What price loyalty?

April 16, 2012 2:30 pm

“There’s only one thing I value and that’s loyalty. And without it, you’re nothing.”

Film fanatics like myself will recognise that quote from The Ides of March. For those who haven’t seen it, I’ll give you a brief summary of the context.

During the Democrat primaries, Governor Mike Morris is leading in the polls. But after a flattering phone call, his media spokesperson Stephen Myers meets up with Tom Duffy, who wants him to work for Morris’ rival. As soon as Morris’ chief of staff Paul Zara finds out, he promptly sacks him.

Without loyalty, he says, you are nothing. Loyalty is a valuable but necessary commodity in politics. I thought of Zara’s outburst this week when I saw a chart that showed how many Labour supporters and – more startlingly – party members, who have decided not to support Ken Livingstone.

Some people in the party think their views about Ken Livingstone are really important. So important, in fact, that they are quite prepared to barge our candidate out of the way and let Boris slide back into City Hall, as if that’s the lesser of two evils.

Think about that for a moment.

Nobody joins the Labour Party because they agree with all of our policies, like all of our candidates, or because a rose happens to be their favourite flower. It’s neither a fickle nor a superficial decision. Joining a party is like a marriage. It’s a commitment to an institution that you think is the most promising vehicle for the change you want to see in society.

If your marriage isn’t working, flirting with other people, or having an affair, isn’t going to make it work (are you getting the analogy? I hope so). It might make you feel better in the short term, but is never going to solve the problems that drove you into the arms of others in the first place. If anything, it’ll just make those problems worse.

If you’re not happy with the candidates the party selects, then campaign from within the party to change the process for selecting candidates. Or stand yourself. I’m afraid (and I don’t think I’m being unreasonable when I say) that once the candidate has been selected, then it’s a bit late for the moaning.

Get behind Labour or get a divorce. A situation where different factions of the party are campaigning against our own candidates, above all else, looks bloody ridiculous – and we can’t possibly expect anyone to vote for us. The party is more important than the individual, so have a bit of loyalty.

Without it, we are nothing.

  • Peter

    Absolutely correct.

    If you can’t support a Labour candidate that’s up to you.

    Campaigning or helping our opponents is disgraceful IMO.

    It gives the impression that you’re only a member of the Labour Party because you think you can cause more damage from the inside than if you went and joined a party that more closely reflected your views.

    • AlanGiles

      Totally agree. There are contributors to  Labour Uncut not a million miles from LL who should take note of your third paragraph

      • Holly

        Do you really think putting up duff/dodgy candidates, and expecting people to elect them without question, just to win a local/Mayoral election, is in the party’s interest?
        How long did you want to stay in opposition???

        • AlanGiles

          With all due respect, you were not ones of the posters I was referring to, and as you don’t live in London, it is hardly any concern of yours is it, also, the fact that you are not a Labour party supporter. I can’t see why you keep on about it.

          • Holly

            Because I’m British.
            Because I expect better from those who claim to represent me, London, Britain, and towns & cities up and down the country.
            Because I’m not in the position where I can’t see the wood for the trees.
            Because I don’t think I should be obliged to vote for ‘my candidate,when they are duff/dodgy, at best, just because they are ‘my candidate’. And slated for staying true to myself.
            Because I think there should be a clean out in British politics.
            That’ll do for now.

          • Pauline M

            Yes, Holly but why not be honest and tell us that you not only hate Labour but you support the Greens – the new LibDems.

      • aracataca

        This is a bit rich Alan coming from you. You do not nothing else but slag off our party on here. You have also predicted a Livingstone defeat (using you crystal ball). I am really trying to ignore you but you continue to infuriate party loyalists like myself.

        • AlanGiles

          The old “crystal ball” joke trotted out again. Oh, yes it was “Mystic Meg” last time wasn’t it? – twice.

          I “slag off” the right wing of the Labour Party because as represented by a few people on LL you just wonder what they are complaining about – just loss of “power” I suppose, but, to name but one Purple Booker is all for the Welfare reforms started by Purnell and Freud and continued by Grayling and Duncan-Smith. Their precious right-wing policies on health and welfare are being continued by the Coalition, so they have little to complain about.

          You will see if you bothered to READ what I said rather than imagine or make up what I say, that I have said Livingstone would be a better Mayor for LOndon , for poorer residents, Johnson will do nothing for them at all.

          Now I suppose you will mither on again, pretending I have said the reverse to what I have said – thats what you did more than once over the weekend.

          • aracataca

            But the most important thing for you about the budget was not the reduction in the 50p rate, or the granny tax, or the pasty tax but Ed Miliband’s response to it.
            You also said that you were thinking of going over to the Green party ‘soon’.
            Under the Labour government (of which Purnell was a part) I received help through the tax credit system for my severely disabled son who is unable to speak and able to toilet himself. This current government has removed that help. Under the Welfare Reform Act he will not receive any further help from the state when he becomes an adult and our tax credits which we were putting aside to help him in the future have been removed.  Whether you like it or not there is only 1 alternative to this government  (who quite obviously only care about the rich and the privileged) and that is a Labour government. IMHO everyone should swing behind getting rid of this shower as soon as possible.

