Wednesday 11 April 2012

We need to talk about Ken

Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson
Tax avoidance to the left.
Oh dear, what are Labour going to do, what are any of us going to do should Ken Livingstone defy the odds - and the supposed intelligence of voters - by winning the London Mayoral contest next month. At the moment it doesn’t look likely, thanks to the recent discovery that on the subject of tax avoidance he’s a hypocrite, or as Boris Johnson is supposed to have said, “a fucking liar”. It turns out Ken organises his tax affairs in much the same way as I (when a contractor) used to, only - unlike the former and would be future Mayor - I never combined this with articles painting the Tories as “rich bastards” exploiting “every tax fiddle”. That would be a bit cheeky, yet Ken did exactly this in a 2009 article in The Sun. How deliciously ironic to find that because of the way he arranges his own tax, Ken Livingstone pays a far lower rate than that of his Tory rival. Indeed, Ken Livingstone pays a far lower rate of tax than most people, including myself, despite having a far greater income.

In some ways this is a relief, as otherwise we might be discussing whether the allegations of anti-Semitism and his association with certain anti-Semites would help or hinder his chances of becoming Mayor. Sometimes it’s what Ken doesn’t say that we should worry about; this from the BBC:
Egyptian-born Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has been criticised for condoning suicide bombings and having anti-Semitic and homophobic views. The Mayor of London [at that time, Ken Livingstone] acknowledged that he and the cleric would not see eye-to-eye on Lesbian and Gay views.
How odd then that despite the double standards on tax avoidance, his openly antagonistic stance to Jewish people and having previously campaigned against his own party, party leader Ed Miliband is today throwing his support behind Ken Livingstone’s campaign. Well... he’s in the club, though Labour party rules suggest he shouldn’t be.


  1. Q. What do Ken Livingston and the recently featured goldfish have in common?

    A. (Answers on a blogcard... .)