09 November 2006

Some oil - but no cigar

It is in a very subdued tone (but with some easily discernible glee) that the Guardian reports on the oil acquisition pilgrimage of Ken Livingstone to Hugo Chavez and the snub experienced by Red Ken.

It's more like Old Ken Livingstone, daring tribune of the left, than New Ken, elected mayor of a global hub city, to be wrong-footed in mid-manoeuvre. But here was new, responsible Mayor Ken making a populist gesture of solidarity with Venezuela by buying some of its oil on the cheap, only to have his scheduled meeting with President Hugo Chavez cancelled this week because the prez was too busy electioneering. In fact, campaign rivals had used the deal to embarrass Chavez. London may have poor citizens deserving of cheap fuel, but is by no stretch a poor city. The last thing he wanted was photos.
To console Livingstone (or to enrage him further, who knows), Michael White, the author of this article, recounts snubs experienced by much grander political figures. Which is neither here nor there.

But some people, who like the Red Ken even less than I do, have more to say about the whole brownnosing trip of his:
Disgust is too kind a term to describe what most Venezuelans think about parasites such as Ken Livingstone, individuals incapable of empathising with the misery of less fortunate human beings. London is a bustling metropolis. London's poor receive more money through welfare programmes than most low middle class Venezuelans, let alone the truly poor. I live there, in Camden nonetheless, so no one can tell me otherwise. Yet 'socialist' Livingstone comes all the way from London, god knows at whose expense, to seal an oil deal that goes in detriment to the disenfranchised of this country.
In other words: the whole "oil for the poor" Chavez-Livingstone project was from the beginning a shameless propaganda trick - nothing more, nothing less. And now, thanks to Chavez getting cold feet, the Red Ken doesn't even get a cigar out of this taxpayer-funded shenanigan.