KEN LIV­ING­STONE: A LEOP­ARD DOESN’T CHANGE ITS SPOTS WITH­OUT A REA­SON

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment -

While Ken Liv­ing­stone’s ar­gu­ments were en­tirely plau­si­ble and even con­vinc­ing, as one would ex­pect from a man whose un­canny power of per­sua­sion is key to his con­sid­er­able fol­low­ing, he is guilty of the sin of omis­sion ( Please, let’s move on from the ‘Ken and the Jews’ dra­mas, March 30).

His ab­sence of any con­tri­tion, or in­deed any ref­er­ence to his in­vi­ta­tion to Sheikh Yusuf al-qaradawi to City Hall while London mayor, is surely no co­in­ci­dence and deaf­en­ing in its si­lence. Nei­ther a leop­ard or a Liv­ing­stone changes its spots. His ar­ti­cle sim­ply con­firms this. Sorry Ken, you will have to do bet­ter than that. Jack Lynes. Al­bury Drive, Pinner, HA5

Liv­ing­stone is too nar­row in his anal­y­sis that Jews will not vote Labour through be­ing too rich. I write as one who has been a party mem­ber and can­vassed en­thu­si­as­ti­cally with Tony Benn. The key ar­biter is not wealth, but faith in the wis­dom and judge­ment of those we choose as lead­ers.

Some­time af­ter the woe­ful “Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camp” jour­nal­ist sim­ile, I con­tacted him, sug­gest­ing that the com­par­i­son cheap­ened the mem­ory of those who had died in the camps and in­deed those who sur­vived. His re­ply was res­o­lute and un­apolo­getic. The is­sue is not whether his pro­nounce­ments are per­ceived as pro or anti-jewish, but whether they in­di­cate states­man­like in­tel­lect and sen­si­bil­i­ties. I fear not. Prof Daniel M Alt­mann Cyprus Av­enue, Bar­net, N3

I read with in­ter­est Martin Bright’s ar­ti­cle dis­cussing how Liv­ing­stone tar­gets those vot­ers whom he feels are more likely to vote for him while dis­re­gard­ing those groups with whom he feels he has no chance ( Anal­y­sis, March 30). Re­gard­ing his lat­est U-turn, I won­der whether he’d have ap­peared so con­cil­ia­tory had this not been an elec­tion year.

I’m no “rich Jew” but I’d gladly pay a large sum to watch him jus­tify his “con­cen­tra­tion camp guard” jibe to Oliver Fine­gold in 2005, to my fa­ther who sur­vived Auschwitz but lost most of his fam­ily in the Holo­caust.

Liv­ing­stone is a se­rial of­fender when it comes to re­marks and ac­tions guar­an­teed to up­set the Jewish pop­u­la­tion and like London buses, I’m sure there will be an­other along very soon. Eli Perl jcreader@sky.com

Why would any­one trust Ken’s word? He promised not to stand against the of­fi­cial Labour can­di­date but did. He said that tak­ing Routemas­ters off the road would be mad­ness, then did so. He promised not to in­crease the Con­ges­tion Charge, then did. Per­haps he can­not help him­self. Dis­hon­esty can be com­pul­sive.

His apolo­gia is worth­less. Labour had an ob­vi­ous can­di­date. Oona King, of mixed race and mixed re­li­gion parent­age, and a tal­ent and charm to go with it, would prob­a­bly have guar­an­teed a Labour win. Now they are fight­ing with flawed and dam­aged goods. Barry Hy­man bhy­man@ntl­world.com

I don’t know who is the more fool­ish — those who seek an apol­ogy from Liv­ing­stone or those who be­lieve it. Jeremy Havardi havardi_j@hot­mail.com

Read­ing Liv­ing­stone’s piece, one could be ex­cused for be­liev­ing that the Jews have no greater friend than Ken stalk­ing the cor­ri­dors of power. It brings to my mind the words of Neville Cham­ber­lain: “Politi­cians don’t have per­ma­nent friends or per­ma­nent en­e­mies — they have per­ma­nent in­ter­ests”. Let’s see how long Ken re­mains our best pal. Michoel Witkowski Kings Drive, Edg­ware, HA8

Liv­ing­stone’s at­ti­tude to Jews is sim­i­lar to that of an abu­sive spouse. Sorry. Didn’t mean it. Well, at least not un­til the next time. Roberta Tish Lu­cien Road, London, SW17

His ex­pres­sions of ad­mi­ra­tion for our com­mu­nity do not ring true. I be­lieve these com­ments are sim­ply a cyn­i­cal ploy to re­duce likely elec­toral dam­age.

His at­tempt to dis­tance him­self from his pre­vi­ous re­marks about Jews and Is­rael is un­con­vinc­ing; he made them, he meant them. His pre­vi­ous track record on these is­sues speaks vol­umes. I hope that on May 3, your readers will vote wisely and help con­sign Liv­ing­stone to well-de­served po­lit­i­cal obliv­ion. Keith Lau­rence Lin­coln Av­enue, London, N14

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