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Ken Livingstone

(153 Posts)
Anniebach Wed 05-Apr-17 13:51:44

Livingstone has received a one year suspension for his comments on Hitler and Zionism

Party in uproar , even Tom Watson the deputy leader has said Livjngstone not being expelled shames us all. The Chief Rabbi has expressed hurt and anger.

Lord Levi is considering leaving the party.

No word yet from the leader - close friend of Livingstone- or Baroness Shami

Anniebach Wed 05-Apr-17 14:21:16

Baroness Shami has just released a statement , she is not pleased

gillybob Wed 05-Apr-17 14:27:27

I tried googling the story Anniebach but can't find what KL actually said. Unless it was so offensive it has been removed.

Anniebach Wed 05-Apr-17 14:30:44

Corbyn has released a statement, he has criticised Livingstone, good for Corbyn

Anniebach Wed 05-Apr-17 14:36:57

Gilly, it was a year ago and Livingstone was suspended for one year, now a further years suspension has been given.

He was on a radio programme and as usual waffled on, seems he said Hitler was a Zionist in the thirties, problem is he has given so many interviews since prattling off what was written at the time , he now blames The Jewish Cronicle for misquoting him.

He is going to appeal, wish he would shut up and apologise for the hurt he has caused

gillybob Wed 05-Apr-17 14:51:04

Aaaaah yes I heard this and was wondering if there might have been something else?

I actually think might have heard the original interview or at least I heard it being discussed on Jeremy Vine's radio 2 lunchtime program. was Vanessa Feltz sitting in or something? Not too sure.

Is the whole of what he said not being a little bit confused though? surely there is a difference between Zionism and anti-Semitism ?

happy to be corrected as tbh I don't really understand enough to argue.

suzied Wed 05-Apr-17 15:34:57

I think Ken has lost the plot, he was ok as mayor of London, got the Olympics , bike hire etc, but I think he was expelled from Labour the first time he was mayor. He was always pro Palestinian, and seems to talk about Hitler and Zionism without thinking about sensitivities. He's over 70 now, and I'm not saying that means he's past it, but I think he should retire from politics and concentrate on his garden.

Grannyknot Wed 05-Apr-17 15:38:28

I'm amazed that anyone still gives a toss about Ken Livingstone.

Fitzy54 Wed 05-Apr-17 16:10:10

He has apologised apparently - but not for any offence caused by what he said, but for any offence caused by people who reported what he said! Or to put it his way, misreported what he said. In any event, I will always have a soft spot for KL as his GLC administration gave me my first mortgage when the building society manager told us to ask our parents for a loan (I didnt know whether to laugh or cry, but opted for laughing, which rather threw him). Having declared my conflict, I think the additional suspension is sufficient. It was a stupid comment made in temper, which he won't apologise for because he doesn't apologise! I don't want him to retire from politics. I can't think of anything he says that I agree with, but, a bit like Boris, he makes me laugh (apologies to all who take their politics a bit more seriously than me!).

Anniebach Wed 05-Apr-17 16:16:29

But he isn't in politics, he is just a party member, and I do think he should apologise for the hurt he has caused , sorry isn't a difficult word ,

Riverwalk Wed 05-Apr-17 16:52:54

I'm not a member of the Labour Party nor a particular fan of Livingstone, although I can appreciate his time as Mayor of London.

As I understand things, he said that Hitler supported the Zionist movement as it encouraged European Jews to move to Palestine, i.e. remove them from Europe & Germany.

At not time did he say Zionists were Nazis, which he has been accused of.

