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If people want a progressive Mayor for London, it has to be Ken

Posted on 22 April 2012 | 8:04am

Anyone who has read my diaries knows that Ken Livingstone has not always been my flavour of the month. And during this campaign for the London Mayorlty, in some of the things he has said and done, he has thrown up reminders of that resistance to his charms.

But as the election nears, there are two questions that matter: of the two men who have been London Mayor, who has done more for London? And who is best placed to be Mayor for the near future?

On the first question, I am in no doubt whatever that the answer is Ken, which leads inevitably onto the same answer for the second question. With the possible exception of the Boris bikes (which weren’t his idea) I am struggling to think of anything that Boris Johnson has actually done for London, other than add to a sense of gaiety to the nation’s capital. That is not unimportant, but hardly merits re-election on its own.

I asked a Tory friend the other day what Boris had actually done, to which the reply was ‘he makes people laugh, and he taps into the anti-politics mood.’ Oh great, a cynical comedian, as if there aren’t enough of them.

Of course the other thing he has done, during part of his Mayorlty, is distance himself from the rest of his Party. But his high profile stance on the lowering of the top rate of tax, duly delivered in the Budget, had eroded that strategy. Ken is Labour, and is motivated by the interests of all Londoners, but particularly those denied jobs, opportunities, and decent living standards. Boris is a Tory, motivated by the things Tories have always been motivated by.

I spent three hours cycling round London yesterday, and after an hour or so realised that I had not seen a single Boris poster in a single London window. Now I am not pretending the place was festooned with Ken posters either, but they were there, every now and then. But in the various parts of North, West and East London where my pedals took me, not once did I pass the home of a Londoner so moved by Boris’s charms and abilities that they devoted window space to urging a vote for him.

That says to me that people have seen through the act. There is little enthusiasm for him, beyond the celebrity bit. For all his abilities to say the wrong thing from time to time, Ken Livingstone used the power he had as Mayor to do good things for London and Londoners, and would do so again.

The one candidate I did notice on my travels was the Lib Dem, Brian Paddick. People say the Lib Dems have had it, but judging by the number of billboard sites they’ve hired, they’re getting big money from somewhere. So at various points there he was, stern-faced, playing up his credentials as a London copper (a brand somewhat tarnished by Yates of the Yard among others) and vowing to keep Londoners safe.

To those minded to vote for him, I would just remind them that the last time people voted Lib Dem in decent numbers, they helped put a Tory Prime Minister in power. This time at least, they have the chance of a second preference. If they want a progressive London Mayor, then it can’t be Boris. It has to be Ken.

  • Adam Rose

    Ken might be the progressive choice, but he has to deal with his issues with the Jewish community, and related to that, his seemingly unquestioning engagement with representatives of various states and organisations who are not progressive at all. Until then, he struggles to win the votes of Labour members like me, who will be voting for all the other Labour candidates on 3 May, but probably not for Ken. I might, in Prescott’s words, hold my nose and vote for him, but I am increasingly unlikely to do so.

  • Richard

    Now that the Real IRA are less likely to be welcomed to the Mayoral parlour, Ken will be writing invitations to Alcy Ada as well as all the other nutters and weirdos whom he sponsored so willingly in the past.

    Be careful what you wish for, London!

  • Olli Issakainen

    Both Messrs Johnson and Livingstone are outsiders in their own party.
    George Galloway and Jean-Luc Melenchon have exposed a huge political gap.
    Both are former parliamentaries from the main centre-left party who have used charismatic radical left populism to mobilise alienated voters against austerity of political elite.
    Galloway has been against western-backed wars in the Muslim world. He has also spoken about cuts, tuition fees, unemployment and poverty.
    Respect campaigned as “real” Labour. Galloway says he wants drag Labour in a progressive direction.
    Bradford was a vote against austerity and war. And against political establishment.
    Alienation is common across de-industrialised, deregulated Europe. It is also exploited by the right.
    In France Hollande is not seen as offering a real alternative. Melenchon is against Merkel, Brussels and financial markets.
    In Britain a Melenchon-style agenda, of course, would not be a winning national strategy. But if Labour does not move towards the squeezed middle, others will fill the gap.
    Middle class in the base of democracy. Globalisation is now threatening democracy.
    Riches have gone to the elites. Left has mainly been interested in marginal issues.
    We must take economy into political control. Neoliberalism is a threat to democracy.
    There is disaffection of the main political parties in Britain. There has been a Bradford Spring.
    In 1951 the combined vote for Labour and Conservatives was 97%. In 1997 only 74%.
    2010 it was down to 65%. There is disaffection with the Westminster establishment which is in the pockets of bankers.
    There have been attemps to break the traditional party structure.
    Natural Law, SDP, James Goldsmith, Oswald Mosley, BNP etc.
    Some have been serious like SDP, some in the mould of Roderick Spode.
    UK politics has been governed by Thatcherism by decades. But now neoliberalism has failed.
    Rethink is needed.
    Money has corrupted politics. Big money has corrupted it absolutely.
    Market extremism came into play. It was seen as “necessary”.
    Who is defending the public sector? Arguing for state ownership of utilities?
    British politics has been governed by Thatcher consensus. New Labour accepted the basic thinking of Thatcher.
    Respect puts forward a leftist social-democratic programme that challenges the status quo.
    We are now on a verge of a revolution by the middle classes.
    If the mainstream parties do not understand this, it will be the real outsiders who will benefit.  

  • john problem

    Can’t think of anything Ken has done or said which warrants his being again mayor of London.  We seem to lack candidates that match the quality of mayors in big overseas cities.  Why is that?

  • Ron

    How is it that everyone seems to have forgotten Darius Guppy, and Johnson’s apparent involvement in conspiracy to carry out GBH (Cracked rib? Nothing which you didn’t suffer at rugby OK?)

  • reaguns

    If the only choice was ken vs boris I’d vote for boris.
    If the only choice was ken vs gaddafi I’d vote gaddafi.

    Boris has been a useless mayor, worst of all in our hour of need – the riots. But not as useless as ken was. The thing that stops London being the greatest city on earth is crime. New York zero tolerance is what is needed. Cameron and boris didn’t have the balls to hire bill bratton. Even more teenagers were getting stabbed under ken though.

    Yes I know people will say “crime isn’t the biggest issue for most Londoners”. But it is the issue for the poorest and weakest Londoners. It doesn’t matter to those in the upper classes like Boris, Dave, Ken and Alastair of course. But for the working class in the many many many inexcusably rough parts of London – it is. You would think of those four, the first three would be out of touch. But it’s disappointing from Alastair. Did he learn nothing from northern Ireland? The paramilitaries annoy enormous support

  • reaguns

    Computer device let me down, damn you Steve jobs, should read “Paramilitaries enjoy enormous support in working class areas of northern Ireland due to dealing with locals concerns – crime.” I always knew the government was blasé about this in their ivory towers and here is yet more proof.

    So – ill be holding my nose and voting for Brian Paddick. And if any of the parties employ an anti crime leader, I’ll vote for them in the general too.

  • Dave Simons

    That’s a pity because, as a Labour member, by not voting for Ken you are assisting Boris’s re-election. Would you prefer that? I’ll admit I’d have a similar problem if I lived, as I once did, in a safe Tory seat. I once voted LibDem tactically to keep out the Tory candidate – Labour had no chance. Since May 2010 the LibDems have turned their coats and worked hard to keep all the Tory candidates in, so it’s difficult in that new context to vote LibDem even tactically. At the end of the day though I too would have to hold my nose and do just that. Electoral arithmetic is one thing, private emotional reaction is another. Please vote for Ken on 3rd May!
    By the way, as far as I know, Ken has no outstanding issues with the Jewish community. He has a big problem with Zionists who twist all criticism into anti-Semitism so that they can carry on  causing big trouble in the Middle East pinching other people’s territory, as they’ve been doing since 1948 non-stop.

  • Dave Simons

     As a point of information, has the Real IRA been previously welcomed to the Mayoral parlour? I may have missed this, but then perhaps it’s the kind of gutter press distortion that soon gets repeated as fact. Do enlighten me – I don’t watch the news all the time!

  • Anonymous

    Livingstone is a nasty, lying, two faced, homophobic, misogynistic, racist piece of crap. And you recommending him is even more reason not to vote for that pile of garbage. You are nothing more than a Zanulabour apologist and I, as a true socialist and gay, hate what you stand for (tory lite) and what Livingstone stands for (division, hatred and stupidity). Good riddance and a pox on both your houses.

  • reaguns

    V interesting Leveson this week. Andrew Neil saying spies tell him Murdoch will come out swinging for the fences, trying to take down Brown and Cameron! I think his intellectual and democratic capacity is way beyond those two (a lot more people buy the Sun, the Times, WSJ and Sky TV than ever voted for Brown or Cameron.)

    I suppose Boris and Ken will remain untouched, Ed Miliband too. Apparently Blair is still in the good books.
    How about Alastair?

  • Janiete

    I have also shared some of your irritation in the past with Ken’s relationship with the Labour Party. But whatever Ken’s faults, and he does have them, he is head and shoulders above Boris in his commitment to improve life for low and middle earning Londoners.
    Because of his determination to make things better he is prepared to implement policies that others shy away from. One of the most serious issues facing most people in the country is the cost of housing. It is fast becoming a national crisis and his policies in this area, in particular, show a level of creativity and imagination that is desperately needed.
    As a non-Londoner, some might say I shouldn’t comment on who should be London Mayor but I want people to vote for Ken to give him a chance to implement some of these difficult but necessary policies. When he succeeds, as I’m sure he will, his ideas will be copied elsewhere bringing some hope to people trapped in an outrageously expensive private rented sector with no possibility of saving for a place of their own.
    It isn’t just Londoners who need Ken to win.

  • Anonymous

    There are no issues with the Jewish community. Really bored with this line of attack, which all stems from the Standard journo who doorstepped Ken after a party.

  • Ehtch

    It would be amazing to hear what proportion of people you see about pitface working in Central London have the vote, and I do not mean tourists – working tourists maybe I am on about. Shepherd’s Bush/Earls Court is stuffed full of Anzacs and Saffas, for instance. And the night time cleaners on the underground has quite a large percentage of overseas students working there, supplementing their income.

    The traditional “cor blimey” voters now live in Essex or Hatfield or Basingstoke or Milton Keynes, or somewhere like that. Working class in Lahndahn is a different flavour these days.

    Are they on the same wavelength as Boris? Don’t make me laugh. But pity they have no vote.

  • Dave Simons

     Abuse is far more persuasive when backed up by a few facts. I don’t see any at all in your contribution. What you call ‘true socialism’ surely begins with thinking about other people, and you can’t be thinking much about other people when you post such an obviously self-centred rant on this site.

  • Chris lancashire

    There is a fair argument that as Ken is so good at organising his personal finances there would be no one better to look after London’s.

