Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ken Livingstone was ‘hit by Jewish rows’

Only a fool would insists that there is absolutely no correlation between religion and politics, and only a foolish politician in a democracy would purposely ignore or caricature a particular ethno-religious group to the extent that an entire constituency became alienated or offended by their words or actions.

But this is precisely what Ken Livingstone did to London’s Jews, and outgoing deputy mayor Nicky Gavron has acknowledged that ‘the Qaradawi and Finegold incidents had cost Ken Livingstone Jewish votes’. In Barnet and Camden — the constituency with the highest Jewish population — his vote dropped from 37.7 per cent in 2004 to 35.4 per cent.

Ms Gavron is herself Jewish – indeed, she was the only Jew on the London Assembly – and so one wonders why she did not urge Mr Livingstone to apologise a lot earlier than he did for comparing Jewish journalist Oliver Finegold to a concentration-camp guard. He would never have dared to compare a Muslim journalist to Chemical Ali or one of Saddam’s murderous republican guard, and so one can only conclude he was rather more concerned with courting the Muslim vote that the Jewish one.

Yet one also has to wonder where Ms Gavron was when in 2005 Mr Livingstone welcomed the radical Islamic cleric Sheikh Al Yusuf Qaradawi, who apparently advocates the murder of homosexuals and Israeli civilians and the beating-up of women. She was completely silent at the time, but now admits: ‘It was very damaging in relation to the Jewish vote… it did cause offence.’

It most certainly did, and not only to Jews, for the views of Sheikh Al Yusuf Qaradawi are offensive to reasonable people of all faiths. Indeed, there emerged a rainbow coalition of gays, lesbians, feminists, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, secularists and democrats, all ranged against Mayor Livingstone, but all he could do was apologise to the Sheikh for the ‘outbreak of xenophobia and hysteria’ and their ‘underlying ignorance of Islam’.

Ms Gavron’s numerous omissions in her duty to advise Mayor Livingstone lend credence to the assertion that London is best rid of them both, for had Mr Livingstone won a third term, she would undoubtedly have continued as his deputy. And she had been considering implementing ‘a green plan for London Jewry’. Neville Sassienie, chair of the Board of Deputies social-issues action group, said: ‘We were discussing co-operation over a scheme for greening London Jewry and beginning to work with the Greater London Authority’s environmental people. We very much hope it will continue under the new mayor.’

Cranmer rather hopes rather emphatically that it will not. He could not believe that Mayor Boris would wish to pander to any particular ethnic or faith group in such a fashion, but will instead treat all Londoners quite simply as Londoners.

What would the reaction be to ‘greening London’s Muslims’ or ‘greening London’s Sikhs’? Such a focus is not only offensive, patronising and alienating, but it suggests a degree of ethical deficiency on the part of the specified group.

Or how about the deliciously alliterative ‘greening London’s gays’?

But then perhaps green isn’t their colour.

‘Greening London’s Jewry’ is as divisive as anything in a Qaradawi rant, and London’s Jewry were evidently right to support Boris Johnson.

And so were London’s Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhist, Atheists and Jedi Knights, who can all rest asured that they shall be treated equally and respectfully under the new mayoralty.


Anonymous david glass said...

as a london jew i agree whole heartedly

15 May 2008 at 09:52  
Anonymous G Orwell said...

I agree if we start voting on racial grounds then we legitimize the BNP
do we really want that ?

15 May 2008 at 11:06  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Oh Cranners this is a rubbish article. In the Marxist formula-think of Ken Livingstone the right wing journalists of today are of THE SAME CLASS as the journalists who did the cheer leading for Hitler and wrote his propaganda "because they were paid to do it". By consciously calling a Jewish journalist a concentration camp guard he was trying to remind the journalist of his inauthentic class status which is incompatible with Judaism.

Simply castigating Ken for double standards doesn't cut it.

15 May 2008 at 11:41  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

I hope you are right about Boris Your Grace! Time will tell.

15 May 2008 at 22:53  
Anonymous doris bonkers said...


15 May 2008 at 22:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not the Americans, it's Bush and Co, it's not the British it's Blair and Co and it's not the Jews it Zionism.

UKIP Research

15 May 2008 at 22:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the journalists who did the cheer leading for Hitler and wrote his propaganda

Jews Against Zionism

15 May 2008 at 22:57  
Blogger Scott said...

A two and a bit percent drop is nothing. It doesn't appear to have had any effect in that area.

Incidentally I would also be wary of putting too much faith or adulation at the feet of any politician, Boris or not. He is but a man; and that not of God; and he shall therefore more than extraordinary powers not to fall, and fall badly, at times.

16 May 2008 at 01:08  
Anonymous Dr. Irene Lancaster said...

Totally agree with everything you say.

16 May 2008 at 17:09  
Anonymous Mike said...

Great post

5 June 2008 at 15:15  

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