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.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Ken vs Boris - what went wrong

My Labourlist column:

http://labourlist.org/2012/05/the-irresistible-fall-of-ken-livingstone/

6 Comments:

Blogger Neil80 said...

So where do you stand on the question of a successor?

The issue with elected mayors is that it places charisma centre stage which on one hand engages the electorate, but on the other hand leads to a certain type of 'big' personality winning the race - not necessarily the best person for the day to day job.

So a successor will need charisma by the bucketload and be someone who like Ken and Boris trancend their party in the minds of voters.

Is there such a person in the party with a suitable public profile?

I'm tempted to say Oona King - what do you think?

10:14 pm, May 05, 2012

 
Blogger southhackneypunter said...

I cannot slight the enormous work you and your team put in around Hackney Luke and therefore agree you have a cast-iron right to say what you think went wrong. As a mere punter however my view is simpler and does not involve issues of whether 'blairites' are better than 'leftists' etc. I'm afraid for me the only clear and compelling narrative I heard from Ken throughout the entire campaign was the one he gave on the day after he'd lost: ie.'Boris is a do-nothing mayor who is only using the role to boost his personal ambitions whilst coasting along for the last four years on the residue of what Labour previously put in place for him. And the wheels will begin to fall off during his second term but by then he won't care as he'll be trying to become PM.' Now had Ken spelt that message out during the campaign perhaps he might have won.

6:47 pm, May 06, 2012

 
Blogger southhackneypunter said...

I cannot but praise the enormous effort you and your team put in around Hackney, Luke, and therefore I agree you have an unfettered right to say what you think went wrong, which is very thought provoking may I say.

Now I'm only a punter and my view is not well informed but it is simple. I'm afraid for me there was no clear and compelling narrative from Ken Livingstone throughout the entire campaign until the succinct assessment he gave to the BBC on the day after he'd lost.

Here Ken Livingstone stated correctly that:'Boris is a do-nothing mayor who is only using the role to boost his personal political ambitions whilst coasting along for the last four years on the residue of what Labour previously put in place for him. And the wheels will begin to fall off during his second term but by then he won't care as he'll be focussed on becoming PM.'

Now had Ken Livingstone spelt that message out repeatedly during his campaign then, in my opinion, he might have won.

7:59 pm, May 06, 2012

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some intersting points here.
Livingstone's outburst at that (Jewish) journalist was very troubling.

But perhaps Livingstone won the nomination because he was up against Oona King who comes over as so false and who supported the Iraq War and numerous other abominations. I think she would have lost for different reasons.


"or being character-assassinated by his machine like Frank Dobson"

I'm not sure what that is but Panorama did a programme about how the Labour Party was stitching Livingstone up in 2000. This, the programme alleged, included leaking stories about his private life to the "Daily Mail."


One clear problem with Labour's campaign is that it allowed Boris Johnson to split himself off from the Conservative Party. There does not seem to have been a strategy for dealing with this problem.

Luke probably wishes that Livingstone had not rejoined the Labour Party. For different reasons, I agree.

"The wider phenomenon of Tony Benn
and the Bennites was seen off by Neil Kinnock in the 1980s"

Yes, Kinnock was very good at 'seeing off' people apart from the Conservatives!

11:06 am, May 08, 2012

 
Anonymous bamboo investment said...

I agree with Neil80 above. Right now, people are sick of all traditional politicians, and anyone who stands out as a "non-professional" or non-traditional politician will have a big leg up.

8:58 pm, May 08, 2012

 
Blogger Tony Beachcomber said...

I think people should not beat them selves over this and all this inward soul searching is damaging.
I am not a Londoner and have been a party member for nearly 30 years all I know is town and district council politics which is dead easy when the tories are on the ropes.
From an outsider looking in I find the london political thing very complex and makes no sense. At the end of the day I suppose it is just one of those things. Then at the end of the day Boris is such a Burke he will slip up.

10:43 pm, May 09, 2012

 

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