Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
A week or two back Labour made the news regarding issues of anti-semitism. Sounded like a bloody soap opera to me. Some accusations of such actions by a labour member (Naz Shah) which from the two lines of text that I read didn't seem very clever or proper actions so a slap on the wrist may very well have been in order there. But I don't get what the drama was about with Livingstone. The things he said may not have been entirely accurate but they were not completly false either. The meaning behind those messages seemed good to me, so why get your knickers all twisted up? Talk about factual errors if you want but focus on the message. Can't spot a bloody anti-semite thing about it, not a single spark of "them evil Jews are to blame, lets do something about those evil bastards" . Never mind that anti-semitism would also apply to other Semetic people such as those who identify themselves as Palestines...
As far as I can tell Livingstone was pointing some arrows at Zionism, and being a critic of Israel (or any other nation on earth) and pointing outo what you see as being wrongs (such as in violation of international agreements, or humananity, basic morals etc. That surely must be a good thing, any sane person, group, administration or leader would want to be given feedback, concerns raised, corrected. But it seems like an other classic "anything that is not supportive of Israel or Zionism iwill be labeled as anti-semetism" . Never mind if Hitler did want the Jews gone in the 30's , to go anywhere including Palestin/Isreal and there being some agreement about funding such emigration from Germany. I think Kent was refering to the Havaraa Agreement when he talked about the Nazis and ZIonost cooperating. Sure as said, grab a history book to nail incorrect details but don't nail a person to the 'anti semite' cross over comments such as Kent made. That's just silly.
I can only hope that any normal people will not take this too seriously or the cheap attempts by Cameron to label Labour as being troubled by anti semitism seriously. Labour is a failed party if you ask me, much as I think the Dutch Labour party failed. But for entirely different reasons, those would be having failed the commoner and fataly having embrashed economical liberalism (the third way, foolish Tony and friends). There is every reason to dispise Labour but anti semetism doesn't seem to be one of them Id think?
Voice of joy and sunshine
26th May 2003
Mr Livingstone was foolish enough to say something that has surface drama to it in a public role. That's not a bright thing to do when we do not, by and large, have a well educated populace equipped by practice with the norms of civil discourse.
Will it kill labour? No. I suspect it will blow over given a little time. It may end his political career but drama has a shelf-life if it's allowed to sleep for a bit.
However, that's also something that's largely already happened. Typically, when parties have lost power in this country after holding it for a long time, they've effectively fallen apart. And for all that Ed Miliband was not a particularly marketable leader he did an incredible job of keeping them together. Is Labour a failed party? Well, they're not in power any more. They need to figure out what they are and what they're going to sell, because they were voted out for a reason. (Personally I believe that reason is that they started to look like a wanky version of the Conservatives.) I remember during the last general election it was entirely clear that they had no idea how to market any sort of future that anyone would want to be part of. The Conservatives sold an idea - and it's puerile in its simplicity, but if it's the only thing on the market....
Currently Labour doesn't have a strong identity. That's the biggest problem and that's not a quick thing to fix.