Ken Livingstone has never been one to mince his words. However, in an interview with the New Statesman he said:
“As soon as Blair got in, if you came out as lesbian or gay you immediately got a job. It was wonderful… you just knew the Tory party was riddled with it like everywhere else is.”
Now what definition of riddled in the London Mayoral candidate using there.
riddled past participle, past tense of rid·dle (Verb)
- Make many holes in (someone or something), esp. with gunshot.
- Fill or permeate (someone or something), esp. with something unpleasant or undesirable.
You see we sometime talk about being riddled with disease, which isn’t very wonderful at all. He also refers to being LGBT presence in another party as being “riddled with it”.
Now, Ken Livingstone is already starting to spin it back trying to say that his comments are not meant to be homophobic. Yet as Alan Duncan MP points out:
“Many of us have managed to take this issue out of politics. It’s inexcusable for him to try to reintroduce it.”
With all the major parties now working toward LGBT inclusion it is indeed wrong for Ken to dig up battles that he was fighting in the GLC back in the 80s. This is 2012 for crying out loud and taking politics down to that level and using such a derogatory term to talk about the presence of LGBT political activists or elected representatives in another party shows that sometimes Ken voice is still engaged long before his brain is.
Other candidates standing in Alphabetical Order
Siobhan Benita Independent
Carlos Cortiglia BNP
Boris Johnson Conservative
Jenny Jones Green Party
Wolfgang Moneypenny Independent
Brian Paddick Liberal Democrat
Femi Solola Independent
Lawrence Webb UKIP
UPDATE The next day the Guardian is jumping to the defense of ken quoting his past record on gay rights. While having a record of standing up for rights is one thing, the words that one uses when sometimes relaxed can be more telling. The use of riddled may seem harmless to many gay rights supporters but the word to those of us who are LGBT is offensive. As Lib Dem candidate and gay Mayoral Candidate Brian Paddick has added:
“When the Daily Mail columnist Melanie Philips said similar things about me being promoted when I was a police officer, I sued her and won.
“When he talks about homosexuality in the Conservative party as being “riddled with it like everywhere else” his remarks are clearly homophobic. He is a political opportunist who likes to be controversial in order to draw attention to himself, I think his true feelings towards LGBT people have seeped out.”