Livingstone’s scripted tears

by Atul Hatwal

16/04/12 10.30 Update: Fair’s fair: it looks like the party press officer who told the Guardian that the PEB used actors, was wrong. We know that some weren’t and the Guardian piece was at least partially incorrect.

So the record needs to be set straight for this article. It looks likely that the people featured in the PEB weren’t professional actors, they were supporters. It is certainly the case that no-one has contradicted the Livingstone team’s contention that they were supporters.

But whether these were actors or carefully selected supporters, the central point of the piece remains the same: to cry in response to a video montage of your own supporters, reading your script , about how much they want you to be mayor, that you have already seen, is more Pyongyang than London.

13/04/12 10:51 Update: Well, there’s been quite the flap following this piece. The Livingstone campaign are resolutely denying that any of the people in the PEB are actors. This is the relevant section from the Guardian on which the article is based:

On Wednesday Ken Livingstone revealed his emotional side, sniffling at a launch of his new party political broadcast. “The people you saw on the screen represent hundreds of thousands of Londoners who desperately want a mayor who is going to make their life easier in this city,” Ken said, as Ed Miliband patted him on the back. For sure, the broadcast is slicker than anything his team has previously produced; it features a boxer, a groundsman, one posh woman and an extremely cute baby. But who exactly are they? The Labour party confessed yesterday that the Londoners are all actors – but actors who support Ken. Of the crying, it said: “It was very genuine. It really was.”

Clearly there has been some form of breakdown in communication between the Livingstone campaign and the Labour party press office. The issue at the heart of this article is authenticity. The key question is: were  the people in the PEB were scripted?

If their words were drafted by the campaign team then it is disingenuous to claim these are the authentic responses of ordinary Londoners that prompted a heartfelt reaction from Livingstone. If their words were their own, then patently that is more powerful.

At the moment it looks like team Ken are saying that people were scripted. We will update as we receive more information.

***

Another week, another new depth plumbed in the mayoral campaign.

In yesterday’s Guardian diary, there was a little snippet about Labour’s latest party election broadcast (PEB).

For those who haven’t seen it, the PEB is very effective. Engaging and well-paced, above all it shows rather than tells. It features Londoners speaking about their issues, directly into camera, edited tightly together. The climax at the end where they each ask Ken to win for them carries some real emotional weight.

I’m no fan of Labour’s candidate but even I was impressed.

Until, that is, I read the Guardian diary. This told me that the plaintive and persuasive Londoners were in fact all actors. Not a boxer, a mother, a groundsman or a businessman. Just actors, hired to do a job.  “Labour supporting actors” is how the party press office described them, as if this somehow helped.

This mini-revelation robs the PEB of its authenticity. It remains a very good piece of political communication, but watching the broadcast again, knowing that these folk were shipped in from London’s version of central casting, drains the emotion out of the piece.

Oh well. “Disappointing” was my take. And then I thought, “hang on.”

Most people will have seen this photo of Ken Livingstone, overcome by emotion, crying at the screening of his election broadcast.

At the time the explanation given to reporters was that Ken was moved by the genuine words of Londoners and the responsibility he felt to win the election for them.

Stirring stuff. Shame it was rubbish.

The actual situation in the room was this: Livingstone was crying after watching a series of actors that had been carefully selected by his team, read out lines that his writers had penned, in a style directed by his staff. He knew that these were not typical Londoners. He knew that this was his script.

But still the tears flowed.

When looking again at Livingstone’s reaction, it’s hard to know which explanation is worse – that he forced himself to eke out some tears for political affectation, or that he was moved to tears listening to sweet words of flattery that he had practically written himself.

Calculated cynicism or rampant narcissism. Maybe a bit of both? Either way, what it’s not is genuine.

Last week I wrote on Uncut about how Boris’s expletive filled outburst in the lift could actually benefit him.  For a brief moment Johnson allowed the identikit politician’s Stepford demeanour to slip and showed some real passion.

