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BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor

GUEST,Lyle 04 May 00 - 09:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 May 00 - 10:00 PM
Gervase 05 May 00 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 05 May 00 - 06:23 AM
IanC 05 May 00 - 06:47 AM
GeorgeH 05 May 00 - 07:37 AM
TerriM 05 May 00 - 07:58 AM
northfolk/al cholger 05 May 00 - 08:05 AM
GMT 05 May 00 - 08:32 AM
Lady McMoo 05 May 00 - 08:58 AM
AndyG 05 May 00 - 09:07 AM
GMT 05 May 00 - 09:13 AM
Micca 05 May 00 - 01:38 PM
The Shambles 05 May 00 - 01:43 PM
Eric the Viking 05 May 00 - 04:34 PM
Richard Bridge 05 May 00 - 05:10 PM
Liz the Squeak 05 May 00 - 06:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 May 00 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Lyle 05 May 00 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,Ickle Dorritt 06 May 00 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Ickle dorritt 06 May 00 - 05:42 PM
Jon Freeman 06 May 00 - 06:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 06 May 00 - 06:11 PM
Terry K 07 May 00 - 02:20 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 May 00 - 07:03 PM
Terry K 08 May 00 - 01:48 AM
Rick Fielding 08 May 00 - 02:15 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 May 00 - 07:09 AM
John Nolan 08 May 00 - 09:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 08 May 00 - 09:54 PM
Brendy 08 May 00 - 10:13 PM
Terry K 09 May 00 - 02:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 May 00 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 09 May 00 - 12:02 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 May 00 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Penny S. 09 May 00 - 12:31 PM
Eric the Viking 09 May 00 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere) 10 May 00 - 07:16 AM
Penny S. 11 May 00 - 05:20 PM

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Subject: UK,ers:Thoughts on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 04 May 00 - 09:21 PM

Just wondering what people who live in UK think of the new mayor of London. I am very suspicious of news reports that filter through US newspapers.

The music part of the thread - Does he like folk music??

Lyle


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 May 00 - 10:00 PM

The final results aren't in yet, but at present it's looking as if Ken Livingston will get the job; quite right, too.  If I still lived there, I'd certainly have voted for him.  Frank Dobson was forced onto the electorate as a "New Labour" puppet, and couldn't have been taken seriously by anybody who took the trouble to think about it.  The Tory candidate(s) were irrelevant jokes in poor taste.  And, yes, I believe that he does like folk music, though I suspect that his taste runs more to the contemporary than the traditional!

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Gervase
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:06 AM

Ken's finally in. I voted for him (with some misgivings, so now let's wait and see. As for his musical tastes, I remember him from his GLC days at an Irish gig clearly enjoying himself hugely. I hope he'll prove to be a good thing - uniting what is a pretty divided city and giving Londoners a sense of pride, providing he doesn't use the chance to grandstand against Blair. Interestingly, even the conservative City of London has given Ken a cautious welcome today, so maybe things will get better.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:23 AM

I lived and worked in London during his GLC days and would have voted for him if I'd been there today, though I've always voted Labour (and did so in a safe Tory area yesterday). His public transport policies were very good and his other policies less loony than the rightwing press like to pretend. The fact that Londoners were happy to vote for him support this. When will the Blairites realise that portraying even Roy Hattersley, who used to be on the soft right of the party, as a left wing "Old Labourite", for daring to criticise some policies, shows they have alienated most of their traditional supporters? Mustn't rant on, I'm beginning to sound like my father!
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: IanC
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:47 AM

I think most people like Ken, regardless of his politics. He's original and independent and has that touch of eccentricity that English people like.

I also suspect that people object to being told who to vote for by the major political parties.

Finally, I'm glad he's got his old job back. You'll remember that Margaret Thatcher pulled the GLC just because it was Ken running it. Must have been a real thorn in her side having the unemployment figures in 20ft high letters across the river every day!


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 May 00 - 07:37 AM

Yup, I'm with the rest of the UK-ers here. If I'd still been in London he'd have had my vote.

