by Nick Wright
Today 28 May, the Wiki page of Labour MP John Mann included this following passage:
“On 28 April 2016, Mann confronted Ken Livingstone over comments in which Livingstone had claimed Hitler “was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews”. In a chance confrontation at BBC studios, Mann described Livingstone as a “Nazi apologist” and a ” fucking disgrace”. Following this incident, Mann has been called in by Labour’s Chief Whip to discuss his behaviour.”
This is fast and effective PR and could be just one illustration of how carefully constructed and choreographed was the ambush of Ken Livingstone.
Labour’s veteran, if erratic, left-winger was confronted by camera crews and a media pack that included even a goal-scrounging Channel Four News reporter.
Mann was rewarded with an appearance on the BBC’s Daily Politics.
Livingstone was suspended from party membership – essentially for defending, albeit somewhat clumsily – the hapless Naz Shah, the Bradford MP who unseated George Galloway.
Meanwhile, Mann was called in to the Whips Office. He must regard a slap on the wrist as a price worth paying for the media attention he gained.
Interviewed on BBC Livingstone said Hitler had supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews”.
He argued that there was a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticises Israeli policy as antisemitic” and that accusations of antisemitism were part of a campaign against the Labour leader.
“Frankly, there’s been an attempt to smear Jeremy Corbyn and his associates as antisemitic from the moment he became leader. The simple fact is we have the right to criticise what is one of the most brutal regimes going in the way it treats the Palestinians,” he said.
Here is what Livingstone said in full