Message from Ken

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It would appear that Ken Livingstone’s Friday night is about as unexciting as mine, since this popped into my inbox just a few minutes ago:

Dear friend,

As you know it is one year this weekend since the London mayoral election: one year of Conservative government of our capital.

Over the past year we have seen significant steps backward for London under a Tory administration.

Progressive London has produced its assessment of the first twelve months of Conservative rule in London. You can read the full document here.

Progressive London’s report shows that Boris Johnson is making London:

* More expensive – with unnecessary fares increases

* Worse for outer-London – future transport links axed and higher fares to travel into central London

* Less healthy – with the cancellation of the Low Emission Zone extension

* More congested – with the plan to halve the size of the congestion charge zone

* Less green – with moves like the removal of the western extension, cancellation of the CO2 charge, and the decimation of City Hall’s environment team

* Less internationally attractive – cutting promotion of London

On hard policy and actions Conservative priorities have been clear: raising fares above inflation, slashing investment in public transport, encouraging the worst-polluting vehicles, squeezing spending on the police service, ignoring the need for affordable housing, suspending progress on tackling air pollution and axing cultural festivals. 

Conservative rule in London fanned the tensions building to the G20 protests then fell silent in the aftermath. 

And at a time when the public have rightly had enough of irresponsible bankers, Boris Johnson was the first significant British politician to leap to their defence – and followed this by denouncing the higher tax band for the very rich.

All of this makes our task as progressive Londoners all the more important. 

I hope you will find the information and analysis in the Progressive London assessment of the last twelve months of a Conservative mayoralty useful. The full document can be found here.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Livingstone

Good ol’Ken. Although I’m not his biggest fan, and indeed I’ve posted before on how I would like to see a serious (and fair) competition for the selection of the next Labour mayoral candidate, he deserves credit for his monitoring of what Boris is up to, his regular attendance at mayor’s question time in the Assembly, and for his relentless self-promotion as a ‘mayor in opposition’. You may disagree with his methods (or with the oddball statements that sometimes come out of his mouth) but I don’t think anyone can seriously doubt his commitment to London. If there is a Labour figure thinking of standing against Ken, he or she will have to show a similarly high-level of dedication to the campaign and to start showing it pretty soon.

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