I have in the past admitted to being quite fond of the Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London. If the Labour Party had not been taken over by Thacherites we might have had him as a prime minister. That's if the rest of the UK would put up with a Londoner of course.
The last few days his tour of India has been getting some exposure on the BBC World Service TV news. I take it he was visiting Amritsar at one point as he was wearing a head covering scarf to go into a Sikh temple. Together with the red dot head on his forward and the sly grin of man who will not take the press too seriously, it made me laugh.
Ken has, without Blair style charisma and without party support when he first stood for the job, built a considerable political machine in London. I know most of the London Labour Party and many of the ex-GLC insiders were behind him, but what we have now is probably the closest London has ever been to the old New York Tammany Hall Democrat machine, even more so than Morrison's LCC.
In my mind this isn't a bad thing. His success is based on having enough support from the various minorities to have a majority come election time. Hopefully he will have a large Sikh vote now;-) If he were twenty years younger the party would have had a replacement for Gordon Brown if he loses the next election.