Ken’s team denies “Jews are rich” comments


by Sunny Hundal    
7:20 pm - March 21st 2012

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Ken Livingstone’s campaign is pushing back hard at claims by the Jewish Chronicle today that he said ‘Rich Jews won’t vote Labour’.

A source from his campaign told Liberal Conspiracy:

Categorically, Ken Livingstone did not state that he believes Jews will not vote Labour because they are rich.

Not only did he not say that but, if that was his view, why would he have spent an evening with the Jewish community? Ken is campaigning with Jewish Labour members, he is consulting Jewish Londoners about his manifesto, and he will engage fully with the Jewish community if elected.

The account was also disputed by the writer and columnist Jonathan Freedland, who was at the event in a personal capacity.

The Jewish Chronicle today reported that six Labour supporting Jewish Londoners had written a letter to Ed Miliband expressing their concerns about Ken Livingstone.

The letter concerned a private meeting between Ken Livingstone and a ‘substantial’ number of Labour-supporting members of the Jewish community. It was organised to explore ways in which ‘Ken could re-connect with Jewish voters’ before the upcoming Mayoral election.

The long letter contains this paragraph, that the Jewish Chronicle highlighted:

Ken, towards the end of the meeting, stated that he did not expect the Jewish community to vote Labour as votes for the left are inversely proportional to wealth levels, and suggested that as the Jewish community is rich, we simply wouldn’t vote for him. When we pointed to research undertaken by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research that demonstrates the Jewish community in the UK has a propensity to vote much more radically than its wealth, and this is attributed to Jewish values and sociology and history and also alluded to Democrats in the USA, Ken begrudgingly accepted this.

But a spokesperson from Ken’s campaign said:

It is absolutely not the case that Ken believes Jewish people will not vote Labour – on the contrary, Jewish Londoners are an important part of the Labour vote in London and constitute many of our most important and effective campaigners. Ken’s campaign will reflect the importance of Jewish London, as will his policies and team if elected.

Though there are bound to be different interpretations of what was discussed we view the letter in the spirit in which it was written, of wishing to continue dialogue, and making sure issues of concern to Jewish London are part of Ken’s administration if elected. Ken will maintain a discussion and not allow sensationalist coverage to prevent that.

Jewish Londoners are an important part of the fabric of London and Ken’s campaign will be seeking the votes of all Jewish voters from all backgrounds, incomes and parts of London.

On Twitter, Jonathan Freedland also recalled a different interpretation of events. He said, over several tweets:

KL certainly made the point about voters shifting rightward as they get wealthier. I’d need to check my notes to see if he put it as crudely as the letter suggests ie “Jews are rich”.

Doesn’t alter the substance, but have just checked with someone else who was there and, as I thought, KL never used word “rich” in that context. But he did make that point about Jews and voting.

But language always plays big part in rows like this and would obviously be even more offensive if he had literally said “all Jews are rich.” Which he didn’t.

He then added:

A spokesperson for Ken’s campaign team said they couldn’t go into details of the discussion as it was meant to be private and bound by Chatham House rules.

And another comment:

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


The people making the accusations against Ken are not Jewish Tories, or even random members of the community; they are Labour supporters who attended the meeting because they wanted to improve relations between Jews and Ken.

Why would they lie, on the record, in a letter to Ed M?

It is in line with Mr Livingstone’s comments about Hitler: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/ken-livingstone-hitler/

Day after day, I am shaking my head in disbelief about Labour picking Mr Livingstone again.

3. Ken is Toast

The notion that Labour activists, who have bitten their tongues in public, and raised their concerns only in private, are lying is simply incredible.

There is a dramatic contrast between the loyalty of Labour activists, to a man who frankly gerrymandered his own nomination. as Labour candidate, even as he campaigned for Lutfur Rahman and against Labour.

Make no mistake. This is Ken Livingstone’s strategy. There is another dramatic contrast -between the support for Livingstone from BME voters and the opposition of other Londoners. That division is of Ken Livingstone’s own making. He deliberately created it, setting Londoner against Londoner. Livingstone, I’m sure, revels in another opportunity to play up to the racist vote, to claim he is the victim of a wicked cabal of, erm, lifelong Labour activist Jews.

A politician who foster division deserves to lose.

Labour will be stronger when he, and his anti-Labour Socialist Action cronies, are gone.

4. paul barker

Just what does livingstone have to do for labour to drop him ? You are dragging your own party through the mud & trashing your history.

ways Ken Livingstone could reconnect with Jewish voters:

1. Not be anti-semitic
2. Become Luciana Berger
3. Give up support for Islamic extremism
4. Sacrifice Gerald Kaufmann to the spirit of Golda Meir

Is anyone else starting to wonder if Ken has gone a little potty? He really doesn’t seem to expect anyone to call him up on anything he says, be it his hypocritical tax avoidance ranting, his vow to promote Islam as Mayor of London, or this – another clumsy interaction with Jewish people that shows again his complete lack of sensitivity regarding anti-semitic tropes.

Can any Labour voters here suggest a mayoral candidate for the future that doen’t come with such worrying baggage?

Do the usual suspects have nothing new to say?

I am even more concerned about his reported denial that Jews are an ethnic minority. I have long argued that Ken is not an antisemite but his loose usage of language is doing him no favours to put it mildly. I don’t want to hear from his spin doctors I want to hear an account direct from Ken

9. So Much For Subtlety

But he did make that point about Jews and voting.

And that is the quote that matters.

Although frankly I don’t see the problem. Ken is more or less right. As people become richer – and older (the Jewish community being an old one) – they tend to vote conservatively. It is rare that I ever agree with Ken but he does look a little done over this time.

