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Ken Livingstone

(379 Posts)
Ana Sat 30-Apr-16 22:08:03

What a prat!

I can't believe no one's started a thread about this, and the effect his ill-considered words are having on the Labour Party.

rosesarered Sat 30-Apr-16 22:19:03

Yes, I have been following this debacle with interest.There was a thread a short while ago on anti- semitism in the Labour Party, and this does seem to add to that idea, doesn't it? You would think an old hand like Livingstone would know better.

Ana Sat 30-Apr-16 22:56:29

Makes you wonder how much longer Corbyn can hang on as leader - took him ages to even agree to suspend Livingstone.

Anniebach Sat 30-Apr-16 23:02:18

Well, no need for any wondering why John Mann chose that building to confront Livingstone , he is a Blairite and wants Corbyn out . Perhaps the Blairites have decided to strike now.

durhamjen Sat 30-Apr-16 23:19:05

Supports what you say, Annie.

daphnedill Sat 30-Apr-16 23:28:40

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

durhamjen Sat 30-Apr-16 23:28:49

Another thing I wondered was who wrote the original tweet that Shah retweeted.

It's on this blog.

Anniebach Sat 30-Apr-16 23:29:18

So obvious Jen. There has never been racism in the party and suddenly it seems we are rampant racists. No mention that the Labour Party has always been the party to condemn all racism , support homosexuals, fight for women's rights , fought for the excluded in so society. It was no coincidence John Mann suddenly turned up and went into an hysterical rant , all an act for the cameras . He was pathetically slavish to Blair, bet he has Blairs photograph on his bedroom wall. I think I know who they want in Corbyn's place

durhamjen Sat 30-Apr-16 23:31:27

Yes, daphne, I saw that. An excellent article, putting things into perspective.
However, Corbyn's enemies do not want that perspective.

Anniebach Sat 30-Apr-16 23:32:08

Tinkle steins parents were , I think, in concentration camps, will need to google him

Anniebach Sat 30-Apr-16 23:37:12

I want to know why anti semitism is considered so much worse than anti Muslim or any other form of racism

I am not a racist, not anti Semitic but I am anti Israel for their treatment of the Palestinian. Lord Levi kicked this off, big donor to the party and very close friend of Blair

durhamjen Sat 30-Apr-16 23:39:53

Maybe it hasn't done as much harm as people hoped.

daphnedill Sat 30-Apr-16 23:40:29

dj, Did the chart originate from Finkelstein? Amazing!

I don't know how much people know about Finkelstein. He's Jewish, but currently banned from Israel for holding views opposed to the Israeli government.

He's involved in disputes with other Jewish academics about the holocaust and the right of Jews to claim Israel as its own. None of them is anti-Semitic.

daphnedill Sat 30-Apr-16 23:45:38

Yes, Lord Levy did kick it off. One of his four demands from the Labour Party is that it protects Jewish faith schools. Corbyn has refused to give that promise and I think he's absolutely right. Some of them are just as bad as any Muslim school in not teaching British values...or even English...and up to now have been allowed to get away with it.

I'm extremely cynical about what's going on.

durhamjen Sat 30-Apr-16 23:51:47

It's on here, daphne. Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

POGS Sat 30-Apr-16 23:59:27

Ana if you are interested in this subject I started a thread recently , Anti Semitism in the Labour Party and Universities 628 posts were made and it got very hot under the collar for some. I thought about 'bumping' the thread over this latest Naz Shah/Livingstone debacle but I didn't think it would end up any differently , posters either accepted this was an ongoing matter being raised within the Labour Part itself, or posters refused to accept it was an issue and a sort of conspiracy theory scenario.

Ken Livingstone standing up for Labour MP Naz Shah and his subsequent 'utterences' were nothing new. It is typical Livingstone this not the first nor probably the last time he has caused problems, remember another controversy recently where he had a go at Labour MP Kevan Jones.

John Mann is one of many Labour MP's who have the guts to call this a problem within the party. John Mann is the Chair of The All Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti Semitism.

There is most certainly a loud voice being raised by John Mann but he is one of many in the Labour Party who have for a while expressed their concerns of Anti Semetic rhetoric/behaviour which has taken hold within the party and there is already a Labour Party Inquiry into it being headed by Labour Baroness Jan Royall. It started off as an Inquiry looking into the Oxford Labour Students Union and was expended to encompass other reports of Anti Semetic behaviour within the Labour Party and it appears her Inquiry remit just keeps on growing .

durhamjen Sun 01-May-16 00:15:42

grumppa Sun 01-May-16 00:18:53

"I want to know why anti semitism is considered so much worse than anti Muslim or any other form of racism."

Come on, ab, you must know the answer to your own question. It consists of one word: holocaust. In the abstract antisemitism is no worse than anti Muslim, anti English, anti Welsh, or anti anything else, but history makes it so. I said on the earlier thread on this subject that Labour's problem here is principally one of perception, and that remains the case. Because of the perceptual overlap between anti Zionism and anti semitism words have to be chosen with care, and this is something that Livingstone signally fails to do. Perhaps Hitler did recommend a homeland for Jews, but his ultimate solution was to wipe them out, so to mention him in the context of anti semitism in the way that Livingstone does is either indefensibly stupid or plain mischievous. Either way, he isn't doing Corbyn any good.

daphnedill Sun 01-May-16 00:42:05

I agree with you, grumppa. Tact and diplomacy have never been strengths of Livingstone, which is partly why I've never had much time for him.

