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powellite

For what it's worth, it's interesting reading some of the comments on the always entertaining 'voice of the roots' website Labourhome. They're describing Martin Bright as a 'parasite' who's joining the Tories, accusing him of a 'breach of trust' with the left. No doubt Rentoul will soon be purged from the band of faithful comrades.

Good to see 'solidarity' working well in our leftie friends

Sean Fear


You must understand Powellite, that all these left wingers who criticise Livingstone are *all* in the pay of Mossad, or at any rate the dupes of Mossad.

David Lindsay

You do realise, don't you, that if Boris won then Brown would just follow Thatcher's GLC precedent and abolish the position?

Sean Fear


Well, he could do that, but it would make him look pretty stupid, given that he was No.2 in government when Labour established the post.

White Rose

But what Livingstone said this morning was right. Blair (and Brown and the rest) set the Mayoralty up to be a personal fiefdom on the American model. A latter day Sherrif of Nottingham. They would have preferred a hand-picked stool pigeon of a Mayor but they weren't in the end unhappy with what they got. So who is going to be the new Sherrif? Ken or Brian or Boris? And who will be the new Mayor's henchmen? The Conservative Party should immediately say that they will abolish the position - it really isn't necessary and it is dangerous and expensive in anybody's hands

Happy Tory

The point is that the model of a powerful mayor is not necessarily bad, if the person who holds the position has high integrity and does NOT run it as their personal fiefdom. Trying to work out what Ken actually does with our money is very tricky, as he pays an army of marketing and communications people to present a glowing picture. We need a mayor who tells it like it is, and is not constantly focused on spinning his own position.

Michael Rutherford

"You do realise, don't you, that if Boris won then Brown would just follow Thatcher's GLC precedent and abolish the position?"

Not a chance. Following years of promoting devolution they would never get away with such an obvious act against democracy.

RichardW

It is not just that Labour could not go back on creating the London post. It would also seem unspeakably unfair to Londoners to take away the devolution of sorts that they have when the Scottish and Welsh devolutionary models are being strengthened.

More importantly, if Boris beat Ken in a mayoral election and then the position was abolished, it would merely strengthen the conservative electoral support in marginal seats that would be self-evident from Boris' victory.

More interestingly... who on earth would Labour chose in (the unlikely) event that Ken did resign/not stand?

Josh

You do realise, don't you, that if Boris won then Brown would just follow Thatcher's GLC precedent and abolish the position?

1) It would appear as gerrymandering away a Conservative constituency. Such an act would destroy Brown's credibility. Conservatives happy.

2) GLA gone. Conservatives happy.

NorthernMonkey

Martin Bright is a parasite whose career was flagging and he desperately needed a lift by being controversial. Surely even most of you lot on here would admit that his documentary lacked any integity or some big moment where he could pin Ken down.

And powellite, you should realise that the way you see LabourHome is the way we see this site! It's always entertaining reading the comments on ConHome.

The fact that so many of you on here have shown reservations over Boris Johnson only confirms to me that he is the last person you would pick to be Mayor of London.

Also beware, voters don't like the media telling them how to vote. Take lessons from New Hampshire. The Evening Standard's pro-Boris line will end up backfiring on them.

Dan Hassett

The Sun backing Labour in 1997 certainly screwed their chances of winning, didn't it?

Roger Evans

Interesting Question about who Labour would choose if they lost Livingstone. There was a discussion on line last year and the best they could come up with were Stephen Twigg and Tony Banks!

So that's a non starter.

NorthernMonkey

Dan, the Sun supports whoever it knows will win.

It's safe to say Labour would have won by a landslide in 1997 regardless of who the tabloids wanted to win.

graeme archer

"martin bright is a parasite"- northern monkey.

Proof that labour are starting to fear a car crash in May, and that the left continues to use language of the 1930s to denigrate those journalists of the left who show integrity.

Malcolm Dunn

Well who'da thought it eh Graeme? It wasn't so long ago we were having our 'completely beaten' party conversations and now I 'm beginning to suspect that Boris can win without trying too hard.

Sean Fear


In what way does criticising Ken Livingstone make someone a parasite, Northern Monkey?

And hadn't you better start worrying about the fact that so much criticism of Ken Livingstone is now coming from left wingers? Perhaps Neil Kinnock was right when he said that "everyone likes Ken, apart from those who know him?"

But, what I find most curious about you New Labour apparatchiki is that the more unpopular you become, the more convinced you are that the voters, deep down, are on your side.

NorthernMonkey

Oh Graeme, how tedious it gets with the usual 'oh you must be scared of Boris blah blah...'

Look, this is an election and I want Ken to win, not that chump Boris. I could just as easily argue look how scared the Tories are (and people who dislike Ken like Martin Bright are) of Ken winning a third term now that their attacks on Ken are getting ever more personal and nasty.

Just imagine how bad it will be for your party if Ken gets a third term. Kind of puts the brakes on Dave's modernising ethos, particularly when you take his humiliating defeat in Ealing Southall into account. Could provide the fresh start that Brown wants.

The trouble with Tories is that you get complacent - Boris just sits back and hopes no-one notices him too much. It won't work.

People will look at Ken's record and they like what they see. I look forward to May!

Sean Fear


Northern Monkey - well that's the view from the Bunker.

People like Martin Bright, Nick Cohen, Peter Tatchell, John Rentoul, Andrew Gilligan, Harry's Place, Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all aren't Conservatives - yet they've turned against Ken. Why's that? Is he the only one marching in step? Or are they all being manipulated by the International Zionist/Neo Con Conspiracy?

Like you, I'm looking forward to May, but for a different reason.

Roger Evans

Labour have the most to lose from this election, Northern Monkey. That is because Livingstone has innoculated himself against Labour unpopularity by standing as an independent and distancing himself from unpopular government decisions - PPP and the Iraq war, to name two examples.

If Livingstone can't win with a red rosette, it's a safe bet that Brown and his followers can't either. A loss in London will lead to flat out panic in Downing Street.

Bexie

Remember that the 2nd vote system favours the left. a good proportion of folks who vote 1st for the dim lib then, true to form, cast the alternative for that trot.

The system is rigged in his favour.

Sarkis Zeronian

Not everyone on the left is dropping Livingstone, he's got the undying support of George Galloway!

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/george_galloway/2008/01/why_i_back_red_ken.html

Brilliant! I couldn't wish a better ally on him.

David Lindsay

Oh, but Brown would abolish the position if Labour lost it. I've had some VERY interesting emails from old friends on this one today.

They say that handing the powers over to the GLA would be the most likley way of simply getting rid of Mayor Johnson, but that, one way or another, he certainly would be got rid of.

The GLC was invented to have a permanent Tory majority, but when that didn't happen, it was just abolished. The same would happen again.

Matt Wright

Actually there is an interesting point here, the idea of powerful elected leaders such as mayors or directly elected chiefs of bodies works brilliantly well when they are good at what they do but it seems if they are bad and also charismatic, the model could go seriously wrong in the short to medium term.

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