IK Caught on Camera
A furtive Iguana Ken Livingstone leaving
the Blue Iguana Video Shop in Soho. Greedily clutching the latest
filthy release from the Lizard porn underworld.
We have viewed several of these vile videos in
the name of research - We are shocked at the depths these little
green bastards will sink - The people who make this filth, and
the perverts who watch it should face the full force of the law.
Unfortunately, due to a legal loophole, the law is powerless to
act. email your protest to:- email@example.com
We confronted Ken on this issue. He smugly declared he needed
the videos to improve his skills as an Animal technician. He added,
that when he leaves Politics and returns to the real world, he
intends to build on his past experience as an animal technician.
Ken aims to specialise in the Sexual dysfunctionality of the post
gay porn Iguana. More
............................................ About this Website
This website came into existence on 05 February 2004 - 5pm GMT
Your editor spent most of this night, venting his spleen, in a
spontaneous, and manic outpouring, that went on till the early
This websites purpose To fight back against extortion.
To keep the car driver informed about the law, and latest legal
To publish your grievance and experiences.
To unmask the faceless beaurocrats, behind this out of control
To start a campaign of civil disobedience. To publish every trick
obstructing the tow truck,
Deactivation of meters &
Destruction of speed cameras
Lastly, to try & restore a balance of sanity and fairness
in the way the motorists is treated by the state, the police,
and local authorities.
Personaly: A conduet for all the
anger that has been rising up in me of late. For what I see as
the betrayal of the great silent majority in this country &
great city of ours, dare I say it in the political correct mad
house that "England" has become.
"The success Ken Livingstone has had in hoodwinking many
good, sound, people into thinking he is some sort of reasonable
human being is astounding."
"He's a dodgy politician, an opportunist. He's got his own
agenda." [Bernie Grant, former ally of Ken
"It was because he (Ken Livingstone) was left outside that
he established an alternative agenda. There was nowhere else for
him to go". [Margaret Hodge, Labour minister]
"You know he (Ken
Livingstone) would exploit it and it would end in grief
and there was no point in doing it". [Neil Kinnock on why
he did not give Ken Livingstone a job]
"I don't see why London has to suffer because he hasn't fulfilled
his ambition to be party leader." [Brian Sedgemore, Labour
"A few people, a few left-wingers, some of them Trotskyite
- not Ken (Livingstone), he never had the ideological commitment
to be a Trotskyite - they met together, they decided a common
line. They then got into larger groups and decided a common line.
They then got into the Greater London Labour party and by having
a common line they often outvoted the trade unions and more moderate
But Mr. Kinnock exempts Mr. Livingstone from the charge
of being a Trotskyist. "He's a Kennist. He really is. 'Red
Ken' was always a bit of a joke. I don't think he's even a Red."
"Mayor Ken Livingstone's opinions about the United
States are a matter of complete indifference to the American embassy,
the American government and the American people."
The Ken Livingstone Interview you have all been waiting
for - by Alan Quillpole "fingers crossed and off the record"
I interview a foul-mouthedKen Livingstoneat a council flat in Bethnal Green,
not at the London Headquarters of the Muslim Council of Great
Britain,(the original venue) where Ken
Livingstone and his new party MUSKIP, (Muslim Kingdom
Independence Party), retained a suite of rooms, now hastily evacuated.
The truculent mayor has upset one too many "moderate"
members of the Muslim Council, by associating with Muslim
extremists and supporting radical clerics, such as the anti-gay,
wife-beating advocate Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
I am brusquely ushered into an incongruously plush, wood-panelled
office (very at odds with the exterior of the dilapidated high-rise
council block) by a surly MUSKIP flunky in a burka, and directed
to a very low office chair. I try to alter the height but the
adjuster is broken and I am forced to look up at a shadowy Ken
Livingstone, seated behind a large oak, leather-topped desk. He
is sporting a long grey beard, a smug demeanour and is dressed
bewilderingly like the main character (The superbly foul mouthed
Al Swearengen played by Ian McShane) out of Deadwood, the Sky
TV western soap!
