DESCRIBING contractors as 'the worst scum of modern British capitalism' is not the brightest of moves by London mayor Ken Livingstone.
It attracted a few headlines and had a cheering crowd of trade unionists in raptures. But the construction industry, despite its public indifference to Mr Livingstone's comments, will be privately outraged by the slur.
Mr Livingstone is upset about having no influence on the part privatisation of the tube network. But that is not the contractors' fault. And to use research about their company ethics from an organisation - Ethical Consumers' Research Association - that rates 'road building' as a corporate crime is hardly fair.
Privatisation of the tube is a reality and Mr Livingstone will have to learn to live with that. It will also be interesting to see if he uses the ECRA to vet all companies looking to work in London.
Mr Livingstone will have to work closely with the construction industry during his time in office.
Let's hope he recovers from a far-from-promising start and starts to see contractors as a vital part of London's continuing growth rather than an easy target for misguided attacks.