I am glad Boris won, it will be harder for him now that the assembly is under Labour control but better than the alternative. I did not want Ken to win not because he is Ken but because he is Labour and I just don't trust them.
So what if people talk about 'coffee, olives and knitting' it is people talking to each other and not doing to normal London thing of putting there heads down, that can only be a good thing?
My only problem with the WI is that you meet on the second Tuesday of the month, which is when I go to the Wood Green book group. Yours self-obsessedly, Mirandola.
OK, I take it back about the WI, although I have my doubts about the 'Women's' part of it, just as I have with 'Woman's' Hour on R4. Campaigning around the issue of domestic violence I respect you for, and understand that for, shall we say, feminist reasons, women may want to organise on a women-only basis. But why are cooking, knitting, sewing, all harmless enough pursuits in themselves, by implication also considered women-only? Isn't that sterotyping?
If you had had a more serious attitude to the election, I would not have felt tempted to sneer at you and people like you, and your hobbies. It is lamentable that nobody on this thread seems to have taken the issues seriously, and I mean the POLITICAL issues, not whether Ken makes unpleasant remarks or not, or whether one might vote for Boris because he is more distinctive than most other politicians. You seem to have a likeable personality, on the basis of the above autobiography, and your posting generally, but I deplore the shallowness of your comments, and those of the rest of the SG.org gang, about desperately important issues affecting London as a whole, as well as the lives of many families not a thousand miles from where you and I live.
See what I mean, Miss Annie? While I was answering your post, 2 more people, one of them, I believe, your partner, popped in with yet more trivia. I give up.
I take your point Checkski but supporting and endorsing homophobia and racism is taking a political stance about things that affect the lives of Londoners. Possibly more than a lot of the rest of the U.K. He was the Labour candidate not an independent, he expressed those views as a representative of that party and for those reasons among others I do not want him to represent my city.
I think that you sound like a splendid chap too but I doubt that we will agree on this.
On the Mayoral elections that is, rather than you being a splendid chap!
How is having my own opinion trivia?
I will never and have never trusted the Labour party, if they had spent more time trying to tell people like me why I should vote for them and not plucked a ridiculous policy like the EMA maybe Ken would be in power.
Then we can all be tofu eating sandal wearing hippies wiping our arse on a spring lamb just in case the toilet paper chokes a whale.
I am proud to be a Tory voter and proud that Boris won, the city is in much better hands than with a left wing maverick.
You are right Miss Annie is my other half, but trust me she normally hates me as much as she hates Ken.
It will be interesting to see how Boris fares now that - save for the Olympics - there are no more of Ken's projects left for him to cut the ribbon for. That ignores the Thames cable car of course, which Boris promised would cost the taxpayer nothing but is having to be subsidised to the tune of millions from the tube upgrade budget.It's hard to point to anything worthwhile that he achieved himself during his first term in office. I have a smidgen of respect for his ability to be a master of populism, but judged on substance it was an abject failure. His refusal to answer scrutinising questions from the GLA, the repeated dismissal for corruption of his deputies and allies, the reprimands that had to be issued to him for not pulling his weight or turning up for business at all... poor show. What, I wonder, makes someone proud to have voted for him?Some of the posts here remind me of Orwell's description of working class Conservatives: "Tories with nothing to be Tory about".Personally, though, I never forgave Ken for bottling it and not renaming London 'Keningrad'.
@Checkski: I broadly agree with you, but I think your criticisms of other people's lifestyle choices are misplaced. One should want everyone to have access to a decent standard of living, including the pleasant cultural activities and forms of socialising that I suspect you dismiss as bourgeois. But just because that is not yet the case does not mean that those who can afford to should not participate in them, or discuss them with their friends. You can safely separate such participation from political views, I think. Socialism - morality, even - should be about levelling up, not down.
@Detritus. Regarding your comment about the Assembly, hang on a moment ... for while Labour have a majority, I think I am right in saying that they do not have enough seats to be described as in control. Greens and LibDems would appear to hold the balance of power.
"It's hard to point to anything worthwhile that [Boris] achieved himself during his first term in office." - only if you don't count the misguided Ken policies, from the Hugo Chavez alliance to the westward Congestion Charge extension, that he ended, while having the sense and grace to leave the good ones intact. Plus, he did away with the ghastly bendy buses, and finally fulfilled Ken's old, broken promise about more conductors on London's buses.
I don't have an opinion on the western congestion charge. I too hated the bendy buses and have a weakness for the new Routemaster. But withdrawing all of the bendy buses without a ready replacement (the third Routemaster only came into service this week) has lead to reductions in service.I can't bring myself not to love the Chavez alliance.
@checkski - You think we should have voted for a homophobic antisemite because we want cheaper tube fares? What kind of a person are you? What the hell is wrong with lefties who are happy to accept extreme right-wing social values in exchange for moderately centre-right (and that's what Ken is) fiscal policy?You might as well vote for the BNP. I'm sure they'd be happy to lower fares in exchange for your soul and conscience.
@Arkady - What's not to love about a leader who shuts down free press and imprisons his opposition?A left-wing tyrant is still a tyrant.
