Boris Johnson cancels London Jewish cultural festival


by Sunny
19th June, 2009 at 5:42 pm    

This is a press release by Ken Livingstone’s Progressive London crew

The annual Jewish cultural festival – Simcha on the Square – has been cancelled because Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson has withdrawn most of its funding.

In previous years the festival was strongly supported by Ken Livingstone’s Mayor’s Office, working with Jewish Culture UK, and providing an annual grant of £50,000 together with free use of Trafalgar Square.

Ken Livingstone said: “Simcha on the Square officially celebrated the Jewish contribution to London and gave all Londoners an opportunity to share in the richness of Jewish music, dance and culture. By officially recognising and celebrating Jewish culture we made clear our total commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.”

The organisers announced on Friday that the festival cannot take place this year because Mayor Johnson has slashed proposed funding from £50,000 to £20,000. Simcha joins a list of other events celebrating the contribution of different communities to London including the Rise anti-racist festival, Africa Day on the Square, the Russian Winter Festival and the Oxford St lighting display for Chinese New Year.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: London Politics






32 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. pickles

    New blog post: Boris Johnson cancels London Jewish cultural festival http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4891


  2. London Posse

    Boris Johnson cancels London Jewish cultural festival | Pickled … http://ow.ly/f4Zo


  3. teruah

    (Mayor) Boris Johnson cancels London Jewish cultural festival http://bit.ly/H2bR6




  1. Yahya Birt — on 19th June, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

    Well if we all have to do our bit for the credit crunch, best slash the mayoral funding of “Eid in the Square” too, otherwise we’ll hear no end of it from the Evening Standard….

  2. Major Lomax — on 19th June, 2009 at 6:44 pm  

    Oh no! A Zionist plot methinks!

    Oh, hang on.

  3. Rumbold — on 19th June, 2009 at 7:05 pm  

    So no funding for Jewish festivals, but no telling Jews to go back where they came from or molly-coddling anti-semites.

    I think Jews are still ahead under the current mayor.

    “Ken Livingstone’s Progressive London crew.”

    I have this image now of Ken in baggy jeans and a sleeveless white T-shirt.

  4. Mellie — on 19th June, 2009 at 10:18 pm  

    Rumbold, stop talking rubbish. In what way are Jewish people better off under the present idiot? Livingstone’s always supported the Jewish community and always will.

    He doesn’t approve of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, but that’s a human rights issue. Lots of Jews don’t either. Anti-semitism has nothing to do with it.

  5. John — on 19th June, 2009 at 10:37 pm  

    Oh no! Not the cancellation of that venerable annual cultural festival of previous years starting way back in 2006!

    Say it ain’t so, Joe.

  6. Roger — on 20th June, 2009 at 3:21 am  

    “. By officially recognising and celebrating Jewish culture we made clear our total commitment to fighting anti-Semitism.”

    Does this mean that Mr. Livingstone is only totally committed to fighting prejudice against cultures that were officially ecognised and celebrated at London’s expense?

  7. chairwoman — on 20th June, 2009 at 6:54 am  

    Well if we all have to do our bit for the credit crunch, best slash the mayoral funding of “Eid in the Square” too, otherwise we’ll hear no end of it from the Evening Standard….

    Yahya – If Boris wants to look even handed then obviously the fair thing to do is cut a similar percentage of funding from all similar activities regardless of the opinions of the Evening Standard.

  8. billericaydicky — on 20th June, 2009 at 8:16 am  

    Go Bo. One of the biggest cons ever was the “Celebrating Diversity ” scam which the Mayor, quite rightly, was committed to scrapping as they were all a massive waste of public money and provided more opportunities for the race industry to cream off cash.

    No festival has ever promoted anything except a good time for the people who had a free days entertainment and an opportunity for the organisers to trouser some money.

    The Rise festival never prevented any one from voting BNP and none of the others did anything to promote multi culturalism or community cohesion two of the new scams now that the CRE is history.

    There is of course one festival that will never be funded or celebrated by any one, that of the white people who actually built the country. The only party that recognises them is the BNP. You can all play your silly little games but you are fiddling while Rome burns.