It was similar to when Hillary Clinton teared up on the campaign trail in the New Hampshire diner in 2008 or John Prescott punched the egg-throwing idiot during the 2001 general election.

In each of these cases, the moment was driven by a human connection and an emotional reaction.

Ken’s press conference was the opposite. It was all about him. He was watching his own election broadcast, responding to his own words and pictures and putting his emotions on show for the assembled journalists in a neat package for the news clips.

Livingstone’s tears were as synthetic as John Prescott’s punch was authentic.

As this confected distraction unravels, yet again the real losers will be Londoners.  Boris Johnson’s gaffes and mistakes go unreported because media oxygen is being sucked up each week by the latest Livingstone imbroglio.

Whether its tax avoidance, relations with the Jewish community or crocodile tears, this election has virtually become a referendum on Ken Livingstone. There’s no space in the debate for policies or issues, just the one, over-weaning flawed personality.

What a mess.

Atul Hatwal is associate editor at Uncut


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69 Responses to “Livingstone’s scripted tears”

  1. swatantra says:

    All good knockabout stuff; we all know that the world of politics is mostly all scripted, rather like the Royal processions that pass through our localities on the odd occassion even down to the spontaneous love and affection shown to Queen and Sundry and posies presented by cute little kids. Same with PM visits; same with staged Presidents watching the taking out of Osama with shock awe. And probably same with Ken blubbling. Aah, Ed should have gone over and given him a big hug. But lets have the 20 most embarrassing Boris moments as well played out regularly just for balance.

  2. Dave Hollins says:

    Labour Uncut really is the arsehole of the Labour blogosphere. How low can you sink in trying to get a Labour Candidate defeated?

  3. norksalordy says:

    oh – I didn’t think we were supposed to think they were real people.
    That’s awful that some people might think it wasn’t just acted.

    When I saw it, I thought imagined being given the acting job and if I would reject it or would I take his money and feel dirty (and hope no-one saw!)

  4. Clint Spencer says:

    Dave Hollins, rather it was real than you tribal BSer’s who are clueless. Labour has a cancer of ineptitude supported by apologists like you. Defeat the ineptitude and make it electable.

  5. anon says:

    That’s an appalling cynical stunt, even by Ken’s standards which is really saying something.

  6. “This election has virtually become a referendum on Ken Livingstone. There’s no space in the debate for policies or issues” says someone who has written yet another article focusing on Ken, and ignoring the policies and issues. Hello?

  7. Clint Spencer says:

    There’s more Dave. The article as usual is well argued with good factual points and along comes a tribalist to get all hot under the collar, its al-right he may be crap but he’s flying the red rosette which makes him ok.

    Wake up me old son, Ken would make every Londoner poorer and his ego richer, if you’re going to respond come back with some substantial points.

  8. Atul

    in at least one case I know your allegation about the people in the video being actors is totally untrue.

    One of them is Rabbi Joseph Stauber who is a friend of mine who I had the honour of serving with on Hackney Council for 8 years – he defected from Lib Dem to Labour. He’s a rabbi, not an actor.

    Luke

  9. Nick says:

    ” rather like the Royal processions that pass through our localities on the odd occassion even down to the spontaneous love and affection shown to Queen and Sundry and posies presented by cute little kids.”

    Utter nonsense. Last time I was somewhere where the Queen happened to be visiting the locals began queueing well before 6am to get a good spot and certainly weren’t being managed, nor paid for it.

  10. Kathy Anis says:

    What a load of crap this useless blog is? Cretins the lot of you. Atul is nothing but the imbecile he/she is. When Ken wins the Mayoral election as he is going to do; what will you lot do or say?

  11. Kathy Anis says:

    I dare you cretins to post my comment. Otherwise you just confirm what this blog is all about; which just packed with IMBECILES! Ken will be elected as Mayor of London you watch and see. The Evening Shite aka Evening Standard and this blog will blubbing in their beers knowing that all the crap they threw at Ken did not stop Londoners from electing him as Mayor of London. Beeeatch the LOT of you.

