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February 22, 2005

Comments

Peter

The Daily Mail supported the fascists in the 1930's. The reporter was doing the homophobic dirty work of the Mail's subsidiary paper the Standard in doorstepping a party for Chris Smith. That was the context of Livingstone's remarks.

The journalists who work for this vile newspaper group are well-paid for dishing it out. So they should be able to take it as well.

Colm

Peter

Hate to tell you this, but it's 2005 not the 1930's. Britain was allied with Stalin back then , so what's your point. Where is your evidence that the journalist was being homophobic. The party was an official event sponsored by the mayor using public funds. There is absolutely no reason why the press shouldn't have covered it. By the way nobody else complained about the presence reporter or questioned their coverage of the event. Indeed, gay activists present defended the journalist and have attacked Ken for his gross trivialisation of the Holocaust and pathetic inabilty to cope with that most annoying aspect of a democracy - a free press. Ken Livingstone is a hypocrite. he berates this journalist for working for the 'fascist' mail group yet was happy himself to pocket by his own admission £33,000 from the Standard in the 1990's.

This is not about the sensitivities of a journalist. It's about a political leader in modern day Britain mocking one of the greatest horror's in history. Ken's comments were disgusting. His failure to apolgise for them is arrogant and shamefull. He should be thrown out of office.

Peter

Colm, the Mail and the Standard have run a vicious personal campaign against Livingstone for decades. He is perfectly entitled to treat their hirelings with contempt.

Colm


Should he treat himself with contempt then for working for the Standard in the 1990's ( which you seem to have glossed over)

The Standard officially supported Ken for re-election last year. So much for "vicious personal campaign' against him for decades!

Whatever the truth about the Mail/Standard's 'vendetta' against him is not the point. He trivialised the Holocaust and should apologise for making such an erroneous comparison. It doesn't matter who he said it to.

Peter

The fact remains that if the reporter had not been from the Standard the remarks would not have been made. It is normal for politicians to attack newspapers which attack them.

Colm

The fact also remains that no matter how many times I raise the real issues , and ken's hypocrisy everyone reading this can see you just ignore them. You are unable to argue against the points I raised which only demonstrates that you know, you (and Ken) are completely wrong.

Thanks for conceding defeat by your omissions.

Peter

No defeat conceded. To accuse Livingstone of trivialising the holocaust by his remarks is way over the top. Michael Howard occasionally writes in the Guardian - does that make him a hyprocrite as well in your book?

The Standard may have supported Livingstone last year, but the track record of the Mail and Standard with regard to Livingstone is one of constant vilification, if not incitement to hatred.

Colm

Michael Howard has not to my knowledge screamed abuse at a Guardian reporter shouting that he should be ashamed of working for 'Stalinist commie filth' - so why should he be accused of the hypocrisy that Ken Livingstone is so clearly guilty of.

The Mail is well know for it's aversion to anything left wing in politics but that's the beauty of a genuine free press. Britain has probably the most vigorous entertaining and worthwhile press in the world and a good thing too. I am a Londoner and am very familiar with The Standard and while they have often been hostile to Ken Livingston , they have been much fairer to him as mayor and they are simply guilty of doing what Londons major newspaper should be doing,scrutinising London's leader. Perhaps you might prefer a servile press that meekly obeys the politicians and doesn't question their activities, I don't.

Please explain how the Standard actually supporting Ken for re-election is compatible with 'constant vilification' and 'incitement to hatred' of him as you so ludicrously and exaggeratedly claim.

And you accuse me of being way over the top !

Peter

It is quite possible that Howard will fall out with the Guardian during the coming election. However, I wouldn't expect the Guardian to disclose what they may have paid him for his articles.

As a Londoner you will be well aware of the hysterical campaign run by the Standard and Mail against the congestion charge, to give but one example of their political hostility to Livingstone. The Mail does not have an aversion to left wing politicians, it has a hatred of them. In fact, it is a paper which drips hatred from almost every issue.

I think your view of the British press in general is very complacent. I would not want a servile press, but much of what we have is muck-raking, trivialising, celebrity-obsessed and with a lynch-mob mentality. And well capable of making up "facts" to suit their political agenda.

Ross

"the homophobic dirty work of the Mail's subsidiary paper"

GIven that only a few months ago Ken Livingstone was lauding a extremist cleric called Qarawadi, who believes homosexuals should be executed I don't think Ken Livingstone has any right to complain about homophobia. I'm not sure how reporting on a publicly funded jamboree for Chris Smith is homophobic in any case.

Colm


Hush Hush Ross, don't you realise Saint Ken can do no wrong in some peoples eyes.

Peter

I am not going to allow you to twist the issue and won't debate the rights and wrongs of the press anymore , as I clearly said that is not the issue here.

Ken Livingstone doesn't have the remotest idea of what it is like to be on the recieving end of the power that a concentration camp guard had, and as a political figure who should be sensitive to those who live in this city that did experience it and the many more who grieve for loved ones killed at the hands of those guards he should have the decency to apologise to them, NOT necessarily to the journalist who (and for once I agree with you) should be able to take it on the chin.

Being approached by pesky journalists is part and parcle of being a politician . If Ken doesn't like it, well you know the rest...

Peter

Ross, I agree with you about the scumbag Qaurawadi. In fact, Islam is a deeply homophobic religion. Livingstone should be ashamed to have given him house room. However, the Mail is deeply homophobic as well even if it pays lip service to tolerance. Witness the sneering hatchet job it did on the actor Kevin Spacey last year.

Colm, Livingstone stated yesterday that he did not intend to give offence to the Jewish community. That should be enough.

Colm

Peter

"I don't mean to offend the Jewish community but I refuse to withdraw or apolgise for comparing a journalist to a concentration camp guard"

So that's alright then

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