Ken Livingstone suspended for no good reason


by Sunny
24th February, 2006 at 2:32 pm    

Ken Livingstone was today suspended from office for four weeks by a disciplinary tribunal for likening a Jewish Evening Standard reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

The three-man adjudication panel of the Standards board for England said the mayor of London should step down from his duties on March 1.

Bollocks to that. The analogy that Ken Livingstone used was unfortunate, but this is a man with a solid record against racism. The real farce is the Evening Standard taking a morally righteous route.

This is once again a strike against freedom of speech and excessive political correctness over race and religion. I don’t buy it. Livingstone should never have been suspended.

Update: Leslie Bunder agrees. We’re all getting sick of religious bodies playing politics.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Civil liberties,Race politics






101 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Opinionated Voice

    [...] What is not permissible in Europe under the regulations of ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression’ is anything that remotely offends Jewish people. Denial of the Holocaust will get you imprisoned and reference to the Holocaust in earshot of a Jew will get you suspended from office. I for one am sick of this pandering to Jewish sentiments and this evident double standard when it comes to the use of free speech. …More at Pickled Politics. «« Previous: Bloody Mary Comments » [...]


  2. Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Bad Things Happen to Bad People

    London Mayor Ken Livingstone is not one of my favorite people. Even though we are separated by over 3,000 miles, he has managed to reach across the Atlantic and annoy me on several occasions in recent years. However, it appears




  1. jamal — on 24th February, 2006 at 2:50 pm  

    I’m in total agreement with you. Red Ken’s a fair chap and the comment was taken out of context. He shouldnt have been suspended, and i hope that when people are rallying for the right to free speech they remember that Red Ken has had his freedom of expression infringed also.

    With the recent Irving case and now this, it seems that our right to free speech includes offending anybody except Jews.

  2. Geezer — on 24th February, 2006 at 2:57 pm  

    Did they also call him a raving anti Semite as well?

  3. Raw Data — on 24th February, 2006 at 3:40 pm  

    Bullshit.

  4. Rohin — on 24th February, 2006 at 3:56 pm  

    Yeah, stupid. But – still funny. Newt-munching chump.

  5. Raw Data — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:02 pm  

    I shouldn’t have posted a simple “Bullshit” without clarifying that I happen to agree that Ken Livingston should be allowed to be a fool and in public. “The best disinfectant is sunlight.” It is foolish PC to suspend him for being a dunce. Of course he is doubly a fool for simply not apologizing so I guess he is the worst sort of bigot: an unrepentent one.

    But some of the commenters here — Opinionated Voice and Jamal — shouldn’t be such asses to blame it on people they outnumber by a hundred to one. A billion Moslems and 12 million Jews and yet all these blokes can do is whine about how the Jews control everything. Do you understand how weak and simpering that makes you appear?

  6. mirax — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:12 pm  

    Jamal and opinionated voice are the same person. He is on a major whinge about the untouchability of the joos- leave him be. The boy can’t help himself.

  7. Don — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:16 pm  

    ‘Jamal and opinionated voice are the same person.’

    I hadn’t realised that. That makes him twice the twat I thought he was. Gays, jews, is there anyone this tosser doesn’t whine about?

  8. Jay Singh — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

    Jamal hates the Jews and the Homo’s and thinks that it is only a matter of time before Islam’s Universal Values dominate – he thinks that Muslims need the help of non Muslims in order to ensure Islam’s triumph and victory over the western hegemon and he has a speech by a Malaysian Imam to say so.

  9. Raw Data — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:22 pm  

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Otherwise I find this blog heartening. As an American I know very few Moslems …uh…actually none at all. My image is of medieval religious fanatics. So it is nice to realize that there are secular Moslems…at least that’s my impression of the folks here and I hope that doesn’t sound patronizing. Good luck to us all. I fear that there is a huge storm approaching.

  10. Jay Singh — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

    Raw Data

    Ummm – most of the people on this thread are not Muslims dude.

  11. mirax — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:29 pm  

    Raw data, you know it is not that difficult to find and befriend muslim. Give it a try and you may just find that not all of them are medieval maniacs intent on murdering you in your bed.

  12. Raw Data — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

    I think it would be totally condescending to go out and befriend a Moslem qua Moslem. The idea shrieks of patronizing.

  13. Don — on 24th February, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

    Raw Data,

    Fair point, but I never found it patronising when people in the back of beyond (hope that’s not patronising) made my acquaintance because they were curious about how a ‘westerner’ viewed the world. Made some good friends that way.

  14. Raw Data — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:12 pm  

    Well, Don, yes I do live out in the far corners of the civilized world and thanks for the suggestion but I can’t quite see myself calling up a Mosque and saying ‘Howdy, I’m an infidel and I’d like to stop by and share some shish-ka-bab with you.’

    I’m sitting in a cafe as I write this and I don’t see any blacks here — not a one out of 50 people — much less any Arabs. Oh well.

  15. Sunny — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:14 pm  

    Jamal hates the Jews

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying that. Its more jealousy over what he sees as double-standards in the way the two religious groups are regarded. I don’t happen to agree with him most of the time, but just painting him as hating all Jews is too simplistic.

    Btw – this thread may not have many Muslims on it, but a lot of the secret contributors and readers are Muslim :)
    Not that it makes any difference. The editor is neither Muslim nor non-Muslim.

