Anorak News | The Lost Sheep

The Lost Sheep

by | 17th, December 2003

‘“THERE shall be more joy in Heaven over one sinner that repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)

”I’ll be painting the town red”

Don’t worry – we haven’t had a Damascene conversion overnight and you haven’t logged onto the wrong website.

We are just sharing in the public rejoicing at the news that “Red (Light)” Ken Livingstone is to be readmitted into the Labour party.

Prime Minister Tony Blair – no doubt mindful of the parable of the lost sheep – is the driving force behind the move, which the Telegraph variously calls “a high-risk strategy” and “a calculated gamble”.

But not all the righteous persons are happy about the repentance of this particular sinner.

The Guardian says senior party figures, such as John Prescott and Gordon Brown, remain resolutely opposed to Livingstone’s rehabilitation.

The deputy prime minister has apparently warned colleagues (or comrades, as they so touchingly used to be called) not to assume that it is “a done deal”.

Whatever its reservations about the London mayor, the Guardian concludes that the decision to readmit him is the correct one, even suggesting that the Labour party needs Livingstone rather more than he needs them.

“The rest of us, though, need the two of them back together,” it says, “not just for London’s sake, but the sake of centre-left politics more generally.”

The Telegraph, by contrast, says the decision smacks of desperation and wonders what will happen if Livingstone fails to get re-elected, despite having Labour’s endorsement.

“Perhaps even more worrying for Labour,” it says, “is what Mr Livingstone might be like if he wins.

“Red Ken has been a thorn in the side of successive Labour leaderships for as long as anyone can remember.”

Yes, but for a Prime Minister who is at home wearing a whole crown of thorns, a small prick like Livingstone will make little difference.’

Posted: 17th, December 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink