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Ken Livingstone's cronies involved in Chavez's oil for propaganda programme

By Aleksander Boyd

London 16.08.06 | Phil Gunson from The Miami Herald recently reported on a memo that Venezuelan Ambassador to the UK Alfredo Toro Hardy had sent to Rafael Ramirez, Minister of Energy and Director of Petroleos de Venezuela. Toro Hardy's purpose was to keep Ramirez up to speed with regards to developing conversations between his office and Greater London Authority staff, geared at implementing an oil-for-propaganda programme, similar to the one broke with Bill Delahunt and Joe Kennedy's Citizens Energy Corporation, as announced by Hugo Chavez in his last visit to this city.

Interestingly, the memo reveals the names of those involved, on behalf of the Greater London Authority, in the process of bringing the programme to life: Redmond O'Neill, John Ross, Simon Fletcher, Neale Coleman, Peter Hendy and Mike Weston. The choice of local operators is not surprising, after all London's Mayor Ken Livingstone is the director of the Venezuela Information Centre, a propaganda outlet manned by some of his staff at City Hall's at the expense of London's taxpayers. A LexisNexis search of the names returns a great deal of information. Expectedly all seem to come from the radical fringes of the Labour Party. The Guardian has a rather useful description:

Four people - John Ross, chief-of-staff Simon Fletcher, public affairs director Redmond O'Neill and best-value and partnership director Neale Coleman - will be the spine of the administration. All are indispensable and utterly loyal to Livingstone. Others will stand or fall depending on how close they are to these key players...

...What is more interesting is the journey that the four, like Livingstone, have made to mainstream acceptability. In the early 90s, Fletcher, Ross and O'Neill were all involved in the Trotskyite splinter group Socialist Action. Among Ross's more colourful views at the time was a belief that union members should be allowed to form militia units. "This is the only peaceful road to socialism. The ruling class must know that they will be killed if they do not allow a takeover by the workers. If we aren't armed there will be a bloodbath."

As readers of this site will remember Ken Livingstone seems to think that I am a criminal, opinion which, according to his lawyers, he reached after having read some posts of mine where I argued that violence was the only solution to deal with a criminal state that keeps trampling upon the rights of its citizens. Some of his collaborators apparently held the same view, not vis-a-vis an illegitimate government but towards the "ruling class." Could I interpret this as Ken Livingstone being a supporter of terrorism, given his lasting association with a person who thinks that the ruling class should be killed?

And what can be said of Livingstone's and his henchmen's association with Hugo Chavez? Should one suppose that their involvement with the Venezuelan regime is on a pro bono basis or are they to become fat cats at the detriment of the Venezuelan people?

My issue with Livingstone is far from over. The more I research him, his cronies, his advocacy in favour of criminal organizations, his associations with dictators that demonstrably support terrorism and Islamic fundamentalists, the clearer the view that sooner or later he will have to face the music. Londoners however should raise these issues with the Standards Board for England and start asking some pertinent questions about the Chavez-Livingstone marriage of convenience, whose image is to be plastered all over London's fleet of buses, as Toro Hardy's memo (see below) suggested. If only the "ruling class" had a quarter of the drive to fight for what's right that the radical Left has to defend their flawed conception of the world...

Visit the following links to read Toro Hardy's memo:

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