of the Iraq war.

            Wrote for the first episode of the new News Of the World.
            Expenses: Didn’t come out of that sqeaky clean.

            Formed “The Office of David Milliband” to take care of his outside work which includes a few days a month as a consultant for a Pakistni investment company.

            If Ed Miliband goes I don’t think the party would want another “family row” so I don’t think DM will be leader any time in the next decade.

          • treborc1

             I bloody hope not.

          • AlanGiles

            I don’t think anyone is “bragging” about taking the country to war on a false prospectus, using a dossier cooked up by an ex-porn scribbler based on a 12 year old (at the time) PHd thesis.

            It certainly isn’t a case that those who complain about this are “not thinking” rather the ones who are no thinking are those idiots like John Rentoul who STILL try to justify that wretched war, and those who want to “move on” and pretend it never happened. That is what is wrong with our political system, not holding anti-war sentiments.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            Alan, you really are a master at turning a conversation away from the subject, and making it about what YOU want to talk about. You should be a politician!

          • AlanGiles

            Flattery will get you everywhere Jon! (but only till 7 when it’s back to the Crucible).,

            But this IS the [point. I have said, to the point of repletion, KL is not my favourite politician, but having come from very humble origins myself, I know that he will be better for poorer Londoners than Johnson.

            Blair’s illegal war, one of the most brazen expenses scroungers escaping punishment (you said elsewhere “tired old politics that amounts to little more than ‘vote Labour or the bunny gets it’.What could be more emotive than getting your psychiatrist to say, in effect, continue this prosecution and she’ll top herself?).

            War, theft…….and KL being Mayor of London. Surely for the greater good this third scenario is more tolerable.  If KL had promised to be “purer than pure” your outrage would be understandable. Better stop as the coluimns are getting too small.

          • keggsie

             Utter garbage. If you think so little about the values that the founding fathers and mothers of the Labour Party wrote then leave please. I’ll even pay your first months subs to the Tory Party.

          • GuyM

            Can you help?

            We seem to have lost clause 4… have you seen it of late?

          • keggsie

             Not worth commenting on tbh.

          • GuyM

            Because you can’t find it anywhere?

          • Bill Lockhart

            I’d say “unthinking” is about the only way anyone could support the imposition of a socialistcommand economy, since actually thinking quickly establishes the inevitability of  failure of such an economy, as do the lessons of history.

          • Dave Postles

            Still benefiting from the Arts Council shilling?

          • Bill Lockhart

             Yes thanks.  The Arts Council is part of a mixed economy, which, as you know, I support. The Arts Council in no way operates a command economic model. Was there a point you were hoping to make, as I can see none? 

          • Dave Postles

             Taxpayers’ money.  That’s why we pay our tax – for a civilized society, recognizing obligations.  The poor cannot afford the ENO, but our society would be less rich without it.  Most of us here are in favour of the mixed economy.  We’d prefer not to see the termination of Liz Forgan’s  status by Hunt and his pack of hounds. BTW, I did not know that youn support a mixed economy – it hasn’t appeared in your posts, as far as I can recollect (to use the cliche de nos jours.

          • Dave Postles

            you, of course, not youn.

          • Bill Lockhart

            I rely don’t need you to pontificate to me on the benefits of a system to which I am already committed. If your obsession with pigeon-holing everyone who does not agree with you on every issue means that you do not read what I write because you already “know” what I think, then that is your problem not mine. Opposing Labour’s hideous wasting of public money does not mean that I am opposed to public spending per se. That’s the benefit of political atheism- the ability to acknowledge nuance.

          • John Dore


            New labour that have destroyed the labourt and lost 5 million votes of traditional supporters along the way.”

            Yup saw that when Foot won the election in 83. The country love the left.

          • treborc1

            bet you were  voting Tory  then.

          • http://twitter.com/reddeviljp jaydeepee

             If Johnson was subjected to the same treatment as Livingstone day in day out and his ‘policies’ being moderately examined in any detail, day in day out, then he would be found wanting and this election would be over.

            Thanks, Mr Benn. A very good insight into what many people know but will deny.

          • keggsie

             Exactly jatdeepee. As the old saying goes ‘there is none so blind as those who are unwilling to see.’ Whatever people think of Ken Livingstone (and I haven’t an Axe to grind because the London Mayoral election is irrelevant for me as I live 250 miles away) the fact is the Tories always do the same thing to anyone on the left.

            He has suffered great indignity at the hand of the Tories and it seems the like of Labour Tories.

          • Bill Lockhart

            Tell that to Livingstone, who campaigned for an Islamist independent for Mayor of Tower Hamlets. Your logic is irrefutable: Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London is no friend to the Labour party.

          • John Dore

            Thats the trouble with the left, they cant see past vote for your own man even if he was a blithering idiot they’d be out telling you he was a genius. Livingston is a two faced self serving friend of nobody and that includes the Labour party.

          • AlanGiles

            I plead guilty Mr Dore: I gave Blair the benefit of the doubt up to and including the 2005 election, despite the wars, the lies, the greed, the sleaze. Who was the biggest “blithering idiot”? – me or the deluded Blair?

          • GuyM

            His hope that London becomes a “beacon for Islam” ought to mean any decent Englishman never votes for him again.

          • keggsie

             As I am not English but Celtic then this is irrelevant. It’s totally irrelevant anyway. If you are a member of the Labour Party but can’t vote for him then you have 2 choices – abstain or vote for an independent. But remember that doing so risks keeping Johnson in power and the Tory led government wringing their hands with glee. Is that really what you want simply because of your ‘hatred’ towards a fellow member.

          • GuyM

            Better near anyone is elected than an apologist for fundamentalist Islam with a desire to reinforce the disgrace of Londonistan.

            If you value English value and culture you wont go near voting for Ken and his islamic sidekicks on Thursday.

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

            You’re up the creek there, mate.

            Ken  has no sympathywith any form of fundamentalism.

            Your ravings owe more to Diamond White than to any form of rational thought.

          • GuyM

            I think you ou are a little out of touch when it comes to Ken’s Islamic preacher friends.

          • treborc1

             Nid yw eich Cymraeg a ydych yn

          • treborc1

             I agree I did not support New labour and basically left before they kicked me out, but I did leave, these new labour hanger ons  are here basically because they are to ashamed to go home to the Tories, the failed.

          • John Demon

            Rubbish, why dont YOU give us 5 reasons not to vote Boris?

            Ken has been shown to have to find the money on paying for fares and he will have to raise council tax. This is an irrefutable fact.

            Boris will lower the cost to Londoners and that impacts the poorest best, the rich can afford high council tax. 

            Livingstone is a clown.

          • Rburns

            For a start, you might investigate the relationship between Boris and his friend Darius Guppy. Obviously it can’t be true that persons of their standing could have been engaged in conspiracy to commit GBH http://boris-johnson.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/boris-johnson-and-darius-guppy.html

          • ThePurpleBooker

            That’s untrue. The fares rise will come from the waste in TfL and a proportion of the profits. Under Boris, fares have gone up by 50%. Also, Boris’ council tax cut is less than 30p per year but Ken would freeze council tax and cut fares by 7% which will save the average Londoner 1,000 over the course of 4 years. Lord Adonis said it was possible, he was a former Transport Secretary and I trust Andrew Adonis’ judgement more than I’d trust the one of some jumped up rightwinger who is supporting a homophobic, sexist and racist Tory for Mayor of London.

          • treborc1

            Tribalist from a Tory who would love to turn labour into a second Thatcherite coming.

          • ThePurpleBooker

            I agree with you on that point, but Jonathan you ahve to stick to the facts. Ken’s taxes are legitimate, he is not anti-Semitic and he uses private healthcare merely for check-ups. Also, his pledges are affordable and costly. Cutting fares by 7% over the course of 4 years is completely right and I am surprised that any progressive would oppose that. Even Lord Adonis has come out in support of Ken Livingstone.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Alan, personal grudges is a little rich coming from you.  I’ve got a grudge against Gordon Brown, that is one person.  You got a grudge against multiple named MPs of all parties including Labour which you express daily on multiple threads, and seemingly a grudge against anyone at all looking after themselves which seems to be the theme of your life.

          • AlanGiles

            Jaime, I freely admiot to having personal grudges against New Labour/Blairites. Not only did they turn the party into another version of the Conservative Party, but in doing so, bought in some very  dubious characters where personal integrity is concerned. I won’t weary you with names.

            as for ” you express daily on multiple threads”

            You  don’t do so bad yourself. As for me I am back to the Snooker on TV now

          • Sunnie

            Everything. You Tory Troll.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             a thoughtful analysis. thanks.

          • GuyM

            Ah the leader of the People’s Front of Judea joins the debate… or was it the Judean People’s Front?

            I can never remember.

          • keggsie

             Every word of it.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             perhaps you’d like to offer a more thoughtful, line-by-line analysis? Or more likely you will just want to carry on calling me a Tory because you’re only capable of lightweight politicking, not of meaningful substance-led debate.

          • keggsie

             it would take me all night. As for being a Tory, your comments say as much.

            Even your insults towards me and others demonstrate this. I’m a lightweight? And you are not. Laughable. You are a closet Tory and I think most right thinking members of the party believe that as well.

            Accept your balirite agenda is over in the Labour Party and do the decent thing and leave before you are pushed. I want my party back from the crap inflicted on it.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             you still haven’t commented on the substance.

          • John Dore

            They never do, its all BS because there is no substance to the left. The only answer is class war. Have you looked at our lefty leader, he doesn’t have any answers or credibility. 

            The idiots ruining the country will win the next election, mark my words. Just like Thatcher did in 83. The left are a vacuous joke.

          • treborc1

             Guy is tired so you have taken over

          • keggsie

             Oh I yeah as we say up here. Another Blairite. Please will you all just leave and join the Tories or yellow two-faced Tories. You and your kind have done enough damage to a once great party. After you go we can have a proper debate about implementing socialism.

