Swift work made of a Boris poster

Gutting

Swift work made of a Boris poster

Swift work made of a Boris poster

Well, as expected, the elections were awful. A wipeout of Labour nationally, a resurgent Tory party riding high, but worst of all (to me) is Ken losing to Boris. I have such a keen sense of the last great survivor who we’ve lost. At least with no chance to screw up a third term we can step back and admire what he did for London – and there’s a lot that Boris owes to him, because he was London’s first mayor and made the job what it is. Independent of New Labour, the number of people who showed up on Thursday to support him prove that he was one of a kind, and it’s anyone’s guess when we’ll see another like him. One day.

And worse that Boris – much, much worse – is the fact that the BNP candidate won a seat on the Assembly. Powerless, sure, but what a symbol: a great world city elected a nasty man from a viciously racist party as one of its representatives. It certainly makes Boris looks harmless in comparison, I suppose, and we should give him the benefit of the doubt now. He won the election fair and square – though with a little help from the wretched Standard – and I hope he makes the best of it.

Anyway… I’ve bought myself a new phone as a treat of distraction and Lucy came to visit, which was lovely! We had a mini-picnic with Joe, Sophie and a duck (with little ducky feet) this afternoon; Sophie, this photo’s for you!

Come to us, duck!

Come to us, duck!

Stay strong, London. We’ll get through this (Oh, and congrats to Brent & Harrow for bucking the trend! Knew my homeland would come through!)

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7 Comments on :
Gutting

  1. Ermila says:

    Dominic,
    We are also mourning Ken Livingston’s loss. Hang in there, buddy!

  2. JacobM says:

    lol at the outdated ad here

    –Vote For Your Next Mayor
    –Who Will Win The Battle For London? Read All The Latest News & Views
    –http://www.Mirror.co.uk/LondonMayor

    it seems google hasnt given up hope!
    they think the election is tomorrow :p
    yeah shame about the BNP
    anyone heard how the Standard supported the facists during WW2?
    it will happen again, mark my words

  3. Helen says:

    Wanted to share your sorrow. I know Ken had his faults, but he was a real, conviction politician – and there are painfully few of them left. I will always remember his speech after the 7/7 bombings – can you imagine Boris as London’s figurehead in any similar situation…?

    BNP? Shameful. where do I get off?

    Glad the duck had ducky feet. I like things to be ordered like that.
    I was once bitten by a duck. Bit like being ‘gummed’ by an OAP with no teeth.
    x

  4. J. Blogs says:

    As a Londoner, I can say that it was with the utmost joy that I saw Ken Livingstone defeated.
    I know this blog is left-of-centre, and I know from the countless comments left on the blogosphere, Facebook, MySpace and many others that the loss of Ken has come as a horrednous blow to Labourites, but you should look on the bright side:

    The Capital, and the Labour Party, has finally rid itself of a socialist throwback. Labour, for want of a better phrase, is free of Ken Livingstone.
    Had Labour found another candidate, Ken would have run as an independent, split his vote, and Boris would have won by a landslide anyway. And that would have ground Labour even further into the dust.

    Now, as much as I would prefer Ken to fight another day for Labour in London, purely because I know he would lose and the Conservatives would retain the greatest City on Earth, you have to admit that it gives Labour a chance to ditch a figurehead of political correctness and class warfare.
    Put frankly, we in London were bloody sick of him. The only people who supported him were the liberal-left intellectuals, holier-than-thou students and ethnic minorities.

    Purely as a matter of fact, I found not a single native working-class Londoner who supported Ken Livingstone.

    His cronyism, his political correctness, his hypocrisy – all grated on the nerves of so many Londoners who felt obliged to vote for Boris.

    Find me ONE non-Muslim (and preferably non-homophobic) Londoner who approved of his welcoming that extremist Muslim cleric to City Hall. Millions of Londoners simply could not believe our eyes when we saw OUR Mayor – OUR directly-elected figurehead – welcome a man with such despicable views into the democratic forum of our great city. It was heart-breaking.