On a wide range of policies there was VERY little to choose between the four major candidates . . but I think most people know Ken will stand up and fight for those policies and for London.

His "loony-leftism" was always exagerated - though he always knew how to grab attention and publicity - and his pragmatism has increased with passing years.

It's the best possible result for London and for UK politics - a reminder that it IS (occasionally!) possible to stand apart from the "Party Machines", AND stand up to a conserted campaign of smears and negative campaigning. Actually, Ken is the only leading candidate who emerges from the campaign with any credibility and integrety.

G.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: TerriM
Date: 05 May 00 - 07:58 AM

Yep, sorry to be boring but I'm with everyone else on this. Ken comes across as a man of integrity and principles in an arena that is woefully short of both.Most everyone knows that the 'loony left' element was played for all it was worth by the Tory press and I agree with IanC who puts his finger on the point that Brits don't care to be dictated to by the big political parties.If the Labour party hadn't made such a pigs ear out of choosing their candidate they could be rejoicing in a major coup today instead of looking like a bunch of pillocks.Rest of the country doesn't seem too thrilled with them either.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: northfolk/al cholger
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:05 AM

Sorry to intrude, as a non-UKer, but as a former National Interim Committee member of what is now the Labor Party in the US, the topic is critically important to me. Our party is presently non-electoral, and one reason for that is, until a party can have some control of the economic picture, they will always be making the choice between "pragmatism and principle". I hope that Livingston can provide a working example of what a real working class elected official should do....


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GMT
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:32 AM

So all folkies are socialists ;-)

I'm not a Londoner (although my Dad was born just south of the river) and have never lived there.

It will be interesting to see how it works out. Ken is a valuable person to have in politics and went up in my estimation daily as I've watched events unfold on TV.

Can someone tell me how long the tenure is for and what the turnout percentage of voters was ?

Cheers Gary


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:58 AM

I am Ken man too. On the music front, when I lived in London I was for a short time on the committee of the West London branch of Comhaltas. Being short of money we applied and got a grant from the GLC which pleased us musicians and dancers greatly. Needless to say this was portrayed badly by the loony right of the time!

Yes Ken's independent-minded and eccentric as a newt. This is why independent-minded Londoners like him. He also made London Transport cheap and introduced non-skid road markings to save motorcyclist's lives. Two more reasons I like him!

Peace,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: AndyG
Date: 05 May 00 - 09:07 AM

Gary,

The Mayor is elected for a term of 4 years.
Turnout was low at 33.6% (BBC-online report).

AndyG


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GMT
Date: 05 May 00 - 09:13 AM

Cheers Andy.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Micca
Date: 05 May 00 - 01:38 PM

I am with Ken too, I think many people took the opportunity to hold up 2 fingers to two Prime ministers,
1. Margaret Thatcher for stealing Londons right to democratic local Government, by putting the man she removed back as the first elected mayor
2. Tony Blair, for trying to tell Londoners who to vote for.
The vote figs. were
Ken 39%
Norris(conservative) 27.7%
Dobson ( Labour)12.8%


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 May 00 - 01:43 PM

A few thoughts from before the election. Ken's the man.

We'll see?


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 05 May 00 - 04:34 PM

As an ex-Londoner who used to visit when "Red Ken" as he was called was head of the GLC I am really pleased to see him back where he probably would have still been if not for Thatcher and her ilk. So Good luck to him and his excellent transport policies-hope he goes on for a long time.As for Blair he's a turncoat and a traitor to all the things Labour stood for and all the hopes of the millions of people who voted them in last election. Bring back(I know they've not gone) Tony Benn, and Dennis Skinner etc. ps Micca did you get my mail? Cheers. Eric


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 May 00 - 05:10 PM

I composed a lenghty and thoughtful post and the dratted machine ate it.

In upshot, why would Blair have screwed up so badly unless there was a scam going on to save the risk of a Labour loss to the conservatives as a result of mid-term blues?

