Thursday, December 06, 2007

Boris Goes on the Offensive

Yesterday's Evening Standard ran a story that Ken Livingstone's advisers are using London taxpayers' money to run political campaigns against Boris Johnson. Today, Boris has gone on the offensive. Earlier today he made a speech calling the Mayor to account and he has now written to him, asking him to answer ten questions. Here is an extract of his letter...
Dear Mr Livingstone,

Like many Londoners I was appalled to read in yesterday's Evening Standard that one of your senior advisors has been accused of channelling huge sums of taxpayers' money to a network of companies which have done little or no work in return. I was then amazed and furious to read that Lee Jasper is accused of personally directing taxpayer-funded bodies to mount political attacks on your rivals. Is this true? Do you confirm or deny these reports?

Do you think it right that bodies funded by the Mayor's office should be bullied into issuing misleading and intellectually dishonest attacks on your political opponents? You must realise that millions of hard-working Londoners are entrusting you with their hard-earned cash. What we need now at the very least is an inquiry into Mr Jasper's role in steering LDA expenditure, and we need the audit trail showing exactly how the money was spent. I believe you must now persuade Londoners that you know (a) how the money was spent and (b) that it was
spent in their interests. Otherwise I am afraid you will have forfeited any right to represent the financial interests of the people of London. You cannot just stick your head in the sand, and you cannot claim that this is just politically motivated.

We are all Londoners together - of whatever community - and it seems that we are all being ripped off by some of your closest associates. You owe it to Londoners to call an inquiry now into a growing scandal that threatens to undermine not just your own credibility, but the credibility of the institutions you purport to run.

I note that I have still to receive a reply to my letter about the scandal in the
expenses of the Metropolitan Police. You are meant to have oversight of the police budget. Have you taken any steps whatever to inform yourself of what is going on? Any further delay will serve only to heighten the impression that there is a growing culture of dishonesty in the administration of London.

A couple of months ago I threatened to sue a website called Blink. They were critisising Boris for the so-called Watermelon remarks and were insinuating that Tory bloggers like me, Tim Montgomerie and others were racist. It was written by a chap called Lester Holloway. After I eventually caught up with him the piece was withdrawn from the Blink website. I'm told today that Lester Holloway has resigned from Blink, saying all the things he was forced to write about Boris in the way that he did. Nice people, these Livingstone supporters. Thugs is another word.

Andrew Gilligan's full story on Lee Jasper's antics can be read HERE.

46 comments:

John83 said...

interesting that Boris is trying to use the scandal/competency routine that the Tories are using at a national level against Ken. Have to see whether he gets any mileage. I think most Londonders percieve Ken as being generally quite competent and a good manager but dislike the direction of some of his ideological driven initiatives (e.g. the Chavez-bendy-buses deal)

Mog said...

At last! This is mannah from heaven for Boris and he should keep attacking Livingstone on this target. We all know that Ken pisses our money up the wall, lets get some more proof. At the very least it will make him squirm, and when he is under pressure he says stupid things.

Your blog is not, of course, just thrown together, Boris could make large Capital out of the performance of H & F as an example of how the Tories would run London. Whether its true or not!

Anonymous said...

While I'm perfectly happy to bait Gordo and the brownies openly, I'd be concerned, personally, to do the same to Ken. I'd be afraid for my personal safety.

I do hope Boris can start to widen public understanding of Ken's corruption and criminality

strapworld said...

Iain,

unless my old memory is fading. Lester Holloway was involved with Lee Jasper when he headed The Black Caucus Group in Brixton.

verity said...

Nice of the Conservative mayoral candidate to pop his head out of his little burrow.

[4:40] - Yes. Livingstone's an epic hood on the magnitude of Al Capone. If anyone calls at Johnson Towers carrying a violin case, he is advised not to answer the door.

copydude said...

I'd suggest that Boris has precious little to fear from the BLF.

Much of the website content hasn't been updated since 2000. Its 'Forum' had only 1 poster, the BLF, until Gilligan brought it some attention. It now has 4 posters.

BLF projects appear to be projects in name only - it isn't possible to find any documented activity.

Certainly, a 300,000 grant to run a dormant website with no readership does seem poor value for money.

