Saturday, January 23, 2021

Silence please

Section:

Ken Livingstone should honour his promise

 

When Ken Livingstone lost for a second time to Boris Johnson May 2012, he announced “this will be my last election” and signaled that he might quietly disappear from frontline politics.

 

Sadly, he’s plainly reassessed the idea and today caused great offence with comments made on the Iranian television channel Press TV about the motives of the Boston bombers. Whilst on air, Mr Livingstone stated:

 

“Very often, people get incredibly angry about injustices that they see… They would have been reading about the torture at Guantanamo Bay, at Baghram airbase”.

 

Silence please: Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone
Silence please: Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone

“They would have read stuff about how, I think it is 54 different countries secretly collaborated with America for this rendition — people being snatched off streets taken to be tortured, because the Bush regime believed that they were all potential terrorists”.

 

“There was such ignorance in the Bush White House about Islam and about the history of so many disputes that exist in the Middle East”.

 

“It’s the whole squalid intervention that has disfigured the record of the Western democracies. I think this fuels the anger of the young men, who — as we saw in Boston — went out, and, out of anger and demand for revenge, claimed lives in the West”.

 

Ken Livingstone has plainly decided being offensive still suits him best and predictably, upon receiving criticism from the Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps, he announced he was standing by his remarks. Sadly, it seems, the chance of him admitting he’s wrong and apologising is about as likely as Lord Lucan riding into town on Shergar.

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  1. I don’t know anything about Ken Livingstone – but based purely on the comments above – I think he makes some valid observations. I have no idea whether Ken Livingstone is agreeing with these motives – I suspect he’s just pointing them out – but I think that some would see things the way he describes. There isn’t any need to withdraw what are just observations, and I don’t necessarily see this as wrong or something to apologise for – EXCEPT that it is no doubt insensitive to the feelings of those whose lives have been so drastically torn by this tragedy. These are conversations that have to be had, though.

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