Reacting to bigotry

January 31, 2013

With depressing regularity, Holocaust Memorial Day seems to provide an annual excuse for fools the world over to parade their prejudice. And there appear to be few bigger than the LibDem MP, David Ward. Offered any number of opportunities to rein back from his accusation that "the Jews" are collectively guilty of daily atrocities that compare with the Shoah, he went even further.

Mr Ward, who seems to be a common or garden bigot, deserves to return to his previous obscurity. But there is an instructive contrast with this week's second imbroglio, over the Sunday Times' Gerald Scarfe cartoon. Mr Scarfe is no idiot and it stretches credibility that he was unaware of the resonances of his image. Be that as it may, the acting editor of the paper responded exactly as one would have wanted in the circumstances. He took the reaction on board, held up his hands to a "terrible mistake" and apologised unreservedly.

Where Mr Ivens showed contrition and deserves credit for his response, Mr Ward's reaction to the gentle - too gentle - chiding by the LibDem chief whip deserves nothing more than the ongoing contempt of anyone who opposes bigotry.

Last updated: 4:45pm, January 31 2013