  • Richard

    Sorry, Dave moving too fast for you? The peace process led to the setting up of devolution in NI, and inclusion of Sinn Fein in the political process. (The work carried out by Mo and the TB government, in moving mountains was one of the greatest of achievements 1997-2010).
    The Real IRA are marginalised beyond even Ken’s interest.

  • Michele

    In your category of ‘done’ are you (first hand) aware of what he achieved for London 2000 onwards or not?

  • Michele

     Does anyone know whether Ken actually knew the surname of the Standard hack in order to know or even think of his religion?  It’s the kind of automaton insult anyone might throw at a stalker.
    Does the Standard hack’s family deplore his exploitation of his religion for politics or a 1to1 argument?  I would.
    Supporting Palestine is not anti-Jewish it is anti-Zionist and Zionism is not something that started post-Holocaust, it had been a terrorist movement in Europe for 80yrs before WWII.  
    Check also the response of the Jewish Chronicle to those Jewish people worldwide that have signed the petition against IDF actions on Gaza and understand that problems exist withIN the Jewish community; freedom of thought isn’t appreciated much is it?
    I don’t know whether your ID denotes you as being Jewish yourself  but if so, please note my second point.

  • Michele

     Paddick has become an outrageous opportunist.

    He does know what will be popular but the only time it has worked was when he declared soft-pedalling on cannabis in Brixton, the place improved overnight.

    Deputy to Ken?  Not likely but the only role in which he should be considered.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, in places which are full of reactionaries and therefore not typically Labour, it’s usually gay blokes who say they support Ken. But if it suits you to attribute every phobic and istic suffix to Ken, you had better go and spit hatred in a quiet corner. Or why not join the Front National?

  • Nick

    Do you really think Britxon “improved overnight” when the Met were turning a blind eye to cannabis dealing? My recollection was that there was a lot more activity outside the tube station, as dealers from all over London headed down here to make more cash, and there did seem to be more of a nasty edge to the area for a while as a few of the harder drugs appeared around the fringes too.

    Anyway, slightly surprised that Alastair hasn’t mentioned Siobhan Benita, as she seems to be the classic New Labour candidate this time round.

  • Anonymous

    Really funny on This Week, when Portillo appeared to endorse her (without saying her name) youtube if you’ve not seen it. Neil asked Portillo if he’d be pleased if Boris won, Portillo’s reaction had Neil, Charles Kennedy and Alan Johnson in stitches! (Portillo hates Johnson.)

    I think the 4 who were on that show should form a little committee and run the country! Alastair and Peter Oborne should forget all scores and form the opposition! No? Well I suppose we’re stuck with Dave, Nick, Boris and Ken then.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if it can be called opportunism to focus on crime when you have worked in the police all your life?

    I think if any of the main party candidates took the same stance as Paddick I might support them, but in both Ken and Boris case this would be not only opportunistic but disengenious because once both got their feet under the table they were able to patronise and dismiss the little people for whom crime is a problem.

    I was particularly sickened by Ken’s typical comment last night that he didn’t want to talk about knife crime because that would encourage youngsters to carry knives. Disgusting. We were well past that point, and at the point where knife criminals needed to get hit. Yes I understand the pressure on young kids to carry knives for defence and perhaps I might have opted for this option myself in the past – but there are plenty of cases where this distinction could easily be made between those carrying for defence and those using for aggressive murder.

    On the opportunistic thing again, don’t think it can be levelled at Paddick but it can be levelled at lib dems themselves for picking such a robocop candidate when they lib dems are traditionally the softest of all parties on crime?

    Then again if last year following the Mark Duggan incident, if Nick Clegg had came out and said “You know what? If you are found speeding, armed and in possession of drugs – ya might get shot, alright? Though if you desist from these activites you probably won’t. In fact even if you have done them, if you slow down, drop your weapon and ditch the drugs – you still won’t get shot.” I might consider voting for him!

  • Dave Simons

    I don’t think it’s a matter of speed so much as a matter of communication.’Nutters and wierdos’ are presumably individuals and groups with which you disagree, but your description inclines me to think that they all might have something good and positive to say – whoever they are. ‘The Real IRA are marginalised beyond even Ken’s interest’ suggests that this marginalisation only happened after the conclusion of the peace process, whereas previously Ken might well have welcomed them to the mayoral parlour. I suggest that by using this trick of insinuating guilt by association and juxtaposition you are well-qualified for the job of ‘Sun’ journo.

  • Dave Simons

     Totally agree Michele, especially the third paragraph. Some of the best criticisms of Zionism and the post-1948 Zionist state of Israel have come from Marxists of Jewish ancestry. Allow me to name some of my favourites: Ygael Gluckstein (aka Tony Cliff), Sabby Sagall, Michael Kidron, Chaney Rosenberg.

  • Michele

     Yes I really do think Brixton improved overnight.  I lived there throughout the early 70s and through the 80s till recently I needed to travel through it 6dpw, often very late at night transferring Tube to night bus (and when less late using the railway link). 
    I was often sick about what was going on on BR’s steps under the arches, people with syringes and silver foil (and of course lots of the same discarded).  Being an unwitting witness could make the situation uncomfortable and unsafe-feeling.
    Having said that I have never once had any kind of threat made to me in Brixton (but most males I know have).
    It was a place where you could not sit in a pub or cafe without being offered stuff you gave no sign of using  It’s still quite common now to be offered marijuana but not hard stuff.
    Yep, Paddick had one good idea imhoo (which is not to say no more needs doing).

    I am not a drugs user and the few people I know that take marijuana tend to have changed a lot since doing so; paranoia and short temper being very prevalent (X knows what I’d be like if I did use!).

  • Michele

     You have a company I believe so you seem to share that expertise.

    Do you (and anyone in a similar situation) pay employees’ wages out of your taxed income?

    Brilliant front page on Private Eye this weekend re crazy things for charity 😉

  • Michele

     I’m always bemused when a first-timer posts so vehemently, bemused about how they found their way here (or how they were linked to the one thread?).

    Hey ho, not the only one on this topic either.

  • Michele

     As posted to an.other on this blog :

    “I’m always bemused when a first-timer posts so vehemently, bemused
    about how they found their way here (or how they were linked to the one

    Hey ho, not the only one (newbie) on this topic either.”

  • Michele

     Follow-up to my question above; a transcript of the tape that Mr Finegold held.
    I’m not sure how I would have reacted after being followed all day and then evening.

    AC has mentioned that the bike-hire scheme was not BJ’s idea; it was KL’s and I’m sure that if he’d been able to enact it we would not be lumbered with the ugly travelling adverts (even BJ doesn’t use one when he cycles to and from his appointments).

  • Mark

    The “hack” told him he was Jewish – it was than that Livingstone uttered the offending remarks.

    You might care to remember that not all Jews have “Jewish” sounding surnames” – while some non Jews do. This is very inconvenient for Jew baiters but – hell – its a tough world out there!

    So your ccomment on that point was simply wrong – though perhaps tellingly so. Those on Zionsim, like those of Dave Simons below are  however so off the wall as to make me wonder whether your post is simply a wind up. Zionism is of course not a “terrorist movement” but the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Since Israel is the only Jewish state on the face of the earth it is hardly odd that those who oppose Zionism as the state’s founding ideollogy are sometimes deemd anti semitic, especially when they both fail to oppose other nationalisms and/or do so in the name of an alternative, Palestinian, nationalism.

    That is of course different from criticism of any action of the state of Israel which like any other counrty is not perfect.

    Time to come clean all you Michelles and Daves – tell us whether you accept the State pf Israel within any boundaries at all (in which case you have effectively accepted Zionism) or whether you want it “wiped from the map” in which case you have no contribution to make to a solution of the Israel/Palestine dispute and should be ignored by those trying to achieve one.

  • Michele
  • Michele

     I doesn’t all come from Marxist Jewish people though DS.
    I’ve worked for several uber-capitalist Jewish bosses and I’m really proud that some have signed the anti-IDF petition; talk about out and proud! – of their religion, not proud of the way it has been exploited for territory and political reasons. 

    There are people in Israel who still remember living in the mixed cosmopolitan multi-lingual society till ’47.  There was a Ch4 serial recently, Sunday nights, called ‘The Promise’ – it was a bit soft focus (all the actors were beautiful) but really caught the ache of how to feel about it all, the west’s reactionary cack-handedness under the heel of US contingent.

  • Michele

     Paddick has not been in the Police Force/Service for the last ten years.
    He is an opportunist in the same way that I have described an.other person as one, when he generalises, jumps on a popular bandwagon at election time. 

    He has done so about smears re the Met and the Press (while admitting he dined with journalists himself while still serving) …… is it inconceivable that other officers know how to be users when they know they are being used?  Accepting hospitality is not by default a gateway to or misnomer for bribery.
    He more than any other candidate should remember the right words to put around the simple ones.

    We are being made to lose faith in bodies we need to trust (often by organs we have no reason at all to).  eg: we’ve recently been treated to the laugh-in about ‘25% of Police Officers are overweight’; I wonder how many here know the truth about that little controversy?

  • Michele

     Re what you were ‘particularly sickened by’

  • Michele

    Why not just wait and see instead of acting like a hack that makes it up if paid enough?

  • Michele

     I’m well aware that many Jewish people do not have ‘Jewish-sounding/seeming’ surnames as well as being well aware that many do.
    Hence my QUESTION, you do know what one of those is don’t you?

    I’m equally well aware that someone with an Irish Catholic surname like my own is not necessarily an Irish or Catholic person due to my being neither.

    Try not to go looking for prejudice where there is curiosity and questioning else you end up looking exploitative and/or paranoid.
    You obviously hadn’t read the thread and seen my follow-up post of the transcript of KL’s convo with the Standard hack – it WAS published before your post was made.  Mouth …. shooting off of before reading on?


    Jew baiters?  Many other people/races/religions have been persecuted (hey, let’s include Irish Catholics like my own ancestors should we?) but few of them have dared to monopolise WORDS.
    The Anti-Defamation League does not care about ALL defamation, it exists only for one type (or what the ADL chooses to define as defamation although it is often no such thing, simply being objectivity – being that we are all equal).

    It’s cowardly of you to even invoke such a phrase; in my opinion the stalking of KL and his pregnant companion was victimisation and baiting of a particular kind, an oh-so easy accusation to scare people with and restrict comeback.

    Care to advise how you found your way to this thread along with the earlier two no-history posters?  Organised/linked here by ?????   Temping for the Standard perhaps?

  • Gilliebc

    I have a large wooden spoon in my kitchen.
    As I have no further need of it, you would be most welcome to it.

  • Gilliebc

    I watched that C4 series too M and was quite taken aback by the honesty of it.  Progs like that are not often seen on main stream TV.
    I fully expected it to cause controversy, but, unless I missed it, it seemed to go almost unnoticed.

