UK Politics

More Livingstone Self-Promotion

This weekend, I missed Livingstone’s latest me-fest: a conference entitled “A World Civilization or a Clash of Civilizations“.

The high point of this conference was a debate between Daniel Pipes (supported by Douglas Murray, the neo-conservative author) and Ken Livingstone (supported by RESPECT activist, and former press officer for the support campaign for Abu Hamza’s son, who was convicted of terrorist activities in Yemen)

I was invited to speak at this conference two days before Christmas by a woman called Jagdeep Mann, who immediately went on holiday, and so was unable to answer my question:

“Can you tell me how much of my money, as a London taxpayer is going into this pro-wrestling exhibition”

In the event, I spent the day looking at the Sutton Hoo exhibit at the British Museum instead, and therefore missed the opportunity to see Oliver Kamm in discussion with the Islamist activist, Inayat Bunglawala, and Linda Bellos: a former politician whose name is an anagram of “lesbian doll”.

If you attended this jamboree, I’d be interested to hear what went on. Oliver Kamm has a good piece on it here, as does Jonathan Hoffman, in a guest post at Adloyada

To give you a flavour of the conference, Oliver Kamm reports that a session on “Democratic solutions for the Middle East” had a somewhat narrow focus:

The tenor of the discussion from the platform and particularly from the floor turned out, however, to be scarcely at all about the Middle East but rather about a particular country within the region, whose identity you will guess immediately and discussion about which took a predictable form.

One other speaker at the conference told me that, having arranged child care for the day, he was in effect paying to be abused. I know what the comrade meant.

That speaker need not have paid for child care at all. Publicly funded child care was apparently available at the event, along with other necessary facilities – two gender-segregated “prayer rooms”:

Male Prayer Room – Shelley Room (4th Floor)
Female Prayer Room – Wordsworth Room (4th Floor)

I’m sure that Shelley, who was famously expelled from Oxford for writing a pamplet entitled The Necessity of Atheism, would have been amused.