Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Looney Tune Livingstone

The craziest aspect of Ken Livingstone's additional 1-year suspension by the Labour Party is that he still doesn't accept his behaviour was wrong or reprehensible.

Whatever the arguments over his 'Hitler was a Zionist' comments Livingstone has been disciplined by his peers (a panel of fellow Labour members) having been found guilty of the charge of bringing the party into disrepute.

Nonetheless, Livingstone is such an arrogant tosser that he has publicly compared Labour's ruling body to the Stalinist regime in North Korea with the following observation:

"It’s absolutely outrageous that such a serious smear is made and then the hearing is going to be in private. I mean, it’s more like North Korea. It’s literally the sort of hearing you’d expect in some dictatorship – not in a modern democracy."

Having heard the judgment of his Labour peers Livinsgtone's response was to insist he has nothing to answer for and that he is instead the victim of a political witch hunt. 

If you ask me, Livingstone is completely out of control and his evident lack of remorse can only drag the Labour Party deeper into the mire just weeks away from the local elections.

The Guardian carries a full report which you can read via the link below although it is worth mentioning that Ken Livingstone and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are big friends.


Pressure mounts on Labour to review Ken Livingstone decision
Senior figures from party and Jewish community condemn decision not to expel Livingstone over comments linking Zionism to Nazism.

By Matthew Weaver - The Guardian

Labour is coming under increasing pressure, including from within the shadow cabinet, to review its decision not to expel Ken Livingstone from the party over comments about antisemitism, Hitler and Zionism.

Lord Levy, the party’s chief fundraiser under Tony Blair, is threatening to leave the party after a disciplinary panel ruled that Livingstone should be suspended for another year for bringing the party into disrepute, but not expelled.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “Do I stay in the party? It is something that I’m going to reflect on very seriously. I am very upset with the party’s attitude. I do not believe there has been a zero-tolerance policy towards antisemitism.”

Like many Levy has been angered by Livingstone’s lack of remorse since the decision. In a defiant series of interviews afterward Livingstone said he had nothing to apologise for and would need to consider whether to challenge the suspension.

Levy said: “The lack of sensitivity by him towards the Jewish community has been outrageous. Many of his colleagues have been outraged by the action of the party. But if all the good guys in the party leave, what is there left?”

Former Labour foreign secretary David Miliband is reported to have told the BBC that he was grieving for the party. He said he never thought he’d see the day when “antisemitism and Labour were discussed in the same sentence”, according to Paul Waugh from the Huffington Post.

Don't Mention 'You Know Who' (31/03/17)

While the country waits with baited breath on the outcome of Ken Livingstone's disciplinary hearing for allegedly bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, a wag on Twitter (Dai Lama) imagines how Ken would fare on a visit to Battersea Dogs Home


Labour in Denial (01/05/16)

The Labour Party has been plunged into crisis because of a stupid, yet deliberate attempt by Ken Livingstone (one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies) to claim that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist.

On top of that, Ken went on to share his view that someone can only be anti-semitic if they hate all Jews across the world, not just those living in Israel.

Noe there's been some powerful writing over the weekend about the background to this latest Labour farce and here are there examples from The Scotsman, The Observer and The Independent newspapers.   

I think that the piece by Andrew Grice (Independent) is perhaps the most factual and even-handed, Nick Cohen's (Observer) the most passionate, but I would say the most telling is Euan McColm's (Scotsman) who gets to the heart of the problem facing the Labour Party with the following paragraph:

"None of this will, I fear, put an end to Corbyn’s leadership. He is supported by an overwhelming number of halfwits who are content to believe their man’s a victim of the malign actions of others."

I admire people who don't pull their punches.

Euan McColm: Corbyn the last person to tackle anti-Semitism

Ken Livingstone is mobbed by journalists outside Millbank following the controversial comments which led to his suspension. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA

By EUAN MCCOLM - The Scotsman

IT’S not Jews, they say. They’re always adamant about that: they don’t hate Jews.

And then they say things that suggest they hate Jews. Instead of Jews, of course, they say Zionists.

But they mean Jews, don’t they? After events of the past few days, that’s a reasonable assumption to make, isn’t it?

The Labour Party hasn’t had controversy to seek since members last year took the, still baffling, decision to elect the incompetent Jeremy Corbyn as their leader.

I saw the darkness of antisemitism, but I never thought it would get this dark

By Nick Cohen - The Observer

The party faces a huge problem that must be surmounted, if only for moral reasons

Ken Livingstone claimed Hitler was a Zionist. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Racism is not a specific illness but a general sickness. Display one symptom and you display them all. If you show me an anti-Muslim bigot, I will be able to guess his or her views on the European Union, welfare state, crime and “political correctness”. Show me a leftwing or Islamist antisemite and, once again, he will carry a suitcase full of prejudices, which have nothing to do with Jews, but somehow have everything to do with Jews.

The Labour party does not have a “problem with antisemitism” it can isolate and treat, like a patient asking a doctor for a course of antibiotics. The party and much of the wider liberal-left have a chronic condition.

As I have written about the darkness on the left before, I am not going to crow now that it has turned darker than even I predicted. (There is not much to crow about, after all.) I have nothing but respect for the Labour MPs who are trying to stop their party becoming a playpen for fanatics and cranks. It just appears to me that they face interlocking difficulties that are close to insoluble.

Corbyn’s leadership has heightened Labour’s 'Jewish problem'. Only he can bring this row to an end

Corbyn is on a fast learning curve. A half-hearted approach by the Labour leader would not only lose Jewish voters but repel others too

By Andrew Grice - The Independent

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, addresses the Commons PA

A debate inside the Labour Party over Israel, which has simmered for years, has suddenly exploded into Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest crisis in his seven months as party leader.

With the Conservatives advertising their deep divisions on Europe daily, it should have been a moment for Labour, broadly united in support for EU membership, to make progress – not least in next week’s elections to local authorities, the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and for London Mayor. Instead, Labour has somehow managed to give the impression it is just as divided as the Tories.

After a costly 32-hour delay before suspending the Labour MP Naz Shah for suggesting in 2014 that Israeli Jews be transported to America, Corbyn learnt his lesson and acted swiftly to bar his long-time ally Ken Livingstone. Bizarrely, the former London Mayor leapt to the defence of Shah when she was no longer defending herself. The story became a farce as Livingstone suggested that Hitler was a Zionist and clashed on the stairs of a TV studio with the Labour MP John Mann.

Livingstone, who was co-chairing a review of Labour’s foreign policy, claimed in a round of media interviews that, in his 47 years in the party, he had never come across anti-Semitism. This, too, was bizarre, since a series of such allegations have had a high media profile in recent weeks.