Ken Livingstone hung out to dry
IN WHAT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN one of the last vindictive acts of party General Secretary Iain McNicol before leaving the post, Ken Livingstone’s membership has been suspended for a further period.
Livingstone’s current suspension, imposed by the National Constitutional Committee, was due to expire at the end of April, but pressure from the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and others, unhappy with the ‘leniency’ of that sentence, has seen this administratively extended.
As with Tony Greenstein, Livingstone is being disciplined not for antisemitism, but for causing offence to defenders of Israel. As Livingstone has said, he had been referring to an agreement between German Zionists and the Nazi government in 1933. “You can’t expel someone for stating historical fact,” he said.
But the JLM and its friends (and remember, McNicol got a standing ovation when he attended the Labour Friends of Israel fringe meeting at Labour Party conference) believe precisely that, when it comes to criticising Israel and supporting the Palestinians.