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The Mayor of London… April 30, 2008

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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With the day that’s about to be in it I can’t help but reflect briefly on the London Mayoral campaign. First up the curious, to some perhaps, but not those of us from a WP background, peregrinations of Kate Hoey continue. Labour MP? Well yes, but also I was told when I went to live in London in the early 1990s by other party members that those of us keen to engage with Labour party politics should contact hers among other constituency organisations. A convergence of views on the North might well have been the reason for that.

So no surprise then that…

…Labour MP Kate Hoey said she would act as an adviser on sports and the Olympics if the Tory candidate became mayor.

Very good, sport presumably transcends politics (oh, wait, that’s not good at all), but perhaps a word to the wise… check your man has won before letting that cat out of the bag.

Meanwhile a small civil war in the Conservative party where:

Simon Heffer and Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, two veteran Conservative commentators, have sparked a furious online row with bloggers accusing them of trying to sabotage Boris Johnson’s campaign with just a day left before Londoners vote.

Apparently Heffer and Worsthorne wrote:

In a column in today’s Telegraph, Heffer said Johnson was an “act” rather than a politician.

“One of Mr Johnson’s failings is a belief that the public is there to serve him, not vice versa,” he said. “He is pushy, he is thoughtless, he is indiscreet about his private life.”

Worsthorne, quoted in today’s Guardian diary, said Johnson’s attempt to be serious during the campaign had failed.

“The harder he tried, the more insincere, incoherent, evasive and even puerile he looked and sounded, even enabling the liberal candidate to score points. Take away the gags and jokes and nothing much is left.”

I’m astounded it took them this long to air this view. “Beautiful” (look up the candidate profile on the Guardian website) Johnson is… well, words fail me.

Meanwhile it looks like Livingstone might, or might not, win. I’ve got to be honest, I’ve always admired him despite his belonging to a different strain of leftist politics perhaps at odds with that I was involved in, right the way back to the dim and distant early 1980s. Clearly of the left in a broad sense, and clearly a progressive voice, whatever about the amphibians. Also, a master strategist, able to negotiate the Labour party whose hierarchy loathed him yet who also regarded him as near indispensable. London would be the lesser without him, and most certainly will be if Johnson gets in.

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Comments»

1. Starkadder - April 30, 2008

Never liked Kate Hoey-too much of a fox-shredding
enthusiast. As I understand it, she used work with
the Unionist supporter Boyd Black in the
Campaign for Labour Representation in Northern Ireland.

I didn’t know Peregrine Worsthorne was still alive
either.

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2. Garibaldy - April 30, 2008

Hoey I suspect has BICO type attitudes. I’d be interested to know who told you to appraoch her, i.e. whether they went DL later or not. There were other and more sympathetic MPs, and much more left than her. Unlike WBS, I’ve never liked Livingstone, but I will say that he has done some positive things, especially in environmental/transport terms, and think it would be a huge reverse of Boris wins. I suspect it depends on turnout, and the predicted bad weather will probably hurt Ken more.

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3. WorldbyStorm - April 30, 2008

WP as it happens, Garibaldy, but they left I think in the mid to late 1990s. Although not sure what that means one way or another. My impression was that there was a list of MPs organisations to contact and that it was handed out in these instances. That’s interesting about the bad weather.

Worsthorne, almost entirey useless (did you ever read his Telegraph editorials? Reactionary? Why yes! – my favourite, why the values of the big house ‘civilised’ the surrounding society right down to the humblest farmhand). But not quite, at least in this instance.

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4. Garibaldy - May 1, 2008

Cheers for that. It’s just I’ve never heard her mentioned. As for the Telegraph attacks, a shame they’ve come out now. Probably too little, too late, but maybe they were always intended to be such. Boris is not a clown, but he is hard-right. On top of that, it is perhaps the most progressive elements of Ken’s policies that’ll he go for first – the congestion charge and such like, as they are most unpopular with the people he’s been wooing hardest in the affluent areas where New Labour has, up until now, been doing well. They may well hold the key.

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5. Phil - May 1, 2008

Hoey’s a longtime supporter of LP organisation in the province – so probably not a republican sympathiser as such.

