transport for London extortion We need your money Transport for Londontransport for London

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.

transport for London, extortion and iguanas
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:- protest@exfl.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.

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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 hours.
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This websites purpose
To fight back against extortion.
To keep the car driver informed about the law, and latest legal developments.
To publish your grievance and experiences.
To unmask the faceless beaurocrats, behind this out of control extortion machine.
To start a campaign of civil disobedience. To publish every trick known, for:
Removing clamps,
obstructing the tow truck,
Deactivation of meters &
Ticket machines
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.

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.......How others see
Ken Livingstone

..........shape-shifter
"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 Livingston]
"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]


.............To Late
"I don't see why London has to suffer because he hasn't fulfilled his ambition to be party leader." [Brian Sedgemore, Labour MP]


"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 people."


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."

 

 

 

Ken Livingstone

"WARNING BAD LANGUAGE"

The Ken Livingstone Interview you have all been waiting for - by Alan Quillpole "fingers crossed and off the record"


I interview a foul-mouthed Ken Livingstone at 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 Interview.

AQ: Good morning Mr. Livingstone.

Ken Livingstone:
Cut the Mr. Livingstone; Ken or Your Worship will suffice!

AQ: Okay Your Worship! (I am such an arse licker.)


Ken Livingstone:
Okay! You know the rules?
(He droned in his familiar Dalek voice)


AQ: Yes Mr... err! your worship! (I had carefully read and signed the 72 page interview terms and conditions)

AQ: Is it really true you don't like anyone?

Ken Livingstone(Bio)
That's a good start - you don't mess about, do you cocksucker?

AQ: Err, no!

Ken Livingstone:
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?

Ken Livingstone:
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?

Ken Livingstone:
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 black.

AQ: You are confusing me!


Ken Livingstone:
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.

Ken Livingstone:
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 years.

AQ. You realy don't like the English, do you?

Ken Livingston:

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 coming from.

AQ. Well sort of - don't you think your attitude will cause more divisions in London?

Ken Livingstone:
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?

AQ: I am not sure - maybe a new Muslim party?

Ken Livingstone:
Exactly - now do you begin to understand?

AQ: Err! It does make sense.

Ken Livingstone:
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 the fan?

AQ: What do you mean?

Ken Livingstone:
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.

Ken Livingstone:
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?


Ken Livingstone:
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"?

Ken Livingstone:
Err! Your tape recorder is OFF?

AQ: Yes it's off! (I lied). It's digital by the way, it has no tape..

Ken Livingstone:
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 grating voice.

AQ: Nothing's changed then?

Ken Livingstone:
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?

Ken Livingstone:
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 was driving?"
"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."
Etc etc...

................

AQ: So did Bobo ever turn up?

Ken Livingstone:
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?

Ken Livingstone:
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?

Ken Livingstone:
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 ethnic voters?

Ken Livingstone:
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?

Ken Livingstone:
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?


Ken Livingstone:
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?

Ken Livingstone:
Okay! You have me there - I do like someone - Ken Livingstone…
Contact Ken Livingstone: ken.livingstone@exfl.com

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Service suspended
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Quick links

. Ken Livingstone
Mayor of London
By Andrew Stevens, Political Editor
(source the web)
Though not exactly what UK Prime Minister Tony Blair had in mind when he envisaged New Labour’s mayoral project for London, Mayor Ken Livingstone has undeniably made his mark as a strong civic leader and visionary figurehead for the British capital.

Greater London government | Livingstone – the politician | Livingstone - the Mayor | Livingstone’s legacy |

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 Labour’s 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 Thatcher’s 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 London’s 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 Labour’s history was well and truly over.

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 London’s 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 Mayor’s 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 London’s 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 post.

Livingstone – the politician
A whole book has been written (Nightmare! By Mark D’arcy and Rory McLean*) on the debacle surrounding Labour’s 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 Archer’s candidacy). Having secured the necessary legislation, New Labour’s 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 Blair’s 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 London’s 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 London’s 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 (Livingstone’s 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 Labour’s 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 Who’s 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, Livingstone’s 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 Labour’s 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 wasn’t so “barmy” after all, that is. To Blair, Livingstone’s ‘gesture politics’ endangered New Labour’s ability to reach out to Conservative voters and a Livingstone mayoralty could not be countenanced, at any cost.

Livingstone had also humiliated Blair’s close ally, Peter Mandelson, in a recent election to Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, so as far as New Labour were concerned, he wasn’t 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 London’s first Mayor, albeit as an independent, on 4 May 2000, with Labour’s candidate trailing in fourth place behind the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

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 Dobson’s 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 Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons between Tony Blair and the then Leader of the Conservatives, William Hague, who remarked of Blair’s 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 Labour’s 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 Livingstone’s first term.

This was quite convenient for Ms Gavron as she was selected as Labour’s 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 Labour’s 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 Labour’s candidate for the 2004 elections. Conditional on his readmission and therefore Ms Gavron’s 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 Livingstone’s 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 capital’s 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 capital’s bus network.

But the Mayor’s 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. Livingstone’s ardent opposition to the Public Private Partnership deal to renovate and modernise the tube network’s 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 from occurring.

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 Mayor’s 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 Livingstone’s 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 to.

However, the agency’s 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 London’s 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 capital’s transport infrastructure.

The Mayor also assumed control of the capital’s planning and development framework, the London Strategic Development Strategy, which was previously overseen by a quango after the GLC’s 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.

Livingstone’s legacy
As has been noted, the Mayor has substantially refashioned London’s 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. London’s 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 Mayor’s 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 capital’s 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 Labour’s own failings that it has no alternative candidate within its ranks to put forward, thus ensuring that despite Tony Blair’s wishes, its devolution project has hinged on Mr Livingstone all along.



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