Thursday, March 29, 2007

Livingstone finds more people to offend

This time the Japanese government and its people. There may, or may not be a case for arguing that the congestion charge is not a tax, but this hardly classes as diplomacy, especially when conducted on the radio:

"Commenting recently about Japan's decision not to contribute toward the central London congestion motoring charge, Ken Livingstone told the LBC radio station, "I think there are several problems with Japan that we could go on about here. "Admitting their guilt for all the war crimes would be one thing. So if they've not got round to doing that, I doubt they're too worried about the congestion charge." (Source)

Showing his usual cavalier disregard for the facts, he fails to note that the Japanese authorities have made numerous apologies. Quite apart from the issue of diplomatic niceties, it is hardly good business to offend a major source of foreign direct investment, and the £312,000 which the Mayor considers Japan owes is a trifle compared to the potential investments that he may have deterred. He has taken aim at the US in similarly crass terms, and given that around 50 diplomatic missions are not paying the charge, perhaps we can anticipate a whole range of specially tailored slurs for individual countries.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sickening hypocrisy

From the BBC:

Mayor Ken Livingstone has formally apologised for London's role in the slave trade.

He called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to follow suit by issuing an official apology on behalf of the country.

"The government's refusal of such an apology is squalid," he said, on the eve of the bicentenary of legislation to abolish the slave trade.

Mr Livingstone urged fellow Londoners to join him in apologising for this "monstrous crime."

This is absolutely pathetic. If Ken Livingstone was so guilt-ridden about slavery why has he waited until now, years after his election, to issue his apology? This is nothing more than a publicity seeking stunt by a man who apologises for something no one alive today had any involvement in or control over.

Meanwhile Livingstone lauds Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Castro runs a regime that rejects democracy, jails political opponents and reporters who tell the truth, and clamps down on trade unions. Chavez tells public workers to support him or leave the country, sanctions beatings and intimidation of unions who oppose his style of government and allies himself with Iran, a country which has called for an entire country to be wiped out (Israel). By their friend ye shall know them.

The squalid one is Livingstone who is displaying hypocrisy of the worst kind. He wraps himself in the blanket of suffrage and tells the population to wear sackcloth and ashes, while supporting and promoting a man in Cuba who is still enslaving an entire country and another who commits human rights violations in Venezuela.

Yet despite his warped idea of what real freedom entails, he has the temerity to demand the government join with him in his egotistical taxpayer funded guilt trip. Livingstone is behaving like a chiselling little egomaniac who appears to do nothing unless there could be a possible electoral advantage in it for him.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Junket Ken's wings clipped?

International travel is one of the things that should appear as an interest on Ken Livingstone's CV. The costs of Livingstone's overseas trips, at the expense of London taxpayers, have increased nearly ten-fold in just three years. The cost of foreign travel by the Mayor’s Office was £36,490 in 2004-05. This rose to £103,130 in 2005-06. However for the year up to December 2006 it had soared (like a Livingstone in Club Class) to £229,942.

Such is the concern about Livingstone's new found love of popping abroad and the huge additonal cost that comes with it, the London Assembly has supported a motion that states:

This Assembly believes that all international trips and visits by officers of the Mayor’s office must reflect value for money and clearly be in the interests of London, the London economy, the London environment, and Londoners.

All such international trips must have clearly defined objectives by which the success of these trips can be measured.

As Assembly Member Richard Barnes made clear: 'It is not acceptable to make trips at a significant cost to Londoners which do not seem to have a clear purpose, then attempt to justify them afterwards.' Such as those to Cuba to pay homage to Fidel Castro, when the destination was Venezuela, for example.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Put up or shut up Ken

The gay rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, has hit back at Chairman Ken, (following the disgraceful double standards shown in a Mayor's statement we touched upon in a post a couple of days ago) accusing Livingstone of dishonesty and making libellous comments. Tatchell has demanded that Livingstone provides evidence to support his accusation of Islamophobia and if he cannot, to make a public apology to Tatchell and campaign group OutRage!

Livingstone made his comments during a visit to London by the Mayor of Moscow. Russian gay rights leader, Nikolai Alekseev, who attended the press conference in London weighed in by calling Livingstone a hypocrite for saying one thing and doing another. The full story can be read on Harry's Place. It really is an eye opener.

Where Livingstone feels justified in comparing the American Ambassador to a 'chiselling little crook' for refusing to pay the congestion charge, I feel people will be justified in comparing Livingstone to a 'snivelling little arse kisser' for criticising the Mayor of Moscow behind his back, while sucking up to him face to face.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

All hail Ken and open your wallets

The planned strike by London Underground has been called off after a deal was reached for a three year pay deal. Comrade Ken has been quick to celebrate the news and revealed that:

'This three-year agreement is great news for both Tube passengers and staff and is a real landmark achievement. Passengers will benefit from the stability provided by the first three-year deal for all staff in the history of the Underground. Staff will receive above inflation pay rises each year. At the same time, we will be investing record amounts in renewing the Tube.

'Whilst there will always be differences from time to time, my administration is committed to developing a partnership between the trade unions and management to deliver the best possible services to Londoners. This agreement is a good example of what that approach can achieve.'

It most certainly is. Never underestimate what can be achieved when you pledge other peoples' money to pay for those above inflation pay rises. The brothers flex their muscle to blackmail and Ken picks your pockets to give them what they want. It's a wonderful world when you scratch the backs of those who scratch yours.