Post comment: Labour leaflet is just election 'cheap trick'
THE Nottingham Labour Party has made a severe error of judgement.
The party has distributed a leaflet claiming a "yes" vote in next week's referendum on a directly elected mayor could open the door to "racists" running the city.
The claim is disingenuous, divisive and could scare people from ethnic minorities into voting "no" with Labour.
The party has already attracted criticism for what some people see as a negative campaign. The party's figure of a £1 million cost of a mayor has been disputed. And the Conservatives and the independent mayor of Mansfield, Tony Egginton, have claimed they have been misquoted and misrepresented in Labour leaflets. But this is far more serious.
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Labour claims 'RACISTS WANT A...MAYOR' suggesting that a "yes" vote would give the BNP and the English Defence League a chance to take control.
But the claim does not bear scrutiny.
The BNP have not done well in securing votes in Nottingham. There is no reason to assume they will harness a large body of support in a vote for a mayor. The EDL have marched in this city but there is no evidence that they have shown interest in the referendum here.
Furthermore, the voting system in a mayoral election would include second preferences making it more difficult for a marginal candidate to win.
We are left with the distinct impression that rather than this being a genuine attempt to confront a bid for power from right wing politicians in Nottingham, it is a cheap trick to boost support for Labour's campaign. While this cynical leaflet may look like a vote winner to party activists, it is actually irresponsible and it will increase fear unnecessarily in some communities. Labour would be better advised to focus on the issues that matter in this referendum.