Voters in London have a big responsibility

April 6, 2012 2:54 pm

On the first morning back at work in the New Year Ken Livingstone and I were out with a host of party members leafleting commuters coming off the trains at London Bridge. They were fed up with the shocking fare increases and the increasingly erratic service from South Eastern.

And where was Boris Johnson? Off in some ski chalet in the Alps.

And that for me summed up the Mayoral Election and why it is so important for, not just London, but for London’s role in the country that Ken wins this election.

I can almost hear jaws dropping at that statement.

Ken and I have – as they say – history. We have been on opposing wings of the Labour Party for best part of four decades (as his books reveal) and I wouldn’t be backing him for Foreign Secretary. But he’s running for Mayor and he’s serious about it.

When I was Transport Minister we were able to push on projects that would deal with London’s transport deficit. We got things done. Ken understood also what was necessary to consolidate London’s position as a world city. We need that sort of vision again. And we need a serious approach to Government. Boris might be light entertainment, but look at the clips of his cringingly embarrassing performance at the Beijing Olympics – is that the image we want for our country?

It has been clear for some time that the Tory High Command are betting on a Boris win to relaunch Cameron’s Premiership. If he loses they will be forced by public opinion and their backbenchers to think again. So it is clear if you want to send a message to Cameron that he will understand you have to dump Boris.

The public in London is facing serious times with threats to its hospital, policing transport and economic dynamism. The Mayoral Election is not a panacea, but it is crucial that we get it right. That is why it has to be Ken.

So it is clear that voters in London have a big responsibility, not only to determine their own future, but also that of their fellow citizens in the rest of the country.

John Spellar is the Labour MP for Warley.

  • GuyM

    So the trick to writing pieces like this is to wait until you opponent goes on holdiday then go and meet some voters to say “look we’re not on holiday”.

    I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone who goes on holiday over the Christmas/New Year break, it just isn’t done……. ooops that’s a lie as last time I took a family holiday at that time of year the resort was full of people on holiday.

    I presume if Ken ever has a holiday the other side can do the same to him?

    Throw in the fact that anyone not going to the local butlins on holiday is obviously a horrible posh boy snob and you’re on a winner.

    Pathetic.

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

      You have to admit it: a victory for Ken is better than a victory for the representative of a party that promised no more top down re-organisations of the health service or the party who’ve just enacted a tax give-away for wealthy while hammering everyone else.

      Vote Ken – you know it makes sense.

      • aracataca

        Quite right Dave. However you forgot to mention the Fib Dems who of course promised to abolish tuition fees and then duly tripled them as one of their 1st acts in office.
        The hooray Henrys and Henriettas in the cabinet will be cheering and sneering if Boris wins. Vote Ken.

        • Bill Lockhart

          And you of course forgot to mention the party which introduced tuition fees in the first place,having “legislated to prevent their introduction”. That was Labour, if you’re still having memory problems.

          • treborc

             Yes but that was then this is now and Miliband killed new labour, he said so, seems somebody revived it

      • GuyM

        Sooner a win for anyone other than Ken and another 5 years of his fiddling, cronyim and love of islamic nutters.

        But anyone in the Tories at the moment better than another left wing plonker who spends more thna he gets year after year.

        • derek

          “Greed” is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Those seven are as follows:
          Greed – A very possessive pursuit of wealth, status and power.
          Sloth – Laziness and indifference.
          Acedia – Uneasiness of the mind.
          Anger – Inordinate or uncontrollable hatred.
          Envy – Insatiable desire to own or control what someone else has.
          Vainglory – Interested only in one’s self. ” 
          The Guy guide?

          • GuyM

            Greed certainly isn’t me Derek, else I’d have devoted myself to career, buy to rent etc. I’m very happy with very little material “things”.

            Never been envious or jealous in my life, it’s an emotion that wasn’t handed out to me. Hence i really don’t care how many millionaires there are or how much more than me they have. I don’t understand others who are envious.

            Acedia, from the answers above, nope I quite comfortable thanks.

            Vainglory, mmm… more like turn it around, I don’t really care about anyone else and I don’t really care about me. Again I don’t understand those who do.

            Anger – I do have anger at groups, but not uncontrollable, but yes I loathe socialists.

            Sloth…. if only doing the minimum I have to do and not wanting to work for others benefit rather than mine is sloth, then yep that’s probably me.

            And then you’re one missing..

            By the way, a certain stalker might be waiting in the wings, so perhaps dont make personal points else he might think I paid you to make personal responses, given he’s getting a bit neurotic.

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

            “I’m very happy with very little material “things”.”

            That’s just as well because the time you spend on this blog 24/7 won’t leave you with much of an opportunity to earn an honest crust.

            I wonder why you don’t go out on the doorstep canvassing for the Tories – aren’t you sufficiently presentable? Or get a job, even. You’ll be much happier.

          • GuyM

            I canvassed for near a decade and then realised I was wasting my life along with the fact I hated meeting idiot members of the public. So I haven’t been near anything like that for 10 years.

            Do you ahve a job Dave? Do I care if you do? Grow up maybe.

            Sorry if my job allows me to write quick posts and not slave my way through 8 hours per day in some socialist acceptable manner.