Chris Paul said...

Boris will now presumably cycle away for another month or two?

It is a concern to me Iain that you have allowed a moderated comment alleging "corruption and criminality" and an absurd statement of fear of reprisal by an anonymous muppet for making a blog comment. This is surely at the far reaches of defamation.

You are in danger of bearing the brunt of any action over this.

Easier to find, equally culpable, awre of the issue as you've popsted about it, not potless = in jeopardy if you allow this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Would the first hurdle in the evidence gathering re this be getting the footage of the Andrew Marr incident off the BBC?

Possibly the tape has been used again by now.

Anonymous said...

Oops wrong thread. can you move it?

Anonymous said...

That'll be the "100 Great Black Britons - Lee Jasper" then?

http://www.100greatblackbritons.com/bios/lee_jasper.html

One worries what the other 99 are like? (Apart from Shirley Bassey of course.)

marlon said...

Boris as always been offensive - just ask Liverpool, black people, etc.

jonathan hemlock said...

Two words that tell you why every Londoner should vote for Boris in 2008 are

Stalin McSporran said...

Its 'Forum' had only 1 poster, the BLF, until Gilligan brought it some attention. It now has 4 posters.

Is it moderatd?

If not - invasion, anyone?

bebopper said...

Well done to Andrew Gilligan and the Evening Standard for exposing these thuggish crooks.
Lee Jasper is a nasty piece of work. He's gettng over a hundred grand a year for the opportunity to receive hundreds of thousands of pounds (make that millions) of City Hall money for phoney black self-help groups.
The money is not accounted for.
Deja vu? Remember the money that was poured in to the Roundhouse Black Arts Centre?
It disappeared.
Remember Dolly Kiffin, with her youth activities on Broadwater Farm after the murderous riots?
Her generous government grants paid for lucrative property investments in Jamaica.
The American satirist, Tom Wolfe, was writing about this stuff in the 1970s.
Read "Radical Chic; Mau Mau-ing the Flak- Catcher" to see how easy it was for black activists to shout "racism!" at local government officials, in order to be bombarded with money.
Scam? Of course it's a scam. Every newspaper should be demanding a police investigation.

Anonymous said...

It was Simon Hughes' huge second choice votes total that helped Livingstone win last time. This time, Boris could come up the rails and win.
Trouble is, Livingstone and TFL are running up debt to an unreal degree.
The bus service needs over £600m per year and TFL is about to double its borrowing to £1.2bn (see the E Standard). The admin cost of the C-Charge has gone from £90m year to £150m (which means that without £95m in fines it lost £6m last year).
Lenin has just quietly signed a contract with IBM to introduce another congestion system using continental style charge cards, (which are mounted on the car's windscreen). But virually no info has been revealed about the deal.
I'll bet IBM has got at least a 6 year deal and if Boris tried to cancel it, there would be a huge kill fee (which is what happened with the useless Capita deal).
The only way that Ken can keep this going is if Gordon keeps stumping up a huge subsidy AND he uses the powers awarded to him in the supplemental tolls bill. That is, the ability to toll all the capital's main roads right out to edge of greater London.
Watch it happen. Even better, the people who'll pay will be mainly from outside the capital and won't be able to vote him out.
For a bloke who is 'tired and emontional' most afternoons, you've got to admire his ability to plan long-term trouble.

dougal said...

John83, I'm a Londoner, and together with many other Londoners I most definitely do NOT perceive the Mayor to be competent -

other than at chucking taxpayers' money down the drain.

Ed said...

Chris Paul is in full rebuttal mode! Gordon must have pushed the red button on the desk in his bunker.

Teesbridge said...

Boris has referred elsewhere to puppetmasters and puppets.

Are we sure Boris has the right person in the right box?

The Creator said...

An open goal and, uncharacteristically I hope for Boris, the ball is sliced wide.

This is a very slackly written letter. It could – should – have been much more precise.

It reads as though it was dictated on the run and then checked in a rush.

You don't get too many opportunities like this. You need to exploit them to the full.

Given how slippery Livingstone is, Boris needs to be on his game throughout.

He won't make it if he is only semi paying attention.

Some serious knuckling down called for, I'd say.

