Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ken suspension nonsense

One way of cheating at this blogging lark is not to write one's own opinions but just point readers to another article one agrees with.

In this case rather than write at length on the nonsense of Ken Livingstone's supsension as Mayor of London, I am happy to point readers to Alex Wilcock's posting on the subject at Love and Liberty , with which I agree wholeheartedly.

Also there was a good piece (follow 'Listen again' links on the Today programme this morning in which Steve Hitchens of Islington was interviewed about his own battle with the Standards Board.


cymrumark said...

Iain...superb on Irving given your views and background. You have exposed the silliness of the "free speech" arguments put elsewhere by less thoughtful liberals.

The irony of the ban on Livingstone is that it is exactly the sort of thing he supports. eg banning people from public platforms who make stupid wicked comments.

On John Harris I think you are wrong. Where Harris has always scored well is exposing the myth that "privatised " services work well or better than those delivered in the public sector. Nobody seriously suggests that rail privatisation was any sort of success with the tax payer and the rail user paying more for an inferior service under privatisation. Health provision by the private sector is more expensive and almost impossible to access if you are actually ill with some long term ailment.
Cleaning in hospitals has deteriorated for reasons set out very lucidly in "So now who do we vote for"

Is there any example of a reduction in bureaucracy when public sector bodies move from "providers" to commissioners" of services.? I cannot say I have come across an example as mostly the needs for contracts monitoring etc add further bureaucracy.

There is a clear need for large public sector bodies such as councils Nhs trusts etc to work across departments better and to provide "joined up services" sticking services into the private sector simply makes this less likely to happen. Large private sector companies in areas such as banking , heating etc are just as unresponsive as much of the public sector if not more so.

Angus J Huck said...

Livingstone is perfectly right when he says that (1) he was elected by the people of London and only the people of London should have the power to depose him, and (2) rudeness to a reporter is hardly a hanging offence.

I must, however, record my opinion that Livingstone's record as a defender of democracy and as an anti-racist is equivocal to say the least.

Why did Livingstone invite Adams and McGuinness to London in the days when said pair were still bombing and shooting people? Adams and McGuinness are avowed racists and opponents of democracy, who believe (or formerly believed) that Ulster Protestants whould be expelled from Ireland on account of their racial inferiority, and insist that a united Ireland be imposed on the North irrespective of the wishes of the people who live there.

Today, Livingstone maintains that he was merely attempting to broker a peace deal. At the time, however, he was claiming that the IRA's objectives were legitimate and that it was Britain's fault that the IRA was killing people.

Then there is the matter of Sheikh Qaradawi, the homophobic, misogynistic Saudi mullah who says that people who carry out indiscriminate suicide attacks against Israeli civilians are martyrs (it is usually the most secular and least zealous sections of Israeli society which are targeted).

Livingstone maintains that Qaradawi is a "reformer"? So were Nikita Khrushchev and Yuri Andropov. And Deng Xsiao-Ping. Compared to jet black, a dark shade of grey is light.

I am loathe to have to agree with Lord Janner, but I am forced to admit that his objection to Livingstone inviting Qaradawi to London cannot be faulted.

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