“Red Ken” does it again

02.14.05

Ken Livingstone, London’s mayor, seems to have an incurable case of foot-in-mouth disease. This time, he is refusing to apologize after calling a Jewish journalist a German concentration camp guard (via Damian Penny):

Ken Livingstone today refused to apologise for his “German war criminal” jibe delivered to a Jewish Evening Standard reporter.

His refusal came as he was referred to an official standards watchdog for comparing reporter Oliver Finegold to a “concentration camp guard”.

It also came despite a unanimous call by the London Assembly for him to back down and withdraw his remarks.

The fact that a politician could make those kinds of remarks on the record, in a friggin’ microphone, baffles me. And his unabashed attitude reminds me that these things don’t happen in a vacuum. With heightened levels of antisemitism in the UK, Livingstone’s remarks are that much worse. He may have just been seeking an insult against a reporter he didn’t like, but that doesn’t excuse or justify what he said.

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