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July 04, 2008

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OneHopeOneChoice

As a Ken supporter, I technically should be jumping up and down on Lewis' resignation and cackling maniacally and making points about how it took 8 years for Ken to sack one advisor over some embarrassing sexual e-mails, but Boris has lost 2 over racially charged remarks and financial/sexual scandal.

I won't though, because as much as some of Lewis' attitudes and policies were repugnant to me, it is always a shame to see someone who set out to do what they believed in, believing that they were going to make a positive change and a difference, only to be destroyed by events over 10 years ago.

All I will say is this:

Boris isn't doing well, he's making a hatchet job out of Cameron's Glorious Conservative Revolution.

Helen

How many sugars, Dave?

Maya

Actually he HAS resigned. It seems like these are very serious allegations, involving sexual misconduct and harassment and financial irregularities. It also appears that, Lewis is NOT a JP, as claimed by Boris Johnson yesterday.

This does not compare to anything that was alleged about Lee Jasper, who has not been accused of pocketing money. The embarrassing emails he appears to have sent to a long standing colleague, whilst misjudged and cringe making, do not qualify for the same category of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Johnson had to get rid of McGrath and now, his and Cameron's fig leaf cover against allegations of racism in the form of Ray Lewis. Add to the mix the getting rid of anti-racism from Rise festival, again thinly veiled through a more recent press release stating it IS an anti-racist festival after all, shows an administration at odds with London. 'I told you so' comes to mind!

angela

Onehopeonechoice, you have written such a fair minded post, I totally agree with you (except for the last sentence). Ray Lewis seemed a positive and hopeful force for good, when the concern over knife crime is increasing and solutions seem short on the ground. Everyone agreed he was an inspired appointment, Cameron, Ken Livingstone, so don't blame Boris, it is not his fault. HUGE SHAME.

UnkleOrinoco

So two resignations in as many months for the new hope of the Tories. An insight into the sham they will make of national government. Allegations of sexual harassment, deception and possible physical abuse of children are especially damning, as Lewis was supposed to be an example to the youth of London. And this in the week that we have had a spate of stabbings.

The Tory press today seemed adamant to aid Johnson and Lewis by making light of this goes to show that you can use the might of the tory press to sling mud in an election campaign, but even that cannot protect Boris from his own disasters. Im just glad this came to light before Boris' fudge "investigation" into the matter had the chance to take flight.

The first of many disasters and we are only 8 weeks into his mayorality.

Rob

Maya is right - this does not compare to the allegations regarding Lee Jasper. That after all related to public money and actions taken whilst he was in the employ of the GLA. The allegations that Ray Lewis borrowed money, and then paid it back, and assaulted people, although no police action was taken relate to events in the mid 90s.

So we wait now for the investigation. But one thing we don't need the investigation to tell us that Lewis's Eastside boys project turned around lives and was a force for good. He might have been part of the answer to the problem that London clearly faces, so who actually benefits from him forced out?

Labour supporter

Very sad. It's a real shame for Londoners who wanted this guy to succeed. Why lie though? He must have known he wasn't a JP when he said it. It seems the bigger the lie the more you're likely to get away with it, but when you're eventually found out the repercussions are enormous...

Maya

Rob, the allegations relating to Lee Jasper have yet to be proven. There has not been any allegations that he pocketed any money, that he had any personal gain from it, period.
As a woman, I am also not impressed that because a woman who alleged sexual misconduct on his part, did not take it any further, this somehow means he is in the clear. As you may well be aware, women who suffer domestic violence for example, often do not press charges, for many reasons including fear of further attack. He was in a position of trust and power compared to his congregation, and without knowing exactly what the allegations were and the reasons why they were not taken any further, this is all I can say.

As for the success of boot camp methods, well, I remain a total skeptic. It may work with some people, but you know Camilla Batmanghelidgh method of unconditional love also seems to work, for very similar if not more troubled group of kids. This issue has more to do with the deep seated inequalities in our society than superficial explanations of absent fathers, lack of discipline etc.

Tom

"This issue has more to do with the deep seated inequalities in our society than superficial explanations of absent fathers, lack of discipline etc."

This goes to the heart of why I was a bit iffy about Lewis' methods - I was undecided on whether he was sucking up to the Tories as the best way to get them to listen to him (understandable playing of the game), or whether he was out for power and influence (quack and charlatan).

He must know, surely, that it's a combination of cultural, social, educational and economic factors that lead to youth crime. The Tories play up the first two ('gangsta rap! video nasties! absent fathers!) but rather ignore failing schools* and economic inequalities and divisions caused by, well, their own economic orthodoxies. Lewis must have seemed like their own guy because he pretty much tells them that the problems are all social and cultural and he can sort it out by imposing the social and 1950s cultural standards Tories always hark back to (masculine sport and military discipline, apparently, a kind of Cockney Sparta). Not a peep about how it might be a good idea to show deprived areas that the state is more than just a policeman smashing your door down or that job security and giving people time to bring their children up instead of working all hours might lead to less in the way of alienation and disillusion.

* The Tory answer to failing schools is to pretend they're failing businesses, and give them less money.

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