Ken Livingstone – Mayor of London

Ken Livingstone is an English politician who served as the Leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until the council was abolished in 1986, and as Mayor of London from the creation of the office in 2000 until 2008.

00:00 Trailer.
01:58 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
05:17 Brian’s Introduction.
05:48 Ken’s journey into politics.
11:14 Notoriety after appointment as leader of the GLC in 1980s.
14:57 If Thatcher and Reagan had studied history, we would never have had the banking crisis.
16:38 Cyclical demonization of immigrants.
17:31 For what Ken respected Margaret Thatcher.
19:00 New Labour and Tony Blair.
20:59 A Mayor for London.
23:38 Reason he had to leave the Labour Party to be a mayoral candidate.
26:14 Accomplishments over two terms as Mayor of London.
27:58 The biggest single factor for a country’s success.
30:27 Good public transport and fibre optic system for all.
31:54 Olympics regeneration legacy even better than Ken hoped.
32:32 What haunts him from his time as Mayor.
33:54 What Boris Johnson wanted to know over dinner with Ken.
35:59 Boris Johnson & Michael Gove political agenda opposites.
38:28 “Politics is show business for ugly people”, does Ken agree?
40:05 Boris Johnson’s part in the Brexit campaign.
41:30 The growing power of the military industrial complex.
43:31 The UK will be sucked into the American orbit on a grand scale.
46:11 Brexit, Ken’s thoughts on why Britain voted out, the implications and his proposal.
48:14 Governments have got to start listening.
50:15 Where Britain will be in two years’ time.
53:38 “I’m always going to state what I believe to be true, otherwise why would I be in politics.”
59:36 Will the Labour Party split over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership?
1:02:30 Most dramatic period in British politics in his lifetime.
1:03:23 David Cameron the most dishonest Prime Minister in his lifetime.
1:04:31 Politics like ‘House of Cards’.
1:06:20 The possibility of the UK becoming the 51st State.
1:07:20 Donald Trump an unknown quantity.
1:10:31 London as an independent city state.
1:12:41 Prospect for new London Mayor Sadiq Khaan.
1:13:40 Ken Livingstone, a polarising figure.
1:15:25 Rupert Murdoch is the most damaging immigrant that has ever come to this country.
1:19:51The influences on today’s economy.
1:22:10 Does Ken enjoy media attention?
1:23:59 Influence of the bankers and will they leave Britain?
1:25:13 Does he feel the media was so biased towards the Remain camp?
1:26:15 Because of Corbyn’s euro-sceptic views will he be the best person to negotiate on behalf of the ordinary people?
1:27:13 In another 5 years what will the Tory and Labour parties look like?
1:27:57 What will Ken Livingstone be like in 5 years.
1:28:28 Success Secrets.
1:29:11 Advice to the 20 year old Ken Livingstone.
1:29:30 His career regret.
1:29:47 Best advice ever received.
1:31:15 Advice to the 20 year old who contemplates going into politics.
1:31:59 Brian’s summing up.
1:33:24 Ken’s come close to being murdered once or twice.

Ken Livingstone links:
Ken Livingstone on Wikipedia
Ken Livingstone on Twitter
Ken Livingstone on Facebook

You Can’t Say That: Memoirs
If Voting Changed Anything They’d Abolish It
Being Red

Topics discussed:
1973 Oil Crisis
History of UK Socialist Movement
Greater London Council (GLC)
Daily Mail
The Telegraph
Any Questions BBC radio programme
UK General Election 1983
The 12 Caesars
Great Depression
Financial Crisis of 2007-08
Glass Steagall Act
New Labour
The Shard
London & Partners
London Congestion Charge
London Overground
Cable Car across the River Thames
ArcelorMittal Orbit
Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States
The Trident nuclear programme
Hinkley Nuclear Power Station
Vietnam War
The Fog of War
The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee
Shami Chakrabarti Report
London Zoo
Social Democratic Party
House of Cards (UK)
House of Cards (US)
Tea Party Movement
Republican Party (United States)
Guido Fawkes website