When we pointed to research undertaken by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research that demonstrates the Jewish community in the UK has a propensity to vote much more radically than its wealth, and this is attributed to Jewish values and sociology and history and also alluded to Democrats in the USA, Ken begrudgingly accepted this.

This is also true. But to a Marxist like Ken, or at least someone with a Marxist background who is unlikely to change his thinking, things like values, sociology and history don’t cut much mustard. After all, they are economically determined. Jewish values are what they are because of the economic basis of Jewish society. So if they are rich, their values will be conservative, to a good Marxist. Big deal. I think he is not exactly right, but he does have a point.

Still, people should not vote for Ken because he is a vile human being who supports vile policies. Whether they are Jewish or not. To not vote for him because of some minor comment taken out of context which is not exactly wrong, even if it is not exactly right, is absurd.

Although it is amusing to see the Left hoisted with their own petard.

Wow. I defended Livingstone. I am going to have to go and lie down now.

Ps for avoidance of doubt I supported his decision to bring Sheikh Al Qaradawi to London it was a brave decision but the right one at the time. Given recent events in France which have an impact here too I woukd like to hear him talk about how to build bridges between the disparate communities in London. The gist of what he said us bot in dispute. How will this help anyone?

Idiot troll “A politician who foster division deserves to lose. ”

Well then every tory who ever ran for office from PM to dog catcher deserves to lose. Divide and rule is their motto.

‘Do the usual suspects have nothing new to say?’

Why say something new about the same old Livingstone bullshit? It’s blatantly obvious what the problem is here.

Livingstone thinks he can garner more votes from Muslims by emphasising his lack of concern for Jewish Londoners.

Therefore he thinks Muslims are profoundly anti-Jewish and that that bigotry can be profitably exploited.

He thinks the worst of Muslims but is eager to pander to his mistaken impression of them, and he thinks Jews can be sacrificed to the anti-semitism he believes is inherent within Muslims if it means he can wield power over London once more.

Doubly odious surely?

I can’t help thinking – on the basis of no knowledge whatsoever, granted – that this might be a rancorous hang over from the Labour selection process, maybe connected to Oona King’s specific wooing of the Jewish vote for her campaign (if indeed it’s possible to talk in such terms http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/35740/ill-unite-london-says-oona-king) and subsequent disgruntlement.

14. Imran Khan

I wonder if Sunny is censoring me because of criticisms I made of him on Andrew Gilligan’s blog. Not very liberal Sunny.

The logic behind ” Oh what a tangled web we weave” is most applicable to Livingstone and the situation he now finds himself in. Livingstone has firmly associated himself with groups and causes that are more or less openly anti-semitic. Cut away all of the anti- Zionist rhetoric and that is all you have left.

The phrase that I think was most telling in the letter is this ” We are concerned that this is more about infantile far left politics, being seen to take a stand against whatever the anti-establishment or anti- imperialism cause of the moment is”.

This sums up Livingstone’s career. Bandwagon jumping at every opportunity to get on board whichever group or cause could help him further that career. His problem is that his shock troops and getters out of the vote on the far left are now in disarray with the collapse of Respect and the mariginalisation of his own group of Trotskyist extremists in Socialist Action.

As I have pointed out, and I am only talking about East London which I know, even Labour stalwarts loath him and see him as a liability. There have as far as I know no attempts to defend him even amongst the extreme left who now see him as a liability to their own fringe causes, that is how crippled he is.

Step forward the Sunny Hundal. As has been pointed out in the comments above this letter has been written by usually Labour supporting and voting Jews who have just had enough. I am surprised that any Jew could vote for him, or Labour, after the blatant anti-semitic campaigns that were run, sotto voce, against Reg Freeson and Oona King.

What, Sunny, are the motives of this group of Jews? Whilst nit picking to try to take their arguments apart the bigger picture is ignored. It is reminicent of your stories of four years ago reference Gilligan’s revelations about Lee Jasper and co.

We were inundated with stories of how the whole plot was unravelling and being exposed. Unfortunately it was all true and you and your ilk ended up with egg all over your faces when Jasper resigned and there was no paper trail for the money.

What you are faced with here is a group of Jewish Labour supporters and voters who are asking questions of Livingston. Are they closet Tories? Is it all a Mossad plot to silence a stalwart deender of the Palestinians?

They have a valid point, or several of them, and you are making yourself look even more ridiculous that usual.

15. Cheesy Monky

Well what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is the birthing howls of the Fake Labour For Boris campaign…

“Do the usual suspects have nothing new to say?”

They (we?) need nothing new.
Livingstone is digging his own grave.

The thing about this letter however is that it is manifestly not the “usual suspects” but well known Labour supporters.

The fact is that there are plenty of Labourites who loathe Livingstone.
Not least because his loyalty to Labour is, erm, rather loose to say the least.
Campaigning against the official Labour candidate for (the ludicrous position of) mayor of Tower Hamlets just 18 months ago being only the most recent example.

Oh, look, it’s the ironically named “imrankhan” with another one of his distortions.

Never trust someone who gives himself a Muslim-sounding name but hangs around on Gilligan’s blog.

“As I have pointed out, and I am only talking about East London which I know, even Labour stalwarts loath him and see him as a liability”.

In other words, you’re talking nonsense. Why should anyone take you seriously?

Oh, one more thing, I find it interesting that all those smear artists have nothing at all to say about Boris Johnson’s casual racism, his vanity, his connection to criminals (Darius Guppy) or the fact that he’s literally taken the credit for Ken’s ideas (the bikes, the cycle superhighway and so on). I wonder why that is. Eh, “imran”?

19. Imran Khan

buddyhell. I use a Muslim name because that is the one my parents gave me. I live in the London Borough of Newham and clearly know a great deal more than you about the East End of London.

Instead of evading or avoiding the question here as Livingstone does with his tax affairs why not deal with the quite reasonable arguments that are being made about Livingstone?

