The election to the post of London’s Mayor in 2012 is an absolutely key election that Labour must win to show it is nationally back on the map. Partly this is to do with symbolism, but it also reflects the goodly number of parliamentary seats up for grabs in London. It is no surprise then that the right and the Conservatives are chucking everything, including the kitchen sink, at Ken Livingstone in an attempt to de-rail his campaign.
The latest example is this piece of nonsense from Guido Fawkes which criticises Ken for posing in-front of the family home of Boris Johnson for a impromptu photo-shoot. Now, if Guido hadn’t had made such a song and dance, I for one, would not even have known the black door led to Boris’s family nest. So even on that level the hypocrisy is breathtaking –if Guido is so concerned about Mr Johnson’s delicate privacy then why break the story in the first place? Guido obviously does not give a monkey’s about ‘privacy’ or ‘security’ but is solely concerned with advancing his own political agenda.
No question should exist about defending Ken against this type of opportunist nonsense among Labour activists and even, really, sensible occupants of planet Earth. Ken is one of those personalities in politics that does occasionally make things difficult for himself with comments which are off-the-wall and a little oddball which people like Guido then try to exploit. Sometimes he crosses that invisible line that should exist in his head and in those instances he needs a gentle reminder of what is what. However, in general he is one of those characters whose absence would make politics duller and less engaging to the general populace than it currently is. And, finally, I doubt there are many people more invested than Ken himself in this key campaign for the Party.
So whilst we should never slavishly follow any one individual or uncritically defend them when people have just cause to criticise, we should step up to the plate to defend a fellow Labour member and comrade from nonsense like this.