He’s an artful one, Sadiq Khan. Labour’s London mayoral candidate told the Observer: “I accept that the comments that Ken Livingstone has made make it more difficult for Londoners of Jewish faith to feel that the Labour Party is a place for them, and I will carry on doing what I have always been doing, which is to speak for everyone.” Mr Khan also said, although he is well ahead in the polls: “This is a neck-and-neck race. It is all about turnout.”
It’s worth paying exact attention to these words. First, Mr Khan blames everything on Mr Livingstone, not on any wider problem of Labour anti-Semitism.
Second, he paints himself as the moderate. Third, he assumes that only voters “of Jewish faith” will be put off, and says nothing to welcome Jewish voters. He speaks as if the row were a rather obscure subject which need not trouble other voters. If he can narrow it down to practising Jews with votes in London, he is talking about not much more than 100,000 people, most of whose votes he probably had not got anyway.
The Muslim population of London, however, is more than a million people. By emphasising that Jews might be upset, and then emphasising the importance of turnout, he is blowing a dog-whistle for Muslim voters.
Read the rest of Charles Moore’s piece here.