And he said that "those who killed Christ" had too much influence in the world. Probably one of the reasons he and Ken got along so well.The only ex-bendy route I use with any frequency is the 29. I've not noticed any greater gap between buses - but I have noticed that the buses which do come along are much more pleasant and less crowded, presumably because they're no longer offering free rides to the criminal, the malodorous derelicts and the deranged.
For what it's worth, here's Peter Tatchell on Ken's record on gay rights:
“Ken was very wrong to invite the sexist, homophobic cleric, Sheikh
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to City Hall in 2004 but he should be judged on his
overall record, which on gay rights is exceptionally good.
“In the early 1980s, as leader of the Greater London Council, he
pioneered gay rights policies that most MPs opposed at the time. It took
many of them another 20 years to embrace gay equality. Ken supported
the lesbian and gay community at a time when most other politicians did
not. He deserves great credit,” said Mr Tatchell."
I think when we also consider the 'riddled with gays' comment, it must be concluded that the bad company Ken has been keeping has begun to rub off on him. People change with time, and people who have made misguided alliances are more prone to do so than most.
From that same Tatchell article:
“Ken Livingstone is not homophobic. His use of the word riddled has
to be judged in context. It was clearly not used with any homophobic
intent. All parties have lots of gay and bisexual MPs, as Ken noted. He
is right to state that there were many gay MPs in the Tory party, from
the backbenches to the cabinet,” said human rights campaigner Peter
Tatchell, who has helped spearhead campaigns for lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender (LGBT) equality since the early 1970s.
He was commenting on an interview with Mr Livingstone, Labour’s London Mayoral candidate, in this week’s New Statesman:
“After Labour’s election victory in 1997 many gay Labour MPs came
out, while gay Tories remained in the closet and continued to vote
against gay equality. Ken was making a simple statement of fact,” added
“Ken is correct to suggest that in the 1980s and 90s the Conservative
Party was avowedly anti-gay, while having many gay MPs. Lots of Tories
opposed gay equality, despite their own homosexuality. They were
hypocrites and homophobes. Ken is right to point this out.
“In recent years, the Conservative leadership has embraced gay
equality, which is commendable. However, only two weeks ago it was
reported that 100 Tory MPs intend to block David Cameron’s plan to end
the ban on same-sex marriage. They still oppose gay equality.
Ken Livingstone did the maths. Supporting gay-bashers, misogynists and antisemites gave him more votes. 8.5% of Londoners are Muslim. 2.1% are Jewish. Around 5% are gay. Instead of working to unite different ethnic and religious groups, Ken prefers to play one against the other.
I remember one Boris policy. Let's step up stop and search. In August 2008 I went to Greenwich Park to have a picnic with a few friends. In the early evening on the way out we realised that metal detectors had been set up for people coming in. Two of us walked out of the park. We waited for the rest of our friends to come out. A few shouted at us 'how do we get out?' as they'd closed one of the gates we had come in through. We motioned to the gate we had come through. Police came over and accused of us of passing things through the fence. We were stopped, questioned and searched. Probably cost the taxpayer at least £100 in time, paperwork etc. just so they could build up statistics (two 35 year old white men doing something dodgy, informing their friends how to get out of a park). And this has brought down crime, stopped riots....? Why do I hate Boris? Scratches head.
But Kreuzkav, you are always saying how you're part of the oppressed underclass, so presumably the police recognised you as exactly the sort of element who might have turned to knives and robbing as the only way to get by in a world dominated by the jumpered classes.
I didn't say I looked middle class. I said I looked 30s, white. Please use your Oxbridge degree IQ in a better way. Did I say I looked middle-class?
@ ADGS. And oddly enough the friends that came out later were white and from other races. I really thought you were better than this. Shame on you!
Kreuzkav has finally cracked.
Despite your trendy rhetoric, Andy, there is, as usual nothing there. I was tempted to mount a defence, but I can't be bothered. As I said miles above, I give up on this thread. I had much more fun with the Tiller girls on the naan thread, (yes, I can be trivial too - some of the time!), but regret that my lovely picture probably hasn't worked.
@checksi love it! Especially "trendy rhetoric". That's a keeper. I think you might mean "adjectives", but I prefer your way.
No, I mean rhetoric, Andy.
'False, showy, artificial, or declamatory expression'. That's Chambers again, not me.
Glad you like it!
@checkski, why aren't you more upset with Labour for not fielding an alternative who could quite easily have won? I did not vote for Ken not because I have any sympathy with the Conservatives, but because I can't abide certain aspect's of Ken's personality and politics, and because after Blair/Brown I am thoroughly disillusioned with Labour. I ended up voting for Siobhan Benita, as I thought her policies were progressive and sensible, she wasn't Boris, and she wasn't Ken. It seems rather almost naive of you to ignore the role that personality plays in politics; you are angry at voters for focussing on it instead of policy, but you must recognise that modern politics is hugely about personality, and Labour selected a candidate who has alienated a lot of voters. That is poor politics. Also, I enjoy coffee from Vagabond and the occasional meal at Season. Come the Revolution and I'll be first up against the wall.