  16. Sunny — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:21 pm  

    ‘Howdy, I’m an infidel and I’d like to stop by and share some shish-ka-bab with you.’

    the idea that all Muslims see non-Muslims as infidels is so quaint, I tell ya. Maybe its just because I have so many Muslim friends that this really grates me. I’d say all religious people, on a subconcious level, see people of other religions as “different”. The more the pride, the more the feeling to differentiate. Unfortunately, most of the people vocal about religion in today’s day and age are chock-full with pride and arrogance, and less with brains.

  17. mirax — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:46 pm  

    Sunny, what’s with the *secret* muslim contributors? Care to elaborate?

  18. jamal — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:47 pm  

    Thanks for that Sunny. You are correct, I dont hate Jews or anyone else.

    In this issue the double standard is apparant, Red Ken didnt even directly refer to or slander Jews but has been punished, previously we saw Irving imprisoned for holocaust denial. And all at a time when Muslims are being slandered right left and centre as freedom of speech.

    Today I read at Harry Place that a man in germany got 300 hours community service for printing the word “Koran” on toilet paper and offering it to mosques. Although action was taken for this DIRECT assault of Islam and Muslims, the punishment and media coverage was weak and inconsistent in comparison.

    Btw, they think Im you (sunny) at Harrys Place. lol I dont know why!

  19. Don — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:49 pm  

    Secret contributors? At last, our own conspiracy theory.

  20. raz — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:50 pm  

    British Jews and British Muslims (or at least their ‘leaders’) are engaged in a constant competition to see who can make themselves look more retarded. If only both sets could just shut up and get on with their lives instead of fucking whining all the time. And that’s without mentioning their eternal obsession with Israel/Palestine. Twats.

  21. mirax — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:52 pm  

    “I dont hate Jews or anyone else.”

    You could have fooled me. You certainly go on about them in a rather hysterical fashion.

  22. jamal — on 24th February, 2006 at 5:56 pm  

    just a correction, the beechams is still afecting my judgement. they dont think im sunny. that award goes to someone much more straight talking than I.

    Mirax, why do you think i hate jews.

  23. Steve M, BSc Reading (failed). — on 24th February, 2006 at 6:04 pm  

    Guys, I would be failing badly if I didn’t point you in the direction of Al-Jack’s blog.

    I particularly liked the account of that woman who’d been consorting with a jinn. She was …
    …taken to the Masjid, made to sit on the Mimbar and read from Al Qu’ran while receiving a light flogging.

    Shortly after this, she conceived her 5th child. I’m not surprised!

    I was also illuminated to read that the tsunami can be attributed to …
    women improperly dressed and being immodest.

    As al-jack says …
    There is an element of truth to this, though of course improper dress would not necessarily precipitate such a radical change in Nature.

    Phew, that’s a relief because we have a lot of improperly dressed women around these parts and the sea’s not that far away.

    Anyway, PPs, I recommend that you visit Al-Jack’s blog. Read it all – the many benefits of castrating your chauffer – all of it.

  24. mirax — on 24th February, 2006 at 6:14 pm  

    “Mirax, why do you think i hate jews. ”

    Comes from reading many of your posts on topics that touch upon jews like holocaust memorial day being boycotted by the MCB, mad ahmad’s (iranian moron-in chief) holocaust denial, the irving decision and now the livingstone case. When I read about the livingstone decision, you immediately popped into my mind. I could almost predict your rant word for word.

    Then there’s the way, over the last few weeks, you have been obsessively dragging in the jews into controversies that don’t concern them ie the great cartoon caper.

    You may not admit to it but you are a narrowminded bigot, not to mention, a tiresome bore.

  25. jamal — on 24th February, 2006 at 6:25 pm  

    Mirax, The fact is my dear is that it is your perception that is what has drawn you to this conclusion.

  26. Sunny — on 24th February, 2006 at 6:26 pm  

    Sunny, what’s with the *secret* muslim contributors? Care to elaborate?

    Nope.

    And raz – yes I agree completely. It’s getting beyond a joke.

  27. Don — on 24th February, 2006 at 6:32 pm  

    Jamal,
    calling Mirax ‘my dear’. Killer argument, puts her in her place, eh?

  28. raz — on 24th February, 2006 at 6:39 pm  

    Here’s an interesting quote from Ken:

    http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/1640_ken_livingstone_inte.htm

    Q:
    You are often outspoken about the Israeli government and in particular its prime minister Ariel Sharon. How do you feel when the Board of Deputies of British Jews denounces you for that?

    A: The Board of Deputies – and the Jewish Chronicle is their mouthpiece – have this idea that anyone who’s critical of Israel gets denounced as being anti-Semitic, so as a result the average spineless politician never says anything about the Middle East again……….. I didn’t notice anyone complaining when I said the Saudi royal family should be hanging from lampposts”

  29. raz — on 24th February, 2006 at 6:42 pm  

    MCB=Board of Deputies? Peas from the same pod? It really seems like minorities in this country are poorly served by their (self-appointed?) ‘leaders’.

  30. Raw Data — on 24th February, 2006 at 8:34 pm  

    btw, are we leading to some sort of crescendo?
    it seems as though the tension between religions and ethnic groups and national groups has ratcheted up sharply in the past three weeks. the examples of legion. horrific and of course can get worse. should we expect some weird new event soon?

  31. jamal — on 24th February, 2006 at 8:53 pm  

    “should we expect some weird new event soon?”

    Sudan man forced to ‘marry’ goat

  32. Sunny — on 24th February, 2006 at 9:47 pm  

    Lol, so Jamal does have a sense of humour.

