BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Programmes: World at One: Programme highlights  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Programme highlights Monday, 23 April, 2001, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Will race row gag political debate?
cook
Robin Cook makes chicken tikka massala speech

The political row over race was lent a new twist today by the news that Conservatives in Kent have placed an advertisement in a local newspaper drawing attention to the issue of asylum-seekers.

The advertisement, in the Folkestone Herald, asks the question - 'What matters most to you?', with the word 'most' underlined.

And in bold type it goes on - 'Bogus Asylum Seekers?'


Nobody has been able to identify any word which is inflammatory or which would incite racial hatred

Michael Howard, Conservative MP

The answer to its own question reads: 'Conservatives reduced the number before. We will do so again.'

The Conservatives were quickly rounded upon for inflaming public fears over asylum.

One human rights campaigner claimed the words were likely to invite hatred, while the Liberal Democrats accused the party of expressing a "nasty sentiment."

The controversial CPE compact

But Michael Howard MP, whose constituency party placed the advertisement, defended the move.

The failure of the government, he said, to deal with the problem of illegal immigration through the euro tunnel was a "legitimate matter of public debate" which demanded proper scrutiny.


The language plays on those who want to raise the race card

Dr Howard Stoate, Labour MP

The matter has raised the question of whether it will be possible to discuss public policy on asylum-seekers - or any other issue in which race could be an issue - during the forthcoming election campaign?

We brought three politicians together from Kent, the Folkestone and Hythe MP Michael Howard, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Folkestone, Peter Carroll, and Labour's, Dr Howard Stoate, MP for Dartford.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem candidates discuss
Should people object to politicians rasing constituents' concerns where race is a factor?
Links to more Programme highlights stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Programme highlights stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes