To find out how to vote and where, go to , phone 0208 840 4840 or text POLL to 64118

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Jonathan Freedland: Why Livingstone gets my vote

Excellent piece by Jonathan Freedland in this week's Jewish Chronicle - some extracts:

"Sure, we may not like the way Ken Livingstone speaks about the Middle East — thought the mayor has taken an admirable stance against the academic boycott of Israel — preferring the emollient words of Boris Johnson. But this is not about choosing a speaker for the annual Jewish Care dinner. Rather, we need to weigh up a record that has seen a congestion charge implemented and now copied around the world, put thousands more police on the streets and which has seen racist crime fall in the capital — even as it has been rising in the rest of the country — and ask whether that record would be continued or jeopardised by electing a man who, yes, pens a lively column and does a funny turn on TV but has done nothing to suggest he could run a major world city...

In the week after the July 7 bombings, Johnson wrote a piece which described the Koran and Islam itself, not merely Islamic radicalism, as “viciously sectarian” and “medieval”, accusing it of “disgusting arrogance”, and adding that Islamophobia was a “natural reaction” to Muslim holy texts.

Now ask yourself, as a Jew, how you would feel if someone who wrote that way about Jews and Judaism was leading in the polls for the London mayoralty. Then ask yourself, as a Londoner, whether that was the message we needed to hear in the immediate aftermath of 7/7 when every other public figure, including our own Chief Rabbi, was urging people to come together and not to turn on a religious minority because of the wicked actions of four murderous individuals. Do all that — and then vote."

To read the whole article go to

No comments: