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Comment: Ken Livingstone broke new ground for gay Londoners

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  1. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 6:23pm

    What Steve Reed says is correct – it doesnt change the fact that Ken should apologise for his use of language, particularly his use of the word “riddled” which is a loaded word

    1. Patrick Lilley 11 Feb 2012, 12:07pm

      Hi VB – Ken was clearly refererring to hypocritical closeted Tories who were gay and voting against equal rights while “secretly indulging.” In that context would you consider it appropriate?

      1. Vauxhall-Boy 11 Feb 2012, 2:39pm

        Hi Patrick

        I think Kens choice of word was appalling. I can see that there is an argument that his vocabulary was correct. Nonetheless as an experienced political operator and broadcaster he should be aware that words can be seen in different forms. The word riddled is a loaded word eg riddled with cancer. Its disappointing that he allowed such a negative presentation to be used when linked to homosexuality. Ken should know better.

    2. Billy Wingarten 12 Feb 2012, 6:03am

      i cant speak for the english but In america, the republican party is synonomous with hatred of gays and is full of them .

      Most of the people in the following link are republicans. Who have been outed. Take George Rekers, foundewr of the hated group Family Research Council and until recently head of the National Association for research and Treatment on HOmosexuality

      He isnt gay – he’s a queer, if you understand what i mean by that particular term. (PS I’m totally for gays being treated as equals in our societies..)

      the two guys running the Family Reseach council BTW are racists. As well as southern Baptists – the people who gave us slavery, the KKK hate group, and segregation.

  2. vversatile 9 Feb 2012, 6:28pm

    Then he should just apologise.
    He’s done great things in the past but he blotted his copybook with Al Quaradi – which he also never apologised for.

    1. That has always been Ken’s problem – he seems absolutely unable to apologise! I wish he would realize that it loses him votes. No one doubts what he has done to push forward LGBT rights but when he is showing up Boris and ahead of him in the polls it is nonsensical to be shooting himself in the foot like this.

    2. Patrick Lilley 11 Feb 2012, 12:14pm

      How do we change people’s mind without talking to them? Ken was the first to bring the IRA leadership to talks. He was pilloried- absolutely – by the Murdoch and tabloid press – and indeed many in all political parties esp Labour… Yet the Tory government soon after were holding very secret talks with these terrorists with a view to softening them up and bringing them into a public dialogue that eventually led to peace deals signed between UK and the IRA. Eventually even Ian Paisley was sitting down with the old IRA leaders Gerry Adams. Ditto Nelson Mandela was called a terrorist by Thatcher while Peter Hain and others activel supported the ANC. Perhaps words can change minds… Perhaps talking to people is the only way of effecting change in their (unpleasant, unwelcome and nasty) views. The other thing with Ken (and I didnt want him to be Labour Candidate for Mayor) is that he is pretty consistent. How do we change minds? Talking or shouting?

      1. Vauxhall-Boy 11 Feb 2012, 2:40pm

        It does make sense to speak to people when we seek to change hearts and minds. It worked in Northern Ireland, South Africa and many other places.

        1. Patrick Lilley 12 Feb 2012, 5:10pm

          Hi Vauxhal-Boy, thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I do value the debate that can happen on here and value others opinions. x

  3. Peter Orlov 9 Feb 2012, 6:29pm

    That was a party political broadcast for the Labour Party.

  4. Stephen Glenn 9 Feb 2012, 6:48pm

    And some of us in Northern Ireland are still fighting the homophobes in power who use words like riddled, cure, lifestyle choice in relation to the LGBT people seeking equality.

    Having a record of fighting for rights is no excuse to for using language that can be seen to degrade.

    1. Patrick Lilley 11 Feb 2012, 12:16pm

      Hi Stephen, with family in NI I know what you are referening to but Ken was referring to closetter right wing hypcorites who vote against equality while secretly indulging in (homosexual acts and lifestyle). If that is the context perhaps the word is used accurately? Given the context…now what do you think?

  5. That’s all very well and good, Mr Reed, but if Ken is really pro-LGBT rights and anti-homophobia, then he should do the right thing and apologise for his misuse of language.

    Otherwise, he’s saying it’s ok for other people to use that phrase.

    This society is riddled with gay people, and riddled with ethnic minorities – does that sound positive? Really?

    1. Billy Wingarten 12 Feb 2012, 6:05am

      Dont use the word “lifestyle” It implies that gays choose to be gay, therefore their troubles are their own fault.

      We even find it in general usage by some very prog gay people here in the USA.

