Livingstone and Johnson: a record of unsavoury comments

Funny, pointed and relevant: this is one of the best pieces of campaign artwork I’ve seen put out by the party this year.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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25 Comments

  • Typical Met Police ineptitude.

    The alias is ‘Bozza’, not ‘Bozzer’. :-)

  • Christine Headley 16th Feb '12 - 10:48am

    If only the glasses didn’t make Brian Paddick look like John Major…..

  • Bill le Breton 16th Feb '12 - 11:00am

    Negative campaigning works best when it is not so obviously negative and when it communicates killer facts straightforwardly and concisely. Crime under X up Y, Crime under S up T. I suspect this is better at raising internal morale than changing minds.

  • I half-agree with Mark and half-agree with Bill. This is definitely the right theme – contrasting the tired antics of Ken and Boris with a new start. But Bill is right – should be shorter, punchier and wititer so it doesn’t leave a nasty feeling behind.

    I actually don’t think looking like John Major is necessarily bad in this contest. There are a lot of Londoners who would like somone competent and even a bit boring rather than the grandstanding of Boris and Ken. Even if this is not a majority, there is a sizeable group of people who are crying out for dull competence!

  • Richard Swales 16th Feb '12 - 11:37am

    Being a white, gentile male I am maybe not the best person to say this, but how important is it if a glorified railway controller like the London mayor may harbour politically incorrect or discriminatory views? (which the leaflet tries to suggest about Livingstone but doesn’t have the guts to actually say). It’s not like he is going to introduce separate Jewish carriages and buses which will get to their destinations later than the gentile ones.

  • LondonLiberal 16th Feb '12 - 2:17pm

    it’s really sad to see Brian Paddick – for whom i have a huge amount of respect – allow his name to be put to this ‘charge sheet’ which scurrilously takes Ken’s obvious jokes and other comments and twists them so hard the truth was long ago squeezed out.

    The comparison in #2 on Ken about claiming that his fight with Johnson is like that against Hitler was a joke which actually read very well in the magazine article where it appeared. As for insulting a jewish reporter, well Ken didn’t know he was jewish, and the insult was directed to him as journalist and stopping him after a drinks reception where ken said ‘don’t you have anything better to do’, to which the journo said ‘i’m only doing my job’. ken replied that that’s what the nazis said, after which the journo said that he was jewish. seriously,. if misreporting that little bit of silliness is one of the Paddick campaign’s top nine (why not ten??) reasons not to vote ken, then Brian will struggle to get even the 6% that the polls indicate he can hope for.

  • LondonLiberal 16th Feb '12 - 2:20pm

    actually, i’ve just read the rest fo the ‘charge sheet’ more properly and have to say that it is pathetic. as a lifelong libdem voter i was toying with voting for ‘not us’ – after reading the above i am now very likely indeed to vote Green or even Ken. so, that’s 6% minus one….

  • Simon Beard 16th Feb '12 - 2:21pm

    Two huge problems with this add that I think will turn off a lot of voters

    – it lists causing offence as a crime. This is something quite a lot of people think we Liberal Democrats believe, and that they don’t like us for. I don’t even know the party’s policy on causing offence, but this could create the impression that we think it is allways criminally wrong to be offensive. Personally I have a problem with that.

    – it also lists breaking election promises as a crime. I really don’t think we should be making that claim right now, or for the next 20 or 30 years, it does remind people of things! (I say this as one who entirely supported Lib Dem MPs who voted for tuition fees btw)

    Good idea, but I think both of these problems could mean it turns off more voters than it ‘turns on’ (er…?)

  • And only 5ft tall.

  • Nick (not Clegg) 16th Feb '12 - 4:45pm

    It looks ghastly and it is much too wordy. If it came through my door (which it won’t because i don’t live in London), it would go , unread, straight into the bin. I guess that is what will happen to it in a lot of households. I hope so, for Brian Paddick’s sake; having taken the trouble to read it, I find that it is really pretty nasty and probably says more about its authors than about its targets. How much lower, I wonder, can the LibDems sink?

