"Red Ken" defies Blair to run for London mayor

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Tue Mar 7 23:08:50 PST 2000

At 21:37 07/03/00 -0600, you wrote:
>How "red" Ken is (and maybe even how expert he was at running the GLC) may
>be open to some question: e.g., unlike some on the Labour left such as
>Tony Benn, he supported the US/NATO war on Yugoslavia.
> --C. G. Estabrook

Ken Livingstone supported military intervention in support of the Kosovans but like many on the left he was not an enthusiastic supporter of the war that NATO waged. He would probably have been more openly critical if he was not a Labour MP. Benn was just about to retire. Livingstone has cashed in his party card for a bigger prize.

That does not mean he is not an opportunist, but his position on Kosovo was not an unthinking one.

Could subscribers to this list comment on whether Livingstone's plan to keep the London Underground state-owned but to raise bonds on the financial markets is qualitatively more socialist than a private-public partnership. Either way the interests (and interest rates) of finance capital ultimately prevail.

How would subscribers advise him to raise several billion pounds for the renovation of the London Underground?

(next question to prepare, is how to do the same for London's sewage system inherited from the last century - I think he does not have a remit for that but it is still an interesting question for would-be socialists and marxists.)

Chris Burford


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