    RD – every action has a reaction. Coming out of the London attacks of July 7th has been a growing a movement against the far-right sections of the Asian/Muslim community from within those communities. PP is a small part of the wider wave. So while there is a tendency for the fanatics on all sides to dominate the debate during strife, eventually I believe the more sane and liberal voices will prevail and deal with the problems.

  33. Old Pickler — on 25th February, 2006 at 12:30 am  

    Ken Livingstone is an arch tosser and a vainglorious twat. He has spent is sad little life, when not fleecing motorists, promoting political correctness and muzzling free speech when it’s against cosseted groups like Muslims. He wouldn’t hear a word against Sheikh Qaradawi who believes in wife beating, killing homosexuals, rape victims who are “immodestly” dressed asking for it etc.

    Normally I’m in favour of vainglorious twats being able to shoot their tossy mouths off, ie free speech. But Ken himself is against it. Live by PC, die by PC. Hoist with his own petard.

    He asked for it, as his pal would say about women and gays.

  34. El Cid — on 25th February, 2006 at 9:24 am  

    You think 300 community hours for writing Koran on toilet paper is weak punishment compared with Ken’s one-month suspension as Mayor of London?
    You’re also unhappy about the different levels of media coverage each story received.
    You’re weird and scary Jamal.
    I get a faint echo of Franco whenever I hear people like you.

  35. El Cid — on 25th February, 2006 at 9:26 am  

    As for Livingstone: he was a stubborn prick for not apologising in the first place.
    I know where he was coming from BUT when you’ve knocked back a few chilled Sancerres, you really ought to be careful about what you say. Working for the DMGT really isn’t the same as being a concentration camp guard. It really isn’t Ken.
    However, this latest ruling has swung the pendulum the other away. Having decided not to vote for Ken, I’m determined to do so now — determined. Who the fuck do you think you are Board of whatever?
    You really think this will further your cause? Eeejets. Like a teenage son rebelling against a father, Londoners will not take kindly to your undemocratic interference.

  36. El Cid — on 25th February, 2006 at 9:27 am  

    As for all you “Jews control the world” twats — what this simply shows is that Organised/Official Jewish groups are far smarter than Organised Islam and know how to play the system.
    Watch and learn fools.
    However, in this case, they have overplayed their hand badly.

  37. mirax — on 25th February, 2006 at 9:45 am  

    The board of deputies (BOD) and Red Ken have had an adversarial relationship for years. The BOD wanted an apology and Livingstone VERY stubbornly refused one- raising the ante. Then the BOD simply made a complaint (as was their right) to the Standards Board whose Adjudication Panel had to convene a tribunal, though it was petty of the BOD to push this hard. KLpushed harder and spent 80 000 pounds then fighting the Adjudication Panel, not the BOD or the newspaper as some here seem to think- and seems to have irritated them no end, since he even objected to their (adjudication panel’s) legal right to hear the case. Rather rich since since it was parliament that gave them this judicial oversight and KL that signed a code of conduct that they have the duty to enforce. Read the decision, the Panel sounds rather exasperated that things went so far and lays the blame squarely at KL’s feet.

    The Link

  38. Siddhartha — on 25th February, 2006 at 3:05 pm  

    However, in this case, they have overplayed their hand badly.

    Ken made silly and oafish remarks to a goading and provocatory Evening SubStandard journalist. I don’t think anyone can call him antisemitic or racist – his actions speak far too louder than words on that count.

    Funny when the anti-PC brigade muzzle a public voice for non-PC pretexts they seem completely comfortable with the double standards of it.

  39. ziz — on 25th February, 2006 at 5:23 pm  

    Kenny boy hasn’t got the trains to run on time but like a Fascist dictator he introduced and has beefed up the Congestion charge. THis is the only way to clear the roads and boost public road transport.

    The Gubment have fianlly got the message and are taxing gas and electricity bills virtually overnight because they have failed to plan our energy safety, security and future.

    There will down the line be a “windfall tax … as per banks etc., ) IF demand is not cut by these new charges we really are up the creek sans paddle.

    So Kenny Boy gets pissed and lays into journo scum … big deal …he makes things happen. (Except WEmberleee and Hackney baths etc etc.,)

  40. David T — on 25th February, 2006 at 7:18 pm  

    Ken Livingstone – like many on the left – divides Jews into “good Jews” (i.e. suffering and dying jews in the Holocaust, jews demonstrating against ‘Nazi’ Israel) and “bad Jews” (i.e. scheming jews who control the news, and US foreign policy).

    I suspect that he shares the commonly expressed view that Jews were subjected to genocide by the Nazis but failed to learn the lesson of the Holocaust: and went on to commit genocide on the Palestinians.

    The Holocaust and Nazis may be a preoccupation of Jews. But it is also a preoccupation of the European Left. That is why a drunk Ken Livingstone, confronted by a journalist from the Standard, immediately drew for a Nazi analogy. When he heard that his questioner was Jewish and offended, he immediately thought:

    “Jew: Concentration Camp: Nazi: Concentration Camp Guard!”

    Is that racist?

    Well, it depends on if you think that the good jew/bad jew dichotomy is a racist one. And it depends on whether you think that the Zionist=Nazi analogy is a racist one. An awful lot of people don’t.

    It is difficult to think of a precise parallel: because by and large people don’t routinely compare – for example – Black people to slave traders, or say to Native Americans, “You’re behaving just like a Cowboy”.

