Ken Livingstone: the interview (part 3)

Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, in conversation with Calvin Tucker, co-editor of 21st Century Socialism. Part 3: racism, the media, his record as London Mayor, and plans for the future.

Tucker:  As Mayor of London you built a multi-cultural coalition in the inner cities involving some middle class people, but predominantly black and white working class people. And that endured for quite a long time. You did that in your GLC days and you were able to recreate that in your position as Mayor.  And then you lost. And there seemed to be a strong racial element to your defeat.  I have a friend of who is an electoral returning officer, and she was quite shocked at the number of voters who had voted first preference Conservative and second preference BNP. So this wasn’t simply a matter of BNP racist voters voting for Boris Johnson [the Conservative Party candidate] as their second preference.  

There appeared to be a certain backlash against that multi-culturalism, and also some division between those such as Trevor Phillips who seems to take what he would call a sort of integrationist approach, and yourself. Can you just enlighten me here?

Livingstone:  Well, I think your analysis is right. In the two previous Mayoral elections, Stephen Norris [the then Conservative candidate] was absolutely strongly anti-racist and very pro gay and lesbian. The BNP and UKIP never actively made him the second choice, and he was very rude about the Daily Mail‘s editor; and so he wasn’t an attractive second repository for racist votes.  In Boris they had that, I mean all the stuff about “picaninees” and  “watermelon smiles”, two men marrying a dog; all that stuff played very well with the latent bigot. And the six percent difference between me and Boris is more than explained by the fact that between the BNP, UKIP and the English Democrats, they got almost ten percent of the vote. So they had somewhere to go, I think that’s certainly the case.

Also the climate had changed, because even in 2004 you hadn’t had that long campaign of Islamophobia in the media. I mean, if you actually look at the Mail, the Express, the Telegraph, it is quite virulent. The Muslims have become the enemy within – it used to be the Irish.

Tucker:  There are some people within the Labour party, or people who would describe themselves as being on the left, who seem to be participating in this Islamophobic campaign and have been quite hostile to you.

Livingstone:  I would not say that I consider people like Bright or Gilligan… 

Tucker:  Martin Bright of the New Statesman?

Livingstone:  Yes, Martin Bright, Andrew Gilligan of the Evening Standard, and Nick Cohen. I see these people very much like a layer of the left in the post-war period. As the world faced this choice between America and the Soviet Union, there was a layer in intellectuals on the left who became fervently pro-American, and it wasn’t just that they were anti-Russian or anti-Soviet, the people they most spent their time attacking were those people around the Bevanite strand, who were trying to argue for a middle way between those extremes. Who wants to choose between America’s rampant capitalism and Stalin, for god’s sake? It’s not the choice you want to make. And so this layer of people who sold out, effectively to American interests, spent all their time trying to destroy anyone who was offering an alternative. They wanted the world to face Stalin or Eisenhower; it’s the starkest choice.

And therefore what the American right, the neocons, want is a stark choice between them and Al Qaeda. I refused to say that is the only option before us. It isn’t just the Express and the Mail – it’s also the BBC that is quite bad. Any mad fundamentalist Muslim can get ten minutes on the Today Programme, and it creates a completely distorted view.

Tucker:  But you were accused yourself of inviting over Al-Qaradawi, who has himself has been pilloried, fairly or unfairly, as a mad fundamentalist. What happened there?

Livingstone:  Well,  Al-Qaradawi just happened to be coming. To my shame, I was so ignorant about the theological disputes between the various wings of Sunni Islam, I knew nothing about Al-Qaradawi…

Tucker:  Not part of the job description of the London Mayor then? [Laughter]

Livingstone:   No, I rapidly found out. Effectively, you have the Wahabi strand of Islam… they had the first real encounter with the West and that was Gordon’s defeat at Khartoum. But it was taken up by the Saudi royal family, funded massively, and it is a particularly intolerant and backward looking strand of Islam. Then you have Al-Qaradawi, whose writings and programmes are accessed by hundreds of millions of  Muslims, who talks about engagement with the West, whose own daughters have all been educated in the West. The Wahabi and the Saudis are virulently anti-Qaradawi, and that’s the choice.

Of course, some people might say ‘ah, there is a small group of twenty five wholly secular Muslims who are all good socialists’ – that’s fine, I really want to work with them. But the choice you have actually got is Wahabi or Qaradawi. Qaradawi’s not perfect, he is not going to turn up on a gay rights march. But that’s the choice that’s being fought over in the Muslim world, and you therefore work with the most progressive elements.

When John the 23rd became Pope in 1958, people didn’t say ‘oh, he is not very good on women’s rights’. They were just delighted that here was a Pope saying ‘well, we don’t think the Jews murdered Christ’. I mean, he started that great commission on contraception, which had he lived would have actually changed Catholic policy, but he died. And then Paul the 6th changed the composition, with catastrophic results for humanity.

Tucker:  These personal attacks on you, there was that guy from the Evening Standard, Oliver Finegold, and you were being accused of being an anti-Semite, etcetera. Given your record as the guy in London who was the ahead of the rest of the pack in the 1980s and did so much on anti-racism, did that hurt on a personal level?

Livingstone:   Media coverage I found painful in the early ’80s, I have become immune to it. It hurts only when they go after friends and family, when in a sense it hurts them. I recognise I get this shit because I represent something they are frightened of. Which is, you know, a way forward – there isn’t this classic choice between American neo-liberals and fundamentalist Islam. That’s a ridiculous choice.

It is important to remember now that Huntingdon’s Clash of Civilisations pamphlet, which then became a book, wasn’t just talking about the West versus Islam. It was also the West versus Confucianism. I mean, there is not much America can do about that because if the Chinese government decides to stop buying American bonds and dollars, they are going to go into a catastrophic recession. Chinese governments make their own very clever analysis of all that, you make yourself basically indispensable. So there’s no question of America doing a nuclear attack against China, and it leaves China to carry on propping the USA’s economy up. I can’t remember, do the Chinese buy $200 billion a year of American currencies and bonds? It’s something like that. Without that, wow, interest rates would have to go up dramatically.

Tucker:  You mentioned that what hurts is when the press go after friends and family. You’ve managed to keep your personal life very personal. What has been the secret of that?

Livingstone:  Well, you have to be absolutely clear, you can’t use your family a little bit. This is what Tony and Cherie Blair found out. They thought they were dealing with one really nice journalist from the BBC, and they’d have a film clip of Ewan playing on the piano. The moment you allow any access, they become fair game, so I never discuss my private life with the media. And as for all the people who share my life, they take broadly the same view. They didn’t have a relationship with me on the grounds they are going to read about it in some bloody kiss and tell drama, twenty years down the road. 

It is one of the things I find quite interesting. It was really started by John Kennedy, when he had photographers taking pictures of Caroline and John running around the Oval office – it looks lovely, you think ‘oh, it’s a normal human being’. But the moment Kennedy was assassinated, Jacqueline Kennedy brought down a real shutter; and the press were frozen out of the rest of those kids’ lives. Look, you’ve got to do that. Also, I suppose the thing I find abhorrent about our politics, is that it is becoming more and more about personality and style, and less and less about ideology. And, you know, if it’s personality and style, I am never going to get anywhere. Stylish is not me.

Tucker:  I don’t want to bang on about it, but do you think you came to some kind of rapprochment with the press over your private life?  I am happy to do this bit off the record if you like…

Livingstone:  No, no, that’s fine.

Tucker:  There were these revelations about your kids. I knew about this fifteen or twenty years ago – but nobody wrote about it, and that’s what I found interesting.

Livingstone:  Thousands of people knew I’d had three teenage children. There was a layer of activists who knew, but then there were the thousands of kids and parents who went to the same school that saw me at the school gate, or when I went to the local fete, and things like that. What I find really quite nice is that in all that period, nobody ever picked up the phone and said ‘I’ve got a story for the [newspapers]’. And it’s great. If it had been a secret it would have come out, but it was private and people respected it. Once they got to be sixteen, they are no longer covered by the Press Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is absolutely clear. No child under the age of sixteen can be used, however notorious the parents, as long as you don’t use them. And I’d always assumed that once they all hit sixteen it was going to be a field day.

It was quite good actually, that it all came out in the middle of the election, where my opponent has an even more colourful private life than I do. And so they couldn’t use it.

We had a brief flurry, there was a story that ran on the 6.30 BBC regional news on the 3rd. The last journalist gave up camping outside houses on Saturday morning.

There was this lovely moment on my walkabout in Islington the following day. There was this huge media scrum, because they all wanted pictures of me with babies. And the party, the senior party officials, all turned out to be there to manage this; no-one in that first 24 hours had any idea how this was going to play out. And there was this lovely moment when this little old lady pushed through the journalists and said: “Mister Livingstone, I think you should have all the girlfriends you want”. [laughter] 

And you just realise – this is London. As long as people are consenting adults, no-one gives a damn. It’s like New York. Mayor Bloomberg said to me – his partner wants to get married – “We are going to get married at some point. But if I do it before the election, it will be said I am doing it for electoral purposes.”

Well I said, “When you get married, we’ll get married.”

In New York, who cares? 

In these great world cities, people have got more problems to cope with than worrying about who their leaders are sleeping with. So that’s what’s is nice. I don’t know if I would have got away with it in Ross Cromarty & Skye.

Tucker:  Possibly.

Livingstone:  As I have never been there, I don’t know. 

Tucker:  You come across as a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, you appear to have quite a thick skin. And then again, watching the declaration of your defeat as Mayor, you were almost in tears. There is an emotional side to you as well. Is that something that has led your political ambition?

Livingstone:   I grew up in a world in which boys don’t cry, which was seen as a terrible sign of weakness. Somewhere in the 1970s this began to change. And I was so glad my two sons can grow up in a world in which they can show their emotions. Because I remember what the 1950s was like, and it was awful, really stultifying. I think some of the excesses in the 1960s were actually because of an over-reaction to the 1950s. And I don’t see any point in trying to pretend that things don’t hurt.

Watching the Olympics and our single gold medal in track and field… I did stuff with Christine earlier on when we were doing the Olympic bid. And then there was her exclusion because she missed the three [drug] tests. And I always thought, you’re talking about a young woman in her late teens, early twenties – at that age you will make those sort of mistakes. I was really delighted she got back into the Olympics and did an incredible run at the last minute. I was watching it, and I had tears streaming down my face because I know the person. I know what it costs to get there. I’m glad that is the world we now live in, rather than the one where I was brought up as a kid where boys weren’t supposed to cry. We do. You are as much likely to cry because something moves you, as because of something that hurts.