  6. We all know our Ken likes to park his bike up the back alley, him and Barclay so whats the problem.

    Ken liked to riddle, while his advisor liked to fiddle. Hi diddle diddle oh to be the cat in the middle. A proper nightmayor. Its only a laugh hahaha!
    You have to laugh Ken, dont you hahaha! and I’m only paying you a compliment hahaha!

  7. The word “riddled” can mean “spread throughout”.

    Stop obsessing about a single word and listen to the entire speech.

    1. Vauxhall-Boy 9 Feb 2012, 7:41pm


      Do you really believe that?

      1. Buy a dictionary.

        rid·dle 1 (rdl)
        tr.v. rid·dled, rid·dling, rid·dles
        1. To pierce with numerous holes; perforate:
        2. To spread throughout: “.
        3. To put (gravel, for example) through a coarse sieve.

        1. Vauxhall-Boy 10 Feb 2012, 11:39am

          There is a difference when you consider riddle and riddled:

          1 riddled with something very full of something bad or unpleasant:
          The whole house was riddled with damp.
          By this time her body was riddled with cancer.
          2 riddled with holes full of small holes:
          The wall of the fort was riddled with bullet holes.

          There is an impression by the use of riddled that there is something unpleasant.

          Riddled with homosexuals must therefore be viewed as though homosexuality is a bad, unpleasant thing.

          Ken should apologise.

          1. Patrick Lilley 11 Feb 2012, 12:18pm

            Riddled with hypocrites! :)

          2. Vauxhall-Boy 11 Feb 2012, 2:41pm


            That too! ;-)

  8. Helen Wilson 9 Feb 2012, 7:39pm

    Time to boot party politics out of LGBT equality.

    We are not a political football politicians and political parties can score points off each other on.

  9. So the Labour leader of Lambeth Council supports the Labour candidate for Mayor.

    Speaking of Labour – why isn’t civil marriage equality official Labour Party policy.

    What is the Labour Party doing to get the government to introduce civil marriage equality in 2012?

    Does Ken Livingstone condemn the homophobia of his murderous, extremist homophobe associate Yusuf Al Qaradawi?

    Does Ken Livingstone pledge to never again knowingly link himself to anyone who wants to murder gay people?

    There will be candidates other than Ken and Boris to vote for, you know.

  10. I’m not a fan of Ken, and I’m unlikely to vote for him. Frankly, my vote for the London mayor will be based on a lot of things in addition to sexual politics. Ken will have to actively earn my vote because I distrust him over all the fare increases he introduced when he was mayor – despite (regularly) promising not to.
    While I always appreciated Ken’s support for the LGBT community (and I’m old enough to remember how unpopular a stance it was for him to take at the time), his support of my sexuality has never got me laid. However, his increases in travel costs in the past meant that I couldn’t afford to get some hot guy drunk enough to come home with me…
    (Yes, I am that sad.)
    With all that said, although Ken’s use of the word ‘riddled’ isn’t that great, the increasingly (politically?) manufactured outrage over one word is piddling me off.

    1. No sane or rational human being could look at the years of Livingstone’s active support for the LGBT community in London and then ignore it because he used one stupid word.
      The fact that so many gay Conservatives here have had a bout of the vapours actually makes me more sympathetic to Livingstone. Also, Brian Paddick’s silliness in accusing Livingstone of homophobia is simply cretinous. Usually, I’de vote for Paddick, but his prattish response on this issue really makes it difficult this time round.
      Like I said, I’m emphatically not a natural voter for Ken. But all this kerfuffle is making him more attractive as a candidate.

      1. What about Livingstone’s unresolved issue with Yusuf Al Qaradawi – an extremist who wants to kill gay people?

  11. I think the use of the word riddled in the context it was used was totally appropriate. He was making a point about closeted Tories disapproved of by others in their party while gay-friendly policies in the Labour party meant that their MPs came out. He has nothing to apologise for. My choice of who to vote for is between Paddick and Livingstone as I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to vote for a Tory and this whole affair makes me far more inclined to vote Livingstone.

    1. And will you be applauding when yet again Ken goes hobnobbing with extremists who want to kill us?

  12. Don Harrison 9 Feb 2012, 11:54pm

    Sorry Steve you are mistaken,

    Ken Livingston did a good job as the first Mayor of London but he is not the man to come back to the post.

    The Labour Party support of LGBT whilst in government has been very flaky.
    The dropping of the age of consent was like a car with deflated types until after European legislation.

