There are an awful lot of oddballs and nutters at Ken Livingstone’s “Progressive London” conference.
But of all the sessions, here’s one which really leaps out.
THERE IS NO PROGRESSIVE IMPERIALISM
• Bairbre de Brún MEP, Sinn Féin
• Samuel Moncada, Venezuelan Ambassador
• Richard Gott, author
• Azad Ali, Community Affairs Co-ordinator, Islamic Forum Europe
• Mark Weisbrot, Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
• CHAIR: Seumas Milne, Guardian columnist
The names on this list will be familiar to most of you. In particular, there is Azad Ali: an outspoken supporter of military jihad, who is representing Islamic Forum Europe, which is aligned with the clerical fascist Jamaat-e-Islami party.
Just over a year ago, Azad Ali was praising the Al Qaeda cleric, Anwar Al Awlaki on his blog as “one of my favourite speakers and scholars”:
I really do love him for the sake of Allah, he has an uncanny way of explaining things to people which is endearing
So, this is Ken Livingstone’s definition of “progressive”.
- unrepentant Stalinists, like Milne and Hudson
- former USSR “agents of influence” like Gott
- fans of Al Qaeda clerics, like Ali
- assorted members of the small Trot clique, Socialist Action (in their various guises and front groups)
and whoever else can be persuaded to stand on a platform with these lot.
Including – unbelievably – Ed Miliband!
Is this really the future of the Left?