As the Labour Party’s National Constitutional Committee hearing of the disciplinary case against Ken Livingstone began on 30 March, I appeared on BBC2’s Daily Politics to set out why the JLM thinks the former Mayor should be expelled from the Party.
Highlights from the debate (as packaged by the show itself) is available here:
The point here is not to further the pretence that this is an academic argument about historical accuracy (though for a strong takedown of Livingston’es preposterous views, you could do worse than check out this by no less an authority than Prof Deborah Lipstadt) – no, it’s about the hurt that caused to Jews by his remarks and the reputational damage that they cause to the Labour Party. Whatever the historical accuracy, someone who could see beyond himself would step back, recognise the damage and apologise. Properly.
Instead, Livingstone just compounded the offence by talking about “real collaboration” between Zionist Jews in Germany and the SS in setting up training camps making his way into the NCC hearing.
No wonder that, whatever his supporters argue (whether Jewish themselves or not), they are kidding themselves if they don’t think this is a major litmus test for the Labour Party in the eyes of the Jewish community.
Indeed, no wonder the general public, let alone Jews, just scratch their heads and ask what on earth he’s on about and why he’s hasn’t been chucked out of the Party.
Hopefully today, he will be and we can put this sorry saga behind us.