            And btw if you think socialism is all about nationalisation then yiu are as naive as the rest of the Blairites whose neo liberal economics have got us into the mess we are in.

            BTW. I haven’t heard any Blairite offer any real solutions to the plight of the millions of poor and disbled people who will feel the full force of this condemned government’s policies. I won’t ye as I am a middle class self employed individuals who unlike many actually live by my socialist principes.

            PLease go will you. Pleeease I implore you.

          • GuyM

            So what is socialism “all about” then?

          • keggsie

            Putting people first before profit. Simple as that.

            But as you are a closet Tory then it isn’t surprising you don’t understand what Socialism is.

          • GuyM

            But as profit allows more people to be employed and investments made to training, development and the like, explain how in 2012  UK business survives with no profit?

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            ”After you go we can have a proper debate about implementing socialism.”

            You must be a professional comedian, if not a successful one.

            Try to have a look around the world to see how implemented socialism actually happened.  Not a very distinguished picture is it?

            The British electorate are thankfully more than intelligent enough to tell socialists to f*** off.

            Which leaves entryism through a well known brand, such as Labour.

            But, after the well-worn path of Militant Tendency, do you really think the Labour Party is stupid enough to become associated with a bunch of socialist lunatics?  

            Why not go back to the pre-internet days of plotting with your 2 friends in the Dog and Duck, and then having a three-way schism over support for the Namibian fishermen, capitalist importation of stuff that most normal people people actually want to buy, and whose girlfriend made eyes at the barman?  Like student politics, except even more stupid.

          • keggsie

             I think you are the stupid one. Again it seems the Blairites are still trying to justify their failure. Or are you e Tory? Just asking?

          • keggsie

             Why should I? There’s no substance there tbh.

          • AlanGiles

            I feel a bit like Groucho Marx defending Margaret Dumont (“Excuse us. We are defending this lady’s honour. Which is more than she has ever done for herself”), but I have to say Jon IS Labour and has actually stood as a prospective candidate for the party in 2010.

            I accept he isn’t a Tory, but I do think it shows how far Labour drifted to the right in the years between 1994-2007, to the point where (if he will allow me to say so) younger members who have little knowledge of the Labour party, or of it’s history, that they think anyone who was a supporter of the policies of those like Harold Wilson, or Denis Healey are on the “far left”. When I supported them, the “hard left” would have been people like Harold Laski, for example. I am not saying Jon thinks this, but there are certainly posters on this board who believe it so. I have been called a Trot and a Marxist, but as this was by somebody who had strange ideas about me wanting to perform a sex act on George Galloway (at my age with my arthriotis I would want a month’s notice in writing!), this was as risible as most of that posters outpourings.

            One of the writers (Mr Marchant) last week seemed to think Blair was the first Labour PM to win three elections.

            The point is, if I may say so, Jon is from that generation who grew up under Mrs T and thinks anyone who isn’t quite so abrasive as Nick Ridley and Norman Tebbitt , so traditional Labour will seem extreme.

            That is why we need pospective Mps who are older who remember at first hand the despair many felt in the early 80s when there was “no such thing as society”

            Misguided he is (IMO but Tory he isn’t.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            Alan, thanks. Actually I think this a level-headed response and whilst clearly I don’t think I’m misguided, I do think you’re right to say that I was attracted to Labour because it drifted to the right of where it once was.

            I don’t have this tribal mentality, I don’t believe Labour is morally superior nor do I think being a Labour candidate automatically makes you ‘right’ about everything.  I think some people on the left are every bit as abrasive as Tebbit etc, and I fear all too often the debate is based on loyalty and not substance – hence the ‘Boris is no better’ approach, which hardly inspires.    Ordinary people simply do not understand the stuff about blindly following the party line without thought or scrutiny – I think they find it weird, and so do I.  Nor do I understand why we must be rooted in the politics of 100 years ago.  The whole point of Labour is as a reformist party that seeks the next challenge – and I don’t find any answers to today’s challenges being offered through tribalism, nor do I find answers in the concept of socialism which has been so often rejected by the electorate.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            Alan, thanks. Actually I think this a level-headed response and whilst clearly I don’t think I’m misguided, I do think you’re right to say that I was attracted to Labour because it drifted to the right of where it once was.

            I don’t have this tribal mentality, I don’t believe Labour is morally superior nor do I think being a Labour candidate automatically makes you ‘right’ about everything.  I think some people on the left are every bit as abrasive as Tebbit etc, and I fear all too often the debate is based on loyalty and not substance – hence the ‘Boris is no better’ approach, which hardly inspires.    Ordinary people simply do not understand the stuff about blindly following the party line without thought or scrutiny – I think they find it weird, and so do I.  Nor do I understand why we must be rooted in the politics of 100 years ago.  The whole point of Labour is as a reformist party that seeks the next challenge – and I don’t find any answers to today’s challenges being offered through tribalism, nor do I find answers in the concept of socialism which has been so often rejected by the electorate.

          • http://twitter.com/bencobley Ben Cobley

            Here here (not to all but to most of that). Unthinking tribalism, Tory bashing and lazily labelling people you disagree with as closet Tories is fine if you want to give yourself a hard on, but it won’t wash with the public.

          • AlanGiles

            I owed you that Jon, because you very kindly came to my aid a couple of months ago, when somebody accused me of being a Tory (!!??!!).

            Obviously you are never going to make me a right-winger any more than I could turn you left, but I would just say, I don’t want to go back to the party of 100 years ago – obviously you have to adapt, but it is a question of how far.

            Also, I am sure you might agree, there would be little point in going back to the politics of 1997, if only because the world – let alone Britain – is a very different place now.

            Of course there has to be a determination to work with business, and I certainly don’t want a war between employers and employees, but I do feel there have to be limits beyond which Labour would not go.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            I completely respect all of that Alan.

            And for the sake of clarity, 1997 is in exactly the same place as 1907. In the past.  The question for any reformer must always be ‘what’s next’.

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

            “I fear all too often the debate is based on loyalty and not substance ”

            Yet you’re quick enough to criticise Livingstone for being disloyal and cite an example of his non-tribal behaviour as justification for your abstention.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        This is clearly tribal nonsense, and not based on facts.

        The United Kingdom is not even in the top 60 countries in suicide terms, according to World Health Oganization data.  See http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide_rates/en/.  What is more, the rate is decreasing over the last 5 years, see http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health4/suicides-in-the-united-kingdom/2010/stb-statistical-bulletin.html .  If you really want to make a political cause between relative rates of suicide and politics, you will need to address why the remaining socialist countries in the world such as North Korea and Cuba are far ahead of the UK, but also such social democratic countries often cited in approving terms on LL are also ahead – countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

        If you can work up to “G” without using your fingers or using your mouth, you may be able to understand that “genocide” has a particular meaning, and it is not happening in London.

        I’m not sure people of your intellect should have the vote, but that would be fundamentally illiberal, so use it well.  Don’t just cross the first box you see, and try to do it with a proper pen or rollerball, not the colouring crayons.

        • RedSetter

          My doctor has a warmer heart and better bedside manner I have to say. 

          • treborc1

             So has my pet snake

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            You are clearly confusing doctoring with some form of social welfare function.  If you want a warm heart and a bedside manner, go to a GP, who are qualified but don’t practise medicine in the classical sense.  They can act up the warm heart very well, and it pays very well.  Never forget that each moment of the time they spend with you, their wallets are counting the cash their private business is pulling in from the NHS.  Ask one of them to actually perform a little doctoring, and the chances are you’ll get a referral (for a fee), because they are so generalist that they are useless.

            My speciality doesn’t do beds.  We have trolleys, and throughput times.  Trust me, you don’t want to go to sleep in A&E, in case you get misdiagnosed and exit through the left hand door into the chilly room.

            It always seems an admission of failure to me that anyone dying anywhere in the hospital is brought to A&E for certification, as the ward staff would rather concentrate on the living than the dead, and their professional targets look better if all deaths technically happen in A&E.  I draw the line at telling relatives though.  The ward staff have to do that.  I’m not having my team getting all of the emotional outpourings when Uncle Jack died on a general ward of pneumonia 4 hours ago, particularly if he never came through A&E except feet first and cold.

          • treborc1

             F*c k me your a porter.

          • derek

            Damn coffee all over the screen! that’s was wheely  good, Trebroc! 

          • treborc1

             One tries

        • Ben

          Not everything is about politics. There is evidence to show that suicide rates in Scandinavian countries are to do with the weather and long hours of darkness in the winter ~(same as reasons for high levels of alcoholism), not to do with their evil collectivist guvernmint.

          I think bringing suicide into a discussion of this sort isn’t really on. In any case, it was our party that wanted to cut down the number of people on incapacity benefit to start with, which seems sensible to me given that the numbers on it go inexorably up. Unless we think we are as a society becoming more incapacitated every year (?!) then there is an issue here. I do think that having companies paid by “results” (ie passing people as fit for work) is very dodgy, though.

          • AlanGiles

            Ben, the fact is anyone who is overwhelmed by depression is likely to be suicidal if they feel threatend, and Freud (both with Purnell and Grayling/Duncan-Smith) has made people feel threatend. As you acknowledge yourself, if you are paying ATOS by results, it is not surprising more people are found to be “capable” of  work – in Purnell’s day there were even people terminally ill who were deemed fit to work and that no doubt continues under the Coalition.

            It is also worth pointing out that a great number of people who appeal against ATOS decisions go on to win those appeals.

            I have mentioned this before, but somebody I know is seriously incapacitated by uncontrolled epilepsy and Sympathetic Reflex Neuropathy, which causes severe nerve pain, and he dreads the post arriving  each day – especially if there is a brown envelope. He is not “workshy” or lazy, but in almost constant pain.

            A good job politicians are not musicians or (intenionally) comedians, because their timing is terrible  – Brown and Purnell started and Cameron/Grayling  (and Byrne if he ever got the chance) started their “crackdown” at the very time unemployed amongst the able-bodied was rising. If employers are not recruiting able-bodied staff what chance is there for people who have been out of work through either physical or mental illness?

