Interviewed by David Selves at the London Grill Club the former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone was grilled on questions ranging from why the Labour Party lost the election, if he supported Jeremy Corbyn, what should be done to counter terrorism and the use of CCTV generally, the UN having a standing army and becoming world policeman, housing, bendy buses, his legacy and the European referendum.
He said he had no trouble with CCTV or being seen on it himself but blamed the Americans and the Saudis for the terrorist problems of the world and did not believe in military action do deal with it. Perhaps one of the most surprising admissions was that he favoured lower income tax rates saying that people like Google and Starbucks should be taxed to make up the shortfall. He supported the concept of the United Nations passing international law on national sovereignty and enforcing it with UN forces though not necessarily having a standing army but not having nuclear weapons to do so.
Jeremy Corbyn was the ideal leader for the Labour Party and he felt that the Party had not been true enough to its core values at the last election which was why it lost. It had deserted working glass people. He had identified enough brownfield housing sites in London to build 300,000 homes that people could afford and said overseas purchasers of houses in London should be charged a levy. He saw is legacy in London as being free travel for pensioners and on the broader stage his actions on cleaner air.
Perhaps his most surprising comments were saved for the final question. Europe. He hadn’t decided which way he vote and said he’d make his mind up on whether in or out was better for the British economy. Was he serious? If so was he serious that he hadn’t changed since the days of Red Ken in the 1970s? But as David pointed out the original “Red” was Ted Knight from Lambeth, where Ken was born. He never missed an opportunity for take a pop at Margaret Thatcher of Tony Blair, Thatcher getting more strikes!