This is more than a little strange, and I feel very uncomfortable
with this surreal set up. But I am a pro - so proceed with The
It's not true! As you can see by my new party, I like Muslims,
and I also like ethnic minorities in general, with the exception
of the Jews. Of course you also know I don't like the press or
the cocksucking English; I don't like the middle classes and I
don't like them cocksucking que oops, gays! I hate pigeons,
car drivers and white people; I loathe people who live in Kensington
and Chelsea, only 4 % of them fuckers voted for me, in fact only
4% of the cock sucking racist white trash that still hang on in
London voted for me.
AQ: Do you support radical Muslim fundamentalists?
No! This is blatantly not true, I support Ken Livingstone. Getting
Ken re-elected for Mayor of London, forever! Or until London is
completely fucked and in flames- so I need to cultivate the dull,
the ignorant, the bigoted, and of course the ill-educated, basically
a large section of London's poor or "London's poorer";
coincidentally they are in the main the ethnic community of London
and also coincidentally most of them are Muslims...
AQ: Surely you don't mean that all people who are poor are from
Muslim ethnic communities?
Of course I do, or the majority of them. Just look at the cocksucking
UK government figures - it's a fact, fucking cocksucking Muslims
are London's poorest, they are my non car-owning, bus-using ethnic
immigrants, and by immigrant, I mean anyone who isn't white or
AQ: You are confusing me!
Sorry! It's also confusing me. You know what I mean, those cocksucking
nearly-do well Black English and the cocksucking do-well Hindu
car-owning fucking traitors! I don't want their vote, anyway the
cocksuckers vote Tory, Liberal or for them cunting UKIP nonces,
or worse Veritas or worse still the cocksucking BNP. What's important
to me, and my co-party founder George Galloway, are the 700,000
Muslims who live in London. They are the true Londoners; they
stick together, like true Londoners used to do. You know what
I mean; living in squalor; eating the same food every day; going
to the mosque all the time; sucking up to the local priest and
giving him money. Historically that is what white Londoners used
to be like before they went soft, left or became yuppies - in
the 50's they all voted labour, went to church and fitted the
above profile nicely.
AQ: I will take your word for it.
So you should, you little cocksucker -you can't blame me for converting
to Islam! I mean, that is nearly all my votes, I would be fucked
without them! So what if I have to cultivate the odd bearded fanatic,
Muslim fundamentalist or cocksucking rabid homophobe - call them
what you like, they are cocksucking vote winners! It's a fact
most Muslims don't like gays, and they don't like the cocksucking
cunting English, and they either don't like or don't understand
western values. For fuck's sake, most of the older generation
don't even speak English, and they have been here for 40 fucking
No! No! You have got me wrong. With the English it's nothing
personal, some of my best friends are English - they just don't
vote for me, so fuck 'em! - so now do you understand where I am
AQ. Well sort of - don't you think your attitude will cause more
divisions in London?
No, it's too fucking late. London is a city of cocksucking divisions;
it's like the fucking football league -nicely divided, I mean
a good example - look at all those poor bastards living in Bangla
town (Tower Hamlets) , 40% unemployment, 70% living below the
poverty line, a TB epidemic and a birth rate that puts most third
world countries to shame. I estimate I will have over 100,000
votes just in Bangla town and Tower Hamlets by 2010 - I mean,
who else are the dumb fucks going to vote for?
That's the way I see things, hence MUSKIP is born. London is split
into maybe 10 communities; there is virtually no communications
between the different cultures, and that is now! Can you imagine
what it will be like in 10 years, thats when the shit really hits
AQ: What do you mean?
Well, think about it, in some areas of London over 60% of the
workforce are employed by the state (Lewisham), and 90% of that
workforce is what you would describe as ethnic - half of them
will lose their jobs when Michael Howard or some other Tory cocksucker
gets elected and the economy goes belly up, as the conservatives
desperately try to claw back all the money Gordon and co. have
blown over the past few years - they (ethnics) ain't like the
resigned and apathetic cocksucking English; the ethnics will be
out on the street screaming bloody blue murder!
