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Is Ken starting to clutch at straws?

April 1st, 2008

Do the “April fool” video and stealing policies smack of desperation?

With just over a month to go and yesterday’s YouGov poll confirming that Livingstone has a lot of ground to make up, it’s starting to look as though the Mayor recognises the scale of his task means that almost any tactic can be tried in order to win votes.

At last night’s debate, he said to Johnson: “I’m stealing your policies. What sort of idiot, when they hear a good idea, wouldn’t take it on board?” Livingstone said he would copy Boris’s pledge to force misbehaving youths who are stripped of free travel, to carry out community service to get it back – having already said he had borrowed the idea of free bus travel for injured armed forces veterans.

The Greens’ £25 congestion charge for gas guzzlers has been swiped too – “When I saw Sian come up with the plan, I thought, ‘I’ll steal that’.” However, Livingstone said that the most important thing to him would be the BNP failing: “Whether I win this election or not, the thing that will matter most to me on that Friday is that the BNP haven’t won a platform at City Hall for their venom and their hatred and intolerance”.

Today saw the outtake from the campaign video – where Ken described his proudest political achievement as “smashing” New Labour into the ground. He insisted his comment was an April Fool – but is Ken trying to face both ways at once by reminding people of his independence from New Labour while simultaneously enjoying the resources of the Labour machine?

Zimbabwe update: the New York Times is suggesting that there are signs that Mugabe may be preparing to step down – the article is here.

Paul Maggs “Double Carpet”

Guest Editor






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