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.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The City Hall office road to socialism?

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Redmond O’Neill, a leader of the Socialist Action group, has died aged 55 of cancer. Because O’Neill was an official in Ken Livingstone’s London mayoral administration, his death has received wide attention, for instance in the Guardian.

Ken Livingstone’s obituary describes him as a “lifelong revolutionary socialist and leading figure on the left for three decades”. In fact, for many years it has been an abuse of language to call O’Neill and his organisation socialist, or even really part of the left.

Redmond O’Neill, a leader of the Socialist Action group, has died aged 55 of cancer. Because O’Neill was an official in Ken Livingstone’s London mayoral administration, his death has received wide attention, for instance in the Guardian.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The Blairite Ken

The Greater London Authority and Ken Livingstone are supporting the London ESF. A demonstration of the progressive politics of the London Mayor perhaps? Not quite. John Bloxam examines his record.

In June this year Livingstone intervened into a pay dispute on the London Underground to say that members of the RMT union should cross picket lines. He was urging people to scab. This is a disgrace, but one that comes on top of many other disgraces.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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And Livingstone scabs

By Chris Reynolds

Ken Livingstone's response to the strike on the London Underground should prove, if proof were ever needed, that Livingstone is no kind of principled socialist or indeed any kind of decent political choice for working class people.

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Tube strike? What tube strike?

Two of Livingstone's top advisors - Redmond O'Neill and John Ross - are members of Socialist Action (a self-styled Trotskyist group). We wondered what that group thought of Livingstone's call to scab. Faz Velmi phoned up NUS executive member and Socialist Action supporter Pete Leary and asked him. The date was Tuesday 6 July i.e a week after the tube strike.

Tube strike? What tube strike?

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

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The writing on the wall

Inside:

  • Give them the money!
  • Poorer
  • Richer
  • Poorer
  • On the streets
  • And then you die



Give them the money!



The London Evening Standard placarded it all over town: "Mayor Ken's £100,000 crones", implying there is something wrong in Livingstone's six ex-socialist advisers and lieutenants getting a decent wage. The Standard is always against wage rises. Think of the fire fighters; of the Standard's opposition to Blair's very minimal, minimum wage. Whipping up hostility to six of the Mayor's 'advisers' getting new titles and £111,000 a year - a mere pittance in Blair's Britain: two grand a week, or £300 a day - is par for the Standard's reactionary course.
They think the six should work, for say, the average wage of skilled workers?

Culture and Reviews: 

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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European Social Forum: Who put Ken and the SWP in charge?

By Vicki Morris

The third European Social Forum will probably be held in London, and probably in autumn this year. Preparations are underway. The timetable is very short for organising a successful ESF, but those who have put together the London "bid" - the SWP principally - have not let that bother them. Indeed, it is to their advantage, seeking to control the event, to railroad the process now, saying "we have to get on with organisation, no time for discussion". They are alienating many grassroots activists.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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The Blairite Ken

By Colin Foster

On Tuesday 6 January, the Labour Party readmitted London mayor Ken Livingstone to membership. He had been expelled in 2000, when he ran against Labour for mayor and won, after being denied the Labour nomination despite being the majority choice of Labour Party members and trade unions in London.

Is this a triumph for the left? Or a sell-out by the previously "red" Ken? Neither.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Congestion charge won't beat pollution

So far Ken Livingstone's congestion charging seems to be working. Does this mean socialists should give three (or even two) cheers and adopt it as part of our response to pollution, traffic congestion and other environmental problems?

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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