AQ: Do you think then we will see riots in London soon?
Ken Livingstone: RIOTS! Are you fucking joking,
there are fucking riots every day! Have you seen what happens
when there are ticket collectors at New Cross Gate station? Fucking
hell, it's like err, a riot you know: dogs, black youths screaming
at the police, a lot of squaring up and aggression; of course
no one gets hurts because the good old bobby is always mob-handed:
dogs, CS gas, meat wagons - and that's just to check tickets.
Then round the back of King's Cross: fucking Somalis, Bangladeshis
and Sudanese, Tamils and Hindus, and Turks and Kurds. Let's not
forget the fucking Eastern Europeans, who hate anyone who ain't
white...gangs of 100 or more fighting in the streets. In fact
they all fucking hate each other, I would call that a riot! And
what about the Turks, regular shootings and knifings with the
Romanians & Albanians, fighting over who supplies the heroin
and whores. It's like the fucking wild west in parts of North
London. There are no-go areas all over London and our cocksucking,
BMW driving, mountain bike riding police force sit back and do
nowt - well they can't do much as they are so tied up with politically
correct rules - as for that great big time serving poof Ian Blair
he is a fucking cocksucking ultra PC cunt!
(I am a bit taken back by this tirade)
AQ: err! Do you think its a good thing, large numbers of eastern
Europeans living and working in London.
I don't like 'em! Fucking racist the lot of em! They will never
vote for me, they think I am a commy, a fucking n***er loving
bastard and they love cars as well, fuck 'em!
AQ: I can see you are getting a bit over-excited, do you mind
if I change the subject?
Will you ever learn to drive?
Are you joking - switch that tape recorder off! Ok, I will let
you in on a little secret. I can drive, I passed my test in the
early seventies, though I lost the licence years ago.
AQ: What do you mean, "lost"?
Err! Your tape recorder is OFF?
AQ: Yes it's off! (I lied). It's digital by the way, it has no
OK - well you fucking watch it!
It was a bit of high jinks, when I worked for the Beatty Cancer
Clinic as a vivisectionist. I took a monkey home with me for a
bit of company, you know. I had trouble pulling girls then on
account of me being a bit creapy, and I had this really annoying
AQ: Nothing's changed then?
Ha! Very funny but don't push your luck, you little cocksucker
- this interview is your lucky break. Anyway, I was a bit weird.
On the drive home from work one cold winter's night, I was playing
with the chimp's privies, when the stupid cow got a little over-excited
and she jumped on my lap. She grabbed the steering wheel and rolled
her lips back the way chimps do, and then made a rude gesture
at the car in front. Unfortunately it was the old bill, a panda
car, remember them?
Bobo makes her escape..
AQ: No, what are they?
Never mind, the police had Mini Metros then, they didn't always
drive BMW's and they had even less sense of humour then than they
do now. The blue light goes on and I am directed to pull over.
This would have been fine under normal circumstances; my car,
insurance, and license were all in order. But on this occasion
I had a 90lb chimp on my lap, and Bobo had the strength of 3 men,
so Bobo (that's her name) tugs at the wheel and I (we) run the
hysterical copper down, bump! bump! as the front and rear wheels
go over him. Don't worry, he wasn't dead, just a bit shook up
and bruised; the plods were tough then, not like the poofs on
mountain bikes we have now. Anyway, off we go down the embankment
with the police in hot pursuit, me desperately trying to stop,
but Bobo kept jamming my foot on the accelerator. To cut a long
story short we crashed into a lamppost on Westminster Bridge,
the doors flew open and Bobo disappeared into the night. I tried
to explain, but the old bill were having none of it: "Right sir, were you driving this vehicle?"
"No! Bobo was."
"Bobo. Well sir, where is this Mr. Bobo?"