All through that… I woke up on the Friday morning [the day after the local and Mayoral elections] and heard the Today Programme say that Labour’s vote nationally was down to 24%. And I thought, Christ, I can’t overcome that.

Tucker:  Was that the first point that you considered defeat? A week before the election it was clear to me that you were going to lose. What was going through your mind?  Had you reconciled yourself?

Livingstone:  There were the YouGov polls that I didn’t believe, that gave Boris margins of anything from six to thirteen percent. And then all the other polls said it was neck and neck. And that’s what it felt like on the streets.

Tucker:  What streets were you walking, the outer London streets? 

Livingstone:  No no no. Boris worked the outer, and we worked the inner.

In about a fifth of the wards in London there was a swing to me, and so therefore it was a very divisive election in that sense. But no, you go through an election to win it. And I thought there was every chance of doing that, just because of the enthusiasm I was getting. And Boris was getting the same enthusiasm in their areas.

And it was only going to be on the day, that we discovered which machine had grinded out the most of the vote. So it was only when I woke up on Friday morning – I thought: ‘oh shit’. And so I went in and started clearing the desk, and what was quite good was how much closer it was than I feared it might have been when I heard Labour was 20% behind the Tories. We came down to just 6%. And I also thought my personal vote would be, because of the viciousness of the Evening Standard campaign, my personal vote would be squeezed down to much closer to the Labour vote. And it went up to13%, instead of just being 10% ahead of the Labour vote.

So actually, it wasn’t like that Portillo moment, where there was this huge personal rejection of Portillo; he goes away and rethinks his life and becomes a different human being. I almost felt like that was an endorsement given the state the Party was in.

Tucker:   Except in your concession speech you took full responsibility for your defeat. But that wasn’t true was it? It was a white lie. It was New Labour that lost it for you, wasn’t it?

Livingstone:   In the first place, you aren’t going to get up when you have lost and start blaming everybody else. That just looks bad, but also…

Tucker:  Nobody believed that part of your speech.

Livingstone:  Well, I had built up a personal vote of a quarter of a million over the last 25 years. If I could have built it up to a third of a million, I’d have won. But who am I to blame? Because there’s what you can do for yourself, and what your party does to drag you down when its having a bad time.

Tucker:  How are relations between you and the Labour heirarchcy? Do you speak to Gordon Brown, do you ever chat on the phone?

Livingstone:  I was in Venezuela when you had the Olympic handover ceremony to London. And Gordon was there [in China] with Boris. And having done all those interviews, the first thing he did was to phone me in Venezuela and say, ‘I think it’s really really unfair you’re not here, but this is your achievement’. A very nice little phone call.

I explain – because I started out with no expectations of Blair and Brown; and I came to recognise, in very different ways they had immense qualities and I was able to get, eventually, good working relationships with them which tremendously benefited London. So my autobiography next year will not be the classic pattern of all these New Labour biographies, being high hopes and then embitterment. Mine is pretty scathing contempt, and then actually improving! Mine will run against the general trend.

Tucker:  New Labour is often characterised on the left as simply a neo-conservative, neo-liberal project. Isn’t it truer to say that in fact, Blairism is occupying a space between the old fashioned social democracy during the Soviet era, and neo-liberalism? And it is that space that has been carved out, and some tax money redistributed, the edge taken off extreme poverty, etcetera.

Livingstone:  I absolutely agree with that. It’s really ridiculous to just lump Blair and Brown in together, and certainly to lump them in with Bush and Cheney. I know from my own experience in dealing with Number 10, that Blair always saw himself as moderating – I think a slight naivety in that – moderating the American adventurism.

I actually think a lot of the problems of New Labour come not from the ideology, but the lack of experience of government. If you look at American politics, with the exception of this year and Kennedy in 1960 – whoever is elected this year is going to be a Senator, without ever having been a Governor or a Mayor. And there was one other election in the past, it was Harding in 1920; only three American elections where someone has gone from the Senate to the Presidency.  Every other election they had been a Governor, a successful military commander, in one instance a Mayor. And if you look at Germany, every Chancellor since Adenauer, and who was briefly his successor? Ehard. Every other Chancellor since then has successfully run a Länder. Everywhere else in the world, people are Mayors, Governors, and you are not allowed to play with the national state unless you demonstrated you could run the local one. 

Here in Britain, the local government experience has been squeezed right out. Everyone leaves university, works in some PR firm or as a researcher for a MP, and the first experience they have of managing anything is when they find they are a Cabinet Minister or a Prime Minister. So I watched Blair and Brown and everybody, except for Blunkett and Dobson and Chris Smith, who’d had strong local government experience – all these people learning and making the sort of mistakes that I made when I was a councillor in Lambeth my 20s, but on the national stage. Blair would honestly say to you that he spent his first term as Prime Minister learning how to do the job. That’s a luxury. Boris is now spending his first term as Mayor learning how to do the job. This is a luxury that you really can’t indulge. It is really only in Britain with this obsessive centralised state, that you’ve got to be Prime Minister, or virtually nothing else is worth doing. It has got worse under New Labour; in Mrs Thatcher’s time, being a Cabinet Minister you had a real air of responsibility, and were left to get on with it.

Now everything is run centrally, and it will be under Cameron I suspect, if he gets in, and this is a terrible weakness. You need to have demonstrated administrative experience. Now to my surprise, I expected a lot more casualties of people who turned out to be incompetent ministers. But it was still a wasted first term. A lot of the errors that were built in were that. There were the ideological errors of saying we are not going to increase taxes on the rich.

And then were just the errors of omission. How long does it take you before you realise those civil servants aren’t yours, and they have their own agenda and they are just very good at seeming yours? I learnt that when I was in Lambeth Council in 1970s before I was 30. And then Blair had to learn it in his premiership. 

Tucker:  I’ll finish. Bendy buses: they are too long for our streets, they blow up in the middle, they squash cyclists, left right and centre…

Livingstone:  You’re a mouthpiece for Boris. [laughter]

Tucker:  …and they’re free aren’t they? Because nobody has to pay; you just walk on and you don’t have to tap your Oyster card. I mean, was that the idea – to re-introduce free public transport on the sly? 

Livingstone:  They are the most popular bus we run.

Tucker:  ‘Popular’ in the number of people who are using them, or by popular acclaim in the streets?

Livingstone:  People who don’t get on them have bought all this propaganda. Remember where this came from. Policy Exchange started the campaign to bring back the Routemaster and savage the Bendy Bus. The people in Policy Exchange don’t need public transport. The simple fact is- on our market surveys, when we asked people what they thought about the particular buses they use, bendy buses are slightly more popular than double deckers.

Take the one that goes down Stoke Newington Church Street, which I always thought was going to be one of the most difficult to run. We put that in there because you couldn’t get enough double deckers down to cope with the demand. And a friend of mine who lives there, gets the bendy bus in every day, and he said ‘I like the bendy bus.’ I said ‘what was it like before?’ And he said, ‘I couldn’t get on the bus.’ And where you have got a bendy bus route, they are broadly carrying the same number of passengers on that route as the entire Manchester tram system.

And what Boris will find when next year he cancels- he is just not renewing the contract- he will have to put an awful lot of double deckers on to cope. Part of the problem is a lot of people won’t go up the stairs in a double decker.  If a bus is going to burst into flames you would want to be on a bendy bus, rather than on the top of a double decker. No-one has ever died in a fire on a bendy bus.  No cyclist has ever been killed by a bendy bus.

Tucker:  You don’t like tall buses, but you do like tall  buildings. We are a congested and overcrowded city; does building upwards make sense?

Livingstone:  It’s a question of density, per hectare. Where you have got tall buildings, if they are residential it is usually because very rich people want to live with a wonderful view in a well organised building.  There is one opening shortly on the Isle of Dogs. It should be interesting to see how that goes in the present climate. Or it is like the Gherkin or the London Bridge Tower, you want a signature building. There is a limited demand for them, and you don’t have to go high for any purpose of maximising homes or jobs, unless there’s an asthetic reason for doing it. But Bendy Buses –  no, people will miss them when Boris gets rid of them.

Tucker:  What has been your single greatest achievement during your eight years as Mayor? What are you most proud of?

Livingstone:  There’s too much. People used to say, what was my biggest mistake? and I think that on all the major issues we got it right. If you actually look, Boris and the Tory campaign against me is all about trivia. It was about bendy buses, it was all about things at the margin. On the big issues: the way we re-built the bus service, got neighbourhood police back on the streets, won the Olympic bid, prepared for 7/7, so that we recovered so rapidly. The reason I am spending so much time going abroad, is all round the rest of the world, city governments see London as the success story of the first decade of this millennium. They think it was transformed from a basket-case to dynamic, overtaking New York. If only we could have got the British press to report it in the same way, I might be there still.

Tucker:  Over your political career you have socked it to two prime ministers. Thatcher won, but it was a pyrhic victory and you returned from the ashes. And then Blair had a go and you emerged victorious again, against your own party.

Livingstone:  I am proud of the fact that the two most powerful prime ministers of modern time tried to destroy me and they both failed, yes.

Tucker:  Just a personal question, do you use the internet?

Livingstone:  No. I am going to start now. When I was a MP, one of the first things I did was that I went and did a touch typing course and my second book, (my first book I wrote by hand and had it typed up) my second book I typed up onto the word processor, and then right the way through the 1990s…

As we started the first Mayoral campaign, there wasn’t was the time to do that, and right the way through my years as Mayor… I mean, people bring me stuff- you deal with it, there isn’t the time to log on and browse.  Now, I will get into all of this. But I noticed it with Blair, where you are doing these photocalls and so on, it was quite clear that neither of us could directly access whatever we were being asked to do, and you don’t in that sort of position. 

Now, my life being a little bit more leisurely, I am really looking forward to it. Because actually, things like Conservative Home and Ian Dale’s – in actual fact it’s the blogs over the last three months that have been much better at exposing what is going on in City Hall than the press have been. It has been quite chaotic in there, and you have still got the Telegraph and so on lauding it as the apex of human civilisation.

Tucker:  A one word answer if possible, Ken- are you going to run in 2012?

