Dead Men Left

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ken Livingstone: a very few words

The Westminster village is up in arms, as the tone of these reports indicate. Ken Livingstone is seriously derelicting his duty by failing to crawl before the Right and beg forgiveness. That's who the whole affair has really been about, as Livingstone himself says in his statement. The crocodile tears on the parts of habitual racists like the London Tories and the Associated Newspapers group are wholly unconvincing, and it's a little unpleasant that a sudden supposed concern for minority rights should be hiding an obvious political maneouvre to undermine a staunch anti-racist.

The Tories in London are particularly bad in this regard; Daniel Brett here recounts their use of antisemitic propaganda against Oona King in the 2001 election. (It didn't help them much; King recorded a 4.2% swing in her favour.)

It seems, however, that by failing to kowtow to the Right as decreed, Livingstone is once again demonstrating his astuteness as a politician. We await opinion poll confirmation, but Livingstone's own evidence, and the results from these straw polls suggest that by not backing down, he has won public support.