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« The New Party | Main | More on London »

April 30, 2008

Comments

peter

"Nowhere were these characteristics more in evidence than in the city-wide authority for London, the Greater London Council (GLC), of which Livingstone was leader."

I demurr. I believe Liverpool under Militant displayed these characteristics more.

David Duff

"Tony Blair’s otherwise principled premierships"

Honestly, Oliver, it's the way you tell 'em!

antrastan

Repetition of 'against' in 1 graf inelegant. 'nothing to do' in 8 graf.

Michael Cross

Ancient history of course, but as the 1981 coup appears so often on the charge sheet I wonder if there is much evidence to show Londoners really thought they were voting for McIntosh? As I recall, GLC politicians - except, possibly, the incumbent Cutler - were scarcely household names. I suspect we voted Labour in 81 to get him out and give Maggie a slap, not to get any particular candidate in.

m

PJD

On what grounds could have Blair expelled Livingstone from the Labour Party before he ran as an independent?

Oliver Kamm

Michael, the issue you raise was very much a campaign issue in 1981. It was a mainstay of the Tory campaign, led by the flamboyant self-publicist Horace Cutler, that if Labour won then the hard Left would control the GLC. McIntosh specifically denied that there was a serious prospect of a challenge to his leadership. To the misfortune of Londoners, McIntosh was mistaken. Within 24 hours of the election, Livingstone and his caucus had confirmed Tory propaganda.

The reason Livingstone ought to have been expelled long before the 2000 election was his "bringing the Labour Party into disrepute by behaviour that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the party".

Glyn

Michael Cross: "Ancient history of course, but as the 1981 coup appears so often on the charge sheet I wonder if there is much evidence to show Londoners really thought they were voting for McIntosh?"

Well, I'm a Londoner who voted in that election for Labour, and Labour again today, and I did so because I trusted McIntosh who was a decent man. If Livingstone had staged his coup d'etat a few days before the election, rather than immediately after, it would have been more honest of him. At the time, I personally felt tricked out of the chance to vote for him or not - that it happened only a couple of days after the vote made it seem even more deliberately mocking of the voters - they were determined not to give McIntosh a chance.

Next time, my memories of the siege of Mafeking.

PJD

"bringing the Labour Party into disrepute by behaviour that is prejudicial or grossly detrimental to the party"

You just copied and pasted that from news reports of Galloway's expulsion.

Gregg

On what grounds could have Blair expelled Livingstone from the Labour Party before he ran as an independent?

Oh, come on. Thatcherised Stalinists don't need grounds.

Oliver Kamm

Excuse me? That's part of Labour's rulebook - and I had understood you'd asked the question and wanted an answer.

PJD

Ok, but it is part of the rule book. The only place it is quoted anywhere is to do with the Galloway expulsion.

What did Ken Livingstone exactly do before he ran as an independent that could be construed as bringing the party into disrepute?

Alan Ji

I've just learned of the existence of Oliver Kamm by a link from Harry's place. I am concerned that this website stars a quote from the notorious anarchist Noam Chomsky.

Ken Livingstone certainly has his faults, which I would summarise as a reluctance to be a team player unless he is in charge, but he also has considerable achievements to his credit.

London today has record numbers of Police and buses and the most substantial public transport investment programme for two generations.

I have no idea whether the change of GLC Labour Group leader in 1981 (27 years ago!) was a coup. I do know that Labour Groups of Councillors have an AGM after an election, and that election of Group Leader is an item on the agenda!

In the 1980s several London Boroughs were much worse managed than the GLC.

I also have better things to do than to worry about Yusuf Qaradawi. The important international matters that Ken Livingstone has worked on have been inward investment and applying technology to combat climate change.

We wait to find out whether these will continue.

Michael

I've just learned of the existence of Oliver Kamm by a link from Harry's place. I am concerned that this website stars a quote from the notorious anarchist Noam Chomsky.

Not half as concerned as Oliver will be about the way you're interpreting this as a signal of support for Chomsky!

To say you're wide of the mark is a bit like calling the Pacific Ocean a mass of water - essentially true, but hopelessly inadequate when it comes to conveying sheer magnitude.

Still, it could be worse - you could have got the David Irving quote.

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