04 April, 2011
Voting reform campaigners have been accused by their opponents of removing Benjamin Zephaniah from literature distributed outside London.
In London, the campaign Yes to Fairer Votes sent out leaflets that featured the black poet alongside five white celebrities. However, on otherwise identical leaflets sent out to Sussex, Cornwall and elsewhere, Zephaniah was replaced by Blackadder star Tony Robinson.
AV opponents accused the yes campaign of being "ashamed" to have Zephaniah on their literature in certain parts of the country. However, the yes campaign hit back on Sunday, criticising what it called "increasingly desperate smears".
And how did the Yes campaign respond to this disgraceful racecardism?
"These allegations mark a new low for the no campaign and [its] increasingly desperate smears," a spokesman for the yes campaign said.
"Let's put it this way: Operation Black Vote, the Muslim Council of Britain and a host of similar groups are backing the yes campaign. The BNP is backing the no campaign. People can draw their own conclusions."
Indeed we shall.
Alternatively it might just be bleeding obvious that practically no-one outside the M25/Guardian readership would know who this poetic black colossus who strides among us might be.