Ken Livingstone: can he count up to five?

With his on-air radio meltdowns, personal corporations and fake battlebuses, Ken is less and less a politician, more and more part of the entertainment industry. But even by his standards, his latest campaign leaflet in south-west London is pure comedy gold. Here it is. Note the exciting “five-point plan for Sutton” that contains… four points.

Arithmetic has never, of course, been Ken’s great strength. How else can we explain his practice of going round London, promising to hand out free money? But my favourite bit of all was the quote from his spokesman.  Blaming a “minor typo,” the PR deadpanned: “Ken has so many policies that will improve residents’ quality of life, we could not fit them all on the leaflet.”

PS: Speaking of poor arithmetic, I enjoyed the valiant attempt by one lone lefty blogger to claim that Ken’s tax avoidance didn’t really save him the £50,000 I claimed but merely… er … £17,000. So that’s perfectly all right, then! There’s been an appropriate lashing of his sums in the comments thread (as someone pointed out, £17k a year over the company’s three years is – goodness me – about £50k.)  Would it also be too mean to point my little critic towards Ken’s LBC interview on Thursday? In it, the great man accepts the £50k figure, saying: “Andrew Gilligan [has been] saying that I could have paid £50,000 more tax. I could. Or I could use it, as I have done, to employ two people.”

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