Thursday, February 24, 2005

UK: Red Ken Livingstone still refuses to apologize for his Nazi remark to a Jewish reporter as Israeli ambassador to London also expresses shock over the incident.

"In a statement, the ambassador said: “Jews and non-Jews around the world reacted with shock and emotion to Livingstone’s statements and behaviour. “By using such flippant language, Livingstone not only seriously abused the memories of all those Jews who survived the concentration camps, but also the thousands of British troops who died fighting against the Nazis and their families. “Coming exactly two weeks after the vivid television images marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and so soon after his own municipality had hosted survivors of the Nazi death machine, his comments demonstrate gross insensitivity to the minorities in London and beyond. Unfortunately, this is not the first time.” Despite calls from Prime Minister Tony Blair, Holocaust survivors, Jewish community leaders, all five parties on the London Assembly, Labour MPs and other politicians, Mr Livingstone has refused to apologise."
Livingstone also shot back at an MP who brought up a playground incident.
"At Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall, Andrew Pelling, the London Assembly member for Croydon and Sutton, raised an email he had received from a worried primary school teacher. He asked what advice Mr Livingstone would give the teacher who has to deal with a child who called a Jewish youngster a Nazi in the school playground. When the child was asked why he used those words, he replied: “The mayor said it was OK so why can’t I do it?” Mr Livingstone replied: “Sadly that is the sort of by-product of the sort of ridiculous media obsessions we get. “I have grown up in a world in which one of the most common terms of abuse used by tens of millions of people was someone behaving like a jumped up little Hitler. “The idea that we haven’t all used the Nazi regime as a reference point for everything vile is absolutely not the case.” Later Mr Pelling described Mr Livingstone’s response as “very childish” saying: “I think it shows the lack of perspective on his Livingstone’s part, particularly if he thinks this is acceptable behaviour in a playground.”
The "everyone else does it,so why not me defense." It does show a lack of class and intelligence that Red Ken doesn't understand a person in a position of power as himself should show a bit more tact. But I said this when all of this started, that this could make him more popular.
"Of the 10,000 residents who called BBC London's telephone poll, 66 percent supported the Mayor, with 34 percent believing he should apologise. 77 percent of almost 5,000 Guardian Online readers backed the Mayor, and of almost 2,000 letters received by City Hall, 76 percent were behind Mr Livingstone. The Times reported that emails they had been sent were two to one in favour of Ken Livingstone's position. A spokesman for Mr Livingstone said: "All tests of public opinion in London are now showing support for the Mayor's stand in refusing to apologise to the Evening Standard."
I'm not surprised Guardian readers or BBC callers would back a mayor calling a Jewish reporter a Nazi. If he had called him anything else considered politically incorrect, there would be hell to pay.

Copyright Narbosa 1998-2006
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by