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February 28, 2008


Norman Tebbit's bycycle repair man

a matter of shame to many figures of the ostensibly radical wing of politics that they're prepared to sign up to Livingstone's campaign where "anyone who has a progressive bone in their body should have run a mile".

Wrong. Some of us did a lot to try to stop Livingstone in 2000 and voted for him with heavy hearts in 2004. But politics is about choices and there is no third choice here who is going to beat Johnson.

It is reasonable to say that you prefer Johnson to Livingstone. It's not reasonable to pretend that not voting for Livingstone as either first or second preference is helping elect Johnson.

(Also, this is why Labour tribalists will be supporting Livingstone - the alternative is worse).

It is also bizarre that Bright and co - who claim they voted for Livingstone in disgust at how the Labour machine "stitched him up" in 2000 now demand ever more shrilly that such a thing be done again. Sorry, comrades, you had your chance, you called it wrong and nobody is going to releave you of the choice between Livingstone and Johnson.

C Powell

The most fundamental reason for not voting for him is NOT that he lacks a sense of public service, though that is true. It is that he has aligned himself with some of the most anti-progressive forces in the world today, most notably, fundamentalist Muslims such as Sheikh Quradawi. This what the Left too often does and the fact that he is supported by the likes of Kate Hudson and others who, similarly, support such anti-democratic / anti-liberal forces should scarcely come as a surprise to you. In doing so, like all such appeasers, he puts Londoners at greater risk of being killed or harmed by those forces.

Miv Tucker

Last month the Camden New Journal lambasted Mr Bright for his profile of Ken Livingstone: even so, one of the very few things they could find to say in Livingstone's favour was that he had greatly improved London's bus services, which was unhealthily reminiscent of what people used to say of an earlier anti-democrat.

I wrote to the CNJ making more-or-less the same points that Mr Kamm is making here, so I'm delighted to see that they are getting the wider airing they deserve.

For some reason the CNJ declined to publish my letter, so here it is now:


Praising Ken Livingstone for apparently improving the bus service ("A rant that was blind to Ken's achievements", CNJ 24.1.08) smacks rather unpleasantly of praising Mussolini for making the trains run on time, and it argues much that that was the best you could find to say.

The fact is that Livingstone is a proven thief (he and his Trotskyite chums stole the 1981 GLC election from the moderate Andrew McIntosh), liar (he consistently misrepresented his intentions about running for mayor to the Labour Party), and racist (he made anti-Semitic remarks to Oliver Finegold, the Evening Standard reporter, as well as to the Reuben brothers). He also embraces terrorists of every stripe from the IRA to Yusuf al Qaradawi, the homophobic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic preacher of hate and head of the Muslim Brotherhood, and brutal dictators such as Castro.

And, so far from improving the buses, Livingstone even lied about preserving the Routemaster bus by going on to abolish it.

And then there is the small matter of corruption in the Mayor's office.

In a saner society Livingstone would have been run out town years ago and not allowed within a mile of any conceivable lever of power.


I've been wondering who to vote for in this election, given that so many of the candidates are simply awful. I shall take your advice Oliver - i'll vote for Oona!


"Few recall that Livingstone became leader of the Greater London Council in the 1980s without any reference to, or consultation with, London's voters."

It was publicly known though that he was going to challenge for the leadership after the election.



Given the sheer volume of correspondence in the CNJ, it is quite remarkable they didn't publish your letter. They seem to publish pretty much everything else. Perhaps the letters page was being edited by the late Rose Hacker?


Comment deleted.

Oliver Kamm

Szeni, I've (very unusually) removed that comment because of its abusive aspersions on Oona King. If you'd like to resubmit it without the particular phrasing that I object to, please do.

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