            I’m about to move jobs so I expect my time to post on LL will reduce a little in the short term. But so long as I meet my obligations I’ll not spend a second longer working than I have to.

            As you aren’t my boss, nor qualified to ever be, it really isn’t any of your business is it :)

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

            “I was wasting my life ”

            You still are, mate.

            Ok, you’re ‘between jobs’. So how about a fulfilling hobby?

          • Hugh

            Acedia and sloth are the same thing. It’s meaning, as far as I can tell, is actually the opposite to that which you’ve given. Even including the repetition your list also only has six. The two you’re missing are lust and gluttony.

        • treborc

           Yep

        • AlanGiles

          “love of islamic nutters.”

          You are sailing dangerously close to the wind, Guy. I know nasty  remarks about Islam, pretending “they are all the same”, has been part of the schtick of some LL writers (notably Rob Marchant), but that phrase of yours suggests to me yet another of your prejudices, and while you might get away with your repulsive remarks about the “lower classes” (though frankly I don’t think you should),  or you low opinion of under 25′s that particular line crosses a line.

          • treborc

             You all keep on feeding him he’s doing his task well, he breaks up any consensus which might evolve on the site and your feeding him.

  • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

    “And where was Boris Johnson? Off in some ski chalet in the Alps.”

    Regardless of the rest of your article this is a silly point.

    Boris has a full time job. And four kids. He is surely allowed a holiday. Don’t Ed Milliband, Ed Balls, Harriet Harman et al all have holidays too ?

    Ken hasn’t been working full time (apart from the odd spot of journalism) for five years. 

    • treborc

      Anybody remember the minister who went to war, decided his holiday skiing was more important, asked about the death of soldiers would he be returning muttered we are all entitled to  holidays.

      But of course that party is dead.

  • Robert L

    I cannot bear to think how worse things will get if we don’t dump Boris – vote Ken!

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

    “if you want to send a message to Cameron that he will understand you have to dump Boris.”

    It’s as simple as that. There is no other option. A win for Boris will be understood by the Tories as a vindication of everything they’re currently doing, from the destruction of the NHS downwards.

    The only way to dump Boris is to vote for Ken.

    It’s a no brainer.

    • john_zims

      If you want to expose & dump a hypocrite then vote Boris. 

    • Bill Lockhart

      “It’s a no brainer”

      I agree. No-one with a functioning brain would contemplate voting for an unscrupulous careerist like Livingstone.

    • Holly

      No it won’t!
      It will mean the people of London want Boris as their Mayor.
      This is not a general election it is a Mayoral election.
      We can ALL send a ‘message’ to ALL the Westminster politicians in 2015.
      Or do you think blurring the edges will get Ken elected?
      What if they DON’T want Ken as Mayor? 
      What if they don’t want Ken, or Boris, and go green, or Lib Dem?

  • Rufus D

    Just because he is wearing a red rosette this time around, I won’t be casting my vote for Ken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Barker/1546990341 Paul Barker

    Can I ask everyone reading this to also read the labour uncut article on kens avoidance of NI on his sunstantial income. Can I also ask you to to look up Socialist Action who did a lot to get ken chosen. They are another entryist group, like Militant only worse, doesnt their invovement make Kens candidacy illegitimate ?
    PS forgot to mention that socialist action have close links to respect.

  • Johnthebarrister

    Got my polling card today. Five votes in my house. It will be the tax lies that decide it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000623749669 Giles Bradshaw

    Hang on though – aren’t tax avoiders ‘rich bas ####d’s” who shouldn’t even be allowed to vote yet alone stand for public office?

    Could someone explain why Ken paid himself in dividends from a private company if it wasn’t to0 avoid tax?:

    Do we really need a hypocritical rich b######d as mayor?

    • aracataca

      This is bollocks. Cameron and co sought bribes from very rich men in exchange  for influence over government policy, they also gave tens of thousands of pounds annually in  tax handouts to those earning £150k p.a. or more (which of course includes themselves), they have decimated tax credits and allowed their rich donors in Healthcare companies to make billions from NHS deregulation. 
      You’re right Dave it’s a no-brainer.

      • James3010

         Ahem, cash for houners, bernie ecclestone, michael brown they are all at it.

        • treborc

           Do not bother they seem to have lost their memories of Lord Paul and  bribes for peerages and Dear old Bernie

      • GuyM

        If you join either party, pay your £10 subs and attend political committees etc. you are in fact paying to influence policy. So the stark point is that all party members seek to buy influence.

        Your concern is over how much influence is bought and can equally be directed at Union leaders.

      • Holly

        You see! You just can’t help yourself can you.
        It was some gobby bod seeking bribes, that would never have got past the NEW rules Cameron has put in place. And now the gobby bod has gone. 

        The 50p tax rate was a political stunt, from a government ensuring a scorched earth policy on the people of this country, and had nothing to do with economics. 
        Now I don’t know if it was rich healthcare companies, bit the private sector made a killing from the NHS under Labour, who allowed the private sector use the NHS and Labour being the ‘nice’ party even paid the private sector for nothing in return. The private sector now have to show how their work will improve the NHS patient before they can use it.The money going back into the NHS.

