If you are going to stand for election a clear message and a winning cause will always curry favour. But insulting your voters is not a winning strategy.
The Liberal Democrat conference was overshadowed by a racism row after one of its candidates claimed people in North Devon voted to leave because it didn’t have a “lot of ethnic minorities”.
Kirsten Johnson, the Lib Dem candidate for North Devon, told BBC Radio 4: “Demographically its 98 per cent white, people aren’t exposed to people from other countries, they don’t travel a lot and I think there is a slight disconnect that North Devon being isolated, being rural and low income perhaps hasn’t appreciated the advantages of being in the European Union.”
Transcript of BBC Radio 4, The World This Weekend, below
Ross Hawkins (Presenter): Communicating an anti-Brexit policy in Leave seats will be hard, and that was rather borne out when I asked the Lib Dem candidate [for North Devon], Kirsten Johnson, about the enthusiasm for leaving the EU there.
Kirsten Johnson: Um, demographically it’s 98% white, we don’t have a lot of ethnic minorities living in North Devon. People aren’t exposed to people from other countries. Um, they don’t travel a lot, and so I think there is a slight disconnect that North Devon being isolated and being rural and being low income perhaps hasn’t appreciated the advantages of being in the European Union.
Listen: Lib Dem candidate’s excruciating Brexit interview
RH: What’s the number of ethnic minority voters got to do with that?
KJ: Um (pause)….I didn’t mean to mean that it has anything to do with it at all. Just saying that when I speak to people I am hearing comments to me….when it….it refers to race. (Pause). You’ve got….you’ve got me in a corner here.
KJ: I think my concern is the rise of hate crimes and the rise of people (pause)…..not being able to accept otherness, and I saw that translated when it comes to some of the Euro-scepticism that I was hearing on the doorstep.
RH: So do you link Leave voters to hate crime?
KJ: No I do not link all Leave voters to hate crime, not at all, I need to make that absolutely clear. I’m just saying that it’s a complex view when it comes to who voted Leave, there’s lots of reasons people voted Leave.
RH: What’s the connection between voting Leave & wanting to be out of the European Union, and hate crime?
KJ: (Pause). I’m saying that because of the, um….., (silence for 5 seconds).
RH: There she trailed off, and I’m not sure I ever did really understand her point.
Lib Dems vote to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit as official policy
Liberal Democrat members have officially endorsed revoking Article 50 without a referendum if leader Jo Swinson wins power at the next general election.
In a major shift for the unashamedly pro-EU party, activists backed the inclusion of the new policy of cancelling Brexit altogether in the Lib Dems’ next manifesto for government.
The policy move comes as Sam Gyimah – a former Conservative leadership contender – defected to the Lib Dems at the party’s conference opening rally in Bournemouth on Saturday evening, in a major coup for the new leader.
Ms Swinson claimed that the new position was “very clear”, adding: “If the Liberal Democrats win a majority at the next election, if the party put into government is a stop-Brexit party, then stopping Brexit is exactly what they will get.”
However the Lib Dems are well known for the duplicity and misleading the public. It would not be the first time a Liberal democrat have campaigned for a referendum and not liking the result chose to ignore it. But what is clear is the Lib Dems along with picking up all the political strays should now be seriously thinking of dropping Democrat from its name. Liberal seems a far stretch with its adoption of bigots and racist from other Parties too.
The Lib Dems Previously called for a “real referendum” in 2008 and denouncing Labour and the Tories for not doing the same. The leaflet declared:
It’s been over thirty years since the British people last had a vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
That’s why the Liberal Democrats want a real referendum on Europe. Only a real referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU will let the people decide our country’s future.
The Lib Dems should add to any future referendum:
if we don’t like the result then BOLLOX