To get even further back to the OP -
While I had not heard previously of the Livingstone “incident” and don’t imagine that it portends the end of British Civilization as we know it, it’s interesting to see how it ties in with other recent events.
From this site:
*"in an allusion to the Daily Mail – the Standard’s sister paper which supported the Nazis in the 1930s – Livingstone asked Finegold (the Standard reporter) if he was “a German war criminal.”
When Finegold told the Labor mayor he was Jewish and found the “German war criminal” remark offensive, Livingstone responded:
“Well, you might be [Jewish], but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard.”…Asked if he would apologize, Livingstone replied: “Absolutely not.”…
The London mayor provoked controversy last year when he officially welcomed the extremist Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi to City Hall. Qaradawi, who is regarded as the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, justifies Palestinian suicide bombers, supports wife-beating and advocates the death sentence for homosexuality and adultery.
Last month, Livingstone spent tens of thousands of dollars on a dossier justifying his support for Qaradawi and on a City Hall party on the theme, “Peace for Palestine.”… The affair coincided with the publication of a report by the Community Security Trust (CST), British Jewry’s research and defense organization, which showed an all-time record level of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain last year.
The CST reported a total of 532 incidents in 2004, up 42 percent on the previous year and the highest number since records began 20 years ago. Senior CST official Mike Whine described the 83 violent anti-Semitic attacks in 2004 – up from 54 in 2003… In addition to violent attacks on individuals, anti-Semitic incidents included attacks on synagogues, communal buildings and Jewish cemeteries, as well as verbal threats and abuse, hate mail and phone calls.
In a related development, the ruling Labor Party has withdrawn a poster which depicts opposition Conservative Party leader Michael Howard and shadow finance minister Oliver Letwin, both Jewish, as flying pigs. Another poster, also withdrawn, depicts Howard as the anti-Semitic Fagin figure. The posters are thought to be a prelude to the formal announcement of a British general election, which is expected to be held in May."*
So maybe Pjen’s on the right track, and Livingstone’s comments are not an isolated affair, but typical of a nasty little bigoted streak in left-wing British politics.