I don't think Hitler recommended a 'homeland' for Jews. It was more to do with confiscating their belongings and being an opportunist. He just went with the flow at a time when there was considerable pressure for a Jewish homeland; there were British politicians who also thought it would be a good way to rid the country of Jews. There's much debate about whether Hitler had decided on extermination in the early 1930s.

If you read the current debates and historiography about when Hitler decided on the Final Solution, there's huge debate, even amongst Jewish academics. Finkelstein, along with Chomsky, is involved in that. Some Jews are very conscious that others criticise them for having a 'holocaust industry'.

Livingstone was an idiot for getting involved in it all, especially as some real anti-Semites DO use the same arguments against Israel, Zionists and all Jews. For what it's worth, I don't think Livingstone is anti-Semitic. I certainly don't believe that the Labour Party has an endemic anti-Semitic problem, however it's being spun in the media.

My mother is racist, anti-Semitic and Conservative (UKIP?) to the core, but I wouldn't use her as evidence that the Conservative Party or UKIP is anti-Semitic.

daphnedill Sun 01-May-16 00:50:57

POGS, This won't be part of Baroness Royall's remit. Corbyn has now established a wider enquiry, to which Royall's evidence will contribute.

I dispute your summary of the previous thread as being polarised. I kept asking for evidence of endemic anti-Semiticism, but nobody would give any. So far, there have been isolated incidents, which I don't dispute, but I don't accept that the problem is endemic.

I don't know whether there's some kind of conspiracy, but it does seem that much of the spin is coming from the same sources. I haven't a clue what kind of gossip and conspiring goes on in the corridors of Westminster or during any expense-paid lunch, but I'd be amazed if there isn't some.

durhamjen Sun 01-May-16 00:55:11

Yes, he was an idiot, but what was he supposed to do/say?
No comment would not have been acceptable in the circumstances.

It's a concerted effort to get Zac Goldsmith elected in London.
This is racist, but hardly anybody is criticising Cameron and Goldsmith for it in the media.

durhamjen Sun 01-May-16 00:57:05

The enquiry is being run by Shami Chakrabarti.

durhamjen Sun 01-May-16 01:00:07

"We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal’ and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was ‘illegal’. It was ‘illegal’ to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany."

Said by Martin Luther King.

Eloethan Sun 01-May-16 01:00:32

I think several historians have agreed that there was some basis to Ken Livingstone's comments but they disagree as to the way he had interpreted the material available.

Wikepedia says "The Havaara Agreement, signed on 25 August 1933, was an agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews to facilitate the emigration of German Jews to Palestine .... Initially Hitler criticised the Agreement but reversed his opinion and supported in the the period l937-39".

A Times Literary Supplement article of 29 April 2016 is critical of Ken Livingstone but also illustrates that Jewish people do not necessarily identify themselves as supporters of Israel:

"In December 1948, a few months after the formation of the Israeli State, Albert Einstein, who knew a thing or two about the terrible effects of right-wing politics, wrote to the New York Times to complain about one of “the most disturbing political phenomena of our times” – the new Israeli Freedom Party (also the precursor to today’s Likud), which he described as “closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist Parties”. There is a genuine debate to be had about the fascist strains in certain – and I stress certain – elements of early Zionist ideology, even if that ideology was born of the desire to escape oppression. But regardless of the context in which Livingstone was speaking, and apart from anything else about this sorry episode, he does us no favours at all by getting history so badly wrong."

There are a number of Jewish groups, including theTrue Torah Jews, whose views also counter the assumption that all Jewish people support Zionism:

"We are concerned that the widespread misconception that all Jews support the Zionist state and its actions endangers Jews worldwide.

"We are NOT politically motivated. We are motivated by our concern for the peace and safety of all people throughout the world including those living in the Zionist state. We support and pray for peace for the people of the Zionist state but have no interest in and do not support the Zionist government."

Is it credible to label them as anti-semitic?

On listeners' responses to Any Questions today on Radio 4, whilst some Jewish callers were critical of Ken Livingstone's comments and of the Labour Party, there were also several Jewish callers who said they were opposed to Zionism and that they abhorred the way in which legitimate criticism of Israel's behaviour was consistently being labelled as racist.

It is also incorrect to say that those who criticise Israel do not criticise other countries and their governments. I know many people in the Labour Party who are highly critical of Saudi Arabia and its government. That is not because they are anti-Arab or anti-Muslim but because they feel it is important to question the UK's continued support for Saudi (and Israel), both of whom have major human rights issues.

In the final analysis, I agree that this controversy has been deliberately whipped up to discredit the Labour Party and, in particular, Jeremy Corbyn. Naz Shah's remarks were made in 2014 and I wonder why they have been publicised just before the upcoming elections.

If my comments lead others to call me an anti-semite, then so be it, I know I am not.

daphnedill Sun 01-May-16 01:08:08

I most certainly don't call you anti-Semitic, Eloethan. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to write all that. It really isn't the black and white issue some would have others believe.