Ken­need­stoshowa pro­found­change

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

TO WIN over vot­ers who threw him out of office at the last may­oral elec­tion, Ken Liv­ing­stone will need to demon­strate that he is no longer a sec­tar­ian politi­cian pre­pared to set one com­mu­nity against an­other.He must also recog­nise that the “cheeky chappy” act no longer washes with large sec­tions of the elec­torate.

News of his speech at a Ben­gali fes­ti­val, and his com­ments last week about vot­ers fac­ing a choice be­tween good and evil at the forth­com­ing may­oral elec­tions, are wor­ry­ing signs that Ken is up to his old tricks.

The broad­cast­ing watch­dog Of­com found against the Bangladeshi TV chan­nel which broad­cast Ken’s speech at the Baishaki Mela fes­ti­val. How­ever, he ap­peared along­side the highly di­vi­sive Mayor of Tower Ham­lets, Lut­fur Rah­man, who left the Labour Party for Re­spect, a body which brings to­gether the so­cial­ist hard left and the Is­lamic far right.

Ken has cal­cu­lated that back­ing Mr Rah­man’s brand of Is­lamism­lite will win him enough sup­port to jus­tify sac­ri­fic­ing the votes of Jewish, gay or more mod­er­ate Mus­lim Lon­don­ers.

There is no doubt that Ken’s com­ments com­par­ing him­self to Churchill and Boris Johnson to Hitler were in­tended as light-hearted ban­ter. But there is of­ten a darker edge to the ex-mayor’s “jokes”. At the heart of his pol­i­tics is the be­lief that he is on the side of good and his op­po­nents are on the side of evil. No change there then.

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