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Ken Livingstone's speech to the Labour Party Conference included a pretty direct pitch that Boris Johnson is to blame for the riots and that making Livingstone the Mayor would prevent riots taking place.

Livingstone said:

"Only a few years ago London was leading the world.

Yet now the image of London is a city of civil disorder and violence on our streets.

But unless we change City Hall nothing will change on our streets."

In which case how did we come to have the Tottenham riots in 1985 when Livingstone was leader of the Greater London council? Can anyone seriously believe such a crass simplistic claim?

Then Livingstone used a related line of attack over Boris Johnson's membership of the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University. Livingstone said:

"Come on Boris – what’s the moral difference between your Bullingdon vandalism as a student and the criminality of the rioters?"


True Boris has admitted to "dark deeds involving plastic cones and letter boxes." However are such student high jinks, however embarrassing and reprehensible, really morally equivalent to the riots we saw last month? Are they really equivalent to torching family businesses built up over generations laving them destroyed? Or stealing from an injured boy while pretending to help him?

Then Livingstone repeated his attack on Wandsworth Council for charging for an adventure playground -  ignoring the record of Labour councils in London.

There was a complaint that Boris had too many highly paid posts in City Hall but the post of Chief Executive is being abolished. Anyway there is no credibility in this line of attack from Livingstone given the huge salaries he paid to the clique from Socialist Action.

There was no vision in Livingstone speech. Nothing much in terms of policy. Just tired, cheap personal attacks.

22 comments for: Livingstone blames Boris for the riots

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