  12. smell the glove says:

    You poor demented souls. Labour would not use “real people.” Look what happened to Brown in Derbyshire. No, stick with the luvvies !

  13. Dan Young says:

    @ Dave Hollins…

    Indeed. So what if Livingstone’s a hypocritical cretinous moron – he’s Labour’s hypocritical cretinous moron so WE SHOULD ALL VOTE FOR HIM NO MATTER WHAT!!

    Party comes first, as we should all know! It really doesn’t matter what kind of idiots we’re left with in charge, just so long as Labour wins.

    How pathetic.

  14. Rob Blackie says:

    A friend of mine, a Liberal Democrat party member, was offered £100 to be in the broadcast as he left Streatham Tesco a few weeks back.

    So they’re not even necessarily Labour supporting.

  15. NM says:

    Dave Hollins, your mindless tribalism is what’s worst about party politics.

    Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, it is a tragedy that our party has chosen someone who has stabbed it in the back twice, who has been breathtakingly hypocritical about his taxes, who cuddled a murderous homophobe, who dabbles in divisive sectarianism and seems unable to stop dribbling out Jew-baiting tropes.

    London deserves better than Ken Livingstone. Politics deserves better than Ken Livingstone. And the Labour Party deserves better than banal cheerleaders like you.

  16. Hoover says:

    @ Kathy: Will you put money on that?

  17. DLancs says:

    I am encouraged by Mr Hatwal’s blog post. To hear someone rise above tribal politics makes me more favourable towards the Labour party.

    Mr Hollins – Why do you want to support a candidate that promotes deceit, fakery and hypocrisy?

  18. Mr. Green says:

    This blog is really well-expressed. I agree with DLancs, how refreshing it is to see an intelligent comment that rises above the partisanship knockabout typical of so many election campaigns. I loved the insightful ‘Stepford’ allusion too – so accurate about today’s carefully-media-trained politicians.

    If you ask the average Londoner what the policy differences are between the mayoral candidates, the replies will probably be quite confused.

  19. swatantra says:

    Atul actually picked up on something that appeared in the Guardian and commented on it about PEBs, and its a fair comment. Lets have genuine people in our broadcasts in future not actors (despite what Luke says); there are plenty around.
    Dan Young makes a very important point (except for his very last throwaway line) which we should all bear in mind. Don’t blame the candidate, blame the election process that put him there.
    And Nick, these are the usual suspects, or tourists, that turn up at 6am at Sandringham etc, rather like rentacrowd except they don’t get paid.

  20. libertarian says:

    Dear Dave Hollins, Katy and couple of others

    How about you actually join the reality based community? People are sick and tired of tribal politics, vote for the red/blue/yellow candidate whoever or whatever.

    It’s over. Political party membership has fallen off a cliff. The public are angry with the political class and their tribal supporters.

    All the mainstream parties are being challenged no only by those of opposing views but also more importantly from those on the same side of the fence. LabourUncut, Conhome and Liberalvoice will show this quite clearly.

    This is a good thing, its high time we had better candidates for powerful political office, personally I’m disappointed by all the candidates for Mayor of London

  21. chrismat says:

    I am not sure of the purpose of this article Atul. Why are you undermining the Labour candidate in the highest profile of all the local government elections this year, with only three weeks to go to a campaign? Spend your energies knocking on doors to get people to vote Labour, and have the inquest afterwards if we lose.

    Do you really think the election of Johnson in London will improve Labour’s chances nationally of winning the next Gen election? Get out campaigning for Labour and leave off the internal sniping.

  22. What is the point of Labour Uncut, other than a vehicle to support the Tory Party?

  23. Ultra_Fox says:

    “Labour” Uncut is the lowest of the low – pretending to oppose the Tories, while in reality aiding and abetting them at every turn.