In politics, honest guys don't finish at all. KL will now rejoin Labour, and voila! a Labour mayor with no risk to TonyB.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:41 PM

And he has a sense of humour too - he began his victory speech; "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted 14 years ago......!" as a sort of verbal finger to Maggie who got him chucked out in the first place.

And not all folkies are socialists, just as not all Government Employees are mean and sadistic.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:48 PM

I'd just posted an update to a previous thread Ken's the Man, when I saw this - so I've posted a suggestion there that anyone going there should move over here instead.

Here's a link to the song I wrote before the election, with a RealAudio song file attached, if you click on the appropriate clicky next to the words.

As for the question of folk music, when Ken was in before there were some great concerts, with the likes of Hank Wangford, the singing gynaecologist ("GLC - that's Good Loud Country"), Billy Bragg, and Christy Moore.

And here's a verse from Christy's "Hand off the GLC" -

As a humble Mick or Paddy on this royal stage
I ust admit to bias that I cannot disengage
For Livingstone's the only one who could make the time
To enter into West Belfast and walk across the line.

Whatever happens with the tubes and the politics, I'll guarantee there'll be some good free music. All kinds of music.

And the interesting thing is that this time, even the Tories seem to have voted for him...


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 05 May 00 - 09:20 PM

Thanks heaps, folks! I really appreciate it.

I had a sneaking hunch that much of the news in the US was biased against Ken L. and that it was mainly for political reasons (ours, not yours!)

Lyle


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Ickle Dorritt
Date: 06 May 00 - 05:32 PM

Here's my four pennorth'- as a Londoner by birth but not by inclination, I have a passing interest in the election, and knew Ken would get in. As a bloke he seems ok, and it's nice to see the Blair machinery have their noses put out of joint. However, being an old cynic one politician is much the same as any other, and there was a marvellous item on channel 4 news which showed the Livingstone machinery spinning as much as any other. In fact on that showing I would have voted for Steven Norris-he was bloody hilarious!!.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Ickle dorritt
Date: 06 May 00 - 05:42 PM

Whilst we are on the subject, can I just voice my dissapointment at the lack of imagination shown by other candidates for the mayoral role. Not one Monster Raving Loony, not a Freedom for Badgers independent, only some chap witterng on about Private Motorists. No wonder Ken Livingstone walked it.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 May 00 - 06:11 PM

I have nothing against Ken and have no connection with London but I share the same cynicism regarding politicians as Ickle dorritt. I also agree with "nice seeing the Blair machinery having their noses put out of joint". Let's hope he does live up to the exepectations of those who voted for him.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 May 00 - 06:11 PM

Freedom for Newts anyway! And foxes and hares as well. He'll do for now. And, the way things worked out, poor old Dobbo ran as Monster Raving Loony Party candidate...


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Terry K
Date: 07 May 00 - 02:20 AM

Ken won it entirely due to his tremendous charisma, which he has treated us to regularly on TV over the past few years. The guy is brilliant. How this translates into Mayorship I don't know, but certainly do have misgivings.

Many observers say that the loony left stuff during his tenure of the GLC was not his doing. Fair enough, but it still went on and he either didn't know, didn't care, or perhaps more realistically, wasn't able from a political standpoint to stop it going on. These are the fears of ratepayers - is my poll tax money going to be spent on ne'er do wells and bludgers? Will there be favouritism towards non-heteros etc etc.

As I say, the guy has been terrific OUT of power; now let's keep our fingers crossed


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 May 00 - 07:03 PM

I never really trust anybody in public life, and that includes Ken. But he's got a better recvord than most - and the myth of "the loony left GLC" doesn't really stand up, evenm though we've hasd it rammed down our throats for nearly 20 years now.

Most of the things called "loony left" by the raving right papers were perfectly sensible policies, which now are mainstream. Treating racism in the police, and violence to black people as serious matters, subsidising child care, cutting public transport fares, trying to stop discrimation against gay and lesbian people, and against people with disabilities, free concerts in the park, talking to Sinn Fein...Nothing too controversial or weird in there.

