Skip to content

December 26, 2010

The hypocrisy of Val Shawcross.

It was with some fanfare that Val Shawcross was named Ken Livingstone’s running mate a few weeks ago. Ken said that she would bring a “new perspective and a fresh approach”, benefitting from her experience as chair of the London Assembly’s transport committee. On first impressions, it seemed a clever appointment. She’s a pretty plain – dull, even – political administrator, whose job would be to focus on detail and act as an antidote to Boris’ perceived more expansive, big-picture style. As an example, on her website, she focuses on the recent tube strikes that have “ruined” many Londoners’ commutes. She calls on Boris to “get a grip” (a statement deserving of such ridicule that I’ll discuss it in a separate post) and seems keen that the strikes should stop as soon as possible.

The impression she gives is that she’s anti-strikes. That would certainly have to be her position were she to become deputy mayor. With that in mind, it’d be pretty appalling – and highly embarrassing – if she were to be photographed on an RMT and TSSA picket-line, not just backing the strikes, but actively encouraging them…

Yep, that’s her on the left, just last week. As millions of Londoners have been disrupted, as businesses have had to close and shops have seen their custom collapse at a critical period of the year, this joke of a woman – someone who claims to fight for Londoners’ interests – has been actively encouraging the unions to strike. How can she possibly claim that she represents Londoners when she is part of your average Londoner’s biggest problem? And how can she possibly call on Boris to sort the strikes out when she is backing those very strikes?

She said a few weeks ago that “Londoners need an administration in City Hall which is on their side and will always stand up for them”. She’s absolutely right, but if she thinks that that a strike-supporting administration is what London needs, she’s utterly deluded. The truth is that this is a case of crude politicking. The strikes suit Ken, and the more frequently they occur the happier he and Val will be – regardless of the problems they cause the people of London.

Comments are closed.