more on road-rage Ken

M A Jones jones118 at
Thu May 25 05:50:29 MDT 2000

David Welch wrote:

>Well yes, but the collusion to destroy bourgeois democracy (by
> substituting a consensus-based technocratic mode of decision making) is
> one that has been embraced by Ken Livingstone. After all despite their
> 'vigorous opposition' all the parties in the London Assembly (except the
> Conservatives) have accepted places in Ken Livingstone's administration.
> Even Tony Blair has made up with Ken. Judging by their post-election
> behaviour the 'vitriol and anti-red hysteria' only served to disguise how
> close the positions of the mayoral candidates and their parties were.

David, maybe you would be happier with the old GLC which had a westminster
style adversarial politics (this was the kind of sham, to use red-rebel's
penetrating critical vocabulary, which was deployed at that particular time
and in that particular place). Shamology has evidently moved on and now we
are in the technocratic phase of hypocrisy. I am sure than nary a single
Londoner has any confidence whatsoever in any kind of technocracy especially
English ones, which are certain to prove mind-bogglingly technically
incompetent about everything except brewing the beer, when you get right
down to it. Everybody, but everybody from the blue rinses of Norwood and
Virginia Waters to the latest Somali refugee in Walthamstow, understands
that this is all just a game. But it is Ken's game and not Blair's or the
Tories', and Ken will deliver lower bus fares and a better Tube and less
congestion, + good free concerts in Hyde Park and better gigs at the South
Bank. And that is what Blair, the Tories et al wanted to deprive them of,
and that's why the voted in Ken; what you have to ask yourself is what kind
of balls-up is it for the Masters of Shamocracy, when the denizens of
globalisation's first town of money, from west to east and left to right,
do not buy into their bullshit and decide to do something different. If you
don't understand what a glorious moment in English social history this is,
then I'm
sure you wouldn't have understood what a glorious moment it was in 1857 (or
whenever) the Age of Consent was raised from 14 to 16, ie, mass child-rape
became illegal. The smiles on the faces of the Tory and Whig grandees
resembled, Disraeli said, brass coffin handles (dentistry was not what it
is), but not on that day they didn't. They did it because they had to.

These things really matter. Supporting
Ken really matters. Doing what you are doing is either to marginalise
yourself or (God help us) to actually persuade people to be more passive,
helpless and defeatist than they already are. That would be a shame, I


> As for 'popular perceptions', the most striking thing about the London
> Assembly was how unpopular they were, less than 30% of the population
> voted. Clearly public disillusionment with the political process is
> already endemic without the help of the revolutionary left. What should
> also be clear is that Ken Livingstone's victory is symptomatic of this
> disillusionment. A politician with few apparent convictions can easily
> exploit the unfocused disenchantment among Labour's middle class
> supporters and the small turnout to win.

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