Friday, December 29, 2006

Ken's party for Cuba

Ken Livingstone's track record of attempting to look important on the international stage usually ends up with Londoners footing a large bill, as he saddles up to his left-wing buddies in South America.

So it comes as no surprise that it was announced yesterday, that Ken is planning a massive festival across London, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Castro revoltion in Cuba.

The event, which is due to be staged in 2009, will involve street parties, sports venues and some of London's leading museums as well as the closure of Trafalgar Square.

The kick in the teeth for Londoners is that this will cost us an expected £2million!!

So, not only, does Ken associate himself with some of the most odious people around, it's us Londoners who are being asked to pay out for the privilage.

Besides, who in their right mind would want to attend a street party celebrating a communist revolution!

The mayoral election cannot come a day too soon.

Livingstone makes accusation of corruption at Hammersmith and Fulham Council?

The London mayor, Ken Livingstone, yesterday made a veiled accusation that Hammersmith and Fulham Council was corrupt. Hammersmith and Fulham had requested as part of their new building projects that there be a reduction in the number of new affordable homes built in a particular ward on the grounds that the overall number of affordable homes in the ward already far exceeded the 35% requirement for low rent affordable homes under the London Plan.

However, in response to this, Mayor Livingstone rejected the proposal and implied that the Council was trying to buy votes in the ward as a part of an orchestrated act of corruption similar to that of Westminster Council in the 1980s. In his press statement on the the GLA website he said,

"Hammersmith's actions have the stench of Shirley Porters regime at Westminster Council in the 1980s."

The 35% requirement that Livingstone cites as his reason is important here. If Livingstone really cares about it that much why is he not acting in the same manner with Greenwich Council in South-East London who are also not meeting that requirement? Especially given that the per capita wealth in Greenwich is far lower than in Hammersmith and Fulham. You'd think that he would be all over Greenwich Council like a rash yet he isn't.

This couldn't be because Hammersmith and Fulham is a Tory Council whilst Greenwich Council remains one of the last bastions of Labour strength in the capital could it? Is it right that the Mayor of London should behave with such blatant party political hypocrisy? What's more, is it befitting of his office to makes utterly unfounded implication of deliberate corruption at a time when the party he represents is under investigation by Scotland Yard for the very same?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Want to Earn a Good Wage

Then work for Transport For London
Across the whole TfL “group” the number paid over £50K is a staggering 821. The group employs 76 people who earn over £100K.
Nice work if you can get it. Shame its the commuters and taxpayers of London that pick up the bill.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Hope He is Joking

Matthew Parris says he is planning to set up a 'Tories for Ken' campaign
Rumours circulate that Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, has hinted that if the Government rats on its promises to go ahead with the London Crossrail project, he will leave the Labour Party and stand in the 2008 mayoral elections as an independent.
The problem with this idea is that Ken Livingstone doesn't make the decision either way. The money comes from central government. Lobbying for cash from the centre, is of course the easiest game in the book.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What is an area of competence for an elected mayor?

Not, I would imagine spending public money on a publicity campaign calling for a debate on the merits of nuclear power. And doing so in tandem with the less than open-minded Greenpeace takes this from being dodgy to the status of full blown public outrage. That, however, is what we London council tax payers will be funding for one Kenneth Robert Livingstone. More details, straight from the horse's, erm, mouth here.

"Under the headline '£70 billion - Nuclear Waste?' the Mayor invites Londoners to participate in the debate now taking place about energy policy. The posters will appear on tube stations across the capital from Friday". But, so much for the debate as KRL says "Nuclear power is yesterday's solution to our energy needs. In London we want to lead the way in combating climate change by using the cleanest energy and most efficient technologies rather than adopting solutions that damage the environment. Developing the infrastructure for decentralised energy would be financially and environmentally more cost effective than using nuclear power, it would mean less carbon emissions and it would help reduce Londoners' fuel bills".

As I have noted before in a post called 'Livingstone's nuclear straw man' posted at Anyone But Ken, which I cannot as yet lay hands on, it is inconceivable that a nuclear power station would ever be built in London, either in Hyde Park or deepest Croydon, as British energy policy has always been to site plants in coastal areas well away from population centres. So, KRL is explicitly addressing an area wholly outside his competence, both geographically and in terms of legislation. He can mouth off all he likes, but when it comes to us paying for his opinion to be plastered all over poster sites, a line has been crossed. Do I hear 'propaganda on the rates' redux? Quite apart from the direct cost of renting the sites (or is Transport for London compelled to give them gratis?) , there is also the opportunity cost occasioned by others not being able to rent the sites.

Daniel Pipes To Debate Livingstone

Daniel Pipes, known for his critical articles on Islam and the Middle East, has been invited by Red Ken to take part in a debate.
London Mayor has invited Dr. Daniel Pipes to debate him at a conference billed as - "A World Civilisation or a Clash of Civilisations?
Whilst one hopes that Mr Pipes skewers him, I can't help wondering if this is the best use of tax payers money.