What not to tweet, part 94

From the Reading Post:

The Lib Dem councillor at the centre of the “racist” Twitter storm has been suspended from his party.

Cllr Warren Swaine quoted an Ali G catchphrase “Is it because I is black” in a tweet about mixed race Labour MP Chuka Umunna when he was appearing on Question Time…

Henk van Klaveren, Liberal Democrat national office spokesman, said: “The Liberal Democrats have a zero tolerance policy on racist comments and behaviour. The regional party has suspended Councillor Warren Swaine pending further investigation.”

And from Political Scrapbook:

With a meeting approving cuts of £65 million and 1,300 redundancies, the leader of the Conservative group on Hull City Council has landed himself in hot water by calling anti-cuts protesters in the public gallery “retards”.

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This entry was posted in News and Online politics.


  • If he had tweeted that merely as a reference to Ali G and entirely unprompted by anything else, then this may have been acceptable. However, whether Cllr Warren Swaine is racist as a person or not, this tweet is clearly racist in its tone.

    You can’t hide behind the mask of a comedian’s humour like that.

    (NB I’m not going to use iPhone to comment any more. Each time I wrote “unprompted” it attempted to correct to “improvised”, to prevent correction I pressed the little “x”, which was position perfectly above the “Submit” button and appeared to press that too – grr. Stupid LDV iPhone skin!)

  • Pending further investigation?

    Don’t Councils have more important things to be doing at this time.

    Wouldn’t an apology and the subsequent embarrassment and humiliation suffice as punishment?

  • Dave Warren 28th Feb '11 - 1:01pm

    Why are we highlighting this and how did the local press become aware of what
    is an internal party matter.

    I know Warren he is a hard working councillor and a Liberal to his finger tips.

    This is a case of the Lib Dems shooting themselves in the foot.
    Reinstate him by lifting the suspension and lets stop handing the
    opposition advantages.

  • Matt Downey 28th Feb '11 - 4:13pm

    Personally I don’t think that was racist. A little stupid or daft to say, probably. But was it actually racist? I really don’t think so. If Frankie Boyle or Jimmy Carr had said it, then we would be taking no notice. After all we are a liberal party, obviously that means we oppose racism, but surely we support free speech too?

  • Dave Warren 28th Feb '11 - 6:09pm

    Well said Matt.

  • Philip Rolle 1st Mar '11 - 12:02am

    Can someone please explain to me why this was racist?

  • Philip Rolle 1st Mar '11 - 7:19pm

    I’m still waiting!

  • David Evans 1st Mar '11 - 7:46pm


    How about because Liberal Democrat national office act like a bunch of automatons, who can only follow absolute rules and haven’ t the wisdom to be able to balance different people’s liberties – i.e. the liberty to demonstrate that someone has a robust sense of humour, and the liberty for someone else to take offense.

  • Philip Rolle 1st Mar '11 - 11:54pm

    Yep, politically correct automatons. I await the outcome of the national office’s “investigation” with interest. My conclusion is that they have made the party appear illiberal and idiotic.

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