Recently in Personality Cult Category

The Mayor of London's Office and Press Office appear to have been infiltrated by Personality Cultists, who are bringing the system into disrepute, with their abuse of public resources to conduct personal attacks and to make threats against their political opponents.

The Evening Standard report last Friday, contains an extraordinary threat:

Whistle-blower to sue Mayor over 'bullying' claims
Andrew Gilligan, Evening Standard

The whistleblower who exposed a key part of the City Hall scandal is to sue Ken Livingstone for libel, the Evening Standard can reveal.

The move comes after the Mayor claimed on BBC radio that Brenda Stern was sacked for bullying her staff.

Ms Stern, a former London Development Agency manager, was forced from her £70,000-a-year job after she complained about serious irregularities in a project run by a friend of the Mayor's equality adviser Lee Jasper.

A complaint of bullying was made against her but in a letter seen by the Standard, LDA chief executive Manny Lewis says the allegation was investigated and was "not founded"


Hopefully Brenda Stern will be awarded a large amount of money and, a public apology from Ken Livingstone personally.

However, more importantly, the article goes on to say:

The Mayor's office hit back, threatening that if Ms Stern sued, the GLA would investigate "other matters" apart from her stint at the LDA, including her past life and previous employment.

Firstly , if there was anything dubious in her previous employment (she is a lawyer who was seconded to the the London Development Agency), it shows GLA incompetence for not checking before employing her in the first place, which seems highly unlikely.

Therefore any such "investigation" must be an attempt to dig up information for a political smear campaign against a whistleblower, thereby abusing the staff and resources paid for by the London taxpayer.

These are the tactics of extremist cults, like the Scientologists or the Moonies etc. and is not how the public employees at City Hall should act, or appear to be acting.

This threat violates even the GLA's own Code of Ethics for Staff (.pdf)

2.3. Proper advice and support

(b) To uphold the political impartiality of the Authority's staff, not to use public
resources for political purposes
and not to act in any way which would conflict
with this Code;

The individual(s) who uttered this threat should be named and shamed, and investigated by the Standards Board for England, for bringing the Office of the Mayor of London into disrepute.

If the GLA is somehow manipulated by Livingstone and his cronies into trying to fund, or allow GLA human or technical resources to be abused in such an ""investigation", this would be a violation by a public authority of the European Convention on Human Rights Article 8, the right to privacy, and therefore against the UK Human Rights Act, and therefore against the GLA's own internal Codes of Conduct and Ethics.

If the individual members of Livingstone's inner circle carry out their threat, they should be investigated by the Police and charged with a criminal offence under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and / or with Malfeasance in Office.

Even if you are a Labour voter, it must be clear that the current Mayor of London and his clique of cronies must not be allowed back into power this coming May.

Channel 4 tv - is to broadcast a Dispatches documentary, tomorrow at 8pm Monday 21st Jan 2009

These seems set to examine some of Ken Livingstone's record of peculiar policies, broken promises and cronyism. It is also set to look at the Greater London Assembly, which should act as a check and balance on whoever occupies the office of Mayor of London, but which has failed to do so effectively.

Interestingly, the investigative reporter this time, is not from a "right wing" publication like the Evening Standard , but from a "left wing" one, the New Statesman magazine.

See the New Statesman political editor Martin Bright's blog article My questions for Ken

But in the course of my research I came across a blizzard of stories that do not show the mayor in an entirely good light. These include some already in the public domain, such as the cost of foreign trips and the "embassies" set up by the mayor abroad, details of the oil deal with Venezuela's leader, Hugo Chávez, and questions over spending by the London Development Agency. Other stories, including one concerning a campaign against Trevor Phillips, now chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, organised from within City Hall, raise concerns. There are also the curious actions of Livingstone's inner circle of advisers and their idiosyncratic politics. And, inevitably, we looked at the congestion charge.

