Thursday, 24 March 2011

Thinking the Unthinkable

I am watching Ken Livingstone on Question Time as I type. The debate is still going on but he was right on the money on Libya and he was also impressive on the general direction of the present government.

I have to admit that I have begun to think the unthinkable, at least in respect of the upcoming London Mayoral election. Whether or not the Libyan campaign is over by then there will be others and having an anti-war voice in such a prominent position during the 2012 Olympics in particular could be immensely beneficial. Indeed it could well save many innocent lives.

If anybody thinks I am wrong, please use the Comments section below to tell me why.


Anonymous said...

What was Ken saying?

Phil Andrews said...

He spelled out the hypocrisy of the UK government in attacking Libya for suppressing rebels within its own frontiers but taking a completely different approach towards other regimes.

Danny Alexander - who was extremely disappointing, placing no clear water whatsoever between his party and the Conservatives (indeed the Conservative on the panel seemed the more progressive of the two) - raised the old chestnut of "just because we can't intervene against all dictators does that mean we shouldn't take action against those we can?"

What remained unexplained, of course, was why it is considered necessary to sell arms to some of those repressive regimes that for whatever reason we "can't" take action against.

The panel was then asked whether the support of the Lib Dems for the budget showed them to be puppets of the Tories. In answer to this question it would have been unfair to say yes, as there would have been prior negotiation between the two coalition partners and as such it would have been extraordinary had the Lib Dems not supported it.

Nonetheless Livingstone rightly drew attention to the essentially Conservative character of the government in general.

I actually voted for Ken Livingstone in 2000 when he stood as an independent but I was dismayed when he returned to the Labour Party and voted against him at the two subsequent elections.

I was and remain appalled by his treatment of the Jewish journalist from the London Evening Standard despite the extremely low opinion I hold of that paper.

But the prospect of having an anti-war Mayor at the time of next year's Olympics strikes me as an entirely sensible, not to mention "safer" option and possibly outweighs some of his less appealing traits.

I do wish he was still an independent though.