  • Michele

     So sorry, I closed that post without addressing all your points.
    Zionism started out as a philosophy from someone that meant well but like many movements it was infiltrated by people with different motives and, whether you like it or not, acts of terrorism have been conducted in the name of Zionism and have been for decades.
    Re your ‘only Jewish state on the face of the earth’ there should be no such thing as a state described by a religion.
    The Earth existed before any religion, it is the property of all the people that live on it and they need to live together as equals with no regard to colour or religion or financial status.
    My being anti-terrorism (whether performed by vicious people claiming they act in the name of Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Sikhism or any other -ism) isn’t really any of your business is it? 
    Do I really need to list every single one of my antipathies when posting about one of them?
    When asking me to ‘come clean’, do me the honour of spelling my name properly Marc; that means with one ‘l’.  It’s not unique; I saw a runner at yesterday’s marathon whose vest showed her to be another. 
    Re your question about the ‘state of Israel’ and whether I think it should be ‘wiped from the map’?  Would you like to re-phrase that without the hyperbole please?
    When doing so would you like to comment on how close to being a ghetto is the area behind the 10′ wall at the south west corner of the country now re-named Israel and how justifiable you find that?

  • Anonymous

    Who is acting like a hack, Neil?

    I found it interesting and thought others would too.

  • Anonymous

    Good article, and backs up my point, not that it needs it. These people don’t carry knives because they were scared by the mayor talking about knife crime. They carry them because they have all been attacked or felt vulnerable without them in real life.

    Ken thinks the government can intervene in the economy, but there is nothing it can do about crime. I have the exact opposite opinion.

    I used to mix in some dodgy areas. I took the necessary means to protect myself (not always successfully.) Some of the most disappointing days of my life were when I realised that when it comes to violence you can forget about teachers or police helping you, you’re on your own.

    Well it doesn’t need to be like that. This problem can be smashed.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t ever remember seeing a “good” candidate for election in the uk in my lifetime (there have been a few in America but not here.) I have to make a choice between a lot of very poor options usually. And I think Paddick is the least bad option. Ken had his go, Boris had his, and they both failed miserably. Paddick is at least alking about people’s concerns rather than dismissing them. Johnson sits there like an airhead when they talk about crime, Ken has the pained expression of one who is thinking “why are the little people bothering me with their petty concerns.”

    Maybe I should run for mayor. If I got in we’d certainly see a few more tears from Ken.

  • Dave Simons

    The trouble with ‘the national liberation movement of the Jewish people’ is that ‘national’ was not immediately linked up with a territory but with a diaspora. There was talk of creating a Jewish nation in other places before Palestine was chosen. The problem with Palestine is that there were people settled there already, just as there were in biblical times when the Hebrews took over and started calling it their land, conveniently ‘given to us by God’. There are territorial disputes all over the world, with claims as dubious as the UK’s and Argentina’s over the Falkland Islands. But the State of Israel, initially governed by former terrorists from the Irgun and Stern Gang, has been an aggressive and expansionist state since its inception – and it goes on. Yet not every person of Jewish extraction who lives in Israel is a Zionist. You obviously want everything to be black or white – if you accept the State of Israel within any boundaries you are effectively accepting Zionism. The peace process will involve compromise and accomodation, as it usually does, and I’m afraid I think it is the dogmatic attitudes of people like you that keep stalling the process.

  • Dave Simons

     I didn’t say it had ALL come from Marxist Jewish people.

  • Chris lancashire

    I’m not quite sure what you are talking about – and, I suspect, neither are you. Yes, I do find around £175k each month to keep 98 people employed and, no, it’s not out of my own taxed income. Why ever would it be?

  • Michele

     You’ll have to excuse me.  Your post that opened this cache seemed like sarcasm and or criticism of KL’s present arrangements.  I now see / understand it as genuine admiration.

  • Michele

     When did Ken give any hint he would ever ‘sponsor’ Al Qaeda?
    I presume that that is what ‘Alcy Ada’ is about?

    Try not to act like someone that’s in need of hormonal re-balancing.

  • Michele

     Didn’t say you had, ner ner ner 😛

  • Michele

    ” ………..If the only choice was ken vs boris I’d vote for boris.
    If the only choice was ken vs gaddafi I’d vote gaddafi. ……..”

    There you go again, boasting about your prejudice.
    Do you realise how stupid that crap is?
    Can we see your stats about knife crime (along with info about what happened when, such as metal detectors in schools [and yes I do understand the awfulness of their necessity]).

  • Michele

    Butch pretension like that is just what we need, not.

    Some people have physical reasons for weeping easily or they might have personal history reasons for not doing so, cold cold family backgrounds. 

    Some people don’t see this as being about London’s people, they see it as being about their personal status and fulfilling Pater’s ambitions.  Which type do you prefer Butch?  

    I’m afraid I weep lots and don’t see anything wrong with men who do.  Even at the marathon on Sunday in full view of loads of people I was snivelling and scrabbling for tissues, watching all those people doing such a feat and with such good nature and mostly for charity.

    Being accused at this stage of something that they’ve not done for the reasons being asserted by cynical spoilers would shock anyone, there’s not much that’s as saddening about human nature as spite.

  • Michele

     Good article?  That would be an acceptable comment if you had actually understood the reason for its being posted.

    A reminder, given that you appear to have skipped over my introduction to its being re your disingenuous :
    ……”I was particularly sickened by Ken’s typical comment last night that he
    didn’t want to talk about knife crime because that would encourage
    youngsters to carry knives.”…….
    The GOOD article confirms his reasoning/ caution by quoting people who carry knives and who explain why they do so.

    Sheeeeesh, get a grip.

  • Niccareem

    Nine percent of Labour supporters support Boris. I challenge you to name a single Tory supporter who would support Ken and his Trot cronies will use City Hall to promote an ideology that you and Blair worked hard to rid the Labour party of.

  • Mark

    So Dave – we’ve managed to squeeze out off you that you accept Israel but not “Zionism”. Let’s push you a little furthr. If Israel refuses to accept that “Zionsim” is a dirty word how do you feel avbout that.

    I wholly agree by the way that

    “The peace process will involve compromise and accomodation, as it usually does”

    but I think its a bit “ote and eye”when it comes to

    “the dogmatic attitude[s] of people …….[who]that keep stalling the process.”

    One such attitude is that which constantly carps about “Zionism” – the founding ideollogy of Israel while pretending to be for peace. If you deligitmise Israel’s raison d’etre (Zionism – a homeland for the Jewish people – which needn’t exclude the possibility of a Palestinain state alongside it) you are no friend of the peace process.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong. Most of the people in that article said they carried knives because they had been threatened or feel threatened.

    Not because they saw people on tv talking about knives.

    Surely you can recognise that both factors can have an impact, but agree that the real life one outweighs the tv one?

    I had never heard politicians mention knives by the first time I was threatened by one.

    But look at dangerous dogs – yes the publicity meant that more people bought them. But millions already had them, not talking about it was not going to stop it.

    Perhaps the solution is don’t talk about knife criminals, just smash them. But what advantage would that give to self interested politicians like Dave or Ken?

  • Anonymous

    Can’t you see how stupid people like you look when you take things like that literally? Do you really think I’d vote for Gaddafi? Do you?

    My stats about knife crime:
    Last year X amount of people in London joined gangs and stabbed people, whereas < X gangstabbers got shot / jailed / punished. Therefore next year > X people will join gangs and stab people.

  • Anonymous

    What are you replying to? I’m confused, my post above doesn’t mention weeping?

  • Mark

    You seem very angry not just about “Zionsim” and Israel but about any kind of independent assertion or defence of of Judaism at all. I wonder why.
    I’m wholly happy to let you now how I came here. I replied to  Alistair’s article which had been posted on the “Progrss” website and was redirected here. I may well come again – I’m quite a fan of Alistair’s and his former boss Tony. “Progress” is a ginger group within the Labour Party of both of which I am a member. It has enlightened views on a number of issues including the Middle East. I suggest you read it some time.
    Incidentally I have no sympathy for stalking of any kind but I do believe that racist language as expresssed by Livingstone to Feingold often blurts out when people feel under pressure whiich acts as a kind of truth drug. I have heard many people of many different minorities – ethnic and other – say the same thing. When you recall that Livingstone is not merely a professional and experienced politician who should be able to stand the heat, but one who has bulit up a strong anti racist reputation I think his response is more than a little worrying. I have read the transcript by the way and – sorry – but I don’t see what you clearly think is so blindingly revelatory about it.   

    Just three other points. First I would not deny that terrorism was used by Jewish groups in pre 1948 Palestine. It was also used by Arab groups against Jews (and were it not for that wall you mention it would happen again). Since you say you are against all terrorism you would of course condemn that too. Infortunately it is what tends to happen in situations like that of 1948 (India was similar at around the sme time) and had been going on for many years previous. I note by the way that you have not allied yourself to Dave”s description of Israel as a “terrorist state”. No, well, I think it was daft too.

    As to:

    “Re your ‘only Jewish state on the face of the earth’ there should be no such thing as a state described by a religion. ”

    Perhaps – in an ideal world, but we don’t live in an ideal world. There are certainly countries that define themselves as “Islamic” and were Israel to be detroyed Hamas would certainly so define a successor Palestian state. What anti Zionism does is deny one particular people the right to a state that is defined by its “peoplehood.”

    And that is Livingstone’s and your problem. You deny what e.g. the UKs Race Relations Act accepts – that the Jews are an ethinic entity, a “race” as well as a religious one. Why?
    And finally

    “Re your question about the ‘state of Israel’ and whether I think it should be ‘wiped from the map’? Would you like to re-phrase that without the hyperbole please?”

    Here I detect a wriggle Michelle. if you had wanted to say – if you had thought it important to be understood as believing – that Israel was in your view a legitmite and welcome member of the family of nations you could have done so. You have sought instead to indulge in rhetoric. People will no doubt draw their own conclusions from that.

    • Michele

      ……………….. I have read the transcript by the way and – sorry – but I don’t see
      what you clearly think is so blindingly revelatory about it…………………….

      That can only be because you didn’t also read (or didn’t understand) my stated reason for posting the link to the transcript. 
      I had asked early on whether KL knew OF was Jewish as that is basis on which the description of OF as acting like a concentration guard is deemed anti-Semitic.
      I then found the transcript and learned what KL had been told.
      You know this is all so exploitative and so damaging to relationships.  Whether you know it or like it or not, that accusation is something that is quite common between people, Gentiles, Atheists, Agnostics. 
      It’s as common as when allegations of Nazism (or neo-) are used as the ultimate insult.
      I can understand if they are not used within the Jewish community but I don’t know if that’s the case or not (or whether anyone else outside of it would know).

      What I do know from outside of the Jewish community is that Jonathan Freedland will not be voting for Ken this year.
      I know that because he has broadcast it to the nation at large in The Guardian.

      I didn’t know that he had backed Ken in 2008 (I don’t take the Jewish Chrinicle).

      I think Mr Freedland needs to think about what he puts out to the larger audience (especially when he is claiming that KL is only being friendly to Muslim communities as they are a larger contingent than is the Jewish one).   Would a LOL be inappropriate?

