23 March 2017 | 8 °C

Ken & Chavez Get Oily Together

By londonist_nealr Last edited 121 months ago
Ken & Chavez Get Oily Together


chavezlivings.jpg


Mayor Ken has blockaded himself inside a safe house in the country. Why? To escape the hired goons that Shell and BP and Texaco are sending around to break his kneecaps.

Ken has signed a deal with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to receive oil relief for the poor of London. Patterned after home heating oil agreements Chavez made with Boston and New York, Venezuela's nationalized oil industry will offer a 20 per cent reduction in the price of petrol for London's buses.

As a result, Londoners on income support will receive half-price bus and tram travel.

According to the Mayor's website, the scheme should take effect in July. The fare reduction will be programmed onto special Oyster cards.

Do we like Hugo Chavez?

We do.

We do?

He is the new Fidel Castro, after all. You know how like Keira Knightly is the new Winona Ryder, and Winona Ryder was the new Elizabeth Taylor - and so on? You always need a fanatical socialist lurking around – its good for business. And he rebounded from the US-backed coup attempt in 2002 in even better shape than before – which is very slick and cool.

And he knows politics. Not just power, but POLITICS – the only performance art, that can actually lead to a world war. And cheap oil for the poor? Nice political move.

It's hard to deny that Chavez' "Bolivarian Revolution" in Venezuela is based on a genuine dedication to the well-being of his country and other regularly exploited South American countries. In actually keeping the profits from its oil wealth, Venezuela is becoming a prosperous country.

But there's is still something slightly unnerving about getting fossil fuel for cheap. And, worse, getting it with a smile.

It keeps bringing to mind a friendly drug dealer saying: "The first one's free."

Last Updated 20 February 2007

Ben

Good post! Ken's relationship with the likes of Castro and Chavez does worry me. I remember a brief period in the 1990s when dictators were seen as bad.

Luke

This Mr Chavez, the autocrat that recently has strongarmed his own government into granting him rule-by-decree powers, and is lobbying to scrap his own term limits, he's the one we're getting cosy with? Good stuff!

I got a letter published in TimeOut last year after Ken's Rise Festival: "Alongside many Londoners, I attended the Rise Festival yesterday in Finsbury Park. As a left-leaning expat Yank I was prepared to accept some pretty fiery rhetoric given Red Ken's involvement, but I was not prepared for the MC of the event asking the crowd to give a shout out to Hugo Chavez. Say what? I wouldn't stand in a crowd shouting Castro's name, and I sure as hell won't do the same for an autocratic thug like Chavez. Next time leave the student union politics at the door will you, and f*ck off so I can hear the Buzzcocks. Thanks. "

Neal R.

Thanks Ben and Luke!

I was just thinking they should also send over some toucans too. Would it be too greedy to ask for some toucans?

ed

Can't believe you are supporting a man who is doing some really nasty things.... especially concerned with cracking down on non-state owned media!!!

As to getting cheap oil... WTF!!! Why is Chavez subsidising Londoners with Venezuelan money! Don't you think it would be better off being spent on the poor people of Venezuela? Why do the poor londoners need it? if Ken had any principles he should be giving that money to the really poor people over there.

Shocking bit of blogging. Chavez is an arse, and he's probably going to hurt a lot of people in Venezuela.

Neal R.

Thanks "ed"! Edwin? Edgar? Edward!

Yes, Chavez certainly gets the mind working, doesn't he? He is refusing to allow foreign companies extract and profit from Venezuelan oil, and as a direct result, Venezuela is beginning to thrive and prosper. But on the other hand, he just pushed for temporary extraordinary powers. And though it's well within the Venezuelan constitution, but it still makes one a little nervous.

Ben

"temporary" my arse

Neal R.

Thanks "ed"! Edwin? Edgar? Edward!
Yes, Chavez certainly gets the mind working, doesn't he? He is refusing to allow foreign companies extract and profit from Venezuelan oil, and as a direct result, Venezuela is beginning to thrive and prosper. But on the other hand, he just pushed for temporary extraordinary powers. And though it's well within the Venezuelan constitution, but it still makes one a little nervous.

DavidW

The GDP per head in London is $50k, for the whole of Venezuela it is $6k. Even the poorest Londoner on state benefits earns far in excess of the average Venezuelan. It is obscene that Livingstone is taking this money from the people of 96th poorest country on Earth.
Not withstanding support that Livingstone gives to this nascent dictator as he builds up a copy book of democratic and human rights abuses.