    I’m completely unsurprised that Ken Livingstone didn’t apologise. He really doesn’t think he is a racist. He just thinks he’s telling the truth about Jews.

  41. raz — on 25th February, 2006 at 8:22 pm  

    Like I said, a lot of Jews and Muslims in this country need to learn to shut the fuck up . They get on everyone’s nerves with their self-obsessed bollocks about being eternally persecuted. And it’s about time they realise the fact that they are British citizens and not Israelis or Palestinians.

  42. David T — on 25th February, 2006 at 8:40 pm  

    There is also that, yes.

  43. lankan — on 25th February, 2006 at 9:12 pm  

    Did anyone watch Keenan Malik’s doc which had the theory that britain was now divided into tribes and not races . .

  44. Jay Singh — on 25th February, 2006 at 9:21 pm  

    David T

    Nikki Gavron, who is Ken Livingstone’s deputy, is Jewish and is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She says that the idea that Ken is anti Semitic is complete bullshit. Now London is going to suffer because its mayor is obstructed from doing its work for a month, all because of the vindictiveness of the Board of Deputies. Even the journalist who was insulted didnt want Ken to be taken to the board. At worst Ken is an idealistic featherweight and a bit of an idiot – his patronage of every self declared victim group is especially galling. But to consider him anti Semitic is total crap.

    I can’t help feeling that the Board of Deputies actions have set a bad precedent.

  45. David T — on 25th February, 2006 at 9:45 pm  

    I’ve explained what I think the context of Ken’s jibe was. You either accept that, or you don’t.

    Of course it is a bad precedent. It isn’t simply a bad precedent: it is an intrinsically bad thing that a politician – who is ultimately accountable to the electorate – should be suspended by a quango for making an ethnic slur.

    I agree – for once – with Old Pickler’s line that the only political climate in which these sorts of things matter is one in which a politican is playing ethnic politics: something which I regard as fabulously corrosive. Check out the state of ethnic politics in New York in the 1980s and 1990 – where a boycott by black community leaders of Korean groceries, reminiscent of the shambles in Birmingham last year led to senior elected politicians, and the police chief taking sides! Against the Korean convenience store owners!! I really think that’s the direction in which London politics is headed.

    I want to see the Capital shy away from that sort of phoney dead end politics. And there are two sides to that: Ken stops pandering to “community leaders”, and “community leaders” shut the fuck up.

  46. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 2:10 am  

    Indeedy, all these community leaders are quite annoying.

    But its not surprising that people like OP are glad about Ken being suspended. That the right is hypocritical about its stance towards Freedom of Speech is long established.

    David, you also said:
    like many on the left – divides Jews into “good Jews” (i.e. suffering and dying jews in the Holocaust, jews demonstrating against ‘Nazi’ Israel) and “bad Jews” (i.e. scheming jews who control the news, and US foreign policy).

    Well this is rather like many people who divide Muslims into “moderates”, meaning those who shun religion, and “Islamists” – those who equate Islam and politics together.

    So its not like others are not susceptible to this.

    Ken may have his views on the Israeli/Palestine conflict, but I do not believe that he is a man who will discriminate on the basis of a person’s skin colour or ethnicity…. which is what racism is. So I don’t buy that argument. He may not like some people because of their political views… but that is a different matter.

  47. David T — on 26th February, 2006 at 9:52 am  

    Oh, I completely agree that there is a parallel to be drawn, Sunny.

    The point is this.

    If Ken Livingstone had been stopped by a south asian reporter, and had immediately gone into a pissed rant about “terrorists” and had said “I hope you’re not going to blow yourself up – you’re like a suicide bomber!”, that would be quite surprising. If the reporter had said “Actually, I’m a Muslim and I find that incredibly offensive” and he’d responded with a quip about Guantanamo bay and extraordinary rendition, this would basically be the end of his career.

    The reason that it would be the end of his career is that Livingstone’s political strategy consists of courting and fostering electorally important cultural groups, playing to their fears, bolstering and supporting ‘community leaders’ such as Qaradawi, and running a kind of shadow Middle Eastern foreign policy.

    It would be the end of his career, because a statement such as that would expose him as a pretty cynical and shallow kind of bigot.

    Having made a parallel remark about a jewish reporter though only bolsters his status as a brave politician who says the unsayable about the jews and stands up to their power and influence etc. etc. etc.

  48. Old Pickler — on 26th February, 2006 at 11:14 am  

    But its not surprising that people like OP are glad about Ken being suspended. That the right is hypocritical about its stance towards Freedom of Speech is long established.

    My point is not that Ken Livingstone is left wing, but rather that he himself is no friend to free speech if it offends the minorities he chooses to cultivate. Those minorities do not include Jews.

    Ken often behaves in ways that show contempt for the democratic process, for example the extension of the congestion charge zone. So for him to complain about the judgement of an unelected quango is a bit ironic to say the least. Moreover, in cultivating the likes of Qaradawi, and in his idolising of the Palestinians he shows himself to be rather fond of those for whom democracy and human rights are hardly a priority.

    Serve the bugger right.

  49. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 12:40 pm  

    OP your reasoning is all over the place as usual.

    he himself is no friend to free speech if it offends the minorities he chooses to cultivate

    Huh? That has nothing to do with it. What does offense have to do with cultivating minorities?

