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January 20, 2011

Ken’s homophobic, anti-semitic employers.

Fortunately, we don’t have homosexuals in our country. We don’t have that phenomenon. Indeed, homosexuality is against the human spirit. The holocaust is based on an unprovable and mythical claim. Jews have played up Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust in order to garner sympathy for Israel from European states. Israel should be wiped off the map.

Not my views. They’re the repulsive views of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and, ergo, a significant proportion of Iranians. Not then, you’d have thought, the sort of people you’d typically choose to work with. Except, of course, Ken Livingstone doesn’t possess ‘typical’ morals or ‘typical’ ethics or ‘typical’ levels of integrity. It emerged yesterday that he has been paid thousands of pounds to work on Iranian state television, presenting shows on the ‘Press TV’ channel – a channel formally launched by Ahmadinejad in 2007, and run by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting company. According to Wikipedia, Press TV “broadcasts reports and analyses which are close to the official position of the Iranian government.”

Ken Livingstone is quite literally working for anti-semitic homophobes and, whether he likes it or not, is by association condoning homophobia and anti-semitism. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised – remember the investigation into his conduct when he compared a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard? He has at least always talked the talk on homophobia, but this evidence suggests that he’s increasingly disinclined to walk the walk. He once said:

“…homophobic hatred and violence remains a global phenomenon with state institutions fanning the flames of homophobic violence against their own citizens, most recently in Israel, Iran, Jamaica and Nigeria.”

Yet it’s emerged that he is now working for, and receiving money from, one of those very state institutions which he’s previously so forcefully criticised. This is truly utter hypocrisy of the highest order. The Iranian regime is one of the most despicable, discriminatory, unethical regimes in the world, with an utterly woeful record on human rights. That Ken has chosen to associate himself with such sorts is a damning reflection on his character. Toby Young’s argument is forceful:

“Thanks to the recent batch of Wiki-Leaks, we now know that much of the insurgency in Iraq – an insurgency that has cost the lives of British servicemen – is funded by the Iranian regime. Livingstone is broadcasting on behalf of our nation’s sworn enemy. Ed Miliband should move to expel him from the Labour Party immediately and replace him as Labour’s candidate for Mayor, just as David Cameron would expel Boris Johnson from the Conservative Party if, God forbid, it emerged that he was a paid employee of the mouthpiece of a fascist regime that denied the Holocaust and murdered British servicemen.”

Of course, Ed Miliband will do nothing of the sort. If he wouldn’t expel Ken when he campaigned for Lutfur Rahman – a guy with extremist links himself, allegedly – then he certainly won’t now. Ken should know, however, that this story isn’t going away. How he can reasonably expect to appeal for the LGBT or Jewish vote in next year’s election is beyond me. Anyone with a moral compass – from whichever party – should condemn him for the company he keeps and the depths to which he’ll plumb for a bit of cash.

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