Perhaps most importantly we examined the office of mayor itself: whether it is institutionally robust and whether any incumbent in the post would be held fully accountable.

Even before it has been transmitted, this tv programme has provoked some Sunday Newspaper articles, and taxpayer funded public relations spin from the Mayor's spin doctors, who appear to be working overtime, regarding the serious allegation that the political appointees and the other appartachiki who are paid to be politically neutral civil servants, were actively campaigning for Livingstone, including fund raising, using GLA / Mayoral offices and equipment , during working hours.

The Sunday Times:

The Observer:

If even left wing, Labour supporting, journalists are starting to question Livingstone's dubious record, will that translate into seeing him lose the May election ?

According to the BBC, it seems that a substantial number of people in Venezuela object to to the dubious scheme concocted by their autocratic President Hugo Chavez and Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, which, incredibly, is meant to subsidise Transport for London buses, at the expense of the poor people of Venezuela, through a dodgy crude oil barter deal.

Any effect on bus fares in London will be virtually zero, since the UK Treasury will still levy fuel duty and VAT, per litre of fuel, irrespective of the "cheaper" (but non-zero) price of the fuel out of the oil refinery gates via this supposed barter deal.

The effect on the people of Venezuela will be proportionately much more, due to the lost oil revenue which they could have benefited from at market rates.

International oil barter deals are notoriously corrupt, e.g. the United Nations administered "oil for medicines" deals in the period between the liberation of Kuwait and the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.

How many dodgy middlemen does Livingstone's oil barter deal involve ?

The signing ceremony in Caracas for the deal has been cancelled at the last minute, denying Ken Livingstone a media opportunity to pretend that he is some sort of world statesman.

Surely the London taxpayer should not be having to pick up the bill for Ken Livingstone's trip to see his communist friends in Cuba, where he seems to have decided to stop off en route. ?

The Guardian quotes Ken Livingstone on his 4 week suspension:

The decision to suspend Mr Livingstone, who was elected with sizeable majorities in 2000 and 2004, was taken by the Adjudication Panel, the government body which deals with serious disciplinary cases involving local government.

Its three members comprised a lawyer, a former local authority chief executive and a lay member. Last night it seemed certain that Mr Livingstone would challenge the decision in the courts.

"This decision strikes at the heart of democracy. Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law," he said. "Three members of a body that no one has ever elected should not be allowed to overturn the votes of millions of Londoners." He said he will decide next week whether to challenge the decision at the high court."

Both The Guardian and Ken Livingstone seem to have conveniently forgotten just how few people did actually bother to vote for him in the 2004 election

1st Choice votes: 685,541

2nd Choice votes: 142,839

(On papers where the 1st and 2nd choice vote were for the top two candidates, the second choice votes were not counted.)

Total votes for Ken Livingstone: 828,380

Electorate: 5,197,647

So only about 13% (1st choice) to 16% (including the 2nd choice votes) of the electorate chose to vote for him.

Even including the 2nd choice votes, to claim that "the votes of millions of Londoners" were cast in favour of Ken Livingstone is untrue

The TV media are reporting that Ken Livingstone has been "found guilty" of btinging the office of the Mayor of London into disrepute, over his stupid "concentration camp guard" insults to a Jewish reporter for the Evening Standard, and his subsequent attempts to bully and brazen his way out of the ensuing media frenzy, which certainly reflected badly on the international reputation of London.

Why he could not have apologised months ago is mystery.

We await the decision of the rather pompously named Adjudication Panel for England , to which the complaint to the Standards Board for England was referred, to see what punishment, if any they impose.

In theory they could disbarr Ken Livingstone from public office, but that would seem to be unlikely, unless, for example, they order him to apologise, and he defies them.

Who pays for Ken Livingstone's legal costs ?

Are the taxpayers of London going to be stung for the legal fees in this case ?

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Wikipedia article on the Mayor of London

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ASBO Concern - alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the abuse of NuLabour's Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

MI5 encrypted contact web form use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats
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