You sound like one of those spotty little Marxists with lots of lapel badges that I have seen at so many meetings over the years.

20. paul barker

Who to beleive, a man who works for the government of iran or a group of labour supporters ?

@ 18. buddyhell

We need a candidate Labour can unite behind who’s capable of beating Boris. What I’m afraid of is that decent people won’t feel able to vote for Ken and we end up with another term for Boris Johnson and a load of whining about how it’s all the Evening Standard and Andrew Gilligan’s fault.

22. flyingrodent

Yup, I’d say this stuff is more or less right on schedule. Tales of financial wonkiness… He’s a big pal of the Jihadissess and wants to turn London into a new Mecca, don’t you know… Highly dubious anecdotal racism accusation….

I live north of the border, so I couldn’t give a damn whether Boris or Ken wins. Nonetheless, you can set your watch by this total bullshit. It’s all quiet until election season, and then it miraculously all flares up when there’s an office up for grabs.

If I ever found myself being subjected to this kind of wink-wink, nudge-nudge campaign, I’d break out the lawyers and blast everyone I possibly could into space dust with the most ferocious lawsuits I could muster. Empty their bank accounts, take the shirts off their backs until nothing remained but radioactive cockroaches begging for spare change.

Pour encourager les autres – I’m a great believer in press freedom, but the right to defend yourself from nakedly political bullshit smear campaigns is vital also. To the courts, and don’t spare the horses.

To win substantial libel damages you have to have a reputation to ruin in the first place!

Likely award for Livingstone: 1p.

Though it’s not clear where any actual libel might lie in this case.

24. flyingrodent

Though it’s not clear where any actual libel might lie in this case.

I haven’t read extensively on the topic, but I will say this – anyone drawing any conclusions about Ken’s behaviour or motives in the press from the incident in the OP that go significantly beyond He chooses his words quite poorly or He risks alienating key voters could find themselves in for a fiery trial.

Not that he’ll do it*, of course. I imagine he wouldn’t want all his dirty laundry dragged out in public, largely because there’s so much of it.

*Full disclosure – I would do it, and I’d do it mutually-assured destruction style, too.

What a revolting little Boris cock sucker the so called Imran Khan sounds. He boasts about hanging out at Gilligans site. That tell you all yo need to know about his motivation. Nothing to do with principles. The litte cabal of Boris groupies who go all quiet on the numerous Boris fuck ups and yet appear at election time

A spokesperson for Ken’s campaign team said they couldn’t go into details of the discussion as it was meant to be private and bound by Chatham House rules.

Cobblers. Chatham house rules mean that you CAN go into the details of what what said, but that you CAN’T say who said what.

“*Full disclosure – I would do it, and I’d do it mutually-assured destruction style, too.”

You’re obviously very rich!

‘What a revolting little Boris cock sucker the so called Imran Khan sounds’

What a revolting little homophobic sack of shit you are Sally.

@19
“buddyhell. I use a Muslim name because that is the one my parents gave me. I live in the London Borough of Newham and clearly know a great deal more than you about the East End of London”.

1. This is the Internet. You must think that I’ll simply take your word for it. Funny how

2. You presume too much. I know quite a lot about the East End of London, having lived there.

“Instead of evading or avoiding the question here as Livingstone does with his tax affairs why not deal with the quite reasonable arguments that are being made about Livingstone”?

Is there any chance you could deal with the issue of Boris Johnson’s casual racism?

“You sound like one of those spotty little Marxists with lots of lapel badges that I have seen at so many meetings over the years”.

Like many on the right, you’re really good at hurling abuse. You’re a one-trick pony, “imran”.

@21

Define “decent people”, if you please.

Do you think “decent people” vote for Boris?

By the way, “imran” I’ve seen your posts on Gilligan’s blog and you’re no Muslim.

Could Imran be Jewish by chance.? If he is it is pretty sick pretending to be of a different religion..

But then there are no depths the pro Zionist right will go to. Stealing New Zealand and British passports for example.

Sunny, surely you’ve only got to ask yourself the question, how can a candidate for the most powerful directly-elected job in politics have so comprehensively alienated an entire ethnic/religious group?

My thoughts on the matter at the Centre Left here.

@30. buddyhell

I mean the type of people who are repulsed by tax avoidance and racism. If you object to the word decent then I’ll try to think up a different word. What I really mean is the type of people who might usually vote Labour (but won’t this time).

I’m not sure if you’re being serious when you ask whether they’ll vote for Boris. You yourself have set out what sort of person Boris is in the post I replied to up above!

There are other options, though. For example: Greens, or just staying at home. And yes, there are some “decent” people who tell themselves that Boris isn’t really a Tory and vote for him. They did last time he stood. Not everyone knows about Darius Guppy (which is a shocking story).

Instead of whining about “the right” and watching them win elections, wouldn’t it be great to beat them? To do that, we need to stop making excuses for people like Ken, who hasn’t hesitated to stab Labour in the back when it suits him.

Not quite sure why link didn’t come out, but it’s here.

@34

“I mean the type of people who are repulsed by tax avoidance and racism”.

So Boris Johnson’s episodes of casual racism are not up for discussion. Is this what you’re saying?

It’s not that “object” to the word “decent”, it’s simply that the word, as it was employed, was value-loaded.

“To do that, we need to stop making excuses for people like Ken, who hasn’t hesitated to stab Labour in the back when it suits him”.

It seems to me that you’re expressing a great deal of naivete about the nature of party politics generally. Isn’t Bojo positioning himself for the Conservative party’s top job?

Come on, you’ll have to do better than that. :)

@ 36. buddyhell

I don’t see how your questions have any connection with the comments I made. I have not said Boris Johnson’s episodes of casual racism are not up for discussion. Neither have I said Johnson doesn’t hope to become Tory leader.