        Tax credits? 
        No children..
        25 or over- work 30 hrs to qualify.
        Disability 16 or over-  work 16hrs to qualify.
        60 or over- work 16hrs to qualify.

        With children..
        Single- work 16 hrs to qualify(same as now)
        Couple- 24hrs with one at least 16hrs, as they have to be under old criteria.

        If JOINT working hours are less than 24 you can still get WTC if..
        60 or over-work 16hrs to qualify.
        Disability- 16hrs & one is claiming Carers Allowance,even if they get no money because of other benefits.
        One works 16 hrs and the other can’t because in hospital/prison.

        How mean and nasty are those qualifying criteria….

        • aracataca

          Sorry Holly we’re not stupid. We know where the Tory party gets its money from.

          • Holly

            People who support the Tory party????
            Shocking innit!

          • aracataca

            Multi-millionaires and billionaires who support the Tory party you mean.

          • GuyM

            plus tens of thousands of party members

            but remind us of all the New Labour millionaire donors who were turned away by Blair?

          • Holly

            You really do buy into the Labour garbage.
            Multi millionaires and billionaires????
            Why do I support them then??
            I have never earned more than £17k.(HMRC 2009)
            When I first voted Tory I was earning £4400
            (Coffee bar 1979).
            Must be all the ladybird books on aspiration.

          • aracataca

            I have no idea Holly why you support such a bunch. The fact is that the Tory party gets most of its money from fabulously rich people many of whom are tax exiles such as Philip Green and Lord Ashcroft-it’s as simple as that.

          • GuyM

            And Labour gets most of its funding from not very bright Union leaders looking to buy policy favours for their organisations.

            One wonders what you’d do if public funding for parties was brought in?

            The Tories could get billions from one rich person and if its policies were better than Labour I’d support them.

            Socialism doesn’t become right simply because of the structure of its funding arrangements.

          • aracataca

            Guy-Nice to hear you admit that most Tory money comes from extremely wealthy tax dodgers. Can you tell Holly?

          • GuyM

            I admitted no such thing, I said all the Tory money COULD come from one source and it wouldn’t bother me.

            As for “tax dodging”, I dodge tax, or “avoid” it in common parlance.

            So did Ed Milliband through the arrangements on his family property and so did dear old Ken through is company.

            Does make me laugh that a party of front bench millionairs and “tax dodgers” who were funded by such poverty ridden types like my Lords Sainsbury and Sugar, can have such devoted apprentices such as yourself so willing to overlook the hypocrisy of their own attacks.

            How do you manage it?

          • JoeDM

             Yes.  If you save through an ISA you are avoiding tax  !!!

          • Holly

            Does Ken donate to the Tories?
            He fits the criteria you are chirupping on about perfectly by all accounts.

          • derek

            Buy favours? don’t be such a Yuppie, improving terms and condition of employment is a mandatory role, not unless you wont to drive the workforce back to pre-1842 conditions?

          • GuyM

            come on now Derek, those t&c’s are nothing to do with 1842 conditions and all to do with nest feathering for the members.

          • derek

            Attacking pension rights, extending sacking without question and ripping up the 1974 H&S at work act are pretty much conducive  to those dark satanic day’s.I think you have to face the truth, that having a JOB today for many doesn’t even pay the rent.

          • Holly

            I have no idea why you support your lot, but at least I KNOW where my lot get their money from.
            Fabulously rich people are NOT the problem.
            It’s fabulously rich people, like Miliband,Balls & union bods who have got fabulously rich off the back of the taxpayer, and given nothing in return..Like the rich bods of  Top Shop/M&S/
            Sainsbury’s/Virgin/Twitter/
            Google etc have.
            While the working class fell into debt, under Labour, who, along with the union bods ‘representing’ them, have done quite nicely over the years.
            As for the Tories being a ‘bunch’, well there’s that polar opposite trick again.
            Don’t you get frustrated with all Labour’s mud slinging, when it keeps on hitting them squarely in the face all the time….
            Because of their past record in office, be it PM or Mayor?
            Long may it continue.

          • treborc

             So does labour for god sake, forget the Unions and you will see labour had five non Dom’s  who had given labour millions, OK the Tories get money from the rich, labour gets it from the Unions, selling of peerages was a disgrace, loans for  jobs was a disgrace.

            Money rules like it or not, both parties are so eager to getb money they sell them selves and they have.

          • aracataca

            Yes Treborc but my point is that the Tories get the vast majority of their funds from very rich individuals, while the Labour party (post New Labour) gets most of its funding from Trade Unions in general  and Unite in particular.

          • treborc
      • David B

        Far better to advocate higher tax then use a tax mitigation scheme with out disclosing it. Honest in politics is so irrelevant sorry important

  • kle4

    I don’t recall Boris embarrasing us at Beijing – I recall some comments that he had, but they didn’t seem particularly credible to me; it is clearly a matter of opinion, but that is so very subjective, and inconsequential, that using it as a reason not to vote for him is a bit thin I think.

    I also think saying that during Ken’s first day back at work he was, well, working, while Boris was not back at work – and trying to patently make it an issue of him being wealthy – is also a bit thin. For all I know Boris left for his holiday a day later, and was back at work the next day. Maybe that isn’t the case, but I object to cheap ploys to convince me one candidate is better – a bit more detail, a bit more effort, and the line of attack might be actually credible rather than trying to play to an already Boris hating audience.