          • AlanGiles

            You have my sincere sympathy for the situation with your son. It must be a constant worry for you. However, what is happening under the Coalition is that they “took over” David Freud – the original Freud report had been kicked into the long grass by Peter Hain when he was Welfare Minister. When Brown appointed Purnell Purnell insisted on instituting Freud “in full” and if you recall, he railroaded the measures through Parliament, even though, at the same time, Freud had been bought with a peerage by the Conservatives. So Purnell in effect was forcing a report writen by a Conservative peer through the HoC knowingly. That is what I have against that little creep – that and his hypocrisy in saying that welfare claimants were “playing the system” when he was doing the same thing – and worse – with his expenses claims, some of which were false.

            Had Purnell and Brown not instituted Freud (who as a multimillionaire investment banker knew and knows NOTHING about poverty and adversity – despite Labour claiming him to be a “welfare expert”) The Coalition would have had to start the whole ghastly broiling from scratch, and given the situation of 2010 I think it is a moot point  whether the Colaition would have gone ahead with Freud at that time with rising unemployment.

            It also has to be said it was right-wing LABOUR ministers who started to dismantle Remploy in 2008 – again this is being continued by the Coalition.

            If you want to see how much of an “expert” Freud is/was on welfare, just look at his Daily Telegraph interview from Feb 9th 2009, where he made a number of gaffes – not least the notion that it was the claimants GP who “put them on I.B.” as you will know, this decision is taken by the DWP with the use of “Independent” doctors.

            I loathe what the Coalition is doing to vulnerable people, but i am ashamed that it was Labour that started the process.

          • aracataca

            I don’t know about any of this I just know that under the Labour government families with disabled children like mine were protected and helped. Under this crowd they are fair game. Hence we have lost our tax credits and my son will not be permitted to receive any state money when he is an adult. He will never be able to work. Please refer to Joan Ruddock’s comments on this during PMQs a few weeks back. 

            As Aneurin Bevin once said; ‘The Tories are lower than vermin’ and ‘it is the Labour Party or nothing’. 

          • AlanGiles

            Believe me. what I am saying is true. It was Purnell – not Grayling or Duncan-Smith who instituted Freud – they just continued his bad work.

            Of course, although the Purnell/Freud bill went through Parliament in 2009 it’s effects would not all have been felt in the first months after the bill became law – like all other Parliamentary bills they are phased in over a period of time. The 2009 bill for example, paved the way for the phasing out of IB (replaced by ESA) during a three/four year period, which took it to 2013.

            My point in your particular circumstances is that had Brown not allowed the very inexperienced Purnell to proceed with the Freud Report it would, at worst, been delayed by a couple of years. as it is, the macvhinery was in place when the coalition took over.

            I meant what I said BTW – I am genuinely sympathetic to families like yours which find themselves in these terrible situations, and that is one of the reasons I detest the right-wing of Labour – they are just Tories painted a slightly lighter shade of blue. 

          • treborc1

            Remind you of what Blair said about Welfare, it’s out dated and is not longer suitable for the modern age

          • treborc1

             Beleaguered Ed Miliband is to make a
            bold bid to boost his flagging ratings by condemning the ‘evil’ of
            scroungers who refuse to work.
            The
            Labour leader wants to shrug off his party’s ‘soft on spongers’ image
            with a major  U-turn on his stance on the benefits system.
            He will admit Labour blundered by not doing enough to combat the work-shy.
            And he will say that people should get state handouts only if they have paid their taxes first.
            The
            move, certain to be denounced by Left-wingers, follows growing alarm in
            Labour’s high command at Mr Miliband’s poor performance.
            Mr
            Miliband’s somersault on benefits will be signalled in a speech later
            this month by Labour welfare spokesman Liam Byrne to mark the 70th
            anniversary of the Beveridge Report.

            Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080776/Now-Ed-Miliband-gets-tough-onslaught-evil-benefits-scroungers.html#ixzz1saKrOzLd

          • treborc1

            You have a strange memory of labour, tax credits and child credits were Brown response to his mess with the 10p tax so called fiasco.

            But let me remind you of Brown’s DLA rant, it was and is a wasted benefit, that is £120 a week to me and is wasted according to Brown.

            yes the Tories are going down the same route as labour plus a bit more, but with labour saying maybe £10 billion more will need to be cut from Welfare, then ask him where in welfare.

            On Welfare the WCA is a disgrace that’s New labour and labour.

    • Holly

      Does the Labour party really reflect it’s supporters/members views any more?
      Somewhere along the line it got hijacked, by squabblers and back-stabbers, who showed no loyalty, at all, to anyone.
      Those on the inside who dared speak out had their careers ruined, and then others played in the dark plotting, scheming and smearing to further themselves, and to get to where they are today. 
      Loyalty is indeed the thing sound relationships are based on, but many Labour MP’s ditched that a long time ago.

