Britain’s social fabric rests on a strong bedrock of democratic political discussion. The freedom to debate and argue the issues of the day, great and small, gives lasting strength to our elected institutions.
That bedrock is threatened by those who abuse open debate and stir up prejudice and fear. Such activities make individuals the targets of violence and abuse. They obscure the real issues at stake, sowing mistrust and misunderstanding instead of open, public debate in which all can take part. Such activities, and those who pursue them, should be rejected by all.
Every voter wants to know that an election campaign was a fair one, however hard and passionately it may have been fought. Every voter has the right to the facts upon which to base their decision on the rival solutions offered by different candidates. Every candidate has the right to have their proposals considered objectively. Everyone working for the public has the right to have their efforts judged on the basis of information that is as objective as possible, not on supposition.
All of us have a role to play in seeing that an election campaign gets to the heart of the issues. Candidates, political parties, local councils and other public bodies, voluntary, community, charitable and trade union organisations, can all contribute to an election campaign that gets to the heart of the issues and is conducted in a responsible manner.
Racism, racial hatred, prejudice and misunderstanding are serious dangers in Britain today. We call on all who have a role to play in ensuring that our elections are fair and truly free, to join us in supporting this call for an election campaign rid of the exploitation of prejudice.
Find the election statement in full here