The Thick of It


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ken and me on LBC

Perhaps not at the same time. I made my LBC debut yesterday morning reviewing the newspapers for the LBC News 1152 breakfast show.

I highlighted the backlash over Labour sending supporters around the Crewe and Nantwich by-election dressed as toffs. Not a wise move when one of them was privately educated. I know the "other one" and he was not. Perhaps a few checks there might have been wise. The Daily Mirror was the only newspaper to cover David Cameron's professional huntsman being the first person to be taken to court over fox hunting since the 2004 Hunting Act. Cameron a toff? Lord no!

I also mentioned the potential black hole in the Crossrail finances. It will be interesting to see whether Johnson chooses to raise fares for any cost over-run or if he will persuade the Treasury to help out. I just can't see a Labour run government helping him out. Forcing Johnson into raising fares would potentially make him unpopular so I think that might be forced upon him. The private sector has already invested heavily in the project so I can see any further requests for funds falling on deaf ears. The East London Advertiser reports that Gordon Brown might choose to shelve the project. This would be disastrous for London.

I enjoyed the radio slot and hope to be featuring again soon.

Ken Livingstone has today agreed to host a phone in show on LBC 97.3 FM. It'll be great to have Ken back in the public sphere. Whatever people think of him, I think most Londoners respect his career commitment to the city and his wit. In the election he seemed tired so I look forward to hearing his wise cracks again.

Indeed, BBC quoted LBC programme director Jonathan Richards: "Ken Livingstone brings unique insight to LBC.

"After eight years as Mayor of London, no-one knows this city and its people better."

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