      Labour supporters have some really difficult questions to ask themselves, do the MP’s actually chime with your values/views on a character level, the policies and aims will always remain the same.

      • Pauline M

        As a Labour Party member and loyalist, yes it does reflect the views of the “broad church” we belong to.  You should join in with us Holly as the only viable alternative to the Tories and their pals.  

    • Chilbaldi

      You missed “Dear Mr Livingstone” at the top of that post.

      • Bill Lockhart

        @ Chilbaldi

        Spot on: Livingstone is far closer to Galloway than Miliband in political beliefs, sectarian opportunism,  personal morality and narcissism. He’s a Respect entryist or a Militant sleeper, take your pick.

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

          Live is full of surprises. I hadn’t had you down as an abuser of illicit substances, Bill, but how else to account for your departure from reality?

          Best that you keep alert. Try watching an informative tv programme, hold your focus on the narrative and sip on coffee. It’ll help bring you down and return you to your senses.

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

          Live is full of surprises. I hadn’t had you down as an abuser of illicit substances, Bill, but how else to account for your departure from reality?

          Best that you keep alert. Try watching an informative tv programme, hold your focus on the narrative and sip on coffee. It’ll help bring you down and return you to your senses.

          • Bill Lockhart

            Ah, the hilarious and never-before-tried “intoxicated” response. How I laughed.  Are you seriously claiming that Livingstone is closer to the Miliband end of the leftist spectrum than to Galloway? If so, I can only assume you have never read or heard any of Livingstone’s past statements. Is ignorance bliss?

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

            I’ll keep it simple: I’m seriously claiming your suggestion that Ken is either a Respect entryist or a Militant sleeper is pure fantasy.

          • Bill Lockhart

            Ever heard of “metaphor”?
            Do you think Livingstone is closer to Galloway, or Miliband?

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

            Can’t you work it out for yourself? Ken is a member of the Labour Party, he’s on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party (the L.P.s governing body), he’s the Labour Party mayoral candidate for London and he enjoys the support of Ed Miliband.

            The truth is staring you in the face.

          • Hugh

            In what respect do Livingstone’s and Galloway’s politics diverge?

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

            You should take that question to a Daily Telegraph blog – I’m sure you’ll get the answer you want.

          • Bill Lockhart

            And you refuse to answer because the answer is that Livingstone’s politics are far closer to Galloway’s than Miliband’s, but you have to pretend not to know that for tribal reasons.

    • Holly

      Or get the party they support, to put up a candidates that more closely reflects the views & values of it’s supporters, because without supporters…..

      • treborc1

        Depends on how you see labour these days, myself I see it has a middle class, middle of the road political party fighting the Tories for a group of voters.

  • Johndclare

    Correct, and needed saying.

  • http://twitter.com/_DaveTalbot David Talbot

    I don’t really agree, Matt, but have come to same conclusion as you. Loyalty will only go so far, and God knows Livingstone has shown the Labour party scant loyalty in the past.

    But, for reasons I hope will be detailed on LabourList, I’ll fold into line and do what must be done on 3rd May.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

    The author should question whether the infidelity is being committed by those voters following their conscience and unable to support Ken, or whether it was in fact committed a long time ago when the PLP decided to allow him to run under the “Labour” banner in a marriage of convenience, and despite his own willingness to run against (and beat) the Labour candidate, in 2000.  What was the price of Ken’s loyalty back then?

    • Bill Lockhart

      Not to mention his active campaigning for a non-Labour candidate in Tower Hamlets. Of course, the Labour machine swung into action immediately following this automatic-expulsion breach of its rules and did…nothing.

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

      “What was the price of Ken’s loyalty back then? ”

      That’s a long story yet following his election, in matters of policy, Ken was a Labour mayor.
      Today we don’t have the luxury of choosing between two Labour candidates.

      If Ken doesn’t win a Conservative will.

      And if a Conservative wins we’ll all be worse off.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

        If Ken wins, the only certainty I have is that Ken will be better off.

        • Bootlebuck

          Who ever you are voting for will be better off, the point is will you be better off or the majority of Londoners. We have to sit with the majority and support Ken, that way alot of people will benefit rather than the very few with Boris…..As regards to taxes, I wouldn’t mind having a bet that Boris avoids in taxes, more than Livingstone has ever seen  

          • geedee0520

            ‘As regards to taxes, I wouldn’t mind having a bet that Boris avoids in taxes, more than Livingstone has ever seen ‘

            Proof? Rumours? Gossip? – or the published tax returns?

            How much would you like to bet? Ken’s NI avoidance or the Guardian’s tax avoidance by being based offshore?

    • Dingdong

      “The author should question whether the infidelity is being committed by those voters following their conscience and unable to support Ken”
      You mean like Dan Hodges, paid to do that, to deadline, by rightwing billionaires with a less than transparent tax record?

