The Real Reason Ken Livingstone Lost

By Jim Baxter, NMA President

The recent elections in Great Britain have been touted as a reaction to a slowing economy, declining housing values, and rising jobless rates. Of particular note was the sacking of the high profile mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

Mr. Livingstone has been the darling of the new urbanists, for his aggressive surveillance and taxing policies aimed at motorists. But why bounce Mr. Livingstone out of office for economic policy issues for which he has no control over?

Could it be that the ex-mayor achieved his “ex” status for zealous anti-driver policies and the havoc they caused? Could it also be that in the rest of the country that voters have had their fill of a surveillance society that uses photo enforcement and monitoring (over 6000 ticket cameras) to bleed its citizens under the pretense of “highway safety?”

The ticket cameras are a daily plague that remind every citizen that national and local governments are determined to control and tax their every movement.

Does it not seem instructive that a normally civil and restrained population renowned for order and compliance is burning, shooting, smashing and driving over government installed ticket cameras?

The overwhelming majority of the voting public has not suffered job losses and their home values are not a paramount concern, unless they are in the process of selling. But every day they run the gauntlet of surveillance and ticket cameras, cameras that are installed for the devoted purposes of intrusive control and revenue generation.

Might this be the real reason Mr. Livingstone and his cohorts in the Labor party are now among the unemployed?

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