  9. Rumbold — on 20th June, 2009 at 8:24 am  

    Mellie:

    “Livingstone’s always supported the Jewish community and always will.”

    Yes, telling Jews to go back where they came from is wonderfully supportive and not like BNP rhetoric at all.

  10. Sergeant Twining — on 20th June, 2009 at 8:41 am  

    Celebrate diversity, challenge racism always.

  11. blah — on 20th June, 2009 at 9:27 am  

    Rumbold
    “Yes, telling Jews to go back where they came from is wonderfully supportive and not like BNP rhetoric at all.”

    He told the Rueben brothers to go back to Iran (specifically “if they’re not happy they can always go back to Iran and see if they can do better under the Ayatollahs”) which is more of an anti-Iranian anti-Iranian government insult . Their being Jewish was irrelevant except to zionist extremists who , had the victim being Muslim or non Jewish , would be loudly applauding the mayor and complaining of “political correctness stifling freedom of speech” at any outcry

  12. Rumbold — on 20th June, 2009 at 10:02 am  

    So telling people to go back where they came from (in whatever form) isn’t racist now? Thank you for the clarification. That lets the BNP off the hook anyway.

    More Ken and Jews:

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1139395651745&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/07/294801.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/feb/24/pressandpublishing.greaterlondonauthority

    Something of a pattern emerging methinks.

  13. chairwoman — on 20th June, 2009 at 10:52 am  

    Come on Blah, telling anyone to ‘Go back where you came from’ is the epitome of racist comments.

    How appalling that Ken Livingstone, champion of diversity and multiculturalism should find that particular phrase the first riposte to trip of his tongue.

  14. Sunny — on 20th June, 2009 at 10:56 am  

    There is of course one festival that will never be funded or celebrated by any one, that of the white people who actually built the country. The only party that recognises them is the BNP.

    Sounds suspiciously like BNP talking points. And you’re meant to be an anti-racist?

  15. Cabalamat — on 20th June, 2009 at 11:11 am  

    @4: Livingstone’s always supported the Jewish community and always will.

    Yes, with outher people’s money. I have no problems with their being a Jewish festival in London — in fact I’m rather in favour of the idea. But if there is one, it should be funded either by the people running it or the people visiting it, not by the taxpayer.

  16. chairwoman — on 20th June, 2009 at 11:56 am  

    Cabalamat – It’s not only Simcha in the Square that was partially funded by Council Tax Payers but all the other ones listed in Sunny’s post, and it is not exclusively for Jews, anybody can go. That’s the whole point of these occasions, that different groups can find out more about each other.

  17. Ravi Naik — on 20th June, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

    There is of course one festival that will never be funded or celebrated by any one, that of the white people who actually built the country. The only party that recognises them is the BNP. You can all play your silly little games but you are fiddling while Rome burns.

    Are you becoming a BNP supporter now? The Britain you see today is the result of wealth and labour from the British Empire.

  18. mk1 — on 20th June, 2009 at 12:41 pm  

    Surely the organisers could have found the £30k from individual donors/advertisers from the private sector?

  19. marvin — on 20th June, 2009 at 1:58 pm  

    So no funding for Jewish festivals, but no telling Jews to go back where they came from or molly-coddling anti-semites.

    I think Jews are still ahead under the current mayor.

    Back on form Rumbold! Spot on.

    Surely the organisers could have found the £30k from individual donors/advertisers from the private sector?

    No of course not Mk1, that’s a job for Super State! See Ken and his Socialist Action clique for more details.

  20. Leon — on 20th June, 2009 at 2:10 pm  

    But if there is one, it should be funded either by the people running it or the people visiting it, not by the taxpayer.

    Aren’t those who visit it tax payers too?

  21. marvin — on 20th June, 2009 at 2:12 pm  

    I am not against some, perhaps partial, funding for festivals and events, but unlike the the current Labour government, the Tory Mayor admits there needs to be cuts in public spending given the current economic climate.

    The mind boggles at the thought of Ken in charge of public funds at time like this.

  22. Rumbold — on 20th June, 2009 at 5:49 pm  

    Things shouldn’t be taxpayer-funded just because the people who patronise them are also taxpayers. Why not then subsidise Premiership football, or The Sun newspaper?

