Ken Livingstone: Could someone explain this to me?

On the one hand we have Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, known for a life long of campaigning against racism and anti-semitism.

On the other hand we have Oliver Finegold, a reporter of the Evening Standard. The Evening Standard is a sister paper of the Daily Mail, the paper that supported Mosley’s British Union of Fascists in the 30s. This context is important.

So Finegold approaches Livingstone after a party at City Hall. Livingstone does not like newspaper people. He asks Finegold whether he’s a “German war criminal”, referring to the Daily Mail issue mentioned above. Finegold obviously has to contribute that he’s Jewish. Livingstone replies: “You’re just like a concentration camp guard. You’re just doing it because you’re paid to, aren’t you?”

All of a sudden, the whole of London is trying to put pressure on Livingstone to apologise. Could someone please explain to me why he should do this? What has a personal insult got to do with the rest of the world? Is it not his right to decide whether or not to apologise for a personal insult? I understand that there are limits to what one is allowed to say, but in this case I don’t see how these limits have been transgressed. Perhaps the seriousness of this is getting lost in translation.

I’m probably going to get in trouble for this, but I really don’t understand how the moment someone calls “anti-semitism”, the whole world seemingly automatically sides with that person, no matter the circumstances. I personally think that there might be too much emotion and too little reason involved.

I would honestly appreciate any rational enlightenment. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Ken Livingstone: Could someone explain this to me?”

  1. I cannot *enlighten* you about this, except to add that this whole thing is very big here in Germany as well (ok, that was beyond obvious, but bear with me…)

    This whole issue clouds the judgement of a lot of people: they know racism is evil, but since the issue is so gray in some areas, they develop this allergic reaction and instantly pronounce everything that makes them even feel remotely uncomfortable as evil too.

    So the guy insulted a journalist by saying the guy was a pawn and didn’t take responsibilty for his actions. He made a reference to Nazi concentration camp gaurds. The other guy was Jewish.
    This makes it evil, since otherwise-normal people do not want to deal with this muddy bullshit – it would mean risking being called anti-semitistic themselves. So everyone says “this is evil, go an apologise”, and stand well back.

    In this way, they *all* remind me of Nazi concentration camp gaurds – not willing to take up any responsibility for their actions, and only looking after their own arses.

    Phew, I done, peace out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.