April 2008 Archives

The Imperial Romans, around the time of Emperor Nero and later, were mad keen on Ben Hur style chariot racing in the Circus Maximus. The four racing stables became established as the four factiones i.e. factions - the Red, the White, the Blue and the Green. Both the charioteers and their fanatical mobs of supporters, would display these colours at these sporting / betting / rioting events, and this also spilled into political elections as well.

Given the dyestuffs available to them, the only other major colour available was the expensive Tyrolean Purple, which was reserved for the Senate (purple edges to white togas) and the Emperor himself who could afford a whole purple toga.

What is surprising about this election for Mayor of London and for the Greater London Assembly is the breakdown of traditional British political party Colour Schemes / Identities.

The number of voters who choose their candidates because of their Colour Schemes is probably going to be significant in a close race.

It looks as if the spin doctors and image consultants have been trying to manipulate the public image of, and in some cases, to totally hide, the party political machines behind most of the candidates.

This is evident on the Candidates' websites and in the official London Elects booklet which is being delivered to every household.

  • Richard Barnbrook of the BNP has a Red, White and Mauve colour scheme. - not quite the Union Jack, is it ?

  • Lindsey German of the Left List, has a Light Green and Red and Black and White and Red logos - not quite the Red Flag, is it ?

  • Boris Johnson has Conservative Blue logos, but these are more Cambridge Light Blue rather than Oxford Dark Blue, and then there is the peculiar Green "oak tree" / squiggle logo. However, Boris's website graphics are Blue, Green, Orange and Red.

  • Siân Berry of the Green party, probably has deviated least from her traditional party colours - she does, have Green and White and black graphics, although some of her downloadable posters are much more multi-coloured.

  • Brian Paddick of the Liberal Democrats strted off with browns and oranges, but now has lots of Blue backgrounds on his website, and his London Elects booklet section is Purple, Yellow, Black, White and Orange, but predominantly Purple and Yellow. - not the traditional Yellow / Orange that the Liberal Democrats are associated with.

  • Gerard Batten of the UK Independence Party, has stuck to his party's traditional colours of Purple and Yellow, which seem to have been confusingly borrowed by other candidates.

  • Alan Craig of the Christian Choice (Or is it the Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party ?) uses a couple of shades of Purple with Light Blue.

  • Matt O'Connor of the English Democrats had White and Red and Black, and so was, like UKIP, keeping to the traditional colours associated with his small party.


    N.B. Matt O'Connor has stepped down as a Mayoral Candidate (and also from the London wide Party List), blaming lack of money and party organisation. The English Democrats press release hints at O'Connor's problem with alcohol.


    Why should anybody vote for these incompetents ?

  • Winston McKenzie, for some reason, does not appear in the London Elects booklet. His graphics rich, but user unfriendly Flash based website is mostly White, with Black and Bronze, Khaki and Silver.

  • Ken Livingstone is the official Labour Party candidate, but he seems to be deliberately obscuring this as much as possible. If you look at the small print and zoom in on his website, you may spot a Labour Red Rose and the words Labour Party on the Donations page, but there is not a single mention of Labour in his section on the London Elects booklet.

    You just have to "know" that his campaign HQ at 39 Victoria Street houses the Labour Party. It also houses, interestingly, Aegis Defence Services Ltd the largest UK Private Military Contractor company supplying mercenaries for security and intelligence snooping work in Iraq, something which is very unlikely to be just a coincidence.

    Ken's primary colour scheme seems to be Purple and White, but there are web site pages in Light Blue, Dark Blue, Green, Brown, and an almost exact Liberal Democrat Orange / Yellow.

    What there is no sign of at all is traditional Labour Party / Socialist Red.

    Watching Ken Livingstone's increasingly grumpy demeanour on TV, and his focus on negative ad hominem attacks on his opponents , together with the Imperial Roman Purple and White colour scheme which he has adopted, evokes the image of Kenneth Williams as Julius Caesar in Carry on Cleo uttering :

    "Infamy ! Infamy ! They've all got it in for me !"

