cover for "Private Eye" 28 August 1981
Since it’s election time in London this week, let’s take a trip back in time some 25 years or so.
Ken Livingston became Labour Leader of the Greater London Council in the May 1981 election, and remained so until the Conservative government disbanded the GLC in 1986. The GLC ran many pro-minority schemes, providing grants to pro-feminist, anti-nuclear, ethnic, and gay-friendly causes. These policies were decried by conservative newspapers and pundits as “The Loony Left”. Livingstone, was given the nickname “Red Ken”, and was called “the most odious man in Britain”.
In this little jaunt down memory lane, we’ll see how homosexuality was used repeatedly to tar the Left and Livingstone as being stupid, senseless, ridiculous, wasteful, arrogant and unrealistic by association.