      Following their conscience? Nah, following their own self-interest and bank accounts more like.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

        And should Dan Hodges or these faceless billionaires stand under a Red rosette, I would not vote for them either.

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

          Out of interest, who would you vote for?

          • treborc1

            I doubt they know themselves, I have never seen so many from Labour who would vote for Boris, I wonder if that is due to Boris being  like that other Tory Blair.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

            I am still waiting to be impressed enough to want to vote for anyone…

  • http://twitter.com/kb32904 KathyB

    Well said Matt.

    All the bickering that goes on between party members/supporters is only helping Doris – Londoners won’t thank you for another 4years of his buffoonery.

    • Holly

      Isn’t what the members and supporters bickering about what needs sorting out?
      If supporters do not feel able to back the candidate put forward by the party, is that a fault on their part, or the fault of the people who thought it okay to put that candidate forward to begin with?Many of us would never have learned about Kens financial affairs if he had not tried to imply it was one of his opponents doing what he now stands accused of, while his opponent looks more above board, so to speak.Accusing Boris of buffoonery when Ken has just acted like a bigger buffoon is not going to help stop any bickering.Ken should not have shone a torch into an area, where his behaviour was darker.Or at best, made sure it couldn’t spectacularly backfire as it did.Do long standing Labour supporters believe Ken is a worthy Mayor/good representative of Labour values, if so they will vote for him. If not they won’t, but stop blaming supporters/members of being un-loyal when they are, in fact, being loyal to the party, and what they see as it’s core values. Oh and calling others buffoons.

      • AlanGiles

        “when they are, in fact, being loyal to the party, ”

        How can it be a mark of loyalty to help the opposite side to win?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

          Partly because if we let politicians get away with such shocking hypocrisy and disloyalty to the public as the whole Ken/Labour support has shown, then they will do it again.

          And again.

          And again. etc.

          A line needs to be drawn for the good of the party.

          • AlanGiles

            “Partly because if we let politicians get away with such shocking hypocrisy and disloyalty to the public as the whole Ken/Labour support has shown, then they will do it again.”

            They already have David: Let’s not forget the transgressions of the man and the cabinet of the man who was going to be “purer-than-pure”, or more up to date the PM who wasn’t going to have any major reorganisation of the NHS

            I am afraid politics and hypocrisy have gone hand in hand for many years now. Politicians are a bit like adverts for DFS sofas  – we all know the offers are too good to be true and their is hidden miniscule small print. It no longer surprises me – still less shocks me.

          • Dave Postles

            I’m shocked, truly shocked …

        • Holly

          It is a mark of loyalty to the party, when they refuse to give their support, to a candidate, who’s personal character, behaviour and actions no longer represents what they feel Labour candidates should stand for.
          If a Labour MP entered your home and stole from you, year in, year out, would you stay loyal, and allow them to continue just because they were  Labour?

          Ken , or Ken’s accountant, with Ken’s blessing,(he didn’t check what he was doing, or did and failed to act) took money from the tax system, because of loopholes/rules or whatever….Now last time I heard taxes were for schools,books, teachers, doctors, nurses, hospitals, troops, police etc, all rock solid Labour values, Ken therefore was allowing his accountant to rob the public purse. Year in year out.

          They are not deliberately wanting their opponent to win, but neither do they want someone who does not actively support their/Labour’s core values, and what they believe to be priorities…funding schools, teachers etc….Not forgetting pensioners, the disabled, you and me.

          A convoluted explanation I know, but that is how many Labour supporters feel about the candidate put forward, after hearing of his tax affairs, While making out it was his opponent who was tax dodging, when all along it was himself.

          And trust me, they would feel exactly the same if he were a Tory, Lib Dem, or whatever…and would have made their voices even more heard.

          • AlanGiles

            “It is a mark of loyalty to the party, when they refuse to give their support, to a candidate, who’s personal character, behaviour and actions no longer represents what they feel Labour candidates should stand for.”

            In that case, many of us in Labour should have stopped voting for Blair after 2003 at the latest!

          • Hugh

             We’re continually being told on these pages that many of you did.

          • AlanGiles

            Some of us gave him the benefit of the doubt for too long, I am ashamed to say. Blair and his excesses should serve as a warning to all those who would like to see Miniblair become leader, believe me

          • treborc1

             I like that Miniblair

          • robertcp

            I did stop voting Labour for a while, although I remained a member and even delivered leaflets.  To be honest, my vote for Labour in 2010 was purely tactical. 

            Blairites should stop moaning or leave.

          • Holly

            I was under the impression that is what they did.
            Then, once rid of him,the rest of the party hijackers promoted themselves to the positions they hold today.You know, the ones who agree with the cuts…But not these cuts. The ones who agree with reforms, just not these reforms…Clear as mud.The ones who at the last election were going to raise NI(tax on jobs), yet today would give some employers a NI break. The one’s who would get a programme together to get young people into work for half the year, that would end up making them go through the hoops to get their benefits back when the ‘job’ finished, while also building thousands more affordable homes, and loads of other stuff all from taxing bankers bonuses….Great until you think on how piggin’ high the trougher’s bonuses would have to be to fund these great policies.  Or whether the bankers would outsmart the bright buggers in charge, and defer their bonuses for a few years, thus landing the treasury with….erm….£0000.Being loyal is one thing. Supporting those who’s actions leave a lot to be desired is quite another.