Less flippancy. A lot more substance.

Anonymous said...

surely GLA members could ask the Audit Commission to look at the Mayor expenditure?

Anonymous said...

Lee Jasper was interviewed on the BBC's London regional programme tonight about the allegations made by London Evening Standard.

He looked very uncomfortable. In a counter he made some reference to defammatory comments made by Boris about "picaninny" and "watermelon men".

Boris is sometimes less than tactful. But I thought he wouldn't have made remarks as alleged.

Surely Boris can get media mileage by suing him on that issue alone.

Newmania said...

Chris Paul that really is a lowest comment even you have ever sunk to .You have crossed from entertaining into disgusting.


Now we know , and was it is ever in doubt , that the until today actionable suggestion , that GLA funds were being channelled into campaigning groups,are probably true ,what about Compass. They 'out of the goodness of their hearts’ mounted an astonishing and sustained attack on Boris . , a subject that they , as a national and international fat left ginger group , have nothing to do with. It is far from easy to discover the source of their funding I have tried but they are closely associated with Ken and just to give you an idea of the sort of web of vileness Ken swims in Compass have still retained Miranda Grell after her conviction for making false representations…lying about a man by claiming he was a paedophile “ Have you heard about him sleeping with Thai boys , his boyfriend is sixteen and , he is dirty”…said the ambitious associate of Ken Livingstone . And yet she is still on the board of Compass You would think that Compass with its close associations with Ken Livintsone and its gratis campaigning and its being Ken`s favourite think tank and one with which he has close associations , you would think they almost deserved some tax payers money . Goodness and when you think of all that cash he has sprayed about elsewhere as well . Just fancy ,,…none for compass…now theres a thing ……. And them accussing Boris of being a racistion the basis of a limerick he wrote at nursery school ….coo…and yet nothing …

judith said...

Chris Paul - your post covers no detail of the allegations, and pointedly makes no effort to refute them.

I say again, would the Standard have published this story without pretty firm evidence? the lawyers would not have allowed it.

Anonymous said...

Gordon Brown's speech on Liberty hailed a new chapter in which we would rediscover the British tradition of liberty and enhance it.

However, much of the Government's policy solutions to security issues continue to cause grave concern. The Government's current use of language around immigration is also further serving to alienate communities whose support is most needed in the fight against extremism.

This meeting will explore:

How do we reconcile the need to provide for security and at the same time defend civil liberties?

How do we reach out to young progressives in communities that feel alienated by the 'war on terror'?

How can we win 'hearts and minds' in the fight against extremism?

How do we entrench civil liberties in the UK?

Can extending pre-charge detention be justified?

Speakers:
- Sabina Frediani (Liberty Campaigns Co-ordinator)
- Craig Murray (former Ambassador in Uzbekistan who resigned over the War on Terror)
- Peter Facey (Director of Unlock Democracy)
- Gavin Hayes (Compass General Secretary)
- Lord Nasir Ahmed (first Muslim peer)
Chair: Samuel Tarry (Chair of Compass Youth)

Come and join the debate!

RSVP here http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=7463904972
or email michael.speer@gmail.com

Philipa said...

I understand that it's true that many Londoners "percieve Ken as being generally quite competent and a good manager" but Boris is right to press this issue. Well done and well done you Iain for highlighting it too.

Boris for PM!

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Londoners voted for Ken Livingstone. They knew what they were getting into. If you vote for a scoundrel with dodgy friends, that's what you get.

Lady Finchley said...

John83 - all I can say is that you must not know any Londoners. Livingstone is the most incompetent little weasel - everything he touches turns to shit. The tube is worse than ever; the bendy buses a disaster and we are paying thru the nose for the Olympics - nobody asked me if I wanted to pay for them out of my ever increasing Council Tax. On top of that he's up the ass of every homophobic, misogynist Muslim preacher or Communist dictator. I'd like to see him fry.

Chris Paul said...

PS Newmania - please exlain what is "disgusting" about my first comment. I think Iain is taking a big risk allowing such things to be said in an anonymous post. The commenter said Ken was criminal and that they were anonymous because they feared for their safety. Highly defamatory.

And Grell resigned from the LP, the GLA AND Compass immediately on losing her appeal.

