A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, April 04, 2011

Black poet wiped from "Yes to AV" leaflet!

Alternative Poet not Alternative Vote
Those on the liberal side of politics sometimes get a bit too illiberal for my liking. When it comes to fighting elections, and that includes referendums, they can become the best there is in hypocritical behaviour. I well remember a Pakistani friend of mine, who had obediently joined the Labour Party on his arrival in the UK. He soon found out that they could be a nasty racist bunch if they wanted to be. He left them to join the Liberals (as they were then) and soon found they wanted him to be a local council candidate. In real life my friend was relatively light skinned. However, when the local Liberal agent saw the photos of the candidates he asked my friend "Couldn't you tone it down a bit?" implying that the photo was not conveying a likeness he liked. Goodbye to the Liberals! I first met my friend when he had been a Tory for a couple of years. Whilst there are some difficult types in the Conservative Party, nobody ever said a word, at least not in my hearing or his. He thoroughly enjoyed being a Conservative and may well be one still.

I mention this as today I read that the Yes Campaign for the Alternative Vote system (alternative as in alternative comedy?) has been accused of "airbrushing" black poet Benjamin Zephaniah out of leaflets sent to parts of the country. Apparently he was OK for London but not for Cornwall. Cornwall got Tony Robinson gawking at them. When confronted by this outrage a Yes Campaign spokesman said, "These allegations mark a new low for the 'No' campaign and their increasingly desperate smears. Let's put it this way, Operation Black Vote, the Muslim Council of Britain and a host of similar groups are backing the 'Yes' campaign. The BNP are backing the 'No' campaign. People can draw their own conclusions."

Well, I've drawn the conclusion that they DID think about this and that they DID decide that Zephaniah's face should be removed. Cynical in the extreme. Also, I doubt the spokesman passed the idea with the "host of similar groups". "Mind if we get rid of the black guy? He won't go down well in the West Country, you know".


And as for the BNP, well, this is a twisted remark. They are against AV but PRO the regional list system. Hardly enthusiastic supporters of the No campaign. Regional lists are as undemocratic as the alternative vote.

I say "Say No to the Yes Campaign" as they are what they are!


This a lie, pure and simple. If the Yes campaign were being racist as you suggest, then they would not have included Benjamin Zephaniah in any leaflets at all. You know this perfectly well.

As a matter of record, I didn't suggest they were being racist, just politically cynical. Nobody has answered the question as to why the leaflets were different. The people involved just issued a smokescreen.

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