          • AlanGiles

            Holly Line one of this missie merely repeats what Hugh said quite some time ago.

            For the rest it just seems an ill-formed rant, if you’ll allow me to say so.

            In my opinion taking the country to war on a false prospectus is the worst thing any PM can do regardless of party. End of.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            AlanGiles,

            there is at least one tory blogger who believes that there is worse that can happen.  You might elect Edward Heath to be PM – apparently he was Britain’s worst ever enemy.

            http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100151080/who-was-britains-greatest-foe/

          • AlanGiles

            Edward Heath gave us the 3 day week, and he caused untold misery for many people who were put on short time working or even lost their jobs altogether when so many companies went under, especially in manufacturing  but this blogger is planly just an anti-EU  writer,

            I am a bit agnostic where the EU is concerned. I tend to take the “curate’s egg” approach to it.

          • Holly

            Absolutely!
            But plotting and scheming to rid a party of it’s leader is also disloyal in my book.
            So why, all of a sudden, are members/
            supporters being slated as disloyal?

            Is it because Labour are no longer the government, or has it become  one rule for them and another for you?
            Or…Is it to ensure Boris goes to make Ed look good???
            Who knows, all I know is there has been a LOT of disloyalty from within over the years.
            Brown & Co, and David Miliband spring to mind.
            Loyalty, is loyalty, is loyalty yeah??
            As a PS…
            Who was it ‘suspected’ of putting A.J.’s disloyalty to his wife in the public domain????
            They can’t have it all ways.

          • AlanGiles

            Holly I have no idea about Mr Johnson’s marital problems, and frankly I am not interested.

            As for the disloyalty of those who are going  for Livingstone’s jugular well – it is noticeable that they mainly come from the right-wing of the party the malcontent Blairites who wanted David rather than Ed Miliband as leader, and a great deal of the negative press has come not from the Tories but from Labour-Uncut.

          • Bootlebuck

            I didnt realise that Boris does not avoid tax paying, I do know however that tax dodging/avoidance was invented by tories in the past. Boris avoids tax like any other politician, and you have fallen for the tory spin about Ken…..no he is not an angel…..but angel’s do not stand for Mayor of London

        • Holly

          It is a mark of loyalty to the party, when they refuse to give their support, to a candidate, who’s personal character, behaviour and actions no longer represents what they feel Labour candidates should stand for.
          If a Labour MP entered your home and stole from you, year in, year out, would you stay loyal, and allow them to continue just because they were  Labour?

          Ken , or Ken’s accountant, with Ken’s blessing,(he didn’t check what he was doing, or did and failed to act) took money from the tax system, because of loopholes/rules or whatever….Now last time I heard taxes were for schools,books, teachers, doctors, nurses, hospitals, troops, police etc, all rock solid Labour values, Ken therefore was allowing his accountant to rob the public purse. Year in year out.

          They are not deliberately wanting their opponent to win, but neither do they want someone who does not actively support their/Labour’s core values, and what they believe to be priorities…funding schools, teachers etc….Not forgetting pensioners, the disabled, you and me.

          A convoluted explanation I know, but that is how many Labour supporters feel about the candidate put forward, after hearing of his tax affairs, While making out it was his opponent who was tax dodging, when all along it was himself.

          And trust me, they would feel exactly the same if he were a Tory, Lib Dem, or whatever…and would have made their voices even more heard.

  • Holly

    How easy would it be to change things from within the party?
    Is it core Labour values that has turned people away from Ken in the first place? 
    Not the party he allegedly represents. 
    Are you expecting core Labour supporters to support a candidate who, apparently, has no qualms of behaving in the same way he accuses the people he is campaigning against of behaving?
    It is not the candidate, or the fact he is a Labour candidate that is the issue, it is the message it sends to the wider audience. 
    Maybe some core Labour supporters/members actually do have core Labour values after all.
     

  • James3010

    blind tribal loyalty is the curse of british politics in general and when it comes to Ken he seems to expect a tribal loyalty he himself has not shown. something to think on.

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

    The problem is that ken is only a labour politician in the sense that your leadership decided to let him run. Look at his policies & the people on his team & hes in fact the socialist action/respect candidate, like some officialy labour candidates in the 1980s were actually militant.

