Ken Livingstone and racism

Listened to Mayor Livingstone on Nick Ferari this morning.

Ken really does have no shame. With all the muck flying about the London Development Agency (LDA) – known colloquially as Ken’s Bank – around LDA funding and the behaviour of the Mayor’s Policy Adviser, Lee Jasper – a decent Mayor would engage properly with the allegations.

But – hey – cheeky chappy believes he is right whatever the situation. Evidence: see yesterday when he said that the investigation into the LDA funding was ‘independent’ – and then the financial officer of the LDA at an evidence session before the London Assembly spilled the beans, saying it was an internal investigation.

Anyway – Nick F was suggesting to him that the coming edition of Dispatches on TV Monday night – in which I make a brief appearance – has allegations both about his personal habits and professional ones. Instead of dealing with the issues Ken – par for the course – goes for the program’s maker, Martin Bright. Ken says Martin Bright is doing a hatchet job on him – and it is because he has an agenda about Muslims in Britain.

Ken’s cry of racism against people who don’t fawn at his feet demonstrates quite clearly why he isn’t fit to be our Mayor. This sort of politically convenient wheeling out of racist charges also does damage to the very real and necessary battle against racism – because it devalues the term. Shame on you Ken.

0 thoughts on “Ken Livingstone and racism

  1. Lynne, you are completely wrong. Ken is absolutely right, in my humble opinion, to question the director of the Dispatches edition, presented by Mr Martin Bright. Firstly, who is Mr Martin Bright?Mr Martin Bright is discredited widely for his attacks against Islam and Muslims, particularly his ludicrous claim that 80% of the Muslim community is sufi. Where did he obtain that statistic? Which Governmental Department hold this information? Maybe you could provide me a copy? Additionally, he seems to want British Muslims to remain out of politics and thus extremely “apolitical” in its approach to society. Here is a copy of Martin Bright’s attack on the Holy Quran Martin Bright has popularly supported the Sufi Muslim Council, perhaps he could tell us what this organisation is. Who and what is the “Sufi Muslim Council”? They seem to have emerged from nowhere – suddenly their spokesman is interviewed on Radio 4 and Newsnight and a Channel 4 documentary gives their views some weight. They have a new website and a new magazine. But hardly anyone knows who they are or what they stand for?, a new blog has sprung up to watch the movements of the recently founded Sufi Muslim Council in Britain- Here is what they had to say- is the organisation promoted by Mr Martin Bright- here you go-,,1831028,00.htmlKen was absolutely correct, I may disagree with the bloke politically, but on Martin Bright’s history, I agree with him. This man has an agenda. Thanks

  2. Such cries of racism are detrimental to the fight against racism.Racism is still a serious problem, but when it becomes a tool for people to get their way it devalues the term and hinders the fight against it.Unfortunately much anti-racism is racist in itself, because it still seeks to group people according to some definition of race rather than seeing people as individuals with their own unique circumstance.

  3. Tristan!Unfortunately, I must say, I disagree with your viewpoint.This is not about racism; this is about one man subjecting an entire people to discrimination. He has attacked their religious text, the Holy Quran, which they believe is the divine word of God. The same man has attacked and demonised every single Muslim organisation in Britain, even if I agree with them personally; I won’t go to the extent of attacking them. This man has made assertions about Muslims and has frequently singled them out for criticism. I wonder if he would do the same with Jewish or Christian people. Or does he have an agenda at play. In terms on racism, I disagree with your assertions. What needs to happen is we need to challenge racism head on, not ignore it. The only way to defeat racism is to challenge it wherever it exists. For instance, allow me to use the police as an example, where racism is epidemic within the force. As is sexism and homophobia within all police forces. However, having said that, this is being challenged by people joining and throwing the stones from the inside. You need to ensure your voice is heard and ensure you challenge the ingrained racist culture on the grassroots. This is the only way to highlight, challenge and defeat racism. Another way to challenge racism is to remove segregation on racial and religious lines, because when you segregate people, you begin to prevent community cohesion. Now understanding builds trust, lack of understanding breeds fear, racism and sometimes a hatred for other groups. I therefore see challenging this type of racism by Government taking action on these areas. Whether it is the Bengalis in Tower Hamlets, or the Sikhs in Southall, or the Jewish community in Stamford Hill or white English people of Wiltshire….. The only way to challenge segregation on racial or religious lines is to perhaps, fight it head on.

  4. £715,000 went from the LDA to an Arab Women’s organisation in the Canary Wharf area, which wound up in the same year.Wonder what they did with the money? Maybe they were just extremely inefficient. Yes, that’d be it.And £350,000 to a mate of Lee Jasper’s. When this was challenged, Ken described those challenging it as ‘racist’. “Mash” seems to be playing out of the same book.

  5. Mash, when Richard Dawkins does the same thing – criticise the Bible – we tolerate it, even though according to your description he is ‘attacking a whole people’. In fact, what Martin Bright and the scholars he quoted did regarding the Quran was done by 19th-century German scholars for the Bible. I guess you’ve got a bit of catching up to do. And, in fact, he hasn’t ‘criticised every Muslim organisation in the country’.

  6. UK Taxpayer, get your facts correct, Mr Martin Bright has made a similar documentary, ‘Who Speaks for British Muslims’, which was a clear attempt to try and divide British Muslims on sectarian grounds. It is a tactic which has been tried before and failed every time…. The presenter of the C4 documentary, Martin Bright, is well known to British Muslims for his Islamophobic views and is the author of a notorious and discredited cover story in the New Statesman entitled ‘The Great Koran Con Trick’ which was famously repudiated by Bright’s very own former tutor at the School of Oriental and African studies, Professor Gerald Hawting! So again, UK Taxpayer or in other words ‘Mr Bright’ get your facts correct. Personally, I disagree with all Muslim organisations theologically and politically, but I do not accept these outright attacks on these groups, simply in order to divide and rule them. For his ‘Who Speaks for British Muslims’ documentary, Bright interviews some discredited and some unknown figures to support his ludicrous arguments. One figure, from the so-called Sufi Muslim Council was quoted on Radio 4’s The World This Weekend last Sunday[1] as claiming that his new body was backed by several non-Muslim organisations, including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, when surely he should have been questioned about what level of support – if any – he actually had within the Muslim communities across the UK which he is now claiming to represent. In a revealing passage from his new booklet published on Wednesday 12th July 2006 by the think tank, Policy Exchange, Martin Bright argues that ‘it should no longer be acceptable for the British government to deal with the leadership of the MCB’ while it regards the Ahmadis as non-Muslims. Unfortunately for Bright the position on Ahmadis is not restricted to the MCB or indeed to British Muslims. It is actually a global consensus among Muslim scholars from all the main schools of thought that the belief in the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad (God’s peace and blessings be upon him) is a central tenet of faith in Islam. Those who do not accept this, and believe in other prophets after Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) are entitled to their views, but they are not regarded as Muslims. So get your facts correct matey!