"On a dozen blogs, Ken and chums blame Boris for every crack in the pavement, accept no failings of their own, and rant endlessly about how the capital is Going To The Dogs. They remind me of a failed, Lefty version of the Daily Mail."
As usual there's a heavy dose of projection going on (who does Andrew blame for every crack in the pavement?) and the usual cowardly generalisation (which blogs is he talking about exactly?)
But most of all there's the repeated Gilligan smear that any and all critics of Boris Johnson (and himself) must be chums, cronies, fans, or acolytes of Ken Livingstone.
So let's settle this one once and for all shall we.
Before Boris Johnson was elected I had never met Ken Livingstone.
Since then I have spoken to him once when I was invited onto LBC (when he couldn't even pronounce my name) and once when I asked him a question after Mayor's Question Time.
I am not and have never been a member of any political party, campaign or organisation and I have voted for Lib Dem, Labour, Green Party and independent candidates in the past.
On the other hand, Andrew Gilligan is notoriously a 'chum' and acolyte of Boris Johnson.
He has been employed by him, defended by him and has spent the past year and a half attacking anybody who dares to criticise him.
He is, in short, as close to being in Boris Johnson's pocket as it is decent for a supposedly independent journalist to be.
And while in the past year he has dedicated acres of comment to how bad the previous mayor of London was, pretty much his only criticisms of the present Mayor have been that:
- He has not sacked enough people associated with Ken Livingstone
- He is 'not Tory enough'.
He is, in short, a bit of a joke. And a joke that's wearing increasingly thin.
-Update- Andrew Gilligan stars in Octopuppet