Like most people outside London (and no doubt quite a few in it), I cannot really see the point of the Mayor. What does he do? There are ten times as many quango members in London as Borough Councillors, Assembly Members and the Mayor put together. And neither the Mayor nor the Assembly has any fiscal power. None. Not even that of a Parish Council. Like so many things about London when viewed from anywhere else, it is quite impossible to see what all the fuss is about.
Nor would I normally warm too much to Ken Livingstone himself. But then I read this article by Nick Cohen. If nothing else, you have to admire the sheer brass neck of a prime mover behind the Euston Manifesto, and not least of Cohen simply as such:
“he has never moved away from the grimy conspirators of the totalitarian left, who have always despised the democratic traditions of the Labour movement. There is a queasiness about dragging them into the light because so many of the baby boomers now in power wasted their youth in Marxist-Leninist politics.”
“They [the Jews, in this case] ran everything - except the Workers' Revolutionary party.”
“The cult's main purpose, however, was to worship the personality of its great leader”, to which title there are several claimants in the current case, such as Kamm, Pollard, Aaronovitch, and Cohen himself, among others. So long as these remain for all practical purposes the same person, then all should be well…
“Healy's life showed cultists will work themselves to exhaustion for their leader before rebelling and that if left-wing leaders flirt with the regimes and ideologies of the far right, there is always an audience willing to applaud them.”
“ If it doesn't provoke a debate on what has happened to the left in Britain, then political journalists might as well give up.”
“Livingstone found [sic] a sect of his own - a Trotskyist cult”
“It is a minute organisation - I doubt it has more than 100 members - but Livingstone has given a fair proportion of them jobs with six-figure salaries at the public's expense.”
“John Ross, Livingstone's economic adviser on £121,000, is typical. He is so lacking in economic knowledge that he decided that the Russian Communist party was a force for the future in 1991”, in obviously marked contrast to support for the only viable alternative (if it can be so described) to Putin, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, not least over on Harry’s Place, Straight Left to the last.
“wanted to created a 'state within the British state'. This ambition explains many peculiar features … that have mystified [the] naïve.”
“the supposedly left-wing made common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood”, in obvious contrast to the situations in 1980s Afghanistan, 1990s Bosnia, or today’s Turkey, Kosovo, Chechnya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq (effectively) or Syria (putatively).
“expected its followers to work for Livingstone's re-election, even though, as public servants, they were meant to stay neutral.”
“Livingstone used public money to produce propaganda”
“a revolting insult for a white politician to throw at a black man and one that makes a nonsense of his anti-racist postures.”
“But because Livingstone is from the far left rather than the far right, he's treated with an unwarranted softness.”
When is Channel Four, or indeed anybody else, going to run anything on these people and their brethren in the Henry Jackson Society, the Social Affairs Unit, the imaginary “Centre for Social Cohesion” (in fact purely the person of Douglas Murray, too rich to need to work), the forgers’ den that is Policy Exchange, and on, and on, and on? Among many other things, MPs treasonably conducting their parliamentary business under the direction of the American neoconservatives is rather more of a story than that the occupant of a non-job has appointed his mates to several other non-jobs.