Ken Livingstone: Iran hits back

Press TV, the Iranian government-funded channel which pays Ken Livingstone thousands of pounds, has deployed its very own weapon of mass destruction to defend its embattled star. Yes, it’s (drum roll) Derek Conway, Ken’s colleague and co-presenter. Could this be the same Derek Conway who was sacked as a Tory MP after paying more than £40,000 in parliamentary allowances to his student son, with “no record” of the boy having done any work for him? It surely could…

According to Mr Conway, recent media interest in Ken’s fondness for dictators’ money has nothing to do with the fact that he is, at least theoretically, seeking an important public office. It is, instead, like most other things, a Zionist plot.

“Britain’s state-funded BBC launched another attack on Press TV last night. ITV did the same,” he stormed on the channel’s phone-in programme, Comment, on Friday. “This time, they’re using Ken Livingstone as an excuse. Both channels needed to have an analyst to comment on Ken Livingstone and Press TV – so who did they use? The head of the Zionist Federation.”

Damning indeed, I think you’ll agree. The station’s audience certainly did, and a lively dialogue soon followed. What it is to have friends, eh, Ken?

Caller: [Ken] does what he thinks is right, not politically expedient… I think the problem he has, is perceived to have, with the Jewish community was used by the BBC to pull him down.

Conway: Ken doesn’t attack the Jewish community, [but] what the state of Israel is doing… and fortunately stations like Press TV can air what’s going on in Palestine, because you wouldn’t see much of it on the BBC…

Emailer: Amazing, this is getting really creepy! What is wrong with the BBC! It is so obvious that this is a plan to silence their young, upcoming rival…

Conway: What was interesting about this latest attack on Ken is that it happened in about the same timeframe. That suggested to me that it wasn’t accidental timing. I don’t believe in coincidence much…

Emailer: It makes me sick that [the BBC] keeps going on about Press TV being funded by the Iranian government. Which is worse? The Iranian government that executes a few criminals each year or the British government that has killed hundreds of thousands in its wars? I know who I’d rather work for, NOT the British government’s BBC!

Conway: The BBC should look a bit more broadly at Press TV, I don’t know what the BBC should be scared of.

Caller: The only reason the BBC’s jealous is because Press TV puts on better programmes…

Conway: What do you think Press TV does that scares the other channels so much? Do you think it’s jealousy?

Caller: Press TV has risen and has revolutionised, like the revolution in Tunisia…

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