A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ken in Hackney

Hackney blogger Dave Hill met up with Ken Livingstone yesterday in the NarrowWay in Mare Street, central Hackney, where Ken talked about the borough where I live:

Ken mentions about his experience representing Hackney North & Stoke Newington on the GLC from 1977, when he had already been active in London local government for the best part of a decade.

In contrast in 1977 Boris Johnson wasn't trying to tackle urban deprivation in Hackney, or engaged in running London on the GLC, he was a 13 year old schoolboy at Eton.

Has he actually got any career experience that qualifies him to run London, or indeed any life experience that makes him likely to prioritise the needs of places like Hackney?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What did Leavingsoon ever do before becoming leader of the GLC? As Steve Norris used to say, "he never even ran a seafood stall!”

You claim to be a moderate, but you're obsessed with class. Not very NuLab or NuBritain…

3:05 pm, April 10, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

He was Vice-Chair of Housing for 3years in Lambeth and a councillor for 7 years, then Chair of Housing for 4 years in Camden, and a GLC member for 8 years before becoming Leader. He also did a real job as a cancer research technician for 8 years before going in to politics.

I am a moderate, and I am obsessed with class, because the two go hand-in-hand - it's working class voters who want a moderate Labour Party.

3:13 pm, April 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You call being a councillor and experimenting with rats real jobs?

In contrast:

Few Londoners have entirely English descent, and Boris is no exception. He describes himself as a "one man melting-pot", with French, Turks & Germans among his ancestors.

Like many Londoners, this has not been his only home. He was born in 1964 in New York, moved to London when he was five years old and went to Primary School in Camden.

He later won a scholarship to Eton and Oxford and after graduating he moved back to the Capital. Much though he envies and admires the City, he lasted a week as a management consultant before retreating into journalism. Over the last twenty years, he has worked for The Wolverhampton Express and Star, The Times and The Telegraph, churning out well over a million words. He was editor of The Spectator for six years.

He has published several books, and regularly appears on TV. Most notably, he has been a contestant on Have I Got News For You and has produced a series on Roman History from his book of the same name, The Dream of Rome.

He fought Clwyd South in the 1997 General Election and in 2001, was elected MP for Henley. Since then, he has held shadow posts as Vice Chairman, Shadow Minister for the Arts and Shadow Minister of Higher Education.

3:22 pm, April 10, 2008

Anonymous Ian G said...

Are you a parody Mr Hinchcliffe?

Boris Johnson has been a journalist and can read an autocue. That's really useful experience for running a city, isn't it?

3:47 pm, April 10, 2008

Blogger Quink said...

Oh come off it Luke. Were you trying to combat urban deprivation in Hackney when you were at your own public school? No? Then how do we know you are likely to prioritise the needs of places like your own ward?

By all means attack Boris, but it's a cheap shot to have a go at his 13-year-old former self.

3:50 pm, April 10, 2008

Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

"it's working class voters who want a moderate Labour Party"

Wow a groundless assertation and sweeping generalisation in one.

Anyway, this Tory seems like a good old-fashioned loon.

3:53 pm, April 10, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Er... I'm likely to prioritise places like my ward because a) I'm Labour and b) that's where I've chosen to represent and it's the ideology of the Labour Party to try to improve the condition of places like Hackney - that's why we exist as a political movement.

Actually I was a lot more left wing at school than I am now.

Boris has only ever been the elected representative of Henley. Ken has hold public office in Lambeth, Camden, Hackney, Paddington and Brent.

There is nothing in Boris' background or career to suggest he knows or cares anything about ordinary Londoners. If he did there would be some record of public service or at least running for office here in London - but there isn't.

4:07 pm, April 10, 2008

Anonymous Buffy Finknottle said...

But Luke you are the product of a Private school education and your not from London!

4:17 pm, April 10, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I'm the product of 2 state primary schools followed by an a completely free Assisted Place to an independent school - completely free because of how low my parents' income was (thank you Mrs Thatcher ;) ).

A very large percentage of the population of London moved here through choice - I don't have a figure for migration within the UK but 25% of Londoners were born outside the country let alone the city, so identification with London doesn't really connect to being born here. Where you are "from" is where you live and identify with - if someone asked me I would say I was "from Hackney" because its where I've lived for ten years - whereas Canterbury is where I was born and grew up.

4:45 pm, April 10, 2008

Anonymous Pensioner and Proud said...

"Lambeth, Camden, Hackney, Paddington and Brent".

Yep, that's experience of representing people in South London (Lambeth), North London (Camden), East London (Hackney) and West London (Paddington and Brent) plus many. many excellent years bringing it all together in the GLC and the GLA. Ken's most definitely got my vote and I think he will have the majority of Londoners' votes too.

5:13 pm, April 10, 2008

Blogger Kris said...

It's not Luke's inexplicable complusion to be the pot calling the kettle black that's most intriguing/amusing - it is the unashamed about face he's done on Ken that leaves my head shaking a what my neighbours have elected.

Unbelievable, Luke. You could not abide Ken. Now, Ken's Luke's best friend.

Can you see why people are wary of the Cult of Jules' Hackney Labour?

If you can't let me explain: you don't stand for anything other than you you think will help you gain and retain power.

6:42 pm, April 10, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

I don't want to be a total cynic, but strangely enough, the new labour right-wing are desperate for Ken not to lose, because he would undoubtedly act as a magnet for discontent if he was no longer Mayor.

That said, and as a non-Londoner, I want ken to win because he, not Johnson, has the right policies. He isn't perfect, but he does have ideals and determination.

9:27 pm, April 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new Labour right wing want Ken to win because he is ultimately a Labour candidate. His support for business and wealth creators is suprising, and as far removed from his left wing past, as it is possible to be. He is more Blairite than TB himself, and certianly to the right of Brown on many issues.

My only concern is that power has corrupted his principles, to the extent that he courts the radical muslim vote, at the expense of gay rights and a sensible approach to Israel

Ken is more to the right of most labour people and will do what he can to cast his net very wide to pull in as many disparate voters as possible.

3:30 pm, April 11, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I was in Hackney Today, doing some gas servicing on a social housing complex. What a dump truly a slum, Ken has nothing to be proud of....it's got worse.

5:23 pm, April 11, 2008

Anonymous Thomas Beckett said...

You may believe you are "from Hackney" but it is blatantly obvious you are not! Claiming you are is an insult to those who are born and raised in the borough. Why can't you be proud of where you where born and grew up? What is so wrong with Canterbury? not enought blacks there?

11:46 pm, April 11, 2008

Anonymous Eugen Dühring said...

He must of got lost. I'm sure a while back Ken said to get ahead in politics you must get out of Hackney. Take heed Luke

11:53 pm, April 11, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought - has anybody done the research on posts from that BNP troll "Rich" and created a spread sheet of how mant different emploments and areas of risibence he has had ?

Viz:- "I was in Hackney Today, doing some gas servicing on a social housing complex"

Sorry Butty - back to the "home of the Green Arsehole"


12:12 am, April 12, 2008


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