The Thick of It


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The campaign against Ken

It has been commented that I was wrong to state that the campaign against Ken Livingstone and Lee Jasper has singly been at the hands of the Evening Standard. It was cited that Channel 4's Dispatches aired an attack of Ken's powers. The programme argued that the Mayor has too much power. The summary states that Martin Bright:

"(investigates) the lack of checks and balances on the mayor which allows him to create and instigate costly and controversial policies, at public expense without wider scrutiny or approval."

Ken himself stated that if extra checks and balances were put in place, he would be happy. He also responded in more detail in Bright's New Statesman, setting out why he thinks he deserves to win in May. You may recall that part of Bright's programme sought to investigate whether a glass Ken had used contained any trace of alcohol. I really cannot take this seriously. Radio 4 reported on Dispatches and what others were "reporting."

Dave Hill reports on last night's Influentials Debate, where Ken gave a strong defence of his record and against Gilligan's attacks. Ken stated "what hasn't been produced is any evidence to sustain...the Evening Standard implying that Lee Jasper has been a beneficiary of this. That's what's outrageous." Without laying specific evidence and proof, Richard Barnes' "tide of corruption" claim does not stand up.

The Evening Standard and those campaigning for Boris want us to be caught up in these arguments rather than positively campaigning on Labour's undoubtedly progressive record in London. I'll finish with a short list:
  • Congestion charge
  • More social housing
  • Free travel for the young and those on income support
  • Plans for a sustainable city by 2020
  • Improvements to buses


Chris Gale said...

The appalling Labour MP Kate Hoey has also been leading the campaign against Ken.

Timmymc said...

I often wonder why she is in the Labour Party.