Today i’ve sent the following brief rant to the Daily Mirror, in response to the news story branding Ken Livingstone a “racist” for comparing a Jewish reporter from the Daily Express to a concentration camp guard.
The Evening Standard is a disgrace for branding Ken Livingstone’s remarks “racist”. The Standard is a reactionary publication whose writers are the sort of people who would quite happily have turned away Jews fleeing persecution in the 1930s and 40s for fear of England being “swamped” by asylum seekers. Mr Livingstone’s remarks referred to the moral complicity of people who tow the line in the face of humanitarian crises, e.g. concentration camp guards. The connection between a Nazi who “just followed orders” and a reporter who blindly follows his newspaper’s officlal line despite its virulent crypto-racist leanings is in my opinion far from tenuous. It’s journalists like these that help racism take root in a society with their cheap, lowest-denominator rhetoric, and Mr Livingstone was perfectly entitled to say what he said.