The Mayor of London

A reader writes:

"What you say about Mayor Ken Livingstone is only half the truth. It's pretty ridiculous that he should be suspended for four weeks and by a sub-committee of the unelected Standards Board for England and certainly the system needs reforming; for example, the elected Greater London Assembly could rule on the conduct of the Mayor. But Livingstone's conduct certainly deserves censure. What he said was boorish and aggressive - in virtually any other walk of life something would've been said to him. Imagine an office worker calling a stranger a "concentration camp guard" and his manager not having at least a word with him.  Furthermore, Livingstone seems all in favour of free speech but not, apparently, in favour of journalists being able to do their job without a hail of verbal abuse."

I don't disagree with any of that. The only thing I objected to is the undemocratic way in which a democratically elected mayor was suspended for saying offensive things. My objection is particularly apposite now. In the West, we cannot berate Muslims for not tolerating blasphemy of their faith if we turn around and then punish free speech which offends our own sensibilities. and the way in which parts of the Jewish community in Britain have embraced this double standard does them no credit. Much of this began with the pernicious notion of "hate crimes," one of the worst concoctions of the p.c. left, designed to police people's thoughts in exactly the same way that the mullahs do. We are learning that once you create exemptions for free speech, it comes back to bite you. We should repeal these idiotic laws. They are an insult to our freedom.