Ken Livingstone's crusade to turn London into a kind of New York looky-likey continued today with a speech in which he called for a zero tolerance approach to crimes such as spitting and littering.
Ok, nobody likes messy pavements or hawking in public, but is fining people for doing it really the answer?
Ken made his speech at the annual London government dinner at Mansion House yesterday, saying, "It is the small crimes that damage the quality of life in this country, if people drop litter and spit on the street, they should expect to be charged. It's that small level of crime that degrades society."
Notice he said 'charged' and not 'fined'. Could there be a congestion charge style scheme for spitting in the works? Five pounds for normal saliva, ten for a 'loogy' and fifteen for chewing tobacco maybe?
In the same speech Ken also "heaped praise on Rudi Giuliani," for his zero tolerance schemes in New York. Schemes which, in the end, led to a ban on unlicensed dancing throughout the city. How did that go down? Welll you'll have to ask our friend over at Gothamist.
The FT article which reports on Ken's speech also plays up the 'relationship difficulties' between Ken and the Met's new commissioner Sir Ian Blair. After all Ken might get to set the budget for the Met, but he doesn't get to decide on their policy.