"It's not Mr. Bobo, it's Miss, anyway chimps aren't called
Mr. or Miss, they are just first names..."
"Excuse me sir, are you saying Bobo is a chimp and this chimp
"Yes I am, but the little bastard did a runner..."
"Ok sonny, you are fucking nicked!"
So there you have it, I was banned for 10 years for hit and run,
failing to stop, resisting arrest, wasting police time attempting
to pervert the course of justice etc. etc. This wasn't helped
by my roadside statement, and the ongoing vindictiveness of the
injured officer plod. If I asked for my license back, the shit
would realy hit the fan; the good old press would have a field
day. Can you see the headlines?
"Stop monkeying about Ken"
"Ken blames bad driving on Chimp." "Where is Mrs Bobo?" "The Mayor's Monkey business."
AQ: So did Bobo ever turn up?
No, I never saw her again!
I was sacked from the Beatty clinic, I moved on - that's why I
went into politics. I wasn't qualified for anything else on account
of how thick I am. I did an IQ test once, and it turned out that
if I had been a chimp, I would have been the cleverest in the
world, that is an IQ of 72.
Talking of test, I used to carry out IQ tests on the chimps; funny,
but they get cleverer the more electric shocks you give them.
I think that's why Bobo fucked me over - one test went like this:
a display of fast changing patterns on a VDU screen with one pattern
missing, choose the missing pattern from the three displayed on
an adjacent screen. Bobo picked the right one every time, I got
bored with dishing out bananas to her, so Bobo got an electric
shock nearly every time, Bobo soon got wise to this and refused
to choose, so I gave her more electric shocks, but she still refused.
She just sat there playing with her sagging tits and toying with
her clit the way chimps do! No shame.
AQ: So you think Bobo hated you?
No! Hate is the wrong word - we developed a bond the way hijack
victims do with their hijackers. Do you remember Patty Hearst?
AQ: err! was she a rock star?
No, No, she was this heiress who was kidnapped, and gang raped
by some weird revolutionary army, a bit like my Socialist Workers
party and Trotsky friends: very dull but full of hardcore political
fervour. Anyway, she ended up robbing banks with them and became
their buddy. That was the relationship me and Bobo had; she would
do anything I asked: blow jobs, doggy style sex, hide the banana,
anything to please me, so it was quite a shock when she betrayed
me on Westminster Bridge. She feared me, and while I had power
over her and controlled her life she pandered to me, and then
when her moment came she shat on me - sigghh...
AQ: Do you think you have a similar relationship with all your
Oh definitely! I have power over them, making their lives a little
bit better: bus lanes, free buses like the "bendy" or
so-called happy bus. But when they realize I have fucked up, and
the whole city is going up in flames, just like the bendy bus,
they will turn on me, just like Bobo. But don't worry, I have
learned my lesson. At the first sign of trouble I will be out
of here pronto! Capiche? (Ken goes into a really bad Italian accent.)
AQ: So you won't mind leaving London?
I can't wait - I never did like the place, or the cocksucking
Londoners. When it goes tits up, I'll be off, just like the 200,000
Londoners who leave this city every year and the 50% that would
leave tomorrow if they could (UK gov). I have more than enough
cash stashed from all the bent property deals, so I can look forward
to a cushy retirement in South America.
AQ: (I feel I am being wound up so change the subject yet again.)
Do you think it is fair that car owners and drivers are fleeced
by TfL at every opportunity?
Of course it's not fair! Most car owners are what I would describe
as the better citizens; they are law abiding, educated to a reasonable
standard, they pay more tax, and they work harder and longer hours
than the average non-car owner (Londons poorer). Like I have already
said, they don't vote for me, so the stupid apathetic cocksuckers
can go and fuck them selves.
AQ: So back to my original question, do you like anyone?