          • AlanGiles

            P.S. ”
            I think bringing suicide into a discussion of this sort isn’t really on.”

            I reckon that is what the prosecuting councel felt at Margaret Moran’s hearing last Friday!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Wigmore/61311392 Stephen Wigmore

        You presumably don’t know this already.  But the work capability assessments were (and I believe still are) originally a Labour idea legislated for by the Labour government. 

        Same with tuition fees, which Mr Milliband in his progressive judgement says he would only raise to £6,000 a year.  Trust me that’s still a life time of ‘debt’.

        I guess no-one should vote for Labour either then. As by your standard they are clearly evil as well.  

        Vote Lib Dem perhaps? 

        • treborc1

           No voting for any of the three parties right now is a waste of time, all three are middle of the road middle class  semi Tories

      • Dave Postles

        SuicidesUK Press Association 23 April 2012

        ‘There is “anecdotal evidence” of people committing suicide after losing their benefits following a reassessment, an MP has claimed.
        A freedom of information request revealed that between January and August last year, 1,100 people had died after they lost their benefits.
        Labour MP John McDonnell asked the Government to investigate whether there was a trend of people with mental health problems committing suicide after being ruled as fit for employment.
        He said: “MPs across the House, and ministers, have emphasised the importance that care must be taken in dealing with people with mental health problems as they approach the medical and capability assessments, even if they lose benefits.
        “There is some anecdotal evidence of suicides taking place of people who have lost benefits.’

        • treborc1

           It’s not the suicides it’s the idea that this is all about the Tories, Blair and Brown both had meetings with Cameron’s Tories to work out the welfare reforms so they would have no come back.

          The fact is Labour and the Tories believe that welfare is way to much to high costing the country to much, Blair himself stated he believed that most of the sick and the disabled were the remnants of the Thatcher and labour placing   unemployed onto sickness benefits to keep down unemployment.

          I do not mind knocking the Tories but not this time we all remember Miliband speech at conference how he saw a chap who was disabled and knew he could do something, 90% of people who are dying of cancer show no sign of being ill.

          So the fact is Labour have serious problem explaining to me the meeting with the Tories over welfare and what makes Labour any different from new labour

    • AlanGiles

      Jon: I had the same feelings about EMA myself, but it has been pointed out that the finance for this measure can be provided albeit under a different name, just as the Mayor for Tower Hamlets does, so it isn’t “fiction”, except for Evening Standard writers. As for fares, even Johnson admitted himself last week that fares can be looked at again and there was a hint he might look to reduce them.

      I don’t know if you live in London, but I don’t think the poorest residents of London would want 4 more years of Johnson – as for the “money working for Iranian State Television” let’s not forget Blair has taken some money from some quite dodgy sources in his time….

      • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

         Hi Alan, the funds for EMA would have to provided by Local Authorities – and they have already refused on the grounds of not having the money.  So the policy is undeliverable.  His fares policy comes from taking money out of the investment programme.  London’s transport infrastructure is falling apart – I use the tube everyday – and without that investment the entire system will grind to a halt.

        And I’ve said to you before that I disagree with any politician taking the coin of dictators or repressive regimes – and that includes Blair – be it before or after holding office.

        To reiterate what I’ve said previously, I’ll be proudly voting Labour for the Assembly, but abstaining from the Mayoral election (the first time I’ve ever abstained). Livingstone recently admitted to having hardly voted Labour for many years, as well as standing against a Labour candidate in 2000 and supporting an independent candidate over Labour in Tower Hamlets, with known extremist links.  The idea of being loyal to someone who has been so blatantly disloyal to us over the years is something I simply won’t do.

        • derek

          “ Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something”   

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            Talking about yourself?

          • derek

            Examples are always welcomed! :-)

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             my point exactly!

          • derek

            Yes! I think it was? the secondary part of course.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             indeed. although whilst I believe Ken and his supporters to be the fool, I rather suspect you believe it to be me. Ho hum!

          • derek

            I’d rather you read the article and addressed the substantive points.
            Like I’ve said, Wise words from @Tony Benn! 

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

             i did both!

        • AlanGiles

          Jon. You don’t need me to tell you this. There are onlt two possible winners in this election: Livingstone or Johnson. To abstain is as good as giving a vote to Johnson in such a close contest.

          Now talking about close contests – I am in the middle of the Judd Trump/Ali Carter Snoloker game….

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            There is a cartoon called South Park (funny how even cartoons can sometimes be quite profound).  In one episode the school kids have to vote for what they want their school mascot to be.  The choice is to vote between a ‘Douche’ and a ‘Turd’.  One of the main characters refuses to vote because he thinks it damages democracy to take part in an election between two ridiculous and dreadful candidates.

            Just saying.  Enjoy the snooker.

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

          “The idea of being loyal to someone who has been so blatantly disloyal to us… ”

          How about being loyal to the majority of Londoners who will benefit from a Labour victory because of Ken’s policies on crime, housing and fares etc?

          And don’t forget, as Tony points out, a Johnson victory will be received as a vindication of Tory policy. The Tories will be emboldened by such an outcome and this will damage the interests of those on whose votes you will depend should you ever again be a Labour candidate.

        • Sunnie

          Empty barrels make the most noise..

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            exactly.

          • TomFairfax

             ‘Empty barrels make the most noise..’

            I think you mean ‘vessels’. (The alternative of wooden barrels doesn’t work. As for idea of storing beverages in Al kegs.)

            Loaded barrels not only provide more of a kick to the shoulder when fired, but the gas dissipates in a shorter, more controlled manner, because the shot acts a bit like a bung until it leaves the barrel,  and therefore the ‘bang’ is louder.

            I know. All the world hates a pedant. Unless their life depends on things not being poorly communicated.

            Whereas politicians deliberately seek to be vague to provide some supposed wriggle room when someone doesn’t like what they originally meant to convey. Or it turns out not to be true.

            A bit like the Right Dishonourable J Hunt’s statement last week.

        • Alexwilliamz

          EMA. Yes but you can provide an alternative fund if you so choose. Hell you could call it the Mayor’s educational harship fund if you wanted, to the students themselves it will still be an EMA.

          I think it is fair enough to abstain, but as a labour party member I don;t understand why you are

          A) Publicising this fact
          B) Openly aggresively critical of the Labour candidate.

          The time for that was during the candidate selection process. Once Ken won you should either get behind him or at the least keep stum. To be honest if you could post as much criticim of Boris to match the stuff you had against Ken it would at least provide some balance.

          No one is asking you to blindly support the candidate but it would be helpful to deceased from attacking him.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            That is all very well, but on the specific policy of EMA, when every possible source of “EMA” under any name has been proven to have said “no”, for either technical / legal or political reasons, then what?  Ken is still campaigning under a policy of providing an EMA that he cannot deliver.

            He should either be shown up for campaigning under a false prospectus, or locked up for fraud.

            Then you look into his fares promise for public transport, and guess what, like every other socialist ever, it is all lies, smoke and mirrors.

            I’m only slightly attached to Labour, not a member, voted 3 times for Tony Blair and not the nutters under him, but also not a rabid tory.  I very much hope Ken Livingstone suffers an appalling political reverse, a stupendous defeat by some huge margin, as I believe that Ken Livingstone represents something dreadful in our politics.  In reality, it will be quite close, but hopefully a defeat of the politics Ken Livingstone espouses, and hopefully his rapid political extinction.  He can spend some time with his newts, and his Silveta money from Tehran.

          • AlanGiles


            I’m only slightly attached to Labour, not a member, voted 3 times for Tony Blair and not the nutters under him,”

            Nutters like??? Jack Straw? David Blunkett?, John Hutton?, Alan Milburn?, Caroline Flint?

            Come off it, Jaime. You are an intelligent man: his cabinet were stuffed full of his cronies “Right” thinking quasi-Tories. If they are “nutters” then Blair was equally so.

            As for “livingstone representing something dreadful in our politics”, he didn’t take the country to war, or lie through his teeth about his close connections to Murdoch (e.g. Hunt and Cameron). You seem very selective in your ideas about what is truly “dreadful”

    • ThePurpleBooker

      Hang on, Jonathan. His policies on EMA and fares are completely affordable.  TfL have got the funding to so, but it is coming from waste in the system. The EMA would be from existing funds from the colleges. In Southwark Council and Lambeth Council they have been bringing in EMA in thier own councils, so I think you are listening to fiction.
      To be fair, just because someone has Muslim friends it does not make them a sectarian. He has had the backing from many influential Jews in the party – David Miliband, Ed Miliband, Margaret Hodge and Maurice Glasman. He is a businessman who employs his wife and as people who know the tax system should know is that you benefit if you employ a spouse, therefore he pays less tax. That is in stark contrast to Boris who campaigned for a 10% tax cut for himself. Many people use private healthcare and the NHS, it’s normal. But what voters are interested in is the issues and Ken’s credible plans to cut fares by 7%, introduce childcare loans and grants, set up an energy co-op, reverse police cuts and bring back EMA in London is a progressive agenda compared to Boris’ cuts to police numbers as well as the fact that he increased fares by 50%.  Attack Ken on what is real, not on fiction.  

      • GuyM

        TfL have an investment fund.

        If you honestly think raiding and wiping out an investment fund and leaving the transport infrastructure of a city like London with zero funds set aside for investments and improvement is wise, then you and Ken ought to blocked from political office due to stupidity.

        As for the EMA, not only do i not wish to be taxed to pay for someone elses kids to get pocket money I also don’t wish my council to be forced to contribute to another nutty left wing policy from Ken.

        I pay for my kids right up to 18 and beyond, if other parents have to manage to 16 then they can manage to 18. Someone elses kids are NOT my responsibility in the slightest. Typical left wing crap, always looking for someone else to pay for your core support.

