Monday, April 9, 2012

Red Ken's Brass Neck And Red Ed's Regret

You've got to admire the brass neck of Labour's Mayoral candidate, Ken "do as I say not as I do" Livingstone.

As Everyone will be aware he was caught out arranging his financial affairs in the most tax efficient way possible, despite condemning others who did the same as evil, tax dodging "rich bastards".

Hypocrisy in Labour politicians being par for the course the issue probably would have blown over by now had it not been for Livingstone's accusations that Boris Johnson, the Tory candidate, had similar arrangements. Boris and Ken had previously covered this territory and Ken knew full well the accusations weren't true.

Red Ken's accusations inevitably led to calls for all the candidates to reveal their financial affairs for public scrutiny. His attempts to avoid disclosure then, when forced, the revelations that he (and to a lesser extent the Lib Dem candidate - they always have to be "equidistant", don't they?) had paid a significantly smaller proportion of their income in tax than Boris, have made all the headlines over the past few days.

Now, Ken is attempting to make out that it was the Tories who made everyone's tax affairs an issue, saying it's a distraction from the "real" issues facing Londoners. In reality it was him, by making false allegations that inflamed the whole topic. The fuss being made about individuals tax affairs has been a distraction, not least as it was only Ken that had a big problem with tax efficient arrangements. But the original revelation on Livingstone's tax arrangements was very much relevant as it showed him up as the hypocrite he is. His response also revealed him to be and out and out liar. Boris Johnson would have to be condemning, and proposing the jailing of, serial adulterers to reach the same levels of hypocrisy as dear old Ken.

Mayoral elections are very much about the individuals as well as their policies. How trustworthy are they? Can we trust them to do what they say they are going to do? etc. Ken, like many politicians on the left in this country, has shown himself not to be trustworthy. His chances of winning are now looking very slim.

After losing in Bradford, Ed Miliband really can't afford to lose in another Labour orientated city like London, especially during a mid-term Tory government. He will hope the inevitable gains Labour will see in the local elections (the Tories will be defending a very high water mark result from 2008) will overshadow his failure in London.

How Red Ed must be regretting going for his colour-sake, Red Ken, now.

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