Ken Livingstone up to his old tricks.


As I’ve said before, I like many things about Ken Livingstone and his politics, but I am also very annoyed by his cosying up to Islamist organisations.

I received an email today from Progressive London (basically Ken’s re-election campaign group). They are holding a conference at the end of January. A variety of ‘progressive’ speakers will be there. Obviously I’m not going to approve of all of them – after all Ken wants to establish a broad-based coalition of support.

However, I’m uber-peeved that Ken has invited Abdul Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain and Anas Altikriti of the British Muslim Initiative. Ken’s close cooperation with these so-called representatives of Muslim opinion reeks of communalist politics – i.e. get someone from an organisation with the word ‘Muslim’ in its title and we can then rely on them to deliver us the Muslim votes.

It is sickening to have these organisations represented at a left-wing conference when many aspects of their politics are so far from ‘progressive’ (at least as far as I understand what the term is supposed to mean). The Muslim Council of Britain spent many years boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day. The British Muslim Initiative is led by a man linked by the BBC to Hamas and who was apparently caught on camera ranting about the “evil Jew”.

Ken’s connections to these reactionary weirdos makes me far less enthusiastic about supporting him again as Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London.


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