March 31, 2006 in London

London Mayor, Ken Livingston

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So London Mayor Ken Livingston was suspended late February for a month for making, making anti-semitic comments. Specifically,

on tape the mayor is heard asking Oliver Finegold (a journalist) 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 just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren’t you?”

Now I’m not sure his remarks rise to the level of being anti-semitic, but they are definitely insensitive. More importantly, I just do not think that non elected board members of an obscure government body, The Adjudication Panel for England should have the right to suspend an elected politician even for a short period. As such I do agree with the Mayor when he says that by doing so, this “strikes at the heart of democracy. Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law.”
Btw, here are some other colorful quotes by the Mayor:

“Anybody who enjoys being in the House of Commons probably needs psychiatric help.”
“What a squalid and irresponsible little profession it is. Nothing prepares you for how bad Fleet Street really is until it craps on you from a great height.”
“World wide capitalism kills more people everyday then Hitler did. And he was crazy.”
“If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it.”

Reading these additional quotes brings back memories of Mayor Richard M. Daley in Chicago. They both fly off at the mouth often and say things, regardless of the fact that it may not be politically correct to do so.

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