People mentioned in this episode:
Margaret Thatcher
Boris Johnson
Rupert Murdoch
Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair
John F Kennedy
Harold Wilson
Dusty Springfield
Tony Benn
Arthur Scargill
Mark Twain
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
David Mellor
Saddam Hussein
Neil Kinnock
John Smith
Barack Obama
Gordon Brown
Donald Trump
Max Keiser
Peter Mandelson
Alastair Campbell
Sadiq Khan
Zac Goldsmith
Michael Gove
George Galloway
Ho Chi Mihn
Dwight D Eisenhower
Nigel Farage
Ed Miliband
David Cameron
Harold Macmillan
George Osborne
Edward Heath
Patrice Lumumba
Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders
Zoltan Istvan
John Mann

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Dominic JonesEamon LawlorAlbertoFengAndy De Wulf Recent comment authors
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Dominic Jones

Enjoyable interview. Thank you 🙂

Eamon Lawlor
Eamon Lawlor

Very enjoyable interview. Proper old school – no bull, straight talking, honest to the core, doesn’t give two hoots about media savvy way about him. Type of guy I would love to be running my city. So long the wonderful Livingstone-esqu Haddad in São Paulo. Unfortunately, a business lizard with his own TV programme has just been elected and hey-yo this beaut wants to privatize the parks. So sad!


This should be required viewing for everyone reaching age. A totally sensible, decent Englishman – reduced to a laughing stock by the sinister media.


Very relaxed and enjoyable with unmasked information. Thx for this.

Andy De Wulf
Andy De Wulf

Ken was so relaxed it was like watching two friends getting together. He’s clearly an intelligent man who understands how the pieces fit together althougth at times he lacked depth of knowledge. Brian asked Ken’s opinion about banking as if Ken had information of some inner workings that Brian didn’t know about, that was cute. Ken spends alot of time talking about the world we live in rather than just himself which I found very refreshing. Great guest.

Aaron Campbell

Great Interview. Good to hear his thoughts in full. Talks a lot of sense for a politician.

dee crump
dee crump

Great interview!

Stephan Ye
Stephan Ye

Great interview! The comment that struck me was one of the last that Ken said, that this was the longest interview in his life! I mean I find 90minutes perhaps even too little to understand fully the policies and politics of a man such as Ken Livingstone. Brian, if you ever get more opportunities to interview more politicians in this way, please do! Thank you for your work!

Swithun Gibbs-kennet
Swithun Gibbs-kennet

Can’t download audio ?!


Good old Ken 🙂 I wonder if he’d go further if he was a tad less open and blunt though, its refreshing but clearly doesn’t do him many favours.

Graham Cox
Graham Cox

FINALLY! I get to hear this guy speak without any kind of media filter. Thanks for this guys, really enjoyed it.

Bruno Fontan

– “It’s almost as if the Republicans in America had become a Christian version of the Talibans” quote of the talk ! xD

Very interesting interview he’s a wise man. Thanks Brian and the team!

Scott Shanks

Very good timing & another great interview.

Erlend Bakke
Erlend Bakke

Great interview!

Ralph Vettese
Ralph Vettese

Great timing for this interview. Fantastic and interesting stuff.

Octavian Chelaru
Octavian Chelaru

I love it, great job @brianbrose, thank you for this. To be perfectly honest I did not expect a Ken Livingstone interview to be this interesting and insightful, positively surprised 🙂

Gavin Readman

That was the best interview I have ever seen with a politician

Maleka Bibi
Maleka Bibi

It is the most honest and truthful interview I have seen so far from a politician. I like and respect anyone who speaks the truth. I don’t normally get involved with politics and have not watched TV for a good number of years and certainly since my days at Sainsbury’s, especially when the then CEO Justin King was so close to David Cameron. Both these men would lie about anything when it suited them and when it served their egos. I was actually suspended for 10 months for telling the truth, I had raised concerns about bullying in the workplace,… Read more »

Ian Simpson

my favorite interview so far Brian – love Ken – salt of the earth !

Zoe E Fox

Love this interview! Thank you Brian. Any chance of getting Jeremy Corbyn too? 🙂