According to a report in the Economic Times (of India) Ken Livingstone has pledged to reopen London’s embassies in that country, as well as in China and Venezuela.
“London has a large diaspora of Indian origin, which has a decisive vote in several boroughs,” the paper noted by way of explanation, and is “the preferred destination of many Indian companies seeking to open offices in Europe.”
India is a democratic country with strong ties to this country, so apart from the expense, there’s little controversy there. But does London really need outposts in the socialist utopias dictatorships of China and Venezuela? Isn’t international trade, in any event, the business of central government?
But foreign ’embasies’ makes sense for a local politician who suffers delusions of being an international statesman. Only recently he declared his intention of treating London like an independent socialist republic if he was given back the reigns of City Hall. One might charitably think he was joking, but his actions while in office suggest he’s deadly serious.
We do not need a politician as craven as Livingstone or as cretinous as Galloway stomping around on the international stage. Galloway’s antics are well known, but perhaps people need reminding about Ken’s last diplomatic mission to China. He stated that Beijing and London a have many similarities, comparing the poll tax riots in Trafalgar Square to the massacre in Tienanmen Square in 1989. The Red Cross estimates that more than two-and-a-half thousand people died in Tienanmen Square. The Chinese army used tanks on unarmed civilians. No tanks were used in London. No one died.
Like Galloway, Livingstone has a fondness for dictators. After all, they reflect his management style, but with the benefit of automatic weapons. Quite honestly why London needs an embassy in Hugo Chavez’s capital is a mystery. Perhaps he has his eyes on a first class exchange programme in which members of Socialist Action can run around with pistols, while Chavistas can learn to set up attack blogs.
I can see the benefit for Ken and Hugo’s thugs, but not for Londoners, or the city’s coffers.