11 Nov 2008

Ken launchs red green coalition for London

you could on occassions put a rizla paper between me and Ken, I am going to be supporting this....he certainly wins on Venezuela and opposition to incinerators, the bio chemical version of the financial time bomb..


Ken Livingstone today announced the establishment of a new coalition,
Progressive London, to promote progressive policies in the city.

Progressive London will hold a conference on 24 January next year
addressing the key issues to keep London at the cutting edge of the
world today, including the international financial crisis, culture and
art and community relations. Speakers representing all strands of
London life including from the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and
the Greens, trade union leaders, intellectuals such as Eric Hobsbawm,
artists, cultural practitioners, community activists and city
government experts.

Progressive London will also campaign to cancel this coming January's
above-inflation fare increase with a Fare Deal campaign. The Mayor has
axed over ten major transport projects but announced that fares would
rise above inflation for the next 8 years.

Ken Livingstone said:
'The international financial crisis means that to sustain London as
the best city in the world and protect living standards we need more
public investment in areas like transport, good housing and improving
the environment while, for example, holding down fares and promoting
the city's international openness and multicultural dynamism.

'This whole approach is challenged by the London Mayor undermining
London's prosperity and pursuing policies like cutting transport
investment and pushing up fares for ordinary Londoners while letting
Chelsea tractors clog the roads and poison the city's air.

'Progressive London will bring together all Londoners who want their
city to lead the world in the 21st century and protect their quality
of life at a time when every penny

Ken Livingstone has set out an eight point plan to help London meet
the recession, calling for a reversal of cuts to London's tourism
budget and the allocation of a further £5million a year for the next
two years to promote the visitor-economy; more support for responsible
developers in the West End including on the route of Crossrail to
encourage investment; cancelling the unnecessary fares increase;
public sector intervention in the building of affordable homes and the
retention of the policy that fifty per cent of new
homes should be affordable; pressing on with transport infrastructure
projects and reorganising the mayor's office functions dealing with
transport and business; reinstating the central role of regeneration
and economic development in the 2012 Olympics; ensuring no reduction
in London Development Agency spending; and strengthening London's
presence in the new emerging markets - above all India and China.


Notes to editors

* Progressive London conference
Speakers at the 24 January Progressive London conference at the Trades
Union Congress include Jon Cruddas MP; ; trade unionists including
Steve Hart of Unite, London Regional Secretary of Unison Linda Perks,
and the
General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Billy Hayes;
Morning Star editor John Haylett; Bonnie Greer; John Harris; Dawn
Butler MP; Green Assembly members Jenny Jones AM and Darren Johnson
AM; Labour Leader on the Assembly Len Duvall AM; Leader of the London
Assembly Liberal Democrats Mike Tuffrey AM; Karen Buck MP; former
Deputy Mayor of London Nicky Gavron AM; Professor Eric Hobsbawm;
Professor Doreen Massey; Kate Hudson, Chair of CND; Claude Moraes MEP;
Neal Lawson of Compass. Speakers Martin Hoscik (editor of the
MayorWatch website), Adam Bienkov of the ToryTroll blog, and Tom Barry
from Boriswatch.co.uk will discuss the role of the new media in
scrutinising London

* Fares
Progressive London's Fare Deal campaign says:
'This coming January Boris Johnson is planning to introduce an
above-inflation public transport fare rise. The Mayor's job is to
protect Londoners as far as possible from the effects of recession,
but instead he is planning to hit them hard with an inflation-busting
fare increase. Overall fares will rise by six per cent - but some
fares will rise by a lot more. The price of a single bus journey on
Oyster will go up by a massive eleven per cent, to £1. Yet Londoners
need not be paying these fare increases - the Mayor's policy has been
to put up fares whilst protecting drivers of gas guzzlers. He has
cancelled Ken Livingstone's planned introduction of a £25-a-day charge
on high
polluting cars driving into central London, like so-called Chelsea
Tractors, costing Londoners millions.
'The cancellation of the £25-a-day CO2 congestion charge on the most
gas guzzling cars should be reversed - raising up to £50 million a
year. If the "oil for expertise" deal with Venezuela were reintroduced
it would gain London over £20 million a year at current exchange rates.
'These measures together would raise over £60 million a year and allow
Boris Johnson's above-inflation fare increase this coming January to
be cancelled, and single bus fares kept down to 90p instead of being
raised to £1.
'At a time when everyone is affected by tougher economic times the
Mayor should not be forcing Londoners to pay an inflation-busting
fares increase.'
For more details of the Fare Deal campaign to cancel this January's
fares hike visit the Progressive London website at

* Full details of Ken Livingstone's eight point plan to help London
meet the recession:

* Policies taking London backward
After policies that made London the best city in the world, secured
the Olympics, started to radically improve transport and foster good
community relations, London is now being taken backward:
* Londoners will be hit with above-inflation fare increases in January
whilst cancelling the £25 charge on gas guzzlers like Chelsea Tractors
driving in central London.
* The policy that half of all new homes in London should be affordable
has been
abandoned, whilst no policies to address the chronic shortage of new
house building are being put forward.
* The most irresponsible bankers have been vigorously defended by City
Hall but London still does not have a recovery plan to address the
* Last week we saw support ended for virtually the entire investment
programme in new transport links, from the Croydon Tramlink extension
to extensions to the Docklands Light Rail.
* Instead of promoting London's openness and tolerance the Mayor's
administration is considering cutting funding for events celebrating
London's diverse communities and restricting their use of Trafalgar
Square. Soho Pride has seen its funding cut. Women and black people
have been eliminated from the most senior positions in London
* After being the world leader in fighting climate change, London has
lost its position as the Chair of the C40 group of major cities
challenging climate change.
* The Western Extension of the congestion charge in Chelsea,
Kensington and Westminster is under threat.
* Shelving the £25 CO2 charge on gas guzzlers has cost Londoners £50m;
Ending the 'oil for expertise' agreement with Venezuela has cost
London £20m.

1 comment:

James Caspell said...

The extent to which this can be described as a "red-green coalition" is tenuous I think, as its clearly a popular front aimed at winning back the portion of the "progressive" centre-left vote that might have voted Boris last time around.

Ken bragged during the elections about how much support he had from the City and spent 8 years slamming the RMT and breaking their picket lines. Similarly Chavez has sent the armed police in to break up striking steel workers. Neither are proven allies of the working class from a revolutionary perspective.

Both are classic reformist politicians in the sense that they aren't serious about empowering workers, but making the system slightly better for them through their benevolence. Our support for both should at all times be critical, though we should of course support them as least worst options when this is of benefit to the working class (such as in the last Mayoral elections).



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