Tony Robinson ‘airbrushed from Yes to AV leaflets’

As not quite seen on the BBC.

Campaigners for the AV voting system have been accused of “airbrushing” white actor Tony Robinson out of leaflets sent to part of the country.

The “Yes to AV” campaign used his picture on literature used in most parts of the UK, but featured another supporter – the black poet Benjamin Zephaniah – in London, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

The “No” campaign said its rival was “ashamed” of the actor’s backing.

But the “Yes” campaign called the allegation “a new low”.

It said it varied the celebrity backers featured on its leaflets as there were “a number” to accommodate.

Yes to AV’s literature urges people to support a switch from first-past-the-post Westminster elections to an alternative vote in the nationwide referendum to be held on 5 May.

Celebrities Joanna Lumley, Eddie Izzard, Colin Firth, Honor Blackman and Stephen Fry appear on both sets of leaflets shown by the Sunday Telegraph.

In locations including Sussex and Cornwall a picture of Mr Robinson, the star of the BBC comedy Blackadder and the Channel 4 archaeology show Time Team, is reportedly included, with the actor quoted demanding an electoral system that “makes everyone’s vote count”.

But in near-identical leaflets, reportedly sent to London, he is apparently replaced by Mr Zephaniah, the poet and musician.

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20 Responses to Tony Robinson ‘airbrushed from Yes to AV leaflets’

  1. Dick the Prick says:

    Tony Robinson is such a sycophantic Labour Luvvie it’s really quite nauseating. He doesn’t understand what he’s doing; it’s like he’s trying to emulate the bigger boys at school and hasn’t yet realised that some people care about politics rather than just being eager to please. It’s just upsetting all in all to see a grown man so infantalized.

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  2. Roland Deschain says:

    Why is the default position always “racism”?  Surely the far more obvious answer is that they’re tailoring the leaflet for the area targeted, to show “celebrities” that people have heard of.  Presumably everyone in London knows who Mr Zephaniah is (or rather, the organisers think they do) but being from North of the Border I’ve never heard of him.

    Anyway, the real offensiveness to me is that I might be swayed in my vote just because a bloody celebrity says so.  Why should their views be any more important than anyone else’s?

       0 likes

  3. matthew rowe says:

    “makes everyone’s vote count” sorry what does the arrogant git think we have now! as far as I know everyone can vote if they can be bothered and the only thing  this crap system will bring in is coalitions and hung parliaments for ever it will also mean the labour party will be able to keep the Tories out of power though  back room deals of the kind they really love as their leader Bob the Crow  will no doubt tell you!
    Oh and just by good luck it will also mean a huge payout to Kinnock who apart form his
    ‘£103,000 in director’s fees so far and 30,000 shares in the company poised to make millions in profits from the introduction of electronic voting
    Kinnock is a non-executive director of DRS Limited which works closely with ERS Limited, most recently on the multi-million pound deal that unsuccessfully introduced electronic voting systems in Scotland.  The multi-million pound business which is ERS Limited funnels money into the not-for-profit ERS which has so far given over a £1 million to the “Yes to AV” campaign’.

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  4. NotaSheep says:

    I liked the BBC report of the Yes2AV comments:
    ‘A Yes campaign spokesman said: “These allegations mark a new low for the ‘No’ campaign and their increasingly desperate smears.

    “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 are backing the ‘No’ campaign. People can draw their own conclusions.”‘

    Yes the Yes campaign complain of the No campaign marking a new low and then promptly dive even lower! – http://notasheepmaybeagoat.blogspot.com/2011/04/avoiding-answering-pertinent-question_03.html

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    • Roland Deschain says:

      Until I read the BBC article again I assumed you had put in that second paragraph as a joke.  Someone at the “Yes” campaign has had an irony bypass.

      I can’t decide if the same is true at the BBC or if they just decided to let them hang themselves with their own rope.

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    • Scottie says:

      How is pointing out the BNP back the No campaign a new low? It directly responds to unfounded critisisms of AV that it plays into the hands of the BNP. A claim that’s been churned by the Daily Mail more than once.

      It also makes most people think that if those numpties are against it then maybe it’s worth voting for.

         0 likes

      • NotaSheep says:

        Two reasons:
        1) You are aware of the MCB’s positions?
        2) You cannot cry ‘smears’ and then say that because the BNP are saying No2AV that it nullifies that campaign

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  5. Frederick Bloggs says:

    My wife once met Tony Robinson at a book publishing conference. Said he was the smugest person she had ever encountered (and there are a lot in publishing).

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    • Barry says:

      I think it’s the smugness more than anything else that makes them so irritating. Just because they have a talent in some branch of the entertainment industry (or in some cases, no talent at all), they think they have something to teach everyone else. Tony Robinson has no more to say than our local plumber or lollipop lady.  
       
      In fact if Tony Robinson took up plumbing, he’d actually be quite useful. 

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  6. john in cheshire says:

    It’s a pity that Baldrick hasn’t yet learned his station in life. Socialist little prick. I’m just pleased I’m not the only one who can’t stand him, or Ms Brand (or Mr Brand for that matter), Mr/ms Izzard and especially Mr Fry. And the rest of the socialist cohort that the bbc keep foisting on us, too numerous to be bothered to give the oxygen of publicity.

