Saturday, March 10, 2007

Livingstone Misuses Taxpayers' Money... Again

I think the Standards Board for England should be abolished. It's a waste of money and ineffective. The electorate can chuck out any councillor it thinks has misbehaved. We don't need a quango stuffed full of busybodies to tell us who they are. Ken Livingstone agrees. So far so good. But this is what the Guardian Diary says he is doing about it.
Alert as ever, we see our capital's debonair young mayor, Mr Ken
Livingstone, has just approved the spending of £15,000 on the drafting of a
series of amendments to various bills and acts that would, if adopted, have the
effect of abolishing the Standards Board for England. Astonishingly, the
Standards Board for England is the local government watchdog that gave our Ken
such uncalled for grief over his gracious and civilised remarks about the US
ambassador ("a chiselling little crook"), the Reuben brothers ("Go back to Iran
and try your luck with the ayatollah") and an Evening Standard reporter ("Are
you a German war criminal?...You are just like a concentration camp guard").
Obviously we wish the mayor well with this latest laudable endeavour, though we
fear some out there may see it - coming from him - as a slightly questionable
use of Londoners' money.

Indeed. Perhaps Ken may like to argue his case with his Labour Government friends - apparently they're all in the same political party - rather than use more of our money to do try and exact his revenge.


Gorilla Bananas said...

London has been a badly-governed city ever since Dick Whittington retired. It's about time Puss-in-Boots ran for mayor.

Anonymous said...


The guy really does do just what he likes. The Mayor Logan-like levels of corruption and back-scratching which he has instigated make it seem to em that he can't be elected out. Let's abolish the entire office and the completely unnecessary layer of bureaucracy which is 'The London Assembly', 'Transport for (sic) London' and all that...

Ross F said...

Ken Livingstone's strange obsession with jews is unappetising but he has the right to say what he wants without the sanctimonious finger waving of the Standards Board.

Anonymous said...

No Iam no Labour astroturfer, but if you have proof use it ,please.

Cllr Nicholas Bennett said...

Bromley Council passed a motion last year, following a case in which a Conservative Councillor was reported to the Board by his Lib Dem opponant (who didn't declare that was what he was)calling for the scrapping of the Board.

Our colleague was cleared by the local Standards Committee to whom the Board referred the matter.

The Board is an insult to democracy. However it doesn't £15k of public money by the Mayor to achieve this end.

filthy brown said...

Ken's not the only one!

'Charity cash questions for DTI'

"The Smith Institute, which is under investigation by the Charities Commission, was paid £35,598 by the Department for Trade and Industry for hosting debates on procurement policy, running economic summits and for contributing to departmental studies. "

"It is extraordinary that ministers have in the past doled out taxpayers' cash to a think-tank currently under investigation for its use by the Chancellor for political campaigning,"
"Gordon Brown must now come clean about his relationship with the Smith Institute and tell us exactly how much public money has been given to them, and what he's getting in return , Chris Grayling MP"

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Who cares?

In the grand scheme of things, I'm quite happy to see a 'misappropriation' of money to fix a 'misappropriation' of local government.

With the funding received from central government anyway, it can easily be argued that this is OUR money, anyway.

kamikaze labour said...

MU: "Who cares?"

Only the voters.

Chris Paul said...

Worth every penny. Hope they get rid of the allegedly Nazi saluting Mcr Lib Dem Cllr Donaldson before they get rid of themselves.

If they could chuck John Leech MP out for his hospital hoax and diodgy overrun expenses too that would be a bonus.

garypowell said...

All we need is the BBC to have somethng other then Ken Livingstone to promote during the next London elections and it will not matter what he does or says ever again. Labour will get buggered in London anyway next time.

This time he will go down with the bad ship Labour and all that sail on her. Put the champaign on ice Londoners, its not too much longer now.

Have just received though my letter box 4 copies of London Loop a 44 page high quality glossy mag from London Transport. Or should I say paid for out of the London Transport budget? The last time I used a bus or a train in London was 7 years ago.

Only five pages are adds, the rest is just propagander promoting the activities of the "Great Leader" himself." This rag must cost as much as all the spair cash generated from the congestion charge.