    Admittedly, Ken’s response to 7/7 was dignified, and for me was, tragically given the circumstances and that I was in London at the time not far at all from where it was all happening, the high point of his tenure. He deserves to be remembered for his sobriety and defiance on behalf of Londoners on that day. But to suggest Boris Johnson would be incapable of giving the same kind of reply is, put frankly, not to know Boris Johnson. And yes, to answer a point made by Helen in a previous comment, I CAN imagine Boris as London’s figurehead in any similar situation.

    Heaven forbid should London ever suffer such an outrage again, Londoners WOULD find an unifying voice in Boris Johnson.

    Ken Livingstone was politically correct and morally questionable to a nauseating degree. How dare he apologise on behalf of London and Londoners for the Capital’s role in the slave trade? As Londoners, I and countless others were deeply insulted to have felt to have apologised for something we did not even do. Tony Blair’s approach – namely expressing regret but not apologising – was far better.

    And as for his comments to that Evening Standard journalist about being like a concentration camp guard – they just made me feel ashamed to be a Londoner. For a man who forced his political correctness on so many, his hypocrisy made the blood of millions of Londoners boil. Forget your attitude to the Evening Standard – what he said to that journalist was simply wrong.

    I am relieved at the national results, delighted at the progress Her Majesty’s Opposition has made and elated that so many Britons decided to rid themselves of Labour councillors.

    BUT, with regards to Ken Livingstone – celebrate his departure, not his defeat. You who support Labour are free to find a candidate who will represent Londoners more effectively than Ken Livingstone.

  5. J. Blogs says:

    I would additionally like to point out that I share your disgust at the BNP winning a seat on the Assembly.

    The comments made by one of their Assembly Candidates about rape being "simply sex" (and that women therefore enjoy it) made me feel physically sick to my stomach.

    I am horrified that over one voter in twenty in our great Capital could bring themselves to vote for them. The lesson we must learn is that it is essential to tackle the BNP head on – find out why they are earning such support, and then challenge them on the issues upon which they campaign.

    Many say a vote for BNP should be seen as a protest vote. I cannot be alone, indeed I know I am not, when I say that there are so many better ways of protesting against the status quo than by voting for the utterly despicable and wholly unsavoury BNP.

  6. Red Dalek says:

    Joe,

    I can only speak for me, but I assure you that there are those of us – and granted, we aren’t always a majority – who rate Ken on the quite simple criterion of what he actually implemented in office. Not his party, not his friends, not what he said or who he shook hands with, not ‘political correctness’ (a phrase I don’t accept in the first place, but that’s by the by) – but what he actually *did*.

    Introducing the Congestion Charge. Oyster cards. The civil register for gay couples. The revolution on the buses, with a 5% shift from private to public transport as a result. London Overground. Free travel for under 18s. Helping to win the Olympics for London. Discount travel for those on income support… the list goes on.

    You can disagree with these policies, sure, I totally accept that. But you also have to believe me when I say that these things are the reason why I voted – and campaigned! – for him. It’s not like I saw Ken as some kind of means to a Labour end… he was the end that I wanted, his policies are what I (broadly) believe in, more so than Labour itself. Do others have other reasons for supporting Ken? Sure, but this is me.

    As for the BNP: I completely agree with you, and I don’t for one moment believe that your fellow Conservatives feel any differently. We all have common enemies.

  7. JacobM says:

    About that Evening-Standard-Guard incident, that was a meeting for Gay-And-Lesbians, Livingstone has invited journalists from many newspapers, but the Evening Standard had published homophobic articles, so Ken didn’t invite them, because he didn’t want his guests to be pestered.

    they couldn’t get past the bouncers, so they waited for him to come outside.
    Ken was arguing against the Nuremberg Defense, "I was only following orders"

    Ken has a reputation of receiving the questionable people, during the northern ireland troubles, he invited Gerry Adams and them lot to London.

    I don’t see how you can say, "The Labour party is free of Ken" when Ken did better then the rest of Labour in this election. He was _helping_ them

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