    Ken often behaves in ways that show contempt for the democratic process, for example the extension of the congestion charge zone.
    Actually thats rubbish. We had a chance to vote on the congestion charge itself and we did – by re-electing him. That gave him a mandate to extend it. Seems you’re not too concerned about a PM who takes us to war without a referendum though – but that’s because you agree with that decision. Right?

    David T:
    “Actually, I’m a Muslim and I find that incredibly offensive” and he’d responded with a quip about Guantanamo bay and extraordinary rendition, this would basically be the end of his career.

    Are we playing that game again, where one minority compares treatment to another minority?? Let’s see… a cartoon about Mohammed = free speech… and David Irving = a racist who should be in jail but not allowed free speech. Another controversy is going on right now with the film Paradise Now, with the Oscar academy not to happy about it being going for an award and many people [mostly Jewish groups] wanting it pulled. Yet I see no claims about ‘free speech’ from the other side.

    The fact that the same rules do not apply to all minorities is surely a long established fact.

  50. Pocahontas — on 26th February, 2006 at 1:37 pm  

    This is what happens when the world goes PC-mad.

    Utter tripe.

  51. j0nz — on 26th February, 2006 at 1:56 pm  

    This is what happens when the world goes PC-mad.

    Well, it’s inevitable with all this internet malarkey. Just be glad the world isn’t Apple mad.

  52. mirax — on 26th February, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

    “The fact that the same rules do not apply to all minorities is surely a long established fact. ”

    Ha! You finally said it, Sunny. I rather suspected that this was what you thought, given the way you argued on several issues.
    You are a Jamal in disguise then- ie the jews always have it easier than the rest of the minorities because they are …?

  53. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 3:00 pm  

    Lol at Jamal in disguise.

    Make whatever insinuation you want Mirax. I’ve long been annoyed at the competition between religious groups for most-victimised status:
    http://www.asiansinmedia.org/news/article.php/television/808

    But given recent controversies over David Irving, KL, and the upcoming one over Paradise Now, I don’t buy that they are all treated equally. What made me smile was David T’s comparison with South Asian groups.

  54. David T — on 26th February, 2006 at 3:12 pm  

    Sunny

    There is a world of difference between a privately owned newspaper publishing cartoons which comment on jihadism and an elected Mayor making ethnic slurs.

    I also find it depressing that you apparently think that Austria’s decision to deal with its own history of wartime genocide illustrates the power of jews over the world’s governments.

    Just goes to show how prevalent these sorts of views are: when even liberal Sikhs express them.

  55. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

    I also find it depressing that you apparently think that Austria’s decision to deal with its own history of wartime genocide illustrates the power of jews over the world’s governments.

    You’re mis-reading me David. I don’t at all worry about any global Jewish conspiracy. I’m merely referring to what some within the UK have said on the issue.

    Exhibit A, Melanie Phillips:
    Context is everything. Irving’s statements are not a simple matter of gross historical error. They are not even merely an expression of prejudice. They are an active incitement to hatred of the Jews.
    http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/archives/001602.html

    If I get a chance, I will Fisk that article, but the point is there are double standards in the way many in the UK are seeing the two events. Austria’s decision is its own.

  56. Jai — on 26th February, 2006 at 3:22 pm  

    David T,

    I support your comment about the difference between the 2 scenarios, although I should add that Sunny is not a Sikh (as he has stated himself a number of times here on PP). Technically he is originally from a Sikh family but, in terms of his own religious beliefs and affiliation, he is not a Sikh himself, liberal or otherwise.

  57. David T — on 26th February, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    Yeah that was unfair of me.

    The most important point – and one we actually have to hold the line on – is opposing the sort of stupid destructive going-nowhere tokenistic meet-the-community-leader politics that has turned politics into a mire.

    Yesterday I went on the anti-ALF terrorism rally in Oxford. This is a cause which doesn’t seek to divide people by or define people in terms of their culture. It’s a proper issue, not this sham politics of identity and outrage.

    How do we get back to that?

  58. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

    is opposing the sort of stupid destructive going-nowhere tokenistic meet-the-community-leader politics that has turned politics into a mire.

    agreed.

    This is a cause which doesn’t seek to divide people by or define people in terms of their culture. It’s a proper issue, not this sham politics of identity and outrage.

    *cough*
    I oppose testing on animals (though oppose the extremist/terrorist elements of the ALF), so that’s not an issue we can agree on. I believe in the sanctity of all life…. :D

  59. j0nz — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:03 pm  

    I oppose testing on animals

    Sorry can’t resist butting in. As a liberal would you rather they was tested on human subjects? Without testing on animals it would result a shocking negligence in care for the human race.

    I dare say there are people you know that wouldn’t be here today if animal testing was banned. Those animal extremists make me laugh. “Kill the humans! Save the Animals!”

    Well if these animal extremists were in charge of things looks like a lot of people would be dying from a lot of diseases and chemicals haphazardly! Just don’t hurt da fwuffy bunny wabbit!

  60. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:04 pm  

    Add Jai’s correction of David T above to his list of interventions along with:

    - I just want to point out to you that Jay SIngh is not the same as me.

    And,

    -Not all Asians are Muslims

    ;-)

  61. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:06 pm  

    I think a front page post on Animal Testing would give us a good debate!

    opposing the sort of stupid destructive going-nowhere tokenistic meet-the-community-leader politics that has turned politics into a mire.

    Amen Brother! This is what annoys the hell out of me about Livingstone – he is the epitome and personification of this tendency.