Castro is "very proud" of his adopted bastard son. His arrival in Cuba was treated like the visit from a National (socialist) head of state.

evil of dron said...

Evil of Dron laughs at your weasel attempts to sully the reputation of Ken.

Ken is one of the few politicians who says what he thinks and doesn't give a toss either. Your Meester Cameron, however, has spent this weekend shutting down every honest colleague in his party. No contest, meester Dale. Muuuwahaahah!

morrocanroll said...

Points missed, I feel. The Standards Board is useful, because people like Livingstone run riot between elections and they can do a lot of damage in four years.

You might remember that Leninspart's second manifesto did not include scrapping of Routmaster buses (who would have voted for that?) but he announced the plan within weeks of getting back in, hoping we'd have forgotten by 2008. The punters had no say on that one...

Indeed, it was the Standards Board that decided 'on the balance of probabilities' that Lenin wasn't to blame for the chap falling 12ft in a concrete basement during a scrap after Lenin was ejected from a party.

I have had a first hand account from somebody at the party, and you woudn't believe why he was dragged out of the party in the first place by the three men (clue: he is a fanatical anti-smoker. Not all his friends and family are...).

As Fraser Nelson recently pointed out in the Spectator, New Livingstone - calmed down by years on the backbenches - is giving way to old Livingstone. The version hated by Kinnock, Brown et al.

He is a nasty piece of work and anti-semtic to boot (see his editorship of the Labour Herald in the early 1980s). We NEED somebody to try and hold him to account.

16words said...

Does Morrocanroll understand the concept of an election? Elections are how we in the West hold our politicians to account. Or, rather, it should be how. Having a 'Board' do it for us is a disgraceful violation of democratic principle (and you have to wonder at the chutzpah of the people who sit on it). This is so not about Ken.

tonemcd said...

Considering 'democratic principles' are being shafted left, right and centre by the current bunch of incompetent, thieving Socialist swine, then maybe something external to said 'democratic principles' is needed to bring Livingstone to book, hmm?

Anonymous said...

What Ken says may not always be put prettily, but most of the time it is true and the rest of the time it is fair comment.

Are you always gracious in your tone of criticism, Mr Dale ?

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to a similarly sarcastic comment about Guido's similarly 'civilised' reportage...

garypowell said...

Evil of dron
So what are you saying?

That it is quite OK for KL to not only be an anti-semitic racist . He should be congratulated for being honest enought to admit it?

Its OK for KL to spend the Transport budget on self publicity as long as he tells you he is ripping the public off first.

Its OK for KL to openly befiend a socialist dictator that murders and imprisons his political opponents and people that simply want to escape his country. As long as he tells us he loves Castro.

It is OK for Ken Livingstone to get underpriced oil from Chevez thus subsidising a rich country out of the pockets of some of the poorest people in the world. So long as he tells us he loves Chevez.

You have the logic of a snake and the morals of a wild pig. Just like KEN LIVINGSTONE.

Anyone that has been to Castros Cuba, which KL has, who thinks there is anything WHATSOEVER that can be recomended to ordinary people in that hell hole of a country is either, thick, deaf dumb and blind, or evil in the EXTREAM.

Go there yourself then you can deside which one of these KL and you are.

I dont have to sully the reputation of KL he has done a very good job at doing that all by himslf.

It just would have been a help if the BBC and the MSM had not been so far up KLs extream left-wing ass that they might now and again tell the people of London the truth about this communist maniac running their capital city.

paige said...

This is totally off topic, sort of! but would love an explanation Iain or anyone else who knows the thruth.

Been looking on my County Council website for figures to how much the EU costs in bureacracy and find this statement in the accounts for 2006

The council continues to monitor developments on the potential introduction of the euro and the impact that a decision to enter the single currency would have on its ongoing operations. An officer working group was established with the aim of developing an action plan that can be implemented quickly should a decision be taken to enter the single currency. No decision has been made for the UK to adopt the Euro and the council is monitoring the situation. It is not expected that there will be any significant costs before the decision is made for the UK to adopt the Euro and these costs can be accommodated within existing budgetary provision. The Authorities Enterprise resource planning system, the Oracle E-Business suite can cope with dual currencies.

