Liberal Democratism? No Thanks!

West Lancashire doesn’t see much liberal democratism

which is supposedly a doctrine of or belief in social equality or the right of all people to participate equally in politics. The nearest we got to it was Rosie Cooper, our current MP (Labour) whose political history includes being a Liberal Democrat from 1988 to 1999.

A ward member in Broadgreen and then Allerton, she was a Liberal, then a Liberal Democrat, and served as Lord Mayor in 1992-1993. In 1999 she switched her allegiance to Labour and a year later she stepped down from the council. She is an honorary alderman of Liverpool City.

What she would make of the story below is anyone’s guess, as a Liberal Democrat candidate exposed what nasty views they hold.

Statement from Peter Heaton-Jones MP (Conservative, North Devon)

“The Liberal Democrat candidate for North Devon should make an immediate and unreserved apology to local people following her disgraceful comments on BBC Radio 4 this lunchtime. Explaining support for Brexit in North Devon by saying ‘it’s 98% white’ and ‘they don’t travel a lot’ is highly offensive. She must withdraw those remarks immediately.

“The Lib Dem candidate also said ‘I do not link all leave voters to hate crime’, and even talked about race as another factor. This is appalling and unacceptable.

“When pressed to defend her remarks, she could only say, ‘you’ve got me in a corner here’, and later trailed off into silence. The Lib Dem candidate should break that silence only to apologise for the patronising and inflammatory comments in this extraordinary outburst.

“Many people will be extremely offended by the suggestion that they support Brexit because they’re white and don’t get out much, or that there’s a link between some Leave voters and hate crime. I’m sure North Devonians will reflect on this carefully when judging the Lib Dem candidate’s suitability to represent our area at the next general election”.

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.

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.

RH: I don’t understand what the relevance of that point is?

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.

She claims in her election publicity that “Kirsten is very much at home amongst the North Devon community”.

Somewhere a village has lost its idiot, which, on the basis of what she is and says, they will be extremely happy about?

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