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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 22/09/2005 - 08:59

This article entirely misses the point. You say you doubt that any attempt will be made to ban Livingstone from office, but where is your evidence for this? In fact that is exactly the process that is now underway.

Livingstone's comments offended some people, although no one has seriously made the case that they were anti-semitic. But offending people ought not to constitute an offence serious enough to get you barred from office. Unless an elected politician is guilty of a criminal offence it is hard to see how anyone can make the case that an unelected body should be able to remove them from office mid-term.

The AWL got the Livingstone question wrong six years ago when you vacillated about whether to support him when the Blairites were trying to stitch him up. You even ran an article saying that you could not choose between Jeffrey Archer and Ken Livingstone, although you subsequently ran a 'Socialist Campaign for a Livingstone Victory' that was more useful to Dobson's campaign than it was to the left.

Now Livingstone faces another bureaucratic mechanism that could see him blocked from office, and once again you dodge the main point.

The issue here is who chooses the mayor of London. Livingstone was elected by Londoners and only Londoners should decide who their mayor is.

The Standards Board for England and the Adjudication Panel are unelected New Labour quangos that ought to have no role in deciding whether an elected politician stays in office. As night follows day such bodies will be biased against politicians of the left..

The whole Standards Board process is the worst kind of New Labour bureaucratic imposition. The AWL should come out unequivocally against this process and stop sitting on the fence.

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