    Continuing to peddle their lies and smears, even after they have been exposed as such, is contemptible in the extreme.

    There’s a clear agenda at work. If the Tories retain the mayoralty of London, regardless of what happens elsewhere, the ground can be prepared for a putsch against Ed Miliband.

    Because there are some sick, twisted people in our movement who would rather fight our own leader rather than Cameron.

    But the only damage you will cause is to your own credibility. You are seen for what you are – as cuckoos in the nest.

    Meanwhile London will focus on the real issues like jobs, transport and housing and vote for a candidate that will listen to its voice.

  24. Jon Burke says:

    I knew the Continuity New Labour nutters would come out against Ken at some point; it was just a matter of time.

    It’s telling that people like Atul Hatwal (friend and colleague of swivel-eyed nutter Dan Hodges (yeah, the one who owes his career to his mother, the least hardworking woman in politics, Glenda Jackson)) would rather have an Eton educated, banker-financed, champagne-swilling, right wing reactionary as Mayor of London, than a working class, lifelong socialist.

    #ken4london

  25. Jon Burke says:

    @swatantra – I’m not sure what you mean by “despite what Luke says”?

    The haredi Jewish gentleman in the video is, indeed, Rabbi Joseph Stauber. He is most definitely not an actor.

  26. Matthew says:

    “If their words were drafted by the campaign team then it is disingenuous to claim these are the authentic responses of ordinary Londoners that prompted a heartfelt reaction from Livingstone. If their words were their own, then patently that is more powerf”

    Are you talking about the broadcast in which lots of people contribute to a single speech? How could it not be scripted? Are you saying they just happened to say those things that perfectly follow on from each other, even mid-sentence?

  27. jim says:

    Hi there, first time reader brought here by Order.Order.

    I’m a Londoner and I will confess to being a Tory voter (sorry, someone has to!) – I don’t describe myself as a huge fan of Boris, and I am reluctantly voting for him because its a rerun of the last time this happened, and I think he’s the best of a bad bunch.

    I used to have Oona King as my MP and I’ve got say that as a disaffected liberal conservative, I would have very happily considered actively shifting my vote for her as I know how good she was at being an MP.

    I could never vote for Ken, as politics aside, I find him to be a two-faced, hypocritical tax dodging racist. This election was Labours to lose, and if they’d put Oona King up, then right now victory would have been almost assured.

    Instead you’ve thrown up an ancient politican who increasingly looks like yesterdays man. In 2016, if Labour is back in power, then he’s going to potentially be the target of a protest vote, or alternatively Londons going to have a Mayor who is going to be over 70 at the end of the 2nd term (if he is re-elected).

    Why on earth did the party select this guy and not someone who can connect with Londoners today. We need good people at the helm, and I’m sure I speak for many when I say that while I would always vote Tory (or insert party of choice for other voters nationally) I will vote for the best candidate for London, regardless of party. You’ve missed a great chance to put up a genuinely excellent candidate who would have garnered huge metropolitan support, in order to let someone have a 4th shot at the prize. When will Labour tell Ken that enough is enough?

  28. Jon Burke says:

    I knew the Continuity New Labour nutters would come out against Ken at some point; it was just a matter of time.

    It’s telling that people like Atul Hatwal (friend and colleague of Dan Hodges (they used together for Hodges’ mother, Glenda Jackson MP)) would rather have an Eton educated, banker-financed, champagne-swilling, right wing reactionary as Mayor of London, than a working class, lifelong socialist.

    #ken4london

  29. DLancs says:

    He might not be an actor, but he’s acting a part and following a script.

    Is party alliegance more important than integrity?

    Can you look at this situation and realise that Ken is the problem? He’s a bad representative for the party, and supporters who blindly follow him suggest to me the Labour party are ok with hypocrites. Where does that road lead?

  30. Matt says:

    Yes, but was he paid (or offered) £100 as well?