    Also, Labour will win big all across the country to send a message to Cameron – sure, if Boris wins they will use that as ‘evidence’ all is well, but no-one will be taken in by that – one victory surrounded by a host of losses is still a host of losses – so if one does not want to vote Ken I don’t think that is enough on its own to come on out.

    All in all, there are genuine reasons to vote Ken contained in this article, but the level of attack son Boris are a bit lazy and serve to undermine the effectiveness of them in my eyes. Put a bit more effort into your attacks next time would be my advice – Boris’ campaign also tend to get a bit lazy in that regard from what I’ve seen.

    • GuyM

      Exactly, put simply the point is:

      “On January 2nd 2012 Boris was on holiday and Ken wasn’t.”

      Mind blowng insight isn’t it and clearly anyone who takes a holiday on January 2nd, compared to say April the 15th or maybe July 29th, is clearly unsuitable for public office.

  • mitchurchin

    Ken is the greatest mayor London ever had. If he dodged tax, then why has he made a point of mentioning it in the initial debate? Surely this would immediately throw light on his own misdemeanour?

    All you Boris supporters, full of the Evening Standards bile and bullsh*t, please let me know exactly what he’s done for this city? New bus perhaps? Bikes that lose money? Cosying up to the City to the expense of others? Increasing pollution levels in London? Removing the bendy bus that in general was far more user friendly than the Boris Folly?

    Go on, tell us all of his wonderful deeds. He’s part of the Tory party, the party that has given us privatisation of the NHS, our schools, increased crime, unemployment, social dischord, queues at border posts, increase our national debt, taken away the hopes of a generation, privatised every national industry we’ve ever had for the profit of a few, greedy millionaires?

    Apart from all those real winners, what the hell are we supposed to applaud these neo con lunatics for?

    • GuyM

      “The greatest Mayor London has ever had”…

      nothing like a bit of emotional over-egging….. given there has only ever been 2 London Mayors.

      Can I respond with “Ken is the the worst mayor in the history of London Mayors, a complete disgrace in the long line of holders of that prestigious post”…… all 2 of them.

      If I were you I’d give up writing posts after smoking illegal substances.

      • mitchurchin

        yes, one who lasted a fair few years on the basis that he did a decent job as opposed to Boris who clearly has not. As for smoking illegal substances, can’t say it’s ever interested me. I prefer a clear head.

        Now Guy, why don’t you go and do something useful like think of 10 reasons to vote for Boris as opposed to insults and vitriol. Go on, let’s hear them. Be positive, stand up for your man. I’m sure the rest of the folk on the forum would appreciate your efforts. If not, don’t ever bother replying to a post I write again, your response is that of a twat.

    • Holly

      The odd thing you should notice about all Labour politicians is their uncanny knack of saying the polar opposite.
      They do it all the time if you listen.
      Ken is simply another bod chucking allegations at others, because he thinks it impossible that others are not doing the same thing he is.

      In your last bit you are well on your way to becoming a New Generation Labour star.
      But let’s have a recap of Labour’s time in office….
      Labour paid the private sector for doing nothing. Don’t forget PFI.
      Labour dumbed down the education system.Remedial/catch up lessons for uni students? How the heck did that one get past you?
      Labour were in government when children knew their ‘rights’ and became killers.
      Labour let the foreign workers take the bulk of the jobs.
      Labour allowed unfetted immigration, thus leading to the queues at border posts/social discord.(Iraq didn’t help)
      The national debt was unsustainable BEFORE the Tories took office and it will grow until public spending is under control…Vital for the generation educated & ‘nurtured’ during Labour’s thirteen years in charge.
      The same generation you think are now suddenly having their hopes taken from them.
      They would be in exactly the same position under Labour, but with money thrown at them with no expectations on them to get out and try.
      Labour nationalised the banks…..Not the rail, water or power companies…Banks.
      Instead of despising the ‘greedy millionaires’ educate yourself on the finances of those who claim, along with yourself, are on the side of the people….Instead of calling others
      ask yourself how well Labour did for getting people out of state dependency and really out of the poverty trap.
      All the things you mention were already there in May 2010, and if the current government can be seen to turn the economy around, Labour are in real trouble.
      Labour’s fake utopia, spin and half truths is the reason we are where we are, and making more fake promises sums up Miliband, Balls & Co to a tee.

      • mitchurchin

        Holly, oh where oh where do you get your information? A Ladybird guide to politics, or the Daily Mail. Both are the same.

        Firstly, the economy was destroyed by the banks. Fact. Mervyn King confirmed that not so long ago. The  Banks were nationalised to save the economy from complete collapse. FACT. Failure to do so would have brought back the IMF, caused unemployment levels that only a Free Market numpty like yourself would enjoy.

        Labour did not act swiftly enough to regulate the banks, that were de-regulated by….. oh yes, Margaret Thatcher. 

        The Labour party of my youth has certainly not been represented by ‘New Labour’, but against the privatise everything Tory LIb Dumbs, well, no brainer.

