| ||Douglas Murray blogs on the Telegraph on tactics used by political parties and the use made by candidates of targeted leaflets to woo votes from particular constituencies. |
The leaflet in question is one produced by the Conservative challenger in Jack Straw’s constituency of Blackburn, Michael Law-Riding, which took issue with the Labour party’s record on conflicts abroad, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the Gaza conflict of Dec 2008 – Jan 2009. Law-Riding sought to portray the Tories as the better option for Muslims in Blackburn – a tactic that failed given the 1.1% swing from the Tories to Labour.Murray is right to question the manipulation of voters by candidates eager to present themselves as your new best friend but while Murray criticizes Law-Riding for his wooing of the ‘Muslim vote’ in Blackburn, he overlooks completely the work of Conservative Central Office itself in an advert placed in the Jewish Chronicle the week before the general election.
If Murray’s lament is the exploitation of voters by candidates and parties at election time and the persistence of an ‘identity-group era of politics’, why single out Muslims as sole beneficiaries of sly party tactics? Clues in Murray’s 2006 rant ‘What Are We To Do With Islam?’.
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