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

          “Typical left wing crap”

          Then why give so much of your life over to “left wing crap”? You’re here 24/7 – is “crap” really that important to you?

        • http://www.facebook.com/elliot.bidgood Elliot Bidgood

          A poll the other day showed that a majority of Londoners favoured using TFL funds to reduce fares, rather than prioritising investments. Not surprising, given the state of the economy and the fact that fares have risen sharply and above inflation. Further, more money in people’s pockets is economic stimulus (albeit marginally).

          Used correctly, EMA ensures that 16-18 year olds from poor backgrounds don’t have to choose between qualifications and employment at a critical stage, a choice which can kneecap their future qualifications and employment propspects early on. I never needed EMA, my family were above the threshold, but plenty of my classmates in college depended on it. Yesterday on another thread, GuyM, you were talking about what you saw as the lack of qualifications among many of the 1m unemployed youth we have. The answer to that is more policies like this, not less. You can support investment in education and prospects if you want a qualified workforce, but if you’re going to oppose measures to ensure that happens, I don’t see how you can complain about the state of Britain’s youth.

          • GuyM

            a 16 year old gets no EMA whilst on a GCSE course, yeyt is expected to turn upto school and be funded by his/her parents.

            Then bingo, a few days later the poor little sob can only contemplate education if paid by the state to do so? And his/her parents are suddenly unable to support their own child?

            I have no interest in paying other people kids pocket money to make up for their own parents failings. They are not my rsponsibility and I do not work to earn so I can subsidise their social lives.

            My income is for my family Elliot, not so your “classmates” can get pocket money from me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/elliot.bidgood Elliot Bidgood

            Yes. But you and your family must benefit from some state services as well, whether you notice it or not, and other equally hard-working taxpayers who might not benefit from or agree with some of the specific state measures you happen to benefit from don’t get a direct veto on it, other than at election time. That same system applies to all of us.

            Society and economy work better overall, for all of us, if the state works to protect equality of opportunity through state education, EMA, Surestart etc. It’s a statistical fact that it’s easier to get a good education, have prospects and contribute to society if you came from a better off background, which is self-perpetuating absent state intervention to help those in a worse position. That’s not a failing, because it’s not the case that literally none of the children or parents in that situation are trying. It’s because economic hardship isn’t something that’s easy to work out of. For some of the poorest families, EMA is the difference in whether they can afford textbooks & laptops or whether their children dropped out of state education at 16 for full-time work as soon as they could instead of seeking more qualifications. Failing to address these realities when they’re systemic also has economic and social knock-on effects that affect all of us, because we all have to live in the same society at the end of the day. Likewise, improvements in that situation carry social and economic benefit beyond the individual. If an employer hires somebody whose state education and EMA helped them get the qualifications they have, that employer is a beneficiary of those programs, which justifies them having funded them through tax.

          • AlanGiles

            I agree with you Elliot, but don’t expect Guy to listen to reason –  he is too old for breeding and too vicious to be kept as a pet.

            In the world he alleges he lives in, there is no such thing as poverty or unlucky circumstances. Everybody lives in nice houses on the North Downs, and have daughters called Gemima who own their own horses, while daddy has such an important job he can sit on his backside all day talking about it rather than actually doing it (except when he is on gardening leave), and sneering at “the lower classes”. 

            Of course, me and you, and most LL posters know otherwise, and in real life “Guy” is Fred who lives in a Stoke Newington bedsit, and spends his empty days typing away on his computer, while swigging economy supermarket own brand cider, so he knows too, it is just it doesn’t fit in with the fantasy world he has created for himself.

          • GuyM

            So much for you staying polite eh Alan.

            I’m not responsible for you, Elliot or any other bleeding heart members of your pet demographic groups.

            In a couple of weeks I take over a big directorate that needs overhauling and recruitment almost immediately. You know full well the sorts of people I won’t be going near recruitment wise…. yep people like Elliot and there is f all you can do about that isn’t there?

            Best sit in your retirement and bitch in powerless rage, it’s all you have old man.

          • AlanGiles


            In a couple of weeks I take over a big directorate”

            So you keep saying. It was “a couple of weeks six weeks ago”

            How time flies in Never Never land

          • GuyM

            Actually a couple of weeks ago I said I was on a months gardening leave (go revisit and check if you want).

            Now I have a couple of weeks left only, all very sad. Mid May beckons and my all too short break will be over.

            Off to the Imperial War Museum today I think, best use my few days off well.

            Plus the Iron Lady is out on DVD and that’s a lovely bit of nostalgia, watching Maggie stuff you trots.

            Enjoy your retirement old man.

          • RedSetter

            All this banter is obviously good humoured but maybe the jokes and repartee is getting a little out of hand no matter how funny it is. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/elliot.bidgood Elliot Bidgood

            GuyM, I’m happy to engage in open debate with you about actual issues. However, I’d ask that you refrain from personal attacks on me.

          • GuyM

            If you promote a policy that sees some taxed more to pay your friends pocket money i.e. to bail out their own parents failings, then best get used to some people rather wanting to go and fall in a large deep hole for some time.

            I go to work for my family Elliot, not so the parents of your “classmates” can avoid their own responsibilities.

          • http://www.facebook.com/elliot.bidgood Elliot Bidgood

            If you specifcally come to a website filled with Labour supporters, then best get used some people being more likely to favour social democratic policies than you are. If you want to have a constructive debate, that’s great, an exchange of ideas is always good. But I don’t understand what you hope to get out of this every day if your intent is just to abuse people you dislike and know you probably won’t agree with. Of course it’s a free and open board, but I don’t understand how a person can enjoy subjecting themselves to that. I read ConHome and LDV, because they do actually give me a good alternate perspective at times, but I don’t flame the regular posters just for the sake of it while there. It’s not enjoyable or worthwhile, at least not for me.

            You oppose most/all Labour policies, fair enough. That’s what other parties exist for. Focus on campaigning for one of them (assuming you’re not already) ahead of Thursday and persuade more people to agree with you so that you’ll get the government you deserve. Talking to real people on the doorstep is fulfilling, in my experience.

          • GuyM

            I gave up politics many years ago when I realised it to be a complete waste of time.

            Now all i want is government to bug out of my life as much as possible and keep its hands off my income as well.

            I argue on LL to kill time when I’m bored and also because I hate socialists.

            As I stated, but you didn’t reply, my income is mine, not for your “classmates” to expect pocket money from.

          • GuyM

            There is a world of difference between a universal provision of state servoice such as the NHs or education to 18 and specific redistributional measures such as the EMA.

            In London children in full time education up until aged 19 get free bus and tram travel and reduced tube and train. Given this free transport, what do they need £30 per week for?

            Andy Burnham let slip what was going on, EMA was used to allow poorer students to have the “full college experience” i.e. be used in part for social lives.

            The notion that EMA is used solely for books and transport is crap.

            Instead of EMA have local authority free transport (as in London) and book vouchers to use at Waterstones or the like.

            I certainly wouldn’t use EMA to provide laptops, that’s the parents job to provide.

            In the end you support EMA because you want parents like myself to pay for other people’s kids. No thanks, so I’ll keep voting for any party or any candidate who pledges to remove EMA.

            I’m not interested in funding other people’s kids just because I can pay for my own. You better start learning to pay your own way in life.

            Oh and you can screw your notion of shared societal responsibility as well, I don’t feel any responsibility to you or your classmates and I’d certainly not want to hire any of you on EMA either.

          • AlanGiles

            For such an “important” businessman, you sometimes take a very crude turn of phrase (”
            used solely for books and transport is crap.” and ”
            Oh and you can screw your notion of shared societal responsibility “)

            Why don’t you go and screw yourself Guy – it would help you pass another lonely hour.

            BTW I am fully aware of what “gardening leave” is and other business terms. If you want me to be candid, it is I don’t necessarily believe you are who or what you claim to be.

          • GuyM

            What you believe is neither here nor there Alan, I’d pass on details of what I’ll be doing in a couple of weeks but you remind of an online stalker and I’d like to be able to enter my new place of work without having to check my back for vengeful trots.

          • AlanGiles

            Paranoid as well – poor old Guy

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

        “so I think you are listening to fiction”

        Or to put it another way, he’s colluding with his own vanity.

    • Lyndon

      @twitter-270034151:disqus I’ve looked at your statement here. What interested me most was what you said about his alleged career on Iranian state television. I looked around a bit and found no evidence to suggest he has been anywhere near Iran in his career. Although he has apparently made some comments that were taken as anti-semitic, although I suspect he may have been misconstrued (although then again it’s happened a few times. Not sure what to think about that.) and that he is simply someone who needs to be more careful with what they say. I wouldn’t say he’s trying to be sectarian or playing for a Muslim vote, and certainly not to the extreme extent of Galloway, just that he believes that there should be more dialogue with Muslims around the world and in the UK and that he is annoyed with what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians. However if you look at his policies, I’m pretty sure anyone could be better than Boris Johnson. That muppet should be doing stand-up comedy, not politics. 
      Which independent fact-finders labelled his policies ‘fiction’ and why? 
      And ‘vote for Labour or the bunny gets it’? Explain. I assume you mean the ‘vote Labour or the Tories will destroy the country’ argument, which of course these days is a perfectly logical one. Let me refresh your memory: mass privatisation of the NHS, Police, roads and schools, ideology-motivated massive increase in university fees, selling-off of the armed forces, selling military equipment to totalitarian states, continuous scandal… the list goes on and on, and will continue to grow while they are still in power. 
      I do think I agree with you with one thing though; that the Labour party needs to change a lot. The Left-wing has been rather misrepresented of late. People would vote more if there was a stronger Labour party, with more charismatic leaders and stronger, less sycophantic policies. 

    • ThePurpleBooker

      I’m sorry Jonathan – I cannot entertain that nonsense. Ken’s pledges on fares, EMA, childcare and coops are completely affordable. They are that is a fact. Plenty of people use private healthcare for some check ups and use the NHS. I think you have lost the plot on this one Jonathan.

