In Defence of Red Ken

Saturday, 30th April 2016

Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London and Labour MP, is back in the news for having allegedly misinterpreted a politically sensitive chapter of the 20th century. John Mann MP, an avid supporter of all recent US-led wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, accused Mr Livingstone of rewriting history by suggesting Hitler’s National Socialist Party supported Zionism. Yet the historical record is clear on the broad collaboration between Zionists and Nazis in the early and mid 1930s. On many other subjects Red Ken has had a rather liberal interpretation of reality, bending it to suit his left-leaning globalist agenda. While Red Ken has embraced the capital city’s ethnic diversity, he has had to please two rival constituencies of support, which I will for sake of simplicity call Global Zionists and Islamic Fundamentalists. A greater challenge was reconciling the imperialist and theocratic views of these influential factions with broader social justice, anti-war and environmentalist ideals. Indeed I would argue a narrow obsession with Nazi Germany and the Palestinian/Israeli conflicts blinds us to a much deeper understanding of the far-reaching socio-environmental changes that have occurred over the last sixty years. The United States arms not only Israel, but has a very special relationship with Saudi Arabia too.

Global Zionists are not merely concerned with Israel or even with the Jewish community, but with geopolitics subservient to a US / Israeli axis of power. Part and parcel of this worldview is the continued need for proactive military intervention in many strategic regions of the world to superimpose governments friendly to their global vision. Other variants of Zionism merely advocate a Jewish homeland living in peace with its Arab neighbours. I don’t know why these complex issues should concern British politicians. One of the main justifications for the establishment of the State of Israel, the 1947 expulsion of half a million Palestinian Arabs and continued Jewish migration to Israel is of course the memory of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews. The basic narrative that Western media has promoted since the end of the Second World War is that the defeated Nazi regime represented an absolute evil and thus all world powers should collaborate to thwart the reemergence of National Socialism, whenever recalcitrant nationalism raises its anachronistic head. Every single recent military intervention has been justified in these crude anti-fascist terms. Hilary Benn’s December 2015 speech on British participation in the bombing of Syria is a classic case in point, evoking the glories of the infamous Churchill / Stalin / Roosevelt pact against Nazi Germany (conveniently forgetting the Molotov pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany only 3 years earlier and widescale Anglo-American economic cooperation with Nazi Germany before and during WW2) and thus placing extreme faith in one’s own ruling class to spread peace and democracy rather than sow the seeds of more discontent. All recent wars share one common thread. They enjoy the support of global Zionists, including those who pose on the humanitarian left, while Islamists usually oppose US / Israeli machinations and often disagree with orthodox interpretations of the murky events that accompanied World War Two. Here I emphasise usually because the US, UK and Israel have often supported Muslim fundamentalists such as the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria, and most notoriously the autocratic Wahhabist kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

While Ken Livingstone has usually opposed recent US-led interventions, in 1998 he supported NATO’s bombing of the former Yugoslavia because the alleged victims of Serb ethnic cleansing were Muslim Albanian Kosovars. In truth the Serb minority had been shrinking for decades and in the aftermath of the NATO-imposed truce Orthodox Christian Serbs were forced to either leave Kosovo altogether or retreat to a few tiny enclaves. Moreover, only a naive fool would deny the disproportionate influence that the Zionist and Islamist lobbies hold over British, European and North American political discourse. Had Ken Livingstone chosen to downplay Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s role in the 1918–21 genocide of Armenians, I suspect few mainstream politicians or media pundits would have cared.

Far be it from me to leap to the defence of Ken Livingstone on anything, not least on his support for the anti-democratic European Union and unbalanced mass migration. I recall welcoming his radical policies of the early 80s when, as leader of the then Greater London Council, he slashed public transport fares in a large city with notorious traffic congestion. The GLC’s Fare’s Fair policy led to 10% decline in car usage in 1982 and let’s not forget with a much lower population than today of around 6.3 million (now 8.5 million and growing). This policy was famously overruled by the Tory-dominated House of Lords before the GLC was abolished altogether. Ken Livingstone is basically a Euro-Communist. He passionately believes greater globalisation and interdependence can unleash the forces of progress towards a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable future. Yet as Mayor he oversaw a widening gap between rich and poor, spiralling property prices and a growing legion of international commuters with few roots in the city alongside a rising Muslim population, who now constitute his party’s most loyal voters.

May I suggest Global Zionism and Islamic Fundamentalism are two sides of the same coin. They both seek to impose their dogma on a largely borderless world. They both support mass migration, the displacement of native peoples and the undermining of traditional nation states with a few notable exceptions such as Israel that may continue to select its immigrants on strict ethno-religious grounds. More important they both need each other to spread fear, destabilise traditional social structures and to impose draconian surveillance that liberal Westerners would customarily oppose. More disturbingly, the trendy left regularly turns a blind eye to overtly misogynist practices within Europe's growing Muslim communities.

Britain needs a common sense party standing up for ordinary people born and bred in this country, most of whom are neither Jewish nor Muslim, advocating both social justice, environmental responsibility and long-term socio-economic stability. We once called it the Labour Party. It has now become little more than a pressure group of naive no-borders campaigners, illiberal social engineers and warmongering Blairites posing as anti-fascists. We need an alternative to rampant corporatism and over-reliance on free trade and banking. Moreover, we need a political movement focussed on empowering ordinary people by letting us develop the high-tech skills we will need tomorrow rather than being a mere outlet for Chinese robots.

+