London is in the grip of a mild political fever at the present. The mayoral election is scheduled to take place in early May, the leading candidates being the incumbent Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party and Labour’s Ken Livingstone, a former mayor whom dear old Boris booted out of office four years ago.
I’ve been campaigning vigorously in my milieu for the latter because, well, I adore the blond beast! No, there is more to it than that. Livingstone, better known as Red Ken, was a disaster for London in the past; he would be a disaster for London in the future.
Red Ken is a prime example of a relatively new phenomenon, that of left-wing anti-Semitism. Yes, the socialism of fools, to use the phrase once coined by August Bebel, has now infected the Labour Party, yea, even so far as their candidate to lead London. This has seen supposedly ‘progressive’ elements carry out incredible ideological contortions to ally themselves with some of the most reactionary forces on earth, all in the name of ‘anti-Zionism.’
Yusaf al-Qaradawi, spiritual guide for the Muslim Brotherhood, is a man, Red Ken insists, who is attempting to “reconcile Islam with democracy and human rights, in particular women’s rights.” As Nick Cohen pointed out in the political journal Standpoint, he conveniently forgets to mention Qaradawi’s fatwas in favour of the genital mutilation of girls, wife beating, and the murder of gays, Jews and apostates.
Livingstone is a man who uses terms like Jewish, Zionist and Israeli interchangeably, often in a pejorative manner. He recently said that ‘rich Jews’ would never vote for him. Oh, he is not simply saying that the rich will not vote for a left-wing candidate; he is saying by definition all Jews are rich, that the Jewish community in general will not vote for him.
This came out in a meeting he attended recently with members of the London Jewish Forum and other representative bodies, called to raise questions over his support for al-Qaradawi, as well as his acceptance of money from the Iranian state broadcast service. In a letter subsequently leaked to the Jewish Chronicle the authors said that Livingstone’s language when touching on Jews, Zionism and Israel was “close to classic anti-Semitism.”
It’s not the first time that he has caused offence here, as the Daily Mail reported today. In 2005 he called a Jewish reporter from the London Evening Standard a “concentration camp guard.” He also blamed his defeat in 2008 partly on the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who, in classic conspiratorial style, seemingly collaborated with the Standard to ‘get rid’ of him.
It’s the sort of fantasy, a belief in a hidden and malign power, which used to inhabit the minds of those who were seduced by such enlightened texts as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Jews, it would seem, are Ken’s misfortune. I’m sure some of you will pick up on the reference here!
George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the present British government, said earlier this month that Livingstone was no friend of the Jewish community and that London needed a leader “who respects all its citizens.” Indeed it does, just as it needs no more of the socialism of fools.