Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Really round one to Ken?

Dave Hill seems to think that everything is going swimmingly for Livingstone in London, despite the best efforts of the Evening Standard and Martin Bright. His evidence for this is a poll conducted by YouGov that gives Livingstone a 3 point lead over Boris Johnson. The fact that this relied on a mere 240 voters ought to be enough to warn Hill not to place too much reliance on polls but still...
But is Livingstone really doing as well as all that? I'm not convinced. The way in which he has reacted to the allegations in Dispatches was very revealing - he has called Martin Bright an Islamophobe, a Neo-Con, a right-winger and, in a very Ken touch, "a 40-year-old virgin still living with his parents" - the last because Bright objected to Livingstone drinking whisky at ten in the morning on official business. Ken's support used to come from those who perceived him as the underdog - battling against Thatcher, or Blair, or someone. The eight years in power, and the crudely intimidating manner in which he seeks to prolong it, not to mention to the cosy cronyism that characterises City Hall, are potentially fatally damaging to this line. Livingstone as machine politicians; as a drinker tainted with a whiff of corruption - these are much harder lines to sell than 'cheeky chappy who says what he thinks'.

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