  • Dave Simons

      ‘It doesn’t all come from Marxist Jewish people though DS.’

  • Dave Simons

     A lot of people now living in the State of Israel had nothing to do with the terrorist foundation of the state and they have little or nothing to do with Zionism. By the way I’m talking about Zionism now rather than Zionism in the late nineteenth century, when Tsarist pogroms were driving people to yearn for a homeland of their own. Zionism now is expansionist and aggressive – and I notice you don’t say a deal about that in your answers. Of course it needn’t exclude the possibility of a Palestinian state alongside, as was talked about during the ‘partition of Palestine’ talks in the late 1940s. I should damned well hope not! The Palestinians were, after all, already there, weren’t they? I should add that I was all set to work on a kibbutz near Galilee in October 1973 but unfortunately I was prevented by the Yom Kippur war. I’ve also been a member of a Klezmer band. Don’t go throwing around adjectivals like ‘jew-baiters’ when anyone dares to be crtitical – it doesn’t help whatever line you are pushing. I will confess that I have often found it very difficult to talk to a lot of people of Jewish/Yiddish origin about the State of Israel – their emotional response inhibits rational discussion.

    • mightymark

      Oh Dave – those dreadful over excitable Jews/Yids. Whatever can we do about them eh?

      And just watch the elision between this:

      “Zionism in the late nineteenth century, when Tsarist pogroms were driving people to yearn for a homeland of their own”

      and this

      “Zionism now is expansionist and aggressive”

      as if there was nothing in between. Are you saying it would have been fine had Israel been formed during the Tsarist pogroms but it has to pack up now – or maybe that anyone there during the when the pogroms were going  on is OK – or morerealistically their successors – or perhaps only if they are “non agressive”.

      In fact do you actually know what you are saying because,sorry, it all sounds a bit like erm… an “emotional response” to me rather than somthing based on thought. And maybe that is your problem whe talkin to Jews or “yids” (your alternative Dave, not mine). Maybe – just maybe – its you who is emotional and not them. Worth thinking about I’d say!

      As for

      “The Palestinians were, after all, already there, weren’t they?”

      so were the Jews. Jews have had an unbroken presence there for millenia and were a majotrity in Jerusalem as long ao as 1840.

      Finally please help me – I’d really like to know quite why you think I should be impressed by your being in a Klezmer band.

  • Rodney

    Perhaps you could make some humble pie with it.

  • Michele

     You’re usually much more forensic DS. 
    Your post mentioned only Marxist Jewish people’s ideas about Zionism while not suggesting they were the only ones so fair-minded.
    My post reinforced that fact as I thought visible balance was needed.

  • Michele

     As your ‘joke’ was so unfunny perhaps you should have labelled it.
    Your constant boasting about your personal feelings about MPs and Mayoral candidates is irrational, your faith in BP about what he says when there is no proof he could take people with him (or even that he works well with anyone now) is emotional.
    Do you not understand that when you claim there was more knife crime under KL you have to show it is fact (not merely another one of your illogical ideas or tee-hee another ‘joke’).
    You have to show figures and sources, you have to take account of what changed things and who instigated those measures (given that getting metal detectors in to schools could not happen overnight) and ….. not finished yet … you have to look at which plonker claimed credit for another’s work.

    Follow?   Or not?  Given that you treat the blog like a stage.  Go on, give us a pirouette.

  • Michele

     You cannot be serious !!!!

    You know that media melodrama and hyped up news reports / discussions  help form people’s opinions and their feelings /lack of safety.

    Feel unsafe?  Think everyone else is armed?  So carry a knife!
    S’easy peasy, till you actually face up to the fact that most of us are  emotionally and physically  incapable of using one – not a scenario that many teenagers are yet aware of re themselves.

  • Michele

     Re your first question you wonder why I’m against a group of people that treat others as less than human?  Why is it so hard to understand?

    It is not sensible for anyone to believe in  Abraham’s vision in the desert.  Whether he was simply dehydrated and having a hallucination we don’t know – if that were so it would be something to sympathise with him about – but not all those that have subsequently claimed that his dream can explain how the whole rest of the world should behave and defer to them and their ambitions for infinity.

    We all know (the ‘we’ includes you) that not all Jewish people believe it either.  Orhodox Jewish people did not appreciate the influx of seculars/Zionists post-48.  Even now there are demonstrations on a weekly basis; Orthodox Jewish people stoning other Jewish (not to overlook that they also stone non-Jewish women not  adhering to their dress code in Old Jerusalem).

    I have no reason to respect anything about Abraham, he used a slave girl to give him what his wife couldn’t.  Why should I think any more of him than I do of Henry VIII?

    It’s distasteful to me when anyone from a present generation claims preferential treatment because of the persecution of ancestors.  It can explain feelings of insecurity but it can’t explain the absolute ignoring of similar feelings in other people with other histories and it certainly does not explain to me the claims for preferential treatment now.

    We all have to get along as what we are.  Your ancestors have suffered horrendously, so have mine, so have people all round the globe, I don’t want to get in to a ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ slanging match as I don’t parade what my ancestors endured at the hands of others long dead nor feel personally responsible for what those of my nationality inflicted on others in their time.

    Re your assertion about the UK Race Relations Act I’d be surprised if it really says what you claim about Jewry being a race (or a race apart).   As far as I’ve ever understood it the ‘race’ aspect comes from the Semite categorisation and that is shared between people of several religions and languages in the mid-East. 

    IF as you say you also dislike the crime (or ….. calm …….) act of stalking I’m not sure why you behaved in the mob-handed way you did in charging in to back up earlier arrivers on thread.  Oliver Feingold behaved badly, Ken Livingstone responded badly.  OF was probably tired, bored and in need of a break, KL and his heavily pregnant companion were trying to relax at an event that was work-linked at the end of their week.

    Don’t claim (or support others that claim) that KL has ‘issues with the Jewish community’.  Look at the situation as it was and see who had issues with whom; who set out for the day with his orders and was  following them to the letter?

    • mightymark

      I opened my last post by referring to “Judaism” you reply that they are

      “a group of people that treat others as less than human? ”

      I think I understand you very well indeed.

      I think I can fairly pass over your strange ramblings about Abraham. Since I have at no point referred to him I fail to see the relevance though itmaybe worth clarifying my view that the justificartion for Israel iffany is needed (after all, we don’t generally ask countries to justify themselves) is a secular not a religious one. (See for example – if Alistair is good enough to post it – may most recent comment to Dave). Neither have I referred to my ancestors at any point or to what they may or may not have endured. Again what is your point here? I certainly agree that  excercises in “competitive suffering” are pointless. if you are a member of a pro Palestinian group you will no doubt be telling them that too at the next meeting.

      Finally, on Ken Livingstone here’s the bad news. Ken mosst certainly does have issues with the Jewish community – please believe me, for your own good if nothing else – and they go well beyond his spat with Mr Feingold.

    • mightymark

      Just a smal second bite of the cherry on the RRA. I don’t think the Acts list “groups entitled” however I believe Jews have won cases of dicrimination against them under the Acts and could not have done so had they not been accepted as a race. Do you have a problem with this?

  • Michele

     No, I put it in the wrong cache, it relates to your butch threat to make KL cry some more.


  • Michele

     Oh look, another arrivee with no previous history on the blog, yet with a personal and cheap quip to make.

    Sigh ……

  • Anonymous

    A butch threat? Thats like me saying “If I was superman I’d use my laser beam eyes on Ken Livingstone” – there is as much chance of me becoming superman as there is of me becoming Mayor of London I would suggest, so its hardly a threat.

    Its a bit of a stretch to go from me saying I’d make Ken cry if I became mayor to imagine that means I am criticising people who cry?!

    What if I had added “Whereas if Ken becomes Mayor, I will cry.” Would that do? No butch, anti crying sentiment here.

    As it happens if Ken becomes Mayor I won’t cry, simply because I don’t think the post is that important and therefore I don’t think he could do much damage even if he wanted to (and he doesn’t anyway – he is self serving, not evil.)

  • Anonymous

    Read again. The first time I faced a knife I hadn’t seen them on tv first, and the person was not physically incapable of using it.

  • Anonymous

    @Michele And another thing: You know how you go crazy when someone calls workfare a soviet or nazi scheme, or when no doubt someone in the past few days has compared Newham council to Slobodan Milosevic. What then do you think of all the times when Ken calls his enemies criminals, nazis etc?

    Speaking of Newham, I remember one pledge Boris made was that he wouldn’t allow families to be driven out of areas they had lived in for years just because the market was putting the prices up. So lets see what he says about Newham.

  • Michele

     I’m not aware of anyone calling workfare a soviet or a nazi scheme so far.  I’ve taken issue with it being called slavery on the grounds that slavery was far too vicious a crime to be compared to workfare.  It was about life or death, about being bought or sold, about being treated like a chattel or a mule or a buffalo, not about being deprived of benefit or fulfilment of insurance responsibilities.  

    As it happens I have a post still not opened out on the subject of different groups’ attitudes to using/abusing words like Nazi.  I’m not aware that KL has called anyone a Nazi; he referred to someone as a ‘concentration camp guard’ while knowing that person is Jewish. 
    That is not the same as calling him a Nazi; after all were we not told that some German soldiers were ‘just’ following orders?  Conscription eh?  It’s a very narrow point but it does apply and matter.

    Anyway, this unopened post that’s in – it’s about a thought that occurred today – growing up as and with non-Jewish people we used insults like ‘Nazi’ or ‘fascist’.  I’m sure there are people who have (or whose ancestors have) really been persecuted by those groups and therefore consider the words being used as mere real-life insults very very very blasphemous to their religion.  It’s something that’s not occurred to me before, maybe not to other Gentiles or Atheists or Heathens either.

  • Dave Simons

     Can you give me the source of your information – 9% of Labour supporters support Boris?
    Incidentally ‘Trot cronies’ is what you expect from the likes of Michael Gove but you really should try not to sink to such levels.

  • reaguns

    More knife murders under Ken I said, not more knife crime – it is impossible to know how many people are threatened / stabbed but we can just about keep count of the ones who died. And we all know more died under Ken. But that doesn’t excuse or vindicate Boris one bit. However at least he didn’t try to sweep it under the carpet to the extent that Ken does. I’ll always vote for the person who is toughest on crime, unless faced with two candidates who are equally strong on it or equally feeble.

  • Dave Simons

     It would perhaps have been daft to describe Israel as a ‘terrorist state’ if I’d actually done that. I think my real quote was ‘the State of Israel, initially governed by former terrorists from the Irgun and Stern Gang’. Did you notice that word ‘initially’? Are you denying that statement of well-known fact? Do you need to twist every criticism people make to bolster your own flimsy arguments?

  • Michele

    My first and second choices are decided.
    I’m afraid that my flitting and dipping around the news since I got home from 2wks with no internet or UK TV means I’d completely misunderstood who swore at whom in the post-Newsnight debacle.
    Anyway, thanks to eventual catch-up and to Guardian/Jenny Jones I’ll be voting 1st Pref Mr Livingstone 2nd Pref (in hopes she gets a very good role) Ms Jones.

