“Red” Ken Livingstone’s campaign for re-election is being supported with a high profile statement signed by... trade union militants? left activists? anti-cuts campaigners? No, instead we have a statement of the great and good, launched by that oh so radical organisation Compass.
Its signatories include Sir Jeremy Beecham of the Local Government Association, former Unison gen sec/sell-out Rodney Bickerstaffe, NUS president/sell-out Gemma Tumelty, NUS president/sell-out-in-waiting Wes Streeting, various Blairite MPs and the head of the Cooperative Party. To be fair, it does include a few trade union general secretaries and lefties like Hilary Wainwright, Lynne Segal and Tony Benn who should know better. But, overall, this is a statement of the Brownite establishment’s left fringe.
Which is appropriate really, since that is exactly where Livingstone is — despite his maverick comments, left rhetoric and support for Cuba and Venezuela.
There’s really nothing much to add, except to quote one paragraph from the statement: “Of course, like all of us, Livingstone operates in the here and now. For London that means the domination of the Square Mile in the form of financial capitalism. He cannot be expected to address such forces at once or alone. He has set up a Living Wage Unit for which he gets a big tick. He would get a bigger tick if he talked about the policy more. Trying to ensure everyone shares in success is difficult. But Livingstone is trying. Boris Johnson would just make everything worse.”
Left-wingers with an ounce of self-respect, left-wingers who don’t believe you can grovel to the City and still call yourself a socialist, should join the AWL in (critically) backing Lindsey German for mayor.
• For the full statement see: