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POLITICS: PM Blair urges London Mayor to apologise for Nazi comment to a Jewish Journa

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posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 06:55 AM
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Tony Blair has called on London Mayor Ken Livingstone to apologise to a Jewish journalist whom he referred to as a "German war criminal" and a "concentration camp guard", saying that although many politicians get angry with journalists he should not have called him those things without realising he was Jewish. The London Mayor refuses to do this and stands by his comments.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
"A lot of us in politics get angry with journalists from time to time, but in the circumstances, and to the journalist because he was a Jewish journalist, yes, he should apologise," Blair said. "Let's just apologise and move on - that's the sensible thing."

The row blew up after Mr Livingstone was approached by Evening Standard reporter Oliver Finegold following a party marking the 20th anniversary of former Culture Secretary Chris Smith coming out as Britain's first gay MP.

On tape, Mr Livingstone, who once worked as a freelance restaurant critic on the paper, is heard asking Mr Finegold if he is a "German war criminal".
Mr Finegold replies: "No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal. I'm quite offended by that."
The mayor then says: "Ah right, well you might be, but actually you are like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?"


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Was it an insult? Yes. Was it racist? Absolutely not! It's not clear why there was a disagreement between the two men but what is clear is that Livingstone didn't like him and chose to tell him exactly what he thought of him. How can it be a racist comment if he didn't even know the journalist was Jewish? Even if he did know how is it still racist?

I think this is over-reactionary to say the least, and I'm glad Ken Livingstone has chose to stand by his comments, seeing the racist accusation as rediculous. Tony Blair has said people of their position should be more careful of their words. I personally would rather see someone who is just plain honest and not hold back their feelings, however honesty is a concept Tony Blair does not seem to be firmiliar with if you believe that the war in Iraq is illegal.

Tony Blair seems very apologetic lately, offering them to the 11 wrongfully imprisoned men who were sentenced for the IRA bombings in Guilford and Woolwich in 1974, and seems to want others to follow suit. Why he's personally apologising for things that happened whilst he was likely still a student and had nothing to do with him is unclear, although many see it as opportunitism.



Related News Links:
news.bbc.co.uk
news.bbc.co.uk




posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:19 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada

Was it an insult? Yes. Was it racist? Absolutely not! How can it be a racist comment if he didn't even know the journalist was Jewish?



He knew, acording to the link provided for the complete story

"Mr Finegold replies: "No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal. I'm quite offended by that."

The mayor then says: "Ah right, well you might be, but actually you are like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?"


He should apologise, not because the journalist is a Jew

Livingstone's remarks damaged his credibility. He should take some history lesson to lerarn the difference between that reporter and a NAZI concetration camp gard.


Rebekka



[edit on 16-2-2005 by Riwka]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:27 AM
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Livingstone's remarks damaged his credibility. He should take some history lesson to lerarn the difference between that reporter and a NAZI concetration camp gard.


If I call someone an arsehole I'm not literally calling them an arsehole, it doesn't mean I need biology lessons.

If I call someone a bastard for being cruel it doesn't mean I'm saying he's got no father...
We don't know what the deal was between these two, he might have asked for the comparison. It's PC gone mad yet again...



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:41 AM
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But there is a small difference: You are no London Mayor. He should know what he is saying in public - and furthermore he should not lose his temper. Anf IF this happens, he sould be able to apologise.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:53 AM
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But there is a small difference: You are no London Mayor. He should know what he is saying in public - and furthermore he should not lose his temper. Anf IF this happens, he sould be able to apologise.


I think he did know what he was saying in public, furthermore it didn't sound like he lost his temper to me, more just told the guy exactly what he thought of him. It's not like he hit the guy or went on some rant about he was going to eat his babies or something.

Personally I prefer a bit of honesty, and to call this racism is obsurd. It's good to see a politician being honest for a change, I can't stand the smiling to your face and hating your guts behind your back approach, that's just me though. I guess I just haven't got my finger on the pulse of the English public...

[edit on 16-2-2005 by John Nada]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:00 AM
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I'd also like to add that it was also this kind of honesty from Ken Livingstone that lead to him speaking out against Tony Blair and the War on Iraq when the wheels were in motion on that, bringing quite a bit of heat on himself. I'm not saying the guy is a saint (no politician is), but it's refreshing to see that kind of honesty and if that means it also has to swing the other way and he tells some reporter exactly what he thinks of them then so be it...

[edit on 16-2-2005 by John Nada]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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Livingstone is an odious little snot. Does anyone think for one second that he'd make offensive remarks like that to a Muslim? Or a member of the IRA? Whether knowingly or not?
Of course he wouldn't, because this is the man that rolls out the red carpet (at tax payers expense) for people like that.
Im willing to bet he's glad about all the fuss as its given him another witty anecdote at his next banquet for Islamic fundies. As far as Im concerned this far, far outweighs what Prince Harry did, and shows Livingstone up for what he really is, a complete and utter tosser



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:20 AM
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that kind of honesty



What kind of honesty? He is no 3-years old child in his sandpit.




The Guardian, one of the Mayor's strongest media supporters, said in its leader column today that Mr Finegold's question to the Mayor was "a proper one", adding: "The London Mayor was at fault. He was asked a reasonable question to which he reacted abusively.

"His instant recourse to talking about Germany and the war was unworthy of a prominent pro-European. His reference to a concentration camp guard - bearing in mind that puts him in the company of Silvio Berlusconi [the Italian prime minister once likened a German MEP to a concentration camp guard] - was tasteless and wholly disproportionate.

"To address such a remark to Mr Finegold, who had identified himself as Jewish, was genuinely offensive.



link

[edit on 16-2-2005 by Riwka]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:26 AM
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What kind of honesty? He is no 3-years old child in his sandpit.


He didn't flick poo at anyone.




The Guardian, one of the Mayor's strongest media supporters, said in its leader column today that Mr Finegold's question to the Mayor was "a proper one", adding: "The London Mayor was at fault. He was asked a reasonable question to which he reacted abusively.


Yet they still don't say what the question was, although that is irrelevant anyway as it has already been made clear that these two have a long history together. It appears that it goes long past this particular incident and that this stems much further than that.

Of course, if The Guardian says he's wrong then he must be, I would never dare argue with The Guardian.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by ridcully
As far as Im concerned this far, far outweighs what Prince Harry did, and shows Livingstone up for what he really is, a complete and utter tosser


A tosser he may be, that's really not what I'm getting into (although every politician is a tosser, and he does seem very much an opportunist). What I am saying is to call this racism is just so rediculous and over-reactionary, and if I hear anti-semitism I think I'm going to puke. It was an insult nothing more, and it seems like it stemmed from something that goes a long way back...



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada


Of course, if The Guardian says he's wrong then he must be, I would never dare argue with The Guardian.


John,

I am not sure whether your comment shows any interst in a discussion of relevant information about the situation that has been around Livingstone's racist remarks.

Rebekka




[edit on 16-2-2005 by Riwka]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada

Originally posted by ridcully
As far as Im concerned this far, far outweighs what Prince Harry did, and shows Livingstone up for what he really is, a complete and utter tosser


A tosser he may be, that's really not what I'm getting into (although every politician is a tosser, and he does seem very much an opportunist). What I am saying is to call this racism is just so rediculous and over-reactionary, and if I hear anti-semitism I think I'm going to puke. It was an insult nothing more, and it seems like it stemmed from something that goes a long way back...


What annoys me about all this, is the mans past form with the likes of the IRA and Islamic fundies. He'll stick his tongue right down the back of their trousers, and then come out with something like this. Yes it might have been just an insult, but my point is, would he have said it to a member of ANY other minority group? I dont think he would so it certainly makes me question his integrity, not that I think anyone who entertained the IRA during the height of their bombing campaign has any anyway.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by Riwka
I am not sure whether your comment shows any interst in a discussion of relevant information about the situation that has been around Livingstone's rassistic remarks.


Really? Well if you look above that comment you'll see a whole paragraph discussing the relevant information you brought onboard.

Glad to have been of help.
Regards.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by ridcully
I dont think he would so it certainly makes me question his integrity


Question away, I don't trust anyone of them and they certainly don't have any integrity, it's why they're in that business. That's a good point as well.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada

Originally posted by ridcully
I dont think he would so it certainly makes me question his integrity


Question away, I don't trust anyone of them and they certainly don't have any integrity, it's why they're in that business. That's a good point as well.


LOL, thats very true, and I've hated that obnoxious little twat for as long as I can remember, so his integrity (or lack off) was never in any doubt for me anyway. I'm just enjoying ragging on him for a while. Tremendous fun!



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:13 AM
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Livingstone made the comments last week when approached by a reporter for the Evening Standard newspaper at a reception for the gay and lesbian community. The European newspapers wrote that it is known he dislikes the paper and its conservative sister paper, the Daily Mail which had a pro-Nazi editorial line in the 1930s.

The relevant information you did not notice and do further reserarch, is:

Mr Finegold's question to the Mayor was "a proper one", adding: "The London Mayor [...]was asked a reasonable question to which he reacted abusively.


If someone gets a PROPER question and acts in that manner, for sure it is a racist comment.

And, as said before: He should take some lesson in history to avoid such racist remarks in his futur.


The Board of Deputies of British Jews has made an official complaint to local government watchdogs to demand an investigation into the mayor's comments.


Rebekka.



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:19 AM
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Originally posted by Riwka
The Board of Deputies of British Jews has made an official complaint to local government watchdogs to demand an investigation into the mayor's comments.


Yeah mate, that's in the original article up top, it helps to follow your own advice about research.


I'm going to run now, I called someone Jabba the Hutt and I think George Lucas is going to sue me. I know I'd cry racism and sue someone if they called me a Zulu, how dare they call me that when I'm white, it's damn racism. *Pants after 20 feet*

[edit on 16-2-2005 by John Nada]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada

Yeah mate, that's in the original article up top, it helps to follow your own advice about research.




yours not? Are you intersted in relevant discussion and research on this topic?

This are the questions and answers.

Evening Standard's Oliver Finegold: "Was it a good party? What does it mean for you?"

London Mayor's response: "What did you do before? Were you a German war criminal?"

Evening Standard's Oliver Finegold: "No, I'm Jewish. I wasn't a German war criminal, and I'm actually quite offended by that. So how did tonight go?"

Again, Mr Livingstone refused a direct answer. "Arr right, well you might be [Jewish], but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to."


You can read the story here


The Mayor was wrong, and he should apologise. And: for sure he will.

John, just sit and wait. No need to run around......



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by Riwka
yours not? Are you intersted in relevant discussion and research on this topic?

This are the questions and answers.



errr...I've already read this, like I said these two go way further back and has alot more to do than just this incident. I've said that like twice already.


As for my comment, that was referring to the British Jewish party coming down on him, which you quoted when it's already in the original article...hence me quoting it.


[edit on 16-2-2005 by John Nada]



posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by John Nada

errr...I've already read this,



If so, the racism in his answers is pretty clear.

So just wait for his apology to the reporter and furthermore for his apology to the jewish community.

If he goes on refusing, for sure he hurt London's chances of hosting the 2012 Olympics.

If he still believes he had done anything wrong after explanation, he should do a trip to the Auschwitz concentration camps, maybe lern a history lesson together with the british Prince Harry.



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