After a long break, this series is back thanks to the News International phone hacking scandal. Even though I haven’t been able to blog much over the last couple of months, I’ve kept abreast of what our dear friend, Andrew Gilligan (aka Kennite) has been up to.
Looking at a list of his blogs, we can see that most of them are about Ken Livingstone. Some things never change. Gilligoon has been quick to label Livingstone as a stooge of Murdoch but it’s a desperate ploy that smacks of a deep-seated bitterness. More importantly, it’s a hatchet job on behalf of Boris Johnson in the run up to next years’ mayoral election. Naturally, in his rush to throw a punch in Livingstone’s direction, Gilly misses the blatantly obvious: Johnson is up to his neck in this scandal – more so than Ken. Last week, the Guardian reported that Johnson had refused to apologise over police complicity in the scandal.
Boris Johnson has given his backing to beleaguered Met assistant commissioner John Yates, and has refused to apologise over his own previous insistence that he was “completely satisfied” with the 2009 decision not to open a fresh police investigation into what he described then as politically motivated “codswallop”.
Bojo makes light of police corruption and all Gilligoon can do is ignore it to have a swipe at Livingstone.
In today’s blog, The Gillster claims that Livingstone got “duffed up” on Newsnight. Odd, I watched the same programme and I didn’t get the feeling that Livingstone had been “duffed up”. I thought he gave a good account of himself. Sure, he wrote for the The Sun but so do many other politicians. What I noticed was Cameron’s chum, Nick Boles (a former Chief of Staff to Johnson) making a complete pillock of himself. But let’s look at the facts, two senior police officers have resigned in the space of a little under 24 hours. Sir Paul Stephenson was Emperor Boris’s first choice for the role of Metropolitan Police Commissioner after he’d found a way to remove the previous Met chief, Sir Ian Blair. When Johnson appeared with his deputy, Kit Malthouse (looking well-fed, as usual), to answer questions about the scandal, he looked nervous and uncomfortable… as if the net was about to close in on him. Still, no mention of this from Gilly. Instead he says,
Not a single paper, not even the Guardian, has taken up Ken’s attacks – with the obvious and inevitable exception of Livingstone’s personal echo, Dave Hill. I thought the days when journalists were in powerful men’s pockets had just come to an end, Dave!
Pure bitchiness. Fact: Dave Hill is not a fan of Ken Livingstone and I think if anyone has been reading Hill’s blogs over the course of the last few years, anyone can see that. What Kennite doesn’t like is the way in which Hill outed him for serial sockpuppeting – something that he still does. He’s even popped up on this blog, claiming to be someone else. Here’s what Hill has to say about Johnson and his involvement in the scandal.
Hill also wrote this article in Saturday’s Cif section. Here’s a snippet,
That may not be a smoking gun, but it reveals a second motive for him having had a hands-off approach to the hacking affair since becoming mayor in 2008. The first is his continuing and very obvious political interest in keeping on News International’s right side as he seeks re-election next year. Only last month he joined Sebastian Coe in making a presentation to the News International board about the London Olympics. Four days later the Sun published an article by him attacking Ken Clarke’s proposals for so-called “soft justice”.
A London mayor’s relationship with the Met is constitutionally imprecise, but if he wants something done he’s in a good position to demand it. Until the last week forced his hand, Johnson has done the opposite over phone hacking. If Yates or even Stephenson end up walking the plank, it is likely to be the home secretary who shoves them out over the waves – but for Johnson the awkward questions would continue.
Livingstone is milking his discomfort. His past connections with News International have been flung at him by Johnson’s friends, but he seems happy playing the percentages: Boris is taking a much bigger hit. Meanwhile, the Tory mayor who came to power pledging to take “personal responsibility” for tackling criminality has policing woes at street level, too.
Adam Bienkov’s blog reminds us of what Bojo really thought of the phone hacking scandal. Bienkov links to an article that Johnson wrote for the Telegraph in April.
Oh come off it. This is starting to get silly. First it was the Royal family, then it was Gordon Brown and Sienna Miller. Now we are told that there are literally hundreds of people who have been bugged by the News of the World. It’s getting to the stage where it looks embarrassing for any self-respecting celebrity that they haven’t been taped or hacked or somehow illicitly probed by the gentlemen of the Screws. Across London, actors and slebs are ringing up their agents in a quivering fury.
Yeah, life is all one big joke to Emperor Boris and this is the man whom Kennite supports in his bid for a second term as London’s mayor? Years before he was elected, Johnson wrote of “piccaninnies with watermelon smiles”. He was forced to apologise.
Finally, Kennite never came clean about his sockpuppeting. Here’s a video titled “Andrew Gilligan – Ailing Standards”. Enjoy!