Jack Mendel
The Online Editor at the Jewish News

Ken Livingstone will milk every last drop out of this omnishambles

Labour’s decision to suspend and not expel Ken Livingstone, emboldens his position and his sense of victimhood.

The Party has pussy-footed around a man who claimed Hitler had supported Zionism, in a way that defies belief.

Labour, finally plucked up the courage…. to do nothing.

For a year they were dithering as to whether there’s a problem with what he said; namely, that the man who is responsible for the murder of six million Jews, supported the Jewish national movement.

OK, they didn’t do nothing, but they may as well have done nothing, after he made such an outrageous and distorted statement, and presented it as ‘the truth.’

Labour decided, Ken is going to be put on the naughty step for a year.

The reality, is Ken played the situation well, and he will now milk the result of this hearing even more-so. He’s experienced, unfazed by political turmoil and most significantly, more or less retired. He’s over 70 and politically not involved anymore.

The decision will reinforce his sense of victimhood, and his claim he did nothing wrong.

After all, if he had done something wrong he’d be out, right?

This logic will in turn, strengthen his accusation, that the campaign against him was driven by ulterior motives. People were out to get him, because of his support for Palestinians and Jeremy Corbyn.

Indeed, on the day of the hearing, he was blaming the Jewish media for concocting the situation.

On the other hand, if he had been kicked out of the party, it would have made him a political martyr.

He would have gone on the airwaves and TV screens, rallied his supporters, who are convinced he is innocent, and that he was the victim of some Zionist plot. He would be turned into an anti-establishment outlaw. Something he’s not.

Not only did Labour not kick him out, but they dwelled on the Ken Livingstone verdict for a year.

They let it fester, and in showing indecision, they allowed him to figure out a way to mine out political capital from the issue, regardless of the result of the hearing.

If he was expelled, he’d become the poor victim. If he was kept in, he’s be vindicated, and was right all along.

The only decision Labour could possibly make, was indecision.

Ken is going to milk every last drop of this omnishambles.

Labour didn’t act when they should have, they delayed and faltered, and delivered an insufficient halfway-house result that satisfies nobody apart from Ken.

The Party will come out of this with the least credibility, and no doubt; this will be the final nail in the coffin with the Jewish community’s relationship.

About the Author
Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.
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