Livingstone:  There isn’t a one word answer to that. I mean, if Boris stepped under a bendy bus tomorrow…

Tucker:  That would be a vindication of your transport policy!

Livingstone:  …and if you ask would I like to be Mayor in 2012?  Yes of course I would like to. But the party won’t start the process of selection until 2011. If you ask me now, the answer is yes; but you can’t be certain.

Tucker:  How about as a Member of Parliament?

Livingstone:  No. I see no point in being in Parliament unless you are going to be Prime Minister.  There once was a point. 30 years ago Parliament had some real power but, under a combination of Thatcher and Blair… I mean, because of the narrowness of the Labour majority, some of the back benchers have had some impact. But even members of the cabinet now, their areas of responsibility are so circumscribed. We have become the most centralised state in the Western world, and it has no appeal whatsoever.  Because once you get into parliament you are a prisoner there, you have to be there for votes.

I could achieve much more, I’ll be doing a lot of work around the environment for instance and that is much more important. I remember my second book, Livingstone’s Labour, which I wrote whilst I was an MP. For eight months, it meant getting up at four o’clock in the morning and typing away on my old word processor until  nine or ten, and then going in to do parliamentary stuff, and this has no appeal. So really, I couldn’t do all these things that I’ve got lined up to do now.

Part 1 of the interview can be read here, and part 2 here.

Since this interview was recorded, Ken Livingstone has re-founded the Socialist Economic Bulletin.

118 comments on “Ken Livingstone: the interview (part 3)

  1. Can somebody please tell Ken that he lost because

    (a) his administration was mired in corruption
    (b) he invited and welcomed racists and homophobes to London as his guests, just because they were muslim and he thought it supported his cynical, dangerously divisive communalist approach to London politics
    (c) nobody buys the ‘Boris is racist’ line (always supported by the same two or three quotes knowingly taken out of context) and the more it’s repeated, the more it turns people off
    (d) ordinary people are increasingly thinking that multi-culturalism and the emphasising of difference has been a disaster

    And can somebody please tell Ken just that he lost; and that his tedious attacks on Boris from the sidelines are losing him any residual goodwill that he had.

  2. Well said Jonny Mac

    this constant bleating from Ken is beyond a joke now

    He lost the election – get over it.

    He is turning into the Ted Heath of his generation

  3. David T on said:

    Multiculturalism should not mean “the emphasising of difference”. Multiculturalism is essentially about the shifting, overlapping cultural identities of pretty much anybody who lives in a large British city.

    That’s a very different thing from plural monoculturalism: which really is about “the emphasising of difference”, putting minorities into their separate compartments, operating a pillarised, semi-colonial model, in which cultural groups are approached through their self-appointed “community leaders” who, it is hoped, will deliver votes come election time.

    That is transparently what Livingstone was trying to practice.

    However he – and his Socialist Action groupies – chose to ally with Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood and Qaradawi, a group which has less support in and connection to British Muslim communities, as the BNP does in white communities.

    Why did he do that? It wasn’t just to get votes.

    The reason is pretty clear, isn’t it. Livingstone/SA saw Qaradawi as “the most progressive elements”, because his definition of “progressive” is that they were involved in the STWC. That’s the sort of “progressive” that Livingstone understands.

    Because he’s a parochial British politician, Livingstone doesn’t give a toss about the politics that Islamists are trying to impose on Muslims in South Asia or the Middle East.

    One of my mates had a conversation with Bob Pitt, Livingstone’s henchman over this business. Pitt evidently sees this entirely in terms of domestic UK politics, and what Islamists can do for the Left: providing it with votes, demo fodder, etc.. Neither he, nor Livingstone, give a toss about what happens “over these” as long as it helps Livingstone et al “over here”.

  4. mark anthony france on said:

    #1 Jonny Mac…. It appears that you have already told Ken why he lost….
    For me one of the most moving images of the last week of the Mayoral Election Campaign was that 30 years on from the Racist Murder of Altab Ali….at the memorial garden in Spitafields Ken Livingston and George Galloway were pictured together…. The expression on their faces displayed a curious mix of emotions. Defeat was imminent.
    The defeat was as Ken Explain linked the revival of a essentially reactionary alliance in the Outer London area and the effect of demoralisation and demobilisation of more progressive voters by the hopeless policies of New Labour and its unpopularity and ultra left sniping from the Left Alternative.
    That Ken’s personal vote held up and the defeat was not so devastating is a Testament to his committment to London.

    I do think that the Administration around Ken appeared to be adversely affected by a form of bureaucratic deformation and a little arrogant in exercising power but in now way can it be accussed of serious corruption.

    There was a horrendous long running campaign by the London Standard and many others which was extremely difficult to counter…. if the campaign got ‘dirty’ in the end it was not Ken’s camp that started the mud slinging.

    All those who opposed Ken from Jonny Mac to the SWP will soon, very soon come to regret their actions as genuine corruption and mismangement under Boris and his incompetant team becomes rife.

    George Galloway and RESPECT were absolutely correct to put tremendous effort in to support Ken. Now is the time to draw up a serious balance sheet of why the defeat came…. I have a friend a senior executive for a international printing company quite affluent… who detested Ken… read the Mail and Standard… was basically ‘racist’ in his perspective about islam, migration and rabid in his oppostition to “socialism” In the past few weeks he has suffered a double whammie…. on the social front his step daughter who he loves has come out as a Lesbian and the Global Economic Crisis has shattered previously held views…
    He voted with mischevious glee for Boris…. in 2012 he could very well be joining a pro Ken Demo with his daughter.

  5. That is bollocks, David. #3

    As with all religions there is a tension between those who have a very conservative view that nothing must change, and those who try to seperate out those aspects of the religion that they beleive are truly God given, and those aspects that have arisen out of specific cultural context. The second group alow religions to evolve to reflect the wider political and moral changes in society, and this is a liberalising influence in the Islamic world, as indeed it is in the Jewish and Christain worlds.

    Within that spectrum Qaradawi is a reformer. Becasue he argues for engagement with the West and because he argues that some aspects of Islam are culturally and not divinely inspired, then he is a key figure in opening doors and allowing bridges to be built, which permits a two way flow of influence.

    So of course you can find issues where Qaradawi is out of step with modern, liberal values (some of thse quotes quite old, BTW), but the trajectory is towards greater liberalism, not less.

  6. mark anthony france on said:

    #David T… Ken is not a ‘parochial’ british politician….. I suspect your friend Boris would fit that label better.

  7. Jim Monaghan on said:

    What a shite interview!

    Tucker – Isn’t it true Ken that nothing is your fault and that you are great?

    Ken – Yes, sadly lies in the Evening Standard meant that Londoners couldn’t see that.

    Tucker – Can I put to you that (enter any example of something Ken is already known to believe) is the case.

    Ken: That’s exactly what I have been saying.

    Tucker – Now can we introduce some of our enemies to the interview with some thinly veiled question.

    Ken: Yes, Nick Cohen’s a bastard.

    Don’t miss part 4 when Ken will explain how he ended the war in Northern Ireland by being misunderstood by discovering what group of protestants were better than the other lot. 🙂

  8. David T on said:


    Qaradawi is certainly a “reformer”, in the sense that his theology and politics represents an attempt actively to challenge modernism, rather than simply to turn its back on it and pretend that it doesn’t exist, as Salafis do.

    The trouble is, what Qaradawi has picked out of the religion as worthy of defence, and God given, are not the ‘liberal’ aspects of it. I can see how the SWP/RESPECT/Livingstonites have mistaken it for a progressive movement: because you are preoccupied with ‘resisting imperialism’, you misread jihadist statements bout ridding Muslim land of the ‘filth of the Jews’ as really being about challenging imperialism. You either don’t take theological statements promising genocide seriously, or you think ‘you can’t make an omlette without breaking eggs’.

    But you really need to see the bigger picture with Islamism. We’re talking here about a political movement which, when in power, we know will act to attack trade unionists, liberals, religious minorities, women. We know precisely what such a state will look like, because we’ve seen how MB activists act in power, and what they promise to do when they’re out of power. They’re not going to mellow into liberals. They’re going to be as bad as the Arab dictators in some ways, and worse in other.

    What has attracted parts of the Left to Islamism, is that there is a very small, partial, and temporary alignment with them: mostly over Israel/Palestine to be frank.

    The other ‘innovation’ of Qaradawi and the MB is that they’re one of the few groups that has focussed on radicalising Muslims outside the Muslim world. If you look at the sort of things they say about what they’re doing, it falls into two categories:

    – First, they provide guidance on how you can continue to live as a ‘good’ Muslim in a sinful world. A lot of this is pretty anodine conservative stuff, that isn’t great, but is really no business of mine, or the State. Stuff about personal conduct.

    – Secondly, there’s a whole wealth of MB writing, authenticated and in many instances acknowledged by the MB, that reads as if it has been written by a crazed Muslim hater. The classic statement reads as if somebody in the MB read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and thought “we’ll do that too!”:

    “· The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is not escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.

    · As part of the process is “[the] conviction that the success of the settlement of Islam and its Movement in this country [America] is a success to the global Islamic Movement and true support for the sought after state [caliphate] God willing.””

    This comes from a Muslim Brotherhood document, introduced at trial last year in the US. The defendants did not challenge it. They merely said “this document is out of date”.

    I think that you have to be very careful, before thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood as sharing any more than the most basic commonality with socialists and liberals.

  9. mark anthony france on said:

    #7 Jim Monaghan.. Calvins’ interview with Ken has covered quite a bit of ground… a produced some interesting debate about China [in part one] and other stuff. This thread seems to be going nowhere… largely because all we have had so far in expressions of hostility and or sarcasm.
    Ken is a socialist politician with a track record of supporting a whole range of policies which in a distorted form are now part of the mainstream politics of England.
    In 1985 I remember organising a coach load of Roadsweeper’s to a demo at County Hall to protest at Thatchers Abolishion of the GLC… unfortunately most of my comrades decided to go on an adolescent male adventure to Soho [for most it was the first ever trip to ‘the smoke’ so I found it difficult to find anyone else to hold the other end of the ‘Joint Shop Stewards Committee’ Banner.
    The reason I mention this annecdote is that it was clear that a broad coalition that was in favour of peace and nuclear disarmament, anti racist, internationalist for equality and against poverty had gravitated around Ken.
    Despite everything and the distortion of a generation of reaction… Ken still stands by essentially the same socialist policies and despite the frenzied nature of the campaigns aganist him he has maintain a personal base of around 250,000 voters…. This is no mean feat.