    The Civil Partnership Bill has been left in such a mess. If one of a Married or CP couple has a sex change they have to divorce the partnership and have a start again.

    The Tory Party views on LBGT is even newer than Labour.

    The history of support for LGBT from first the Liberal Party and now the Liberal Democrat Party goes back further and is more substantial than either of the two parties above.

    Brian Paddick is a openly gay man who having worked at a high level in the Met Police as the knowledge leaving him in a better position to deal with the crime which is happening here right now as well as the riots last year.

    1. Don Harrison 10 Feb 2012, 12:15am

      It is up to the Lib Dems who are bringing in a bill right now to sort the Civil Partnership Bill as Equal Marriage which should be completed in this parliament.
      There will be many obstacles from many different places, It is up to you all to canvas in the bills favour if you wish it to be completed. Which ever party you support please ask them to vote for Equal Marriage.
      I will email my MP and for me who is sadly not a LibDem.

      1. Ken Livingstone also has a shameful history of cosying up to murderous extremist homophobes (Yusuf Al Qaradawi) who want to kill gay people.

        He defends his links to murderous extremsits and refuses to admit that his links with Qaradawi were a punch in the face to the gay community.

        He also refuses to pledge to never again knowingly associate with murderous homophobes.

        Until this festering issue is resolved no LGBT person should vote for Ken Livingstone.

        As for his use of the word ‘riddled’ – that was deliberate.

        Ken is an astute man who knew what he was saying but decided to throw us under the bus again to appeal to bigots, while the same time claiming ‘How can I be a homophobe, I was nice to gay people 20 years ago’

        I don’t believe Livingstone is a homophobe.

        I know that he is a slimy career politician – an opportunist who has no qualms about associaiting with murderous monsters if it will benefit himself.

  13. Scott Lovely 10 Feb 2012, 12:22am

    Ken has indeed always been supportive of us, even when it was very unpopular, which is why I was so shocked by his choice of language. One of the reasons he lost to Boris was because of things he said after a reception of some sort that some people claimed were anti- Semitic, though some said it may have been a set up by the Evening Standard.

    I’m not sure quite what to think now.

  14. GingerlyColors 10 Feb 2012, 6:41am

    In my last post about Ken Livingstone I mentioned that he supported the IRA. However he did do a lot of good things for London and was popular even amongst Conservative voters. He introduced registered partnerships for gay couples before Civil Partnerships became legal (hopefully to become marriage soon). Another thing that I agree with him about is that pigeons are rats with wings! And as for the Congestion Charge, who in their right mind want to bring their car into London anyway? What’s wrong with the Tube?

  15. Spanner1960 10 Feb 2012, 8:45am

    What is it about all these lefties jumping to that slimy little lizard’s defence?

    The man was given the boot years ago and he’s been desperately scratching at the door to be let back in ever since. Ignore the man and let’s get back to the here and now.

  16. damnedfilth 10 Feb 2012, 10:05am

    Why do the left always resort to petty name calling? Who cares if Boris Johnson is rich? is it really such a problem that someone is better off financially than you? The poliitics of envy are creeping back

    Why didn’t pinknews publish my last comment, are you censoring now? What happened to free speech? Maybe I got the maths question wrong, state education!

    1. “Who cares if Boris Johnson is rich? ”

      The voting population of London may well care that a chortling, overfed hooray Henry, who attended Eton and who was in this revolting group called the Bullingdon club, is rich beyond their wildest dreams.

      I personally don’t think that an overprivileged toff really knows about real life for ordinary Londoners.

      Johnson also has a shameful history of toxic homophobic bigotry of course.

      1. Spanner1960 10 Feb 2012, 11:46am

        Who gives a flying fck!? I certainly don’t.
        What’s most important is that the man does his job properly.

  17. Michael Mason 10 Feb 2012, 10:24am

    I’ve been so ashamed by the hostile comments that gay people have been making about Ken Livingstone. I can only hope that the people making them are ignorant of what London was like in the 1970s and 1980s.
    This man showed the most extraordinary courage, sticking to his guns over gay rights in the teeth of outraged attacks by everyone from the Murdoch press to the Thatcher government. Even Peter Tatchell went back into the closet at this time when the Labour Party demanded his silence as a price for his Bermondsey candidature, anxious to distance themselves from Red Ken.
    I was publishing Capital Gay when Ken controversially reacted to the homophobia of the Daily Mail group’s Evening Standard by withdrawing County Hall job ads from the Standard, placing them instead with the gay, women’s and black press. (I can tell you that it ensured the health of the gay press at a time when we needed to be around to tell people about the new threat of AIDS, and led to dozens of other Labour borough c

    1. It is now 2012 though. The times have moved on (even if you haven’t).

      Stop pretending that it is still the 1970’s.

