Tonight Newsnight is hosting a four-way debate – with the BBC giving the Greens the fourth seat despite UKIP currently polling higher. During the debate Ken will no doubt make his usual magic money promises and claim that Boris plans to kill all London’s first born sons. So, to make it easy for you to keep track of Ken’s unfounded claims during the debate, the NotKenAgain.com website has created a positive fun little game they’re calling KEN-GO.
With the Labour Party already in a precarious financial position, overspending by some £1.7m last year, there is more bad news coming down the line. Their biggest donor Unite are agitating before their conference in June for which Left Futures have the agenda.
Amongst the usual noisy motions – “Conference notes and applauds UNITE’S policy to win back the Labour Party from the right-wing neo-liberals who have infested the party over the past 20 years” et cetera – is a pending headache for Ed. Obviously concerned that his £600,000 per meeting is not value for money, Len McCluskey is apparently gearing up to restrict donations to Labour by 10%. Given that staffers constantly complain about how broke the party is, almost to the point of being unable to properly fight local and police commissioner elections, this is hardly going to help matters…
Talking of Ken’s positive campaign, Tessa Jowell is on the attack and is playing the race card against Boris in a piece for Progress:
“Can you think of a single thing Johnson has done in his time in office apart from the new Routemasters and ‘Boris bikes’? And his buses are so expensive that two of them would pay for Ken’s entire childcare package, and bikes, which are mainly used by white men on salaries over £75,000, are hardly stories of fairness.”
Presumably, in light of his desire to raise the tone, Ken is going to distance himself from his campaign chairman’s comments?
Now that Ken has neutered his entire campaign by promising not to say anything negative, ever, he’s stuck with terrible and desperate email stunts. This one is off the cringeworthy scale:
From: Simon Fletcher Chief of Staff
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2012 13:23:35
Subject: An email I wanted to you to see
I’ve just been sent an email by our Head of Digital and Volunteers and I really wanted you to see it.
He says that we have been overwhelmed with the response for our huge day of action on Tuesday, “Fare Deal Tuesday”.
It promises to be a big day as we leaflet hundreds of stations and thousands of commuters.
I really hope you can be a part of it.
Chief of Staff
Ken Livingstone Campaign
From: Mike Joslin
To: Simon Fletcher 04/04/12 12:15
I wanted to let you know that hundreds of people have signed up for Tuesday morning.
It is quite incredible that so many people have signed up.
It shows that we can out organise the Tories.
Do you reckon we could send out an all supporters email to tell people the scale of what they’ve done already and give other people the opportunity to take part?
Who actually speaks like that?
For the last two months UKIP have been polling ahead of the Greens in London. In March it was 5% to 3%. Tonight Newsnight are inviting the two candidates who have a chance of winning the London Mayoralty on for a live debate, they have also invited two other runners on for good measure. Green Jenny Jones will get national airtime despite the fact that her party has no hope of winning in London.
The Beeb are repeating a mistake they have made before. In the Norwich and Bradford by-elections they gave the Greens plenty of airtime and ignored the Eurosceptics. In both cases UKIP beat the hippies, and in Norwich they absolutely stuffed them. UKIP have managed to secure a small piece to camera, but the editorial logic is warped and is not supported by the facts. You read it here first…
After a terrible couple of weeks of contempt and mocking, what does the government do? Throw in some BS of course. With £600 million found for the Big Society Bank, Cameron told a crowd at the London Stock Exchange:
“Change is always difficult. There are sceptics to convince, vested interests to overcome and arguments to be won… The top-down state controlled monoliths have failed. “
It sounds more like an attack on the Civil Service. With Steve Hilton departing tomorrow, the “sceptics” are now running the show…
YouGov regularly asks respondents do they approve or disapprove of the party leaders. Subtracting disapproval from approval gives a net approval rating. Guido can’t recall public negativity towards politicians being higher.
Collectively it stands at -121, that is minus one hundred and twenty-one. Dave’s personal ratings are at an all time low at -27, Clegg’s continue to be the worst at -53 and despite a bad week for the Tories, Ed Miliband’s personal rating went down further to -41. In short, the public hates all politicians.
The political class can forget forcing the public to pay for politics. We hate them all. The Guidoised perception of politics is mainstream…