Today Gilly takes a break from Muslim-bashing and returns to his other favourite hate topic: Ken Livingstone. Gilligan is on familiar ground here. He spent most of Livingstone’s mayoralty writing a series of smear stories for the Evening Standard. Today, he tells us that “Ken Livingstone loses a few thousand more votes”. Why? Well, Gilly says,
…I couldn’t have been more thrilled to read Ken’s piece in today’s Standard, blaming last week’s student riots on – you guessed it – the mop-headed Mayor Of Evil. Did I miss something on Thursday? Was it a group led by Boris who broke away from the route agreed with the police? Was it Boris who came along to the march armed with fireworks, snooker balls and clearly intent on a ruck? Was it Boris who issued that group of “peaceful students” with identical green hard-hats and metal poles for hitting the police?
Gilligoon has missed something here. His idol, Boris Johnson actually called for the police to kettle protesters. Kettling or “containment” as the police euphemism goes, contravenes human rights. Gilligan isn’t concerned about this. Human rights are for those who have earned them.
Today’s blog, while the headline screams Ken, is a strange hotchpotch of things. A couple of paragraphs later he has a dig at Julian Assange and Wikileaks, opining,
What else are we to make of the demand by Women Against Rape, no less, that the rape allegations against Mr Assange must not be investigated and the great hero immediately freed? And what else are we to make of the quite hopeless argument that the students were only violent because the police were nasty to them?
Er, does the name Scott Ritter mean anything to you, Gilly? Probably not, Gilly is too busy slinging mud and sexing things up to pay any attention to the facts.
He turns his attention back to those horrible protesters,
At the first big London student demo, the Met in fact played it very softly-softly – and was rewarded with having Tory HQ smashed up. Last week, the kettling did not start until after the students started throwing things. I’ve no doubt innocent people got caught up in it – and some police behaved disgracefully. Indeed, a friend of mine, an entirely peaceful and inoffensive journalist, was beaten up by the Met.
Here he takes the Met’s version of events as gospel. Was he at the demo? No, he wasn’t. I was and I can tell him that the police tactics were designed to wind up the protesters. The screens that had been placed along Parliament Square provided both a tempting target and were used to make the space as tight and as uncomfortable as possible.. The kettling actually began as soon as we had arrived in the square. Nothing had been thrown.
Gilly parrots a by now familiar line here,
Last Thursday, the students didn’t just lose the vote in the Commons. They lost the sympathy of a lot of middle-of-the-road people – and most importantly, they lost control of the agenda. We should be talking about the injustice of some of the cuts, and the hopeless mess the Lib Dems found themselves in. Instead, we’re talking about the violence of the students.
Who are these “middle-of-the-road people” he talks about? The proprietors of The Daily Telegraph? The readership of the Rothermere Press? Rupert Murdoch? We already know what they think. I hate to rain on your parade, Gilly, but the students still have support from a lot of people. He talks about the “violence of the students” but ignores the violence of the government’s spending cuts. He mentions the fact that a “journalist friend” was beaten by police then he produces this volte face in order to make a cheap point at Ken Livingstone’s expense.
Ken’s played a blinder. He’s got on side with the students, many of whom will now vote for him in the next mayoral election. Those students will rightly see Boris Johnson as an authoritarian and a pompous windbag. As for Gilligan, who cares what he thinks? He’s yellow journalist who writes for a Tory-supporting paper. With any luck, he’ll be out of a job by then.