      Why has Ken Livingstone not apologised for his links with murderous homophobe Yusuf Al Qaradawi?

      Why has Ken Livingstone not pledged to never again knowingly have meetings with extremists who want to kill us?

      1. We all know the answer to that, although many are in denial. Livingstone’s power base lies elsewhere these days. He’s not going to rock that boat.

  18. Michael Mason 10 Feb 2012, 10:25am

    councils following his lead and showing the same support for us.)
    He also sponsored the famous Lesbian and Gay Centre in Cowcross Street which Kenneth Baker sold off as soon as the Tories got into power – a vibrant place which housed conferences, nurtured innovative clubs like Sadie Masie’s which went on to flourish in other venues. He gave a great boost to Pride which he showcased as a major tourist attraction, welcoming gay people from around the world. And all this with wicked humour and enthusiasm. I quite enjoyed, too, his introduction of flat 50p bus fares to anywhere in the capital!
    He is a courageous man who stuck to his principles and a belief that Londoners have every bit as much right to enjoy the city as financial corporations and commuters from the stockbrokers belt. I have no idea what the Al Qaradi affair was about and – yes – I would like an explanation.
    But to voice contempt towards a man who bravely fought for you when the rest of the political world – Tory and Labou

    1. Why has Ken Livingstone not apologised for his links with murderous homophobe Yusuf Al Qaradawi?

      Why has Ken Livingstone not pledged to never again knowingly have meetings with extremists who want to kill us?

  19. Helen Wilson 10 Feb 2012, 12:52pm

    So can Ken get himself off this one?

    Labour’s Ken Livingstone has caused fresh offence today after saying that gay bankers who relocate to the United Emirate city of Dubai “would have their penises cut off”.

    Labour must now kick Ken out the party and appoint a new candidate or be seen as the homophobe party.

    1. Shut up you dozy fat bitch –

      1. Helen Wilson 10 Feb 2012, 2:32pm

        Is this dozy of just reporting the inconvenient truth about Ken to the Ed the traitor Milibands gutless blue labour sell outs.

        I would not have to speak out if Livingstone had not opened his mouth. This is not Russia and Ken is not Putin. We have free speech, freedom to hold politicians to account and freedom to be LGBT whatever the now obviously homophobic Ken thinks (his homophobia is revealed by his own words)

      2. Helen Wilson 10 Feb 2012, 3:11pm

        What ever happened to winning the argument through debate of the issue? If this is the standard of intellectual debate the Labour party can put forward then I’m glad I gave up my party membership last year and joined the Greens. They are now the only truly socialist leaning LGBT equal democratic political party in the UK.

        1. @Helen

          I don’t think Ken is digging a hole with his latest series of blundering comments. It’s more like he has hired a fleet of JCB excavators and is trying to build new foundations for City Hall.

  20. Would Livingstone have said – ‘riddled with Women’ or Riddled with Muslims – or ‘riddled with blacks’ & not apolgised?

    We get to Vote between and stubbon MULE (Ken) or a complete ASS (Boris) hole…

    1. TheLizzie12 10 Feb 2012, 6:13pm

      An old chest of drawers can be riddled with wood worms…it is a deeply offensive use of the word. He should apologise.

    2. Mark Michaelsberg 14 Feb 2012, 6:59pm

      Of course he wouldn’t apologise. This man has a monopoly on arrogance. He denied that he had come under pressure from Ed Miliband to quit Press TV. I like to think that Ed Miliband has Balls(pardon the pun) and he did read Livingstone the riot act.

  21. TheLizzie12 10 Feb 2012, 6:12pm

    “Ken broke new ground…” with the support of LGBT advisors, especially in his GLC days. He did NOT work in isolation. Of course he did right by us, and that is commendable, but his use of the word ‘riddled’ is deeply offensive, and leads me to suspect he is badly in need of some LGBT advisors again!

  22. Mark Michaelsberg 13 Feb 2012, 9:46pm

    Is this the same Ken Livingstone who worked for Press TV. Press TV is Iranian state media which is run and funded by a government that executes gay people.

  23. Jock S. Trap 14 Feb 2012, 10:43am

    Will never vote for hypocrite Ken, the inviter of the hatred.

    I’ll be voting for Boris May 3rd!!

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