Saturday, February 04, 2012

Newham Tells Ken

The picture College is from the "Tell Ken" event in Newham on Monday Evening (sponsored by London
UNISON Labour Link).

Labour Party candidate for London Mayor, Ken Livingstone has held "Tell Ken" events at all of the London 32 boroughs. His last one was in Newham on Monday which is of course a Labour stronghold.  I've posted on the
day events here.

This well attended "Tell Ken" event was chaired by City and East London Assembly member John Biggs. East Ham MP Stephen Timms introduced Ken.

Ken's speech was very, very good. The Q&A also went well. He judged the audience perfectly. I could see people nodding and agreeing with his points. His convincing narrative is that of an ordinary working class Londoner, who wants lower bus and tube fares, more housing, is tough on crime yet passionately believes in social justice and equality. Compare Ken and his love of London with the rich Old Etonian gadfly who regards being our  Mayor purely as a stepping stone to Number 10. It was a good night (pictures also from the Theatre Royal visit and of Ken with Becton Ward Councillors).


Anonymous said...

Tower Hamlets ex-Labour Councillor.

Now Labour Cllr Liam Smith. Another rotten apple?

John Gray said...

Hi anon

Don’t believe anything the Daily Hate says. If it is true that he was treated differently and jumped the queue then he will have to face the consequences. The Council denies it.

Shall we have a running tag of the tiny number of Cllrs in all main political parties who appear to be under a cloud?

It proves what?

macuser_e7 said...


I'm very disappointed that Labour chose Ken to be the candidate in this election. And I say that as someone who voted for him in each of the 3 previous mayoral contests.

Whilst Ken deserves the thanks and gratitude of the Labour movement for everything he has done for them, from GLC days, through his time in parliament to his two terms as mayor, his time has been and gone.

It is surely time for Labour to move on and find a candidate that looks and sounds more like modern London than Ken does. It's hard to imagine Londoners getting very worked up about voting for the same candidate yet again, someone peddling the same old messages as yesteryear.

Ken will get my vote in May as the least-worst option available, but it won't be with much enthusiasm. Labour needs to move on and find a fresh face and a new voice to represent it in London.

Anonymous said...

macuser_e7: If you are going to throw away your vote, give it to a good cause like the Greens. They have two assembley members, so the vote is not waste.

John Gray said...

Hi Macuser

I can only say that if you saw Ken in action (he was at our AGM yesterday as well) then I really don't think you would say that. He is head and shoulders above all the others and is genuinely a real centre left candidate passionate about London and Londoners.

Hi Anon

A green vote is truly a wasted vote at best and at worse a gift to Boris and Coleman.

macuser_e7 said...


Ken's choice of words when describing homosexuality in the Tory party ("riddled with it") was, at best, unfortunate. I think it demonstrates my point about him belonging to the past.


I may well give the Greens my first preference and then transfer to Ken. He'll end up with my vote in his pile in the inevitable run-off versus Boris. Despite my reservations about his candidacy I hope he wins.

John (again),

A vote for the Greens would only truly wasted if you then put someone other than Ken or Boris as your second preference. There's no chance anyone will win on the first round, or that any of the other candidates will finish in the top two.

John Gray said...

Hi Macuser

Ken was daft to have said this but surely no-one doubts his commitment to gay rights and equality?

I was at the East London count in 2008 and there were a significant number of green voters who did not put a 2nd preference. There is a real chance of getting rid of Coleman in Barnet and Camden but the Green vote could keep him in.