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July 19, 2004

Comments

Barry Meislin

...by confusing multiculturalism with genuflection towards bigotry....

Alas, it would seem that this is precisely what it has become, if the following has any validity:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=14261

http://reason.com/0003/fe.ak.thought.shtml

(hat tip, Cella's Review.)

I'm not quite sure why this necessarily has to be the case, since I initially thought multiculturalism meant respect for the other, an attitude of live and let live, giving the benefit of the doubt, generally (or at the very least, no automatic disrespect), which attitudes would seem to be essential for a humane society to function.

Perhaps, on reflection, as with all politicized forms of behaviour deemed from "on high," the goal becomes twisted by ideology; perhaps, it does necessarily have to be this way.

Too bad. But the problem must first be identified if it is to be met head on.

janus

OT:

Mr Kamm, I came across the following encomium to your blog recently:


“As usual, Oliver is Olympian, measured, full of historical references, lovely style. If that guy went to a State school I'll eat my copy of 'Adventures of Aeneas'.”

(http://www.pootergeek.com/index.php?p=154)

Would you care to comment on the above supposition about your schooling, if only to give physic (or at least indigestion) to pomp.

Andrew Ian Dodge

I think it was good of Pollard to admit that he was wrong in supporting Red Ken. I am sure he is not alone in that plight.

Mark T

I too remember Red Ken, the worst sort of charming villain. Totally self interested and opportunistic with a nasty streak of class warfare. Also, if Livingstone's comments about 4x4s are to be believed he also views his road pricing policy to be an engine of social engineering. Higher prices for road users he doesn't approve of. Very enlightened. I would be happy not to drive my 4x4 as long as, like Livingstone, I could get free taxis everywhere. How about it Ken?

Dom

"...who unlike Livingstone had actually been elected "

I'm not British -- wasn't Livingstone elected?

Effra

If you've seen the "Chelsea Tractors" cluttering up Sloane Square and the Kings Road in the rush hour, you'll understand why they're the cabbies' Public Enemy #1.

If Kamm ventured into a greasy spoon pull-up, he'd discover how popular Red Ken the Islamophile is among the Montys and Bernies of the London licensed-taxi fraternity. "Congestion charge? Best bloody thing that ever happened to London, mate. *And* he's put the screws on those mini-cab pirates. Now if he can sort out these bleedin' 4x4s..."

Michael

I'm not British -- wasn't Livingstone elected?

If I'm not very much mistaken, Oliver was referring to Livingstone's position as Leader of the Greater London Council in the early-to-mid 1980s, which he assumed after deposing his predecessor in a left-wing coup some 24 hours after the May 1981 election. Although he was certainly an elected councillor, when the public voted for a Labour GLC, they were doing so under the impression that it would have a rather more moderate leader (Andrew, later Lord, Macintosh).

Of course, Livingstone was elected fair and square as London mayor on two separate occasions in 2000 and 2004 - people have tried to challenge this, pointing out that since only a relatively tiny percentage of Londoners bothered to vote at all, he was therefore elected on the basis of a tiny minority, but I don't think that argument has much validity: if Londoners didn't want Livingstone as mayor, they had two separate opportunities to vote against him and failed to take them up.

rich

people have tried to challenge this, pointing out that since only a relatively tiny percentage of Londoners bothered to vote at all, he was therefore elected on the basis of a tiny minority, but I don't think that argument has much validity: if Londoners didn't want Livingstone as mayor, they had two separate opportunities to vote against him and failed to take them up.

absolutely. since one of the transferable vote systems was used, those that normally argue against non-representative elections lost their main argument. thus they had to make up some other excuse to moan about the fact that their preferred candidate (or otherwise) was not elected. hence the tiny turnout. if there was a 90% turnout, they would probably moan about the quality of the pencil with which they were asked to mark their ballot paper...

Andrew Ian Dodge

Basically you can thank the idiots at CCO for Red Ken being re-elected (or so easily). If they hadn't stiched-up the contest to find the Tory candidate, the Conservatives would have had a much better chance. I spoke to quite a few Tory voters and activists who absolutely loathed Norris. They either voted UKIP or didn't vote at all.

Michael

I'd say that Livingstone's decision to rejoin the Labour Party did more to reduce his majority than anything the opposition managed! London is traditionally a Labour city, and it's hard to think of a plausible (i.e. genuinely popular and strongly London-centred) Tory candidate who could have unseated him. Remember the hilarious line-up of nonentities they came up with after Archer's disgrace and Norris' temporary disqualification?

Aside from his links with Jarvis, which were clearly a PR disaster (not least because his refusal to sever them constituted an effective admission that he wasn't going to win), Norris was as good a bet as any as far as London voters (as opposed to unrepresentative Tory activists) were concerned.

Sean Fear


The problem is that no front-rank politician wanted the job of Mayor. Livingstone was the best-known of the candidates.

However, Livingstone has cultivated a rainbow coalition in London, which was just abotu large enough to win him the Mayoralty.

In some ways, Livingstone reminds me of Nick Griffin. Both are intelligent, a bit slimy, good at spotting political trends a few years before they become popular (minority identity politics in Livingstone's case, white identity politics in Griffins's case) and both appeal to the worst in human nature.

In the end I gave a very grudging vote for Norris.

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