You may have read, perhaps even seen images, of the alleged devastation apparently caused by a tsunami in South Asia on 26 December 2004.
You may also falsely have been led to believe that the good and kind Dr Harold Shipman murdered at least 218 of his patients.
Well, I have some wonderful news. None of that is true. All those people supposedly “killed” by the tsunami, Shipman and the wars are actually alive and are living in a bedsit in Clapham.
How do I know this? Because, and I think I am safe in saying this…
None of these events occured in the presence of Saint Ken of Livingstone.*
It is about time that the World realised, once and for all, that Saint Ken is the true and unchallenged arbiter of a) whether an event occcured, b) whether antisemitism exists and c) in the unlikely event it does exist, what antisemitism is.
I can sense that you’re sceptical. I shall have to elaborate…
On the BBC’s Daily Politics on 28 April, Ken Livingstone repeated (1m 30 s in) the phrase he had already said on Radio London earlier that morning that “Ive been a member [of the Labour Party] for 47 years and I’ve never heard anyone say anything antisemitic.”
Andrew Neil, bemused, read out a number of *ahem* questionable quotes from MPs, Councillors, mayors and activists, all of whom were Labour Party members, and asked Ken if any of these were antisemitic. To his credit, Ken admitted that some of these comments were antisemitic, but stood firm that he personally had never heard any antisemitism.
Andrew Neil (like his other guest Nick Clegg, who was clearly trying to suppress outright laughter at Ken’s awkward wriggling) was by now totally confused. Then followed the key (and most revealing) part of the interview, the true glory of which can truly be seen and marvelled at from 7m 45s into the Daily Politics clip. Just in case you can’t access it, however, I will quote it in full….
AN: “maybe you don’t see antisemitism because you set a very high bar for it. After all you’re the man that welcomed Yusuf Al-Qaridawadawi [sic] to London in 2005. You called him a ‘progressive voice’. This is a man who called for Jews and homosexuals to be killed. Is that not antisemitic?”
HHKL: “No. This is the man [Al-Qaradawi] who called on Muslims around the world to donate blood after the attacks of 9/11. When he came to London, I went with him to the Regent’s Park Mosque where I heard him say “no man should hit a woman and you should not discriminate against homosexuals”, so I can’t equate what I heard him say with what (the next bit is a little garbled, but something along the lines of) you’re saying about him”.
AN: “He has called for Jews to be killed. You embraced him. A man who made a clear antisemitic statement. Is that not antisemitic?”
HHKL: “He made no antisemitic statement while he was a … here in London. I mean this stuff has come up more recently, that’s fine, but I’m speaking…”
AN: “Didn’t you know any of this?”
HHKL: “No. All I knew was he was the man who said…”
AN: “Did you do due diligence on him?”
HHKL: “I don’t investigate people.”
AN: “You don’t worry about the kind of people you might be sharing platforms with? I mean you talk about women, he [Al-Qaradawi] also said: ‘To be absolved from guilt, a raped woman must have shown good conduct.”
HHKL: “Well none of that equates with what he said in my presence at the Regent’s Park Mosque.”
AN: “Sure, but Hitler was kind to dogs!”
HHKL: “No. He advoca… he was saying there, at the Regent’s Park Mosque: ‘No Muslim should hit his wife and there should be no activity against homosexuals.’ ”
AN: “And you didn’t know that he thought Jews should be killed?”
HHKL: “No. I mean he didn’t say anything like that when he was there at City Hall or at the Regent’s Park Mosque.”
And there, dear readers, we have it. If it wasn’t said in the saintly Mr (what IS the Catholic Church waiting for? Why hasn’t he yet been beatified?) Livingstone’s holy presence, then it simply didn’t happen.
* To be absolutely accurate, Ken was born before VJ Day, but well after the war in Europe had ended. I am not sure even Ken can claim to remember what was happening on the other side of the globe in his first few months of life!