Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ken Livingstone: advice to readers.

Just in case you are wondering what to think about Ken Livingstone, here are a few handy pointers

q: Was Ken right to gratuitously insult a journalist who works for the Evening Standard?
a: Yes. He would be able to say almost anything he likes to anyone who works for either The Standard or The Daily Mail. This should bring no condemnation of any kind from the good people of London.

q: What about drawing a parallel between the journalist and a concentration camp guard?
a: Pootergeek, he say that we all reach for a Nazi analogy whenever we want to finish an argument. Ken is only human. And he was a bit tipsy at the time. This is not, technically illegal at the moment. If it were illegal to express opinions while under the influence, this posting wouldn't have been written in the first place.

q: The reporter said that he was Jewish and that he found that comment offensive. Is Ken still in the clear?
a: Evening Standard journalists aren't beyond fibbing at the best of times, so Ken could have reasonably suspected him of making it up to be awkward. Maybe Ken should have raised this propensity for duplicity and then said "but in the unlikely event that you are telling the truth, then I apologise for any offense caused." But I repeat, he was a bit tipsy at the time. And the Standard have been running a long vendetta against him anyway.

q: Does this mean that Ken is beyond criticism?
a: No. He's been a complete prat about Qaradawi, suicide bombing in Israel and stuff like that. His response to the London bombings could be read as being a suggestion that, while ordinary working-class Londoners didn't deserve to be murdered, others may deserve such a fate. Though he didn't actually say that.

But ultimately, he's the Mayor of London, and not a bad one most of the time. And we won the Olympic bid on his watch (yay!).

q: So what about this enquiry then?
a: It is a farce. The Standards Board is an affront to representative democracy and it should be closed down IMHO. Harry's Place is absolutely right about this. Unless he's actually taking bribes or pinching money, the voters should be the ones who should decide his fate.

I hope this clears everything up satisfactorily.


The Lord High Hippo said...

"This should bring no condemnation of any kind from the good people of London."

Why not? I would say nasty things about anyone saying that, so why should I hold back just because the creep who said those things also gets to rob me because he is the Mayor? What makes him above criticism? He is entitled to say what he wants, but anyone else is also entitle to criticise what he says.

Ivan said...

Well of course anyone can (and does) criticise they Mayor for what he says.
But what we shouldn't tolerate is the existence of an unelected outfit who can remove him from office for causing offense. I mean, what elected politician is ever removed from office for causing offence? There wouldn't be any left in office.