  31. Thomas says:

    Although I long ago left the Labour Party because of its tolerance of hypocritical egotists and race hucksters such as Livingstone I am delighted to see that the moderate wing of the party (to which I once belonged) is finally waking up to the damage that such tolerance has wrought not just to the Party but to the people in localities where the loony left has taken power.

    I hope this marks a new realism in the Party and that it can once again seek to unite rather than divide and to offer candidates who care about their constituents more than they do themselves.

    Until then I will be voting Boris because I don’t vote for anti-semites, I don’t vote for tax avoiders, I don’t vote for fantasists who claim to invent a Freedom Pass introduced a decade before he was even Mayor and I don’t vote for people who punish the poor by raising the GLA precept to unaffordable levels in order to fund their vanity projects and channel money to their corrupt cronies.

  32. swatantra says:

    Luke could confirm that only one of them was definitely not an actor; I acknowledged that; just as I acknowledge that the Rabbi was a Lib Dem turncoat; and turncoats have a habit of turning yet again when the wind changes.

  33. Jacky Treehorn says:

    For all those shocked at the response of Dave Hollins and Kathy Annis I have only this
    to say…..Red rosette Donkey. Work it out.

  34. Dan W12 says:

    Dave Hollins says:
    April 13, 2012 at 8:36 am
    Labour Uncut really is the arsehole of the Labour blogosphere. How low can you sink in trying to get a Labour Candidate defeated?

    So Dave what do you think about Ken’s support and campaigning for the independent candidate against Labour in Tower Hamlets? How low was that in your eyes? Or is it only ok if Ken does it? What a joke. Labour could have won this with a decent candidate.

  35. madasafish says:

    I am unsurprised that a Labour Party broadcast has actors.

    Politics and real people are diverging at such a rate that you need actors to tell the electorate what you want them to hear : rather than let them say what they want to.

    Anyone who believes a Party Political broadcast is real, unscripted or anything but false clearly does not live in the real world.

    Having said that, false tears by Ken make even the cynical me think that Ken thinks most Labour supporters are dumb.

  36. Tom Miller says:

    “The key question is: were the people in the PEB were scripted?”

    They all repeat lines at the end. Did anyone ever suggest otherwise? You would have to be pretty foolish (or in your case, opportunistic and disingenuous) to believe that what they were saying wasn’t pre-agreed.

    People have scripted lines in leaflets, on telly and in PEBs all the time.

    To suggest that this makes them ‘actors’ is ridiculous… totally, totally disingenuous. An excuse to write and attack article.

    Acting is a noble profession.

    Unfortunately, being deliberately obstructive to your own party’s electoral efforts is not.

  37. Tom Miller says:

    “Until then I will be voting Boris because I don’t vote for anti-semites, I don’t vote for tax avoiders”

    ^ Happy with voting for people who shut rape crisis centres and likens gay marriage to marrying a dog.

    Lynton Crosby whistles, and you bark.

    As long as ‘Labour moderates’ (or in your case, ‘ex-Labour’) carry on behaving this way (actually *wanting* to believe everything CCHQ press releases), we are screwed as a party, and the devastation of the country under the Tories will continue apace.

    Move on. It’s 2012.

  38. Jon Burke says:

    @Thomas – So, you’re a Tory; a Tory that’s happy to see the Labour Party Right undermine the Labour Party’s chances of winning the mayoralty. This ‘revelation’ not exactly shocking.

    As an aside, perhaps you could identify those areas where the “loony left has taken power”?

    The Labour Party’s current predicament is entirely down to its leadership, a leadership comprised of almost 35% current or former ‘Progress’ (by its own admission a “New Labour pressure group”) patrons – E. Miliband, D. Alexander, Y. Cooper, S. Khan, A. Burnham, S. Twigg, R. Reeves, P. Hain, L. Kendall – not to mention all of those shadow cabinet members, like Ivan Lewis and Jim Murphy, who’ve spoken at Progress events. Now, contrast this with the number of Socialist Campaign Group or socialist MPs attending the shadow cabinet. Yes, that’d be 0%.