  62. David T — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:13 pm  

    And that is the point isn’t it. I’d much rather real debates about real issues which we can debate rationally than this bullshit identity politics.

    We should be demonstrating as a coalition against politicians meeting with the MCB, the Board of Deputies, the Sikh Federation et al. I’m sick of this rubbish

  63. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

    We should be demonstrating as a coalition against politicians meeting with the MCB, the Board of Deputies, the Sikh Federation et al. I’m sick of this rubbish

    Sign me up dude! But how can we change this culture?

  64. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:21 pm  

    As a liberal would you rather they was tested on human subjects?

    Yes. Why should animals suffer for human medication. They should pay people to be tested on… make it into a free market where the poor and homeless can put themselves forward for testing in return for inordinate amounts of money. Half this testing is rubbish anyway. The real diseases like Malaria and AIDS are not tackled because big pharma would rather make small tablets that keep the disease just at bay and keep the money rolling in. The way the pharma industy works itself needs to be over-hauled IMO. Half the research is funded by corporates themselves, as Monbiot has shown on many an occasion.

    I’d much rather real debates about real issues which we can debate rationally than this bullshit identity politics.

    Well, yes and no. The identity politics affects us all, so we need to debate it and point out the fallacies of when politicians pander to it.

    Though I don’t think Ken Livingstone is the epitomy of this. Thus is the nature of democracy – you pander to vocal people who can promise support and votes. We just need to build a coalition that is viable and an alternative.

  65. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

    Ken is the epitome of this tendency Sunny – any self pitying and self declared ‘community representative’ can get a conference organised by this dork using London ratepayers public funds. He’s been doing it since the 1980′s.

  66. Don — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:42 pm  

    ‘…the poor and homeless can put themselves forward for testing in return for inordinate amounts of money.’

    Sunny, that’s just bizarre. For starters, it’s hard to cash a cheque after a post-mortem. What constitutes ‘inordinate’ if you have just been given cancer or AIDS?

    Actually, people do sign up for drug trials, it’s just the lethal shit tend to attract fewer takers.

    Also, why stick it to the poor? I realise you have a belief in market forces, but that is a step beyond Dickensian. Why not the rich? ‘Yep, Mr CEO, you get your £13million bonus, but first roll up your sleeve. ‘ Or Premiership footballers? Every time you transfer, put in two weeks at Porton Down.

    I really look forward to that thread, if you get round to writing it.

  67. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:47 pm  

    Yeah – you open up that kind of shit to the market forces and who are the ones that are going to be exploited? The poorest and most vulnerable people in Asia and Africa! hmmmm….looks like you havent thought this through enough Sunny.

  68. j0nz — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:51 pm  

    Sunny make a new post! You need a lil bit of fisking Sunny Jim!

  69. mirax — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    I hardly think that Sunny is going run a thread on animal testing or stop the identity politics discussions because that is basically PP’s brief- holding the fort for (sometimes progressive) Asians. The blog contributors have chosen to emphasise this identity component so steadfastly, that the very occcasional post that has nothing to with asians- like say that one Sajini did about some Peruvian baby- actually started with an apology about being off theme!

  70. Don — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:57 pm  

    Back in the days before the internet we used to do wierd thing like cut bits out of newspapers, I just dug one out from 1982 (Guardian airmail edition 26.12.82.)

    It reads, in part;

    The giant Swiss drug company Ciba-Geigy has admitted spraying pesticide on unprotected Egyptian children to test its safety.

    The pesticide, named Galecron, was subsequently linked with cancer…

    The experiments were carried out in 1976.

  71. Don — on 26th February, 2006 at 4:58 pm  

    Should have googled first;

    http://www.newint.org/issue129/spray.htm

  72. mirax — on 26th February, 2006 at 5:11 pm  

    Funny thing about sentiments like ‘ I believe in the sanctity of *all* life’ is that they lead inexorably to the degradation of *some* life. It is simply not a sustainable position to take morally or practically. The irony of anti-animal testing campaigners sending death threats to teenagers who do not share their values amply illustrates this.

    I am unabashedly ‘specieist’, just like every other organism here on the planet. Lookin’ out for my own first.

  73. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 5:30 pm  

    You will remember Mirax I did a post recently also on global warming and the BBC test around it.

    In fact I’m more stressed about global warming and animal rights than I am about bloody identity politics and terrorists etc. But everything comes with time and effort. Right now I can add my two cents in the identity politics couldron, and make more of an impact than I can with my environmentalism. The latter will come, but not yet. There is a plan to all this.

    Also, why stick it to the poor? I realise you have a belief in market forces, but that is a step beyond Dickensian. Why not the rich?

    hmmmm….looks like you havent thought this through enough Sunny.

    I have done plenty of thinking around this. You guys are holding the candle for poor people as if they’re not being exploited and done over already. Why is it that rich people live longer than poor people? Why do the poor have no voice when complaining about what affects them? Why do gypsies get shitted on? There seems to be some delusion as to that we live in an egalitarian society.

    See Stumbling and Mumbling’s piece on something related.

    The irony of anti-animal testing campaigners sending death threats to teenagers who do not share their values amply illustrates this.

    What stupidity. You’re putting all anti-animal testers into the same category as those fools? I thought you were past generalisations Mirax.

    I’m not specieist. If you want to test drugs for humans, test in on humans. That would lead to a more efficient market with the negative externalities being costed for properly.

  74. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 5:34 pm  

    The latter will come, but not yet. There is a plan to all this.

