This morning a piece of Soviet Russia dropped through my letterbox. The monthly Ken Livingstone promotion "newspaper", The Londoner, arrived. Flicking through it over breakfast I was staggered by just how eerily similar it seemed to the sort of "Tractor Production Rises" rubbish that people in Belarus must still be blighted by.
My particular favourite page of propaganda was the one littered with assertions that London's crime problem was being tackled, vaunting statistics from a Mayoral-inspired survey which appeared to show that Londoners felt much safer. Bold declarations about the brilliant work of Mayor Livingstone seemed to crop up in every paragraph. Then I turned on the radio. "Home Secretary John Reid faced another blow today as new crime figures showed a sharp increase in robbery just hours after he set out an action plan to revive his battered department....He said the dramatic rise was mainly due to a massive surge in street crime in London, where robbery jumped by 16%...Tony McNulty, police and security minister, said rises had been confined to areas such as London, and the picture overall was stable."
Whatever, Mayor Livingstone. Why can he be allowed to get away with telling us lies with our own money? How much must this tripe cost the taxpayer which could otherwise be spent on social services, or left in the private sector to create more jobs and wealth?