Here at Nowhere Towers, we’ve taken a wee break from our coverage of the shenanigans on Gilligan’s Island over the last couple of months. That’s because there really hasn’t been much to report that hasn’t been reported already. Gilligoon has been blogging about the usual things: Lutfur Rahman, the East London Mosque, wild-eyed Islamists, suicide belts, you know the sort of stuff. With the London mayoral election taking place in just a little over a year away, Gilly lets rip with this little beauty.
suicide bomb-backing bigot Yusuf al-Qaradawi
That’s a line that wouldn’t be out of place in the Daily Star. But you’ve got to love the title “Ken Livingstone: suicide bombers and a suicide candidate”. He must have thought that one up while he was having his mid-morning dump. You can imagine the wee voice in his head saying “How can I put the boot into Ken and make it sound different to the usual mush”? Well, to to tell the truth, it isn’t much different to the usual hairballs that he coughs up. He also accuses Livingstone of “working for the Iranian dictatorship”. Some people have short memories, Gilly worked for the same dictatorship as recently as last year. Selective amnesia? Oh, no. Not our Gilly! Surely not!
The Boris Johnson campaign tonight launched its attack website against Ken Livingstone, Not Ken Again, slating the old chap’s “tired, regressive” policies, his plans to “reinstall his cronies at City Hall” and reminding voters of some of Ken’s greatest hits (campaigning against the Labour Party, working for the Iranian dictatorship, welcoming the suicide bomb-backing bigot Yusuf al-Qaradawi, etc.).
“Not Ken Again”? Please, Not Boris Again! Boris Johnson, the Emperor of London, a man with no original ideas in his dishevelled head. Oh yeah, he got rid of the Western Congestion Zone. So who has benefitted from that (apart from the posh petrolheads of Kensington and Chelsea)? As for the Boris Routemaster, it looks like a massive loaf of ersatz bread, that’s been painted red and mounted on wheels. Most Londoners think it’s a waste of money. Gilly also relies on the al-Qaradawi card. He’s played this one before. It’s his favourite. But surely it’s important to debate these people rather than completely shut them out. That’s how we got into this War on ‘Terror’ (sic) in the first place. No? Maybe Gilly thinks it was a bad and dangerous idea to have engaged in dialogue with Sinn Fein too?
Let’s skip a few paragraphs. This is good,
On two fronts, yesterday was a good reminder that the damage Ken’s opponents can do him with their attack websites and the rest is comfortably outstripped by the damage he does to himself. Also yesterday, Ken rolled out what he clearly thought was a bit of an Exocet – a claim that delays on the Jubilee Line between 14 November and 12 December were “300 per cent” higher and on the Victoria Line “100 per cent” higher than in the same four weeks in 2009. Station closures on the District Line, stormed Team Ken, were up by a “staggering 1250%” over the same period.
TfL’s deputy chair, Daniel Moylan, was quick to point out, this just might have had something to do with the 24-hour strike by Ken’s Tube union allies on 28/29 November, which even by TfL’s admission massively disrupted services and closed at least a quarter of stations.
Oh? So what happened next, Gillster?
The heat was suddenly and uncomfortably turned back on Ken, who has received at least £137,500 in donations over the years from the Tube unions, whose running-mate Val Shawross joined a demo in their support recently, and whose campaign headquarters was in the head office of one of the striking unions. Ken has repeatedly refused to condemn the strikers
Ah, so it’s okay to take money from millionaire backers – who are not democratically accountable because no one votes for them – but it isn’t okay to accept money from unions, which are democratically accountable to their memberships?
There has, as I and others pointed out months ago, been a genuine decline in the performance of the Tube. It is a weakness for Boris and could have been an important issue for Ken. But just as with his other best issue, the Government cuts – where his position appears to be that there need be no cuts at all – he has undermined his credibility by overstatement. It’s another example of how, far from being the “wily” politician of cliché, Ken is actually a pretty hopeless campaigner.
Boris’s record on bringing down crime on the Tube hasn’t been all that it appears. Dave Hill has been doing some digging.
Boris’ s claims on the buses are similarly questionable. Dave Hill again.
No mention of this from Gilligan. It’s all Ken, Ken, Ken.
UPDATE: 9/3/11 @ 1252
The Friendly Lefty has more on the Boris Jonson smear machine here.