    The Messiah has come! Kalki Avatar! Maitreya has returned to save us! Sunny is the one to usher is SatYug!;-)

  75. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 5:37 pm  

    You guys are holding the candle for poor people as if they’re not being exploited and done over already. Why is it that rich people live longer than poor people? Why do the poor have no voice when complaining about what affects them? Why do gypsies get shitted on? There seems to be some delusion as to that we live in an egalitarian society.

    Eh? I don’t follow your line of thought at all. What have gypsies got to do with it? And so just because the poor are already being exploited, we should foster a situation where they are made even more vulnerable?

  76. David T — on 26th February, 2006 at 5:47 pm  

    haha. This is more like it!

  77. Jay Singh — on 26th February, 2006 at 5:51 pm  

    I’m not specieist

    What the hell is a speciest? Someone who is prejudiced against certain species? Well, I have to put my hand up and say that I am guilty of that – there is no way that anyone can convince me that snakes are not evil compared to monkeys and cute koala bears and stuff. Fukkin’ snake bastards – St Patrick did right by them.

  78. Don — on 26th February, 2006 at 7:05 pm  

    Sunny,

    Come on, admit it. You spoke without thinking. If ‘Big Pharma’ took to your ‘test it on the homeless, not the hamster’ suggestion then this is definitely one employment sector they’d be outsourcing. Probably to the Stans. (No disrespect intended to any Uzbeks or Kyrgs here.)

    ‘You guys are holding the candle for poor people as if they’re not being exploited and done over already.’

    No, we’re not. We’d noticed the exploitation thing; it kinda jumps out at you. I’m all in favour of protecting animals (although I don’t buy into animal ‘rights’) from casual brutality – back when I was a little more limber I was a hunt sab, but that was in a more innocent age – but that is not to elevate every organism to equality with humans.

    I am unashamedly speciesist when it comes to preserving life. Also dating.

  79. Sunny — on 26th February, 2006 at 7:08 pm  

    Also dating.
    well, at least we agree on something.

    I don’t have a problem if they outsource it to third world countries. More money flowing home I guess. Most of the illegal trade is already conducted through… you guessed it – illegal immigrants. At least this way its safer and you get more money.

  80. Sid D H Arthur — on 26th February, 2006 at 11:58 pm  

    David T: Just goes to show how prevalent these sorts of views are: when even liberal Sikhs express them.

    Eugh! That phrase is soaked in that creepy 70s-style race appreciation. Kind of along the lines of:
    “I don’t really like Asians but you’re alright” kind of thing, often heard after a few pints have been downed.

    So “these sorts of views” should really be the domain of Muslims but “liberal Sikhs” happen to hold them too, such is their prevalance.

    Perhaps PP should be called Liberal-Pakis since we’re our liberality or our illiberality is simply a function of our religious backgrounds and nothing else.

  81. Jay Singh — on 27th February, 2006 at 1:10 am  

    Sid, you are over sensitive man.

  82. Sid D H Arthur — on 27th February, 2006 at 8:05 am  

    oh I know Jay, I know.

  83. bananabrain — on 27th February, 2006 at 1:23 pm  

    going back to the original issue, it seems to me that ken could have perfectly well avoided this situation. with the greatest of respect, sunny, i think you’ve got a bit of a blind spot about this – the fact is that ken is a professional populist as a politician and is absolutely aware that by appearing to “resist pressure from the jewish lobby” he bolsters his core support. in short, “sticking it to the jews” makes him look good. the board (as they are entirely entitled to) asked for an apology. he refused to give one (scenting publicity as usual) and they went through the official channels of complaint – in other words, that he was bringing his office into disrepute. ken’s oversight board pulled him up on his *official responsibilities*. naturally, he pulled out the usual weasel words about his “good jews” (ie, dead ones – victims who didn’t stand up for themselves) secure in the knowledge that whatever happened, he could either portray himself as a victim or as a righteous moral critic. but to try and make out that someone who works for DMGT is necessarily a nazi because of 60 year old management policy is just so irrelevant it is ridiculous. does he refuse to watch the bbc because it outsources to siemens business systems? he was the one who turned it into a courtroom battle and he has lost fair and square. and no, he’s not an anti-semite, but sometimes we have great difficulty telling between an anti-semite and a jew-baiter. and neither are very pretty.

    i think david t’s argument about a hypothetical muslim reporter is extremely instructive. it’s actually about stereotyping – something our ken is extremely good at.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  84. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 2:49 pm  

    Jay Singh,

    =>Add Jai’s correction of David T above to his list of interventions along with:”

    Very funny *grinning*.

    Don’t forget to include:

    -Stop picking on Vikrant, he’s only 16

    and

    -Bikhair, do you believe you are actually as saintly as you think you are ?

    ;)

    Jay dude, I am increasingly suspicious that you’re actually my old Sepia Mutiny buddy “Punjabi Boy” in disguise…..

  85. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 2:55 pm  

    =>”The Messiah has come! Kalki Avatar! Maitreya has returned to save us! Sunny is the one to usher is SatYug!;-) ”

    I knew it ! Sunny is actually the Mahdi !

    This explains everything — the whole caboodle about “I am neither a Muslim nor a non-Muslim”, “the Quran is actually a matter of interpretation”, etc etc. Aha, I was wondering when Sunny would come out of the green closet and finally unveil his true identity…..

    It’s like that time the Saudi media thought Krishnan Guru-Murthy (from Channel 4 News) had secretly converted to Islam just because he liked wearing green ties all the time…..