Okay! You have me there - I do like someone - Ken Livingstone
Contact Ken Livingstone: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater London government | Livingstone
the politician | Livingstone - the Mayor | Livingstones
Greater London government
Created by the Greater London Authority Act 1999, the longest
piece of legislation passed by the British Parliament since
the Government of India Act in 1935, the London mayoralty formed
the centrepiece of New Labours mayoral experiment designed
to revive local government through the application of a robust
American-style system of strong local leadership. The policy
on the Greater London Authority (GLA) emerged in 1995 when the
then opposition Labour Party was formulating its programme for
government and required a solution to what was perceived as
the democratic deficit created by Margaret Thatchers abolition
of the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1986.
Previously, Labour had been committed to the
restoration of the GLC but had since come to the view that such
a policy could be interpreted as tit-for-tit dismantling of
Thatcherism and that a modern response to Londons needs
in the 21st century was required, rather than just falling back
on a familiar institution. More tellingly, in its later days,
the GLC was a by-word for the kind of New Urban Left politics
of the era and the newly-elected Labour leader Tony Blair was
seeking to mark a contrast by showing the electorate and the
media that this chapter of Labours history was well and
Although the policy on creating elected mayors
outside of London was to come several years later, Labour entered
government in 1997 with a clear commitment to restore elected
city-wide government to Greater London via a new form of civic
leadership, with a directly-elected Mayor of London and a constituent
Assembly to scrutinise him or her. However, it preferred to
wait until this could be ratified by a vote of Londoners before
proceeding with the plans, with a referendum held alongside
the May 1998 elections to Londons 32 Borough councils.
Labour campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum,
with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats largely opposed.
The Conservatives dropped their initial opposition
to the Mayoral post (as it could detract from the City of London
Lord Mayors prestige) but still viewed the Assembly proposals
as a return to what it saw as the dark days of the GLC, while
the Liberal Democrats favoured Londons leader being chosen
by the Assembly rather than the popular vote.
In all eventuality, the Mayor and Assembly proposals
were ratified with 72 per cent voting in favour in the referendum.
Having secured the necessary backing, the government then legislated
for the creation of the Mayor of London and the 25-member London
Assembly, with the Mayor being elected under the Supplementary
Vote system (hitherto unheard of, except for among academics)
and the Assembly being elected under the Additional Member System
(mainly used in Germany and at that time also put forward for
use in the new Scottish and Welsh devolved assemblies). The
government argued that the Supplementary Vote system of first
and second preferences was the most appropriate as it was the
easiest to count, while ensuring that any Mayor receives at
least 50 per cent support, but it is not necessarily proportional
when compared to the more commonly-used Alternative Vote (which
allows exhaustive preferential voting). Similarly, the Additional
Member System was chosen for the Assembly as it was roughly
proportional and would not let one party dominate the body but
also guarded against parochialism by having both constituency
and London-wide members. Having being passed in Parliament in
1999, the first elections were scheduled for May 2000, with
the onus then on the parties to select candidates for this historic
Livingstone the politician
A whole book has been written (Nightmare! By Mark Darcy
and Rory McLean*) on the debacle surrounding Labours selection
process for its candidate for Mayor of London in 2000 but much
of the history bears repeating, not least for its soap opera-like
qualities altogether quite rare these days (see Jeffrey Archers
candidacy). Having secured the necessary legislation, New Labours
mayoral project rolled on and prior to the selection stage,
certain names were trotted out with great frequency when discussing
the contest. The media tended to concur with Tony Blairs
aim of securing a big name from the world of business to take
the helm of Millennial London, perhaps Virgin chief Richard
Branson, while with the Labour Party, still enjoying its post-1997
election victory honeymoon, former actress Glenda Jackson and
erstwhile GLC member Tony Banks emerged as likely contenders
from within Londons Labour MPs.
Popular broadcaster Trevor Phillips came forward
as the principal candidate from the ethnic minorities, who were
beginning to make their presence known as holding 35+ per cent
of Londons electors. Ken Livingstone, the erstwhile left-wing
Labour Leader of the GLC who had achieved power through a palace
coup in 1981 at County Hall, on the other hand, had dismissed
the mayoral proposals as barmy, as if he still held
out some hope for the resumption of business as usual for the
GLC now the Conservatives were out of power.