    What Ken does with his base is what interests me in the period opening up… as a result of the Global Economic Crisis…. What is clear to me is that if the Mayoral Election were to be held this week in the midst of the crisis.
    Ken would have Won and George Galloway would be on the GLA alondside Sian Berry the Green…

    In the current crisis … I do feel that there needs to be a clear and unambiguously ‘socialist’ electoral victory. Ken says he doesn’t contemplate standing for Parliament and wants to wait for 2012 to try for Mayor Again.
    I would question this logic although I understand he wants a break…and wants to remain in New Labour.
    Maybe its just Wishfull thinking but I feel Ken should seek the nomination of the Green Party or even stand under the Banner of Peace, Justice, Equality as a Respect Candidate in London for the European Elections next May.
    Why because I think he would win…. and it would be nice to have a victory to boost the morale and because just like before he can return and gain the LP’s Nomination for 2012 Majoral Contest.
    #2 theo …Ken is not the “Ted Heath” of his generation because he has never been a prime minister….. I feel however, that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a 70 plus year old Ken could end up in Number 10 at the head of a Labour/Green/Respect Coalition….. Presiding over the final break up of Britain…It would be nice to have someone English in the Job…This is a best case scenario of course.

  10. David T on said:


    I’d really like you to read that Muslim Brotherhood document, and consider whether this is really an organisation that it is prudent for the progressive Left to support, or assist, under any circumstances.

  11. mark#9 – “70 plus year old Ken could end up in Number 10 at the head of a Labour/Green/Respect Coalition….. Presiding over the final break up of Britain…It would be nice to have someone English in the Job…This is a best case scenario of course” – heh, you’re a funny guy!

  12. David T on said:

    Well, you know, I live in hope that people will read internal MB documents that say

    “Our work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions”

    … and think: Hang on, they really mean this, don’t they!

  13. cretin from swindon on said:

    12# jonny mac….why thank…. perhaps thats why I hear a lot of laughter in my life? I have been engaging in my own personal jihad for a better sense of humour on the left for some time.

  14. What a shite interview!

    Well thank you, Jim Monoghan!

    I’ve just returned to the office after stepping out to watch the GB Olympic team parade past the Bank of England (I joked with a colleague that the Union Jack being waved from their balcony should be replaced with a red flag). Seriously, the success of our atheletes in Bejing was a direct consequence of the public money invested in them. And London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics is Ken Livingstone’s achievement. It shows what can be done at a state level, providing the priorities are right.

    I could have done a Paxman-style interview with Ken, but other than generating some cheap entertainment, I’m not sure what else it would have achieved. Instead, I wanted to do a more serious interview, and allow Ken the opportunity to talk at greater length and depth about some of the major political and economic issues facing Britain and the world. Love him or hate him, he’s been one of the few figures on the left in Britain to have weilded any real power in Britain since the 1980s. That alone makes this interview worthwhile.

    I also thought the personal stuff in ‘part 3’ worked quite well, and provided some insights into Ken the person.

    Where appropriate, I did challenge Ken, for example on bendy buses (for which he called me “a mouthpiece for Boris” – albeit in a jokey way), and on Al-Qaradawi, where I thought Ken made a very pursuasive case. Even the ‘Nick Cohen’ part was an examination of the motives of the pro-war left, rather than a series of gratuitous insults.

  15. #13


    So your big expose is that some Muslims think that their religion is right and wish to extend its influence in America!

    They must surely be the only religion to think that way? oh no, hang on they all do … …

  16. Green Socialist on said:

    With the encouragement and help from the Greens on London Assembly, Ken actually brought in some positive environmental measures, he may be a political opportunist, but he is one of the few figures on the left to be able to use power sucsessfully, in the face of opposition from Thatcher and Blair.
    Again we have more rants from those obsessed with radical Islam. Nothing pleases the Islamists more than this acceptance of the Neo-Con mission for a war between the West and the Muslim world. Sometimes we have to talk to people who’s position we despise.
    If Ken drops Labour, he might be back next time.

  17. David T on said:

    Come on Andy – it is more than that.

    Most religions that want to proslytise say things like “We must save the souls of the poor heathens from hell” or “Let us show God’s love to those who know it not”.

    They don’t say things like

    do not describe their purpose as carrying out a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions”

    What do you think will happen to socialists in this “grand jihad”?

    Do you think that they are not talking about you, when they describe their aim to “destroy the Western civilization from within”?

    This is not “some Muslims”. This is a political party, called the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a clerical fascist organisation, whose chief ideologue is Qaradawi.

  18. David T on said:

    “Nothing pleases the Islamists more than this acceptance of the Neo-Con mission for a war between the West and the Muslim world.”

    Why do you think they’ve been active in the “anti-War” movement?

    Are you suggesting that they’re not actually genuinely “anti-War” at all?

  19. John Meredith on said:

    “So your big expose is that some Muslims think that their religion is right and wish to extend its influence in America!”

    Oh come on, they are not talking about ‘extending the influence’ of Islam but of utterly destrioying liberal civil society and replacing it with an extreme reationary theocratic state. And these aren’t ‘some muslims’ but the specific group of muslims that certain elements of the British left have allied themselve with. It is maddening that people just won’t accept this. These people hate you and everything you stand for. Given the chance, they will kill you and yours.

  20. mark anthony france on said:

    #18 green socialist …I concur….do you think Ken could or should be encouraged to stand on a Green Slate for the EUro elections??? Would the Green Party non hierachy consider the potential mutual benefits
    #19 David T[rimble] please stop and desist with this obsession with combating the MB via the Socialist Unity Site …. surely you’ve got practical work like making placards for you picket of the Global Peace and Unity event? Don’t answer… just do it.

  21. mark anthony france on said:

    21#…John Meredith worrying about an imagined civil war where Muslim Brotherhood murder non muslim socialists in their beds…. is a very destructive way to spend ones time when in reality…. in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan innocent muslims men women and children are being murdered in their beds by muntions fired by the US and British forces…. This is a real war …. one that Ken Livingston opposed… and this is the threat here and now facing humanity….
    Having spent time with radicalised muslims including people who later went on to become martyrs then you misrepresent their positions and take them out of context….. Ian Paisley… [RIP] used to say very, very nasty things about catholics and encouraged loyalist death squads…. I suspect that you and people like you where not involved in standing up to these bullies…. and today the real bullies in the world have you for a fig leaf to cover their naked aggression.

  22. “Our work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within…”

    Bush/Cheney are succeeding in this mission quite nicely thank you and don’t need no help from the MB.

  23. Jim Monaghan on said:

    The green slate thing is interesting.

    I don’t live in London any more but my many frioends in the city voted against Ken (mainly for the greens, some for SWP) as he had rejoined New Labour. That was what lost him the election, he lost the anti-establishment vote. Had he been a Labour maverick who was trapped in New Labour people would have had sympathy, but he rejoined that party that invaded Iraq, New Labour, making a conscious decision to join Blair’s party.

    His support of the other Blair didn’t help either. I know my mates in London celebrated Boris’ decision to sack Ian Blair, even if they don’t like Boris.

    To many people, they couldnt vote New labour. Ken could have been seen as not part of ‘New” Labour if he hadnt joined the party when it was already ‘renewed’.

    The people I am talking about would have voted fopr Geiorge galloway if he had stood as mayor, but not Ken. They might vote Ken again though if he was standing under another banner.

    calvin, sorry if I offended you but you must admit it was an easy ride for Ken, and you come over as a clear supporter of Ken, cueing up questions with prepared answers, more Michael parkinson than Paxman. Sorry.

    The London Olympics are a waste of time and sopending billions on resiources for elite athletes in our biggest city is not what is required.

    I dont care if Chris Hoy has to go abroad to train, I’d rather buy BMX bikes for kids to use to travel to school than build a velodrome. If it keeps more kids healthy and NONE of them win a medal, I will be happy.

    I dont sure your pride in the victory parade or the London olympics. If Ken is repsonsible I wouldnt shout about it as no-one will be claiming responsibility for it 10 years from now.

  24. I think David T needs to denounce his own website for alliancies with Islamist jihadists: His website supports “Labour Friends of Iraq”. At the last Labour conference, Labour Friends of Iraq held a joint stall in alliance with the Islamic Dawa party, with Dawa slogans, leaflets and staff. Dawa were founded in the 1950’s to oppose women’s rights in Iraq (especially the right of women to inherit) and spread Islamic rule. Dawa opposed Saddam – a good thing I’m sure – but fervently supported the Iranian revolution, believing in spreading islamic government. Dawa members launched suicide bombings against the US embassy in Kuwait in the 1980’s , as well as bombing the British and French embassies. Dawa members exiled in Lebanon created another party – Hezbollah !. So could David please immediately condemn himself , his website and Labour Friends of Iraq, or does he support anti-womens rights, pro Iranian suicide bombers who back Hezbollah ?

  25. Jim #26

    You say that Ken lost because he “lost the anti-establishment vote”.

    Not true. Ken’s personal vote went up – from 10% ahead of the Labour vote, to 13% ahead. This is a remarkable achievement, and signifies the success of the multi-racial alliance he forged. He lost because the anti-ken vote and the racist vote coalesced around Boris Johnson.

    The people I am talking about would have voted for George Galloway – you say.

    Whether you like it or not, that’s not very many people you’re talking about. The SWP did stand and received a derisory vote. And even if Galloway had have stood, and got, say, 3% of the vote, who would his second preferences have gone to, if not Ken?

  26. John Meredith on said:

    “Having spent time with radicalised muslims including people who later went on to become martyrs then you misrepresent their positions and take them out of context”

    There are radicals and radicals and martyrs and martyrs (presumably they were self-designated as martyrs and this isn’t how you would view them?). But I would be surprised if your ‘martyrs’ didn’t, as a minimum, believe that apostasy should be punished and that homosexuality should be against the law. Not liberal types on the whole.can

  27. Green Socialist on said:

    no 22

    I’d be happy for Ken to stand on a Green Ticket, although I’m not a London Party member and I wouldn’t want him ahead of Jean Lambert our existing MEP from London. I’d welcome him on the ballot, but he’d have to beat some popular, longstanding London Green Party people to win. I do think he’s have to join the party first, before he can stand
    The next mayoral contest looks a more realistic prospect for “Green Ken”, all rather hypothetical, but he’s certainly more at home with us than what the Labour Party has become.