What I am focusing on is how Labour can win back London, and eventually form a Government nationally. Criticising the Tories isn’t enough (I’m not objecting to it! But it’s not enough). Labour also needs to put up credible candidates that people are going to want to vote for. Unfortunately, Ken doesn’t fit the bill.

@37

“I don’t see how your questions have any connection with the comments I made. I have not said Boris Johnson’s episodes of casual racism are not up for discussion. Neither have I said Johnson doesn’t hope to become Tory leader”.

My questions are connected. You used the word “decent”. I said that the word is “value-loaded”; it’s a binary. You may just as well have said that Boris is “good”. I think your intention is summed up neatly when you said “I mean the type of people who are repulsed by tax avoidance and racism”. Which rather ignores the fact that there are people are repulsed by Johnson’s casual racism, his vanity projects and his patent lack of substance. But one thing still bothers me about thta sentence that I just quoted: which candidate are you referring to when you use the word “racism”? Ken? Boris?

“What I am focusing on is how Labour can win back London, and eventually form a Government nationally. Criticising the Tories isn’t enough (I’m not objecting to it! But it’s not enough). Labour also needs to put up credible candidates that people are going to want to vote for. Unfortunately, Ken doesn’t fit the bill”.

I think you’ve missed something: this is an internet blog with an open comments thread. The nature of the beast is discussion and discussion often involves criticism. Like it or not, that’s just the way it is.

@37 Buddyhell

I have never said Boris is “good” or anything similar to that. What I want to see is for Labour to take back control of London. I guess I’d assumed that you felt the same way, but maybe not. You don’t seem to like Boris much, and I can promise you that there’s no other way to unseat him except for a Labour victory. Winning back London certainly doesn’t mean ignoring Boris’ faults. Rather, it means making sure that people know about them.

But telling people the truth about Boris is *necessary but not sufficient*. We also need to present them with an alternative candidate that decent people – I’ll use that word, as you say you have no objection to it – feel able to vote for.

That is not Ken. There are too many London voters who object to tax avoidance and racism for Ken to win.

40. Charlieman

@9. So Much For Subtlety: “But to a Marxist like Ken, or at least someone with a Marxist background who is unlikely to change his thinking, things like values, sociology and history don’t cut much mustard. After all, they are economically determined.”

That’s a pretty good starting point for understanding Ken Livingstone. He’s not a liberal and his support for rainbow coalitions is entirely self-centred: the objective of a coalition is to elect Ken.

Because he is not a liberal, Livingstone does not appreciate the conflicting desires of those he wishes to bring into rainbow coalitions. When he attends a meeting with moslems who hold offensive opinions (and bad intentions, in some cases), he does not comprehend that other citizens are shocked. When he makes crass comments (or comments that are open to misinterpretation) at a meeting with Jewish voters, it indicates that he is either insensitive or in opposition to them.

Like most of us, I prefer to listen to politicians who speak on their feet and say what they feel. That does not mean that politicians should rehearse every encounter in life. But it requires that the policies that they profess come from the heart.

And there is the dilemma for Livingstone. He courts liberal voters and delivers expedient words, but it is clear that the relationship is single sided.

“Wow. I defended Livingstone. I am going to have to go and lie down now.”

Ditto behaviour having agreed at least partially with SMFS.

@39

I have never said Boris is “good” or anything similar to that.

[sigh] Please read my post again.

“You don’t seem to like Boris much”.

Well, duh. How about you? Are you a fan?

“and I can promise you that there’s no other way to unseat him except for a Labour victory”.

And who are you when you’re at home? A scryer?

“That is not Ken. There are too many London voters who object to tax avoidance and racism for Ken to win”.

So where is the evidence of Ken’s “racism”. You seem rather keen to repeat this notion as though it were axiomatic.

Do try again and this time, try and read my post properly.

@ 41. buddyhell

“And who are you when you’re at home? A scryer?”

Ah.

No, just someone with a basic understanding of politics. Look at the results in 2008 – first preferences for Boris, 42%; for Ken, 36%; the Lib Dems in third lace on 9 per cent.

This is a two horse race. There’s not going to be a magical breakthrough by the Lib Dems or Greens or some sort of socialist party.

Check out the polling for 2012 here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_mayoral_election,_2012#Opinion_polls

Only Labour can beat the Tories in this election. You sarcastically say “well duh” when I suggest you’re not a fan of Boris. If you really want Boris out then you should be backing Labour because they are the only people who are going to do it.

This is why people who continually make excuses for Ken are doing so much harm. Labour needs a candidate that can win in London, not a racist tax avoider.

Why are you citing Freedland’s words as supportive of Livingstone, Sunny? They do not exonerate Livinstone as you seem to be claiming:

Freedland’s account is that Livingstone didn’t use the actual word rich but he did make that actual point (e.g. perhaps he used ‘wealthy’ or ‘propserous’ or ‘well-off’ instead). Thus;

“Doesn’t alter the substance,” and “he did make that point about Jews and voting.”

What part of that didn’t you understand?

44. Imran Khan

31 and 32. buddyhell and Sally. You obviously have preconceived ideas of what Muslims are. I post regularly on Gilligan’s site about things that I am interested in and know about. If I have no opinion or knowledge of a subject I say nothing.

I happen to know that Livingstone has cosied up to the most reactionary elements in the Mulsim communities of this country in order to garner the blocks of votes that he needs to regain power in London.

In order to do this he has alienated liberal/left wing opinion as well as that of gays and Jews but doesn’t care because being the charlatan he is he is only interested in power.

