The odour lingers

Remind me: which of the local elections in the late 1960s, when it went pear-shaped for Labour, was blamed on some utterance by Richard Crossman? Dick Crossman, being an honourable type (much of the time) took the blame. All those defeated candidates, who felt they had been crapped on, were not forgiving.

Cue Brutus:

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Julius Caesar, Act IV, scene ii

Suddenly, thanks to Ken Livingstone (and if one takes on trust the “findings” of the Sunday punditocracy), Sadiq Khan’s remarkably-successful campaign for the London Mayoralty, Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

If it goes sour overnight next Thursday (indeed, if the count becomes a damn close-run thing which the Duke of Wellington didn’t actually say), guess who will be held to blame. And quite deservedly.

For some public figures:

Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come.

For his brief moment, Tony Blair was one such. Blair was wrong on many things, but in the first Mayoralty election in 2000, he had Ken bang-to-rights.

Others enter with more than a whiff of brimstone.

Such has been, for a long political life, Ken Livingstone. He will not be missed.

 

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Filed under History, Ken Livingstone, Labour Party, London, politics

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