  • JonCarter

    Mad.

    • RedSetter

      Are you on living on another planet?… Mars for example?

      • treborc1

        The red planet, has to be labour if it’s red. these people come from Uranus

  • JoeDM

    The exposure of Ken’s tax avoidance was good investigative journalism. 

    • Sam

      No it wasn’t. Good investigative journalism would have seen that virtually all people in Livingstones position arrange their tax affairs in exactly the same way and that it is the way that HMRC prefers those people to arrange it for simplistic reasons.  They’d also have found out that Livingstone pays 36% income tax, which is pretty much exactly what he would pay otherwise.

      It was nothing but a sad attempt by the right-wing media to try and unfairly paint him as a hypocrite when he clearly isn’t.

      • GuyM

        No he really doesn’t pay 36% in income tax, not least because it’s corporation tax on company profits and dividends.

        If you are going to argue on financial matters at leasat have half a clue about what you are talking about.

        Ken lambasted anyone for doing what he himself was doing on the quiet… that spells out h y p o c r i t … to most people.

        • Doggy

          “… that spells out h y p o c r i t … to most people”

          Only to illiterate people, Mr M.  You missed the terminating “e”!

          • GuyM

            If only an “e” could terminate Ken and all other socialist scum…

      • Dave Postles

         According to The Staggers, Livingstone contributed £34,661 as tax from personal income of £94,568, at a arate of 36.7%. 

        • GuyM

          “Pesornal income” lol.

          You mean that income not deemed as “expenses” written off under a Ltd company, nor profit retained within his holding company to provide a steady sum of dividend payments in a different tax year to the one he “earned” them in.

          So naive is what you are.

    • Sunnie

      WHY was it good investigative journalism? Please enlighten us..

      • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

         because it is in the public interest. Ken said that tax avoiders, who use limited companies to reduce their tax liabilities, were rich bastards who shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Then, through investigative journalism, we found that he had set up a limited company to reduce his tax liability.  People have a right to know whether candidates are hyprocrits or not.

        • AlanGiles

          Jon. With all due respect, if the right wing of New Labour had shown the same  moral rectitude that they demand of Livingstone, you might have a point.

          If people have a right to know whether candidates are hypocrites or not (and they  have) they only need to look at Blair when entering office saying his government would  be “purer than pure” than giving Mandelson numerous chances after his impurities were discovered, and continuing to employ Alistair Darling and so many others who bought nothing but embarrassment on the party

          People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

          By the way for anyone interested Judd is one frame ahead at the end of the afternoon session.

          • Holly

            New Labour was just a veneer though.
            Strip it back and underneath there was Brown, Balls & half a dozen others wrecking the country, while telling us everything was hunky dory.
            Why would they do that? Don’t you feel let down?
            Other than to cover their backsides, dupe the public, and cling to office. All the while plotting to get rid of the best veneer Labour ever had.
            Once the veneer went, it could not hide reality any more, and collapsed under the sheer scale of the debt, waste & borrowing it could no longer hide.
            ‘Old Labour’ never went away, it was always there. Just beneath the shiny veneer.
            A bit like the great US of A when Katrina hit.
            Turned out not such a ‘great’ country after all.

          • TomFairfax

             Hi Holly,
            The New Labour ship was scuttled by it’s own crew.

            People who had a chance to show there was an alternative, but ended up being more concerned about feathering their own nests.

            The problem is clear. Anyone who now wants the objectives of the New Labour project, is selling damaged goods that aren’t of merchantable quality.

            Nobody will but the package.

            So the only way to make any progress is accept that the false prophets of the Third Way weren’t infallible and try to compromise on items that aren’t clearly suitable for any type of market based solution and simply be pragmatic. If something works, do it, if it doesn’t, stop trying to force a round peg into a square hole.

            The alternative is to once again bully everyone into submission and kill off the broad membership’s enthusiasm necessary to sell any message at all to the electorate during campaigns, and more importantly continuously on the door step outside of campaigns. People will take no notice of those who only show any interest when there is an imminent election. The evidence is there. Voter ID works.

            There is no silver bullet. Some items lend themselves to market based solutions, others most certainly do not. New Labour and the Tories are equated as being the same because they somehow thought that the identical solution could/can be applied to every problem regardless of the facts.

            By the same token the Left don’t have all the answers, but what they have avoided is the sleaze association of a Blair, Mandelson, Hoon, Hewitt, Blears, Flint, Purnell, etc.

            In an age of austerity imposed by those who have a natural affinity for the rich, personal  integrity isn’t so obviously a vote losing characteristic.

          • Daniel Speight

             Holly history seldom lies thankfully. Gordon Brown wasn’t ‘old’ Labour tacked onto ‘new’ Labour, he was the leader of what was to become New Labour. If Blair hadn’t been a bit sly in campaigning for support while Brown was still helping to organize Smith’s funeral, he would probably have been New Labour’s first prime minister. Rewriting history is a dangerous game to play, especially when there are people with long memories still around.

        • Rollo10

          Poor Ken got mixed up, everyone in business sets up like that, it’s how it works, even Boris. What Ken should have said was, “I will close all loop-holes that help people hide their tax” He could also have given this advice to Gideon.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    It seems a bit 1950s to be appealing to socialism, when the vast majority of the population can see it to be the insane nonsense that it is.

    What is the current legal status of the universal access to the coastal path across the foreshore of your estate?  Still fighting it with family money, while your son found himself in the odd position of being the Secretary of State for such matters in 2008, and blocking moves that would have made it legally possible to walk along a mile of path – the only mile in between London and north Norfolk?  That is about as morally acceptable as the candidate for Mayor taking vast sums of money of a legal tax avoidance scheme, while castigating all others who do, and declaring they should not have a vote.

    “Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”  (George Orwell, Chapter X, Animal Farm)

    • keggsie

       Another closet Tory it seems.

      • GuyM

        So anyone not wanting a “pure” version of socialism is a closet Tory? lmfao.

        Please please please can the bunch of dinosaurs and hard left nutjobs who support your policies take over Labour and put a real socialist manifesto to the UK public finally?

        I am sick to death with idiots like yourself claiming socialism will save us all only to bitch when the public either so no thanks or some Labour leader isn’t hard enough left for you.

        • AlanGiles

          If you are “sick to death” of us “idiots” may I invite you once more to leave us?.

          • GuyM

            Here we go again… “open debate”.

            Honestly though, if you “socialism” supporters can’t even win the argument in your own party what the hell makes you think the UK electorate wants anything to do with you?

          • AlanGiles

            Guy. You remind me of a flannel-bloomered old maid who has wandered on to a naturist beach, and is disgusted and appalled by the sight of naked bodies. You would think, if she were that offended and distressed, she would hitch up her skirts and shamble away. But no, next day she comes back with a pair of binoculars. And the next day…and the day after that…and the day after that.

            I am sure I am not the only one fed up with you saying how fed up you are with us, so as I depart for an evening snooker, I invite you again to p!ss off p- you bring nothing to the discussion, except your impression of Dame Maggie Smith playing a dowager duchess with all that talk of the “lower classes”

          • GuyM

            The problem for you Alan, which you must realise, is that even in your party the majority of your members would not agree with your politics.

            But why not get all your left wing friends together and see if you cna get clause 4 put back in?

            Go back to 1970s levels of taxation, wage controls, currency controls, flying pickets, closed shops, union militancy and so on.

            I can accept that over a few decades my political views will on occasion not be firmly represented by the UK government, BUT each government will likely represent a reasonable centreist agenda.

            You on the other hand have a big fat zero of a chance for a proper socialist government gaining power. If there was so much as a sniff of one money would flee the UK.

            The global market of 2012 means old fashioned dinosaurs like Benn and yourself can’t get near power without people and money running a mile.

            Wait and see when Hollande wins in France just how many wealthy French nationals end up dotted around London, Brussels and Switzerland.

            Not only has socialism not got a cat in hells chance of gaining power in the UK, if it even ever got close a lot of people would simply up and off and leave you to it.

            The beauty of wealth in the world of 2012 is that it is easy to stick two fingers up at your ideology and go somewhere else.

            Socialism, like you Alan, retired from reality some time ago.

            LL is for any and all, it is open debate, if you don’t like that go elsewhere, it isn’t your site.

          • AlanGiles

            Some people are retired, Guy. Get over it.

            At least we don’t have to pretend we are on “gardening leave” :-)

          • GuyM

            If you can describe employed but not in the office for a period of notice after a resignation in order to safeguard company IP and other things as other than “gardening leave” let me know.

            Only two weeks of it left now, the sad thing is that the weather has been horrible during my little break.

          • AlanGiles

            Hope you remembered to eat any paper evidence, and that, just in case the enemy get you, you remembered to safely hide your cyanide capsule.

            Guy you’ve been watching too many old Kenneth More/John Mills  films.

          • GuyM

            Alan, again you write things that seem to indicate you know nothing of the world of business.

            Gardening leave is standard if the employee has access to company data and information, he could download the entire customer dataset for example.

            It isn’t rare, exceptional nor surprising.

        • AlanGiles

          If you are “sick to death” of us “idiots” may I invite you once more to leave us?.

        • Alexwilliamz

          If they can’t post here where can they or are you suggesting that, only people who agree with you should be allowed to express an opinion?

    • TomFairfax

       Fortunately I don’t have to vote in this election. One thing the Russian’s had right after they returned to democracy was the idea of having to hold the election again if  the ‘none of the above’ type vote was the ‘victor’.

    • Redshift

      You quote George Orwell, a socialist, to try and make out that socialism is irrelevant….

      • Dave Postles

         Down and out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier … not much has changed.

      • RedSetter

        Orwell, as a socialist, wasn’t attacking socialism in Animal Farm but totalitarianism whatever its flavour.

  • http://twitter.com/CalumSPlath Calum Sherwood

    As ever, Mr Benn has nailed it.

