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Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Ken Livingstone - Time To Go

Those who remember former London Mayor Ken Livingstone from way back know one thing that has dogged his career, and his reputation, and that is his inability to say sorry. Every time that Ken said something off the cuff which he would have been best off not saying, there were either excuses, or it was not really as bad as was claimed. Now that inability is part of the reason he should not remain in the Labour Party any longer.
The other part of Livingstone’s less than fortunate behaviour is to offend Jewish people, seemingly without thinking first, and inevitably without bothering to apologise afterwards. He did it with Oliver Finegold, who at the time was a reporter for the Evening Standard, “asking if he was ‘a German war criminal’ … On learning that Mr Finegold is Jewish, the mayor apparently said: ‘You are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?’” No apology was made.

Even so, there were many, including me, who considered Livingstone worth supporting against the Tories’ opportunist candidate Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, both in 2008 and 2012, given Bozza’s past featured episodes of blatant racism, and that Johnson had edited the Spectator magazine while giving a berth to notorious anti-Semite Taki Theodoracopulos (current editor Fraser Nelson stands guilty of maintaining that berth).

There was also the suspicion that Bozza was a shallow candidate who would put his own glory well before benefits to Londoners, and so it proved: vanity projects, developers waved through, appalling air quality, flagrant dishonesty, and at the end of it all he waltzed off the moment the opportunity to return to Parliament presented itself.

That, though, does not excuse Ken’s tendency to offend any and every Jewish group in the capital, and indeed the country. During the 2012 Mayoral campaign, he was forced to make “a rare public display of contrition, following a backlash over leaked remarks made by him in a private meeting which were interpreted as saying that Jewish voters would not vote for him because they were rich”. Sailing very close to the wind once more.

But what left Livingstone with no way back was his blundering into a row over alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and starting to bang on about Hitler. That much was idiotic in the extreme, but to then claim the F├╝hrer had supported Zionism, given what actually happened during the tenure of the Third Reich, and to do so again and again without coming close to making an apology, put him well beyond the point of no return.

Labour’s disciplinary hearing suspended him for another year, but once again, rather than coming forward to say sorry, or at least keeping quiet, out has come Ken with his “yes, but Hitler” schtick. It is dismaying to all of those who know that, unlike Bozza, his time as Mayor of London had much that was positive and beneficial about it. It is doubly dismaying that this row might allow Bozza’s tenure to escape proper scrutiny.

Because Livingstone refuses to say sorry, or at least button his North And South, there will be a further Inquiry by Labour into his conduct. This is undoubtedly the right thing to do. If at the end of it he is expelled, he can have no complaints. Ken clearly cares a great deal about the capital; his record proves that. But no-one is beyond the disciplinary process.

The time of Ken Livingstone and Labour was for a time, but not for all time.

5 comments:

David Hole said...

O stop beating about the proverbial bush. Ken has nothing to apologise for. What may I ask are your credentials with regard to love of Israel, just sayin...

Watcher234 said...

Out come the anti Semites mixing up their hatred of the Israeli Government with the Jewish people & state of Israel. Denouncing Israel & all Jews for Israeli Governments actions is incredible naive. Are all British people everywhere responsible for the actions of the Tory Government ? No it's far more nuanced than that. But of course if you defend Jewish people u must be a Zionist Puppet etc etc. That Livingstone defenders are in fact supporting a racist Far Right Talking point that 'Jews are colloborators' is lost on them while they claim to be anti racist & Left.

Anonymous said...

Jewish Labour Party members slam decision to suspend Ken Livingstone

http://freespeechonisrael.org.uk/jewish-labour-party-members-slam-decision-suspend-ken-livingstone/

From @FreeSpeechOnIsrael

Oscar James said...

Disappointed that you have chosen to perpetuate the myth of what Livingstone said as opposed to his accurate stat

Although his comments were bumbling they were historically accurate. Why is this an issue? Is it because the many in the Jewish community (which includes me) cannot handle the fact that an evil person like Hitler fooled them initially when he had every intention of putting his Final Solution into play ?

They did 'co-operate' in Hitler's brief plan but it was a cruel hoax. This is the truth and this is what happened. But the evil dictator fooled many people in the beginning including the German people, plenty of British & US politicians and received glowing praise in numerous foreign publications including the notorious Daily Mail and the NYTimes before reality set in.

I'm also quite furious that you have in this post as do the various Jewish newspapers I subscribe to arrogantly assumed they can speak for all Jewish people when there isn't a member of my family or friends and as mentioned before, 5 Jewish Labour MPs who all believe Livingstone is most certainly not an anti-Semite and it's a shocking libel of him to infer he is.
It's just so insulting that people assume that Jewish people have some sort of herd mentality and think alike.

That said, Livingstone should have left Labour years ago seeing they ghastly right-wing Blairites are still manipulating the party and it's a bloody disgrace that a few simple sentences from Ken Livingstone should over shadow the actions of a man who has fought racism successfully his entire life.
The times are not with him and throwaway lines are now re-interpreted to mean something they do not and the media in every form hyperventilates about utter nonsense which is what this beat-up is.

And for Labour and media pundits to somehow claim that Jews who supports Labour may be turned off by this is sheer lunacy. Either they like Labour policies or they don't but if they choose to vote for one of the most current racist parties in Europe, the Tories, well fuck them. They deserve everything they get, or won't.

The upside to this is that Corbyn has surprised everyone by demanding a further investigation into Livingston & Labour's decision instead of supporting Livingstone which has muted any criticism of him and must have the Blairites like Tom Watson fuming that Corbyn got in first.

asquith said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66qe76gkCxo