    Good point! Also the Blair’s regime’s sucking up to Saudi Arabia, selling them weapons etc… Our addiction to oil funds the Wahabist regime, that is at the root of “Islamofascism” as some people like to call it.

  28. Jim Monaghan on said:

    “Not true. Ken’s personal vote went up – from 10% ahead of the Labour vote, to 13% ahead.”

    He may have attracted voters from elsewhere but those that I know voted for him in 2000 but not in ’04 or ’08. I am not saying that galloway or the SWP would have won it. What I am saying is that many of the votes that Ken received previously and his supporters in London, were not there since he rejoined labour.

    I am talking mainly about people in the music business, where Ken was a hero in the GLC and is still respected, his New labour banner lost him most of those votes.

    When he rejoined Labour his vote wenty up (in 04) by about 100,000, even thou8gh labour had 220,000 votes beforehand. I suspect that all of the labour voters turned to ken and he lost 100,000 voters in 2004, mainly to respect and the greens.

    In 2008, the main difference was that the tories had a very popular candidate.

    You can quote ‘total’ votes to me, but I am talking about where those votes come from.

  29. mark anthony france on said:

    26# and 28# Calvin… I feel that Jim is on a learning curve and we should encourage him in this… Jim hmmm..” the Green Slate thing is interesting”… I agree….We could all do with an electoral boost…
    I have proposed a nationwide [English] General Strike on St Georges Day to get things moving but no one is interested…. so It will be just me and a few mates “throwing a sicky” assuming I am lucky enought to have a job by then.
    But Ken elected on a Green [eco Socialist] Platform to the EU Parliament would be a tremendous boost for everyone.
    It may even be possible to do this with the tacit approval of some inside “The” Labour Party [as they have started to call it again].
    What happens to Ken’s electoral base patiently constructed over a generation is important. No one would expect Ken to spend all his time in pointless treking around Brussels and Strasbourg… it is about reversing demoralising effect fo Boris’s Victory…. and as I have said it should not block Ken’s chances for Mayor in 2012…. Of course there may be some semi spontaneous proletarian uprising in London that throws up genuine new, younger hegemonic leaders from the multitude…. with the skill to sweep all electoral shenaniggins away once and for ever…. but until then a pensionable chap with a decent record is what we have to work with.

  30. Freddo on said:

    “In Boris they had that, I mean all the stuff about “picaninees” and “watermelon smiles”, two men marrying a dog; all that stuff played very well with the latent bigot.”

    If that is true it would represent a spectacular own goal for the Guardianistas and the Kennite campaign who were the only side to dig up and use – and re-use as nauseum – those remarks. (I don’t recall any, “White People! Vote for Boris – He Calls Black People Piccanninnies!” posters.)

    They were a key component in Ken’s shamelessly dishonest attack on Boris. So if Ken believes that they were instrumental in handing the victory to his opponent, then justice has most certainly been done.

  31. optimistic Larry Nugent on said:

    I know ken from the GLC earliest days and one or two times since. He will be back and not as a pronounced eco socialist . LOL. Stop it Jim my heart cant take your mark steel moments

    he is embedded in the London Labour party and he will not move away from that base. He does not need to reinvent himself.

    Yes jim is on something and its not a learning curve

  32. Jim Monaghan on said:

    “A classic case of the ultra-left unwittingly serving the agenda of the right wing.”

    And now it is ultra-left to suggest an interviewer was too soft on an interviewee, or to suggest that Ken could have kept winning the mayoral elections without Labour, as he did in 2000?

    There were some people in the SSP who called me an ‘ultra-democrat’ and not as a complement, more that I was a pedantic nitpicker on constitutions and internal set-ups etc, but I don’t think anyone would see me as ‘ultra-left’.

    But, if it suits your needs to label me ultra-left or say that I am assisting the right then go ahead, I get accused of far worse. But it won’t do you, me or Ken any good.

  33. Jim, I’m happy to ammend that to:

    “A classic case of a pedantic nitpicker unwittingly serving the agenda of the right wing.”

  34. Jim Monaghan on said:

    “he is embedded in the London Labour party and he will not move away from that base. He does not need to reinvent himself…. Yes jim is on something and its not a learning curve”

    Yet, when he did move away from that base he retained the support of most of them and won the mayoral elections.

    The only people who are ‘on something’ here are those who want to continue the debate about whether to support ken or stand a left candidate in the mayoral elections.

    I look at it as I see it, not tainted by the membership of any of the organisations involved or with one eye on another thread.

    “I know ken from the GLC earliest days and one or two times since. He will be back and not as a pronounced eco socialist . LOL.”

    I also first met Ken back then, I also think that he might be back, in opposition with Labour he will probably regain some of his anti-establishment appeal and Boris will fuck it up for sure.

    Haven’t met Ken since, I think, 1991 when I bumped into him briefly at Tyne Tees TV.

    I have always liked Ken, still think that his decision to rejoin Labour was wrong, it is far worse than staying in Labour, which I can understand. To me, anyone who joined Labour in the last 10 years is making a decision to join the party of war and privatisation. I said that before the election, before the respect split and it my opinion, unlike others here, not part of a wider agenda.

    Just as my views on Galloways support for New labour in Glasgow East are based on that decision and that action, not on personal views on George, who I like and generally support, or the goings on in the aftermath of the respect split or SA split or whatever split is currently making people contradict previous positions, not me.

  35. mark anthony france on said:

    38# Calvin…. This is getting like watching a episode of QI with you adopting the Stephen Fry role!

  36. Jim Monaghan on said:

    Calvin: “Jim, I’m happy to ammend that to:
    “A classic case of a pedantic nitpicker unwittingly serving the agenda of the right wing.””

    🙂 Very good. You could change it to “a classic case of one website taking part of a debate in another website out of context as part of a wider agenda, when the original quote was only a comment on the easy ride he got from the interviewer” But it’s not as punchy.

    Catriona Grant once described me as a ‘pedantic bore’ which I think is quite a succint summary of me. I still quote her and even use it for a personal description in profiles on the internet.

  37. Jim: Don’t worry about my one-liners, I only post ’em for fun.

    Anyway, you certainly do what it says on the tin, so I can’t accuse you of hypocrisy! 😉

  38. David T on said:

    “Just as my views on Galloways support for New labour in Glasgow East are based on that decision and that action, not on personal views on George, who I like and generally support, or the goings on in the aftermath of the respect split or SA split or whatever split is currently making people contradict previous positions, not me.”

    Wasn’t Galloway’s support of the New Labour candidate the product of, ahem, personal issues?

  39. Ann On on said:

    Hey David T – when are you going to condemn your own support for the islamist suicide bombing Iran supporting hezbollah founding Islamic Dawa party

  40. Jim Monaghan on said:

    “Wasn’t Galloway’s support of the New Labour candidate the product of, ahem, personal issues?”

    No. I dont really want to rehash this one but, previously he had supported Solidarity in Scotland. According to George his decision was based on Glasgow needing the jobs from MOD contracts, and stopping the SNP.

  41. Ann On on said:

    I don’t think David T is in any position to judge who Galloway supports as long as he remains silent on his own personal backing for the Islamist sucicide bombers of Islamic Dawa.

  42. I don’t think David T is in any position to judge who Galloway supports as long as he remains silent on his own personal backing for the Islamist sucicide bombers of Islamic Dawa.

    Indeed. Or on his website’s support for the 2002 Venezuelan coup.

  43. mark anthony france on said:

    48# Calvin…I maybe a neophyte to this internet blog game but it is a little too wierd for my tastes…. might take up poetry [but longhand] and avoid computers altogether. Any work for me in the aquistions and mergers field Calvin?

  44. The only M&A deals likely to happen in the next few years are those between countries, possibly executed at the point of a gun.

  45. Ann On on said:

    Yes they do David, you are simply wrong.

    As I said in the post above “At the last Labour conference, Labour Friends of Iraq held a joint stall in alliance with the Islamic Dawa party, with Dawa slogans, leaflets and staff” . Which they did . Are you telling me they didn’t ?

  46. David T on said:

    I think they were permitted to use part of the Dawa’s stall; in previous years they’ve perched on the end of other stalls. That’s because they don’t have any money, and they’ll sit on any LP approved stall that will give them space.

    That’s not the same thing as (for example) a formal alliance with, the sponsorship of a conference run by, the promotion of the ideology of… if you get my drift.

    Bricks without straw, Bob.

  47. I don’t know what you’re talking about. LFIQ has no link with any Iraqi party – says David T


    I thought Ann On was pretty clear, when he/she said: Labour Friends of Iraq held a joint stall in alliance with the Islamic Dawa party

    So, Mr Witchhunter-in-Chief: Why do you support Islamic suicide bombers?

    And also: Why did you support a US backed military coup against the elected government of Venezuela?

  48. Ann On on said:

    What you think and what happened are two different things (not uncommon).

    Everyone who went past the stall could see it was a joint promotion. Indeed LFIQ make this completely clear on their website

    Even in your own weedy attempt to wish this connection away, you make clear that LFIQ willingly take financial assistance for Dawa in return for making these islamist anti women sucide bombing hezbollah founding party seem acceptable in Labour circles. So you either need to condemn yourself for promoting Islamism , or condemn LFIQ, or stop thinking that your “danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales” logic is so strong and sharp.

  49. Mike v2.0 on said:

    I think you really ought to read LFIQ’s own website and public pronouncements before making things up about Al Dawa having to perch on other peoples’ stalls, Mr T. I pity you, fool.

  50. Ah, I see. So it’s all right to share a stall with supporters of Islamic suicide bombers, so long as the aformentioned Islamists have Gordon Brown’s seal of approval. A lack of cash means you’ll cosy up to pals of terrorists? Literally, in your case.

    ‘Hypocrite’ seems to mild a word to describe the Witchhunter-in-Chief.