GillT57 Wed 05-Apr-17 17:10:40

I am no great fan of Ken Livingstone, but I am not sure what he said that is so offensive. Can someone elaborate? There was someone bawling and shouting at him in Newsnight last night, completely losing the plot and denying that Livingstone had ever helped him with his canvassing, while KL calmly reminded him that they had walked the streets side by side. I know this is a delicate subject and I most certainly do not wish to offend, but it seems to me that as soon as you start showing some sympathy for or understanding of the Palestinian side, you are berated and if you dare to say anything slightly off field you are condemned as a holocaust denier. KL has never said anything anti Semitic as far as I am aware, although I am happy to be corrected, and there is a big difference in being anti-semitic and anti-Zionist I believe. It seems to me that there is a lot of virtue signalling going on as everyone is trying to distance themselves from him. Maybe he is going bonkers, maybe he needs to shut up, but surely he cannot be made to apologise for having an opinion about a period in history, or made to apologise for offence which he never meant and seems to me to be a hysterical reaction from other people.Like I said, I do not know about the Hitler, land for Jews plan that he was talking about, but surely he cannot be the only one who knows about this, or is it solely his interpretation. Would be good if we could hear from a historian as to whether this was true or not.

trisher Wed 05-Apr-17 17:34:39

I think there is a very complicated and difficult history involved in what actually happened with the establishment of the country of Israel and events during the war. It disturbs me that anyone should seek to prevent and restrict free speech on the grounds that someone will be offended. Possibly KL was out of line, possibly what he said has been taken out of context, possibly he didn't express himself as clearly and precisely as he could have. There can't be many people who haven't at some time said something that could be misconstrued. KL was an excellent Mayor of London, of course at the time the Labour Party didn't support him.
There have been other instances of information about Jewish actions in WW2 being censored. The play Perdition by Jim Allen was pulled from The Royal Court Theatre because of pressure. It is a story which should be told.
KL is not anti-semitic and the suspension is silly.

MaizieD Wed 05-Apr-17 18:05:15

WE had a long thread on this last year:

The Independent has published transcripts of the interviews in which Livingstone made the remarks which were supposedly anti-semitic:

I couldn't see it then and I still can't see it. He's anti Zionist, but that doesn't make him anti-semitic in my opinion.

GillT57 Wed 05-Apr-17 18:21:57

Thanks Maizie I will have a look at those links. I do think this is all starting to look like a witch hunt. When I lived in London KL was a great mayor, re-organised tube charges, sorted out lots of things and really seemed to care for the city.

nigglynellie Wed 05-Apr-17 18:23:46

Apparently there was an agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews in 1932 after the Nazis came to power. It was called the Haavara agreement. I have read it but would much rather someone wiser than me comments on it!!

whitewave Wed 05-Apr-17 18:26:18

So does it suggest that Hitler was in favour of a country specifically for the Jews?

Anniebach Wed 05-Apr-17 18:27:40

Several historians have spoken out Gilly, to date not one has said he was correct .

Riverwalk, who claimed he said Zionists were nazis?

whitewave Wed 05-Apr-17 18:30:33

I would like to see the actual evidence both for and against and not second or third hand

suzied Wed 05-Apr-17 18:34:08

I understand the history as Hitler just wanted to rid Germany of Jews, by whatever method, he wasn't particularly advocating a separate homeland. There was a bit of a kerfuffle a while back when Ken called a Jewish reporter "acting like a concentration camp guard ". That was deemed to be offensive, but he didn't really apologise.

thatbags Wed 05-Apr-17 18:34:24

I'd heard that too, riverwalk. I've seen it reported several times that what KL said is that Hitler backed Zionism "before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews". If backing Zionism back then meant you supported there being a Jewish homeland, i.e. Israel, I don't see what the problem is with what KL said.

Without exact, categorical evidence of what was said, it seems to me that we have no right to judge.

I don't care a fig for KL except as I care about justice to any human being.

thatbags Wed 05-Apr-17 18:37:29

The Labour Party has been subject to many accusations of anti-semitism of late. I can't help but get the impression that people, including the Labour Party committee that suspended KL, have just jumped on this as an opportunity to signal that they are not anti-semitic.

whitewave Wed 05-Apr-17 18:39:00

Inclined to agree with you bags

Anniebach Wed 05-Apr-17 18:41:27

What I want to know is what Hitler said about a Jewish state , did he say they should have their own state or did he say having their own state would mean Germany getting rid of Jews is a good thing .

No I don't mean those exact words, but there is a difference is there not?

whitewave Wed 05-Apr-17 18:45:04

Where are the historians amongst us? If they don't actually know they may know where the information can be gleaned.