Ken Livingstone in principled stand shocker

Ken arguing that Bin Laden should not have been shot:

"I was appalled to see Osama bin Laden in his pyjamas shot dead in front of his kid," Mr Livingstone said. "The best way to demonstrate the values of a western democracy is you put Osama bin Laden on trial, you challenge what he says. My parents’ generation gave the best years of their lives to establish these values. We should never erode them.”

Now, the more cynical among you may think that this is a naked attempt to appeal to the Muslim voters in London ahead of the mayoral elections. Honestly, I'm not so sure. For starters, I can't believe that any significant fraction of Osama bin Laden sympathisers are going to vote Boris, unless they want to demonstrate a hitherto-unknown sense of humour. So Ken has their votes in the bag already. All this statement is going to do for Ken's electoral prospects is turn away potential voters who don't like Boris, could just about stomach Ken as a Labour candidate, but really don't feel that bin Laden deserved anything better than cranial ventilation via a 5.56mm round or two.

Given that, I can only deduce that Ken believes this to be true and isn't afraid to say so. You have to admire the man for his idealism. Contrast to Boris, who in his book of collected columns "Have I Got Views for You" notes that if bin Laden had got accidentally-on-purpose whacked in a cave in Tora Bora by a member of the UK armed forces that most of the UK population would conclude "it couldn't happen to a nicer guy". But, honestly, I think the latter view should prevail in a spirit of brutal pragmatism.

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