20 May 2014 - UKIP leader accused of racism
Yvette Cooper and David Lammy attack Nigel Farage over 'racist' comments
Rowena Mason (The Guardian)
Nigel Farage's comments about Romanians have been branded racist by three prominent Labour figures – Yvette Cooper, Diane Abbott and David Lammy – after the Ukip leader said people might not want to live next door to immigrants from the eastern European country.
Farage declined the opportunity to apologise for his comments several times in an interview with the BBC. After a day of criticism from senior politicians of all parties, Farage was asked if Ukip were the Millwall FC of British politics. "Perhaps we are the Millwall... I think in Westminster we're loathed and feared," he replied.
Labour leader Ed Miliband earlier said Farage had made a racial slur but was not racist, but his view was contradicted by Lammy. The MP, whose parents are from Guyana, told the BBC's Daily Politics that Farage's comments reminded him of the racism encountered by his mother and father when they first came to the UK.
Charlie Brooker (The Independent)
Farage is a bulletproof fusion of novelty and familiarity. Among a crowd of guarded political automatons, he's Mr Novelty, poking his head through the window like a wacky neighbour in a sitcom, breaking the monotony with some side-splitting anti-Romanian slurs. The news can't get enough of him, because in TV terms he adds a bit of colour – ironic considering what he represents.
Farage says the unsayable. He says things so unsayable they're said nigh-on constantly, often in large letters, on the front page of a newspaper. The sayable. He says the sayable. ROMANIAN STEALS WAR MEMORIAL. ONE IN THREE FOREIGNERS ISN'T BRITISH. NOW IT'S HALAL SMARTPHONES. That's what he says.
All of which means that, as well as being a bit of sore thumb stunt casting, he simultaneously represents familiarity; specifically the cosy familiarity of a world in which you could walk down an English high street without your ears getting bunged up with foreign accents, unless someone was doing a hilarious Gunga Din voice in order to mock the waiter in a curry house.
Adam Withnall (The Independent)
A senior Labour MP has insisted that Nigel Farage’s comments about Romanian immigrants make it “clear he’s a racist”, dismissing party leader Ed Miliband’s refusal to describe him in such terms as “pedantic”.
The Ukip leader has been criticised by members from all the other main UK political parties this weekend after he said in a car-crash interview on LBC Radio that he would feel “uncomfortable” if a Romanian family moved in next door to him.
David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, described how his parents had arrived in the country as immigrants and experienced similar offensive comments.
Staff (BBC News)
Nigel Farage has defended controversial remarks he made about Romanians, saying people would be right to be concerned if a group moved in next door.
The UKIP leader was speaking to the BBC the day after appearing to say he had been wrong, because he was tired.
On four occasions in an interview with the BBC's Political Editor Nick Robinson, Nigel Farage was offered the opportunity to apologise but refused.
Mr Farage's comments have provoked accusations of racism.
Speaking on Monday, Labour MP David Lammy said that coming from an immigrant family he "remembered a context in which some people said you don't want these people living next to you".
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"20 May 2014 - UKIP leader accused of racism", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2014. Consulté le 02/10/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/20-may-2014-ukip-leader-accused-of-racism