    • AlanGiles

      But “balanced” if that be the right word, by so many New Labourite MPs in the last 15 years that many of them are indestinquishable and interchangeable with their Tory opposite numbers. They are only “labour” politicians in the sense that they were friends of Mandy or Tony

  • http://twitter.com/eddyman00 Edward Anderson

    Iranian Social Democrats, Trade Unionists  and Feminists have a right to expect “loyalty” from someone who calls himself left wing yet he makes money off Press TV. Helal Uddin Abbas had a right to expect “loyalty” from Livingston who, whilst he was Labour’s candidate for Mayor, campaigned against him. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-11569758
      Those of us strongly opposed to Ken in the party don’t just think that those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones (Tax dodging, comparing a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard, supporting a homophobic and sexist cleric).
       Because this isn’t about one individual as you say, it is about values. We would strongly condemn those who dodge taxes yet say that people who do so should be disenfranchised and we are against those who try to use communalist politics to win election (a la Galloway).
       Therefore, to those who think tax dodging is wrong, communalism is wrong and believe we must stand with are Iranian Social Democrat comrades, supporting Ken . Livingston would be the highest disgrace. 

    • treborc1

      Great view I suspect you would be willing to accept Boris being he closer to Boris then ken.

      • http://twitter.com/eddyman00 Edward Anderson

        Sorry can you clarify  “I suspect you would be willing to accept Boris being he closer to Boris then ken.”?

  • GuyM

    Remind me, was it dear old Ken who ran AS the Labour candidate in the first Mayor election or was he the chap who left Labour and ran AGAINST the official Labour candidate?

    Given that he was elected on the back of a lot of Labour voters who backed him and not the Labour candidate it seems a little hypercritical to moan about Labour voters not backing him this time around……

  • treborc1

    Look like an invasion of Boris fans

    • Holly

      why?
      Because they do not like glass house dwellers?

  • Gabriel Chiu

    What are your opinions of the “White Heat” pathway? (The BBC programme) What I suggest is that as some (frankly) damning information has arisen that not only undermines Mr Livingstone but also the ability of the Labour party Mr Livingstone should resign his candidacy and allow another member to run. Similar to “Jacks” actions after he admitted possessing drugs in his car. I realise the point about loyalty and I believe that if one is a member of a party then one should display such loyalty however as Mr Livingstone should also be a “loyal” supporter then surely he should proceed in the most positive action for the party ie. admit he’s fallible and resign. What’d’ya think? This is coming from a Year 12 student and therefore I’m fully prepared to totally disregard my argument if it’s wrong!

    • Dave Postles

      I’m not concerned with matters London, but I think that you should contribute more here. 

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    I think Ken will lose quite badly – it is only a hunch, and reading of a few opinion polls, and I could certainly be wrong.  I’m not a member of the Labour Party, so I can say that without being disloyal.

    If Ken does lose, what is the betting that there will be many articles, blog posts, interviews and other commentary by Labour Party members who will suddenly feel free to celebrate the end of Ken’s political career?  It will be easier to talk about Ken and his many failings than why Labour picked him as the candidate.

    To be positive, I hope that Labour pick David Lammy for the 2016 contest. He has impressed me, particularly his response to the riots last year. He looks like a good and involved MP, and I suspect has the intellectual capacity to step up from representing a constituency to be the Mayor of London.

  • Franwhi

    It’s funny because here in Scotland the idea of a marriage analogy has been ridiculed by those in the Labour Party who are pro-unionist. We have gone through much the same relationship with Scottish Labour and along the journey more and more Scots have increasingly asked – what are we  achieving with our loyalty ? Is the party reflecting and communicating our ideals or is there a vision gap ? The blunt reality is when you’ve lost the hearts and minds you can’t make calls for loyalty anymore – you can only resort to hectoring, shaming and fearmongering. Negative, negative,negative

    • Holly

      Bradford West being another example.

  • Cory

    Here’s another relevant quote, this one from the West Wing:

    “You gotta dance with the one who brung ya”

    (Leo McGarry)

  • Hamish

    I’m surprised nobody has defended Ken’s treatment of his tax affairs.
    In his position, with multiple sources of income and a number of employees, it made sense to incorporate (ie form a company).
    It would be perverse to have all payments made to himself, pay income tax on them all, and then pay wages and other expenses out of taxed income.
    As GuyM has pointed out, we all engage in tax avoidance if we make before-tax contributions to a pension scheme, pr use Gift Aid when we donate to charity, or save money in a cash ISA.

    • http://twitter.com/sprogglie Sprogglechops

      No one is attacking Ken for the fact that he is using a company to minimise tax. It is a perfectly legitimate method of doing so used by hundreds of thousands of people. He IS being attacked, and rightly so, for his hypocrisy  in having attacking people who do the same .

       “These rich bastards just don’t get it … no one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in parliament, unless they pay their full share of tax.”
      “Cameron’s problem is too many of his team have become super rich by exploiting every tax fiddle.”

    • Bill Lockhart

      That’s not how self-employment works. Income tax is paid on the profit left after allowable expenses have been deducted. Livingstone chose to avoid paying income tax on his profit by forming a company, paying (lower) corporation tax instead. All perfectly legal and, in his case, perfectly hypocritical.

    • Holly

      Yes we do, but we do not go around saying, ‘we don’t dodge/avoid paying tax’, while accusing others of doing so.
      That is being a…..What’s the word I’m looking for….?
      See the problem yet??

