Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Galloway’s Comment on Livingstone Affair is Unforgivable.

with 6 comments

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This Blog has not so far commented on the Livingstone affair.

We stand by Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement.

Jeremy Corbyn statement on Ken Livingstone’s suspension

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party said:

“Ken Livingstone’s comments have been grossly insensitive, and he has caused deep offence and hurt to the Jewish community.

“Labour’s independently elected National Constitutional Committee has found Ken guilty of bringing the party into disrepute and suspended him for two years.

“It is deeply disappointing that, despite his long record of standing up to racism, Ken has failed to acknowledge or apologise for the hurt he has caused. Many people are understandably upset that he has continued to make offensive remarks which could open him to further disciplinary action.

“Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies. But Ken’s subsequent comments and actions will now be considered by the National Executive Committee after representations from party members.”


Others have expressed their views well and better than I could.

David Rosenberg.

Hero or villain? The Livingstone question.

I do not believe Livingstone is antisemitic. Nor do I believe that right-wing Jews whom the media treats as spokespersons have any right to define what is offensive to all Jews. I respect the integrity of the longstanding socialist and Labour Jewish activists who gave supportive testimony at Livingstone’s hearing, several of whom I know personally. However  I do believe that Livingstone deliberately invites controversy and notoriety, that his judgement on these issues is very poor, that he has set back the Palestinian cause by his utterances, and made life more difficult for the embattled left-wing Labour leadership.

I hope that those of us fighting for justice for the Palestinians, fighting racism in all its forms, including antisemitism, and fighting to strengthen Labour’s progressive leadership will reflect on this episode and ensure that we are directing our fire on our enemies in ways that are both principled and effective.

 Phil is harder: Ken Livingstone and Anti-Semitism, Again.

Here lies Ken Livingstone. Yes, he has an excellent record as a campaigner against racism. Yes, five Jewish members of the party went to his hearing as character witnesses for the defence, including the sainted Walter Wolfgang. But time and again, when it comes to matters concerning Israel Ken goes straight up to the fine line and dances all along it. Why? The historical record doesn’t support his contention that Hitler supported Zionism before “he went mad”, and Ken knows full well that most Jewish people in Britain find the mentioning of Israel in one breath and the Nazis in the next upsetting and disrespectful. So, again, why? I don’t believe Ken is anti-semitic, but when you’re consistently provocative and unrepentant about it to the extent you damage yourself, the faction of the party you’re aligned with to the point of aiding the leadership’s opponents, and the standing of the Labour Party itself, it’s easy to see why many people aren’t so forgiving.

The National Constitutional Committee therefore were right to find Ken guilty of bringing the party into disrepute but wrong to to give him a slapped wrist. His behaviour should have made the ultimate sanction a foregone conclusion.

In this context,

Galloway’s Tweet is unforgivable.

Fortunately he has now for ever burnt his bridges with the Labour Party.

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Written by Andrew Coates

April 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Galloway calls Corbyn a ‘shameless opportunist’.
    Quite right!
    George and Ken should set up a party together.


    April 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm

  2. Livingstone must be expelled: then he would be free to team up with Galloway and form an openly anti-Semitic semi-fascist party, maybe backed by Aaron Banks.

    Jim Denham

    April 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm

  3. Morning Star, from their Editorial.

    “It’s obvious that Livingstone’s behaviour since the investigation began has not made things easier either for himself or for the Labour Party.

    His determination to prove he was merely stating historical fact ignores the real offence caused when the nazis, authors of the greatest crime in history in the form of the Holocaust that sought to wipe out the Jewish race, are compared to or associated with their victims.

    To acknowledge that there was a phase of nazi policy which considered expelling Jewish people to Palestine is a very different thing from claiming that this amounted to “supporting zionism,” a nationalist movement aimed at empowering rather than deporting Jews.

    Livingstone should have acknowledged this and apologised, however infuriating that might be when so many of his critics have no record of fighting racism and were clearly targeting him as an ally of leader Jeremy Corbyn on the NEC, rather than because they were genuinely offended. However, a clumsy way with words and a dogged insistence on defending oneself do not amount to racism.”


    Andrew Coates

    April 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm

  4. Hurtful, insensitive or offensive are not really the issue. A community, a nation can be “hurt” by detrimental remarks made about them and their history. Wrong, ignorant, jew-baiting and with a dodgy agenda would be more to the point.


    April 7, 2017 at 12:37 pm

  5. The first half of the M Star’s editorial is fine: the second half is crap.

    Jim Denham

    April 7, 2017 at 3:40 pm

  6. Well, his anti-racism for me is always marked by things like this:

    “Livingstone invites cleric back
    Mr Livingstone asked his guest to attend the Social Forum in October
    Mr Livingstone invited the cleric to attend a conference in October

    London Mayor Ken Livingstone has invited a Muslim cleric, whose trip to Britain triggered a heated controversy, to come back later this year.

    Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi came under attack after describing Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel as “martyrs”.

    But the Crown Prosecution Service later said that there was not enough evidence to justify prosecuting him on the grounds of his speeches.

    Mr Livingstone apologised to his guest and branded the criticism “hysteria”.

    Speaking on Monday at a conference in London’s City Hall on Islamic women’s right to wear the hijab or headscarf, the mayor said: “On behalf of the people of London, I would like to apologise to the Sheikh for the outburst of xenophobia in sections of the media.”


    “There’s no shred of doubt in my mind that Qaradawi is antisemitic, homophobic and sexist, and that he justifies terrorist attacks on innocent civilians. He is the spiritual head of the reactionary Muslim Brotherhood, and his politics are well to the right of the odious British National Party (BNP).”

    Peter Tatchell.


    Andrew Coates

    April 7, 2017 at 5:02 pm

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