Controversial Mayor of London since 2000 and longtime left-wing campaigner. Although he is often called 'Red Ken' his principles are desperately unclear. At one point he supported subsidised public transport but he recently doubled the fares, adding to the money he raises by charging cars to enter London - though London councils already issue draconian and extortionate fines to anyone who strays into a bus lane or overruns a prepaid parking ticket. Livingstone can be credited with pushing poorer Londoners into high debt and low mobility while presenting a socialist face to the outside world by his unusual alliances worldwide and radical political stunts. In 2006 Livingstone was ruled to have brought the office of mayor into disrepute after incidentally comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi and refusing to apologise despite many attempts by officials and Jewish groups to smooth the remark over. The adjudicatory panel suspended him for four weeks but he appealed, making the novel claim that an appointed body cannot judge an elected body. In the interim period he announced that two Jewish Indian businessman of Iraqi parentage should, if unhappy with his proposals to them concerning the London Olympics, "go back and try it under the Ayatollahs". Nevertheless he enjoys staunch support from the hard-left and Labour Party old-timers.
I do understand. I pay road tax. I pay congestion charge. I pay council taxes. I even paid for that parking space. Still you're telling me that even though I bought a ticket and your wardens illegally towed me, if I don't find £300 now you're going to increase that charge as payment for looking after my car, and that until I give you whatever sum that makes you will keep my car and eventually dispose of it, and that if I don't like it I should sue you later? Is this one of bloody Ken Livingstone's ideas for promoting London and making it a cool place to live? I thought he was Marxist?
by Mileses April 10, 2006