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  7. London Calling says:

    The No camp seem to be missing a better argument. I’d like to see The X Factor move to AV. Millions of teenage girls phoning with their order of preference. The dreadful Wagner would probably have won it on the fifth recount. (Not that I’ve ever watched it of course)

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  8. Asuka Langley Soryu says:

    So on the one side we’ve got a load of people so removed from normal life it’s hard to even comprehend/actors, a racist institution, and an Islamist Terrorist appeasement/facilitator organisation, and on the other hand, the BNP. It’s a toughy. Think I’ll just make a reasoned decision which way to vote.

    I had to google Benjamin Zephaniah. He’s a poet, innit, bruv.

       0 likes

  9. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I’ve seen the BBC explain the Yes side several times now, including Nick Robinson asking/explaning that the key point is that the current systme is “unfair”.  People who vote for a candidate that doesn’t win are somehow deprived of their voting rights in the current system.  This makes no sense to me, but that’s how the BBC explains it over and over.

    I have yet to see Nick Robinson or anyone else play devil’s advocate from the other side of the argument.  I don’t mean having a Tory on who will warn against the BNP or whatever, but a BBC editor or one of the usual expert talking heads they bring in to opine on various subjects to explain how this AV scheme will serve mostly to undercut the voting rights of whoever votes for the candidate who would win in the current system.

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  10. My Site (click to edit) says:

    I have yet to see Nick Robinson or anyone else play devil’s advocate from the other side of the argument.’

    You might think that under ‘educate and inform’ a degree of objective balance might be expected.

    Mind you, such expected if not excused techniques can backfire, as they did with the Guardian’s Clark county effort to tell US voters how to think.

    On SKY I found myself in rare agreement with cheeky hypocrite chappie ‘guest’ Sam Delaney when he opined that, given who was in favour, the default position of many might be the exact reverse.

    Adding the likes of MiliE and the BBC to that list, it will be hard to resist, and so further investigation required.

    Though I may have to give the in-theory impartial media broadcaster I am compelled to pay for a miss on what is, ironically (given one does not get a vote on unique licence fee payments over decades), a key piece of democratic change getting the ‘treatment’ from a £4B media budget with pervasive national reach.

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  11. Daniel Smith says:

    But its important to get a famous black name on the leaflet and Zephaniah can boast an impressive 0.0001% facial recognition rate among Londoners (rising perhaps tenfold in more literate areas) which goes to prove that “AV ain’t just for whitey” (the title of mr Zephaniah’s latest dub anthology, I hear, currently number 372,582 in the Amazon chart). Heaven forbid that Fry, Firth and Izzard might come across as “horribly white” and elitist, Zephy is needed to keep it real especially after Floella Benjamin and Lenny Henry declined.
    That most potential voters will think Zephy a Bob Marley tribute act will quite possibly gain a few more votes too.
    Meanwhile Tony Robinson will have more time to devote on his autobiography FROM BALDRICK TO BALD PRICK.

       0 likes

  12. CornwallNews says:

    The proposed AV v FPTP UK Referendum consists of a contrived, fabricated and simplistic bipolar choice of only two inadequate options set against unfit UK Electoral Law, unfit UK Electoral Registers and unfit UK Election Returning Officer negligible powers of cross-constituency scrutiny. Election Returning Officers will be unable to guarantee ‘One Person-One Vote’ nor to sign off ANY part of such a referendum as ‘true’, ‘democratic’, ‘free’ or ‘fair’.

    Here are those fundamental AV v FPTP BOGUS REFERENDUM flaws:
    1. UK Electoral Law – NOT ‘fit for purpose’.
    2. UK Electoral Registers – NOT ‘fit for purpose’.
    3. UK CERO powers – NOT ‘fit for purpose’.
    A UK REFERENDUM MUST, ON PRINCIPLE, BE GUARANTEED TO BE VERIFIABLY AND GENUINELY ‘ONE PERSON-ONE VOTE’.
    IF THIS AV v FPTP BOGUS REFERENDUM IS ATTEMPTED IT WILL NOT BE.
    BOGUS UK ELECTORAL REGISTERS = BOGUS REFERENDUM:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/second_home_voters_1.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/secret_ballots_and_second_home.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/worried_about_second_home_vote.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/kevins_too_busy_to_probe_secon.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/game_on.html
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2010/06/a_letter_to_the_chief.html
     
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/grahamsmith/2011/04/some_second_home_voters_purged.html
     

       0 likes

  13. CornwallNews says:

    In the face of such corrupt and non-democratic electoral foundations, these may be the only rational responses to the RUBBISH REFERENDUM:

     

    BOYCOTT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT CONSERVATIVE PARTY CAMERON CLEGG COALITION BOGUS AV v FPTP REFERENDUM.

     

    OR

     

    SPOIL YOUR BALLOT PAPER WITH A SUITABLY CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE BOGUS AV v FPTP UK REFERENDUM – A LIBDEMCON COALITION CON.

     

    NOTE: ALL SPOILED BALLOT PAPERS HAVE TO BE RECORDED AND NUMBERS PUBLISHED.

       0 likes