Saturday, 3 May 2008

Said Ken

An astonishing thing happened yesterday.

A politician lost his job and forgot to blame someone else.

Ken Livingstone didn't blame Gordon Brown, Westminster, the Barnett formula, London, the weather, Tony Blair, the world economy, Derby County's defence or any of the other usual scapegoats politicians suggest when things go pear-shaped with the electorate.

This is what he said: "There is absolutely nothing that I could have asked from the Labour Party that it didn't throw into this election, from Gordon Brown right the way down to the newest recruit, handing out leaflets on very wet, cold days.

"I'm sorry I couldn't get an extra few points that would take us to victory and the fault for that is solely my own. You can't be mayor for eight years and then if you don't at third term say it was somebody else's fault. I accept that responsibility and I regret that I couldn't take you to victory."

Whatever your views of his politics, Ken Livingstone was a political pioneer in some areas, whether it was talking to Sinn Fein or taking on the motoring lobby.

Yet somehow I don't think this radical idea of candour and personal responsibility in defeat is going to catch on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite. Contrast with Rhodri Morgan, who gave the impression that leading the Labour Party in Wales had nothing whatever to do with him.