Thursday, May 01, 2008

London gets its chance to kick Livingstone - and not a moment to soon

Well it is finally here. The day has arrived where London gets a chance to kick out a 1970s political throwback who plays at the politics of division rather than the politics of hope and change. If you go to the ballot box today in London remember this as you vote for the Mayoralty.

Livingstone has consistently shown himself to be someone that misleads the electorate in order to win support. He misled over fare increases before, and as the news has shown in the last week, he's doing it again having secretly agreed fares will go up.

His campaign started out deliberately taking quotes from Boris Johnson articles out of context. Then as it progressed it started to say Boris was committed to doing things that he had never said. The Livingstone campaign has tried to ingratiate itself with the Muslim vote by falsely claiming Boris wants to ban the Koran as well.

It has misled Union members by trying to suggest Boris plans to strip them of rights that he would not have in his power to do. It has falsely claimed that free pensioner travel would be scrapped under a Boris mayoralty. At every turn of his campaign it has been about negatively portraying Boris Johnson, and as each turn failed the opinion polls reflected what was probably a reaction to those political games.

The negative campaign by Jowell and Livingstone this week, having failed to successfully label Boris a racist, an Islamophobe or an evil stealing of bus passes, has now fallen back on the line that Boris is a "joke" candidate. The desperation within that final push is clear. They have nothing positive to say because the Labour Party knows that it is on the slide.

This was perfectly exemplified by what could only be a classic piece of astroturfing in the "politically neutral" free sheet called the London Paper yesterday. In the column called "More or Bore" where reader write in hoping to be published we were subjected to someone saying they weren't sure who they should vote for but it closed with the summary that you shouldn't vote for Boris because you think he would be an "hilarious Mayor".

Most interestingly in the following pages you were presented with a full page Livingstone advert that was also pushing the "you might think it's funny to vote for Boris but it really isn't a joke" line. Call me cynical if you must, but the connection between the two smacked of a classic double-hit attack attempt. It's quite easy to do, you buy an advert page, and then you get activist after activist to send a column in that subtly pushes the same line with the hope one gets published.

The idea that Boris Johnson is a "joke candidate" is the real joke in that line though. The man has a towering intellect and is by no means not serious. To quote Andrew Gilligan, "it is better to have a serious man being a buffoon than a buffoon pretending to b a serious man". That is real choice today in London. A man who has been shown to have extremely questionable ethics about how to execute power in office, or a man that wants to get things done and genuinely change London for the better.


Clunking Fist said...

Good luck, London. The world is watching.

Anonymous said...

The Evening Standard also did a spectacular demolition job on the congestion charge, showing that it has essentially raised next to nothing since it began and all the extra buses have just come from additional subsidies.

Anonymous said...

I think you need to learn how to spell, Dizzy. The title should say 'too' and not 'to.'

Your blog has been riddles with spelling errors lately. Sort it out!

dizzy said...

That's because I don't proof read, make typos and am also dyslexic. It's not just lately it's always.

dizzy said...

Oh yes and to and too have always been a bugger for me.

machiavelli said...

I noticed that on the following page from Ken's ad, was a Govt-funded ad telling you that you should go out and vote.

Coincidence? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

"I think you need to learn how to spell, Dizzy. The title should say 'too' and not 'to.' "

Erm, no it shouldn't. That doesn't make sense.

"London gets its chance to kick Livingstone too" is fine, but it implies that others are kicking Livingstone.

Or, "London gets its chance to kick Livingstone".

Anonymous said...

o/t, but what relevance does this parliamentary question have for the blogosphere?

"Mr SiƓn Simon (Birmingham, Erdington): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his Department's policy is on blogging by prisoners."

John M Ward said...

I have also blogged on this issue, at the "minus one" (day) stage, HERE. I think it is a reasonable and -- hopefully -- informed contribution to the London Mayoralty issue.

The correct outcome would be a Boris victory, as it is the only realistic way to improve London. That's it, really: everything else becomes mere detail, to be tackled after the reult is announced.

Bill Quango MP said...

He isn't a bad mayor.. He wasn't as bad as predicted.But in no way a FAIR Mayor. very very pro Islam anti Jew. Pro Penalties, anti 'ease of use' etc.

But his time has come and gone. N One and NO Party should stand for more than 2 terms.

If you haven't achieved what you set out to do in 8 - 10 years then you should scamper off in shame anyway.

Far better to do a final speech about 'All these great works' and 'I hand over a country/city in far better shape than I found it..' etc, recommend a successor and then bugger off to watch cricket or head up the EU or campaign for your wife or whatever else you fancy.

Croydonian said...

Ah, the joys of pedantry. There are two instances of 'to' in the headline:

'to kick' - Yes, like that.

'to soon - Prefer 'too soon'.

C'mon, hit me with your best shots, anon and Phil.

Anonymous said...

So you seriously think the Livingstone campaign put someone up to write thelondonpaper's vox pop column yesterday?

I read the column and thought it was making a fair point: that the future of the capital is too serious to be decided merely on an assessment of which candidate would be more "hilarious" in public office.

And much as it may pain you, Dizzy, people are entitled to political views which are at variance with your own, and are entitled to have them published. If you thought that thelondonpaper was showing a form of bias (and I have to say I wasn't aware of its obligation or its commitment to neutrality in the campaign), then avoid reading Time Out at all costs, as it could seriously damage your health.

Blackacre said...

Sorry Dizzy - Boris is a joke candidate. He will be a disaster if elected. At least Ken has a record of achievement, even if he is a "hold your nose when you vote" candidate.

The second "to" in the headline should be "too", but whoo cares?

dizzy said...

Anonymous, i was merely pointing out that the article looked like an astroturf article. As for neutrality, it was on page 2 of the same paper that it said it. You are aware that sending letters into a paper is standard practice in a campaign right?

Anonymous said...

There's a difference between a letters page and a commissioned vox pop column.

But I've never stood for election, not even as a paper candidate, so what would I know?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dizzy. Didn't realise you were dyslexic...!

dizzy said...

It's not a "commissioned vox pop column" you idiot. You email the address at the bottom and offer your writing. It's an extended fucking letter.

Billy Whizz said...

This is, I take it, the same londonpaper that's owned by Rupert Murdoch and produced from the same Wapping stable as those liberal rags The Sun, The News of the World and The Times? Okey-doke.

If you think that's unacceptable, you should have seen some of the specious nonsense the Evening Standard printed about Livingstone.