As a historical aside, Livingstone was at this
point the Labour Member of Parliament for Brent East, having
been elected in 1987 following the abolition of the GLC a year
previously. During his time in Parliament, Livingstone had penned
a left-wing personal manifesto (Livingstones Labour) in
1989, perhaps in response to his media presence, but spent much
of this period in relative backbench obscurity, finding little
favour under any of Labours leaders. Although a member
of the left-wing Campaign Group of quasi-Marxist firebrand Labour
MPs, Mr Livingstone was probably better known for his restaurant
reviews in the Evening Standard at this juncture and even reflected
this in his Whos Who entry as lunching for socialism.
At best, Livingstone seemed like a kindly relic
of the Bennite era, which had been successfully confined to
the dustbin of social democracy by Tony Blair. During the passage
of the GLA legislation through Parliament, Livingstones
Campaign Group colleague and former GLC member John McDonnell
called for the compulsory purchase of the old County Hall home
of the GLC. However, this call went unheeded as the government
were seeking a break with the past and sought a new home for
London-wide government that would symbolise this. Therefore
a Livingstone mayoralty would also not suffice in that regard.
It was perhaps emblematic of New Labours
brinkmanship and inability to calculate the political mood at
times but Tony Blair and his advisers were absolutely adamant
that Ken Livingstone would not be Mayor of London, once he had
actually decided that the post wasnt so barmy
after all, that is. To Blair, Livingstones gesture
politics endangered New Labours ability to reach
out to Conservative voters and a Livingstone mayoralty could
not be countenanced, at any cost.
Livingstone had also humiliated Blairs
close ally, Peter Mandelson, in a recent election to Labours
ruling National Executive Committee, so as far as New Labour
were concerned, he wasnt so obscure. A succession of Cabinet
ministers were touted as being the likely leadership candidate,
including Northern Ireland Secretary and MP for Redcar Mo Mowlam
and Health Secretary Frank Dobson (who at least held a London
seat). In the end, New Labour settled on Frank Dobson as the
Stop Livingstone candidate, if only because he had
once beaten Livingstone in an internal election to become Leader
of Camden Council in the 1970s.
Occurring alongside the unpopular vanity project
to install a £1bn Millennium Dome on the Greenwich peninsula,
the battle to keep Ken Livingstone off the ballot paper appeared
to strike a bum note with the media, who began something of
a public backlash against New Labour. New Labour indeed tried
every trick in the Labour rulebook to prevent Livingstone from
becoming the Labour candidate, including a gruelling interview
process where he was asked of his ability to stay resolutely
on message regarding Labour policy.
In the end, the party managers concocted a convenient
wheeze to halt the momentum for a Livingstone Labour candidacy
a convoluted and complicated electoral college where
trade union block votes outweighed those of ordinary Labour
members, who largely backed Livingstone.
Using the votes cast by a handful of union barons,
former Health Secretary Frank Dobson, who was pressured by Tony
Blair to stand down from the Cabinet and run for the post, managed
to secure the Labour candidacy by the narrowest of margins of
Livingstone, with Glenda Jackson coming third in the poll.
Having sensed injustice, Livingstone then announced
his decision to run as an Independent candidate, which led to
his automatic expulsion from the Labour Party. In all eventuality,
Livingstone was elected as Londons first Mayor, albeit
as an independent, on 4 May 2000, with Labours candidate
trailing in fourth place behind the Conservatives and Liberal
To give an idea of the contest as soap opera,
Frank Dobson then returned to the Labour backbenchers, where
he remains and sometimes orchestrates occasional rebellions
against his former Cabinet colleagues, alongside fellow Labour
hopeful Glenda Jackson. Trevor Phillips stood as Frank Dobsons
Deputy Mayor as a London Assembly candidate, only to step down
from the Assembly before the 2004 elections on his appointment
as Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality. Former Conservative
candidate Jeffrey Archer was subsequently imprisoned for perjury.