As for sticking the number of unemployed people up on the roof so that the Westminster politicians couldn't avoid seeing it - "gesture polkitics" they called it - but every time I passed County Hall in tghose days it cheered me up in a very politically dismal time.

And most people in London seemed to see it that way - remember, the only reason Maggie Thatcher abolished the GLC was because she knew that come the next GLC election her people would get beaten aqain.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Terry K
Date: 08 May 00 - 01:48 AM

Public perception at the time of the GLC was that various things were wrong. And people's happiness or unhappiness with any situation is more to do with their perceptions than with fundamentals. Rightly or wrongly.

But if people are unhappy, the duty of the incumbent is to change the things that make people unhappy, or at least in some way to reassure.

I lived in London at the time of some of the supposed "worst excesses" of the GLC and can promise you that I was thoroughly pissed off with some of what was apparently going on. Rightly or wrongly.

At the end of the day most people are not really interested in fundamentals and will remain unhappy even though "the intelligentsia" can prove conclusively that they are better off.

So the question remains, will people generally be happy with Livingstone's tenure, or will they be unhappy (regardless of how well he is really doing). I have reservations - even though I think the guy is terrific.

And incidentally, from a centrist position, I don't believe Ken got any worse a deal from the Press than Thatcher received when it was her turn.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 May 00 - 02:15 AM

It would appear that the word "charisma" is the key. Oh to have a prominent politician in Noth America with a "personality"!!

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 May 00 - 07:09 AM

I'm not sure "charisma" is really the word. It suggests some kind of hero figure with carefully coiffed hair on a white horse. What Ken Livingstone has is an apparent quality of affability and lack of pomposity.

There's a sense in which this is an image, as with any other public figure. I don't think the question of "how far you can trust the man, and how far the image is a valid one" and all that is too interesting at this time.

What I find more interesting is, what is it about the image that appeals to people? Because I reckon there must be lots of politicians trying to work that out, and find ways of bottling it and applying it to themselves. Though I don't think it'll work for them.

I don't think America is in fact short of people who fit the bill, it's just that you've got a way of keeping them out of politics these days. Ken Livingstone has said his role model for mayor is Fiorella La Guardia. My pick for President would be Michael Moore


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: John Nolan
Date: 08 May 00 - 09:12 PM

I completely concur with McGrath of Harlow about Michael Moore. His regular on-line newsletter is treat. Regarding Ken, anyone wishing to learn more about Livingstone, his policies and his record might enjoy reading Turn Again Livingstone (Profile Books 1999) by the Guardian's John Carvel.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 08 May 00 - 09:54 PM

Can't agree with Terry K.  I was born in London, and was there throughout the openly corrupt Horace Cutler [Tory GLC leader] years; the supposed "Loony Left" excesses of a few zealots on local councils -largely invented by the Tory Press, though it's quite true that there were a few idiots who set themselves up for it- were insignificant compared to the "Rabid Right" ones that followed when the Conservatives began their long campaign to make Socialism illegal.   I moved north (to the then "Peoples' Republic of South Yorkshire") round about the time Ken took over.  I was very impressed by his "Fare's Fair" policy; it worked extremely well, until -like the Public Transport policy in Sheffield- Thatcher made it illegal because it was an example of Socialism, and it worked.  Livingstone is, like all successful politicians, a man with an eye to the main chance; I'd trust him sooner than I would Tony Blair, however.  Good luck to him.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Brendy
Date: 08 May 00 - 10:13 PM

"Hank Wangford, the singing gynaecologist".
Oh, you bring me back, Kevin!!!

Good man Ken; it's always nice to see a friendly face.

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Terry K
Date: 09 May 00 - 02:12 AM

Malcolm Douglas, you have fallen into the rather predictable routine of making odious comparisons between Tory and Labour regimes in and after the GLC.

My comments were only related to Ken Livingstone's previous tenure, perhaps as a guide to what we may now expect, and in no way intended to be a comparison with any other regime. And I can assure you that people in London at the time were not happy - by your own admission there were "excesses", it was Ken's job to sort them out and he clearly didn't, or at least didn't seem to.