    • AlanGiles

      It is interesting that Tony Benn’s son (Hilary) was one of only three cabinet members who didn’t fiddle  his expenses (Ed Miliband was nother). Had Tony Benn been Labour leader, I doubt we would have had the sort of years of sleaze we “enjoyed” under Blair.

      I wish the New Labour supporters had “scruitinized” the Byers and Hoons, and McNulty’s and Moran’s as much as they do Ken Livingstone.

      • Holly

        The problem is the sleaze was ‘hushed up’ by spin doctors, Tone would come out and ‘draw a line’ under the latest underhand deal, until the next one emerged. But the plotting, smear campaigns & backstabbing, was done by Brown & Balls.(while Miliband made the coffees)
        Those who did not ‘fiddle’ their expenses, but failed to speak out about the expenses scandal are WORSE than those who claimed them. 
        Underneath New Labour lurked Brown & Co. Spending & wasting like in the good old days.
        There may have been great Labour MP’s, but don’t you think it’s long overdue for a makeover? One that more reflects the British people today?

        • AlanGiles

          You could always tell when Blair was in trouble and “line drawing” in that the make-up became thicker with his subsequent TV appearances. I remember one 9 a.m. Sunday morning show where he was wearing more slap than Widow Twanky.

          With regards to Brown and your notion that  Brown was “old” Labour – the fact he allowed Purnell to inflict Freud on the sick and vulnerable gives the lie to that

          • Alexwilliamz

            Hiding the stress acne perhaps?

  • derek

     @TonyBenn, very wise words!

  • Bill Lockhart

    Obvious desperation. The whining about “attacks” on Livingstone is simply risible: his years-old strategy of deeply personal attacks on his opponent has simply turned round and bitten him on the arse. Livingstone’s Greek tragedy is in its last act: the protagonist meets the fate which he himself unknowingly set in train.

  • GuyM

    Obvously huge increases in local and national taxes, mixed with a fleeing of private capital and jobs is dear old Tony’s solution to the UK’s problems.

    Never mind we can all be employed by the state, forced into Union membership through closed shops, with our wages set by Union overlords bargaining for us (whether we want them to or not) and banned from taking money out of the country, even to go on holiday.

    Ken, Galloway and Tony Benn want us all to be living in some sort of USSR-light socialist super state. As the public would never go for it, I guess democracy would need to be downgraded as well.

    Still I guess we should give it a try out of fairness, as the previous 742 attempts at socialism that went horribly wrong weren’t really socialism were they, so let’s give it another go….. and another… and another……. after all socialist paradise exists.

    Would the last person out turn the lights off…. if we aren’t in a 1970s style union dispute that cuts the power off for everyone.

    Nice to see Tony Benn is still as bonkers as ever.

  • http://twitter.com/baddogOTM Patrick Quinn

    Excellent. Thank you, Mr Benn.

  • http://twitter.com/VPPartner Jonathan Price

    Ken is a busted flush. Two terms is enough for anyone. London can’t afford another four years of gravy train for his corrupt cronies.

    • Alexwilliamz

      And this doesn’t apply to Boris because? Of course he has had only one term.

  • Gracie Samuels

    Excellent as ever for erudite Tony Benn. I urge everyone to tweet this to their followers, let’s help get this message out.

  • ThePurpleBooker

    As much as I uttely dislike Tony Benn and hardly ever agree with him, I could not have put it better myself.

  • MattWales

    “Ken Livingstone has been the subject of a ferocious character assassination attempt”

    Thats rubbish, its like saying the Torys have been doing a great job really, and its all a character assassination attempt.

    Ken has been the author of his own demise, stop trying to drag the party down with him.

  • GuyM

    Meanwhile the city will keep making money, us professional middle classes will keep hoarding “social capital” and increasing our wealth and you socialists can’t do f all about any of it…… enough to make a trot cry isn’t it.

    Socialism is dead and buried, it received the last rites back in the mid 1990s and won’t be returning from the grave.

    • Dave Postles

       ‘Social capital’
      ‘The accumulation of reciprocal trust, as demonstrated by a variety of voluntary efforts for the creation of common goods, helps to build social capital and contributes to effective government.  Societies with high levels of social capital function with greater, rather than lesser, participation of citizens.  Social capital contributes to the making of civil society.  A civic culture exists because citizens have accumulated large amounts of social capital’.  Robert Rotberg, ‘Introduction’, in Rotberg, ed., Patterns of Social Capital.  Stability and Change in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, 2001), p. 1 (commenting on the notion of social capital introduced by Robert Putnam) (my Putnam books are stored away in boxes, but Rotberg next to me on my shelves).  Social capital is a category of analysis introduced to sociology by Robert Putnam.  It only tangentially and not necessarily relates to cultural capital (Bourdieu) or political capital. 

    • AlanGiles

      It is  so sad that  Gerald Thomas and Peter Rogers are dead: that means there is no possibility of the “Carry On” series carrying on.

      “Carry On Guy” starring Kenneth Williams, with Hattie Jacques as Mrs M, promised to be the funniest of the series

    • Alexwilliamz

      And the left are accused of class warfare?

      • GuyM

        If you’d seen previous posts of mine you’d realise I believe “class war” to a very real ongoing fight.

        I get what I get by virtue of my own labours, which in turn people like yourself not only want a degree of taxation to fund universal state services like NHS and education, actually also want a degree of redistribution to your core working class vote.

        That working class vote knows very well what it votes for with Labour, higher taxation on my “class” in order to benefit themselves. Therefore why on earth should I be polite, understanding or engaging with the b******s who want to take more of my income?

        Thus class war is real, ongoing and won’t end anytime soon.

        • Alexwilliamz

          And I believe that it is not by virtue of your own labours as to the degree you are rewarded, it is due to a whole number of different factors that have created the situation in which you can receive the fabulous pay you enjoy. These factors are due in a large part to the social structures in place, legislation, private property etc etc. It seems only fair then that you have to cough up a bigger degree of cash as you are benefitting disproportionally from the set up. By paying in you are helping to sustain the structure that feeds you in the first place. Now you may have issues as to how that money is spent, and I welcome competent people to contribute their expertise to help spend the money more efficiently. You may call it class war, but I reckon without it, you might find a much more real class war going on, one in which you might find you lose out in. I very much do not want to see that happen and it is a spirit of fraternity that I embrace socialist principles rather than one of class conflict.

          However if you and like minded people were allowed to pursue their ends I fear that Marx’s prophesies might very well be realised and in a genuine class war there can only be one winner in the long run.

  • Dave Postles

    Tomorrow (30 April) an estimated 100,000 people with disabilitiees will lose their ESA. Anyone who votes anywhere next week would do well to remember that a few days before they vote, the vulnerable were victimized.   

  • keggsie

    Replying to GuyM. Ever heard of the cooperative movement? Ever heard of self employment? Ever heard of cooperative / Network marketing? Ever heard or worker ownership.

    As a Socialist I don’t believe in employing anyone except in public service. But I guess you wouldn’t understand that.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Socialists tend to only employ people in public service, at vast inefficiency, and having driven the real money away, dragged down standards of life for everyone, appropriated to themselves all means of production, and fundamentally screwed things over for decades.  History proves it, and also the uncomfortable fact that what then normally follows is murder on an industrial scale, levels of murder and misery that Hitler could never attain.  Over 100 million in a century, demonstrably proven by multiple academics.

      But I guess you wouldn’t understand that.  

      Is it not nice how so many people have fought and suffered so that you have the freedom to make a twit of yourself on the internet with your socialism?  A thank you, perhaps?  No?  Ungrateful idiots, socialists in free countries.

      • keggsie

        There are a few twits around here – they are all Blairites or Tories. Which do you prefer to call yourself.

        As for your diatribe.you obviously haven’t a clue what socialism is. No wonder you are a Tory. Incidentally, everything you have said is basically crap.

      • Redshift

        Jaime. Next time you comment about socialism read a book beforehand. I’d suggest one on Robert Owen if you can’t understand the concept of working class ownership of the means of production without equating it to state ownership. 

        • GuyM

          Why should the working class have ownership?

          Simply by being working class that gives them the right does it?

          Socialism is such a stupid ideology.

          • Alexwilliamz

            The argument is simply that if their efforts are creating the wealth, should they not have a direct share of this created value? Managers would be considered as workers in this context, but there might be a challenge to a claim that they should receive a greater share. This of course requires a much more symbiotic model of how a business creates wealth rather than the alternative structural view which atributes certain roles as being responsible for different proportions of the value. The fact that the roles that our present system aportions most value to is the one most likely to be filled by the existing ruling class (as was) is obviously completely incidental. Of course the alternative model may be purely utopian, or it may not, but perhaps it might eb something that we create the environment in which businesses are nearer to this may be better for all?

          • GuyM

            No… their efforts are rewarded by a salary.

            They signed a contract that explicitly exchanges their time for an income.

            Having worked my way up from my first job post University in a post room, up to now about to head up a large directorate I’m afraid I have to tell you that my value to employers is much greater as the senior manager than as the postroom worker.

            Hence my salary now is much more than it was at age 22.

            A cleaner, receptionist, window cleaner, secretary, admin staff and postroom staff… all of those roles bring less value to a business in terms of delivering on strategic objectives and hence revenue generation than managers, senior managers and executives.

            Left wingers clearly don’t want to accept this reality, but it doesn’t change the fact it is a reality. Invariably with human beings it is those who have never held a position at a certain level of seniority who decry its value.

            Thus working class employees will believe “management” is easy, less important and not “proper” work in comparison to what they do. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

            In the job I’m going into my prime concern in ensuring my directorate delivers is the level of staff one rank below me i.e. managers and “heads of”, rather than the many analysts and developers.

            If anyone at that management level fails to deliver it will be far more damaging than if one lowly analyst fails. sure the one analyst could screw a project totally, but the manager or head of could screw many project and programmes.

