Posts Tagged ‘bank of england’

Bank refuses Venezuela its gold

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

It’s always difficult for photographers when events more or less repeat themselves, and this was the third protest I’d covered in just a few weeks about the US attempt to engineer a regime change in Venezuela, and the second outside the Bank of England, with many of the same people taking part, and it was all too easy to produce more or less the same images. As the great Yogi Berra said, ” It’s deja vu all over again”, though he also said ” I never said most of the things I said.”

Ken Livingstone was also a figure with a second coming, having run the Greater London Council and begun to bring the capital up to date in the 1980s, his success so enraged Margaret Thatcher that she abolished the council and sold off its palatial headquarters just downstream across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Livingstone returned as elected mayor of the new Greater London Authority after 14 years in which London had largely stagnated, acheiving office despite determined opposition from Thatcher’s successor (following the brief interregnum of John Major), Tony Blair. Although Livingstone was the choice of Labour members and affiliates, the votes of Blairite MPs, MEPS and GLA candidates made Frank Dobson the Labour candidate, and Livingstone stood as an Independent. In the first round of voting he came out on top, with three times the vote of the official Labour candidate who was eliminated, and was elected in the second round with a vote of almost 58% .

Four years later, Livingstone was re-admitted to the Labour Party and re-elected as London’s Mayor. Despite two largely successful terms in office, he lost the 2008 mayoral election to Boris Johnson, who set out to establish himself as London’s worst mayor despite often rapturous media coverage.

Of course Livingstone was not the only speaker, but he was the major speaker at the event. He had been in the crowd at the previous protest outside the Bank of England, but this time he spoke, reminding us of his relationship with the former President of Venezuela and the contribution made by Venezuela to enable him to provide half-price bus fares for lone parents, sick and disabled Londoners. Recently after an earlier protest calling for the Bank of England to return Venezuela’s gold I wrote more on Livingstone with some pictures I’ve taken.

Stop Trump’s Venezuela gold & oil grab


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My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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Livingstone

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

Bank of England return Venezuela’s Gold

I’ve several times been interviewed by journalists who have asked to name my most important photographic accessory and my answers have varied according to mood and the kind of photographs we are talking about. A good pair of shoes is one of my favourites, but the thing that really made much of my photograph of London possible was the Travelcard, introduced when Ken Livingstone was in charge of the Greater London Council before Mrs Thatcher put London Government back thirty years in a fit of pique by abolishing the GLC and selling off its building.

The picture above was taken a few days before the election when he knew from the opinion polls he was almost certain to lose to Boris Johnson. I’d photographed him speaking at an event and we just happened to catch the same train. Just after I took this picture, several people came and asked if they could take ‘selfies’ with him, and he smiled at them and told them of course they could.

I’ve always been impressed when I’ve watched Ken talking to strangers. Here’s a picture from a few years earlier with him holding an umbrella in an April shower as he shares a moment with a well-wisher at an event at Gabriel’s wharf, Southwark.

Again a few days before he lost the election, here he is with George Galloway who also spoke at an event in Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel.

As Mayor of London in 2002 he bgan the official celebrations of St Patrick’s Day and I photographed him five years later at the event.

Ken did a great deal fro gay rights and also for all of London’s ethnic minorities. Here he is marching at Pride with Peter Tatchell in 2011 three years after losing the mayoral election; security let photographers approach the marchers for a few seconds and I made this picture.

Ken Livingstone was certainly the most interesting of the speakers at the protest outside the Bank of England calling on it to return the 14 tons of Venezuelan gold to the Venezuelan government of President Maduro.  He recalled the visit to London of Hugo Chávez, and how money from Venezuela’s state oil company enabled him to give half price bus fares to lone parents and sick and disabled Londoners in return for teaching planning and traffic management skills to Venezuelan officials.

More at Bank of England return Venezuela’s Goldhttp://mylondondiary.co.uk/2019/02/feb.htm#gold


There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images