A tribute to Ken

Enoch Powell (who thanks to a recent revelation and in part to Ken may now be described as a onetime member of the LGBT community) said “all political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure“. Ken’s career may have ended in defeat yesterday, but it was no failure. Before anything else is said, Ken deserves a tribute. Indeed he deserves more tributes than he will get from his fellow members of the Labour Party, but of that we shall say more anon.

He will remain a giant of London politics long after most people stop remembering that there used to be a Mayor Johnson. He has been a major national political figure since 1981. How many national political figures from 1981 could have even contemplated holding a major political office until 2016? None. Continue reading

Evening Standard – the Boris Johnson free sheet

Never mind the Leveson Inquiry, with its focus on the Murdoch Mafia operation which has held successive Governments and Prime Ministers in thrall, for other parts of what used to be called Fleet Street, it is business as usual.

As Londoners go to the polls, or perhaps don’t go to the polls, it is worth reflecting on the quite extraordinary lengths the London Evening Standard, under its new editor, Sarah Sands, has gone to try and ensure a victory for her old friend, Boris Johnson. In recent days the eulogies to Johnson have reached fever pitch – Sands even interviewing the object of her weird affection in a double page spread, with the unlikely headline ‘You don’t have to be a Tory to vote for Boris’. Continue reading

The politics of hate in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Labour Party is like nowhere else. Throughout London, every constituency party campaign team is doing its best to get the vote out for Ken. They recognise that for the party nationally and in London, that is Labour’s political priority. But here the local vendetta takes priority. Against Lutfur Rahman, independent Mayor overwhelmingly selected by Labour members and then elected by the public after being dumped as Labour’s candidate without investigation and replaced by his accuser. Continue reading

Real Londoners, not actors

Another new depth plumbed in the mayoral campaign“, said Labour Uncut. And so it was… by them and by the Guardian diary, by the cuckoo in Labour’s nest, Dan Hodges, as well as the most hostile anti-Labour press in years. Ken stands accused of fake tears and using actors in his excellent broadcast. Except that they weren’t actors, as some of them explain in this excellent film: Continue reading

Standard journalists at loggerheads over pro-Johnson reporting

Anyone who’s picked up the London Evening Standard in the past few weeks will be painfully aware that it is living up to its nickname “The Evening Boris”. But leaked correspondence seen by Left Futures would suggest that not all at Standard HQ are happy with this.

Last month Darryl Chamberlain drew attention to the shift back towards the pro-Tory editorial line in spite of the “Sorry we lost touch” advertising campaign at the paper’s acquisition by Alexander Lebedev. Continue reading