Friday, March 20, 2009

Condescending, undemocratic rubbish from Livingstone

I've strongly argued the case for congestion charging in Bristol but Ken Livingstone, who also favours the charge of course, has been talking trash on the issue in the city. Speaking in Bristol recently former London Mayor Ken Livingstone said that, ' would be pointless to have a referendum on congestion charging in Bristol.' He went on to justify his view using these phrases: referendum would be pointless; you couldn't get a yes vote; we need to just do it; you cant boil down the complexities; competing priorities have to be managed; we need to avoid just arguing about it; I could do exactly as I wanted to do (yes he is quoted as saying this!). See the report here.

All this is insulting, condescending and undemocratic rubbish. The statement that got to me most however was this one, 'The whole role of the political class is that they are privy to knowledge and they can think long term in a way the general public doesn't.' What a hugely arrogant and ignorant thing to say. Knowledge and long term thinking are exactly what we dont usually get from many politicians. They are often out of touch with the real world, often limited by their party line or by their ideology or their ambitions, and thinking mostly about the next election rather than solving problems for the long term. Has he not heard about the entwined environmental and economic deep water we are now in?? Ken, you're having a laugh.