Andrew Castle is Leading Britain's Conversation.
29 April 2016, 10:52
This is James O'Brien's brilliant explanation of what led Ken Livingstone to say such "offensive" things about Hitler.
Yesterday, Mr Livingstone was suspended from the Labour Party after being accused of anti-semitic statements about how Hitler was a Zionist who wanted to create an Israeli state.
It came to a head shortly afterwards during an interview on LBC, when he was harangued live on air by Labour MP John Mann, who called him a "disgusting racist".
James insisted that Ken is not a racist, so what led him to say such offensive things? This explanation is terrific.
"The offense was epic.
"Stone-cold stupid, nasty, ignorant, probably bigoted, possibly racist.
"For the record, I don't believe Ken Livingstone is a racist man. But I do believe he has been, if you like, manipulated. He has allowed himself to be turned into a caricature of his own original position and I know how that happened.
"It's time for some clarity.
"They key word here is not racism. The key word is radicalisation.
"Someone who has been radicalised believes that the purity and power of their cause, justifies every possible action.
"You get that on both sides of the Israel-Palestine debate.
"When the radicalised supporters of Israel turn their fire upon a critic of Israel, the critics of Israel don't know where to turn.
"Ken Livingstone doesn't know where to turn."
Continuing his reaction to the storm surrounding Ken, who'll speak exclusively to LBC tomorrow morning at 10am, James analysed where Livingstone goes from here.
"It leaves Ken Livingstone in the political wilderness.
"Because that frustration he feels, at the radicalised side of this debate, the fact that he will be exposed daily to the world view that says that anything, anything at all, wherever the bombs fall, however the justice is laid out...it's all justified.
"Ken Livingstone, daily, gets exposed to that world view.
"And he has allowed his frustration and his disgust at it to completely corrupt his conscience."