» Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ken Livingstone Apology

Asked what the Prime Minister’s reaction was towards Ken Livingstone’s refusal to apologise about his recent comments to a journalist, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister had given his personal view last week that he believed it was a matter for Ken Livingstone himself to decide how to respond. Mr Livingstone had done that.

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  1. Good for Ken

    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 23 Feb 2005 on 1:58 pm | Link
  2. I believe Ken Livingstone should not apologise and I’m glad he has had the courage to be true to his convictions
    Newspapers have incredible power to act destructively and invade peoples lives largely with impunity
    The press demand and expect so called freedom …freedom very often to destroy people and to behave attrociously and who can call them to task? Only the very wealthy and out of those only probably a small minority who are prepared for the tremendous cost in human terms to fight for truth or justice
    The power of newspapers should be curbed
    We have had a succession of weak governments not prepared to take on the press
    Because of this the ‘free’ press has been allowed to grow into an uncontrolled monster which apart from it’s destructive capabilities, to a large degree imagines it runs the country and – because of weak government – does indeed unduly influence the running of the country with its tittle-tattle, thinking itself wiser than those in positions of the highest responsibility and achievement, including those who are at the top of our judicial system

    Comment by Graham Cordiner — 26 Feb 2005 on 4:06 am | Link
  3. The fact that newspaper people can behave appallingly doesn’t give their targets the right to respond appallingly.

    Mr Livingstone knew that he was facing a Jewish reporter, and he deliberately chose a retort that was guaranteed to be offensive. He can’t squirm out of it by saying it wasn’t racist therefore it was acceptable. It was racist, and it was unacceptable by most other people’s standards.

    Next time Mr Livingstone wants to be left alone, will he tell the black reporters to go and pick cotton? the Christian reporters that they deserve to be crucified? the Muslim reporters to go away and chop someone’s hand off? If not, why not?

    Mr Livingstone has already acknowledged that the remark was offensive, and he’s had enough publicity out of it. Time to apologise.

    Lesley Silver

    Comment by Lesley Silver — 26 Feb 2005 on 5:07 pm | Link
  4. As a London ratepayer AND a minor contributor to Ken’s first campaign I want to know why I wasn’t invited to these tax payer funded booze ups.

    As for the comments – Ken’s always been a bit of a prat. The journo was doing his job and Ken, his. There was no need to be so arrogant, childish, offensive and superior. As London mayor he should try and behave better than two jags, as a bare minimum.

    No apology and no more money – or my vote – for you Ken.

    Comment by Mr Pooter — 27 Feb 2005 on 12:01 pm | Link
  5. Ken chose an analogy that was applicable. He\x92d asked why the reporter kept persecuting him and the reporter replied that he was only doing what he was paid to do. Ken made the perfectly accurate analogy that that response was just like concentration camp guards claiming that they had no moral responsibility for their actions because they were only obeying orders. The analogy was accurate and applicable to the situation.

    Unlike your analogies Lesley, which are clearly inappropriate. Ken didn\x92t say that the Jewish reporter should be put in a concentration camp – which would be the equivalent of two of your examples, and would be equally offensive \x96 he just said that the reporter was acting like one of the guards, which he was.

    Personally I find it offensive that any mention of the holocaust is treated as a comment about Jewish people. I have no wish to belittle the suffering of Jewish people during the holocaust but the way that some people seem to claim that the holocaust was only about Jews does belittle the suffering of all the other groups that were persecuted and killed by the Nazis. As I have said I don\x92t think Ken\x92s comments were offensive anyway, but would there have been the same press reaction if the reporter had a gypsy ancestry? Or was gay? Or a Jehovah\x92s Witness? Or disabled?

    I think it is more worrying that there is a public outrage about Ken’s comments to a reporter from the Daily Mail group but no outrage to the way that the Daily Mail group talks about gypsies claiming asylum from eastern europe or asylum seekers generally. The analogies to the way that the Nazis talked about the groups they persecuted are much more real and much scarier.

    Comment by Uncarved Block — 27 Feb 2005 on 12:41 pm | Link
  6. Uncarved Block – The hyper-sensitivity of minorities is so damn difficult to deal with it has even become a joke traded by comics – ‘Is it becos I’s..(insert: skin colour, holocaust, religion etc)’. Slight is taken, sometimes purposely with devious and manipulative intent, where it was in no way intended. Conversely, it is possible to push people into making such accusations to make them look over-sensitive and slightly bonkers (Ken’s ruse here?). Into this melee one now has rap artists taking the piss out of the whole situation with (now) offensive self-description which they wish to use exclusively. Fantastic! What a planet.

    That said, I don’t think Ken was being racist or anti-Jewish but he was behaving and talking like an oaf. He was making light of an horrific event. People in public office should not descend to that. Imagine if the journalist had been black and he’d made some crass remark about slavery, for example. It was also a bit rich considering Ken had feathered his nest as a columnist for said journal. No problem with 1940 fascists when they are paying you, eh what?

    Sickening hypocrisy.

    Trying to divert and extend the argument into gypsies et al in a general anti-Mail flame – off thread and a transparent irrelevance. This is now Ken’s diversionary response. It neatly removed the fact and purpose of the party, along with all debate about who was paying for it and why, from the news.

    Comment by Mr Pooter — 1 Mar 2005 on 9:18 am | Link
  7. I think it is great to find someone in this world like Ken who dares to tell the truth which many don’t are even afraid of telling, though they know it. It is shameful that a criminal like Sharon is still free and it is criminal to even crisize him. Let the world know the truth and let praise and that the mayor and all the love and support from us for this courageous man.

    Comment by Mike Faris — 4 Mar 2005 on 11:37 pm | Link

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