Monday, 28 May 2012

Nice to see evidence of Baroness Warsi's commitment to diversity

Lady Warsi, who is a member of the cabinet, has said she made an "appropriate payment" to her friend - now her special adviser - Naweed Khan, who was renting the house in which she stayed.

But the owner of the property in Acton, west London, Dr Wafik Moustafa, says he never received any money from her.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

(Almost) anybody but Ken

Just time to repost the anti-Ken piece I wrote for polling day last year (doh). It's still highly relevant.

Once upon a time there was an exceptionally repellent totalitarian sect called the Workers Revolutionary Party. Being not only exceptionally repellent but also unusually well-funded, it was able to put out a daily paper, the Newsline. Party members were expected to devote 25 hours a day to selling this product. On a good day they would come across somebody prepared to part with money for it.

In the early Eighties it evidently dawned on the WRP that the Newsline was not reaching the masses, so they decided to try to broaden their influence by launching a "Labour" paper. And so the Labour Herald was born, a classic front organization. As well as having "Labour" in its name, it was to be fronted by a Labour editor - and no less a figure than the Leader of the Greater London Council was waiting in the wings.

Here's a sample of the paper's content. Anti-Semitic? I'm sure Ken would no more think so now than he did then.

And now I'll let Keith Dovkants of the Eve Stennit tell the rest of the story:-

'The paper was printed by a firm based in Runcorn, Cheshire, which also printed News Line and publications sponsored by the Libyan government.

'When Private Eye ran a piece claiming Ken Livingstone, then leader of the GLC, was editing a paper financed by the Libyans he successfully sued for libel. It has to be remembered that at that time Gaddafi was encouraging the assassination of his political opponents abroad and wiping them out at home. In 1984 his thugs fired on demonstrators outside the Libyan embassy in St James's Square, killing WPC Yvonne Fletcher.

'Although no one doubts Gaddafi was subsidising News Line and Labour Herald there is absolutely no evidence Ken knew about it. But he did support the WRP when it published an extraordinary anti-Jewish rant in News Line.

'On 20 March 1983, BBC2 ran an investigation on its Money Programme. Its central thesis was that the WRP's newspaper, Ken's Labour Herald and other publications were being funded by Gaddafi. Looking at the transcript today one sees a thorough, rather measured, piece of journalism. The response was quite different.

'Under the heading The Zionist Connection, News Line published an editorial denouncing the Money Programme's investigation. It blamed a "powerful Zionist connection" that ran through the Labour Left, Mrs Thatcher's government, to the BBC. It cited the placing of Stuart Young, a director of the Jewish Chronicle, as chairman of the corporation and the appointment of his brother, David Young, to head the Manpower Services Commission. The Jewish Chronicle, the editorial noted, gave "support and advance publicity" to the Money Programme.

'On the day of its hysterical editorial News Line ran a piece in which Ken suggested the Money Programme report was indeed the work of Zionists. In the same piece he blamed "smears" against him on agents working for Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin's government.'

So when confronted with the facts Ken preferred to endorse the WRP's theory that the Money Programme was in the grip of a Zionist conspiracy (we all know how much Zionists like their money, don't we?) rather than acknowledge that he had unwittingly taken a bloodstained tyrant's money.

Has Ken ever retracted this position? His Wikipedia entry passes over this strand of his career in silence. It wouldn't be the only case where "Sorry" has been the hardest word for him. Employing Lee Jasper still isn't a cause for regret, it seems. Sorry, but Ken's not fit to be Mayor.