        Your assertions on the actions of Labour once again bear no mention of the actions of the Tories. Therefore I can only assume you approve of their measures, but as it is patently obvious that you have no facts to hand, only jingoistic rhetoric from some ludicrous fascist Free market pamphlet, then before you write again why not actually do some research.

        It is always going to grant you at least a modicum of respect on a forum like this. 

        • GuyM

          Go on tell us Labour would save us all via Keynesian supply side investment?

          Ooops Keynesian policy requires surpluses to be run up in times of growth…… so how did Labour run deficits from 2002 onwards?

          Did Labour cause the recession, not really, but they sure as hell left government finances screwed when it came to dealing with it

          • aracataca

            The Tory party supported Labour’s 2007 budget you numbskull. They also said that they would spend as much as Labour. The banks caused the sovereign debt crisis by buying collateralized debt obligations without checking to see if they were worth anything. If Labour had not bailed them out then people wouldn’t have been able to get money out of the ATMs and there would have been a serial run on banks. It would have been 1931 all over again.

          • GuyM

            Last I checked I wasn’t a Tory minister, MP or any form of tory politician.

            So I really don’t care too much what they or anyone else said in opposition.

            I do care though that a government that stands for “keynesian” based management of an economy abused the concept on one side of the equation before criticising the next government for not following the ideology they themselves bumped.

            Smells like rank hyposcrisy once again?

            By the way, your ranting about banks doesnt explain why Labour ran a deficit from 2002 onwards, a full 6 years of “boom” before the “bust” and in direct opposition to Keynesian theory.

            Now try and answer again, why follow Keynes advice now when your government ignored it for so many years?

          • aracataca

            Two reasons why the last Labour government did not follow Keynesian dogma. Firstly, so much damage had been done to those on modest and low incomes by the Thatcher and Major administrations that they felt they had to act to redress this damage. Secondly, they weren’t classical Keynesians. It’s people like Stiglitz that are more influential over social democratic economic thinking these days. It is of course worth iterating that public spending as a proportion of GDP fell in the period between 1997 and 2002 when the economic ‘boom’ was beginning to take off and before banks started buying what turned out to be worthless CDOs from each other and when the Federal Reserve Bank in the US under Greenspan (a Conservative economist in the Reagan mould) maintained and prolonged artificially low interest rates which in turn contributed to the credit explosion. Low interest rates were initially established in the U.S to counteract the negative effects of 9/11 and the bursting of the Dot com bubble in 1999/2000 but they were kept at very low levels for too long by Greenspan. All of these factors had virtually nothing to do with Gordon Brown. 

        • David B

          Who de regulated the banks – Gordon Brown. The left consistently try to pass the blame to mrs Tatcher but you forget Gordon Brown swept away the regulatory system she introduced and brought in a new one. He also changed the capital ratios which furled the debt buble. FACT as you put it.

          • aracataca

            When Labour came to power in 1997, the national debt was 42% of GDP. By 2002 it was below 30%. It increased very slowly between 2002 and 2008 to 36% (still lower than any year under Margaret Thatcher or John Major). The Tories argued for less regulation not moreOsborne held up Ireland (which later went bankrupt) as an example we should follow:’ Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking.’ (2006) 

        • Holly

          ‘The economy was destroyed by the banks’.
          Labour city minister at the time???…Erm….Ed Balls.
          Did the greedy bankers/rich toffs take out mortgages, loans & credit cards they would have difficulty repaying/unable to sustain??
          No. It was the low paid, duped into thinking they were living in a ‘boom’. 
          A ‘virtual’ economy, built on sand, encouraged by Bozo & Labour.
          Say for example, out of every £100 spent on credit, only £5.00 was re-payed. how was that ever a ‘boom’?
          The nice city minister & Labour chancellor told us week in, week out we were having the time of our lives. The tax grab from the massive bankers bonuses help fund MP’s having the top end goods, while us at the bottom were having to sell our furniture, fantastic DVD collection, in order to pay our utility bills as one of us was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
          One of us was made redundant from the public sector under Labour.
          The Tories are many things, but liars and cheats they are not.
          They do not pretend to be ‘poor’, do not pretend everything is hunky dory like Bozo,Balls, Miliband & Co did….Remember the ‘boom years’?
          Who benefited from them?
          Not the people of Bradford West, or the people from the disadvantaged families, could it be the low paid?Taxed to help fund the better off in Working Tax Credit?? the benefit claimant, left to rot and live on cheap credit???
          Please tell me who benefited from the decade of Labour.
          The aspirational student who got sucked into thinking they would go places when they finished their studies, only to find they studied the wrong subjects and employers today did not want them??
          Give me a break…Labour have wrecked the economy, the country and the hope of MILLIONS!!
          So the Tory front bench have money…Gosh they’ll have even more when their parents die…So let’s hear it for the Labour front bench…
          Poor as the rest of us I suppose….
          It’s not just that Labour are useless in government, it’s the constant spouting of complete and utter garbage that they were brilliant while in government when they were not.  
          That is what is turning people off from Labour…Plus the fact that the same gobshites who dumped the country in the gutter are still sitting on the opposition front bench, pleading with us to re-elect them.How they have ‘learnt lessons’ from how useless they were, and will be the party of the underdog, yet the only policies we hear from the would be chancellor is more public spending, more public sector jobs and how the Tory front bench have money.
          Yes the banks helped destroy the economy, but it wasn’t because of the Tories, it was down to Bozo, Miliband, Balls and the backbenchers who never had the guts to stick up for the underdog, and backed Bozo, Miliband & Balls who were slap bang in the middle of it.
          If Bozo had let Northern Rock go under, the other banks would have pulled their necks in , slashed the bonuses, and would have had to take the losses themselves….Sadly, they were smarter than Bozo, and carried on paying themselves huge salaries/bonuses, with NO changes made to the system/regulations, safe in the knowledge that Bozo would bail them out as well.
          Ladybird book of economics…Maybe Bozo & Balls should have read this with the coffee  Miliband made for them.
          Phew!!! And breathe out….