Mind you, the only time I’ve seen da Rossa it was at a fringe meeting by the “Labour Committee for Peace and Progress in Ireland”; the star turn was Brian Wilson MP, who started by laying into Sinn Fein and then moved on to the SDLP (they let Callaghan down in 1978, I think). The Unionists, on the other hand, had always been good friends to Labour. And so on.

Later the same week, according to something I read, the blameless LCPPI had a visit from the local police – they wanted to know about this ‘crack’ that they were offering at their meetings (IANMTU). I hadn’t seen much of it myself, I have to say.

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6. WorldbyStorm - May 1, 2008

Phil, no, I wouldn’t peg Hoey as in any sense sympathetic to Republicanism, indeed I always had the impression that she was from the North herself, or lived there as a child and has a Unionist background?

That’s some story although it’s not surprising. The nature of the speeches sounds predictable. I’ve always been fascinated by the identification with a small segment on the left with Unionism. In part does it come from the old BICO sub-Marxist thinking about industrialisation and some sort of parodic view of most of the island as a rural peasant Catholic backwater?

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7. ejh - May 1, 2008

Ken is the only person, who, according to her, was ever liked by my late great-aunt’s cats.

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8. WorldbyStorm - May 1, 2008

Cats tend to know.

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9. NollaigO - May 1, 2008

Kate Hoey’s political history:
The comments in the above posts on her upbringing are probably accurate. Of interest is the fact that her uncle was a NILP supporter and BBC political commentator, John Cole.
Living in London in the early 1970s she became a vice-president of the NUS.[Jack Straw was NUS president at the time]. Returning from an overseas conference, she found herself sitting next to Tariq Ali on the plane. Tariq persuaded her to join the IMG, which she did in summer 1971. In subsequent years she used to muddy this connection by claiming that she was in the Spartacus League, a short lived youth wing of the IMG. She was never at ease with the Irish Republican Trotskyism of the IMG and was also very inimical to Gery Lawless an IMG member at the time. She felt that having Lawless as a member discredited the IMG. Under the influence of Brian Trench [political influence of course!] she joined the IS in 1972 but her stay there was also limited. She joined Hackney Labour party and supported the Troops Out Movement for a period before becoming a supporter of the BICO front organisation, Campaign for Labour Representation in Northern Ireland. Nowadays the IPR group are quiet hostile to her,dubbing her TallyHoey in a recent article!

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10. Dan Sullivan - May 1, 2008

The strange thing about Boris is that he comes across as that sort who is a nice bloke to have a pint with and sure isn’t he a sound bloke altogether but once you get him to really talk about what he believes, you’re left with your mouth open aghast thinking that he can’t really think like that can he? All front, froth and personality. I would vote Paddick then Livingstone if I was back over around the old birthplace. I suspect the Green votes (and they could edge up to 5%) will break soundly for Ken putting him ahead of Boris and the LibDems will break evenly. Oddly enough with it being just two counts I’m not sure we will get that sort of tally like breakdown of voting transfers which is a pity for the electoral junkies that some of us are.

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11. WorldbyStorm - May 1, 2008

NollaigO, still working on that stuff, just to let yer know. Re John Cole and Hoey, no surprise there. Cole wrote a political thriller some time back which was very sceptical of the peace process IIRC. That’s a great history of her… CLR? Well I remember them. WP liked them to. I didn’t.

Tallyhoey? Genius.

Dan, you’re dead right. I was reading today’s Guardian and to be honest the quotes from him are vile… and even if merely provocative ‘froth’, Jesus, they’re awful. That’s an interesting analysis. Those 2’s are going to be crucial.

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12. Jim Monaghan - May 2, 2008

Is Ken much good any longer. He trimmed his criticisms of the LP leadership. I think he settled for a Tony Gregory type deal. Tony got jobs for a single constituency and Ken got a city to run as long as he stayed out of national politics.
His call for an “inclusivity”, offering Bopris a position in the office says to me that he is not interested in any real change.
Things like the congestion charge should be mainstream if politicians of any strip were not scared of Pougadist type reactions to progress.
Mind you on a similar note Sinn Fein in Dun L. are opposing clamping. The local Jeremy Clarksons are no doubt happy.
I suppose a critical second or third preference for Ken

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