Judith: I have added a second post having read Gilligan II but to be perfectly fair I don't have either the data or the inclination to attempt a refutation of anything.

That is for Ken and Lee to deal with ... if they can. I can only observe that Gilligan is free with throwaway accusations and edge. Risky.

Iain Dale said...

Chris Paul, I didnt allow your last comment through due to a potential libel.

verity said...

Does anyone know whether that Liberty outfit is tied up to Common Purpose in some way?

copydude said...

Seriously, though.

BLF is a joke and has rightly been exposed by Gilligan.

If you haven't done so yet, take a privileged mouse click to their 300,000 grant funded website.

http://www.blacklondon.org.uk/

It doesn't pop up on Google immediately since no one ever goes there.

Now. Even if I were a Gay, Black Marxist Crimean Tatar Terrorist with a Crush On Ken - nothing wrong with that, as Henry Root used to say - it would still be a real struggle to find something to read here.

Jill, London said...

It beggars belief that the Labour Party set up the Mayor of London as an elected dictator – and it’s our misfortune Livingstone was elected! [Another step in their aim to make this country a one party Socialist state?]

Livingstone exploits his influence – for his own political ends – to the proverbial hilt. I for one am outraged he keeps aligning with Socialist wannabe dictator Chavez; he’s going to use taxpayers’ money to celebrate the Communist dictator Castro, and he turns the proverbial blind eye to atrocities by fellow Commies [like his visit to China].

And – typical Lefties – there’s one rule for them, and another for the rest. For instance, how ‘just’ [a favourite Lefty word] is it that the mayor can promote himself politically, but Assembly Members aren’t allowed? [I know this for a fact because I know an Assembly Member.]

So thank you Evening Standard – and Andrew Gilligan [who was right all along about the Comrades’ ‘dodgy dossier’] – for exposing Livingstone – to the wider public - as a charlatan - and possible criminal. It is another Lefty scandal if he’s misused public funds – in a covert way [typical Lefty tactic] – in order to promote himself by having his “puppets” [to quote Boris] attack [by means of misrepresentation – and even lies] any threat to his political position.

Once again, Livingstone brings the office of mayor into disrepute – and we must boot him out in May 2008 – thus ending Livingstone’s crackpot regime, and stamping on his ‘divine right’ to rule.

Samuel Coates said...

I had to threaten legal action against the same guy from BLINK for implying ConservativeHome had said something racist, he tried to drag Roger Evans in as well.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I find your blog both entertaining and informative. However, the comments are neither. They are - by and large - stupid and juvenile and quite often - as with any mention of Ken - very offensive. Why do you allow such twaddle in your name.

Anonymous said...

Why haven't the Police been called in?

M Burgess said...

Can't get your link to work. This one does: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23425661-details/Ken%27s+aide+and+lost+millions/article.do

john83 said...

Lady Finchley: okay that's your view. The point I was making was that it was interesting that Boris by pushing this is clearly trying ape in London what Cameron is doing successfully at a national level against Brown. I just wonder whether it is going to be as successful, especially given the more commonly felt dissatisfaction with Ken is as you put it because "he's up the ass of every homophobic, misogynist Muslim preacher or Communist dictator." Time will tell how far this runs and who gets proved right in the end!

The Secret Person said...

Iain the link appears to be down. Has Ken had it removed? But M Burgess's link works. Should we be worried that will go too soon.

So how about this story on Lee Jasper living in a council house despite his huge wage.

It's all very dodgy.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing illegal about high earners living in council/housing association property and it could be argued that it is a good thing in principle if there is a social mix in them

However there should be a mechanism which allows landlords to get nearer the market rent from such people and plough the nmoney back into acquiring more properties.

redmegaphone said...

By the way of further balance, here's an excellent piece by Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote.
http://www.obv.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=916&Itemid=124


As Woolley says, "The Evening Standard's response along with Iain Dale's blog and others has been to hit hard, primarily Jasper, and Black organisation he has had involvement in, with a series of lies, half-truths and personal slurs. Millions of pounds of taxpayers money 'vanished', according to one of papers more shocking untruths. 'Corruption ', 'criminals, 'violence', and 'hustler' have been the language used throughout in a speculative way that seeks to incriminate without a factual base."

and:
"In all my years as a political activist I have never witnessed such an unscrupulous onslaught, based on the idea that, 'if we throw enough mud at him and his associates some of it should stick'. We know that if this paper is allowed to run such a vicious and relentless attack against anyone who disagrees with them or their political allies, then no one is safe, particularly if you are African, Asian, Caribbean or from another minority ethnic community."