    Browsing and finding Mr Paddick naked in the jungle for TV was about as fulfilling as the photos of Mr Galloway in tights and whiskers.

  • Michele

    Very interesting interview here with Ken (some of it scary re BJ’s ambitions for 2015/6)

  • Rodney

    Oh high Miche, are you the moderator on here or something? I take it you need the recipe also.

  • reaguns

    Oh I am calling it a nazi or soviet scheme then. When you opt for socialism (as opposed to social democracy) you will always have to use some form of forced labour (why else would anyone do the crappy or difficult jobs in such a system.) So all nazis, fascists, soviet and communist systems have had to resort to forced labour.

    And sorry for my gross misrepresentation of Mr Livingstone, there is me thinking he called the man a nazi when all he called him was a plain old concentration camp guard then as well. Could he have compared him the to gestapo or the Waffen SS as well then?! I can see where this is going: “So Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels I am going to sentence you for being part of Hitler’s government” and then one of you guys pop up with “Er excuse me, Goebbels was not part of the government, K?”

    Whats the difference between an aetheist and a heathen – I’ve been called both.

  • Michele
  • Michele

     Nope Rodders, not the moderator, are you suggesting I behave moderately?  How insulting.

    It’s been suggested in the past that I ‘police’ the board, so if you’re the type that thinks someone who ‘voices’ their  disagreement with posts or the MO of passers-by that can’t resist a plop  is an official …. LOL.

  • Michele

     Obviously the above is in relation to this thread; I do remember you using the word ‘Nazi’ re workfare elsewhere, weeks ago. 
    I found it offensive due to its being so OTT, off the wall and melodramatic (just like your use of word ‘slavery).
    As described above I’d imagine that Jewish people would have different and more personal reasons to feel offended about such misappropriation.

  • Michele

     I don’t like your Goy-baiting tone Mark.

    Care to change it and avoid the use of emotional blackmail or trendy-isms like ‘wriggle’?  We’re equal and that’s all.

  • Michele

     Oh gawd, on and on and on about the right to misuse words.  All over the bloddy place in all sorts of contexts you yadder on about your own meanings or what you claim will be the ‘man on the street’s’ meanings. 
    Do you not understand how silly it is to talk about forced labour being a habit of ‘socialism’ when the context NOW is its being used by a so-called conservative Govt (I use ‘so-called’ because the meaning of the word does not apply to this lot – they are NOT conserving what is good).
    Are you in need of some camomile tea?
    Whether you like it or not there ARE different meanings to different words.  A Nazi is a believer in Nazism; a conscripted German soldier might have had no such belief – hence their attempted ‘defence’ about following orders.
    As well as using words properly try also to recognise what parethesis around them in writing might signify.  As to the parenthesis we might intone with in speech …… who knows whether KL did use an inflection or not and does it matter anyway?  He was comparing a person’s JOB to another person’s JOB, not comparing their beliefs. 
    Atheist and heathen, so you’ve been called both.  So what?  Is either a bad thing to be? 
    K?  Que?

  • Michele

     Re your reply and avoiding the letter to a line box ……. SIGH, I was referring to people being scared in to carrying a knife for self-defense and not realising they would be incapable of using it.  I know I would.carrying kni

  • Michele

     Feel the lurve.

  • Michele

     Why don’t you find and paste the part of the Act that you assert claims that Judaism is a race apart?
    I’m very glad that the UK Govt provides protection for all humans on racial, religious and gender grounds, I’m aware also that they are discrete and distinct from each other (while an individual might suffer prejudice about more than one).

  • reaguns

    Well I’m glad to hear they are starting to collect better figures on “non-murder” knife crime, which affects way more people than the few you hear about who lose their lives. This kind of 20-30% increase mentioned in the article is certainly a reason to ditch Boris (if there were not enough reason already) but is also no reason to vote for Ken. Otherwise by that logic if you don’t like Obama fighting in Afghanistan you would replace him with George Bush.

    Incidentally, I am not sure if either of us have mentioned this here but on last sundays debate it was pointed out that while overall crime has fallen under boris, violent crimes against the person (the ones most people care most about) have increased. Ie I don’t care about ‘crime’ against the govt where someone hasn’t paid car tax or whatever, only crime on persons. And on this, Boris is an abject failure, just like Ken was.

    The other point is how much can we blame Boris or Ken? They can’t change the law.Hence many think mayors and police commissioners (which I support) are actually just a way for someone else to take the rap for government. The vitriol we direct at Ken and Boris shows they have a point. Ie if a London Mayor came in and decided to solve knife crime the way I would like to, with video cameras and snipers, they wouldn’t be allowed to.

  • Michele

    Cortex avoidance positioning to Mark that now describes himself as mighty :-s

    actually opened your post with ……..”You seem very angry not just about
    “Zionsim” and Israel but about any kind of independent assertion or
    defence of of Judaism at all. I wonder why.”……   My reply was about the inhumane activities of a
    self-declared Zionist government that wants to clear all non-Jews (as if
    non-people) out of Israel.   Now if YOU want to think that that means I
    think all Jewish people are as inhumane as that self-declared Zionist
    government and its conscripted army you’ll have to explain your verbal manipulation.

    You did not reply about the ghetto-isation of Israeli
    citizens behind a 10’ high wall, limiting anything that they can ‘import’ (do
    you agree that that’s the right verb?).  
    The UN has declared the ‘allowables list’ does not comprise a healthy
    diet.  If it has been increased/extended
    in the past 12m I’m unaware; apprise me.

    Strange ramblings about Abraham?  But isn’t he the hallucinated person at the
    root of all this?  The one that claimed
    he’d been told by an apparition that the Holy Land belongs to Jews
    forever?  I’m sure that’s what we’ve been
    told!!  There is also of course the idea of
    Israel as a homeland post-Holocaust but claims about Abraham pre-date even that
    (remember those 19C Zionists?). 

    Yep, while it’s true that Jewish people have lived there
    longer than Christians and Muslims (due solely to their religion being older) you seem ignorant of the fact that people lived there before even Judaism.

    My reference to EVERYone’s ancestors’ sufferings not
    entitling ANYone in this day and age to any preferential treatment is quite
    straightforward to me. 

    If it’s not
    straightforward to you it must be down to our different teachings, mine was
    secular.  NB: The Israeli Govt was wise
    enough round about 2008 to remove from its website the assertion that it serves
    a Zionist state. 

    Can you understand how pathetic it is to presume, to post,
    to publish, your assumption (or was it your accusation?) that I must belong to
    a Palestinian group or attend meetings? 
    Trying to bully/cajole/blackmail?  Are you totally thick to not
    grasp that anyone at all can and might empathise with most Palestinians?  It does not mean that they/we do not
    acknowledge the horrendous activities of SOME, just as we/they are
    aware that many many horrendous activities have been committed IN THE NAME of
    many religions or nationalities 
    throughout history.

    There HAS to be accommodation for Palestinians, those people
    whose ancestors lived peacefully and happily in the country along with many Jewish people as well as
    Christians until the late 40s.

    You have to acknowledge that many Jewish people, Orthodox
    and secular, abhor Zionism.  Being Jewish
    is obeying a religion, being Zionist is obeying a political belief.

    Now this thread was about KL becoming Mayor, it’s a shame
    imhoo that it has been hijacked by people having issues about Zionism, NOT
    about Judaism.  Or hey, even having issues with KL simply because he has a more holistic outlook.

  • Michele

     There is a language called Yiddish, that is its proper name.
    DS did not use the slang word ‘Yid’.

    You want to win an argument?
    Stick to decent behaviour.

  • Michele

     See response in a separate full width box.

  • Anonymous


    What is so difficult in getting your head round the fact that what KL said after he learnt OF was Jewish was more not less offensive than what he said before – not least TO a Jewish person.

    On the “wriggle” I note that yet again you play the man and not the ball in getting more uppity about language than you are responsive to the question raised.

  • Michele

     Cortex?  No claims to grey matter – typo re Vortex.

  • Anonymous


    There is indeed a language called Yiddish but this:
    ” I have often found it very difficult to talk to a lot of people of Jewish/Yiddish origin”
    is very clearly referring to people and intends to add something to “Jewish” as it goes beyond the mere tautology, given that context, of “Jewish” and “Yiddish” (“Yiddish” being Yiddish for “Jewish”)
    By the way – no I don’t feel any “Lurve” – quite the contrary.


    Let me be helpful and quote your later words precisely:

    “initially governed by former terrorists from the Irgun and Stern Gang”

    Israel was “initially” governed (i.e. after independence and for a long time subsequently) by the Labour Party under David Ben Gurion’s premiership. Not only was David Ben Gurion in neither the Irgun nor the Stern gangs but in fact he supressed both movements and cut off weapons to them. It is true that in the 1970’s Israel did have a Prime Minister who had been in (I think) the Irgun. That was Menahem Begin. If you have forgotten about him I’ll just jog your memory. He was the guy who in exchange for peace  handed back to Egypt the largest amount of land – the Sinai – that the naughty “expansionist” Israel had won in 1967. It had oil by the way.
    So we learn yet another way in which Israel is not so different from many other post colonial states – ex terrorists become peace makers. And as long as they ignore the “more royalist than the king types” on the Euro left the forrmer Palestinian terrorrists will do the same one day

    SO and in conclusion – here’s the deal – you two keep the mistakes coming and I’ll just keep correcting you!

  • Anonymous


    I have ascertained that it is a case law matter and I don’thave acces to law reports in hard copy or on net. If you google “Jews and Race Relations Act” you will find a number of articles that set out why Jews (and Sikhs) are protected under the Act.

    A particularly succinct explanatio is provided in para 4 of an article of the Muslim Lawyers Association (yes really!)  

  • Anonymous

    K is short for OK, even I know that in terms of abbreviations fgs 🙂 Look at the effort it saved me 🙁

    You need some form of forced labour to make socialism work, that’s hardly controversial to sensible people is it?

    Social democracy is another thing, forced labour is not required for that.

    I agree Cameron is not conservative.

  • Dave Simons

     Having being in a Klezmer band was not intended to impress but to counter your absolutely stupid prejudices, which I think you have revealed quite clearly in your latest contribution. Don’t let’s waste any more space please!