            Senior staff are far more vital to delivery on average than junior staff. You may not like that, but it’s a commercial fact.

          • Alexwilliamz

            If you read my post, I am fully aware of this however my point was that the difference may be more metaphysical than you would like to believe. With the exception of sole traders and very small businesses, everyones function is to some degree dependent on each other. If you did not have your mail room workers, who would do that work? Someone with your skills might have to fill some of their time with that task. Instead these people release you to do what you are best at. Few people are irreplaceable, meaning that it is genrally not the individual but the function that is significant. While the market may create increasingly wide discrepancies between the different functions of the business, I think that these are either illusionary, or due to scarcity which could probably be solve through education and a more efficient match up between skills and talents. However to make it clear that what I may believe in theory is going on,a s a pragmatist I acknowledge there will be differences in pay, but would prefer to encourage a diminished gap between the pay of individuals, note this does not imply a race to the bottom. I know we disagree on this issue on probably every count.

          • GuyM

            Whereas I don’t believe someone of limited intelligence will ever do my job at my level no matter what “education” you put them in.

            Market rates reflect desired skills and their availibility. To change the rates between say myself and those near the bottom of the payscales would mean paying me less in order to artificially boost their pay rates.

            Simply no thanks to that, not now, not ever.

            the fact someone delivering the mail saves me having to do it fundamnetally misses the basic point. I can deliver the mail (and started in business doing so), but the mailman can’t do my job.

            I can clean, but the cleaner cant do my job.

            I can sit on reception, but the receptionist cant do my job.

            As my job also involves significant more responsibility for commercial delivery, then I get paid much more than those other roles. That isn’t going to change and nor should it.

            You pay me a similar rate to an office cleaner and I lose all interest in my job and career development. I work out of naked self interest, not some ficticious greater good.

    • GuyM

      you don’t believe in employing anyone except in public service….. so that’s the vast majority of the UK workforce who work in the private sector out of jobs.

      I was wrong, you aren’t a socialist, you’re a communist.

      Do tell, what happens to anyone who actually wants to work for himself in the private sector under your plans? Locked up, sent to a re-education camp?

      • keggsie

         Another stupid comment from a person who actually hasn’t a clue what socialism is. Pathetic.

        Are you a member of the Labour Party? If so,  why?

        • AlanGiles

          In his defence, “Guy” has never claimed to be a socialist and he has no interest in the Labour party. One day, like a stray cat, he came on here, somebody gave him a bowl of milk and we have been living with the consequences ever since. Now he uses LL as his litter tray. He has nothing better to do, notwithstanding the fact that he has a house on the North Downs, two perfect daughters, a fragrant wife, is without peer in the worlds of business and sport (Olympic standard, you can be sure of that),  and is so much superior to the rest of us he talks at length about “the lower classes”, the “underclass, and anybody who doesn';t speak RP English (circa BBC 1956) is stupid or ignorant.

          He says it all with a straight face….. I sometimes wonder if “Guy M” (is the “M” for Mitty?) is in fact the alter ego of Mark Ferguson and he posts these messages to stir up debate every day – “Guy” is in fact Mark’s version of Joe Orton’s “Edna Wellthorpe”

          • keggsie

            Thank you Alan.

            Getting back to the article Tony Benn is echoing what many of us in the Labour Party have been saying  for years that the party’s flirting with neo-liberal economics and the so called third way is like offering the world to everyone only to find that the whole thing is an illusion.

            There has always been a great debate between the left and the right of the party, but what many people forget is that it was the right (not the left) that advocated nationalisation. However people like ‘Guy’ then equate that with socialism.

            Understandable but wrong.

            The party needs to get behind Ed Miliband and start helping to shape new visionary policies that put people at the heart – their needs, their aspirations. Not business

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            how do you create the jobs that will support people’s needs and aspirations without supporting the needs of the business community?

          • keggsie

            Cooperatives, network marketing, encouraging self employment…etc etc etc.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            Encouraging self-employment? That is until they become successful, at which point you will complain about them being in the 1%.  At some point, someone who becomes self-employed is likely to also become an employer, and then you will start complaining about them for that too.  Success is the consequence of aspiration. You can’t promote aspiration without believing that success is a good thing.

            Supporting the needs of the business community means creating a strong and stable fiscal climate that is highly competitive with other G20 nations, thus encouraging investment and job creation.

            I assume you don’t work in business?

          • keggsie

            You assumed wrong Jon to start with.

            You obviously have no idea of what alternatives there are. Your assumption that someone who becomes self employed ultimately becomes an employer is bollocks. I run 3 separate self employed businesses – none of which employs anyone. Two use the principles of cooperative / network marketing. which allows people to become wealthy if they want to simply by helping other people to fulfil their own dreams. They are all ALL self employed and it is their choice to do something with it.

            In short we all work and cooperate together for the common good. That by the way is socialism.

            BTW coops and network marketing businesses are the only ones which continue to ride high despite the recession.

            Aspiration is a good thing but it isn’t a good thing when a person’s aspirations are at the expense of other people’s dreams and aspirations. My businesses are helping loads of people who otherwise would never have the chance to fulfil their dreams. Does your employer-employee capitalist approach which you and your fellow Blairites have succumbed to do that. The balance is not equitable but skewed towards the employer. Why do think we have trade unions?

            I’d suggest you start reading more and getting out more into the real world instead of accepting the neo liberal agenda so beloved of members of Progress, Orange book liberals and the right wing tories and UKIP.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            I said a successful self-employed person is ‘likely’ to become an employer. Which is true.

            I get out plenty, which is largely why I don’t believe in all this class warfare tripe

          • keggsie

             Bollocks again. Did you actually read what I wrote. I personally know people in one of my businesses who earns a residual income in the same bracket as the so called 1%. He employs no one. He earned his income as a result of helping everyone in his team to get whatever they want.

            Where have mentioned class warfare? I notice you conveniently avoid the use of the word Socialism or even social democracy.

            If you truly believe in why the Labour Party was set up then start learning about its history and its values.

          • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

            The needs of a hundred years ago are irrelevant to the needs of today. History is irrelevant, and values are no substitute for knowing what you’re talking about

          • keggsie

            That’s the most ridiculous statement I’ve read from you so far. History is far from irrelevant. If anything it helps to learn what not to do. (I think I’l piblish that statement elsewhere – best laugh I have had in ages – politcally speaking).

            “and values are no substitute for knowing what you’re talking about”

            What’s that supposed to mean?

            if the latter part of that statement is an attack on me then I think it has spectacularly backfired. I know exactly what I am talking about.

            Any political party that has no values doesn’t deserve to be elected. Possessing values is the first thing any politician should possess.

            Tell me. Why did you join the Labour Party? Was it because it wasn’t the Tory Party?

          • keggsie

            Bollocks again. I know people personally who earn the same amount of money as the so called 1% and they doesn’t employ anyone. On any financial indicator I would call them successful.

            As for class warfare – where have I mentioned this.

            If you truly believe in the values of the labour party then it’s about time you studied them properly.

          • GuyM

            everyone start your own business and own millions as a sole trader….. clearly we’ve all missed the obvious all these years.

          • Bill Lockhart

            “Network marketing” ?? You mean pyramid selling, don’t you? A Ponzi scheme which relies on an infinite supply of new members to enrich the present ones. Dear God, a “socialist” eulogising the greatest soul-crushing deception that the “free market” has ever foisted upon the gullible and desperate. I’ve seen everything now.

          • keggsie

             Pyramid selling is illegal. I really do think you should start thinking a bit more before you espouse views on subjects you have neither knowledge or experience.

            You have just made a complete pratt of yourself.

          • GuyM

            10s of millions of people in the UK are employed in the private sector, they are not all goiung to suddenly stop and start up their own one man businesses.

            You frankly have lost the plot and don’t know a thing about business or the private sector.

    • Bill Lockhart

       Network marketing=pyramid selling= immoral. If you make money out of commission from people below you in the “network” (pyramid) you’re not a socialist, you’re a leech, a tick, a parasite. Do the mugs you recruit know how much you make from their desperation? How much do they each make, on average- or is it just the few of you at the top who make the money? Of course it bloody is. And then you have the gall to write here about other people’s morals. Wow. I suppose “network marketing” does require a certain cold, brass neck.

  • Dave Postles

    Oh, in case anyone hasn’t realized yet, there is a trojan out there called DNSChanger which will activate in July.  The FBI has shut down the servers, but it is estimated that there are about 20k computers in the UK (MS and Mac) which may remain infected.  The FBI has established a website where you can check if your PC is infected and explaining how to delete the malware.  I doubt there are really many infected PCs, but it’s worth checking.

    https://forms.fbi.gov/check-to-see-if-your-computer-is-using-rogue-DNS

    You should also check with your ISP whether it uses DNS redirecting (most don’t).

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      How refreshing Dave that your normal auto-whine about anything Government related, and especially anything at all to do with militarism and intelligence, and indeed the US Government seems to have been placed into abeyance for this.  Fancy you referring everybody to the FBI website!  You’ll have to renounce your membership of various groupings as a result, but no doubt you’ll accept that as being in a greater cause.

      For everyone else, there are numbers of alternative sites if you feel uncomfortable going to the running dogs of capitalist spying for your free help.

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

        “auto-whine” ?

        Well, if that’s what you’re detecting then you must have introduced your stethoscope to your own ars**ole.

        • RedSetter

          Is Mr Candelas really a qualified medical practitioner?

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

            He claims he posts here using his real name but there’s no such name, or anything similar, registered with the GMC.

          • RedSetter

            He seems a might cold-hearted and high-handed to be a healer. Perhaps he’s a pathologist. 

  • Peter MacDonald

    Well said Mr. Benn.  I’ve lived with both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Livingstone as Mayor and know which one I preferred – Ken gets my vote. 

