Skip to comments.Left-wing allies oil Londonís wheels ("Red" Ken Livingstone & Hugo Chavez)
Posted on 02/20/2007 11:39:13 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Half-price bus and tram passes for Londoners on income support are to be financed by an oil deal with a Latin American socialist state.
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, signed a deal with a Venezuelan oil company yesterday for cheap fuel for the capitals 8,000 buses. In return, his officials will advise on street cleaning and other services.
Mr Livingstone said that he would use the discount, worth £16 million a year, to give 250,000 people Oyster smart-cards allowing half-price journeys from July.
The real value of the deal for the Mayor is the symbolic link it establishes with the regime of Hugo Chávez, Venezuelas socialist president and arch-critic of US foreign policy. Mr Chávez, who is a pin-up for supporters of left-wing radical groups around the world, this month described George Bush as a war criminal, and likened him to Adolf Hitler.
Economists and opposition parties questioned why a country where 38 per cent of the population lives in poverty should be giving aid to one of the worlds richest cities.
Tony Travers, director of the London research centre at the London School of Economics, said: It seems very odd for London to accept aid from a relatively poor country. This seems to be part of Kens continuing infatuation with Latin American leftists, which is a hangover from the idolisation of Castro in the 1960s and 1970s.
This is classic Livingstone political showmanship: its designed to irritate his opponents and at the same time persuade his rainbow coalition of supporters that hes still really one of them.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
And to think the NFL will be playing a game in London....