(* the title is an allusion to an exchange in
1999 at Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons
between Tony Blair and the then Leader of the Conservatives,
William Hague, who remarked of Blairs predicament: Why
not split the job in two, with Frank Dobson as your day mayor
and Ken Livingstone as your nightmare?)
Livingstone - the Mayor
In the period following the first GLA elections, the body got
off to an inauspicious start, being forced to squat in disused
civil service offices in Westminster while the distinctive new
City Hall building was constructed on its London Bridge site
on the south bank of the Thames adjacent to Tower Bridge. On
assuming office, the Mayor signalled his intent to retain his
independent status by drawing on the talents of all political
parties elected to the London Assembly. He drew up an Advisory
Cabinet drawn from all points of the political spectrum and
also from outside the world of politics.
The mayoralty aside, the elections saw mixed
results by dint of the proportional system, with Labour and
the Conservatives returning nine members each, the Liberal Democrats
with four and the representation of the Greens for the first
time with three members. With no overall majority, Labour entered
into a pact with the Liberal Democrats in the Assembly that
saw committee chairmanships shared between the two parties,
with the Chair of the Assembly alternating between the two.
The Mayor also entered into this spirit by offering
to alternate the Deputy Mayorship between the four parties during
his term of office. However, despite Labour accepting in the
first instance, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives
refused the offer, which saw Labours Nick Gavron occupy
the post for three years, with Jenny Jones accepting the offer
on behalf of the Greens when put to them in the final year of
Mayor Livingstones first term.
This was quite convenient for Ms Gavron as she
was selected as Labours candidate for the second set of
mayoral elections in 2004 and would have been faced with the
task of attacking the Mayor in the campaign while acting as
his Deputy. In the context of this, it is worth skipping forward
to note that faced with polling that showed Ms Gavron was destined
to repeat Labours dismal performance in the mayoral elections,
the Labour Party acknowledged that Ken Livingstone was on course
for re-election and negotiated terms for his readmission and
automatic selection as Labours candidate for the 2004
elections. Conditional on his readmission and therefore Ms Gavrons
withdrawal was her assured position as Deputy Mayor in the second
administration if both were re-elected. However, the preceding
period could be fairly described as tempestuous.
It is sometimes remarked that the legacy of
Ken Livingstones first term as Mayor was the proliferation
of bendy-buses (to replace the ageing fleet of old-style
tourist icon Routemasters) and bus priority lanes on the capitals
streets. There is a grain of truth to this, Livingstone did
not assume control of the Underground tube network from central
government until almost the end of his first term and therefore
the only real power he had over public transport was to channel
extra funding into the capitals bus network.
But the Mayors legacy does extend wider
in terms of transport as while his Quixotic battle with the
Department for Transport in the High Court over the Public Private
Partnership deal is now largely forgotten, his adoption of the
Congestion Charge has been viewed with interest from across
the world. Livingstones ardent opposition to the Public
Private Partnership deal to renovate and modernise the tube
networks infrastructure has cost the tax-payer millions
and saw substantial clauses inserted into the GLA legislation
to delay the handover of the tube from the Department for Transport
in case Labour was not able to prevent a Livingstone mayoralty
The spectacle of the Mayor of London taking
the government to court to halt the scheme is now largely forgotten
and for one reason: the Congestion Charge. The success of the
Congestion Charge scheme, for which the GLA Act permitted but
did not mandate, bought off a number of Labour politicians who
opposed the Mayors re-entry into the party in spite of
abysmal polling results for its then candidate in 2003/04.
Livingstone actually adopted the idea from the
business community in the capital, who had unsuccessfully lobbied
for 20 years for a scheme to reduce traffic congestion in central
London. It is now accepted that Livingstones independent
status at the time allowed for him to push for the scheme without
the burden of party policy or interests to consider. Without
this it is doubtful that the scheme would have progressed from
the policy formulation stage. The Conservatives were openly
hostile, the Liberal Democrats somewhat critical of certain
aspects and the Labour Party had its reservations. In his second
term, Mayor Livingstone is now proceeding with his desire to
see the scheme extended into West London from its current boundaries.