Exactly why are we paying for this and has any other council in the country got this in their accounts? this comes from Northumberland

evil of dron said...

Gary Powell.

Evil of Dron laughs at your attempts to etc etc.

Apparently, he was voted into his position, despite attempts by the boy, Blair, to stop him.

And by the way Ken is a friend of all sorts of minority groups, much to the disgust of Aryan world domination types like me, which confuses my plans for world domination, I can tell you, because I have to make allowances for the black "community", the gay "community" the somali "community" and the all those fuckers who sponge on this country "community"

In fact, no one can stop him. Ken is invincible!!!


Evil of Dron

Observer said...

Is the Standards Board any less of a politician's alibi for regulation than the House of Commons Standards Committee?

ken from gloucester said...

To evil of whatever

Hitler was considered invincible once.

hg said...

Paige, You have tripped over another bit of the in place regionalisation infrastructure and Europe of the Regions EU agenda of the Labour Party.

Try North English Regional Assembly and lots will come up.

Matt Davis said...

Much as I loathe Mayor Livingstone, and all his works and massively paid Socialist Action advisors, and would love nothing more than to see London rid of his malign influence, the Standards Board is an affront to democracy and the expressed will of the people. Anything that will neuter it once and for all is a victory for genuine dmocracy in Local Govt.Don't forget that both the Conservatives and the LibDems are pledged to abolish it as soon as possible when in government.

morrocanroll said...

I'm still not getting a straight answer here. Elections happen every four years. What, aside from criminal prosecutions, will hold people like Livingstone to account in between times?

Are you suggesting we have to wait until May '08 if he pulls off something really outrageous?

I ask you. Three young people shot in south London in short order. Where was the Mayor? On the local streets, talking to people, delivering a concerned soundbite if nothing else?

No. For at least part of the time during that period he was in Florida promoting that fact that a NFL match is going to be held in London.

We need a way of holding him - and others - to account between elections. Livingstone has spent my money on trying to remove the one minor obstacle in his way.

antifrank said...

MoroccanRoll, I have never voted for Ken Livingstone, and never will. He has, however, been elected to office twice by my less astute fellow city dwellers. Unless he commits a serious crime or acts in such a way as the London Assembly thinks it appropriate for him to be impeached, he should serve out his time. The Standards Board is an outrageous interference with the democratic process and should be scrapped at once.

Oh, and Iain, £15,000 of Londoners' money spent to make the Government realise this seems to me money well spent.

garypowell said...

Evil of Dron
Clearly it takes a anti-semitic authoratarian socialist to not only know one but to respect one as well.

KL is not only not invincable he is going to lose and lose big. I would put money on it. If a week in politics is a long time then 8 years for Londoners has been an eternity.

People in London are really feeling the squeeze right now and the concensus is that things are about to get far worse.

Most of the people of London unlike Liverpool and Glasgo do not survive on government welfare and government jobs.

Ken livingstones balance of power exsists because of a minority of middle class people that thought that they would be able to drive their Jag to work quicker.

The core Labour vote in multicultural London mainly have no idear where the polling station is.

If they did stumble over it many would wonder why they should bother to make an already rich and powerfull politician any richer or any more powerfull unless there was free beer and biriani at the booth.

David Boothroyd said...

Abolition of the Standards Board is one easy way to unite all the parties in local government. Their byzantine ways of working to investigate insubstantial complaints waste hundreds of thousands of pounds on lawyers, but do nothing to reassure the public about standards in local government.

The Standards Board did not even acknowledge that the public interest might be a defence until my colleague Paul Dimoldenberg took them to task over it, and although he was exonerated he was left severely out of pocket. Of course it should be abolished.

el tom said...

Considering how rubbish the standards board actually are, this is far better than the tories' idea of getting a GLA limousine.

Carry on ranting, and we'll just wait for the election, shall we?

MorrisOx said...

While we're at it, what exactly is the policy on the articles Ken regularly 'writes' for Comment is Free?

It is blindingly obvious that they have been written on his behalf by members of his PR team, presumably at public expense.

I've asked the question numerous times when he has had something published on there, but answer came there none.

No surprise, really. As anyone who has encountered him will know he loves a debate up until the point he has finished speaking.