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30 January 2007

The ire of Livingstone’s spindoctor

How Bright's blog has put Livingstone in a spin

By Martin Bright

A nasty little email from Ken Livingstone’s main spinner Joy Johnson to my editor:

—–Original Message—–

From: Joy Johnson

Sent: 30 January 2007 14:03

To: john kampfner

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Subject: FW: Martin Bright on Civilisations conference.

John

Is this really what your political editor thinks of the Mayor of London and his administration? This was a serious conference – I know blogs are not meant to be that serious but as trivial as this?

… and this is my response:

Joy

I’ve just been forwarded your note to John.

The conference was a disgrace. It was a set-up for panellists who didn’t parrot the Ken line on radical Islam. It was genuinely discourteous to people who happened to dissent, who had given up their Saturdays to be shouted at and insulted for over an hour. The chairing of my session was miserable.
Unlike just about everything I have been asked to talk at for free including Islamic groups, I was not so much as thanked for my appearance let alone dropped a note (which is what reputable organisations such as the Fabians and the Social Market Foundation always do). The panel I was on (including the chair) were all opposed to my position, which does not make for an informed and balanced debate. The same was true of several other panels.

The conference was a vastly expensive exercise in right-wing Islamist propaganda. I think it was shameful that the people of London had to pay for this. It was a total sham.

In future why not email me direct or comment directly on my blog.

Martin

And this is her measured reaction:

From: Joy Johnson
Sent: 30 January 2007 15:15
To: Martin Bright
Subject: RE:

I will email who I like.

Then a few minutes later:

From: Joy Johnson
Sent: 30 January 2007 15:35
To: Martin Bright
Subject: RE:

You can take issue with the conference the personal abuse was unnecessary.