Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Doncaster Lib Dems at centre of 'BNP language' storm

. I noticed this story on Iain Dale's Diary and I have to say it caused a little concern to say the least. Further investigation finds the story also reported in The Star (local, not national) newspaper;

"A LIBERAL Democrat leaflet distributed in South Yorkshire used BNP-style language to highlight that a Labour councillor is a "non-British citizen", an MP has claimed.

A furious political row has broken out following the distribution of a Lib Dem leaflet, which includes an attack on Danish-born Doncaster councillor Eva Hughes.

The leaflet states how: "Labour selected this non-British citizen who cannot vote in general elections.""

Lord Rennard is quoted later on in the article as saying;

"The leaflet in question was self-evidently in no way xenophobic; instead it was a perfectly legitimate attack on the recent conduct in office of a Labour councillor."

It may well be that the leaflet does go on to criticise specific conduct but there is no doubt in that snippet that it is making an issue of the councillors ethnic origin and the fact that they 'cannot even vote in general elections'. I wouldn't see it as necessarily xenophobic but it does put the issue of race 'on the table' when it really shouldn't be because it has no bearing on somebodies conduct or ability to be a councillor. More worrying is a reply to the article which says;

"I have notice a lot of grafiti since this leaflet saying "Danes Out"".

Maybe there is a Doncaster Lib Demmer among readers of this blog who would like to explain the context of this leaflet and particularly the emphasis given to the 'non-Britishness' of the councillor in question and how this relates to their conduct in any way, shape or form.

2 comments:

thomas said...

Is Danish an ethnicity? Maybe Viking... wonder if Sandy Togsvik will be standing?

Darrell G said...

Yes i would say Viking is...the point is of all this that we have to be careful when we are campaigning against the BNP...

The best, most charitable, interpretation of the local party in this case is that they were ill-advised; the worst is that it was opportunistic in a truly horrible way...it's also bad form of our party leadership to defend what is at best rather crass behaviour...

The racial background of this councillor should never even have figured in the literature because it clearly has no impact on her ability to do her job...by all means say shes incapable and back it up but dont bring race into it...

Incidentally, the comments on Iain Dales Diary also lead me to believe it maybe factually incorrect that she 'can't vote in the general election'....