    As our cousins in the U.S say, ‘you do the math’.

    Now, I understand why the paranoid Labour Party Right (and former ‘moderates’ like yourself) might want to obfuscate for its profound failure to offer a credible response to the financial crisis and its consequences but, if you’re going to do so, at least make sure your critique stands up to scrutiny.

  39. Dave Hollins says:

    I am accused of mindless tribalism. I’m in favour of open political debate but this is not it. The complaints against Ken are often dreamed up by and largely promoted by the Tories and evil journalists like Gilligan, who has been after Ken for a decade.

    But the malcontents like LabUncut – nobody but Blair and DMiliband will satisfy them – then pick them up and repeat them as gospel. The lie about actors being used in the election broadcast is a classic example of LU wanting it to be true and repeating it without checking.

    There has been so much crap about Ken and it has been repeated so often people think it’s true no matter what the evidence is. The Tories have done their work cleverly and people in Labour have fallen for it.

    I do not believe Ken is remotely anti-semitic, and many Jews agree, nor do I think he has been hypocritical about tax, indeed he should be praised for employing people to do political work rather than keep all his earnings for himself like Boris. Boris doesn’t have to because the Tory Party is so rich, Labour people end up funding their own campaigns.

    You might notice that Boris is disliked by many in his own Party but they are disciplined in elections and that’s one big reason why they win.

    Forgive me for not wanting Tories to win, whether the Labour candidate is Tony Blair or Gordon brown or D Duck. I would have thought that objective would be shared by a Labour blog and most of its readers. But obviously not.

  40. DavidM says:

    Atul Hatwal said:

    “The key question is: were  the people in the PEB were scripted?”

    Err, no it is not. The key question is how you can run an article which is so clearly based on an entirely false premise and not even have integrity to apologise when you get found out. And btw, “I read it in the Guardian” is not a substitute for sensible fact checking.

    Unless you have evidence otherwise (and I see none here) it is neither fair nor accurate to claim the participants were actors. To then weasily turn round and say “Well, they weren’t actors but they were reading from a script and that’s the same isn’t it?” just compounds the error. Why don’t you just do the decent thing and admit you got it wrong and move on?

    I see there are plenty of people here who want Ken to lose. I can only assume they are either Tories or don’t live in London or possibly both. Because if they did live in London they’d know what a shambles the governance of London has become over the last 4 years and what a contrast that was to the previous 8. We’d also be discussing policies that would make London better rather than this nonsense

  41. Matt says:

    My God, you absolute lunatic. You write 500-odd words of utter nonsense attacking *your own party’s candidate*, based on a completely bullshit premise, and when your mistake is pointed out, in place of where your retraction should be, you try and blame other people for the fact you mindlessly copied down a *gossip column titbit* as fact, and then change the focus of your attack to something slightly different, but equally specious.

    Did you honestly watch that PEB and think that the video makers sat down to edit the footage and thought “hang on a sec, all of these random people we interviewed, speaking their own spontaneous thoughts, spoke without hesitation, repetition or pauses, and, even better, when you put all these different soundbites together, they somehow turn into a coherent, unbroken speech that clearly and concisely explains the platform of our candidate! This is going to be the best PEB ever!!”?

    Seriously, please tell me you didn’t think that.

  42. Matt says:

    BTW, I should at least credit you with contributing to the Tory media-led buzz about this video. By spending a day sneering at Ken’s tears, and another day feigning shock and outrage that *gasp* a Party Election Broadcast isn’t the same thing as a fly-on-the-wall documentary, you’ve all helped ensure that considerably more people have watched a very effective Ken Livingstone campaign ad than would have otherwise.

    So thanks for that at least!

  43. Clint Spencer says:

    Dan W12 you are so right. Have you noticed the tribalisist are all in the same camp? When their candidate is a hypocrite its ok. When you point it out they get all screwed up. Their is an explosion brewing in Labour and hopefully the weirdo’s will go their own separate hyopcritical head in the sand way.