Quite right.

Chuck Unsworth said...

@ Anon 1:30 AM

"Why do you allow such twaddle in your name"

Whose name?

So, a comment posted on a blog is in the blog owners 'name', is it?


Idiot.

The Secret Person said...

Anonymous - No Jasper's council house is not illegal, but as for social mix he seems to have a council house in a very nice area, it's not like he's living in a highrise with those he is supposed to help and represent.

Jasper acts like a politician, he should expect himself to come under scrutiny. With 13,600 on the waiting list on that borough, I reckon there are many more deserving than him. However if he embarrasses Ken enough he may soon be unemployed so he's best hanging on to it for now, just in case.

raincoaster said...

I live in a housing Co-op that encourages people from all different income groups to live here; however, we do pay different rates for the same space, depending on income. If Canada can handle the math, I'm sure people in London can, too. The injustice is not with his place of residence, but with his leeching of support money he does not require.

Pedantic legalistic point: given that this blog is hosted in the US, it is US law that applies, and that means that people making comments are legally responsible for those comments, not the person hosting the blog. You could try to make a case in the UK, but it would be an uphill, expensive battle, since the defamation/libel in question technically did not occur in the UK.

raincoaster

Anonymous said...

test

Anonymous said...

I once worked briefly for housing association in 2006 (I stayed for 4 days before realising I couldnt stomach it any more). During that time I remember the statistics showed that 27% of their tenants were black (and only 6% Asian - further analysis yielded that the vast majority of these were Muslims of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin, NOT Indians). Now black people account for 11% of London's population and yet an overwhelmingly disproportianate number live in subsidised housing. Asians are far less likely to be in subsidised housing (and its common knowledge that Indians/Sri Lankans in particular are a very sucessfull community) and herein lies part of the answer to the predicament of London's black people. Surely black 'leaders' would serve their community better by encouraging them to get off subsidised housing and enter the free market (rental and ownership). This would give black Londoners more self-worth and make them feel they have a stake in London's present and future.

Of course we know this wont happen. Black 'leaders' are far too busy lining their own pockets by hustling the race relations industry and instilling a victim mentality amongst blacks.

Lester Holloway said...

It is untrue of Iain to state that I resigned from BLINK (or more precisely The 1990 Trust, whom I was employed by). I did not resign. I left amicably after funding for my post came to an end. The Standard claimed funding for my post had been 'withdrawn', this is not the case either. Contrary to the inference in the Standard, there is no connection whatsoever between my leaving The 1990 Trust and a previous internal matter concerning the editorial direction of BLINK which was resolved satisfactually, and internally, some time before I left the organisation.

I would like to inform 'strapworld' that I have never been involved in any caucus in Brixton with Lee Jasper, although its a nice stereotype.

It is misleading of Iain to state that he threatened to sue BLINK after the website "insinuat[ed] that Tory bloggers like me, Tim Montgomerie and others were racist." There was never any claim on BLINK that Iain or Tim were personally racist. Iain's sole objection was to the inclusion of an image from his homepage on a montage of political blogs from across the political spectrum in an article about racist posts (ie. from readers of blogs).

Its worth pointing out that the offending image was 150 pixels across, and into that space was packed over ten images from various websites (including Labour and Lib Dem blogs). You really would need a microscope to see Iain's homepage amongst all the others. Over the whole montage was the words 'No To Racist Blogs.' Iain did indeed threaten to sue, claiming BLINK was implying he was personally racist. I replied stating this was totally ridiculous, but I accepted we had 'grabbed' an image from his blog without his permission and therefore took this image down, but did not change a word of the BLINK article.

So for Iain to imply here that BLINK had claimed he was a racist and had withdrawn such a claim after a legal threat is patently untrue, and very misleading for readers of hs blog.