Monday, January 29, 2007

Livingstone's idea of a debate

As is painfully obvious, the mayor is keen to get his hands on ever more areas of the capital's life more properly dealt with by borough councils or the citizenry themselves. However, the attempted land grabs are quite mild compared to how he reacts if he thinks he might be undermined.

In his, or the press office's. words: "The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said today that he must retain the ability to guarantee free bus and tube travel to older and disabled Londoners, as London Councils stepped up their campaign to abolish the reserve scheme that allows the mayor to step in if there is no agreement on the funding for the Freedom Pass".

Showing just how open to a debate he is, note the following with its rather limited audience and the very loaded use of words: "The Mayor said that he would be inviting representatives of groups who benefit from the Freedom Pass to discuss the undermining of the free travel scheme".

And I'm sure theat the invitees will rise as one to declare that they are really not that bothered one way or another.

Oh, and two examples, from different organisations, make for 'a sustained attack': "There is now a sustained attack on free travel schemes in London. Late last year the deputy chair of the London Assembly transport committee proposed that free travel for children on our buses and trams should be abolished".


London Salmon said...

As he was forced to admit to the London Assembly this week, there wasn't even a vote in the Lords on this issue, and the proposal was to give the power over the Freedom Pass to London Councils, and take it away from the GLA. There was never any suggestion it would be 'cut' or 'removed' in any way.

He pulled a similiar trick this week:

Summa said...

Red Ken screwed the pooch last week while trying (feebly) to debate Daniel Pipes.

The weekly standard has their take on it here:

And another blogger taped the whole debate-here:

The Constituent said...

I'd love to know how many people get free passes from Ken.

TfL employees (office staff and drivers etc.) and a designated householder get a free pass, plus Freedom Passes, kids and the rest.

I sometimes think that I am one of a few people literally carrying the rest around London.