Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Diary of a Scandal

The conventional view is that Pinter made it big time and on the whole it is difficult to argue with that. The fact of the matter is that Livingstone's article in last week's JC mentions just one person by name whom Ken tells us he likes and respects in equal measure. Tell me who your friends are... comes to mind which is perhaps why it was not quite the local topic of conversation last Shabbos. There is however no principle that the represented must know what is being said and done in their name and so let's get back on topic.

Rather than blow Pinter's trumpet which he is more than capable of doing on his own perhaps we should examine his role in all of this and once again ask what's in it for him. Let us take a closer look at the events of the last weeks and see how our liked and respected hero carried out his public duties as representative of the downtrodden of Stamford Hill.

12 February 2012: Ken Livingstone attends Side-by-Side dinner at the behest of Pinter. Ken's presence was not pre-announced on the invitations and begging letters for the brochure. Had it been it may have made a significant difference to the amount raised.

15 March 2012: The JC reports on a dinner attended by Ken and Jewish Labour supporters. 'Sources' briefed the paper and though I don't know who those sources are of the 25 people reportedly present only Pinter is at this stage mentioned by name. Although we were told that the discussions were off the record the report did tell us what Pinter asked for and what he didn't get. Pinter also gave a statement to the paper that he was ‘disappointed’ that Ken was given an opportunity to make amends but didn't take it. Hamodia, a large part of whose readership Pinter purportedly represents and where he is the resident spinner, is silent on the issue.

23 March 2012: The JC reports on Ken's 'rich Jews' comment that since the Jewish community was rich they were unlikely to vote for him. The 'sources' who briefed the JC the week earlier had seen fit to provide quite a bit of detail of what went between Pinter and Ken but not this. The comments were made towards the end and it's possible that Pinter was at that stage bentshing from a siddur (did they serve beer and sandwiches?). The same issue of the JC also reported on a letter to Ed Miliband by some of the attendees complaining of Ken's comments. Pinter did not sign the letter. Notably, the letter is signed by Rabbi Danny Rich who is the chief executive of Liberal Judaism in the UK and who also attended. It appears 'sharing a platform' is not quite the cardinal sin we've always been told it is.

Dan Rickman, another attendee, writes an article that Ken 'is part of the problem not part of the solution.' Jonathan Freedland, who was also at the dinner, wrote in the Guardian that he can't bring himself to back Ken. Nothing from Pinter, mind you, and nothing in Hamodia either.

29 March 2012: We finally get Ken's recantation mentioning three times the man who seems to have been least offended but who perhaps has most to offer. The JC also reports that Ken said at the start of the dinner that he is happy for it to be on the record and so whoever was briefing the paper on week 1 was either misinformed or misleading. Hamodia has finally woken up with a headline on page 5 about Ken having been 'misinterpreted' followed by a report on his 'alleged' comments. Can't they ask what was actually said?

Now that's out of the way let's get back to the Ken and Pinter lie-in. Ken is a seasoned politician and while he may have felt that he went too far this time and perhaps genuinely regretted some of his more juicy expressions he also chose his words carefully in his apology. Both for what he apologised for and to whom he apologised.

To Ken and Pinter we Stamford Hillers are fodder as the poor and not particularly zionist Jews. Ken may not give much of a monkey for them richies up north west but we paupers are different. If there are votes to be garnered here and Pinter is our saviour and protector then appeasing him must have been high on his agenda. Ken also has no need to offend our types in order to appeal to some of his other constituencies. Ken even tells us that Labour is the preferred party in North London, note the lack of 'West', though nobody's bothered telling him that it really depends whether it happens to be a Chareidi candidate.

Compare however the following: To the Jews it is "If I am elected my policy will not be to promote one faith or community over another… but to promote interfaith and inter-community dialogue." Whereas at the Finsbury Park mosque it was a pledge to make London a beacon for the Prophet's message and "make your life a bit easier financially.” Not so much a promotion of one faith as an abandonment of all others. As Philip Collins wrote in The Times, 'I don't want a mayor who pits 1m Muslims against 200,000 Jews.'

Enough of Ken though and let's now turn to Pinter. The dinner was by all accounts a meeting of Labour party supporters and Pinter did start his political life in Hackney Council when the hard left were in control and Ken was running London in his first incarnation at the GLC.

Like the best socialists he stands for the poor and downtrodden by ensuring they remain that way and don't dare rise above their station. He is the liberal who has elevated school exclusions into an art form and admissions into a misnomer. He is the progressive at whose school girls are handed fliers requesting them to undertake to stand aside and let men pass. From him you get not equal opportunities but equal opportunism where one family just happens to be more equal than others. The socialists may believe in nationalisation but he is one who has privatised in all but name a publicly funded school.

