Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Keep Boris Out !

I have fond memories of going to anti-racist gigs in the 80’s in the Jubilee Gardens with my mates from school ( – did Aswad really play every one of those benefits?).

It may give my age away but I can remember the days before we had a Mayor’s Office in London – those glory days of the old GLC. When Ken Livingston was the council leader. In those dark Thatcher years, the GLC was a local beacon of defiance, and naturally the Tory press demonised them and him in particular as the loony left.

Admittedly with hindsight some of the community groups and campaigns the GLC supported were pretty daft, and undeniably played in to the hands of their opponents. And probably laid the basis for the cronyism and corruption allegations that are haunting Ken to this day. But I firmly believe that the GLC was a GOOD THING – and this of course is why a vindictive Tory government went on to abolish it.

Ken has come a long way since his antecedents as a fellow-traveller of the obscure Trotskyist entrist Socialist Action sect. These days he doesn’t even talk about socialism – he’s an unashamed radical-populist. Which is why he's just about tolerated by the party leadership as New Labour’s prodigal son.

But he has one vital thing going for him. He’s not ludicrous racist Tory toff Boris Johnson. And no amount of stupid bendy buses, lies about the cost of the Olympics, or dodgy dealings with Lee Jasper can outweigh this.

So, in the absence of a proper socialist candidate (sorry but the
front organisations of the Socialist Workers Party, or of the Communist Party of Britain, or Galloway's Islamo-apologists just don’t cut it) - I will be holding my nose and voting Ken for mayor tomorrow.

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