  • mightymark

    I think you are going first to have to make your mind up whether there is a “self declared Zionist Government” or whether the is “an Israeli Goverment [that] was wise enough to remove form its website the assertion that it serves a Zionist state”.as the two seem inconsistent. Let me see if I can help you. Since Zionism is the underlying philosophy of the State of Israel – it’s raison d’eter if you like – it is hard to see how it can be other than Zionist.
    I think the problem you have is that you are so obsessed with trying to demonise Israel that you have caught onto this thing about “Zionism” that you want to make into a dirty word. All you end up doing is confusing the issue and while you will no doubt go on about “the right to criticise Israel” – and no problem with that – you actually don’t do that but get into a rather silly time wasting examination of a philosophy. Now my suspicion – and I have been gradually coming round to this for some time – is that the reason you, like a number of others, do this is because in truth, there actually isn’t very much you can criticise Israel for – at least not such as to delegitmise her existence, which must I think be your ultimate
    objective since you have already had several opportunities to say you accept Israel as a member of the family of nations and have not done so. I’d be happy to consider this point further but for now I’ll just mention that “criticism” generally aims to improve. Those who hate Israel don’t want to improve it – they want to obliterate it so being unable to do so they have to settle for demonisation. For now though I will press on further with you post.
    On the “wall” I have already said elewhere, it saves lives – Jewish, Arab and the many others that live there who are neither. Take the terrorist threat away and the wall could go too – or at least there would be a case for it to do so.
    On Abraham, many countries have national myths. Here is another for you to sample:
    “A Charter of the land
    Arose from out the azure main
    And Guardian’s Angel’s sang this strain
    Rule Britannia”
    They are not generally taken too seriously these days and if there was nothing more to the Jewish link to Israel than the Abrahamic myth I doubt that the country would have come about. There is of course more –  considerably more.
    You are a great on for calling others unfair so I’m sure you will wish to acknowledge the unfairness of suggesting someone is “ignorant” of something when the point has not even been raised.  I am of course aware that many people lived in what is now Israel before the Jews – but they were obviously neither Muslim nor Christian and I am not even sure that they would be understood as Arab in the modern sense though I’ll defer to wiser heads than mine on the point.
    I think you have a problem also with the fact that historically population movements do occur. The entire continents  of America – North and South –  and Australasia are now peopled and ruled mainly by those of European origin. After 1945 at around the same time as Israel came into existence there were vast population movements – e.g. from India to Pakistan and vice versa, indeed we have not yet discussed the movement of 750,000 Jews who fled Arab countries to live in Israel at the same time as I million Arabs in some cases left, in others were forced from what is now Israel. This looks rather similar to the population transfers between India and Pakistan. I am not denying that these movements are often bloody and involve great suffering but they do occur. The question that keeps popping up in my mind though is why it is only those that occured in the case if Israel that are at still at issue over 60 years later. 
    Briefly, I do of course acknowledge that a very few orthodox Jews and rather more secular Jews are anti (or non) Zionist. That has always been the case athough it is worth remembering that a considerable proportion of these actually live in Israel. (Talk about having your cake and eating it!)
    Now let me put a question to you – do you have any understanding at all – let alone sympathy for –  the love, pride and affection that the overwhelming majority of the world’s 14 million Jews feel for Israel? That it is always in their thoughts and prayers, that attacks on it – physical or verbal – are often taken personally which is hardly surprising when some extremists avow their hatred, not on Israelis or “Zionists” but on every “Yahud” ( that is, Arabic for Jew).
    We can agree of course that:
    “There HAS to be accommodation for Palestinians” – though your view does rather raise he question why you appear to think there is some shame in belonging to a pro Palestinian group
    I believe in a two state solution but the penchant of people like yourself to demonise Israel hardly helps that as it simply mirrors the sttuff spouted in the Arab world that makes Israelis think it better to hold to to the stategic advantage of holding onto the West bank (effectively the only territory still relevant than leaving it, as many would otherwise heartilly wish to do.

  • mightymark

    Isn’t saying “money corrupts politics” a bit like saying intercourse corrupts sex?

     How can something that is contained within the warp and weft of something as money is in the case of politics corrupt it? If you mean som people have too much money and some too little or that some parties have more than others I’d probably agree but “money corrupts politics” is a nonsense.

    I bet “Respect” wouldn’t turn down some rolls of moolah!

  • Michele

     I know ‘K’ is slang for ‘OK’.
    It’s intended to sound cool.
    I prefer Manuel’s version of that quality.

  • Michele

     I think if you cared to read around more than you do, tried to widen your focus, you would see I have said that very thing in several places during the past month.
    For non-Jewish people it has been quite ‘easy’ to regard the words ‘Nazi’ or ‘fascist’ as the ultimate insults to sling at people.
    I have suggested during this very thread that for Jewish people it could seem a cheap exploitation of a tragedy and inappropriate about mere irritations. 
    In other threads I have said the same when they (along with ‘slavery’) have been slung around about the work-fare scheme.
    Their use should be restricted to what/who they actually do apply to.
    This post is about MY principles, it is not in any way an appeal to you, I find you exploitative.

  • Michele

    More vortex-avoidance:
    Luckily for you mightymark (will you graduate to almighty?) I am not a  dutiful paid hack following my orders traipsing around spying on someone all day long …inhale ….  so when I ask you what your narrow narrow (ie: in more ways than one) post means with this:

    …………………….. “A particularly succinct explanatio is provided in para 4 of an article of the Muslim Lawyers Association (yes really!)  ……………..”
    I wll not be rushing to my commanders to suggest we exploit the (‘yes really!).  I’m sure you do mean it in a celebratory, not sarcastic, way.It’s seeming possible that you hold, as well as endure slivers of  prejudice.

    Re the waste of space convo about the Race Relations Act and your claim that Jewry have been declared a race …… we are both out of date by not knowing RRA has been superseded by the Equality Act, a much more sensible and wide-ranging title.
    Jewry is NOT a race, it is a religion which’s original believers lived an an area that comprises SEMITES of varied religions, languages and nationalities.  Semitism was a race (and is another word that has been hijacked/re-owned over the passage of time).

  • mightymark

    “it’s a shameimhoo that it has been hijacked by people having issues about Zionism”
    Well, I suppose a little self criticism never hurt anyone!

  • Michele

    An international movement Mark; I’m sure you already know of it and know how the Jewish Chronicle responded:
    It would be awful to be called a ‘self-hating Jew’ (as these international signatories have been) but such tawdry emotional blackmail is nasty stifling of freedom of thought.

    It’s surprising if you don’t know that the Israeli Govt declared itself Zionist on its website until ’08/’09, maybe even ’10.  It has now been re-worded; softened you might say.  There is therefore NO contradiction in my posts (but I’m  surprised if you’ve not heard of the changes).

    You need to stop twisting words. 
    You have the floor to explain what you think I think would be shameful about belonging to Palestinian groups; get started if you’re such an expert to know me better than I know myself. 
    As it happens I do not belong to any, neither do I wear a checked square, neither of these admissions negates that I DO believe Paletinians have a right to live as equals in Israel, where their ancestors have also lived for centuries and THAT is the reason for hating what the Israeli Govt website used to say.

    You are quite plainly more energetic about being pro-Zionist than being or in supporting Jewish people who are more than happy to be part of the diaspora.

    Poster DS was prevented from visiting Israel some time ago, I was more lucky.  I went in the late 70s and all of us were full of wonder and admiration at the richness that had been brought out of the land in what had previously been unproductive desert. 
    We reached Jerusalem and saw how all the sweeper-level workers there were Arab, we did not see a single Arab in a status-type role. 
    Hah, we were totally unaware (and I stayed so till not many years ago) that the state was being supported by millions of dollars per year from American Govt.
    Yes the world was shell-shocked by European revelations late 40s but at that time and for years afterwards it needed an eye on oil movements in the mid-East.
    There were cynical capitalist reasons for the establishment of the safe homeland and people of several religions have been left to pay the price for them and will be paying for many years more.

  • Dave Simons

     The smugness of that last sentence just about sums you up. I’m not going to waste any more time arguing with your ‘corrections’. I’ll repeat what I said earlier – ‘I will confess that I have often found it very difficult to talk to a
    lot of people of Jewish/Yiddish origin about the State of Israel’. My goodness, don’t you fit the stereotype! ‘Yiddish’, by the way, refers to the language used by European Jews.

  • Michele

     The point is, Mark, that you are a Zionist more enthusiastically than you are Jewish (if indeed you are the latter).
    You were posting during the Jewish Sabbath (unless you’re mid-Pacific).  Stop exploiting Judaism for your Zionist / territorial / politcal reasons.

  • Michele

    I asked you somewhere down a plughole (letter-to-a-line post) Mark whether you had an update for me re the UN’s statement some time ago about the 10′ wall around a country’s own citizens and the import embargo it imposes on them and its ‘allowables’ having such poor variety / nutritional value.

    You didn’t offer one, take a look at this recent report and tell me honestly whether this is the way to treat ALL Palestinians in Israel in revenge for what a few idiots have done  :

  • Mark

    The “Zionist” hang up is yours  – not mine. I am not quite sure what it is that gives you the right to order people about (thank goodness you can’t enforce it – yet) but if you and your sidekick Dave do indeed represent the future Jewish people face in the UK and I hope it isn’t, I am certainly grateful for Israel – more perhaps that when I started wasting time on your utterly closed minds.

  • mightymark

    You would indeed waste time by arguing with an incontrovertible fact!

    By the way, why not try a little self criticism – maybe its your approach that gets up our (oh so big) noses -and since you have now confessed your apporach involves a preconceived “stereotype” perhaps that would not be surprising.

  • Dave Simons

     Sidekick? I think you deserve a good rear kick for that!

  • Michele

     DS and I have had several battles as long and boring and pointless as this one.
    That doesn’t stop either of us (I hope) Liking what we agree with and can’t be bothered/don’t need to post to.

    You have to be more honest; IF you have different reasons to oppose KL’s candidature than his clumsy lack of care to a fellow human that has preoccupied this ‘convo’ do spit it out.

    Stick to the politics of if – the programmes of KL, BJ et al and avoid the opportunism.  I’ve so far avoided being opportunistic enough to ask if you agree that native Americans should shoo away those that ‘bought’ the land from them for the equivalent of a few feathers.

  • Michele

     I hope that your constant searching for putdowns, no matter how slim and dependent on slips of the tongue/keyboard gives you fulfilment Xalmightymark. 

    It does not convince anyone of anything other than that you are in search of any slip that can be twisted into a pointless accusation.

    Let me know if you have any posts anywhere else on AC’s site ie:  ARE you just a human being like other human beings with lots of interests and concerns or someone with a pessimistic isolationist vocation?

    I’m a white atheist single mother (shortsighted too by gum, never mind being a flippin’ northerner).   Anyone got a problem with any of that?  So what, idiots?

  • almigghtymark

    But as I said earlier about KL slips of the tongue can be very telling – havn’t you read Freud? (whoops, sorry – another excitable Jew!).

    You know very well that I have recently posted elsewhere on this site – as I recall I was actually rather ccomplimentary to you. Fat lot of thanks I get.  By the way, why don’t you think “someone with a pessimistic isolationiist vocation” can be human. Have you arrogated to to yoursefl the right to determine that as well?

    Thanks for the potted bio.I certainly agree you are in certain respects (though not all – see above) shortsighted though perhaps not as you meant it.

  • mightymark

    Michele, Michele, Michele, Michele, Michele!

    NO NO NO  – “be more honest” as you would say – you don’t find it at all boring. Like most politicos it gives you a big adrenlin rush – admit it !!!!

