This week's Private Eye (no. 1208) has an interesting peice on Ken Livingstone's associations with a different bunch of leftists - the Workers Revolutionary Party - one of the 57 flavours of Trotskyism, with a hint of added violence.
Sometimes referred to as a cult for their attempts to control members' private lives, and because of their slavish subordination to their leader Gerry Healy whom the Eye quotes Livingstone's biographer Andrew Hosken describing as: "a serial rapist and abuser of vulnerable young women, a violent drunken oaf, a celebrity-obsessed sycophant, a sectarian demagogyue, a vindictive bully, a political joke, a blatant anti-Semite...a possible accessory to torture and murder, a professional liar and a fraud as well as a stooge for sinister Middle East regimes."
If you think this is biased slandering, the prestigious Oxford Dictionary of National Biography actually gives Healy space, and says: "As the Workers' Revolutionary Party's financial position deteriorated in the early 1980s, Healy obtained funds from Libya, Iraq, the Gulf states, and the Palestine Liberation Organization, responding with political support. Opposition developed as the defeat of the 1984–5 miners' strike demoralized his organization. On 19 October 1985 Healy was expelled from the Workers' Revolutionary Party after revelations that he had sexually abused at least twenty-six women members."
Of course, to this day, Geoprge Galloway has demonstrated that money is still available from the Middle East, and Ken is capable of cosying up to despotic elements from that region to shore up his position today.
Of course, Socialists aren't interested in gossip or smearing opponents with a tarry brush and guilt by association, all that this proves is that all politicians have to swim with Sharks if they want to get ahead, and Ken has schmoozed with some particularly violent and nasty species.
Cuddly Ken is a smart player of the ruthless game of power politics, who draws support and personnel from authoritarian groups like the WRP and Socialist Action. The ultimate in entryism, and all to introduce some slightly lower bus fares. This is milk and water reformism, only without the milk.
(A prize to anyone who can guess the link between the article and its title in the comments.)