« | »

‘Offensive’ Conservative Ousts London Mayor

From a deeply saddened Associated Press:

Outgoing mayor of London, the Labour Party candidate Ken Livingstone, left, stands beside the capital’s new mayor Conservative Party candidate Boris Johnson as the results are announced at City Hall in London, in the early hours of Saturday, May 3, 2008.

Eccentric opposition lawmaker ousts Labour mayor of London

By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press

LONDON – A Conservative lawmaker with a knack for offensive remarks ousted the left-wing mayor of London in an upset that capped the ruling Labour Party’s worst local election showing in four decades.

Results released early Saturday showed Boris Johnson defeating Ken Livingstone in Labour’s first test at the polls since then-Prime Minister Tony Blair handed the reins last year to Gordon Brown, who has since been dogged by accusations of indecision and incompetence…

“I do hope that it does show that the Conservatives have changed into a party that can again be trusted,” Johnson said, shortly after the result was announced to cheers from raucous supporters. “Let’s get cracking tomorrow and let’s have a drink tonight.” …

Livingstone — a staunch leftist who courted Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and faced off with the U.S. Embassy for unpaid congestion charges — said the blame for his defeat must rest at his door, not Brown’s.

“I accept that responsibility and I regret that I couldn’t take you to victory,” the veteran politician said, looking pale and crestfallen. He leaves office immediately…

Uncombed and often awkward, Johnson is known both his wit and for remarks that are have offended minority communities and others.

He labeled members of the Commonwealth “piccaninnies” — a derogatory term for black people, referred to Africans as having “watermelon smiles,” and likened his party’s internal conflicts “to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing.”

Johnson’s scorn has also been directed at gay marriage, which became legal in Britain in 2005. In his book “Friends, Voters, Countrymen,” he said that if homosexuals could marry then why not “three men, as well as two men; or indeed three men and a dog.”

Ex-party leader Michael Howard ordered Johnson to visit the northern city of Liverpool in 2004 to apologize after he wrote an editorial accusing the city’s people of “wallowing” in victimhood after Liverpudlian Ken Bigley was taken hostage in Iraq and beheaded.

Johnson has cultivated a befuddled, rumpled image and was often seen clumsily pedaling his bicycle to Parliament.

His campaign billboards featured silhouettes of his iconic poses — scratching his unruly thatch of blond hair, ambling along a road with hands stuffed in wrinkled pockets, gesticulating wildly to make a debating point…

Johnson said it is likely “there will be the odd ill-chosen expression” in his future…

Yes, Mr. Johnson is “eccentric” and given to offense.

But “Red” Ken is the cat’s whiskers according to the Associated Press. (After all, he has “courted” Mr. Chavez and stood up to the Americans.)

What media bias?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, May 2nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “‘Offensive’ Conservative Ousts London Mayor”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »