Ken Livingstone

Dick Whittington's heir —The Truth About Mayor Ken Livingstone

Dick Whittington

Author: 

John Bloxam

Robbed of the official Labour candidacy by Tony Blair, Ken Livingstone defied the New Labour leaders and in the summer of 2000 was elected Mayor of London. No sooner was Livingstone installed as Mayor than he created a Tory-Liberal-New Labour “popular front” government for London.

The most “left-wing” plank in his election platform had been opposition to Blairite plans to privatise London Underground.

Ken Livingstone, from the 1970s to today: class struggle politics disappeared from Livingstone’s agenda, if they were ever seriously part of it, in the early 1980s.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

A portrait of Gerry Healy's Workers Revolutionary Party, patron of the Livingstone Labour Left, in 1980

Gerry Healy
For describing the WRP as like the Moonies, John Bloxam and Sean Matgamna were in 1980 sued for libel by the actress Vanessa Redgrave. The WRP was then subsidising and producing Labour Herald, the paper of the Livingstone Labour left.

For describing the WRP as a cross between the Moonies, the Scientologists, and the Jones Cult, which exploited young people, etc.,John Bloxam and Sean Matgamna were in 1981 sued for libel by the actress Vanessa Redgrave. This portrait of the WRP was part of an appeal for labour movement support in fighting the libel action. The WRP was then subsidising and producing Labour Herald, the paper of the Livingstone Labour left.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Livingstone: goodbye and good riddance

Conceding defeat in the contest for London mayor, on 3 May, Ken Livingstone said: “This is my last election”. As with many things Livingstone says, it’s not true.

Livingstone is a candidate on the “centre-left” list in Labour’s National Executive this year. Though many of those who have nominated him will confirm privately that Livingstone is utterly unreliable on the Executive, they think they have no choice but to have him on the list, because he’s a potential winner and a reliable right-winger might replace him.

Voters in London on 3 May could see nothing left-wing in Livingstone’s pitch, and only gimcrackery in his attempts to display himself as a maverick.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Vote Labour, expel Livingstone

Two bottom lines: vote Labour. And expel Livingstone from the Labour Party.

If poor Eric Joyce can be expelled simply for getting pissed and punching a few Tories, then surely Livingstone’s blatant anti-semitism should be sufficient to get him booted out.

I’ve campaigned and voted for candidates as bad as Livingstone before: Liam Byrne for one. Voting Labour is a class duty, not a petty bourgeois choice. But that doesn’t mean we have to tolerate whatever the Party machine serves up. Miliband’s defence of Livingstone is disgraceful. Livingstone must be expelled.

Why Ken Livingstone should be expelled from the Labour Party.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Ken Livingstone and anti-semitism

A letter from prominent Jewish Labour Party supporters to party leader Ed Miliband, leaked to the press around 21 March, has expressed some profound concerns following a 1 March meeting between party activists and London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone.

Most of the criticisms made by Jewish Labour Party supporters following a meeting with Ken Livingstone about his attitudes on Jews and anti-semitism ring true.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Vote Livingstone... very critically

Ken Livingstone has aligned himself with the Occupy movement and attacked the tax-avoiding rich. Now, however, it seems he is one of them himself.

There has been a minor scandal in the media because Livingstone and his wife set up a company to channel money from his media appearances and speeches — allowing them to avoid the 50% income tax rate and pay 20% corporation tax instead.

However inadequate from a working-class socialist point of view Livingstone is, a victory for Labour in the mayoral election would be a blow against the Tory government.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

London mayor election: vote Labour, but have no faith in Livingstone

With the London Mayoral Elections approaching, many socialists will feel conflicted. On the one hand, we have the opportunity to remove Boris Johnson, the Tory incumbent who has spent the last year hiking fares, cutting services and making clear his desire to curtail the rights of trade unionists. On the other hand, in most elections anyway, many socialists feel reluctant to call for a Labour vote.

The AWL calls for a Labour vote in the upcoming London mayoral election - but not because we regard Ken Livingstone as a socialist or serious left-winger.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Vanessa Redgrave, the WRP and Libyan money

The British Workers’ Revolutionary Party (WRP) was a sizeable organisation up to its implosion in 1985.

The WRP, in return for money from Iraq and Libya, spied on Arab dissidents and prominent Jews in Britain. Most shamefully of all they helped to get a number of Iraqi Communist Party members shot by Saddam Hussein.

Around the world: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Am I an MI5 agent? An open letter in reply to Ken Livingstone (1998)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Mr Livingstone,

Marx once rightly said:”To leave error uncorrected is to encourage intellectual immorality.”

But that has little to do with what I’m engaged in now! Dealing with an irresponsible old gobshite, unserious in everything political except self advancement, is no matter of an exchange of ideas and views with another socialist or of comradely “correction” and counter-correction. It is work akin to what sanitation workers do – unpleasant but necessary.

The editor of 'Workers' Liberty' responds to Ken Livingstone's accusation that he is “certainly mad and most probably an MI5 agent.”

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The left assesses 6 May

A round-up.


Charlie Kimber, the new editor of Socialist Worker, was the main speaker at the SWP's Central London "after the election" meeting on 13 May.

His speech sounded like part of a campaign by the SWP leadership to re-educate their membership away from the "Rage against Labour" orientation which they were pushing as recently as September 2009.

Kimber emphasised that the surprisingly buoyant Labour vote on 6 May was a class vote. People now rallying to Labour. Labour will talk a different language from when in office.

A round-up.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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