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Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Out of his depth in more ways than one

Stephen Pollard is now calling for Ken Livingstone to be drummed out of office. Following up on his ostentatious welcome to the Islamofascist cleric Qaradawi (and his claim that the criticism he received when he did proved the need to ban incitement to religious hatred), Livingstone told a Jewish reporter on the Evening Standard he was like a concentration camp guard for working for the newspaper group he does.

I wholly agree with Pollard, and it frustrates me that at a time when the Conservatives make up the largest party in the London Assembly and come first in the European Elections, we have been unable to stand a Mayoral candidate of the calibre of MEPs like Dr Charles Tannock and AMs like Angie Bray, ensuring Labour can hold on here.

Livingstone's obnoxious views are one thing, but his utter lack of responsibility in what verges on an international role show a man so influenced even in his advanced years by his adolescent Marxism that he simply cannot conduct himself in a professional role and show some responsibility.

Perhaps the most personally revealing thing Red Ken has said lately was his response to demands that he apologise to the journalist he slandered.

You can't expect to work for the Daily Mail group and have the rest of society treat you with respect and as if you're a useful part of society.

Now obviously the Daily Mail inspires a great deal of (mostly absurd) dislike. And that's fair enough. Certainly you wouldn't have to search this site long to find me criticising strongly the Guardian or BBC (on which Pollard also has a good post). But the notion that this sort of political disagreement takes away the requirements of personal decency and humanity maybe be the hallmark of a small, pitiable person. It's pathetic to think writing for a newspaper whose editorial line you can't abide somehow makes someone less of a human being. As John Hawkins said, when some were expressing pleasure at Strom Thurmond's death:

Life is bigger than politics folks. If you're so consumed with hatred for people you dislike politically that you can't even show respect for the dead, then maybe you should step back and try to get some perspective on what type of person you've become.

If you've reached that stage, Ken Livingstone is the sort of person you've become. There are plenty of these sorts around in British politics. But it's beneath London to have one of them as her Mayor.

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