    Essentially, people who support taxpayer-funded festivals support state funding because they either go to those festivals, or like the idea of going to those festivals.

    If people aren’t willing to pay for a day out, it is unclear why the taxpayer should. Why should nurses and cleaners pay income tax so that people can go to a festival?

  23. Jim Denham — on 20th June, 2009 at 6:58 pm  

    Livingstone spoke about Jews in a way that he’d never have dared speak abot any aother ethnic minority. And he refused to apologise, when called out. His attitude to Jews was, and is, vile. The cancellation of a minor cultural festival by Johnson pales in comparison to Livingstone’s “left” anti-semitism.

  24. Don — on 20th June, 2009 at 7:18 pm  

    I know times are hard, but spending a little public money on festivals isn’t that egregious. They’re usually fun, the music and dance aspects may be iffy but the food is generally good. Let’s not be too cheese-paring with the public purse.

    @Billy #8

    You may have spent a little too much time gazing into the abyss.

  25. Yahya Birt — on 20th June, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

    Chairwoman

    Well it was an invitation to Boris to be evenhanded….

  26. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 21st June, 2009 at 2:09 pm  

    funny how easily words can be twisted …
    The title of this post says

    “Boris Johnson cancels London Jewish cultural festival”

    …but quoted from the post
    The organizers announced on Friday that the festival cannot take place this year because Mayor Johnson has slashed proposed funding from £50,000 to £20,000.

    so HEEEE didn’t actually cancel anything at all …
    but hey until people learn to think for themselves … I honestly can’t be bothered to think for them …

    I would say shame on you sunny … but you are free to see things and say the words you like …

    as far as festivals go, I am big supporter! They boost economy, promote culture and community, and just simply lift morale….

    …. I’m glad others agree with me.

    http://www.bing.com/search?FORM=IEFM1&q=funding+for+festivales

    I don’t know what I think when someone says
    “If people aren’t willing to pay for a day out, it is unclear why the taxpayer should.”

    Who would be unwilling to pay for a day out?
    Boring grouchy people! Who maybe aren’t happy themselves and hate to think of others having a good time?

  27. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 21st June, 2009 at 2:23 pm  

    speaking of festivals ….
    I recently went to this one

    http://www.museummilefestival.org/

    where I enjoyed the Guggenheim for the fist time ….. had a nice glass of wine while looking over central park … I wrote my name and drew stars on the street with bright colored chalk, watched and crowd of children in complete joy over a magic show. Listen to traditional Jewish music. sat in a beautiful cathedral for some bell concert ….bought a new one of those little silk Chinese purses I love ….
    AAANNDDD I was the winner of the lucky last candy prize
    :)

    but maybe all that is beneath the enjoyment of more “intellectual” types…

  28. bananabrain — on 22nd June, 2009 at 8:27 am  

    well, speaking as someone who has played at both rise and the “simcha on the square” and therefore stood to benefit to some degree from their continuation, i nonetheless support boris in this.

    SotS was ken’s way of throwing a bone to the jewish community so he could point to it and say “i’m not really that down on jews, look i support a festival for you guys”. he’d never have dared show up himself, though, he’d have been booed. i’d have egged him if i’d had an egg. as it was, he sent his jewish figleaf nicky gavron, who tried to make out what a good bloke
    he was from the stage. i don’t believe she got a lot of cheers.

    actually, i think cancelling it is a good thing for other reasons, namely that it was organised mostly by the jewish music institute, an organisation whose leadership epitomises everything about the jewish community i detest and therefore giving it less of a reason to think it is all that cannot be a bad thing, as it is run in a feudal style for the self-aggrandisement of the boss and makes little effort to hide its bias in favour of certain aspects of jewish culture. but, as i say, that’s largely my personal feeling and no reflection on london politics.

    as for the comment to the reuben brothers, that was way over the line. and we are supposed to believe he didn’t know they were jewish iraqis, rather than muslim iranians? david and ellis reuben? *REALLY*?

    honestly, it beggars belief.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  29. Imran Khan — on 22nd June, 2009 at 6:21 pm  

    Bananabrain – What would you replace it with? I’d still like to see something worthwhile and if the Mayor won’t support it then the funding needs to come from somewhere.

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.