Complete and utter hypocricy is endemic on the extreme left which has always followed the Leninist dictum of the end justifies the means. They have also thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

From the SWP ditching womens and gay rights to get extremist Islam and its clerics, I use the word but understand that it cannot be strictly applied before anyone says anything, in Respect to Livingstone doing the same thing with gays and Jews to get the same vote is symptomatic of a left which is morally and politically bankrupt.

Everything is seen in terms of dogma and left and right, and truth is viewed through the same prism. Livingstone’s isolation can be assessed from the fact of how many leading Labour Party figures and MPs have been prepared to turn out to support him publicly.

The best that Milliband can hope for is to for Ken to lose and then slope off and not cause any more trouble for him and the party. Livingstone at City Hall would be a long term disaster and would more or less guarantee another Tory government, probably without the Lib Dems.

@ 44 Imran

You’ve missed Sally and Buddyhell’s real problem with you. Not only are you attacking their team, but you are a Muslim – a minority group, and thus by their definition duty bound to vote Labour against the evil Tories.

Which marks you out as a special kind of traitor in their eyes, hence the uneducated, illiberal bile they are spewing at you.

@32. Sally

“Could Imran be Jewish by chance.? If he is it is pretty sick pretending to be of a different religion..”

Trying to slur someone by suggesting they might, shock horror, be Jewish. This is the type of supporter Ken attracts. Labour should be so much better than this.

@44 “imran”

“31 and 32. buddyhell and Sally. You obviously have preconceived ideas of what Muslims are. I post regularly on Gilligan’s site about things that I am interested in and know about. If I have no opinion or knowledge of a subject I say nothing”.

Nonsense. But you’re not really in a position to complain about how others are perceived when you chuck around insults like “spotty face Marxist”, which is an insult that is much beloved of the Right.

This is the Internet and people can claim to be anything – including YOU.

The rest of your reply ploughs an all too familiar furrow.

Take this right -wing cliche that is much-beloved of your fellow travellers on Torygraph blogs.,

“Complete and utter hypocricy is endemic on the extreme left which has always followed the Leninist dictum of the end justifies the means. They have also thrown the baby out with the bathwater”.

Anything that doesn’t fall within your narrow range of ideologies is “extreme left”. I’m willing to bet that even Ken Clarke is to the left of you. Hypocrisy is not confined to one political party or another. It exists on your side too, whether you want to admit that or not.

You seem to have a lot of time on your hands. Not everyone has the time to produce what are, in effect, mini-essays on blogs and fora.

@42

You’re hopelessly confused or you’re trolling. I don’t know which to be perfectly frank.

This says is all,

“If you really want Boris out then you should be backing Labour because they are the only people who are going to do it”.

Livingstone is Labour in case you hadn’t noticed.

@45

“You’ve missed Sally and Buddyhell’s real problem with you. Not only are you attacking their team, but you are a Muslim – a minority group, and thus by their definition duty bound to vote Labour against the evil Tories”.

I’m only surprised you haven’t trotted out more cliches than this one. But I can presume too

“Which marks you out as a special kind of traitor in their eyes, hence the uneducated, illiberal bile they are spewing at you”.

Another tiresome cliche. But not just a cliche, an insult too. You throw out the word “uneducated” as if to suggest that you possess a better education or some higher form of knowledge. You should Google the phrase “logical fallacy”.

“Livingstone is Labour in case you hadn’t noticed.”

Haha – only when it suits him.

As recently as 2010 he was campaigning against the Labour candidate in the Tower Hamlets mayoral election.

@ 48. buddyhell

“You’re hopelessly confused or you’re trolling. I don’t know which to be perfectly frank.”

It’s funny, I’d thought the same about you but I was too polite to say so.

Labour needs to present itself as a positive alternative to the Tories which people will actually want to vote for. That has to include selecting candidates which decent people will feel able to support. That shouldn’t be a controversial statement for someone who’s not a troll or a closet Tory.

What I’m afraid of is that decent people won’t feel able to vote for Ken and we end up with another term for Boris Johnson and a load of whining about how it’s all the Evening Standard and Andrew Gilligan’s fault.

So, Hobson, you’re still insisting that Livingstone is racist yet you’ve not provided any evidence to support your contention.

Is there any chance you can do this within the current millenium?

“Trying to slur someone by suggesting they might, shock horror, be Jewish. This is the type of supporter Ken attracts. Labour should be so much better than this.’

hobson, agreed. Those posts by Sally are particularly vile.

“Misogynist, racist, homophobic and xenophobic comments will be deleted.”

Yet Sally’s posts remain into a second day. Great moderating liberal conspiracy.

@51

“What I’m afraid of is that decent people won’t feel able to vote for Ken and we end up with another term for Boris Johnson and a load of whining about how it’s all the Evening Standard and Andrew Gilligan’s fault”.

Tut tut tut. There you go again with your binaries. Who are these “decent people” you keep talking about? Can’t “decent people” vote for Ken in your rather value-loaded judgement? Or is that not possible?

Ken is Labour’s candidate yet, you tell us that “Only Labour can beat the Tories in this election”. You’re not making sense but then, you probably know that already.

@50

“Haha – only when it suits him.

As recently as 2010 he was campaigning against the Labour candidate in the Tower Hamlets mayoral election”.

Does this have any real bearing on the discussion? No. Furthermore you right-wingers only seem capable of coming out with red herrings and ad homs.

Not a peep from you abour Johnson’s casual racism. I wonder why that is?

Buddy, you asked me that question before and I answered it before. Scroll up! “I mean the type of people who are repulsed by tax avoidance and racism. If you object to the word decent then I’ll try to think up a different word. What I really mean is the type of people who might usually vote Labour (but won’t this time).”

And yes, it will be hard for decent people to vote for Ken. Finally you’re beginning to understand. I’ve never said “not possible”. Of course, some will.

