Monday, 4 April 2011

Did Yes to AV airbrush out a black poet?

Er, no.

The Telegraph and the Mail are claiming that a black poet was airbrushed out of Yes to AV literature for the west country.

Predictably, this is a load of bollocks.

Benjamin Zephaniah didn't feature in leaflets sent to the west country - but only because the leaflets used in each area are different. In this case, Benjamin Zephaniah was left out in favour of Tony Robinson. This is because Tony Robinson comes from the west country and Benjamin Zephaniah does not.

If you want any further indication of whether Yes to Fairer Votes is racist or not, just read this extract from the Telegraph article:
A spokesman for the "Yes" campaign said: "We have a number of endorsers and we vary the endorsers we use on our leaflets. 
If the No campaign want to accuse us of racism on the day that Kriss Akabusi launches our campaign, that is up to them. Who are Operation Black Vote and the Muslim Council of Britain backing? The Yes campaign."
Enough said.


As the Waugh room reports, Zephaniah wasn't airbrushed out of leaflets outside of London, rather Robinson was the original figure on the leaflet but was replaced by Zephaniah for leaflets for London.

Here's what Zephaniah himself had to say:

“These allegations are preposterous. I am happy for the ‘Yes’ campaign to use my endorsement as they see fit. I am happy for them to use it in London, and as I understand it, in a nationwide letter. “Let’s talk about the real issue – how we renew our democracy. I want democratic change and that is why I am voting ‘yes’ on May 5."


  1. The airbrushing out was actually airbrushing in.

  2. Tony Robinson is surely from Woodford, north-east London...


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