Posted by: Closed Circuit29/06/2012
Former mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone appeared to be merry enough, despite his recent loss, at the Base Cities London conference last Thursday.
Invited as an after dinner speaker, Mr Livingstone was introduced to delegates by none other than his original mayoral challenger Steven Norris. After a commendably coherent speech the Labour stalwart invited questions from the room.
‘Ask me anything - I am not standing for anything, so I don’t give a sod!’ he candidly advised his audience.
True to his word, Mr Livingstone went on to reveal that former prime minister and Labour Party leader Gordon Brown (who he described as ‘useless’) disliked him so much he refused to meet him for a long time. Mr Livingstone then went on to draw parallels between politics and religion, and speculate on whether humans would still exist at the end of the century. He then paused to ask, ‘what was the question again?’
Prime minister David Cameron’s radical new proposals to cut housing benefit for the under-25s has provoked both controversy and lazy journalism this week.
As most housing professionals know, housing benefit is claimed by a large number of people in full or part-time employment - a fact about which most journalists covering the story appeared entirely ignorant.
The chief offender was the daily commuter freebie The Metro, which trumpeted that ‘Young jobless to be forced to move back in with parents’ in its headline about the story. The Telegraph meanwhile said ‘young unemployed people may be forced to live at home’. Neither explored the implications for those claimants in work - nor mentioned their existence.
While the word ‘feckless’ was used in some reports to describe those on benefits, Closed Circuit reckons that it could be applied more accurately to the journalists and sub-editors who worked on the articles.
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From Closed circuit
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