Friday, February 24, 2006

Freedom of speech? Not really in the UK...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the waters of free speech, the Jaws of Ken Livingstone wobble and its left some people seeing red.

This time round, its the Jewish community who have quite rightly complained about unguarded comments made (and then reiterated for good measure) by Londons 'Red Ken'. He made comments about Nazi concentration camp guard similarities to a Jewish journo from Londons Evening Standard newspaper who asked for an apology but got more of the same instead.

Today he has been found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute and will be suspended for four weeks although he is likely to appeal.

I do feel sorry for both poor Ken and the Journo too. Everyone is allowed an off day and this includes London's Mayor. It could have been worse, after all he could have punched the guy. Following the Labour Parties track record, this would have resulted in no punishment whatsoever! Maybe old Prescott didn't bring the office of Deputy Prime-minister into disrepute after taking the 'hands-on' approach with a protester.

I obviously feel sorry for the journo too. Ken shouldn't have called the journalist, who is Jewish, a Nazi concentration camp guard but maybe the journalist should have respected Kens right to freedom of speech?

It seems somehow ironic that we can all see why Kens comments can't really be protected under freedom of speech yet then we seem tempted to toy with the freedom of speech idea with the 'equally as insulting' cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed?

My thoughts? Don't ban Ken, just get him to say sorry and why not get some of the media to say sorry to the Muslims while were at it.

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