But many ordinary, left-leaning, Labour-supporting, quite liked the Lib Dems but not any more, decent people will find it hard to vote for Ken – while they would have voted Labour if we had a better candidate.

Putting your fingers in your ears and saying nahnahnah won’t make it go away. Whining about Giligan won’t help.

58. Ross Smith

Its pretty ridiculous that you have a people in the meeting flatly denying that this happened and yet there is a lengthy thread here attacking Ken for saying it. Whether the authors of this letter intended it or not, this is going to divert attention from the shortcomings of Boris Johnson, who has always benefitted from this kind of campaigning as it detracts from the defining issues that will decide who the next mayor will be.

It’s actually quite breathtaking that this is an article discussing a letter regarding a meeting in which Livingstone apparently ‘used the words Zionist, Jewish and Israeli interchangeably and did so “in a perjorative manner”.’

Then we have someone on the comments board (Sally @32) supposedly defending Livingstone who goes on to attack a poster (someone with a muslim name, who says it’s his own but who has the temerity to hold a differing opinion) by doing exactly the same thing. And boy was it pejorative.

The comment remains, in direct contravention of LiberalConspiracy’s own comments policy for a full 24 hours, completely unchallenged & ignored by her fellows.

You frankly could not make that one up.

60. Chaise Guevara

@ 59 R

You need some background here. Regulars rarely bother repling to Sally because she always posts massively angry, abusive and slightly paranoid stuff without much connection to real life, and there’s no point arguing with her (you just get accused of being a Nazi or made into part of the conspiracy). We know it’s a waste of time, and I suspect most people automatically skim past her comments.

Your wasting your time Nobody is buying your tory bullshit.

@ 59
You frankly could not make that one up.

Oh get over yourself you tories are always making it up.

Chaise, accused of being a Nazi? I’ll await that with interest as it would be deliciously ironic. It doesn’t explain why the post in question hasn’t been removed by the mods. Unless they’re in tacit agreement that is. I bloody hope not.

And in case anyone is in any doubt & in case the little grammatical delight above my comment was aimed at me, I’m not a Tory, nor anywhere further to the right, nor am I Jewish. But I do have a problem with Livingstone & Labour’s idiocy in picking him as mayoral candidate again.

“get over yourself’? Oh how delightful – you think someone challenging overt racism must be a Tory. Delicious irony indeed.

65. Chaise Guevara

@ 63 R

Disagree with Sally and you’ll also get the pleasure of being called “Tory”, “troll” and “brownshirt”. Pretty much regardless of your actual political position.

I don’t know what Sunny doesn’t delete Sally’s more unpleasant comments. I’ve asked before and not got a response.

Dear oh dear the standard of tory trolling is piss poor. Not only that but , they can’t even read. To recap, what I said was this. ” Could Imran be Jewish by chance.? If he is it is pretty sick pretending to be of a different religion.”

Note to tory trolls……..one of these symbols. ? Means I am asking a question. I did not say that Imran was Jewish, I just asked if that was the case. The fact that he calls hiim self Imran Khan means nothing on the internet. For example are we to take it the troll who calls himself ‘ R’ is using his real name?
As has been pointed out by buddyhell, Imran is a speak your weight tory troll. Regurgitating all the usual tory right wing flourishes. “Spotty face Marxist” zzzzzzzzz

Anyone who has any connection with Gilligan has zero credibility as far as Ken or Boris is concerned.

@ 59 R

Yup, as a semi-regular I’d support Chaise’s interpretation.

In addition, it might be helpful to comment on why “the mods” have not been more active.

Basically, there aren’t any. This site is run by Sunny on a shoestring, and there is no list/rota of moderators, paid or otherwise. There just isn’t the resource. Sunny skims most comments, I think, but can’t be expected to read everything and moderate against the comments policy, which is more aspiration/set out for self-regulation than anything.

Jonathan Freedland, who was actually at the meeting the original post is about, has set out his thoughts here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/23/backed-ken-livingstone-mayor-before

For some reason all I can think about is Cool Hand Luke

70. Dick the Prick

@65 -Chaise, I love Sally, probably because I am a Tory troll, not sure about the brownshirt Nazi bit but the entertainment value is definately worth the entrance fee. With some of you folks on here, your self very much included, you’ve got to be on top of your game and sometimes give 3 credible sources of evidence to back up a claim, with Sally, all that’s irrelevant and suddenly having a contradictory opinion on windfarms ratchets up to support for genocide! You can just imagine the wizzened old spinster smoking furiously, surrounded by cats and posters of Lenin and Stalin, in her basement flat dreaming of the glorious revolution and waiting for the day her hero will emerge from the ashes to lead us to the utopian uplands from Bexley Heath or Walthamstowe.

@57

“Buddy, you asked me that question before and I answered it before. Scroll up! “I mean the type of people who are repulsed by tax avoidance and racism”.

You still haven’t answered my question> I’d like some real concrete evidence of Livingstone’s “racism”. Thus far, you have been reluctant to provide any. Why is that, I wonder?

You still don’t understand what the compound word “value-loaded” means either.

@58

Exactly and our closet Boris supporters aren’t terribly interested in their hero’s numerous episodes of casual racism and his patent lack of original ideas. Johnson is only using the office of mayor to propel himself into the Tory party leadership. Yet, there are those on this thread who continue to crap on about Livingstone “stabbing labour in the back”.

@59

I’ve used the word “Zionist” before, does that make me an “anti-Semite” too?

@ 71. buddyhell

Okay mate, I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Boris Johnson is a man who refers to “flag-waving piccaninnies” and who seemed willing to help his Eton mate Darius Guppy to have someone beaten. Plus, he’s a Tory. He’s the wrong man to be mayor of London.