    Btw, is it just me or does the picture of Ken Livingstone look a bit like Chris Huhne?

  • David Boothroyd 16th Feb '12 - 5:06pm

    I suspect if the Advertising Standards Authority looked at political leaflets, they’d ban this one. I’ll just take the first three items listed against Ken. The first has nothing to do with Ken himself. The second is clearly a joke. The third is factually inaccurate: the finding was overturned by the Appeal Court: judgment here.

  • The tactics seem completely wrong.

    In a contest like this there will be plenty of mud flying between the main candidates, so there’s absolutely no need for Brian Paddick to get his hands dirty. And actually both the others are pretty popular as politicians go. (How many politicians are known to the public by their first names only?)

    Obviously Paddick is in an extremely difficult position, but surely what he need to do is hammer home at every opportunity the point that in this election there is no such thing as a wasted vote, and no danger of letting in the wrong candidate by voting Lib Dem.

    Then he needs to give the voters a strong positive reason to register support for something he is saying, while giving their second vote to their preferred front runner. But he’s not saying anything here, except “end the circus” -which is completely pointless, because everyone knows the winner is going to be either Johnson or Livingstone.

  • David Blake 16th Feb '12 - 6:49pm

    If I was asked to deliver this, I’d refuse.

  • Ahh, dirty campaigning… of course it’s only dirty when it’s not a Lib Dem doing it.

    This kind of campaigning will result in the Lib Dem’s fighting their way into a corner, the third party can win anti-politics votes by slamming the big two, but its hardly going to win over any Tories or Labour supporters with such obvious smear tactics, and entering government has lost the anti-politics vote for a generation.

    You can only hope Labour voters who hate Ken enough already, also hate both him and Boris enough to overlook this leaflet.

  • Londonliberal 16th Feb '12 - 11:49pm

    Mark pack – yes an apology would have been nicer, and more politic, but I really don’t feel the lack of one was a terrible thing, as the insult was directed to the man as a journalist not as a Jewish person. And in any event, if after nearly a decade in power this is one of the top nine reasons the party can find to not vote ken, I give up on our 2012 mayoral campaign and will probably, reluctantly, vote green. Our negative campaigning has finally pushed me over the edge. Oh, and ps- it doesn’t work. If it did, we’d be the senior, not the junior partner in this damned coalition.

  • Nick (not Clegg) 17th Feb '12 - 9:04am

    Mark Pack – you did not make it clear in your original post that this piece of ordure (sorry, “artwork)” was designed for use with the media and online, not for delivery through letter boxes; do you think that that somehow mitigates or excuses its awfulness?

  • This is really terrible. If this is one of the best pieces of artwork put out by the party this year I shudder to think about what was rejected. I just looked at Brian’s website and aside from a few points about police numbers there is little in the way of policy on other major London issues like crime, housing and the environment. So what alternative is he offering exactly?

  • LondonLiberal 17th Feb '12 - 11:37am

    an excellent question, anna. mike tuffrey’s nascent mayoral website had a set of policy proposals on key areas such as housing and transport back during the candidate selection process last summer/autumn. if he could come up with ideas six months ago, how come Brian hasn’t got any policies announced, apart from some on crime six weeks before the start of the election campaign? What are his team doing, exactly?

  • Richard Swales 18th Feb '12 - 9:08am

    How is saying (or rather putting this out and hoping others will think) “Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has an upper-class middle-name and therefore I don’t need to listen to any points he makes.” different to “Barack Hussein Obama has a muslim middle-name and therefore I don’t need to listen to any points he makes.”?

  • “How is saying (or rather putting this out and hoping others will think) “Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has an upper-class middle-name and therefore I don’t need to listen to any points he makes.” different to “Barack Hussein Obama has a muslim middle-name and therefore I don’t need to listen to any points he makes.”?”

    And there was I thinking that the point was that “Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has a German middle-name and therefore I don’t need to listen to any points he makes”!

  • Richard Swales 19th Feb '12 - 8:36pm

    :-) German nobility though.

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