Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Dog-whistle" Campaign Seems To Succeed

At the moment our leaders are terribly worried that political parties may gain votes by appealing to the worst instincts in voters - those of hatred for some "other", usually of a different ethnic group.

Sadly, these fears aren't completely groundless.

There was also a by election in Redbridge yesterday, which the Liberal Democrats won. Their literature concentrated on Redbridge Council’s foreign policy and used some pretty unpleasant pictures of Gaza. Interestingly they broke a cardinal rule by naming an opponent, just one - the Leader of the Council, Cllr Alan Weinberg.

I am also told from friends campaigning in the ward, that there were people knocking on doors, speaking of Gaza and mentioning what Conservative Cllr Weinberg and the Labour Foreign Secretary have in common - which was why their respective parties were not campaigning on the council’s foreign policy.
The Lib Dems have plenty of previous when it comes to this sort of thing - I remember they campaigned in those bits of Brum with large Muslim populations a few years back using pictures from Abu Ghraib. But to be fair to them, I don't think they're institutionally anti-semitic. They're just giving the voters what they want, as they always try to do.

And what's all this about Redbridge Council having a foreign policy ?

This is another one of those stories that make me think we may in a few years (given time for another million or so new young names on the electoral roll) be in a situation where one community has a veto on on our foreign policy - and particularly on our relationship with Israel.

As I've said before, if it's all a conspiracy, said conspirators are making a pretty poor fist of it. Mr Cock-up is no respecter of ethnic origins - or of intelligence either.

(comments off for the usual reasons)