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The most prolific liar in public life in a generation: Livingstone then and now

This is a cross post by Adloyada

“Every word she writes is a lie, including “and” and “the”.

So wrote Mary Maccarthy of Lillian Hellman, but it is equally true of the statements made by Ken Livingstone, who Andrew Gilligan names as:

“the most prolific liar to have sought high public office in Britain in at least a generation”.

Gilligan listed yesterday the last of his total of 85 Livingstone election lies. His total for Boris lies was 12.

These are a relevant couple of Livingstone’s lies that most incensed me, not least because I heard him telling them in person at the London Jewish Forum meeting on 24th April:

Anti-semitic attacks

67. Claim: “In each year I was mayor, anti-semitic attacks [in London] declined” (Guardian, March 26; when pressed about his poor relationship with the Jewish community)

Reality: The London figures, from the Community Security Trust’s annual reports, are as follows (reports before 2003 are not readily available online):

2003: 215 2004: 311 2005: 213 2006: 300 2007: 247 2008: 236

As will be seen, the number of anti-semitic attacks in London rose substantially – by up to 45% – in two of these years.

Hosting extremist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi

84. Claim: “All I knew about Qaradawi when he came was that the Sun had praised him as a true voice of Islam.” (Newsnight 4 April)

Reality: Livingstone had actually been furiously lobbied by liberal, Jewish and gay groups not to host Qaradawi. A Labour Home Office minister, Fiona McTaggart, pulled out of the City Hall event with the hate preacher, urging Ken not to meet him and saying that “a perfectly good cause had been hijacked” by Qaradawi and his supporters. The shadow home secretary, David Davis, asked Ken not to give Qaradawi “the oxygen of publicity.” When Qaradawi touched down in the UK, the Sun in fact proclaimed: “The evil has landed.”

The video clip I’ve included with this post shows that so many of Livingstone’s present aims, especially that of establishing London as a city-state go back to the Trotskyist programme of the Socialist Action group coterie who were his highly paid enforcers when he was Mayor, and whose Simon Fletcher is the head of his campaign team today.

What a stain on the record and reputation of the Labour Party. I heard Miliband parroting Livingstone’s election promises to slash fares and restore the EMA on BBCR4 a few days ago, claiming he’d be the best Mayor for London. As they say, the fish stinks from the head.

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