Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blair's failure of leadership

I think that the mainstream press has somewhat missed that neither the Tories nor UKIP can match Labour for putting closet racists in positions of power. As such I think I'll send the following letter to the Prime Minister so that at least he might see the reality of the situation:

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Dear Mr. Blair,

London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, has recently been in China and has compared the Tian’anmen Square protests, in which thousands were killed opposing a dictatorship, to the London Poll Tax riots, in which no one was killed opposing an unpopular policy of a democratic government. This suggests that he puts an incredibly low value on the lives of Chinese demonstrators. An attitude such as this is entirely inappropriate for the mayor of a cosmopolitan city such as London.

Prior to this Mr. Livingstone has demonstrated anti-Semitism on two occasions: Firstly, by repeatedly comparing a Jewish reporter to a guard at a concentration camp. Secondly, by telling the owners of a company running a regeneration project in Stratford to “go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs”.

All of these actions hurt race relations in London and demean Mr. Livingstone’s office. The High Court has ruled, quite rightly, that the standards body does not have the right to suspend officials with an electoral mandate. For this reason it would appear that this is a situation in which free speech combined with a desire to avoid gratuitous offence is best served by not suspending Mr. Livingstone from office but, instead, expelling him from the Labour party.

Recently, when a Conservative candidate for councillor stated that an ethnic minority candidate would not be appropriate for their ward Phil Woolas complained that David Cameron had “failed the test of leadership by refusing to take action”. Doesn’t that logic apply here as well?

I would like to ask you, as leader of the Labour party, to take action to sever links with a man who is an embarrassment to the Labour party, London and, by association, yourself.

Yours,
Matthew Sinclair

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Any chance of a response? Not much but you get the point.

2 comments:

Matthew jcg Partridge said...

I would have to say that, as someone who campaigned for Dobson in 2000, I was not thrilled by the decision to re-admit Ken Livingstone. However, to be fair the people in question did have business links with the Iranian regime. Similarly, although I do think KL should have apologised for the remarks to the journalist he was correct in pointing out that they were the paper which backed the blackshirts and are a paper which is very anti-immigrant.

Peter John Cannon said...

The Evening Standard did not support the Blackshirts (although it did support Ken Livingstone for Mayor of London).
The Daily Mail did support them for a very brief time in the 1930s, although this did not stop Ken Livingstone writing restaurant reviews for them.

I don't believe Livingstone's comments will damage race relations, but I do believe he is a hypocrite to pose as a martyr for free speech as he is the first to denounce other people as 'racist' or 'Islamophobic', he has not respected the freedom of the press or freedom of expression in cases of alleged 'Islamophobia' (eg. criticism of Yusuf al-Qaradawi) and he vocally supported the religious hatred law.