The Political Scrapbook blog draws our attention to a fake election leaflet – supposedly put out by the Liberal Democrats – which outlines their policy, supposedly, on gay and lesbian issues:
The giveaway isn’t that this leaflet grossly misrepresents the LibDems as a pro-gay party – they unashamedly are – it is that, as Political Scrapbook notes, it’s as if their policy has been channeled through the Daily Mail, noting that the stunt was “clearly an attempt to inflame anti-gay sentiment in the largely Muslim Spinney Hills area.” Of course it was.
This is not the first time this tactic has been used. A similar incident happened in the 2004 by-election in Leicester South – which readers may recall was contested by Yvonne Ridley for Respect. In yet another election the so-called “Peoples Justice Part” – part of the Respect Coalition – put out a leaflet in a majority-Muslim part of Birmingham stating:
“Another Lib Dem policy not in favour of the British Muslim community is the teaching of gay sex education to your children at a very young age. The LibDems are also in favour of equal rights for gays and lesbians. Do you want this?”
After the “Gay Free Zone” stickers targeted several areas, including Tower Hamlets and Hackney in London, it seems drafting in homophobia in an attempt to turn Muslim voters away from mainstream parties is a strategy we’ll be seeing more and more.
But who is responsible?