The only thing that might save him is people like you. Instead of backing Labour in providing an alternative who might actually win in London you’re determined to make excuses for a divisive, bigoted candidate like Ken who’s going to push anti-Tory voters into backing minority parties or staying at home.

And yes, Ken’s decision to stab Labour in the back will cost him votes from Labour supporters, no matter how much you whine about it.

But then again, it’s possible you already know exactly what you’re doing. I won’t be celebrating when Boris wins on May 3. I think you might.

75. Shatterface

Could Imran be Jewish by chance.? If he is it is pretty sick pretending to be of a different religion..

Sally, LibCon’s Jewfinder General.

Note to tory trolls……..one of these symbols. ? Means I am asking a question. I did not say that Imran was Jewish, I just asked if that was the case

I’m not saying you are a loathesome sack of shite – but are you?

Nobody’s full name is ‘R’, Sally. It is the first letter of my name; I’m not a man; ‘R’ doesn’t carry any particular significance, so your remark on that is just weird; I’m not a ‘troll’, but have been putting forward reasonable comments without any desire to wind anyone up. But let’s try something on for size. You’re a mad, vicious, paranoid, vile excuse for a human being. Not trolling but a bald statement of fact. If Sunny can break off from his latest puerile Twitter-spat with the likes of Guido Fawkes perhaps he’ll find time to delete this. But not your quite breathtakingly unpleasant rantings. They seem to pass muster.

@ R – I sympathise. It was a good CiF piece by Freedland. As a Labour supporter – I’m just glad I don’t like in London.
@Sally – no I’m not.

78. Tyler Cunt

@Tyler: Stupid cunt, fuck off out of this blog
You are the definition of Reich-Wing ass backward illiterate.

@cjcjcj: Not found your way back to Israel yet?

Freedom of Speech should only be repressed if you say something bad about jews btw.

79. Tyler Cunt

I think R and Chaise – two far-right cunts deserve to have their comments removed

Not sally.

80. Tyler Cunt

Chaise and R – Both UKIP/BNP apologist idiots.

81. spamfilter

Chaise and R are both UKIP/BNP apologists.

Ignore all arguments by them.

Sally re comments 32 + 66:

You really don’t know when to stop digging do you?

Your statement in 32:
“But then there are no depths the pro Zionist right will go to. Stealing New Zealand and British passports for example.”
has absolutely no place in a conversation about what Ken Livingstone said, does it?

Nonetheless, thank you, it has flushed you out of the woodwork good and proper – I hadn’t attributed this particular problem to you before.

PS: Imran Kahn was a fantastic cricket player for Sussex years before he became a Pakistani politician. Funny you didn’t consider his name might have been used by someone acknowledging his sportsmanship rather than just for it being a Muslim name?

Let’s face it, this is just another right-wing attempt to get Ken Livingstone. Anyone who falls for it is brain-dead.

Two bottom lines: vote Labour. And expel Livingstone from the Party.

If poor Eric Joyce can be expelled simply for getting pissed and punching a few Tories, then surely Livingstone’s blatant antisemitism should be sufficient to get him booted out.

The fact that some people cannot see this, just goes to show the extent to which antisemitism has become “mainstream” on sections of he liberal/”left” (including, it would seem, here).

85. Chaise Guevara

Ok “Tyler Cunt” aka “spamfilter”, let’s pretend that you’re not a troll. In what possible way am I “far right” or a “UKIP/BNP apologist”? These aren’t terms usually attached to liberal socialists, so I’d be fascinated to hear your rationale.

86. Chaise Guevara

@ 70 Dick the Prick

“You can just imagine the wizzened old spinster smoking furiously, surrounded by cats and posters of Lenin and Stalin”

Shouldn’t have laughed, but did!

Not a huge fan of Livingstone but the sort of scum and vermin that have worked themselves up into a hysterical frenzy over this laughable shit (e.g. the human raw sewage over at harry’s place) put him up in my estimation. Hope he beats that toff cunt Boris and the tories, liberals and zionists go crying back to their mummies.

88. Hashassasin

Is there any moderation on this site apart from posters who disagree with Sunny’s stance?

89. Spotty-faced Marxist

This whole thread is so funny I’ve wet my pants.
Classic LibCon.

90. Shatterface

Not a huge fan of Livingstone but the sort of scum and vermin that have worked themselves up into a hysterical frenzy over this laughable shit (e.g. the human raw sewage over at harry’s place) put him up in my estimation. Hope he beats that toff cunt Boris and the tories, liberals and zionists go crying back to their mummies.

Says the aptly named ‘Left not Liberal’. Because of course, ‘toff cunt’ is all the argument you need.

And who brought ‘zionists’ into this?

91. GoshReally

Is there any moderation on this site apart from posters who disagree with Sunny’s stance?

Of course not. He’s a progressive liberal, after all.

“Says the aptly named ‘Left not Liberal’. Because of course, ‘toff cunt’ is all the argument you need.

And who brought ‘zionists’ into this?”

Says the aptly named shatterface – aptly named because I’d like to see your face shattered you thick fucking pseudo-anarchist dilettante liberal lil fuckfaced dipshit cunt.

Tories, liberals (i.e. the blairites, libdems, cunts like you etc) and zionists (hasbara operatives, war crimes apologists, islamophobes etc) — I think that’s a fair summary of the three most vocal opponent groups of the Livingstone campiagn. Wankers all of them – and just about anything that pisses them off is a good thing.

I like your scare quotes around ‘zionists’ though – and the subtle implication that I’m using it as a code word for jews – ever considered that not everybody plays in your pathetic little swamp fuckface? The problem with Livingstone is not that he’s an anti-semite, but that he is sucked in to the stupid liberal multicultural game of ‘identity politics’ – appealing to the ‘muslim community’ and the ‘jewish community’ and the ‘black community’ etc – thus diverting attention away from the fundamental issues of class conflict. His remarks about people’s wealth effecting their politics are at least a step in the right direction in that sense.

