Leading article: Double standards

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The Independent Online

Some of our political leaders get an easier time of it than others. Contrast the current travails of Ken Livingstone and Tessa Jowell. Some are already speculating whether the Culture Secretary will be able to remain in her Cabinet post in light of her husband's legal difficulties in Italy, despite the fact that there is no evidence that she has done anything wrong. But does anyone really doubt that the Mayor of London, who was yesterday found guilty by the Standards Board for England of bringing his office into disrepute, will sail serenely on when all this is over?

Mr Livingstone has been given a month's suspension, but how many Cabinet ministers (most of whom have less power than the London Mayor) would survive long in their jobs if they had goaded a journalist they knew to be Jewish by calling him a "concentration camp guard"? Why is Ken Livingstone judged by a different standard?

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