Ken Livingstone book mentions Zionism more than TfL, mentions Nazis more than the NHS

Happier days for Ken

Last week, I promised you a word analysis of Livingdeath’s 720-page monster of an autobiography, You Can’t Hold That, er sorry You Can’t Say That, now I’ve got my hands on a searchable Kindle edition (just £1.99 on Amazon – down from the hardback price of £25!)

It’s quite a revealing sign of what Ken is really interested in – and it’s not always petty old London. There are, for instance, 64 mentions of “Israel” or “Israelis” in the book and 32 mentions of “Zionists” or “Zionism.”  This compares with only 30 mentions of the words “TfL” or “Transport for London,” and only 17 mentions of “NHS” or “National Health Service.”

Ken’s famous obsession with the Third Reich is on full display – there are 23 references to “Nazis” or “Nazism” and a further 16 mentions of Hitler! The count doesn’t even include many of his best-loved Nazi outbursts (his invocation of Goebbels during the ratecapping crisis and his comparison of a reporter to a “concentration camp guard” slip under the etymological wire, his statement that English Heritage’s opposition to his skyscrapers is “the biggest threat to the economy of London since Adolf Hitler” is not in the book and Ken’s typically measured comparison of Boris Johnson to the late Fuhrer came too late for inclusion.)

You can also tell what Ken would rather not talk about. The term “bendy bus” does not appear once. Socialist Action are a bunch of Trotskyites who have played a key role in Ken’s political life, supplying most of his closest advisers, including his long-standing chief of staff – but you’d never know it from this book, which gives them just one brief and bland reference. (Andy Hosken’s definitive biography of Ken devotes the whole of one chapter, and much of two more, to the sect.)

For Ken, sorry has always been the hardest word. True to form, the S-word only appears seven times in the entire 720 pages, and is only said by Ken twice, once in the context of apologising to Robert Maxwell that he doesn’t read his newspapers. On page 219 of a memoir generally devoted to proving  how he was completely right about absolutely everything, Ken almost but not quite makes history by admitting an error (he could see, he says, why people questioned his close political alliance with a serial rapist, Gerry Healy – “but I was prepared to work with anyone in the struggle against Thatcher.”)  There is also one – just the one – admission of regret. But it does relate to something Ken did in 1971!

As I mentioned in my newspaper review of the great work, Ken is also flatteringly obsessed with me and has spent happy nights scraping the recesses of the Internet for the worst lies he can find about the evil Gilligan. He is clearly an avid reader of this blog – even claiming the Telegraph has employed me especially to hound him (alas, no, Ken – I’m afraid you’re not quite that important to us.)  The poor man mentions me 52 times, which is only two times less than he mentions his own wife…

Here’s a tally of selected keywords (mentions in text only, excluding index):

Jew/ Jews/ Jewish 80

Israel/ Israeli 64

Racism/ racist 43

Wadley [Veronica Wadley, former editor of the Evening Standard] 33

Zionist/ Zionists/ Zionism  32

Transport for London/ TfL 30

Nazi/ Nazis/ Nazism 23

NHS/ National Health Service 17

Hitler 16

Lee Jasper 16

Routemaster 16

Sorry 7

Socialist Action 1

Bendy bus 0

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