  86. Refresh — on 27th February, 2006 at 3:08 pm  

    Somewhere else someone came to an analogy which I found interesting:

    Had Ken had a go at a nasty Indian reporter and called him a thug….

    However the actual case isn’t even closely offensive. Those who could have taken offense are surely ‘reformed’ concentration guards and those who see themselves as easy going ‘nice’ people – given the definitions some are trying to declare.

  87. Jay Singh — on 27th February, 2006 at 3:18 pm  

    Jay dude, I am increasingly suspicious that you’re actually my old Sepia Mutiny buddy “Punjabi Boy” in disguise…..

    Who?

  88. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 3:24 pm  

    Punjabi Boy was another London-based guy who used to comment on the Sepia Mutiny blog very frequently. Rohin is familiar with him too. A couple of months ago he left to go travelling somewhere in the Far East.

    In many ways, the guy’s personality and writing style were very, very similar to yours. Do a search on Sepia Mutiny and you’ll see what I mean.

    Don’t worry, he’s a good guy, very popular too ;)

  89. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 3:25 pm  

    By the way, the “Jai” who frequently posts on SM too is actually me…..

  90. Jay Singh — on 27th February, 2006 at 3:31 pm  

    Jai

    I’m not based in London.

  91. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 3:47 pm  

    Okay Jay. Well, maybe your paths will cross at some point on-line, presumably whenever PB returns from his global trekking.

    Rohin used to banter with him a lot too; I joined in later on as we were the handful of British Asians on the US-dominated SM forum. PB used to provide a lot of insight for our yankee desi cousins about the rise in jihadism/caliphate attitudes in the UK over the past 15 years or so (HuT etc), because the guys across the Atlantic aren’t necessarily familiar with the dynamics overe here and they don’t have anywhere near that level of fanaticism to deal with in terms of their own South Asian Muslim population in the States.

    Plus PB is also a Sikh (albeit a very liberal one), very articulate and (when appropriate) very funny indeed too — it’s a shame his own blog is now defunct otherwise you could have checked out what I’m talking about — hence I thought you might be him in disguise because there’s a marked overlap between your opinions and writing styles. However, his messages on SM have been archived and are searchable, so when you have some spare time to kill, you should take a look — you’ll understand why I thought you might both actually be the same person ;)

  92. Jay Singh — on 27th February, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

    Sepia Mutiny is good but it’s too American biased. I went on there to post a couple of times but never really had any decent discussions.

  93. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 4:14 pm  

    Jay,

    I know what you mean about the American angle (not suprising really, considering the “founders” of the blog and the majority of its participants are US-based), although I find it quite an eye-opening experience. You learn a lot about what’s going on around the world (along with the US, of course), and it’s also interesting talking to Asians living in the States; chatting to our cousins over there, along with reading their various posts to each other, can be quite educational, and it sometimes redresses various preconceptions too.

    The SM crowd, on the whole, are a good bunch of people; I seem to have made some good friends, at least in an “on-line” sense. There are some incredibly intelligent and well-informed participants there too, it can be quite astounding at times. It’s a mind-bogglingly different experience to some parts of the BBC Asian Network discussion forum (if you’ve ever taken a look at that). From what I understand, SM is one of the most widely-read Asian discussion forums in the world — they get about 175,000 hits every month.

    The SM guys — Manish etc — are aware of PP too and have been known to sometimes “lurk” here ;)

  94. Jay Singh — on 27th February, 2006 at 4:37 pm  

    BBC Asian Network is infested with internet warriors.

  95. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 5:20 pm  

    That’s basically what put me off from continuing to participate there — it’s been hijacked by wannabe jihadists.

    The truly ironic fact is that there are people there who treat the forum like their own private property and continuously make borderline-treasonous anti-Western/anti-American/anti-British statements, yet the website is actually owned & monitored by the very government whose country and culture they despise. These people are either very naive or (more probably) arrogant to the point of stupidity.

    I’m sure it gives MI5 some entertaining reading material anyway ;)

  96. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 5:21 pm  

    Come to think of it, it’s like reading comments by, and talking to, multiple on-line versions of Anjem Choudhary. Headache-inducing stuff.

  97. Jay Singh — on 27th February, 2006 at 5:25 pm  

    The BBC should have good admin staff to control them it’s all licence payers money after all!

  98. Jai — on 27th February, 2006 at 5:33 pm  

    I agree — You can complain about “offensive” posts (which I have done a couple of times in the past), but it’s shocking how much rubbish the moderators there let the jihadists get away with in the name of political correctness. It’s got to be the worst-moderated “respectable” desi-focused discussion forum I’ve ever seen.

    That’s assuming one can decipher all the “innit, I fink” etc bad spelling & grammer, of course…..

    But the “internet warriors” are enough to make your blood pressure go through the roof. I’m not surprised any passing surfers (or people deliberately looking for anti-Asian ammunition) would think that the UK itself is a viper’s nest of treasonous jihadis, if they thought that forum is an accurate representation of the British Asian population. Not to mention the fact that it confirms people’s worst fears about a) right-wing Muslims, and b) that the vast majority of British Asians are Muslim.

    Yes, I know you’re laughing at my second point — “All Asians are not Muslims etc” — but you could have seen that one coming a mile off ;)

  99. Jay Singh — on 27th February, 2006 at 5:38 pm  

    Yeah it is funny – but it is still true though! ;-)

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.