And as I am a centrist, any attempts you make to score political points have no effect on me - you'll need to direct your remarks to the right-of-centre.

But I agree entirely that he is probably more trustworthy than Blair and fully endorse best of luck to him.

Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 May 00 - 05:46 AM

I still think the interesting thing here is, what is it that appeals to people when they see Ken Livingstone, rather than the ins and outs of what happened last time. I mean, superficially at least he doesn't have the qualities that are supposed to turn people on to public figures and does have a number of characteristics that should mark him down.

I mean you are supposed to look impressive, and have a ringing voice and an air of omniscience, and yoiu shouln'd ever admit to making mistakes.

You aren't supposed to be stout and balding with a nasal whine of a voice, and say things like "My anger boiled over and triggered a stupid decision...Acting with all the calmness and rationality of a bull elephant, I made a long and bitter personal attack on John. (From "If Voting Changed Anything, They'd Abolish It".)

But, just for the record - a Thames TV Harris Poll in 1984 found that 74% of Londoners opposed abolition of the GLC, and that 61% thought Ken Livingstone was doing a good job.

And in a letter to Thatcher a few months earlier the minister carrying responsibility for abolition, Patrick Jenkin write "The 1985 elections cannot be allowed to go ahead: other objections apart, abolition would be a major issue in the elections."

To get back to te question I opened with, I've been thinking about the distinction between three things - arrogance, vanity, and pomposity. It strikes me that Ken's trick has been that he has managed to combine the element of arrogance and vanity that virtually all politicians seem to need with a total lack of pomposity. The only other politicians I can think of who seem to have done this are Mo Mowlam and Alan Clark (though he compensated by having an incredibly high level of both arrogance and vanity).


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 09 May 00 - 12:02 PM

And look what happened to Mo.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 May 00 - 12:20 PM

The nicest thing about Kenny is that he doesn't appear to have shagged his way through the entire cabinet and their families......

He single handedly slashed transport costs to the passenger when he was GLC leader, and if he can get my fares down to less than 10% of my yearly gross, then good luck to him!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Penny S.
Date: 09 May 00 - 12:31 PM

With Ken, you know what you're getting. You he'll use a range of methods to achieve his targets, including low politicking. But you also know what his targets are, and the philosophy from which they spring. Whereas ...
Letter in the Guardian today - referred back to an article quoting an un-named Millbank official. "This is a disaster made in Downing Street. Blair made a fundamental political error of creating a job without first deciding who would fill it."

Penny S. (hoping he stops the Crystal Palace multiplex)


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 09 May 00 - 01:46 PM

As ex-West norwood, where are they going to put the multiplex? Just curious. Eric


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: GUEST,Penny S. (elsewhere)
Date: 10 May 00 - 07:16 AM

Right on the site of the old Crystal Palace, on Crystal Palace Parade. Persmission granted by Bromley, which will get the money, while the adjoining boroughs will have all the traffic and other hassle. It will dominate the skyline, while in no way fulfilling the terms of the Crystal Palace act which said anything on the site should be in the spirit of the original. This has been taken to mean glass and modular. Whereas imaginative and educational might have been nearer the mark. It will include many fast food outlets, thus hitting the nearby eateries. The architect is Ian Ritchie, who also designed the prizewinning concert platform in the park, which looks variously like a rusted landing craft on a Normandy beach or a huge brown half-open laptop. He believes that only those who have studied his work on architecture will understand the aesthetic superiority of his design. There is a website for the Crystal Palace Campaign who are fighting a losing battle to preserve the site, which will give more information.

The mayoral aspect is that the site really affects five boroughs, and in future, such plans would need mayoral approval. It's probably too late.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: UK,ers: Your take on London's mayor
From: Penny S.
Date: 11 May 00 - 05:20 PM

Oh, and a Bromley councillor - co leader no less, has had a letter in Guardian backing Ken.

What price democracy.

Penny


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 26 May 1:01 PM EDT

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