          • AlanGiles

            “The Tories are many things, but liars and cheats they are not.”

            Er, Jeffrey Archer, Lord Hangingfield, Lord Taylor, Jonathan ASitken – all four have been guests of Her Majesty for…well, being “liars and cheats”

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/aitken

          • Holly

            They never conned the people who trusted them into thinking everything was hunky dory.
            They never smeared people for flagging up immigration problems.
            They never dumped the economy into the gutter, while patting themselves on the back for doing so.
            For the most part your comments have compared the current Labour bods to the current Tory bods, so veering off on a tangent and scrapping things up
            (Archer/Aitkin) only allow me to fling that mud right back at ya.
            Weren’t some of the Labour bods also jailed for being cheats…But they were only doing what they did under Bozo & Labour’s ‘rules’, so that doesn’t count.
            We have all found out the hard way that Bozo, Balls & Co lied through their teeth.
            Let’s stick to the current lot eh?

          • AlanGiles

            For Christ’s sake, if you have ever read what I write you will know I have being equal in my distaste for cheats and liars – yes Morley and Chayter have been to prison, and IMO many more should have also faced legal proceedings – Blears and McNulty in particular.

            The problem of course is that a lot of those liars and cheats on all sides remain in Parliament to this day.

            Lets be even-handed and name a few: Gove and  Grayling, Blears and Gerald kaufmann, David Laws and Chris Huhne.

            I honestly believe anybody caught out in the 2009 scandal should have been automatically debarred from standing again in 2010 – is that clear enough for you as to my thoughts?

            They ARE the current lot.

          • AlanGiles

            P.S. Could I ask you for the courtesy of not using American slang (” at ya.”). We are not, as yet an adjunct of the United States

          • Holly

            Spice girls were British last time I looked.

          • AlanGiles

            Holly reading some of your rants, I can only assume you are a little unbalanced. I suppose your reference to the Spice Girls has some relevance  for you?.

            You might make sense to yourself, but I fail to see any intelligent meaning to this post of yours – but then you think there are no liars and cheats in the Conservative Party!

          • GuyM

            Careful Alan, not showing any respect to a very succesful international pop band marks you are a little out of touch and maybe even snobbish.

            As for the anti American jibe, I’d far rather have the US influence than EU socialism chucked at us all.

          • derek

            More Jive talking.
            Spice girls pop stars? there are some thing you can’t cover up with lipstick and powder.

          • GuyM

            Careful Alan, not showing any respect to a very succesful international pop band marks you are a little out of touch and maybe even snobbish.

            As for the anti American jibe, I’d far rather have the US influence than EU socialism chucked at us all.

          • Holly

            If finding those who profess Labour to be the saviour of the country makes me ‘rant’, it is because the young people in this country are being duped into thinking that Labour will fix everything for them. They are being told that the Tories are ‘viciously attacking them’, the poor, the sick, the dr’s & nurses, and today the teachers.
            what kind of idiotic language is that?
            We’ve had ‘savage’ cuts, Dickensian cuts.
            Maybe if more ‘unbalanced ranters’ started asking Labour some proper questions, maybe I wouldn’t have to ‘rant’ all on my own. 

          • AlanGiles

            Holly. NO party has all the answers. Surely you are not so young and naive as to believe they do?

            The Conservatives are just as guilty of hyperbole and not delivering on promises as New Labour was.

          • Holly

            Oh for Christ’s sake…Notice the names I put in brackets???
            And you left out Balls, and Coop!!

          • aracataca

            + of course the Hamiltons  of brown envelope fame and what about all those Tory cabinet ministers who cheated on their spouses during Major’s inspiring ‘back to basic’ period.

          • Bill Lockhart

            Oh, you want to bring personal morality and marital fidelity into it? Bad, bad move for a Labour drone.
            Cook, Blunkett, Prescott, Livingstone.

          • aracataca

            These examples are not comparable imho. Major announced a policy of  ‘back to basics’ which was a restatement of support for a pre-1960s moral order and code while committing adultery with Edwina Currie. Many of his ministers who endorsed this policy were also later found to have committed adultery.
            To my knowledge neither Cook nor Blunkett nor Prescott nor Livingstone have ever advocated a similar kind of ‘back to basics’ policy.