    Kenneth_Williams_Infamy_Infamy_Theyve_All_Got_It_In_For_Me.jpg

    [picture source - Daily Mail]


Despite Ken Livingstone's campaign website and literature trying to gloss over and hide his links with the deeply unpopular New Labour regime (no "red" imagery anywhere), The Guardian reports:

Livingstone's unlikely secret weapons: Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell

Matthew Taylor and Patrick Wintour
The Guardian,
Thursday April 24 2008

Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell have both been giving advice to the campaign working for London mayor Ken Livingstone's re-election, the Guardian can reveal.

The former prime minister and his media strategist had been among Livingstone's most trenchant critics in the past, and he had derided them for being the architects of the New Labour project. However, with the race against the Tory candidate Boris Johnson on a knife-edge, Livingstone's team has sought their expertise, and also the advice of Philip Gould, New Labour's pollster and focus group adviser.

None of them is formally involved in the campaign,

Presumably, because they know that they are despised by many people, across the whole of the political spectrum.

but Tessa Jowell, the Olympics minister brought in by Downing Street to coordinate the effort to secure Livingstone's third term, yesterday described them as "the best in the business".

Blair has privately advised the team the election is very winnable. Despite the rancour that once existed between them, he describes Livingstone as a man who can transcend traditional politics in a way that few others can. But he says he must align his experience with a vision of how he and Londoners will together continue to create the greatest city in the world.

Blair warns that Livingstone cannot win solely on the basis of his record,

Livingstone's record of broken election promises, his mockery of public consultation processes, and his besmirching of the Office of Mayor of London with his refusals to apologise for his arrogant insults, and his incompetent or corrupt political appointees, have even enraged many of his former supporters, let alone the vast majority of the electorate who did not vote for him the last time.

and must be unambiguous that he will continue to attract private sector investment to the capital.

What sort of "private sector investment" has Livingstone actually attracted so far - foreign dictators, corrupt Russian oligarchs, corrupt Indian billionaires, corrupt Chinese communists, property speculators and money launderers ?

[...]

Labour says it is focusing heavily on the issue of second-preferences. It argues that many Liberal Democrat and Green supporters do not understand that they will be throwing away their second preference if they do not vote for Livingstone, since it is certain that only he and Johnson will be in the final round of counting

We wonder how many of the people "on the left", who claim to be opposed to the war in Iraq etc. will be fooled into giving their second preference votes to Livingstone, the favoured candidate of the architects of the repressive New Labour government, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and Philip Gould ?

The London Mayoral Election needs a bit of humour, so we were pleased to be informed about this little Flash animation "opinion poll" which allows you to "flush" an image of either Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick or Sian Berry (there are 6 other candidates who are not included in this poll), down the toilet:

sapsap_300.jpg

Your Chance to Vote on London's BIGGEST NIGHT MAYOR With just 10 days to go - Spendapennysendapenny.com has launched an unofficial poll where you can vote on your least favourite candidate.

The poll is open to all ages and so far Ken is topping our flushometer having been chased by our animated hoodies and routemasters and ending up down the loo over 300 times!

This is a new unofficial poll created by frustrated Londoners for frustrated Londoners.

Hopefully it will add a fun element to the elections but also provide a serious indicator at the same time.

Spendapennysendapenny.com gives the general public the opportunity to vent their frustrations and flush their least favourite candidate down the loo.

Voters spend their virtual penny, (they're free) and voice their views.
click on the coin to go straight through to our "polling booth".

Voters are rewarded with a number of animated scenarios of candidates being chased by hoodies, routemasters, congestion signs and other topical objects, before ending up down the loo.

The pennies are free so flush away*

We are a non affiliated, non political organization set up by the people for the people.

[...]

The New Statesman left wing magazine has created a Fantasy Mayor online quiz with 14 categories of Questions with a (limited) choice of 4 Quotations by some of the leading Candidates. (Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Green and Labour).

This Quiz is not as sophisticated as the VoteMatch London one, (It could have done with some more categories, e.g. the Candidates positions on London as a Snooping / Surveillance society), but it is still worth a few minutes of your time, if you are still dithering about who to vote for.

umlondonlogo.png

The VoteMatch London online political compass quiz is worth a few minutes of your time.