He is the school principal who prefers to leave 14% of the school budget unspent. The advocate of the poor who won't feed their offspring school dinners. The protector of the impoverished who makes the mere 4% of free school meal claimants queue demeaningly at the local bakery to exchange their vouchers. The anti-poverty campaigner who charges the unwashed £250 to retrieve helium balloons from the ceiling. He is so slippery he cannot even decide what his name ought to be switching from Abraham to Avrohom according to its ethnic political value. We have heard how Ken funnels his earnings and it's time we get some information on the school hall income and how much that generates.

Ken and Pinter are birds of a feather shockling together. Ken needs the votes Pinter can supposedly provide and Pinter needs the cover of people like Ken to continue the hegemony of himself, the missus, kids, brother, nephews, nieces and shortly no doubt grandsons and daughters too. They are next of kin and deserve no less. True to Labour's ideals he will tell us plebs what is best for us and we'll bloody well accept it on pain of having our sons and daughters walk the streets. Ken is loyal to his comrades and if it means looking aside over some tiny local school it’s only a small price to pay.

But as another Abraham said, You can't fool all the people all the time.


Anonymous said...

what do you want pinter (avrumie to us, a name you forgot) to do. Ken will likely win the election by offering cheaper fares. Pinter will need him then. Of all the thousands of labour councillors it seems ken knows pinter the best. The YHS is sweating at the moment, their rich patrons have now all got their own schools and their boys school has been a disgrace for a long time. You either send to pardes house like I did or to a chasidish school. No room for the YHS anymore. So he has to clutch at any straw he can get hold of. He ought to give up the boys school which he and his family were never capable of running and concentrate (no not him his wife) on the girls school.

IfYouTickleUs said...

The election is far from settled with Boris and Ken neck and neck and someone who represents himself as a leader should remain above the fray. Anyway, can you name one thing we as a community had in 8 years of Ken which we did not have in the last 4 years. Our supposed voting power in Hackney seems to have little effect locally and Diane Abbott make little effort to court our vote.

I wouldn't describe a school with a budget surplus as sweating. But I'll agree with you that he ought to give up on running schools especially public ones though he'll then really have no one to speak for.

Anonymous said...

thanks for bringing this massive scandal to our attention. Any chance you could put this into a pie chart? Thanks for wasting a few minutes of my life.

Anonymous said...

If people believe Ken on the fares then i think the election is settled. Even if you had nothing in the past there is always hope and it does no harm to 'chanfe' him. Dayan Abbot has helped us gain the 'taimoners' what would we do without them if they had gone to Israel. What about all the satmar alter bachurim, at least they can have someone. You dont think the Argentina or now the Taimon sephardi lark was done to help them. Satmar at least after ruining their bochurim dont leave them in the lurch and provide for them.
I havent seen their accounts but I can assure you they are sweating like never before. A girl was asked to bring money for some activity she replied when my father gets paid then I will bring it.
It stands to reason, which normal father would send his son to the boys school.

Anonymous said...

Besides for all the other inaccuracies. Avromi Pinter is not involved in the day to day running of the boy school and definitely not the financial side. Sorry to let the air out ;)

Also he would not be the one charging to remove balloons as the hall is leased to the simchas nesuin, but you knew that. Shame you cannot be honest.

Jonathan Hyde said...

I used to enjoy visiting the blog to get a peek what was going on in the Stamford Hill community. As of late it is turning more and more into a personal hate blog. That's a shame, time to get back on track.

Happy Passover to all.

Anonymous said...

Hamodia page 2. Pro Ken Pinter

Anonymous said...

Time to change ur blog description to: A journey of obsession with the Pinters. It is mindboggling that, a clearly very intelligent individual, could be so engrossed in such mindless jealousy fueled hatefulness with no other outcome than a chilul hashem (though not much of an issue to an atheist). May hKB'H repay you in kind. Happy pesach all.

simcha said...

torJust picked up the heimishe news sheet which contains adverts telling us how to vote Conservative and not mentioning any of the other parties. It seems clear that we are being led to think that the frum community is endorsing one party only and/or that all observant Jews ought to vote Tory. If the news sheet wants to get involved in politics it should run adverts from all parties standing including the Liberal Democrat and Green parties.

Anonymous said...

I am sure they would if they paid for it. These are paid advertisements not endorsed by Pinter or any other community leader.