          • Bill Lockhart

            If you can provide a link to evidence that the Tories put marital fidelity at the centre of their agenda, feel free. New Labour invented the young single mother concentration camp.
            When Labour do hypocrisy, they do it properly

          • Dave Postles

             Does not marital infidelity place at risk ‘strong and stable families’?

            http://www.conservatives.com/Policy/Where_we_stand/Family.aspx

          • aracataca

            What was Major’s policy of ‘Back to Basics’ about then? I anticipate a deafening silence.

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

            The promotion of a ‘back to basics’ policy while furtively practicing the exact opposite was an unprecedented piece of moral hypocrisy. Edwina Curry, one of the more sensible Tories, admitted this herself.

          • aracataca

            Thanks Dave.Totally correct.

          • smcconnell

            Um mandelson? Tony wmd blair? No boom and bust brown? At least none of your list were pms when they were telling their porkie pies!!!

          • AlanGiles

            You clearly don’t read much of what I write, otherwise you would know I hold Mandelson and Blair in contempt for their behaviour. As I said before, I make no distinction between parties when it comes to dishonest behaviour. I merely gave a few Tory names since you had stated as a fact that Tories were not “liars and cheats”.

            I say again they are in all parties – being a Tory doesn’t give you a down payment on a halo – or Labour or LibDem either

          • aracataca

            This is the biggest pile of garbage I think I have ever read on here. The banks bought the mortgages and credit from each other. They also sold it to people who would never be able to pay it back. Osborne wanted less regulation of the banks not more (2007) and they endorsed Labour’s spending plans in the 2007 budget and said they would match it. 
            I know as a Tory you don’t like facts but please  let me present some. When Labour came to power in 1997, the national debt was 42% of GDP. By 2002 it was below 30%. It increased very slowly between 2002 and 2008 to 36% (still lower than any year under Margaret Thatcher or John Major). Osborne held up Ireland (where the banks lent money as if it were confetti and which later went bankrupt) as an example we should follow:
             ‘Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking.’ (Gideon Osborne:2006) 

          • aracataca

            Perhaps Gideon could repeat to those on the packed  emigrant flights out of Dublin or to the 14% of Irish people who are unemployed what he said in 2006, namely, ‘Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of the possible in long-term economic policymaking.’ 

          • geedee0520

            Gideon?

          • aracataca

            Yes. Gideon Osborne. George is his fake name to make him appear less privileged than he actually is.

          • geedee0520

            Nope – changed his name when he was 13, so it’s not fake at all – why is Gideon privileged?

          • GuyM

            So you will of course insist on calling anyone by their original name?

            Anyone changing a name would be barred from doing so?

            A particuarly bad parental choice would in fact be a loadstone for life?

            Or is it simply dual standards because Osborne is a Tory chancellor?

          • Bill Lockhart

            Good luck with getting Edward Miliband elected.

    • Alexwilliamz

      Better than Dick Wittingham? When there is a fairy tale about Ken then I will believe it, although some of the more over the top defence of his tax avoidance is pretty unbelievable. He has been caught out, hands up, apologise and get on with the campaign, all this nonsense is the stuff that infuriates voters. If he loses it will be as much to do with how people feel about the shifty way in which this issue has been dealt with than the amount of tax he pays.
      Yes I believe Ken would be a better mayor than Boris, but once again the electorate are not exactly being given many credible candidates provided by the two big parties. the fact that three of the candidates are the same as last time says it all about the magic roundabout of british politics.

      • AlanGiles

        It might be a bit late, but if you tune into Radio 4 at One for The World At One (8th April) there is goping to be an item and discussion of the concept of MAYORS in general.

        Just thought I’d mention it for those interested (well, there’s no “Bargain Hunt” on Sundays :-(     )

  • GuyM

    One other brief point, you state “the erractic service of South Eastern” as an implied criticism of boris.

    I was under the impression that the Mayor didn’t control rail franchise performance and therefore how South Eastern does or doesn’t do is nothing to do with Boris or Ken as things stand?

  • john_zims

    ‘On the first morning back at work in the New Year Ken Livingstone and I were out with a host of party members leafleting commuters coming off the trains at London Bridge.’

    Did Livingstone disclose to the commuters he has an effective tax rate of 14.5%,lower than a cleaner at City Hall?

    Did Livingstone disclose to the commuters he was using a company so he could take dividends and avoid paying his ‘full share ‘of tax and National Insurance contributions?

    Thought not.

    • treborc

      Don you know something I really do not give a toss

      • aracataca

        You’re right Treborc This stuff is irrelevant.

        • treborc

           How would you know

        • Bill Lockhart

          The integrity of your candidate is irrelevant? You wish.

  • mikestallard

    Maybe he was away with some of the bottles which Ken left behind?

    • Bill Lockhart

      Empties only then…

  • Crying with Laughter

    This is great!!! Lets ignore hypocrisy! Lets ignore the lies! Lets all stick our heads in the sand!! What a great day for socialism! 

    • treborc

       Are you a socialist

    • aracataca

      What the f**k would you know about socialism?

      • treborc

        Nothing at all, but 100% more then you.

  • mr_fraud

    Ken has shown his true colours, all this scrambling around trying to defend him is laughable. Labour are truly a laughing stock at present and articles like this don’t do anything to dispel that, please Boris was skiing so don’t vote for him.

