Posts Tagged ‘2012 London Mayoral election’

A trip to Stockholm for London Labour

07/03/2012, 01:00:22 PM

by Rob Marchant

This week’s revelations about Ken Livingstone’s tax affairs are not shocking. They are not even very surprising. But they are important in another sense: in the direct contradiction they highlight between word and deed.

Now, as many readers of Labour Uncut will know, its contributors are not generally renowned as class warriors. But, as a politician, it is simply staggeringly unwise to show yourself in the light that Livingstone has just done. As Nick Cohen notes in the Observer:

“Livingstone…is now the champion of the suffering 99% and enemy of the despised 1%. “Cameron’s problem is too many of his team have become super-rich by exploiting every tax fiddle,” he cried. ‘No one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in our parliament, unless they are paying their full share of tax.’ He was talking about himself.'”

Let’s be clear: tax avoidance is not tax evasion. It is not illegal. Some people may even call it smart financial management. But don’t tell everyone it is morally reprehensible and then do it yourself. It’s not the tax avoidance itself, it’s the hypocrisy that will kill you, because people will cease to believe that you do not simply think that it’s one rule for you and another for everyone else. Or that you tell one thing to one person, and another to another

Livingstone’s 1999 failure to be endorsed by Labour’s NEC as its mayoral candidate was, frankly, badly handled. Unlike other countries where regional devolution has a long history, Labour was too green to realise that there are limits to how much you can get a regional politician to toe the party line. They have their own electoral base and can merely pay lip-service to the party, while doing just as they like. As Ken duly did, and as Boris is now doing. Fair enough.


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No way back from losing London?

03/06/2011, 07:30:54 AM

by Atul Hatwal

Can you hear it? That creaking, grinding metallic sound, emanating from the capital.

Even faintly in the background?

No? Well, it will get louder in the coming months till it’s deafening.

It is the sound of the clock being turned back twenty years to a time when London was a Tory town.

Labour might have lost the 2010 general election, but London remained a last redoubt in the south. Despite all the troubles, Labour was still the dominant party, winning 36.6% compared to the Tories on 34.5% and the Lib Dems on 22.1%.

In terms of seats, the result was even better with Labour taking 38 seats, the Tories 28 seats and the Lib Dems just 7 seats.

But that was then and a year is an eternity in politics.

2011 could go down as the year in which the Tories turned back a generation of Labour ascendancy in London and pulled decisively ahead.

A new Uncut analysis of YouGov polling shows how a Labour lead of 2% in January had become a deficit of 4% by the start of June.

Polls can be deceptive and there is always a debate to be had about the extent to which they really reflect voting intentions, but two factors make these figures particularly worrying for Labour.


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