The Quiz asks you 25 Questions, which you can agree or disagree or have no opinion on. You can further weight th results by ticking which of the Questions is important to you (i.e. those which you feel strongly about, one way or the other) and also which of the 10 Mayoral Candidates you want to have your answers compared with.

The end result is a ranking of how closely your views seem to correspond with those of the Mayoral Candidates.

The results may or may not be accurate, but they might surprise you,

The site also has links to all the official candidates web pages etc.

The NO2ID Campaign organised Mayoral hustings meeting yesterday 8th April 2008 at the Friends Meeting House opposite Euston Station was interesting.

Candidates_8Apr08_NO2ID_London_Mayoral_hustings_300.jpg

From left to right:

Jenny Jones (Green - deputising for Siân Berry), Lyndsey German (Left List / Respect), Boris Johnson (Conservative) NO2ID moderator Christina Zaba - brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat), Gerard Batten (UK Independence Party).

The arrogant authoritarian incumbent Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, refused to turn up to this hustings meeting. Neither did he send a deputy, nor did he or his spin doctors dare to send any Answers to the 4 Questions which NO2ID had sent to each of th invited Candidates beforehand.

His malign "database state" influence was represented by a Cardboard Cut Out Ken, to much amusement from the audience.

Cardboard_Ken_08Apr08_NO2ID_London_Mayoral_husting_300.jpg

Boris Johnson said that this absence confirmed Ken's identity as a chicken.

The cross party NO2ID campaign has organised a mayoral election hustings meeting next week on Tuesday 8th Aprill 2008, which will give Londoners and the media a chance to question some (or perhaps all) of the 10 candidates on their attitudes and policies towards the massive "database state surveillance" of residents and visitors to London by the Central Government, public sector, private companies and even by private individuals.


Tue, 8th Apr 2008 — London Mayoral Hustings

NO2ID is holding hustings among the candidates for Mayor of London to discover their positions on

THE DATABASE STATE

As well as housing Whitehall, London has many information and identity management systems of its own. How do candidates feel about the civil liberties and privacy implications of, among other things, the Oyster Card, congestion charging, telephone parking? Would they support or oppose national ID schemes as mayor? What is their attitude to the database state?

Invitations are being issued to every party with London representation at Westminster, in Strasbourg or in the GLA. Chaired by Christina Zaba.

Prospective candidates Gerard Batten (UKIP), Siân Berry (Green), Lindsey German (Respect / The Left List), Boris Johnson (Conservative), and Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat) have confirmed they will be attending.

Time: Doors open 6:30pm, Tuesday 8th April for a prompt 7:00pm start.

Place: Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ (map)

Press enquiries to: press@no2id.net

Spy Blog has a few Questions for the Candidates regarding the surveillance and snooping infrastructure which the Mayor of London has a hand in, especially through Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police Service and the massive "security" budget for the London Olympic Games.

About this blog

This website comments on the policies of the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority and actually pre-dates even the referendum which took place before these public bodies were set up.

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Do not confuse that lot with the ancient office of the Lord Mayor of London either.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers

There are many good people trapped in the bureaucracies which run London. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies then you need be very careful these days. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g.

Links

Wikipedia article on the Mayor of London

Wikipedia article on the London Assembly

The Evening Standard newspaper - fulfills its role by scrutinising the Mayor and the GLA etc. rather more effectively than the politicians and bureaucrats do.

Mayor of London press releases

London Assembly press releases

MayorWatch - commercial news site about the Mayor of London etc.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID - opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to NuLabour's plans for Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

asboconcern logo
ASBO Concern - alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the abuse of NuLabour's Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

MI5 encrypted contact web form use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats
Encrypted MI5 web response form NuLabour's "Climate of Fear" is not the same as the real fight against terror.

gamesmonitor_logo_150.gif Games Monitor - "Games Monitor is a network of people raising awareness about issues within the London Olympic development processes. We want to highlight the local, London and international implications of the Olympic industry. We seek to deconstruct the 'fantastic' hype of Olympic boosterism and the eager complicity of the 'urban elites' in politics, business, the media, sport, academia and local institutional 'community stakeholders'. "

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area resticting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill Act

Ken Livingstone Links

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