    • Bill Lockhart

      Perhaps if elected, Livingstone can rehabilitate Lee Jasper, his old mate- the man who last week said “no black person in the UK can be racist”. I’ve lived with Johnson and Livingstone as mayor, and only Livingstone brought the stench of corruption to the office.

  • John Dore

    It will all be fine, our friends in T H will ensure a postal victory for Ken.

    • AlanGiles

      You have no shame have you Mr Dore?. Snapper up of unconsidered trifles, so now you are playing the race card. Typical Blairite strategy – when you are in trouble, act like the “Sun” – like the time Blunkett went on the “Today” programme saying “immigrant children are swamping our schools”

  • Peter

    Boris Johnson campaigned to scrap the 50p top rate of tax, while everyone else is forced to bear the cost of the greed and incompetence of the rich. We have just been through the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s. We are now back recession. Disabled people are losing their benefits, single mothers are being priced out of their own homes.

    Unemployment is sky rocketing. Inflating is going through the roof. Yet the Tories do nothing, except pursue their class war at all costs policy against the working class and the poor.

    The Conservatives failed economic policies have doomed a generation of young people to the dole queues. They have scrapped EMA. They have ratcheted up tuition fees, further depriving working class an education.

    The far-right EDL and UKIP are busy beating the streets, stirring up racial and religious tension. Racial attacks are taking place on our streets against blacks and asians. Yet the Tories do nothing, except to blame “multiculturalism”. 

    The Monday Club Tories are back in business, opening branches across the country. Two branches have popped up in my county within the last year. Will they get back in bed with their mates in teh National Front, or will they seek to form new alliances with the Islamophobes in the English Defence Leagure? It remains to be seen.

    Meanwhile Cameron has been let off the hook by our obsequious, servile media and no one talks about how he has aligned, conciously and deliberately, his own party in the European parliament with Latvian Nazi sympathisers. It’s all on record. Google it.

    This government is as as bad as any of Thatcher’s governments. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Racism grows. Our society comes tubbling down into misery and decay. But it’s boom time for the wealthy and thieving Tory MPs.

    We need to get them out asap.

  • Dave Postles

    Free advice for the  paranoid  (it seems there are some on here): 1 use DuckDuckGo for your searching (notGoogle); 2 use Tor for your browsing; 3 if you use any other mainstream browser and are afraid of cookies and your history, use ‘start private browsing’ and ‘clear recent history’ which will include deleting all cookies).  Then again, any sensible person will know that already.

  • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts
  • http://twitter.com/ActuarialChris Chris Grove

    Wow, I’m actually a bit shocked.  I’ll happily come out and say I’m one of the ‘evil Tories’ mentioned several times below, usually I think I’m fairly immune to political venom but it really does feel like we’re going back at least 2 generations here.  Belonging to a different political party and having a different political viewpoint doesn’t make one ‘evil’.  I find may of the economic policies on the left entirely misguided or sometimes naive but I wouldn’t stoop to branding anyone idiotic or evil because of them. 

    The current reversion to the class war of the 60’s and 70’s isn’t only distasteful but also pointless in a modern democracy.  Argue on the issues at hand, resorting to personal attacks is just sad quite frankly.

    • Dave Postles

       You’re shocked!  70,000 to 100,000 people with disabilities lost their Employment and Support Allowance today.  Imagine how shocked they are.  In the next three years, an estimated total of 300,000 will lose their allowance as it now extends for only one year.  What other adjective would you wish to apply?

  • Timsutton

    Keggsie,

    You sound like a complete tool. Telling everyone your version of socilaism and trying to run a pyramid scam business. Hope life bites you on the arse.

  • ThePurpleBooker

    As much as I dislike Tony Benn, he is completely right.

    • valbal

      A good honest comment, like it, who knows perhaps you will get to like him.  Me – think he is great, love him

      • ThePurpleBooker

        Yes. But it’s time for Benn to die now. For the party and his country.

        • AlanGiles

          “ThePurpleBooker comment Yes. But it’s time for Benn to die now. For the party and his country.”It really is time yopu took your offensive remarks and either shut up or grow up.This site is not intended for children to play about on.Your foul, coarse  mind needs a psychiatrist rather than a political website

          • GuyM

            I suspect Alan the thepurplebooker is also a victim of the person hacking identities on LL.

            Of course it will just kill all debates as no one will know who is saying what, but I suspect the immature fool doesn’t really care.

          • AlanGiles

            Good morning Guy. I was off the site yesterday most of the time (Snooker), I have only just seen some of what has been going on. I hope the real PB didn’t say this, and who-ever did is pretty sick.

            Let’s hope whatever is going on soon stops. We may disagree on so many things, but tricks like this are so destructive.

  • Dave Postles

    W. Lockhart
    ‘Nuance’ – your nuance is somebody else’s dogmatism.  You want money for the Arts Council to support what you do, but not for other causes.  Those in favour of the other causes might well consider the ENO and similar as a frivolous expenditure of public money. 

    • Bill Lockhart

       You have no idea what causes I support or  not, and I’ve decided it’s none of your damned business. You’ve already demonstrated nonchalant indifference as to whether or not my actual opinions correspond with your lazily pre-judged stereotype, so you can just carry on inventing what you think my opinions must be and respond self-righteously to those.
         If you or anyone else want to campaign for arts subsidies to be abolished, join or found a party with such a manifesto. The three mainstream parties agree that arts subsidies are part of a civilised democracy, as they agree on the desirability of universal state education, healthcare and social security. So you’ll need to join some wack right-wing party or perhaps the Maoists- they don’t approve of bourgeous decadent arts either.  See what I did there? I assumed that I know what your opinions are. That’s OK by you, isn’t it?

      • Dave Postles

         ‘If you or anyone else want to campaign for arts subsidies to be abolished,’
        See what you did there? – you made an assumption that I was referring to myself, when in fact I had already supported taxpayer funding for the Arts Council as the marker of a civilized society.  I’m all for the ENO (although I couldn’t afford to go there myself), but I’m quite happy for it to be subsidized, in the same way that I’m happy for local authorities to employ people to protect gay rights.

        • jaime taurosangastre candelas

          Presumably you are also happy for some parts of society to make the profits upon which to be taxed in order to pay for all of this?  But not too much profit, as that would imply some form of unfairness or ill-treatment of their workers or someone else in society?

          I’m sorry Dave, this is not particularly directed at you, but your comment fits my general feeling admirably.  Despite what I may say elsewhere, I am generally supportive of many of these things, but it does set my teeth on edge to hear repeated calls for subsidies here, grants there, benefits for most across the country, caps on prices elsewhere, rent caps everywhere, all individually probably supportable, but yet no one at all on the left ever adds up the cost of all of these things and thinks “OK, now where do we get the money from”?

          I don’t suppose it would ever happen, but I really would like to see a law requiring balanced budgets, and for all spending commitments to be precisely costed and an indication of what other activities would stop to fund the new one.  A law applicable to all parties, and the financial judgement as to affordability to be made by a neutral organisation – perhaps OBR.  That would stop both the tories and Labour from spending 6 times over something like the banker bonus tax.

        • Bill Lockhart

           No, I did what you had already done to me- gave myself the right to decide what *your* opinions were despite any contrary evidence.  I have *never* advocated a Tea-Party/Tebbit sink-or-swim society- but nor do I believe that the purpose of  social security is to provide an alternative lifestyle choice to work . I believe that University education should be free because of the benefits it brings to society as a whole- but I also that University education should return to being  formal advanced study in academic and scientific disciplines for the small proportion of the population able to undertake such study successfully. I do not believe in untrammelled free markets  but neither do I support a command economy, picking winners or any of the other failed dogma of the recent Left.
          You really do appear to believe that waste in public spending is a logical impossibility. We disagree there too. If  arts subsidy disappeared, so would the arts. If  local authority LGBT staff disappeared, LGBT people would have exactly the same rights as they had before. The expolitation of minorities for job creation purposes has been an enormous con with absolutely nothing to show for it.

  • Dave Postles

    Cafe Economique Talk and Discussion May 3rd 2012 19.30pm at the YMCA
    International Community Centre
     
    Jenny Stein of Suma Wholefoods will provide a talk about the
    role of co-operatives as an alternative to the current mainstream of
    economic approaches

    Hope to see you there

    Regards

    Nick Martin
     
    Nottingham Green Party

  • ThePurpleBooker

    All I want to see is Liam Byrne as leader of the Labour party with Caroline Flint as his deputy. They’d put a bit of stick about and win the next general election I betcha.

    • GuyM

      I’d vote labour if that happened. Now you’re talking. 

      • BillLockhart

        I’m right behind you, Guy… although not in the biblical sense!

        • GuyM

          Chase me!

          • BillLockhart

            xoxoxoxox

          • GuyM

            Just like to say that the person pretending to be me isn’t me…. seems a lefty is playing silly games.

          • Bill Lockhart

             Ditto. It must be a quiet week at whatever Unversity (sic) they “attend”. Perhaps their one lecture a week on “Gender Stereotyping in Star Trek (Deep Space 9)”  has been cancelled.

            Funny how supposedly right-on leftists resort to sub-“Are You Being Served” camp homophobic innuendo when they’re safely anonymous. It’s almost as though they aren’t the caring  inclusive  progressives they claim to be. Surely not!

          • GuyM

            Honestly, do grow up or is that the level now you dropped to.

            I guess I should be honoured that I’m worthwhile enough to get a number of online stalkers including someone even using my LL name.

    • AlanGiles

      “All I want to see is Liam Byrne as leader of the Labour party with Caroline Flint as his deputy.”

      How old are you?

      You are either just a wind-up merchant or you have totally lost the plot.

      And you’ve already done the “Trot” insult today, not to mention the sexual innuendo.

    • Alexwilliamz

      Arrggghhh. Now I know you are a comdey character, mr sock.

  • Dave Postles

    Larry, Curly and Moe – takes me back to the days of ABC Minors.

  • Tonygrierson

    All I hear from everyone I meet is ‘ WHATS THE DIFFERENCE’ ?

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