“It’s over,” I announced glumly to a friend arriving home late last night.
“Kels,” she said sympathetically. “He’s a communist. Don’t let him break your heart.”
“He’s a communist. I’m a Republican,” I added, sullen.
She shook her head. “It was never meant to be.”
And it wasn’t. My love affair with Ken Livingstone is over. But, I have to admit it was beautiful while it lasted.
Sure, some would have said that it was doomed from the beginning. He’s the 62-year-old Mayor of London. I am a thirty-something, middle-class American. He made a name for himself by defying Margaret Thatcher at every turn. I happen to think that Ronald Reagan was a fairly decent guy. But, you see…Ken Livingstone made the buses run on time and that’s enough to make any girl weak in the knees.
For those of you who don’t know
But Ken, not being dissuaded, introduced a plan that gives free public transport to the elderly, handicapped and children. He reduced transport charges for those on low incomes. He introduced a charge for people who drive into
Some friends thought my love would wane when striking Tube workers shut the underground down for three days. Nothing doing. I stood at a bus stop in central London trying to complete a journey that normally took 40 minutes but that day took 2 ½ hours. “What do you think of Ken now?” a friend asked. I shook my fist and said, “Let ‘em strike! We don’t need them! Ken’ll take care of everything and in the meantime we’ll take the bus!” And by “we” I meant me and the rest of
I stood by him until tonight when, the situation became intolerable – coming home from work the trains were all delayed. I was annoyed but chose to overlook this. Love requires some give and take, after all. But then, I had to wait 40 minutes for a bus. 40 minutes! My commute took me nearly two hours and there was no strike to blame it on. Someone needed to bear responsibility and that person was Ken.
In the grander scheme of things, people have broken off relationships for reasons less trivial than a 40 minute wait for the bus so I feel somewhat justified. Ken, obviously sensing the cooling of my ardor, sent me the paper, ‘The Londoner’ today which announced that the
“You hear that Ken? I want Bus #1 running on time!!”