Friday, November 02, 2007

Cometh the hour...

I've argued before that Ken Livingstone is a problematic figure. On the one hand, he is a fantastic example of what an audacious elected representative can do - I'd almost argue that he has developed a proven prescription that could end the decline of representative government.

But on the other hand, he is capable of adopting positions that are so disgraceful that he is almost impossible to vote for.

Good Ken / Bad Ken. Today, on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme (Real Audio File), Good Ken came to the fore. As every other politician either scuttled for cover, equivocated, or jumped upon a negativist bandwagon, Ken stood tall and said what any responsible political leader needed to say. And he said it with conviction.
"Police officers operated against suicide bombers in conditions of extreme danger - and subject to strains - both of risk to themselves and of their desire to safeguard Londoners lives, that no one not in their position can understand.

Health and safety legislation was not drawn up for such extreme situations.

This verdict makes the struggle to defend Londoners against terrorism more difficult. The shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes was a tragedy but the safety of all Londoners must not be undermined in a struggle against terrorism that goes on every day."

I expect that the Tories and the Lib Dems will get their scalp in the end though. The journalistic profession doesn't even have a place in it's gearbox that allows it to emote responsibly.

5 comments:

Igor Belanov said...

It was a complete cock-up. Are we merely supposed to see de Menezes as 'collateral damage'? 'Health and Safety' regulations are very important in cases like this so innocent people aren't caught-up in shoot outs in the name of 'security'.

Count James d'Estaing said...

But on the other hand, he is capable of adopting positions that are so disgraceful that he is almost impossible to vote for.

Never a truer word was written.

Plus the newts.

fair_deal said...

Enoch Powell summed it up best in the famous Hola camp speech. Responsibility has to be taken. Blair should resign (regardless of his success or favours owed for the changes on diversity he has pushed through in the Met.)

"The safety of all Londoners" is not advanced by an organisation capable of "a catastrophic series of errors" during one of its greatest tests.

"Ken stood tall and said what any responsible political leader needed to say"

Other senior Labour politicians have been backing Sir Ian Blair and others have outlined problems for policing operations so how is Ken standing especially tall?

Paulie said...

Phil.

Two things:

1. "Other senior Labour politicians have been backing Sir Ian Blair and others have outlined problems for policing operations"

Well - not with the conviction or the open handedness. Ever seen the board of a football team give their full support to a manager during a poor run of form? If Blair resigns, Ken will spit. Jacqui Smith is unlikely to give it a second thought. For most 'supportive' politicians, there are already evident upsides to Blair's (sadly inevitable) resignation.

2. This is why I kept calling you Phil when we met.

http://fairdealphil.blogspot.com/

The name stuck in my mind, that's all. I now see the lack of any other similarities ;-)

fair_deal said...

Any 'extra' oomph of Ken's part over Jacqui is its his patch but only part of hers. However, Ken's position strong or weak is the lesser issue in it all. Police systematically messed up and an innocent person was gunned down.

No worries on the 'phil' you had it by the end of the night.

"I now see the lack of any other similarities ;-)"

BTW while highlighting Powell's speech I am not a fan just delivered the speech which best summed up the need for someone to take corporate responsibility.