93. Shatterface

Those weren’t ‘scare quotes’, they were just quotes. Its you who finds ‘zionists’ scary.

Says the aptly named shatterface – aptly named because I’d like to see your face shattered you thick fucking pseudo-anarchist dilettante liberal lil fuckfaced dipshit cunt.

Repeated for comic value only.

Left Not Liberal = comedy gold

@shattertory – why do you think I find zionists scary? On the whole I just think they’re a pain in the arse (the online variety at least), particularly with their perpetual whiny victim complexes.

@ cjcjcj – I’d rather be comedy gold than a tragedy turd like you.

60: “I suspect most people automatically skim past her comments”

Oh Chaise, you couldn’t be more wrong, I love Sally’s comments and always read them, and any responses to them avidly. In fact I love them so much that I’m expecting someone to bring out a full contextual exegesis one day.

I trust these will also be included:

32 Sally says: “Could Imran be Jewish by chance.? If he is it is pretty sick pretending to be of a different religion. But then there are no depths the pro Zionist right will go to. Stealing New Zealand and British passports for example.”

45: “You’ve missed Sally and Buddyhell’s real problem with you. Not only are you attacking their team, but you are a Muslim – a minority group, and thus by their definition duty bound to vote Labour against the evil Tories. Which marks you out as a special kind of traitor in their eyes”

70: “With some of you folks on here, your self very much included, you’ve got to be on top of your game and sometimes give 3 credible sources of evidence to back up a claim, with Sally, all that’s irrelevant and suddenly having a contradictory opinion on windfarms ratchets up to support for genocide! You can just imagine the wizzened old spinster smoking furiously, surrounded by cats and posters of Lenin and Stalin, in her basement flat dreaming of the glorious revolution and waiting for the day her hero will emerge from the ashes to lead us to the utopian uplands from Bexley Heath or Walthamstowe.”


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Natasha Phillips

    Ken’s team denies “Jews are rich” comments | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/tFUOS9rU via @libcon

  2. Tom Griffin

    @LutherBlissetts Sunny has a post on it here. http://t.co/ZrcrNWzy

  3. RepStones

    Ken Livingstone's campaign categorically deny he made 'Jews are rich and won't vote Labour' comments http://t.co/UNCpX4pm

  4. Rachel Wenstone

    MT "@sunny_hundal: Ken Livingstone's campaign deny he made 'Jews are rich & won't vote Labour' cmnts http://t.co/IxmiNzus&quot; <he defs didn't

  5. kevinrye

    Seems #Ken4london story on supposed #antisemitism is not true. Another hatchet job for #boris? Crosby again? http://t.co/cbbfJRpk #london

  6. Jo

    FAO @josiet_j http://t.co/WsVKYMJm

  7. linnet1968

    Seems #Ken4london story on supposed #antisemitism is not true. Another hatchet job for #boris? Crosby again? http://t.co/cbbfJRpk #london

  8. sunny hundal

    Ken Livingstone denies he made 'Jews are rich & won't vote Labour' comments http://t.co/UNCpX4pm

  9. Ross MacRae

    MT "@sunny_hundal: Ken Livingstone's campaign deny he made 'Jews are rich & won't vote Labour' cmnts http://t.co/IxmiNzus&quot; <he defs didn't

  10. BeRichYoung

    Ken's team denies “Jews are rich” comments | Liberal Conspiracy: Ken, towards the end of the meeting, stated tha… http://t.co/xAIgY0xc

  11. Mike Freeman

    Ken’s team denies “Jews are rich” comments | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ktpIf33B via @libcon

  12. Josie Thaddeus-Johns

    @cazroz Ken's pushback http://t.co/nOahGnZX via @jonanamary

  13. Jeremy Monkey

    The words may have been different. But the intent? Ken’s team denies “Jews are rich” http://t.co/xw6VvhI7 via @libcon

  14. sunny hundal

    @janemerrick23 @jewishchron @jenlipman Ken says he didn't say it; others back him up. JC don't even bother with balance http://t.co/oDSS1ncs

  15. paulstpancras

    @janemerrick23 @jewishchron @jenlipman Ken says he didn't say it; others back him up. JC don't even bother with balance http://t.co/oDSS1ncs

  16. Thursday’s London Links: bumper crop

    [...] is being accused of making comments about Jews. Liberal Conspiracy makes the case for the [...]

  17. Dan Rickman: Last Jewish Ken Supporter Standing?

    [...] the ability of people on the left to write nonsense about any subject – the comments on the Liberal Conspiracy blog in defence of Ken well demonstrate [...]

  18. Jen Izaakson

    MT "@sunny_hundal: Ken Livingstone's campaign deny he made 'Jews are rich & won't vote Labour' cmnts http://t.co/IxmiNzus&quot; <he defs didn't

  19. sunny hundal

    @mrharrycole Read my piece reporting on the issue – http://t.co/UNCpX4pm – I'm sure more sensible people can make up their own minds

  20. ON NICK FERRARI SHOW, KEN DENIES “RICH JEWS” REMARK EVEN THOUGH IT IS VERIFIED BY A RABBI | CYBERBORISjohnson

    [...] night, Labour tweeters were eager to protect Ken from any fallout from this article.  Sunny Hundal wrote an blog denying that Ken had made any such remarks.  The tweeter @kevinrye tweeted: ”Seems [...]

  21. Harry's Place » Ken Livingstone Stands By His “Wealthy Jews” Gaffe | www.successfulnwealthy.com

    [...] they suggested that Ken’s argument had been misreported. See for example, the rubbish printed by Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy: Categorically, Ken Livingstone did not state that he believes Jews will not vote Labour because [...]





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