"Dear Ken, FO&D......"

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Blogg, Mar 7, 2012.

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  1. Ahh this made me laugh.

    Ken Livingstone (or one of the idiot drones working on his campaign) very cleverly wrote to the Prime Minister demanding that legislation be passed to allow the Mayor of London to have only one job.

    Ahaha, that will show up Boris!

    Sadly not.

    Foot, shoot, self, in.

    "Dear Ken,

    Thank you for your letter of 27 February 2012 to the Prime Minister; he has asked me to reply on his behalf as the Greater London Authority Act is the responsibility of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

    I have considered your request carefully, but my department has no plans to amend legislation in this way.

    I believe the electorate are best placed to make judgments on whether elected representatives are able to pursue other interests in their spare time. Indeed, it would be quite illiberal to pass laws restricting and regulating what individuals can do in their evenings and on weekends.

    Indeed, the effect of your proposed regulations would have meant you were unable to serve as Mayor of London when you were first elected in 2000, since you were a Member of Parliament, had paid columns in The Independent and the Evening Standard, had a book contract with Victor Gollancz, and received five-figure sums from after-dinner speaking agencies. Subsequently, during the period you were Mayor, you had a continuing commercial interest in Localaction Ltd, receiving payments for television, radio and writing.

    In this context, I view your new-found interest in this issue to be wholly inconsistent and a further argument against ill-thought-out regulation. Calling for regulation on ‘full-time mayors’ whilst running a part-time company is as consistent as calling for a clampdown on tax dodging whilst using a company to avoid paying income tax.

    Obviously, outside interests must open and transparent – and the Coalition Government has taken steps through the Localism Act 2011 and the new local government Transparency Code to entrench such transparency in law. I would note that the Greater London Authority has been at the forefront of promoting the transparency agenda in the last four years, such as being the first local government body to start publishing its spending online.

    Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
    Minister of State for Housing and Local Government"
     
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  2. It all sounds very nice, but do you have a link for this? I'd love to believe it, but until its confirmed, its just another internet urban myth.
     
  3. It's in the Evening Standard now as well. Not a word in the Guardian though which tends to suggest that Guido's copy of the letter is accurate.

    Ken seems to be afflicted with some sort of senile dementia. Normally, it would take a hypocrite of Diane Abbot's proportions (and I'm not talking about the size of her arrse) to come away with something like this. All we need now is to find a few of Ken's numerous, illegitimate offspring in Eton or Oxford.
     
  4. Oh I do not know aout that. Guido does tend to have very good sources.

    Anyway, if no such letter exists (a) Messers. Livingstone and Shapps will of course waste no time in telling everybody and (b) it bloody well should
     
  5. I also like how red Ken preaches about equality this and diversity that but is the first one to descend to some sort of smear campaign against our Boris, who seems to do nothing of the sort in return.
     
  6. Dunno. Is Boris Jewish? Ken doesn't seem to be very fond of Jews.
     
  7. Getting better. New Statesman has decided that, despite being mouthpiece of Labour andtrumpet of lefties in general, can no long ignore this small problem.

    "You can’t run against Boris as the banker-bashing candidate but avoid your own income tax"

    "Livingstone's supporters justify his use of a company on the grounds that he is a "brand" – he gives speeches, writes books, presents radio programmes – and that he has employed not only his wife, with whom he jointly owns the company, Silveta Ltd, but several other aides and researchers. It is possible that he paid the (then) top rate of 40 per cent on his company-derived income in 2009/2010. But this doesn't change the fact that the £320,000 in cash (as of June 2010) sitting in his company is subject to a much lower rate in corporation tax.

    I like Livingstone. But to pretend this isn't tax avoidance is disingenuous. And his allies just don't get it. I spoke to friends and colleagues of Livingstone's who seem to be in total denial. "It's a completely logical way of arranging your tax affairs if you have multiple incomes and expenses," says a source close to the ex-mayor. I asked another ally how he could justify such tax-dodging behaviour. "Er . . . ah . . . um . . ." His voice trailed off. "It's, er, normal."

    It might be "logical", from a narrow, self-serving, money-grubbing perspective, but it is far from "normal". Not for the vast majority – the 99 per cent? – of taxpayers in this country, whether they are on PAYE, self-employed or sole traders. Normal people tend to pay income tax on their income, not corporation tax.

    The big problem for Livingstone is that he has been a vocal supporter of UK Uncut, which campaigns against not just (illegal) tax evasion but also (legal) tax avoidance – by Vodafone, Topshop and other big companies. "These rich bastards just don't get it," Livingstone wrote in 2009. "No one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in our parliament, unless they are paying their full share of tax." The former London mayor called for everyone to "pay tax at the same rate on their earnings and all other income".

    The word "hypocrite" is being whispered – and not just by the usual suspects on the right. "I think it's bad for him," says a former adviser to Livingstone who worked with him at City Hall. "People expect more from Ken." If he was a Tory or, say, Tony Blair, this wouldn't matter – but it is an axiom as old as party politics that left-wing politicians are, rightly, held to higher standards. Principles matter.

    And so, too, does perception. So what on earth was Team Ken thinking? Why did none of the former mayor's aides raise any objections to his legal yet dodgy tax arrangements? The simple truth is this: you cannot run as the populist, banker-bashing candidate, the one who backs higher taxes on "rich bastards", if you're quietly channelling hundreds of thousands of pounds of your own earnings into a company jointly owned with your wife. You just can't".

    New Statesman - Sorry, Ken — own up or accept the consequences
     
  8. I really enjoy a good "Biter, bit" story. Newt people, just weird.
     
  9. As his colleagues used to say (and probably still do): What are the worst two things about Ken Livingstone? His face.
     
  10. Ken Livingstone (or one of the idiot drones working on his campaign) very cleverly wrote to the Prime Minister demanding that legislation be passed to allow the Mayor of London to have only one job.

    This "idiot drone" - I wonder if she once had a job in television production?
     
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