  • GuyM

    Playing devil’s advocate for a second.

    Would Labour supporters prefer to see Ken elected and have 3 years of more of the same Ken nonsense in power and all the negative headlines he would get before the General Election of 2015.

    or

    Would Labour supporters prefer to see Boris re-elected, killing Ken’s career stone dead and leaving Cameron and Boris in situ and have the two Tory old Etonians sitting there open to attacks before the 2015 vote?

    I suspect if you were to be honest most of you would go with the second option of Boris winning.

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

      It’s a matter of policies that will benefit Londoners and the nation – not sordid political maneuverings in preparation for a general election.

      Ken’s policies are the best for London – that’s one reason to support him.

      And I’m surprised you’re not voting for Ken. You reckon Ken’s policies are uncosted and he can’t deliver – he’s promised to resign this year if he doesn’t deliver of the fares proposal.

      So, if you are correct, the choice is between a Johnson victory or a Ken victory followed by a Johnson victory within a few months and a the Labour Party humiliated along with Ken.

      Clearly, according to you, a Ken victory in May would be of no benefit to the Labour Party you oppose, so how confident are you in your assessment, confident enough to vote for it?

      • GuyM

        I do wish you’d be less “religious” in your fervour.

        Ken’s policies are not “best for London”, they are best for certain groups of Londoners, whereas for others they are no benefit at all and in fact have a negative impact.

        I’d not vote for Ken under any circumstances, even though I suspect he’d be a disaster. As far as I’m concerned he’s an apologist for fundamentalist Islam which means I could never support him in anything, no matter what. In fact if confronted with either Ken or a BNP candidate I’d abstain as I’d regard both with equal loathing.

        Ken is best for muslims and other minority groups he favours, along with those who don’t have to pay for his promises. Those of us stumpinp up the taxes for his plans won’t benefit.

        Ken’s would be a Mayor for inner London, he offers nothing for those of us in the “doughnut” other than higher taxes.

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

          “he’s an apologist for fundamentalist Islam” 

          Guy, get a grip and give the Diamond White a rest – it’s destroy your faculties.

          • GuyM

            Does appearing in public with fundamentalist islamic preachers not indicate that?

            Does calling for London to be a beacon for Islam in an election campaign where he has already insulted Jews collectively also not indicate that?

            When he was London mayor did London not get the name “Londonistan” which he was quite comfortable with?

            If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…..

            Livingstone is unashamedly pro Islam over other ethnic miniorities and often over the historic judeo-Christian culture of England. That on it’s own is enough to wish he never gets elected again.

      • Bill Lockhart

        Are you seriously claiming to believe Livingstone’s promise is sincere?

        Astonishing. You really don’t know much about him, do you?

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

          Not another “seriously claiming”, please…. !

          A little more effort might win a reply.

  • http://twitter.com/sprogglie Sprogglechops

    “I always voted at my party’s call
    And I never thought of thinking for myself at all”

    HMS Pinafore

  • http://twitter.com/TaxChicKen Chic-Ken

    “The party is more important than the individual” – not a line of thinking that ever troubled Ken.

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

    For all the people saying some variation of “the party has a duty to it’s members to put forward better candidates, and by punishing Ken, I am teaching the party to put forward better candidates”, you apparantly all need to be reminded of a few things:

    1. Ken was elected democratically by members & affiliate members, beating Oona King with a whopping 68.8% of the vote. It wasn’t even close
    2. The margins in the members (33%-17%) and affiliates (35%-14%) sections were virtually the same, so unlike with Ed, one can blame the unions
    3. MPs, unlike in the leadership elections, had no special role in this process. We, the rank and file, chose Ken
    4. If you were one of the 31% who voted Oona or if you didn’t have a vote in contest but you prefered her (like me), commisertations. But it’s time to get in line
    5. If Oona had won and the members who preferred Ken were acting like the anti-Ken mob are now, I and every reasonable Labourite would be applying point (3) to them instead
    6. If you disliked both, it’s not Ken’s fault (or Oona’s) that no one else had the guts to get in, and Boris isn’t any better than either of them

    So can we please all stop talking like he was foisted on us by some invisible evil cabal of tribalist hacks. We picked him, by an agreed mechanism- indeed, by a far more public and broadly-inclusive mechanism than the one by which most of our council & parliamentary candidates are selected. Respect for the party’s established mechanisms and common purpose, and internal lobbying to reform them if you are unhappy with them, is what keeps a party together.

    • Daniel Speight

       Very well said.

    • Holly

      This is Ken’s fault, NOT the members or supporters.
      He threw the first stone, which turned out to be a boomerang, and it hit HIM square on.
      After being told it is ‘disloyal’ to speak out on a ‘bad’ candidate/MP’s etc, while in government, now out of government do they feel they can now try to re build the party’s reputation by firstly getting rid of the ‘dead wood’ on May 3rd?Or do they think he’s just unfit to represent their Labour party/London?As a PS…It is NOT a done deal that either of the ‘front runners’ will win

    • GuyM

      Or if you hate a candidate you can opt to abstain.