  51. mark anthony france on said:

    29# mr meredith…. all I know is that people can change and some of the things that can change them for better or worse is trauma… Jamal Lindsay when I knew him was a gentle, intelligent, compassionate young man… and many of the other young men who were around him were not monsters…. They were angry already at the start of the New Millienium … angry with justification with the monstorous life that a rampant imperialism offered them. In Poverty yet the dangled carrot of a consummerist dream hanging over them in a culture that was in denial about the social breakdown that was occuring. Jamal was only 14 when I knew him.
    The War and the Jihad of the West against islam was what drove him within 5 years of our last meeting to his death. I saw his mother in Tesco’s Huddersfield town centre on a flying visit [from the US] the Xmas before Jamal’s martrydom and she said she hadn’t seen him and didn’t know where he was.
    Ken was at the zenith of his power…. the day before 7/7 there had been an extatic party to celbrate the success of his London 2012 bid….
    The following day carnage….
    Huddersfield, Rawthorpe Estate.. Dewsbury Thorton Lees Estate… had been suffering a long running social carnage that was not eliviated by Working Family Tax Credit or anything else New Labour put in place….
    I don’t support what Jamal Lindsay did and it would have been better if he hadn’t pissed on Ken’s parade. However, it is important to understand the depths of alienation and nihilism that New Labour’s Double Speak produced in some communities…
    Today, If there had have been no War against Iraq then Jamal and 100,000’s of other people would still be alive. Maybe Jamal could have put his intelligence and compassion to more constructive use and would have been completing his Degree now…. maybe if New Labour hadn’t joined in the disaster in Iraq Jamal might be contributing his experience to this blog himself, and Ken might still be mayor.

  52. You’ve been busted, David T.

    Iraqi achievements will be celebrated at the Labour Party conference with a prominent exhibition stand run by the Labour Friends of Iraq and the Islamic Dawa Party – says the website of Labour Friends of Iraq.

    Hm… that sounds suspiciously like “a formal alliance with, the sponsorship of a conference run by, the promotion of the ideology of… if you get my drift”

    Yes, David T, I do get your drift.

    Now please answer the question you have been so studiously avoiding: Why do you support Islamic suicide bombers?

  53. David T on said:

    LFIQ doesn’t have funds, and shared part of a stall that was hired by the governing Iraqi party: which is evidently not involved in terrorism, and which holds power at the pleasure of the electorate.

    Do you seriously think that a small solidarity group has the cash for a stall at the LP conference?

    What a weird Pitt-esque argument this is.

    Do you have problems with Fianna Fáil too? I hear that they were once involved in fighting Britain, and were opposed to divorce!!!

  54. David T on said:

    And apparently, not only was Fianna Fáil involved in fighting the British… it was related to … Sinn Féin!!!

    By contrast, Ken Livingstone promoted a man whose party is presently involved in rendering lawful, suicide bombings aimed at civilians. Who he regards as a moderate and progressive.

  55. So you palled up to terrorist supporters cos you wos short of cash. Is that better or worse than doing it for ideological reasons?

  56. John Meredith on said:

    “Maybe Jamal could have put his intelligence and compassion to more constructive use ”

    More constructive than the wanton murder of men, women and children? Yes, I am sure he could have put his compassion and ‘intelligence’ to something more constructive than that. God forbid anyone should think him an unintelligent, egocentric, barbaric thug just because he acts and talks like one.

  57. Mike v2.0 on said:

    “which is evidently not involved in terrorism”

    Amongst other things, one of the perpetrators of bombings against the US and French embassies in Kuwait, and who was sentenced to death for it after he escaped, sits in the Iraqi parliament for Al Dawa.

    Try again.

  58. David T

    Why do you support a party whose main ideological principles are:-

    1. Absolute sovereignty belongs to God.
    2. Islamic injunctions are the basis of legislation. The legislative authority may enact any law not repugnant to Islam.
    3. The people, as vice-regents of Allah, are entrusted with legislative and executive powers.
    4. The jurist holding religious authority represents Islam. By confirming legislative and executive actions, he gives them legality

    Did you convert to Islamofascism at the Labour Party conference, or were you always that way inclined?

  59. David T on said:

    Depends on whether:

    – they are actively engaged in acts of terrorism; and

    – whether clerics are permitted to strike down laws.

    I’m no fan of religious conservatives. But as long as they (a) aren’t killing people for being members of the wrong religion, or generally trying to commit genocide against regional minorities, (b) denying people constitutional rights because they’re members of the wrong religion or (c) allowing clerics to strike down laws or disqualify candidates, I wouldn’t regard them as illegitimate.

    For example, I admire the AKP, despite the fact that they are Islamist. What matters is that they’re moderate democrats.

  60. Now David T has been exposed as an Islamofascist, it’s time to play ‘Condemnathon’. This game is a lot of fun, and the entertainment almost endless.

    OK, let’s begin.

    David – will you condemn Dawa’s bombing of the American and French embassies in Kuwait, and promise to sever all ties with terrorists, however short of cash you may be?

    Yes, or no?

  61. John Meredith on said:

    It’s not my fight, but is it really necessary to point out that you can share a table with someone without sharing their political beliefs? Does LFIQ have a formal alliance or formal declaration of support for Dawa? If not, there isn’t much to talk about, is there?

  62. Ann On on said:

    I see that LFIQ say “The LFIQ group has established a dialogue with the Islamic Dawa Party – a conversation between social democracy and moderate Islam”. Now many people may find this idea reasonable, but David T would not be among them, doubtless he would show that in the past these so called “moderates” had help found Hezbollah, supported the Iranian revolution , launched suicide bomb attacks killing US embassy folk. Or indeed be outraged that Iraiq’s were being defined by their religion.

    More reasonable people might be more worried that Dawa, currently one of the Iraqi governing parties, backed the use of Saddam era laws against Iraqi trade unions, and wonder why “Labour Friends of Iraq” were so keen to be funded by these Iraqi opponents of Labour unions.

  63. David T on said:

    LFIQ has participated in many Iraq democracy events, with a broad range of parties, Calvin. Including the Kurdish parties, which were also involved in terrorism.

    Dawa were apparently involved in terrorism 25 years ago. Well there you go. I’m against that. They’re not now. I’m for that.

    Fianna Fáil

  64. #68

    Well David that seems to be a fairly intelligent position on Islamism, that there are different varieties of it, and that there is a night and day difference between the Group for Salafist Preaching and Combat and as you mentioned the AKP despite both groups having the moniker “Islamist”.

    Where I see a contradiction is where Harry’s Place attacks Osama Saeed on the basis of this article – – when it doesn’t seem to be any worse than what Al Dawa support in Iraq.

  65. Ann On on said:

    Incidentally John, Dawa and LFIQ didn’t “share a table”, they had a joint promotional booth/stand, and their staff worked together on the promotion of their material to Labour delegates

  66. David T on said:

    This is reminiscent of the fuss that Neil Clark made over Bosnia’s Alija Izetbegović, who in his youth, was a vociferous supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, but matured into a pluralistic democrat, and became the first President of Bosnia.

    Similarly, the CPGB was a totalitarian organisation, that supported Stalin’s pact with Hitler. By the 1990s, it had become a Blairite organisation.

    What makes political parties illegitimate is that they subvert democracy, or engage in violence. As long as a party is not doing that, it is not illegitimate.

  67. Ok, let’s continue.

    David T recently condemned a government youth advisory panel because one of the panel was a 17 year old member of the SWP. According to David T, the SWP supports terrorists, and the girl supports the SWP – so Mr T tried to burn the teenage witch and have her removed from the panel.

    Will David T now condemn himself for not only supporting terrorists, but for entering into a business relationship with them on the grounds that he “was short of cash”?

  68. John Meredith on said:

    “Incidentally John, Dawa and LFIQ didn’t “share a table”, they had a joint promotional booth/stand, and their staff worked together on the promotion of their material to Labour delegates”

    What you mean is they shred a common space, isn’t it? They didn’t forge any form of formal alliance. Really, I can’t understand the fuss. Perhaps they were too close to DAWA here, but could an issue be tinier?

  69. John Meredith on said:

    I am not quite sure what Calvin’s point is. Are you suggesting that no meber of any political organisation can be criticised by anyone who does not first criticise Dawa?

  70. David T on said:

    “when it doesn’t seem to be any worse than what Al Dawa support in Iraq.”

    Anybody who favours democracy has to accept that, in the middle east, Islamist parties will participate. You can’t – and shouldn’t want – to exclude them. Unless, that is, they’re subverting democracy, or engaging in violence.

    The issue in the UK is very different. What we’re talking about here is what we regard as part of (a) progressive and (b) mainstream politics. Islamism is neither.

  71. reader's voice on said:

    “Ok, let’s continue.”

    Let’s not bother, it makes you look like an infantile fucking fool and a bore.

  72. David T on said:

    No, my problem with the SWP is not that it supports terrorists (although it does).

    It is that it is a totalitarian party, that wishes to subvert democracy. It is also a racist party.

    I don’t think that the SWP should be banned, because it doesn’t use political violence. It falls into the same category as the BNP: unpleasant, to be shunned, but not fundamentally illegitimate.

  73. John Meredith on said:

    I think that was one of the strangest internet threads that I have ever read. I have seen madder ones, of course, and many, many that were much more vitriolic, but this was like listening to a conversation between reasonable people who are standing on opposite sides of a looking glass.

  74. #78

    Yes, reader’s voice – that’s the point I’m making, you halfwit!

    ‘Condemnathon’ and ‘guilt-by-association’, which are David T’s stock-in-trade, are indeed infantile and boorish. He has an entire website devoted to these practices.

  75. David Ellis on said:

    Respect and GG stood in the London Assembly elections. They said we will vote Ken without illusions but in solidarity with those who do. Galloway promised to expose his wrong doings from his seat in the Assembly. Suddenly courting Livingstone is a very backward step unless he takes a serious step to the left. By the time of the next mayoral elections we will be in full blown recession at least. The BNP will have grown substantially and Boris will have divided and ruled. A moderate reformist like Livingstone will be the last thing the working class needs by then. If Respect isn’t in a position to put up its own candidate by then it will, to a certain extent, have failed but a judgement will need to be made at the time. Ken blew it and allowed the Tories back in whatever the New Labour scenario. He got elected despite them in the first place.

