Lib Dem Peer Defends Baroness Tonge.
Sometimes when professional politicians say things you are often left thinking to yourself “Hang on, what’s going on here?”
I suppose that might have been a moderate reaction in this instance, nevertheless it seems to me that the Liberal Democrats really haven’t got a handle on the whole Baroness Tonge and the Offal libel issue.
The Lib Dems clearly don’t appreciate the sensitivity or depth of this issue.
Granted, it is not terribly complicated, but as with many politicos I don’t think the Lib Dems are really interested and merely want to batten down the hatches, hoping to weather any political storm over Tonge’s repugnant and racist views.
Such an attitude would be incredibly misplaced and stupid, however, that’s how it comes over, as the JC reports:
“Lord Wallace, who is a LibDem spokesman on international affairs, told the Board: “She answered a deliberately provocative question from the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle… I think Jenny Tonge is over-emotional, mistaken.
“She did not say that body parts had been taken in Haiti…She was trapped by a question from the Jewish Chronicle which she should have known better than to answer.”
Baroness Tonge was in fact contacted by a JC reporter, by email, for her reaction to a news story in the Palestine Telegraph, an online journal based in Gaza of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.
In the Question and Answer session, Lord Wallace continued his defence of Baroness Tonge: “I disagree her with on a whole host of things but I would defend her rather over-emotional approach to the rights of the Palestinians and her deep commitment to doing something about Gaza.” He then explained that “the reason why we resist expelling her from the party is that we do sadly find the current Likud Party very intolerant of all criticism”.
Lord Wallace said that the “collective punishment of the Gaza is not acceptable”; that he had met some members of Hamas willing “to accept the legitimacy of Israel”: and that as a democracy Israel should be held to higher standards than “uncivilised countries in the Third World”. “
After all she is a professional politician, highly educated and in full command of her own words. She was the one that tacitly gave credence to the Offal libel, and for that she should have been expelled from the Liberal Democrats, without a murmur.
However, she wasn’t and that’s why people are annoyed at the insensitive Lib Dems.