    Seriously, you have asked an important question which deserves a serious asnwer – why I don’t want KL as mayor. Basically my problem is my dislike of the kind of opportunism (to use another of your favorite “boo” words) that makes him shamelessly woo one community (“Beacon of Islam” – “it is my mission to make peole see Islam as peaceful”, fascist cleric hugging etc) and doing so at the expense of anither community at whom he gets in just enough “digs” to convince (he hopes) the more favoured (i.e. larger) community that he is onside without putting himsel so far on the wrong side of the racist line that Miliband has to call him out for it.

    Lets ignore – becaus it probably no odds to you – the hurt that this strategy causes the Jewish community, and focus on how disgusting this strategy is overall. First it is as insulting to Muslims as it is to hurtful to Jews. If someone sought to insult my intelligence by appealing to my (presumed) prejudices I would smell a rat. Maybe the Muslim community will do so too in time.

    More importantly, should someone this opportunistic be in charge of a great multicultural city like London?After all, if he tries this on with one community who knows who might be on the receiving end next time round? Frankly someone who behaves in this way should not be allowed within  a million miles of London’s mayoralty. As a Labour Party member it gives me no pleasure to be unable to endorse a Labour candidate (I have cast both my otther votes for Labour and abstained on the Mayor). As a basically Blairite member of the party I have been happy to give my vote to leftist candidates in the past some of whom have not e.g. shared my views on Israel which as you are by now well aware, is a litmus test issue for me. I think however that the defeat of the canker that Livingstone represents (and which goes beyond issues of left and right) to the Labour Party would be extrremely healthy for the party in the long run.

    Finally, I see you are at last beginning to engage with my actual arguments and not those you think you I am making (well done – lets leave Abraham to his hallucinations!) – at least that is what I think your native Americans point is about. This holds out some promise for our future discussion on this site. You may wish however – its your choice of course – to engage more closely by acknowledging (or rebutting if you have evidence) the obvious point that despite the undoubted truth of what you say, no one seriously questions the legitmacy of the USA as constituted although there certainly are no doubt justified criticisms of the way native Americans are treated within the US.

  • mightymark

    P. S. My apologies – looking back of my earlier post I see I may have made a mistake. I said we could “leave Abraham to his hallucinations”. If KL wins the mayoralty and as promised, turns London into a “beacon of Islam”  we won’t of course be able to do that as, in his Islamic form of Ibrahim good ole hallucinatin’  Abe will presumably be very much among those the beacon illuminates.
    Since you have now told us elsewhere that you are an atheist I wonder how you feel about your cash and that of other atheist Londoners being used to establish, light up and fuel this “beacon”?

  • Michele

     Everyone makes slips of the tongue Mark, you made the cyber equivalent when reporting news from a Muslim source that you claimed was supportive of your claim that RRA had deemed Jewishness a race. 
    Judaism is a religion, it was adopted by some of the Semite race (which includes Muslims as well as other – originally – mid-Easterners).  
    Do you remember your ‘Yes, really!’ about your source?  Would I be being nasty and distorting or manipulative to wonder what you meant with your ‘Yes really!’ or am I being understanding if I discount it as mere flippancy with no malice intended? 
    Or am I, in a world of others that prefer to exploit KL’s tired and fed-up flippancy as prejudice, being too lenient about you? 
    ARE you an Islamophobe Mark?  Should I demand proof from you that you are not and if I did, just how would you prove it?

    Your presumptions of what people might think of Jews with your big conks comment yesterday to DS as well as the above about Freud is childish.  Grow up fgs.

    I don’t need you to be complimentary, I would prefer you to be objective and nope, I have not seen you prove any holistic approach to humanity.

  • Michele

    Hmmmmmm, have just asked elsewhere whether you’re a type of phobe.

    AC’s site is usually free of Islamophobes but nothing can stay so watertight.  That’s unfortunate.

  • Michele

     We don’t agree at all Mark; the incomers to America shoved the natives aside, the incomers to what was Palestine did the same.
    Good of you to agree that criticisms can be made re the treatment of native Americans, I wonder how long it will take you to admit the same about natives / descendants of Palestinians.

  • Michele

     You ………… “By the way, why don’t you think “someone with a pessimistic isolationiist vocation” can be human………”

    Me ….. Does my use of the word ‘someone’ not imply the quality of their being human to you then?

    You’re trying too hard Mark, you’re looking for prejudice where there is none about your being Jewish but aspects of your personality (which is independent of your being Jewish, whether you admit it or not …… see links to IJVs) are getting a little sour. 
    None of us can claim perfection, you’re off the hook.


    Right – so thats war on the USA then. When do you start?

  • Michele

     Don’t know what happened there, it was the link to Gilligan’s blog about KL’s ambition for Islam to not be a cause of divisiveness  in London.

    Are you a Londoner Mark?

  • mightymark

    Had I been an Islamophobe I would hardly have written of KLs exploitative and divisive  strategy

    “First it is as insulting to Muslims as it is to hurtful to Jews”

    would I?

  • mightymark

    Just for the record my “yes really” simply reflected my surprise that the point was so well made on the site of another faith. I’d have prabably made the same point had it been on a Christian or Hindu site too.

    I wasn’t aware that I as under any obligation to show a “holisitc approach to humanity”. As the late great Anthony Crosland once said

     “I have thought about his while in my bath and do not see what at my age I can do about it”

  • mightymark

    Do keep up Mich. girl – I’ve told you how I voted below. Duh!

  • Michele

     You’re under no obligations re anything Mark, what on earth suggests any?  Commenting on your lack of them does not suggest there is a duty, it’s merely a measure of a person’s quality as an independent human being (like those under the IJV banner – Independent Jewish Voices – peopel who  will determinely think for themselves).

    My quetion about your possible Islamophobia was ingenuous btw; I hadn’t yet read the other posts where you display its full extent.

    Does it not cross your mind that Hitler also found fertile ground in the minds of people sick to the back teeth of that earlier type of terrorism in Europe?  Are you proud of using his tactics about a few idiots?

    Your hatred is no better or more acceptable  than any other anti-Semite’s or competitive religionist (nor does it really  represent your religion, which you hide behind).

  • mightymark


    I have delayed replying to your most recent post because I wanted to give its meaning a fair chance to sink in. Despite the time lapse I really havn’t a clue what any of this stuff means. If you can translate this into  ordinary English I’d be pleased to consider it and if thought worthy, reply.

    The bit I did get was that yet again you have mentioned – presumably to big up (but then – hell – who knows) the minuscule IJV. This despite your failure to answer my question of several days ago.

    ” do you have any understanding at all – let alone sympathy for – the love, pride and affection that the overwhelming majority of the world’s 14 million Jews feel for Israel? That it is always in their thoughts and prayers, that attacks on it – physical or verbal – are often taken personally which is hardly surprising when some extremists avow their hatred, not on Israelis or “Zionists” but on every “Yahud” ( that is, Arabic for Jew).”

    Any chance his time round? – I won’t hold my breath.

  • Michele

     We’re on different wavelengths Mark, what’s so hard to understand about us not ‘getting’ each other’s PoV?  You’re an obedient member of a group with rigid rules, you feel a duty that I can’t comprehend about supporting the behaviour of that group, I doubt you’re ever critical.

    I understand the need for a brand new non-addressed post when we’ve reached the letter-to-a-line boxes but not when (presumably) we haven’t.  I’m afraid I don’t know which of my posts you say you don’t understand.  Perhaps it’s any of them, I do have the tendency to get (you choose).

    I don’t actually mind whether IJV is ‘miniscule’ in your estimation, they’re multinational, they’re mostly successful clever educated worldly-wise people that have been brave enough to stand up within the community and announce that they deplore what the IDF and the Israeili Govt are doing.  Far better people like that in my honest opinion than someone like Pamela Geller; I’ve not looked at her output for a couple of years but I daesay she’s still geeing-up (or bigging?) the conscripts by getting her boobs out.

    IJV is multi-national; wherever a petition has been started it has received support but has been shouted down by the likes of UK’s Jewish Chronicle saying these people are self-hating.  It is not self-hating to admit that your religion is avenging deplorable things in the past upon the people of now. 

    You have conceded about today’s Americans’ debt to the native inhabitants, you ignore what has happened on the West Bank, you ignore that selfish Zionists are putting the whole world at risk of war forever because they are mis-treating Arabs in inhumane greedy spiteful ways.
    Slip in here:  There’s an irony isn’t there in the fact that Americans manage to pour zillions of dollars per year (and have for 60yrs) in to Israel (while giving the native Americans so very little).

    Thank heavens for the Israeli militarist that has declared Iran is not a legitimate target for Israeli nukes (which I suppose actually belong to America, due to all that funding).
    We can hope the ‘messianic’ Netanyahu is tied up.

    Re your question of a few days ago nope, I’m sure it’s already been made plain tha I don’t understand manufactured dutiful sickening obeisance to spiteful greedy cruel leaders of the present or the spiteful greedy cruel leaders of the past that they are following as if blindfolded and brainless.

    IJV – it stands for INDEPENDENT Jewish Voices as in people that are happy to be in the diaspora, part of the whole world, adjacent to people of any religion or none and thinking for themselves about the world and its future.

    You’re aware of the hatred some Arabs feel for violent cruel  Israelis (I’m sure they do not all feel it for all), yet you’re capable of overlooking the hatred some Israelis demonstrate towards all Palestinians.  How long has the wall been up and the import embargo in place?  How many people have been displaced and their homes smashed to pieces on the West Bank.

    Open your eyes Mark, there is no virtue in pretending you’re blind or stupid.

  • mightymark

    Michele – a response to your last post (of 1/5)
    I am actually
    not so sure we are on different wavelengths as I think the wilfulness here is
    on your part. Your post displays – yet again – a wilful (as I can only assume)
    refusal to engage on any questions or points that go beyond your world view and
    challenge your assumptions. This is going to be a long post so settle back.

    I have for
    example given you two opportunities to tell me that you understand the
    commitment of the overwhelming majority of Jewish people to Israel – you have
    not engaged. I have asked you whether despite any criticisms you have (and, as
    I have said several times, criticism is valid) you accept the state of Israel
    at all. You have not engaged. I have to ask myself why not? Is it ignorance – I
    doubt it as you are clearly not ignorant. Is it a lack of information? Well
    again I doubt it though what you have is i think more discriminatingly deployed
    even than most people do. So is it fear? Let’s see.

    Let’s begin
    by turning again to the IJV and to your view of the Jews as only a religion.
    Surely you cannot consider the IJV without noting the “J” in the title.  That is what gives it its particular cachet –
    both to itself, and it is clear, to you. Now I happen to know that many if not
    most members of IJV are actually atheists like yourself. Nevertheless they have
    chosen to identify, in this regard at least, as Jews. It is in my experience
    very unusual for people of other faiths to describe themselves as being of that
    faith without more, if they are not believers. Thus one hears of “lapsed
    Catholics” or “former CofE”. However in case of Jews – like the atheists of IJV
    – this is not the case. It isn’t Indendent FORMER or LAPSED or NON PROFESSING
    Jewish Voices. What they intend to do is identify as Jewish people – indeed even
    you come within a smidgin of accepting that in your own reference to their standing
    up “within the community” since by definition there can be no “community” of
    belief between believers and non believers.

