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Red Ken does it again
Just when you thought the loathsome Ken Livingstone couldn't sink any lower - what? You never thought that - here he is comparing the poll tax riots of the 1980s to the massacre in Tiananmen Square. From The Telegraph:
Looking out over the Beijing square from the steps of the National Museum of Revolutionary History, the Mayor of London said the 1989 massacre, in which -hundreds of protesters died, was part of the city's "interesting history", like London's.
Bearing in mind the old Chinese curse, perhaps the word "interesting" means something different to the Chinese.
In the same way that Trafalgar Square has had an interesting history, not always a peaceful one, there's a very clear parallel," he said.
"We've had some interesting riots in Trafalgar Square - I mean, only 20 years ago, the poll tax riots, and flames licking up." ...
When it was pointed out that the Metropolitan Police had not shot or killed anyone during the poll tax riot in London in March 1990, he suggested the comparison should be put into a longer context.
"If you go back to some of the early instances you will find many cases where innocent protesters were hacked to pieces with sabres - the Peterloo massacre, for example. There is no such thing as one country with a perfect record." In the Peterloo Massacre, the local militia waded into a crowd of radicals campaigning for universal suffrage on St Peter's Field, Manchester, in 1819, killing 11 and injuring 400.
On Tiananmen Square, estimates of the numbers of those killed by troops and tanks range up to 3,000, the figure given out by the Chinese Red Cross immediately afterwards.
Mr Livingstone's views on the "June 4 incident", as it is called in China, are unlikely to be reported by the local media. Nor will they be of much interest to the Beijing city authorities, who are hosting him, though he went on to say that he would express his personal feelings to them in private. Other politicians have been in trouble for their comments on the massacre.
President Jacques Chirac of France said in 2004 it was "another time" when he sought to justify his support for the lifting of the EU arms embargo on China, imposed immediately after the killings.
At least Chirac didn't make any ludicrous false equivalence. It is coming to something when a British politician is even more despicable than Chirac.
As he continued his press conference on the steps, Mr Livingstone went on to denounce the "conservatism" of Westminster council and other authorities in London.
Brave Ken. And hasn't he got his priorities right?
Just look at his smug face. Revolting, isn't it?
Update: Judy makes some pertinent comments about Ken's latest stunt, in a piece which borrows for its title the wonderful last line of the film "Some Like it Hot": nobody's perfect.