If Chakrabarti would convict Livingstone without evidence, then perhaps she SHOULD quit Labour’s front bench

Ken Livingstone: It seems Baroness Chakrabarti would dismiss him from Labour because it’s the easy thing to do – not because it’s right.

I didn’t see the BBC’s Sunday Politics interview with Baroness Chakrabarti, but the Guardian report on it, below, is deeply disturbing.

Ken Livingstone was accused of bringing the Labour Party into disrepute after he made a series of accurate comments about the relationship between the German Federation of Zionists and the Nazi government of that country in the 1930s.

It seems certain people did not approve of those facts being aired, so they tried to smear Mr Livingstone as an anti-Semite. They are the villains of this story.

The attack on Mr Livingstone is just part of a wider assault on the Labour Party, based on entirely false claims that anti-Semitism is running rife since Jeremy Corbyn became leader. In fact, there are fewer anti-Semites in the party since he took over.

As a lawyer (she’s the Shadow Attorney-General), Baroness Chakrabarti should know that an accused person is innocent unless they are proven guilty. No such proof has been provided to establish any guilt by Mr Livingstone.

It is true that he has questions to answer, relating to statements he made during and immediately after his disciplinary hearing at the end of March last year.

But Baroness Chakrabarti does not seem to have been referring to that.

Instead, she spoke of “what has happened in the last two years”.

I take that as meaning she thinks it would not be expedient for Mr Livingstone to be allowed to remain a member, because it would attract too much criticism to the party from those who have stirred up what is, basically, a storm in a teacup.

Instead of trying to appease the aggressors, she should be advocating a thorough investigation of them – their methods, their motives, what they stand to gain.

She isn’t.

If she would rather take the easy option – if she doesn’t have the guts to do the right thing – then perhaps she should step aside in favour of someone who does.

Shami Chakrabarti has hinted she may quit the Labour frontbench if Ken Livingstone is not expelled from the party at his next disciplinary hearing.

The shadow attorney general, who authored a report on dealing with antisemitism and racism in the party, said she did not believe there were circumstances where the party’s disciplinary panel could decide not to expel Livingstone.

The former mayor of London, who is suspended from the party after comments he made about Adolf Hitler’s support for Zionism, is expected to face his latest disciplinary hearing within three months.

“I’m sorry to say it but I don’t believe that Ken Livingstone can any longer be in the Labour party,” Chakrabarti said when asked about Livingstone’s case on the BBC’s Sunday Politics.

She said she would have to “look at the rationale” before deciding how to respond, when asked if she would step down from the frontbench, but said she found it “very difficult to see that any rational decision-maker in the light of what has happened in the last two years could find a place for Mr Livingstone in our party at this moment”.

Source: Chakrabarti: Ken Livingstone should no longer be in Labour party | UK news | The Guardian

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13 thoughts on “If Chakrabarti would convict Livingstone without evidence, then perhaps she SHOULD quit Labour’s front bench

  1. trev

    I saw it. She accused KL of repeating the same “offence” over & over again after he had been “sentenced”. Her words.

  2. Simon

    Far more worrying than Ken’s “antisemitism” is the fact that we can no longer talk about uncomfortable historical happenings. It seems the closing down of debate regarding Isreal and Zionism is almost complete…

  3. Peter Davies

    I did see the Daily Politics and it was just as you describe. I’m so pleased to read something that is challenging this dangerous nonsense that is being churned out by the media. I can only assume that the powers that be have decided that it is a done job and just can’t be fought. The original source material is very hard to find now and no one seems able to go back and view the story rationally so thank you Mike for at least standing up for rational common sense in the face of an all encompassing biased media story. If you can not criticise the behavior of a government then all those who suffer at that governments hands are lost.
    Hopefully your piece will be the seed of a Pearl.

  4. Roland

    Chakrabarti is a disgrace to the Labour Party makes me wonder how she became a Baroness

  5. Stu

    I understand Corbyn’s reticence in tackling the right-leaning “squeaky wheels” but they really are becoming a liability and an embarassment.
    Perhaps he should re-evaluate the situation, and soon.

  6. Helen Stillburn

    I’ve just read a few chapters of Mein Kampf, I don’t want to give the plot away but I’m finding it, disturbing, and I think KL was right AH was in favour of Zionism but along the lines of the Warsaw Ghetto rather than Israel

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You appear not to have understood this issue at all.
      Ken Livingstone never said Adolf Hitler was in favour of Zionism.
      He said the Nazis – and by extension, Hitler – supported the German Federation of Zionists in their plan to transport German Jews from their country to what was then British Mandate Palestine. They did this for a very particular reason which had nothing to do with being in favour of Zionism and everything to do with the Germany’s profile among other nations.

      1. Zippi

        Ken’s exact words were, “he was supporting Zionism.”
        I listened, very carefully, to the interview and subsequent programmes (Vanessa) and was furious with the way the she manipulated her audience. The newspapers failed to print Mr. £ivingstone’s comments in full, or in context and so many M.P.s and members of the £abour party, Diane Abbott among them, were quick to denounce him when, clearly, they hadn’t heard the interview, in full, or in context, if at all. I still have an e.mail that I was going to send to Vanessa, regarding her conduct but I thought, what would be the point? She, clearly, was not interested in the truth and was basking in the ignominy that was being piled upon Mr. £ivingstone; she was positively gloating. She had twisted the words of Dr. Martin £uther King, as quoted – albeit slightly paraphrased – in a meme that had been posted by Naz Shah, who, at the time, was in the dock accused of anti-Semitism. People, time and again, asked why Ken £ivingstone brought Hitler into the conversation; he didn’t, Vanessa did.
        If Ken £ivingstone is expelled from the Party, for this, I will leave.

  7. Pat Sheehan

    My feeling is that Ken Livingstone is of more value to the Labour Party, especially in view of his life’s contribution, than Shami Chakrabarti. I think she is expendable and if she feels she must resign then all well and good. The way things are going in the Labour Party, the UK, the Middle East and the World at large at the moment we’re all going to be labelled ‘anti-semites’ in any case simply for condemnation of the Israeli Government’s atrocious military assault on unarmed Palestinians! The term ‘anti-semite’ has been ‘mis-appropriated’ but we will have to make a stand on this!

Comments are closed.