    We live in a
    society which thankfully, and largely in reaction to past tragedies and
    cruelties, is very alive to the cultural etc sensitivities of its various
    different groups. Generally it is thought to run against that modus if one
    disallows peoples to define themselves. If a people feel a sense of
    “peoplehood” or unity it is not for others to deny that. I think you know that.
    In the case of the Jews it is very clear that they do and while i doubt it is essential to establish a “Jewish people” there is evidence for
    example of common DNA between Jews of Western and Eastern origin. In the field
    in which I am very interested – musicology – there is evidence that both use
    common or similar scales that again, suggest a common origin.

    Now I’m going
    to stick my neck out here.  I don’t think
    from what I know of you – your apparent sensitivity to the suffering of at
    least some peoples – that you are the kind of person who generally would want
    to deny the right of peoples to be self defining. There is for example a line
    of pro Israel thought that seeks to deny the unity of the Palestinian people –
    to say that they are merely Arabs from the far flung and various parts of
    Arabia and not necessarily native to Palestine at all. I imagine that you, like me, would
    disagree strongly with that even if there were evidence that it was partly true.
    So why I ask myself is it so important to you to deny the unity of the Jewish
    people? Lets take this one step further. For most on the left, this sort of
    argument should frankly be anathema. Just talking about people as “races” has
    about it a nasty whiff of – well , racism, The left believe in class – working
    class unity against ruling/capitalist class oppression – not race, which only
    divides worker from worker. Problem is that sometimes it just comes and hits
    you in the face. That was particularly the case with the mess the world found
    itself in after the world wars and again after the demise of the USSR. To some
    degree the left has taken advantage of this – see my earlier criticisms of Ken
    Livingstone. I know Islam is not a race but it does represent the kind of
    sectional particularism that the left of say 50 years ago would have abhorred
    rather than pander to.

    So my
    question is: why this earnestness to deny Jewish “particularism”, its sense of
    unity, outside of its solely religious aspect? This should be a no brainer for someone
    on the left. The correct – dare I say, politically correct, model  answer is something like this: –

    “race is not
    a matter for us. We recognise its existence (some might add here “though only
    because we have to”) and respect the sense of unity among peoples who have
    perhaps, suffered oppression and colonialism. While we would prefer them to
    concentrate on the concept of working class unity we do not want as humane
    people to twist the knife in their wound by denying their sense of unity as

    Michele,that is not your answer where the Jews are concerned.  Why is that? 
    Why does a veteran blogger, atheistic, single Mum and a flippin’ Northerner
    to boot, want to spend so much time and energy denying what is in the general
    scheme of things not even a very important thing (there are only about 14 m
    Jews in the entire world). You have said you are not anti-semitic. I’m afraid
    the jury is out on that, but let us assume you are not. The only possible
    reason then that you could want to deny the non religious unity of the Jewish
    people is that it is inconvenient to your views on the Israel Palestine question. Admit that the Jews are a people and an important prop, you fear, falls away from your
    argument: Your strategy is clearly to delegitimize Israel which is a mainly secular expression
    of the Jews, i.e.the Jews as a people as well as a religion – so first, delegitimize the Jews as a

    The next step
    in the sordid business is to delegitimize the word “Zionism”. I say the “word” because
    as Zionism merely means the right of the Jews to return to and have a homeland
    in what is now Israel its mission is largely accomplished. You are faced with a
    fait accompli there that can neither be defeated – at least not without a lot
    of suffering to which you would find it inconvenient and distasteful to give
    your name – nor acknowledged. Economically Israel is one of few countries to
    have largely escaped the recession and her trade with the UK increased last
    year – despite the best efforts of the BDS people.

    As I think I
    have said previously, the best argument for the existence of Israel doesn’t
    involve Abraham, the Holocaust or any of the other red herrings you have sought
    to drag across the path. The best argument is that it does exist – and we don’t
    generally ask countries to justify their existence. And spare me please any
    nonsensical accusations of “might is right”. The only reason she does exist is
    her ability to defend herself against attacks that would almost certainly have ensued
    in genocide had they succeeded.

    So we are treated to the endless silly tautologies
    about “Zionist Israel” (spat out I am sure, with as much hatred as you can manage)
    – as if there could be some other kind – in what must be the fairly faint hope that
    if you can undermine the ideology you can undermine Israel. Some fling similar
    lies around about “apartheid” and “nazisim” that are so far- fetched that they only
    succeed in devaluing language itself – perhaps dangerously. Your last post’s “selfish
    Zionists”  is a classic of this kind –
    who exactly do you mean? I don’t know – is it the Government (which is
    Zionist), the army (which is Zionist) the Soldier (who is Zionist) his
    grandmother (who is Zionist) or maybe, like Hamas, you want to include the Jewish
    baby (who may grow up to be a Zionist). It  probably doesn’t matter really – you
    achieve your aim by spitting out the hated word. Hey – maybe it makes you feel

    BUT it doesn’t
    put a meal on a Palestinian table, doesn’t give a Palestinian a job, doesn’t bring
    a Palestinian state an inch closer and doesn’t save lives. Only peace can do
    that – and how do you think what you are doing brings that forward? How does an
    external campaign questioning the right of Israel to exist (which is
    what your whole strategy is ultimately all about) bring forward a peace that is
    confounded in part, precisely because Israel feels its existence is under

    So you
    demonise and try to delegitimize Israel with the certain knowledge that none of
    this is likely to help the Palestinians you claim you want to help. What is the
    rest of this sordid strategy? It’s partly to bleat about the “right to
    criticise Israel”. So let me yet again repeat – criticism is valid. We don’t improve
    without it.

    But of
    course there”s the problem – you don’t want an improved Israel – you want NO Israel.

    The final
    step is that most graphically illustrated in the correspondence Dave, You and I
    have had. It is the usual denialist ploy when faced with information you don’t
    like – put your fingers in your ears and shout La La La. I correct Dave about
    the terrorist origins of Israel’s first leaders. Do I get and an acknowledgement
    that he was wrong? No..Do I get a counter argument. No. Instead I am met with a
    childish “I’m taking my ball away and not playing”. Either that or your very nifty
    goal post moving as over the race relations acts.

    This has been
    an exhausting correspondence which I want to conclude for the time being unless
    anything particularly interesting comes up that I want to return to. You have proved
    excellent laboratory specimens of the genus AntiZionistus Ridiculus and I suppose
    I should thank you for giving me the occasion to put into words some ideas that
    have been germinating for some time and of which I am sure I can make good use
    in the future.





  • Michele

    I don’t believe that all Jewish people do think about Israel the way you claim to. 
    I doubt you’re interested in the truth of it but there’s coercion, there’s the constant threat of being branded ‘self-hating’ (which equates to being accused of shame re one’s heritage). 
    Hence why I have such admiration for IJVs, they’ve resisted that emotional blackmail. 
    Such coercion is not confined to one religion.

    Tell me why the Govt decided to remove the stated ambition on its website that Israel was to become a Zionist state; were they persuaded by international advisers that suggested it stank of something akin to ethnic ‘cleansing’?
    I wonder how those advisers persuaded the over-zealous  braggarts.

    You rattle on demanding answers to question you deem un-answered.  Did you acknowledge mine about your Islamophobia?  It’s a canny trick to switch back to what you can be pro- about but you cannot expect to be forgiven for the prejudice you exposed a couple of days ago. 

    Get used to it, we’re all only equal to others but thinking as you do you know you’d be much happier back on a Gilligan blog.  Keep it where it belongs.

  • Michele

    Do you not feel ashamed of your attempt here at emotional blackmail Mark?
    ………………….  “You have proved excellent laboratory specimens of the genus AntiZionistus Ridiculus and I suppose I should thank you for giving me the occasion to put into words some ideas that have been germinating for some time and of which I am sure I can make good use in the future”………

    I have a right to my opinions, the right to regard all other people as equal to you, the right to think that if all those people’s equal rights clash they have to be settled in the here and now, not by harking back to something 3,000 years ago and pretend it’s the basis for law of any type.

    I’ve got the right to think some of Israel’s early emigres were used by the oil lobby pretending some altruism that they didn’t actually give a damn about. 
    A pro-US Israel, funded by zillions or dollars that had never been offered to its pre-40s citizens had the advantage of seeming to be about protection and a homeland and I understand the empathy that people like my parents felt throughout the 60s. 
    I was put right as it happens by non-Zionist Jewish people that I worked with, people that have a lot more humanity and independence than you show.

    If your tactic is always to resort to that blackmail and if it is something that has been used against you, don’t imagine that that is how society should be. 

    In suggesting you might be happier back Chez Gilli I suppose I’m inviting an accusation re a cyber ghetto.

  • Gilliebc

    Mark, here’s how I see it for what it’s worth.  Jewish people     (‘Jews’sounds harsh) are a race of people. Just as Afro/Caribbeans and Caucasians are all different races. But we are all human beings and as such all equal. 

    However it is only the Jewish people who get a country all to themselves!   
    That smacks of blatant racism to me.  I don’t think it would go down too well if for eg. Africans demanded a country all to themselves.  Also there is the fact that Israel is now persecuting the Palestinians.  For the Jewish people who have been themselves persecuted down through history it almost beggars belief that they have now become the persecutors.   

    I have the strong feeling you are longing for someone to write something which you would term anti-semitic.  You are going to be disappointed I’m afraid because none of the regular contributors to this site will oblige you for the simple reason that none of us are anti-semitic.

  • Michele

    Re Boris’s £250k pa package for his one colum per week for the Barclay Bros’ paper (on top of his £140k-ish as mayor), this is one of the DT’s headlines from last August:

    “Council chiefs’ salaries are out of control”

    Excuse a LOL

  • mightymark

    No – nothing here worth responding to. Just the usual denial stuff as I predicted. Have either of you – Gill or Michele – actually read a word of what I said?
    I’ll confess however to having much enjoyed the line about “only the Jewish people having a country of their own”. You know Gill, there is a great future in stand up awaiting someone who can put together one liners like that. 
    Just one other point that I forgot to add last time.round. Since you Michele are so “holier than thou” about treating people with respect and equality don’t you think it is a teeny weeny bit arrogant to assume as you clearly do that only people who agree with you show “independence of mind” – not to mention a tad self cotradictory too?

  • Michele

    Yep, I’ve read what you have posted … why on earth does my disagreement with you think I hadn’t? 
    Do you actually imagine that the proof I have read you requires me to agree with you?  LOL

    I don’t happen to subscribe btw to Gbc’s phrase either, re ‘a country of their own’; the UN mandate was for Muslims to be treated as citizens in Israel and they never have been.