Livingstone Departure: Labour’s Cynical Totem

editor Wednesday 6 June 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email Printer friendly

By Melanie Phillips.. Ken Livingstone has now resigned from the Labour party. So what? His departure will not lance the boil of Labour party antisemitism. First, Livingstone has still not resiled from his claim that Hitler supported Zionism, nor has he admitted to antisemitism; even today he has doubled down on his position. He used the standard excuse that he was resigning simply because he had become a “distraction” to Labour’s opposition to the government.  He was “truly sorry” only for the “offence and upset in the Jewish community” which he had caused by the way he made a mere “historical argument”.

“I do not accept the allegation that I have brought the Labour party into disrepute – nor that I am in any way guilty of antisemitism. I abhor antisemitism, I have fought it all my life and will continue to do so”, he declared.

It is likely, however, that he jumped before he was pushed. He probably realised that the calls for him to be removed from the party had become impossible to ignore.

But the fact is that the party did not throw him out for his bigoted, egregious and grotesquely anti-Jewish misreading of history. He has left the party on his own terms, and with the issue of Labour’s tolerance of gross antisemitism in its ranks still unresolved.

The party wanted to make an example of Livingstone. It wanted him gone so it could say it was now dealing properly with its own antisemitism. But it is not. Read the full story.



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