  76. Ann On on said:

    But we end up with a kind of David-in-Wonderland, where words only mean what he says they mean. For no apparent reason the SWP are “racists”, people like Salma Yacoub are linked to terrorism even though they quite plainly are against terrorism, but other islamists are becoming “moderates”. Indeed it seems the only consistent feature is people who didn’t join David in supporting the Iraq war are islamofascist, but islamists who seem to be on the US-UK side are “moderates”.
    David’s method above seems to be (1) Deny something is true (which he did over LFIQ and Dawa). (2) Deny it again, (3) When this doesn’t work, make up some tortuous logic about how Islamism is good enough for them Iraqi’s and we will support Iraqi Islamist groups, but we don’t want any here , thank you very much.

    A better start might be to actually use some judgement instead of those long chains of witch-hunty nonsense, but I think that may be a bit beyond Mr T.

  77. Joepolitix on said:

    David T has clearly been exposed as a far right fellow traveller, an ally of totalitarians, a supporter of clerical fascism and probably also an apologist for genocide (why not?). It’s the duty of all right minded and decent people to condemn this clerical fascist appeasing swine!

    Anyone who doesn’t condemn him, that is take positive action to distance themselves from him and all of his ilk, is an appeaser of clerical fascist appeasers. I also condemn those appeasers of appeases. And their appeasers (ad infinitum).

  78. David T on said:

    Well, Bob: let me explain it this way.

    (A) I wouldn’t support a conservative or reactionary party in Britain, because I am a liberal.

    (B) I would, however, be pleased to see conservative or reactionary parties taking part in multi party politics in a post-dictatorship democracy: because I support political pluralism.

    (C) I wouldn’t support either a socially liberal or a reactionary party that (i) bombs its opponents or (ii) attempts to subvert democracy.

    Hope this helps.

  79. Ann On on said:

    Who is Bob ? Why does David want to help Bob. Maybe he is an undercover islamonazi as well ?

  80. mark anthony france on said:

    82# David Ellis….. so refreshing to hear from you on this thread after all the rubbish from David T[remble]. I agree that we need to be looking ahead and thinking about the future. I was just thinking that Ken could be part of a break from New Labour…. in the new crisis that is unfolding how ever that is clearly unlikely.

  81. mark anthony france on said:

    84# joepolitix… need to condemn Mr T[remble] just give enough rope and he’ll hang himself…. it’s just a bit distirbing… I mean I talk to all sorts of people… Ordinary people.. for heavens sake a year ago I was a Parking Attendant… lots of the conversations I had were with people who were rather irrate to say the least… many of them also ‘racist’… but non of them as weird as David T…. I have never visited this Harry’s Place blog thing…. I’d prefer to go back to being a Car Park Attendant.

  82. Joepolitix on said:

    David T,

    Do you condemn genocide?
    Do you condemn racism?
    Do you condemn fascism?
    Do you condemn murder?
    Do you condemn Bambi?
    Do you condemn famine?
    Do you condemn dangerous driving?
    Do you condemn the phantom menace?
    Do you condemn totalitarianism?
    Do you condemn pollution?
    Do you condemn ice cream?
    Do you condemn terrorism?
    Do you condemn the Nazis?
    Do you condemn the absence of thin sliced bread in the supermarkets?
    Do you condemn war criminals (probably not!)?
    Do you condemn the scum?
    Do you condemn the filth?
    Do you condemn the garbage?
    Do you condemn satan?
    Do you condemn the bankers?
    Do you condemn the bastards?
    Do you condemn the tories?
    Do you condemn the crooks?
    Do you condemn the thieves?
    Do you condemn the spivs?
    Do you condemn the Austrians?
    Do you condemn Morgoth (or other similar trash over at your gaff)?
    Do you condemn needlessly long lists of stuff?
    Do you condemn used car salesman?
    Do you condemn bread queue?
    Do you condemn Estate agents?
    Do you condemn the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea?
    Do you condemn Roman Abramovich?
    Do you condemn Roman Polanski?
    Do you condemn the credit crunch?
    Do you condemn Boris Johnson?
    Do you condemn Ben Elton?
    Do you condemn the international mafia?
    Do you condemn the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics?
    Do you condemn Idi Armin?
    Do you condemn the deregulation of the Stock exchange?
    Do you condemn Tim Henman?
    Do you condemn kittens?
    Do you condemn things that are bad?
    Do you condemn neo-liberalism?
    Do you condemn the libel laws?
    Do you condemn advertising junk food to kids?
    Do you condemn Thatcher’s anti-union legislation?
    Do you condemn dangerous dogs?
    Do you condemn cruelty to animals?
    Do you condemn sexism?
    Do you condemn homophobia?
    Do you condemn lice?
    Do you condemn the illegal download culture?
    Do you condemn sectarianism?
    Do you condemn appeasers of clerical fascism?

    I mean, I could go on.

    Simple yes or no answers will do.

  83. David T on said:

    All, apart from the following:

    – Bambi
    – ice cream (although I think Ben and Jerrys is indifferent)
    – the bankers (some, not all)
    – Roman Abramovich (I don’t follow football)
    – Roman Polanski (she looked older)
    – advertising junk food to kids (kids should be savvy to this stuff, not featherbedded)
    – lice (make entertaining pets for children)
    – illegal download culture (home taping did not kill music)

  84. David T on said:

    But, I’m sorry… this thread has become about me.

    I’d hate to be the Benjamin Mackie of this blog… so please carry on with your discussion of The World of Ken.

  85. paul v on said:

    A couple of jokes from R4 this morning.

    Q. What’s the capital of Iceland?
    A. About £32.50.

    Q. Why don’t estate agents look out of the windows in the morning?
    A. there’d be nothing to in the afternoon.

  86. Green Socialist on said:

    Wow the SWP racists, how? I mean I was a member for 5 years and I didn’t see that! Mistaken perhaps, a pain in the butt – frequently, Sectarian yes, but racist?
    Why is it racist? evidence please……..

  87. For Ken to call Qaradwa – the chief of a fascist party that is taking over Egypt (imagine Haider taking over Austria) — to call him a “progressive” just shows the utter debased low that the reactionary post-left has sunk.

    Good job Ken, and good job Andy. You are disgusting with your alliance with pure and simple fascism.

  88. terryfitz on said:

    Ken Livingstone lost precisely because towards the end of his second term he came to rely entirely on the Islamic/ethnic minority/left wing local government emplyee faction that he had put together over the years. His personal arrogance and inability to connect with what was going on outside of his little circle blinded him to what was going on.

    I use the pub opinion test whereas a couple of generations ago it was the man on the Clapham omnibus. I was in a pub in Dagenham while doing stuff on the anti BNP camapign early one evening and Livingstone came on the news. The car park was indicative of those drinking, builders vans, roofers trucks and lorries towing asphalt boilers.

    When Livingstone came on the telly the bar erupted in hatred. People were shouting abuse at the screen and the publican, clearly worried someone was going to smash the wide screen, turned it off. For me that said it all. White van man had turned against Livingston. If he had not alienated even a section of this group he could have swung it albiet very narrowly.

    What finally sunk him was the Jasper affair. If he had suspended Jasper and called in the police he could also have survived, just ,but it was his dogged defence of this free loading white hater that tipped the balance. People were staggered at the sums being given to what were basically fraudulent front companies when they were having trouble paying their bills.

    I’ll go back to pubs. Up and down Mare St in Hackney where I live is the clearest evidence of why Livingstone lost. A straw pole from Hackney Central Station down to Mile End Gate found support for him overwhelming in only one, The Marie Lloyd which is a part of the Hackney Empire and one of the few pubs where the left drink. It is also a hang out of arty types and staff from the Town Hall. In all of the others used predominantly by white locals in employment or recently retired there was the same hostility as in Dagenham.

    Very few of these people have ever expressed sympathy for the BNP, they were just anti Livingstone because of his perceived bias towards ethnic minorities, asylum seekers and terrorists. It is ironic that the only coalition that he had successfully put together had sunk him.

    As the Chair of Unite Against Fascism he was also seen as condoning the childish antics of Weyman Bennett and co who were going around Barking and Dagenham putting up banners say that asylum seekers were welcome. But he was also past his sell by date and to be fair to him, and as he has called me a racist that is difficult, the current economic climate and feelings of uncertainty didn’t help him. It was to a certain extent time for a change but if he had been less arrogant he could have just made it.

    One of my greatest concerns was that the campaign throughout Tower Hamlets and Hackney that I helped coordinate to get out the vote to hold back the BNP would have helped put him back in City Hall but in the end I had the best of both worlds. The BNP held to one seat, we thought definitely two and maybe three, and Livingstone finished. I most definitely had a few drinks for that result.

  89. mark anthony france on said:

    101# Terryfitz… mmmmm interesting… I dont think the Lee Jasper in any meaningful way is a “white hater”…. but as reguards to freeloading, i feel you have a point. the reason reactionary media have been able to make so much mileage in their long running campaign against political correctness is that there is always a grain of truth somewhere in the allegations. I also feel that Ken and his circle and indeed that whole layer of workers who had a much easier time under new labour with the expansion of public expediture, became isolated and seperated from the lived experience and concerns of other workers both BME and white.
    Terry have you read Livingstones stuff on the socialist economic bulletin… his 7 point plan? What do you think of that?

    How do you think or feel that socialists can re-establish an organic connection with or political realationship with ‘white van man’?

  90. Joepolitix on said:

    I don’t know if anybody noticed, but in post 93 David T excuses the rape of a 13 year girl. What a throughly bloody nice bloke.

  91. I was in a pub in Dagenham while doing stuff on the anti BNP camapign early one evening and Livingstone came on the news – says terryfitz

    I assume that was a typo, and you meant to write “doing stuff for the BNP campaign”?

    You described your experiences in the Hackney Central ward. In fact, Ken increased his share of the vote to 65%, and polled a full 20% more than the Labour list. His number of votes increased from 864 to 1579.

    terryfitz says that some white people are worried about Ken’s “perceived bias towards ethnic minorities, asylum seekers and terrorists”. Reading terryfitz’s posts, there can be little doubt that he not only shares these perceptions, but actively encourages them.

    The inclusion of ‘terrorists’ in teryfitz’s hate list, was particularly disturbing.

  92. mark anthony france on said:

    104# Clavin…. I have noticed that terryfitz’s contributions have at least become more reasoned, less abusive and less disturbing of late. Your use of indisputable facts like voting statistics in Hackney Central should certainly prove educational to terryfitz, however, terryfitz seems to feel he has something to contribute to Socialist Unity, we should encourage him to express this fully. It is not beyond the realms of possibility we could learn something.

  93. terryfitz on said:

    Mark Anthony France,

    White van man has been lost to Labour for a generation at least. No I haven’tlooked at the seven point plan as I didn’t know it existed. It can’t have been very good because he lost. You seem to be in agreement with me on most of my points so I will just deal with Jasper.

    I have had a running battle with Jasper and the “Black Nazis” since 2001. Let me give you a blow by blow account. In April of that year in an attempt to reactivate the NF a series of marches were held in Bermonsey under the slogan ” Keep Bermondsey White” Naturally there was opposition and my job to find out where the NF were being assembled, get in with them. On the first outing they were at London Bridge and as there was Millwall were palying at home I put on some old building clothes, a Millwall scarf and got myself into the group using my mobile to inform the counter demo of progress.

    When we got to Bermondsey the NF were held for a short while and I got away and ran round to where the main counter demo was. In doing so I passed a group of VIPs, Jasper, Trevor Phillips, Simon Hughes and some senior old bill. As I passed I said to Jasper” Trust you to be here if the cameras are about”. He jumped a couple of inches in the air as he is a complete bottle job.

    What happened was a major battle in which there were arrests and injuries.The next day I got a phone call prom someone who was there to say Jasper had been on Radio 5 live and had given a completly false version of events. I got a tape from the station and could’lt believe my ears. Jasper palayed the whole thing down and said both sides were as bad as one another.

    I sent him an e mail putting him right on a few things and got one back from City Hall headed “Private and Confidential” in which he slagged off the whole anti fascist movement, called us all racists and said that fascism would be defeated by black people as it was only they who were oppressed by fascism.

    As I couldn’t sue over the “Private and Confidential” clause so I put together ” The Jasper File: An everyday Story of Political Ambition, Lies and Greed”, I told you all I had a sense of humour implant when I had my ego removed! I laid out all of the money making scams, the lies over anti fascist work, the connections with black anti semites in the states and sent out about a hundred copies to the movers and shakers. I also challenged him to call me a racist in public and I would sue him.

    As he always does he just ran away and I thought that I would here no more until a lawyer friend said that the GLA was liable and I should write to them. I did and got an apology from the Chief Executive who said that had had a few words with Jasper and that everything going from his office would in future be checked. So, I am the only white man Bro Lee has ever said sorry to!

    I go through this to deal with the anti white thing. Jasper and a lot of others are anti white in the same way fascists are anti semitic. In his case it particularly sick as his mother is white and he denies it. There are a lot of personal problems out there.

    Calvin you silly little UAF muppet.

    I gave Jasper a bit of advice that he could never take and I will give it to you. Always engage brain before opening mouth. If you were able to do your own thinking as opposed to having it done for you by the SWP you would by now have worked, all on your own, that I am a person who has been involved in the anti fascist movement for many years, probably since befor you were born, who has opinions that many who post here do not share.

    Because I am not a Marxist and tend to think for myself I am labelled by you as being in the BNP. When I talk of “left wing ghettoes” I am speaking of ghettoes of the mind where people are unable to think outside of their own little box. You most definitely fall into this category.

    It must be obvious even to you that if inteligence gathering on the far right is going to be done in pubs where they meet then it is a lot better to look and sound as they do and have a set of bricklayers tools, “They’ve put me on a different job tomorrow” than be a spotty faced student selling Socialist Worker who ends getting a kicking in the car park. Is there anything about that that you do not understand dimwit?

    I am fully aware of how much Livingstones vote went up in Hackney because, quite unwillingly, I was partly responsible. I have described elsewhere how the anti BNP campaign across London was coordinated by the Searchlight organised Hope Not Hate. Along with Cllr Abbas Uddin Helal of Tower Hamlets I was responsible for the fifty thousand special eight page tabloids that went out at street markets,through doors and were distributed by black churches.

    Livingstone simply could not get even some Labour Clls to canvass for him. The very same people were however prepared to give out anti BNP material which in getting the vote up across the borough drove down the BNP share overall and got Livingstones up. SWP/UAF did nothing atall except turn up to a meeting at the Hackney Empire to slag off New Labour. In the whole of the London campaign they did fuck all,Zilch,nada,nothing. Is there anything you do not understand about that dimwit?

  94. Terryfitz

    In Hackney Central the BNP received 2% in 2008, exactly the same as in 2004. Less than 60 voters backed them as a party, and a mere 40 voted for their mayoral candidate.

    The idea that the BNP posed any electoral threat in Hackney Central is pure fantasy. The BNP’s irrelevance in Hackney is testimony to the success of the the multi-racial coalition that Ken helped to build in the inner cities. It really has very little to do with the leaflets you say you handed out. This doesn’t mean that an anti-BNP campaign in Hackney is a waste of time – it may have some longer term preventative effect (although if you are involved, perhaps not). You have to be realistic here, and you claiming credit (or discredit) for Ken’s increased share of the vote is bananas.

    Further, your citing of some Labour councillors who refused to “canvas for Ken” (if true), fatally undermines your argument. Ken’s vote went up. The Labour Party vote went down.

    Given that the BNP objective was to win seats on the GLA, not to win the contest for Mayor, voting for Ken to stop the BNP makes no rational sense. Again, the facts are that Labour’s vote went down (which helped the BNP), and Ken’s vote went up (proving the success of his political strategy).

    PS: I have no idea why you keep going on about the SWP, or why on earth you think they answer to me, or me to them. If you had bothered to read my interview with Ken, it would have become abundantly clear, even to a weird crank like you, that I have no connection with that organisation.

  95. onemarcus on said:

    If white people voted for Boris that was because they were fed up with Ken. Get used to it some people in London felt you didn’t care about them becuase of the colour of their skin they were white people.

  96. Sergioleonine on said:

    What a load of bollocks, although Ken’s magic mix certainly worked for his corporate sponsors in the City of London: just chuck a little bit of anti-racist rhetoric into a large portion of ‘investor friendly’ policies and regressive fiscal commitments and you’ve got a winning recipe. It’s something like the ANC’s ‘historic compromise’ but on a much smaller, more sordid scale. The traditional masters are happy and maintain overall executive control while a few token ‘socialists’ are allowed some rhetorical excesses as they ratify the will of the masters. Non dom status, anyone…?

  97. terryfitz on said:


    Keep taking the medication son. I will type slowly because I know you have learning difficulties. Research across London showed that the BNP vote was reasonably stable and concentrated in certain areas. The problem, as it will be with the Euro elections next year, is that a form of PR called modified D’Hont after the Belgian lawyer who devised it was used. On the one hand it is better than first past the post because it gives a chance to smaller parties like the greens. The downside is that it also helps the BNP. With their vote stable it was necessary to dilute it by getting the overall London vote up. How are we doing so far Calvin, are you still with me?

    As has been pointed out the vote across London went up over 2004 and was significantly up in Hackney. I often wonder about some of the posts here as to what exactly the people putting them up are saying. Would you like to enlighten us all as to what you are talking about? And also what you did against the BNP during the recent elections in our capital, I am sure everyone is waiting with baited breath.

  98. terryfitz

    I doubt anyone is waiting with baited breath – unlike you, I have no delusions of grandeur. You may be a perfectly normal person in real life, but here on this forum you come across like a furious garden gnome in the middle of a mid-life crisis.


    The central problem with your analysis is that it relies on your anecdotal experience of Hackney pubs, not on the established facts.

    Ken’s vote was significantly ahead of the Labour vote. Therefore, to suggest as you do that Ken lost because “he came to rely entirely on the Islamic/ethnic minority/left wing local government employee[s]”, is assinine. Whatever criticisms you may have of Ken, the unassailable fact is that he did much, much better than his party, both in London and nationally. You should really direct your abuse at your New Labour anti-Ken friends. Or stand yourself.

  99. Sergioleonine on said:

    Calvin, as a vertically challenged individual of a certain age, and an ardent adherent of a minority school of Islamic jurisprudence, I find your gratuitous and able-ist comments concerning ‘gnomes’ and ‘mid life’ crises both offensive and unconscionable.

    You will be hearing from Bob Pitt shortly. Gnomeophobia watch takes these issues very seriously…

  100. ” I will type slowly because I know you have learning difficulties.”

    I do hope that we “spacs” (disabled) aren’t the next victims of terryfrize’s invective.

  101. optimistic Larry Nugent on said:


    To use cognition stigma and smears does not advance anybodies case as used by terryfitz,

    it weakens level of debate and his credibility. I do expect better from bloggers on SU. It should not be a problem or difficult for moderators to stop

  102. Green Socialist on said:

    yeah why all the crappy insults, it adds nothing to the debate and the fash will be laughing at us.

  103. terryfitz on said:

    Big up innit,

    I have certainly rattled a few cages out there which is exactly what I was trying to do. No Trots out on Saturday, probably passing a few motions in pubs in Hackney. Pip pip, Weatherspoons opposite the Town Hall is open and they have a special deal on Stella. Check out Hope Not Hate regularly there will now be continual activities against the BNP even when there are no elections. Mind you, the Hackney Che Guevaras will almost certianly be found in a pub. Calvin! Had a look at your profile, what a dimwit you are.

  104. Matthew Stiles on said:

    I see that billericaydicky’s comments on that Guardian thread have been removed by the moderator. Poor old Terry.

  105. terryfitz

    The only cage you’ve rattled is the one you’re mentally imprisoned in.

    Your key point is that it was Ken’s multi-racial alliance that lost him the election. You base your analysis on your frequent visits to pubs in Hackney and Dagenham; apparently every time you drink Stella, Ken pops up on TV and the customers respond with a ‘Two Minutes Hate’.

    I must say that I find your lurid stories a little tall, particularly as you seem to have precisely the same experience everytime you walk into a bar. Could it be the Stella talking, I wonder? However, if you choose to drink with people who share your view that “we have anti white discrimination in almost every sphere of our society”, then I suppose such odd coincidences are just about within the realms of possibility.

    The problem is that the established facts are fatal to your argument that Ken lost because he “apologised for slavery” and is “anti-white”. Ken’s vote was a full 13% higher than the Labour vote in London, and the gap between Ken’s vote and Labour’s vote nationally was even larger. Despite these facts being pointed out to you at least three times, you have failed to address them.

    Incidentally, I note that the Guardian has deleted your racist posts on ‘comment is free’. But perhaps they’re just picking on you cos you’re an angry little white man.