Guess who said this:

“I’ve watched all my life, irrespective of which government… ministers trying to run hospitals from Whitehall. It’s just too big, too complicated”


Am slightly worried to find myself agreeing with something Red Ken said for the first time ever!

Sadly he doesn’t take this to its logical conclusion that the state should get out of running hospitals all together.  Livingstone was only arguing for more devolution, ie giving him control of this and other areas should he win the election in May.

As I’m not eligible to vote for the Mayor of London (despite spending most of my waking hours there) I haven’t been paying too much to the guff spewing out of the mouths of him and Boris so far, but this certainly got my attention. I doubt that the coalition would be willing to devolve power if Ken did win, and the response for the Johnson team seems to be focused mainly of whether Ken could be trusted with these powers.

However given the government’s devolution bill and the Lib-dems commitment to localism it is hard to say why London couldn’t have a similar degree of autonomy to Scotland or Wales. I’m generally in favour of this sort of devolution as a stepping board to transferring more power back to the individual, and also to as a source of allies for Libertarian groups.

Perhaps it is time to for a successor to One London?


  1. If Labour had no hope of winning, or Labour was in Whitehall, Ken would be arguing against devolution.

    He does not mean devolution, what he means is “all your power are belong to Ken”



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