Ken should say sorry

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The Independent Online

No one seems to have accused Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, of being anti-Semitic. His choice of insult, likening Oliver Finegold, the Evening Standard journalist, who is Jewish, to a concentration camp guard was certainly ill-judged. The incident, in which Mr Livingstone took offence at being asked (polite) questions as he left a party and Mr Finegold took offence at the (rude) replies, was trivial in itself. But wider offence has been taken, and it is an elementary rule of good manners, as of political expediency, that a prompt apology costs nothing and allows everyone to move on. Such an apology would do nothing to compromise Mr Livingstone's virulent and admirable anti-fascism. He has caused himself unnecessary damage by delaying the inevitable.

No one seems to have accused Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, of being anti-Semitic. His choice of insult, likening Oliver Finegold, the Evening Standard journalist, who is Jewish, to a concentration camp guard was certainly ill-judged. The incident, in which Mr Livingstone took offence at being asked (polite) questions as he left a party and Mr Finegold took offence at the (rude) replies, was trivial in itself. But wider offence has been taken, and it is an elementary rule of good manners, as of political expediency, that a prompt apology costs nothing and allows everyone to move on. Such an apology would do nothing to compromise Mr Livingstone's virulent and admirable anti-fascism. He has caused himself unnecessary damage by delaying the inevitable.

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