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Labour's misleading narrative and my offer to open their mind

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

I confront the Labour party's false accusations of our candidates and extend an open hand to end prejudice. This is the link to the published letter, but the full text can be found below:

Camden New Journal: Letter to the Editor

As the Brexit Party’s candidate for Holborn & St Pancras, I was invited on 19th November to attend Westminster Kingsway College for a hustings event organised by ‘Vote For Your Future’, to encourage students to register and vote. I was happy to engage with students, discuss ideas and enjoyed the positive reception that they gave me. Unfortunately, I could not say the same thing for the Labour party’s representative, Councillor Abdul Hai - standing in for Keir Starmer- because his comments were not only un-democratic, but detrimental to the cause advocated by ‘Vote For Your Future’.

I am an immigrant from El Salvador, with a mixed ethnic background of Hispanic, Native American Indian and black African. Yet, my diversity and that of my fellow candidates in London, who range from Iranian, Chinese and orthodox Jewish; did not stop Councillor Abdul Hai from calling us “bigots” and “racists”. His false accusations towards us undermine our democracy, disengaging voters and creating false narratives and disinformation.

I pity Councillor Hai, if he indeed believes what he says, because rather than being a cynical ploy to smear his opponents his comments swell from a source of deep ignorance, which I would want resolve by inviting him to meet our diverse London candidates and MEPs.

To my relief, many of the students were not persuaded by his hate speech, because I had already demonstrated to them how politicians use language to manipulate and ‘frame’ their opponents to limit the way voters perceive them. They were already wise to his manipulation.

Councillor Hai did not stop there: He doubled down in his final speech stating that “the Brexit Party should not be part of our democratic process”! Disenfranchising the voters of the largest party at the European Elections demonstrates that Councillor Abdul Hai has no respect for our democracy and would advocate measures to ensure its destruction.

His impetuous remarks do not belong to the public office he holds and he has done a disservice to the millions of Labour voters who believe in democracy, in particular, the thousands of Labour Leave voters who reside in Camden.

The reason he wants to see the Brexit Party excluded from the ballot is because he fears the damage that our party will inflict to Labour across the country. We are the party that represents democracy and ordinary, hardworking people who believe Britain should break free from the clutches of a corrupt, inefficient and undemocratic bureaucracy called: the European Union.

I was thankful to hear students coming to me later to say how corrosive Councillor Hai’s comments were to the idea of democracy. He can’t fool the smart kids and I have a thick skin, but he should apologise to the thousands of former Labour voters in Camden who will switch to the Brexit Party.


Hector Birchwood

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