Recently in Foot in Mouth Category

The GLA website has published, the result of the investigation into the complaint about Ken Livingstone's remarks about the Reuben brothers property developers.

This has been published even before the official Standards Board for England has published it on their website.

The report by the GLA’s Monitoring Officer for investigation. Peter Keith-Lucas exonerates Ken Livingstone over the compaints about his original remarks on March 22nd, on the dubious grounds that Livingstone "genuinely believed" that David Reuben and Samuel Reuben were somehow Iranian and not Jewish,

Just how common are the names "David" and "Samuel" in Iran ?

Livingstone's previous run in with the Standards Board for England resulted in much wailing and gnashing of teeth and speeches and press releases denouncing the "undemocratic" Standards Board for England and the Adjudication Panel, which ruled against Livingstone, resulting in his 1 month's suspension as Mayor of London, a decision which is still awaiting a High Court appeal. Livingstone and his spin doctors wittered on about how an "elected politician" should only be answerable to the electorate, and to nobody else etc.

However, now that the Standards Board for England system of hearing complaints under the Code of Conduct which regulates the Office of Mayor of London, has ruled in favour of Ken Livingstone, there seems to be no word of criticism from him about them.. Livingstone has not rushed off to the High Court to seek a judicial review of this decision, "on pronciple", has he ?

Surely that makes him a hypocrite ?

It appears that Ken Livingstone's "foot in mouth" tendancies have resulted in yet another court case, this time for defamation:

Chavez visit to London causes lawsuit against Ken Livingstone By Aleksander Boyd

London 07.06.06 | On May 17th 2006 Ken Livingstone, Major of London, stated in front of London's Assemblywomen, Assemblymen and press present at a major's question time at City Hall "Aleksander Boyd is a supporter of terrorism against Venezuelan democracy" (sic). Livingstone saw fitting to make such spurious, unsubstantiated and wild accusation in the aftermath of Hugo Chavez's visit to London. As this was not the first time that apologists of the Venezuelan caudillo uttered such remarks against me I considered to issue legal proceedings, which have been initiated today.

I just got back from the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division where I presented a claim with the number HQ06X01639. In it I claim a) an injuction to prevent Ken Livingstone from further tarnishing my reputation by making defamatory remarks against me and b) £100.000 in damages.

[...]

Accusing someone of being a "supporter of terrorism", anywhere in the world, is now a very serious matter, as, if true, it could lead to arrest and prosecution under the controversial new Terrorism Act 2006 section 1 Encouragement of terrorism, which can lead to 7 years in prison and / or or a fine.

For the Mayor of London, speaking in his official capacity, to do so, is even more scandalous.

When is the High Court appeal against Livingstone's suspension as Mayor going to be heard ?

[thanks to www.redken.net]

Ken Livingstone has no right to pretend to represent the views of Londoners abroad, especially on his pointless trip to China.

His wretched comparison of the Tiananmen Square massacre to the Poll Tax riot in Trafalgar Square as reported in The Daily Telegraph shows his sickening authoritarian communist attitude to human rights.

What did he feel about being at the site of the Tiananmen Square massacre? he was asked.

After commenting on the square's size and scale, he went on to make the comparison with Trafalgar Square.

When it was pointed out that the Metropolitan Police had not shot or killed anyone during the poll tax riot in London in March 1990, he suggested the comparison should be put into a longer context.

"If you go back to some of the early instances you will find many cases where innocent protesters were hacked to pieces with sabres - the Peterloo massacre, for example. There is no such thing as one country with a perfect record." In the Peterloo Massacre, the local militia waded into a crowd of radicals campaigning for universal suffrage on St Peter's Field, Manchester, in 1819, killing 11 and injuring 400.

On Tiananmen Square, estimates of the numbers of those killed by troops and tanks range up to 3,000, the figure given out by the Chinese Red Cross immediately afterwards.

Where are the decent policy announcements from Ken Livingstone ? Instead of anything that actually makes life better for the majority of Londoners, without wasting our money, all we seem to get from hm is a weekly "foot in mouth" utterance, where he manages to insult someone or other, for no good reason, making himself look ridiculous, and besmirching the international reputation of London.

The Guardian reports:

Livingstone under fire for likening US ambassador to crook

Hugh Muir
Tuesday March 28, 2006
The Guardian

Ken Livingstone's colourful vocabulary landed him in more hot water yesterday when he likened the US ambassador in London to a "chiselling little crook".

The mayor of London criticised Robert Tuttle while bemoaning the US embassy's insistence that its diplomatic staff should not pay the congestion charge because they view it as a tax. Embassies are exempt from all local tax under the 1961 Vienna convention.

The London Congestion Charge is obviously a tax.

Mr Livingstone told ITV's London Today: "It would actually be quite nice if the American ambassador in Britain could pay the charge that everybody else is paying and not actually try and skive out of it like some chiselling little crook."

How do personal insults, on television, against the US Ambassador, help to make London a better place to live ?

He blamed Mr Tuttle for the impasse. "Since this new ambassador took over in July they have not paid," he said. "When British troops are putting their lives on the line for American foreign policy, it would be quite nice if they paid the congestion charge."

Who believes that Ken Livingstone genuinely supports our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan etc ?

Is he willing to to exempt them from paying the London Congestion Charge tax when they get home ?

Will he be using his vast entertainment budget to fete and celbrate British war veterans ?

It is reported that US embassy staff are ignoring about 300 penalties. Another 55 embassies are also refusing to pay.

Is Ken Livingstone going to personally insult all 55 Ambassadors and their countries ?

Rick Roberts, a US embassy spokesman, said the embassy had decided not to pay the charge for official vehicles on July 1, before Mr Tuttle arrived in Britain, and that he had not been involved in the decision. He declined to discuss the mayor's comments: "The mayor has a tendency to hyperbole. I'm not going to dignify that."

The Guardian quotes Ken Livingstone on his 4 week suspension:


The decision to suspend Mr Livingstone, who was elected with sizeable majorities in 2000 and 2004, was taken by the Adjudication Panel, the government body which deals with serious disciplinary cases involving local government.

Its three members comprised a lawyer, a former local authority chief executive and a lay member. Last night it seemed certain that Mr Livingstone would challenge the decision in the courts.

"This decision strikes at the heart of democracy. Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law," he said. "Three members of a body that no one has ever elected should not be allowed to overturn the votes of millions of Londoners." He said he will decide next week whether to challenge the decision at the high court."

Both The Guardian and Ken Livingstone seem to have conveniently forgotten just how few people did actually bother to vote for him in the 2004 election

1st Choice votes: 685,541

2nd Choice votes: 142,839

(On papers where the 1st and 2nd choice vote were for the top two candidates, the second choice votes were not counted.)

Total votes for Ken Livingstone: 828,380

Electorate: 5,197,647

So only about 13% (1st choice) to 16% (including the 2nd choice votes) of the electorate chose to vote for him.

Even including the 2nd choice votes, to claim that "the votes of millions of Londoners" were cast in favour of Ken Livingstone is untrue

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