Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sub-standards

There's cross-party support on this one.

Iain Dale, Bob Piper, John Hemming and little old me - all on the same wavelength (which has to be a first).

You may like or loathe Ken Livingstone - he's someone who tends to generate strong responses one way or the other. I think he's a shameless self-publicist, but he's also someone who genuinely has a passion for his city and I respect him for that. He also has a long record of standing up for minority groups and not always taking the path of least resistance.

What he said to the Evening Standard journalist was unwise and insulting, but it was him being doorstepped after a rather boozy evening party and he certainly has a history with the DMGT group of papers. The irony of the Daily Mail being one of the main cheerleaders for British Fascists back in the '30s can't be lost on people - hat tip to Yellow Peril for this little reminder about how pro-Europe the Mail used to be. Also worth a read is Recess Monkey, who has dragged up a little story about the Standard's reporting that led to the villification of an innocent man and death threats to his daughter. Power without responsibility...

If you don't like what he said, then he can be removed by the electorate. That's how you deal with politicians, not by using a committee of three unelected appointees. This isn't about cleaning up sleaze, it is about making sure that politicians toe a particular line. Genuine sleaze and financial impropriety should be dealt with through the courts. Stuff like this is best left to the political process.

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