    If you are trying to promote London as an international city you want someone that can deal with individuals from across the globe, not just tinpot dictators and dubious so called religious leaders. By your own admission Mr Spellar you would not have Ken as Foreign Secretary so why should Londoners expect him to deal international business men and leaders.

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

      You’ve got your name right. At least you’re being honest – unlike the Tories. The Tories can’t even be upfront with the voters, that’s why, solely to dupe voters, they told a bare-faced lie: no more top down re-organisations of the NHS.

      And even then they DIDN’T win the election.It’s time to give the Tories the old heave-ho!Starting with 
      Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

  • James


    So it is clear if you want to send a message to Cameron that he will understand you have to dump Boris.` I see – so really the message from Bradford West is `Dump Miliband`. That happening yet? Go on be consistent.

  • Dave Postles

    ‘Yes.  If you save through an ISA you are avoiding tax  !!!’
    No you are not.  The criterion is what was intended by Parliament.  Parliament made an allowance for savings by ISA.  Therefore you are not avoiding tax.  If you exploit a loophole not intended by Parliament, then you are avoiding tax.  That definition lies behind the recent decision of HMRC to try to eliminate ‘abusive’ avoidance of tax. 

    • GuyM

      So my use of a company scheme to pay dividends rather than income is not tax avoidance?

      Nor is my use of every expenses allowance possible not avoidance (all with HMRC blessing)?

      Therefore anyone using a company structure, maxing expenses, reliefs and the like is all perfectly now ok in your eyes and those of the left?

      I’d be delighted if that were that case Dave, it takes you light years away from “socialism”, congratulations to you for seeing the light.

      • Dave Postles

         Parliament is the ultimate arbiter, not HMRC, and Parliament includes the Treasury Select Committee.  Just because HMRC agrees to your tax arrangements doesn’t mean that they are concordant with the intention of Parliament.  Clarification can always be sought later.  It has already been concluded that those in receipt of public funding, technically as civil servants, should not establish themselves as limited companies.  There is therefore, I would imagine, an obiter dictum, should Parliament wish so to decide, that anyone in an open-ended employment contract is technically avoiding tax by establishing themselves as a limited company.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    This is the statement of the man who disrupted the boat race today.  I have not the capacity to characterise his thinking, other than a form of radicalism on a par with the Suffragettes and I may be not entirely correct on that as my knowledge of that history is not broad. The Suffragettes in my view had justification: I do not believe that he has, as there is no formal legal barrier to anyone advancing in our society.

    http://elitismleadstotyranny.squarespace.com/

    I personally think he is wrong and selfish on very many levels, and is lucky not to be seriously injured.

    I also think that he is fundamentally undemocratic, awarding to himself the moral right to interfere with the lawful enjoyment of all of those who wanted to watch the boat race without any form of democratic validation.

    I have no doubt he will become some form of hero to a subset of our society for these actions.

    • derek

      A part from the Doctor who had over done it, I’d say the race was mad a bit more exciting and found it quite funny to see all those bright sparks look rather thick at what had just happened, it rather is an elitist event, pulling ors while other drown in the misery of poverty is no doubt fair game.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        I think you ascribe too much of your own political wish list.

        1.  From what I saw on the TV news, the man really was quite close to getting a major, possibly lethal injury (possibly even decapitation).  I am not familiar with rowing or how strong or sharp those oars are, but he managed somehow not to have the back of his neck sliced by the thin edge of four oars.  What would it have looked like on national TV for a man to be decapitated while several million were watching?

        2.  The rowers face backwards.  They could have no concept that he was there.  How do you think a rower would feel if he decapitated a man he could not see in the middle of a sporting event?  Would that not perhaps cause some psychological damage when he feels a bump, and sees the newly separated head of a man floating in the river?

        3.  You appear to think that the athletes are capable of discriminate and rational thought in the middle of the most physically demanding event of their life.  So, looking “rather thick” may actually be that their hearts were going at 180 bpm and they were dealing with a toxic overload of lactic acid as well as the mental confusion of an unexpected event.  I’d like to see how you would cope with that.  

        Not so funny now is it?

        As far as I can see, it is not an elitist event.  The bookmaker shops took over 7 million bets on the result,  and 250,000 watched on the riverbank and the BBC say over 5 million watch on TV.

        Never mind Derek, you keep eating crisps on your chair and watching TV and throwing in stupid comments. You are a champion of that, no doubt at all.

        • derek

          I’m still waiting for the reason why he did it?

          1/Protesters often take risks, just the other say a Greek  senior citizen set himself  alight.In the early part of the 19th century Liverpool dockers where shot for striking. John McClean of the redsiders was imprisoned for talking about civil rights.

          2/ Many other situation arise when drivers and such like are faced with accidents, I’d imagine that no less horrific.

          3/There was a time when my heart rate would have reached those levels, I never felt so alive then, try doing Shieldhill with 40Ib and 10 miles of up hill tabbing and shin burn kicking in! Lovely and so alert to what’s going on, lactic acid I’ve shite thinner.

          Bookmakers would have a bet on almost anything! 

          My dad always said I was a champion and that I could run like the wind, I think he had a point, in my prime no one could catch me not even the wind. 

        • derek

          I never said it was “funny” I said it was funny watching all those bright sparks looking so dumb at a real life situation. 

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