    Kudos to Labour Uncut for talking about smelly uncomfortable truths.

  44. madasafish says:

    I find the easiest way of looking at issues like Livingstone is imagining him being a Tory.

    All the tribalists here would be frothing at the mouth at his lies, deceit and hypocrisy. plus he’s a millionaire avoiding tax. In other words, a typical Tory. Oh he a racist as well..

    As he’s a Labour politician, that’s all right.

    And you wonder why voters think all politicians are lying duplicitous shysters?

  45. Ntranced says:

    Comments on this site are crazy. I actually find this site one of the most refreshing to read purely because I’m not affiliated or bound to any political party. I can vote for those whose policies I agree with and believe to be right instead of voting blindly for a party of any particular hue regardless if their colours are red or blue.

    I can see the problems with the Tories, Labour, Lib Dem with my own eyes. I don’t need to be blinded by some party political religious zeal which means that I HAVE to support my parties candidate, especially if they are the wrong man for the job.

    Ken is clearly the wrong man for the job, just look at his record. While all politicians can “come back” just who on earth thought Ken was right for London this time? Surely there were better candidates? Anyone with a passing interest in Ken/London/GLC could write paragraphs of anti-Ken stuff without thinking – there is just too much ammunition to choose from.

    His tax affairs are a perfect example of the man. Nothing illegal, I do exactly the same myself as I have a small business employing 4 people. But people like Ken always want it both ways – they ALWAYS make sure after putting themselves first that their family and friends (or cronies if you will) do OK as well. Every time they do it they leave themselves open to being branded a hypocrite and this Ken truly does appear to be. What most without the red flag blinkers on would see is that BJs tax affiars come across to people like me as fairly astonishing (in that he isn’t using every legal trick in the book) and so Kens avoidance of tax and avoidance of dealing with the issue really stands out.

    Ken for London? Wrong time, wrong place, WRONG MAN.

    There are dozens of fanatical socialist blogs, long may this one continue to highlight the issues in the Labour party.

  46. Jon Burke says:

    Fifth-columnists and trolls alike, you’ve got your way:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2129344/Ordinary-Londoners-moved-Ken-Livingstone-tears-hired-ad-agency-AND-knew-going-say.html

    Despite the headline, what the story ‘reveals’ is:

    * The people in the video were Labour activists NOT ACTORS.
    * The activists read a script they had already heard (as is the case in virtually every other PEB).
    * The activists were paid expenses (not unreasonable, given that they had to travel to be filmed).
    * All the activists in the film were recorded at their place of work other than one who appeared as a mechanic.

  47. Gill Roberts says:

    Ken Livingstone has done more than any other politician to drive Labour voters away from the cause – me being one of them. That he has been hauled out again, this apology for a man, this manipulative liar, who squandered money at County Hall, and who only had time for his inner circle, including Lee Jasper who mismanaged hundreds of thousands of pounds of Londoners’ money, is an absolute disgrace. Boris might have his faults, he might hail from a priviledged background, but he has swept all this cronyism out of the GLA and is much more honest and straight forward. I will never vote for a party who can turn a blind eye to all this. Unless a new broom sweeps this trash from the party once and for all, who will ever trust them?

  48. john zims says:

    Where does Ken keep finding all this money?

    Yesterday his 2008 earnings were £20,000 and to-day his 2008 earnings are £60,000.

  49. Adrian says:

    Let me get this straight? The author of this article is a Labour supporter? Have I got that wrong? I’m absolutely disgusted that someone would attack the official labour candidate in this way. I’ve never written on this site before but I just cannoth fathom the intention unless it’s to agitate for a Tory win. You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself and if you are a Labour party member then you should be asked to consider your membership or face disciplinary proceedings.

  50. paul barker says:

    Quite surprised to see alex hilton leaving labour.

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