Alongside the Transport for London agency responsible
for public transport in the capital, as well as major roads
and regulation of the taxi trade, the Mayor oversees the budget
and appointments to the boards of several other public bodies
in the capital, commonly referred to as the GLA family.
Through the Metropolitan Police Authority, the
Mayor indirectly sets the priorities for policing in the capital
and his first term in office saw an increase in the number of
police recruited and an expansion of the community support officer
scheme to provide additional back-up to operational policing
in the community. The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority,
for whom the Mayor also oversees the budget and some appointments
to, is a less politically charged body, especially given that
central government continues to take the lead in resilience
matters for planning against terrorist attacks on the capital.
The London Development Agency is what one might more commonly
recognise as an economic development and regeneration quango
and here the Mayor also holds power to budget for and appoint
However, the agencys role is significantly
more corporate and business-led in comparison to the Greater
London Enterprise Board set up as an interventionist instrument
by Livingstone in his incarnation as GLC Leader. In particular,
the Mayor has taken a keen interest in promoting Londons
2012 Olympic bid, which alongside tube expansion, he sees as
the cornerstone of his second term legacy. He has even suggested
that his second term should be extended by one year in order
to see the bid through in case he not re-elected. The Mayor
would also like to add Crossrail to his list of achievements,
though this is largely in the gift of central government and
reflects as a failing of Labour devolution project that the
Mayor cannot use his mandate to secure such a sorely-needed
improvement to the capitals transport infrastructure.
The Mayor also assumed control of the capitals
planning and development framework, the London Strategic Development
Strategy, which was previously overseen by a quango after the
GLCs abolition in 1986. Through this, the Mayor can co-ordinate
pan-London planning issues, such as the allocation of social
housing and green space, issues on which he has clashed against
London Boroughs over in the past. Critics of the Mayor often
point to his tall buildings fetish as the Mayor
makes no secret of his desire to see a London skyline dominated
by skyscrapers. On a day to day basis, the Deputy Mayor has
control over this area however, Ms Gavron being something of
a veteran in these matters. In addition to this statutory strategy,
the GLA Act also provides for several other strategies upon
which the Mayor must formulate policy for, such as the environment
(including waste and noise pollution), culture and diversity.
The Mayor has taken to these with great aplomb, often exceeding
what could be expected of him.
As has been noted, the Mayor has substantially refashioned Londons
physical environment with bend-buses now a common sight
and the Congestion Charge scheme in full sway. He made the capital's
successful 2012 Olympic bid his main priority and pushed for
extensions to the tube network, especially in the uncatered
for South East and East of the capital. Such policies have led
to his enviable popularity among Labour members while Conservatives
are as likely to draw breath upon hearing his name, not least
because of the Congestion (or Kengestion) Charge
and his perception as a Mayor for only Zone One of the capital
(central London). Livingstone remains a divisive figure however.
Londons local government leaders are far from content
with his desire to see the number of London Boroughs reduced
from 32 to just five in the name of efficiency.
The Mayors colourful private life and
occasional outbursts, not least the incident involving his castigating
a Jewish reporter for the Evening Standard (with which he now
enjoys a frictional relationship), sees even some Labour members
wishing he had never been readmitted to the party. It could
also be argued that the Mayor has a tick-box mentality
when it comes to relations with the capitals minority
communities, staging tokenistic concerts in Trafalgar Square
and making some questionable appointments to his advisers.
Mr Livingstone, the most memorable city leader
in London since Herbert Morrison, looks likely to contest the
next mayoral election on behalf of Labour. It is perhaps a reflection
on his own success and Labours own failings that it has
no alternative candidate within its ranks to put forward, thus
ensuring that despite Tony Blairs wishes, its devolution
project has hinged on Mr Livingstone all along.