As old Abe Lincoln so aptly put it, ‘You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.’
Which brings me nicely to the case of Ken Livingstone and – hallelujah! – his abject defeat in a bid to regain the mayor’s throne in London, in stark contrast to a Labour resurgence throughout Britain.
Not that I care overmuch about the gains Labour made. With geeky, lacklustre Ed Miliband in charge, it’ll always be an uphill struggle, even against the Tory Posh Boy prats. Besides, what we’ve seen is the usual indictment of a government in power, whatever its complexion, and – as any political clairvoyant will tell you – not necessarily an indication of a future General Election’s outcome.
It’s not that I’m so totally enamoured with Boris, but I believe he does warrant begrudging respect. Despite his buffoon image, he’s a consummate political operator and ‘Call-Me Dave’ Cameron must be relieved the independent-minded Johnson kept his mayoral job and isn’t seeking a shoe-in to a benign constituency as an MP, where he can mount a real threat for the Conservative leadership.
No, what pleases me is a majority of Londoners have not fallen twice for Ken’s divide-and-rule agenda or his glib, smoke-and-mirrors promises. There will be no official stamp of approval, either, for extreme Islamic factions – like firebrand cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who, according to gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, favoured ‘female genital mutilation, wife-beating, the execution of homosexuals in Islamic states, the destruction of the Jewish people, the use of suicide bombs against innocent civilians and the blaming of rape victims who do not dress with sufficient modesty.’
Let’s not forget, either, Ken’s chumminess with Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-backed mayor of Tower Hamlets, who Livingstone supported against the official Labour candidate. Or your man’s close relationship with Hugo Chavez, the tyrant of Venezuela, and, for that matter, his high regard for the IRA leadership at a time when Martin McGuiness, Gerry Adams and Co were a real and present danger to the security of Great Britain.
I could go on, because there’s more, much more…like Ken’s serial insults to Jews, the accusations of cronyism during his tenure as mayor, his introduction of the reviled Congestion Charge, the wide support he proffered to far-Left activists, his tax-avoidance skills and his close ties to the now-barred, utterly obscene Iranian Press TV.
So thank you, London, for shunning a discredited dinosaur, a left-over from the bleak days of socialist hegemony and hypocricy.
Personally, I would have voted for a skunk in drag rather than Livingstone, along with the earnest wish he vacates the political stage with the rapidity of Speedy Gonzalez forever and a day. Knowing the egotistical big mouth, that’s too far-fetched a hope.