      I see no reason why any party member is obligated to go and vote for whatever candidate just because they are told to.

  • Angela

    I thought the Ides of March was a very good film. But Ken has not been loyal to the Labour Party (he rode over the wishes of the party re. Lutfur Rahman for a start.)  Kenhas not been loyal to London.  He dumped the Jewish and gay communities for the votes of Muslim extremists.  Finally he has showed huge disployalty to Londoners by bashing bankers for legal tax avoidance and then avoiding tax himself.  He has still not disclosed his full earnings for 4 years, as he promised Londoners that he would.

    Under these circumstances, only a fool would be loyal to a man who has no conception of loyalty, except to himself.

    • Alexwilliamz

      Yes but the time to sort that out was when he was selected as the Labour candidate. Now it is him vs Boris, so all a bit late now.

  • madasafish

    Quote: “
    Without loyalty, he says, you are nothing. Loyalty is a valuable but necessary commodity in politics.

    Quite.

    BUT people can be loyal to a fault.  If the policies that the party is following do not work and you cannot get it to change them, what do you do?  Wait for a Kinnock to come along and lose an election or three until the party is electable?

    Support a Chamberlain through thick and thin when it last becomes obvious his policies are not working…

    Following a party blindly can lead to all sorts of disasters – which may last for over a decade.  See the Tory party with the post Thatcher regime – which attempted to follow Thatcherite policies.. 13 years in Opposition: most of them hopeless and unelectable..

  • Jeremy_Preece

    From about 1992 through the following 15 years the Conservative Party did us the favour of turning their firepower onto each other. A divided party comes over to the electorate as self indulgant, lost in purpose, selfseeking rather than seeking to serve, but above all it comes over as unelecable and unneccessary.

    Matthew is correct, Labour members must publically get behind their local Labour candidates. Those who point out Ken’s failings are also correct insofar as there is room for criticism to put it mildly.  Unlike Matthew’s analagy of a marrage, I prefer the family.

    A normal healthy family is full of disagreements and squabbles, but unite when under the attack of outsiders. That is the difference between functional and disfunctional. I will give the Tories their due, recently I came across many of them on local polling day last year who really hated each other, and plenty who told me of their private opinions of the like of Gove and others. However come election time, all of their party members were out backing all of their candidates.

    As a democratic organsiation there must be argument, disagreement, discussion and the thrashing out of where we stand. There is a time and place, and the place is not in the public arena and certainly not by undermining a Labour candidate, whatever our private thoughts might be. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZPXYLRVP4XOIGGDJWAL6HUO7U4 David

      A flawed analogy: you cannot choose your family, but you absolutely can choose not to support Ken.

      • Jeremy_Preece

        Since you are obviously very much hung up on the absolute
        literal David, let me spell it out. For a party to win elections it has to unite
        behind its candidates.

         

        Every Labour candidate stands as a declaration of war against
        the coalition. Therefore let us get on with the fight against this government. We
        do not need to make enemies of each other within the party, and we do not need
        to run around trying to stick the knife in to the back of a Labour candidate
        that as an individual we might not like.

         

        Once a candidate is selected we have to get behind them and
        support them to the best of our ability.  Then, if we must, we can indulge in arguing
        about them after the election is over, and (which is why I used my family analogy),
        we argue about it within the party, and not openly so as to give the other
        parties ammunition to throw at us.

         

        Yes, as democracy we have choice. If we really feel
        unable to support a particular candidate then we can be less active in our
        support, but nonetheless, we do not publically knife them, and we do not waste
        electioneering time tearing our party apart.

  • aracataca

    Well said Matthew. In the face of this awful  shambolic government we must stick together.

  • Johnnyfstoke

    I think you make a lot of good points, however I also think that members need to be loyal to a set of values which to be honest Labour currently does not have and needs to find before it will be taken seriously again. People can then choose to accept those values or not. Sadly the range of views in the current party makes this difficult .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1655928878 Mary Lockhart

    I do support Labour. I am a Labour Party member of more than 30 years standing. But I am very weary of having to support, out of loyalty to the Party, candidates i do not believe are worthy either of the Party, or of the people they seek to represent. I’ve done it several times over the years. Campaigned with a heavy heart for perpetrators of domestic abuse, tax avoiders, middle aged men who slaver over teenage labour students, drunks of both sexes, people who live a very different life in London from the life they live among their constituents; I’ve even campaigned for a candidate I saw tossing a coin with a student pal to determine which would join the Labour Party and which the Tories – both are now MPs for the party which emerged from that exercise. So. I would like to know, for how long is the Party which selects such candidates worthy of loyalty? For how long is one’s loyalty to the Party more important than helping to inflict on the people representatives whose principle motivation is self advancement, and whose loyalty is entirely to the status quo of the Party machine which keeps them on top? 

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