Adrian Windisch, of the Reading Greens, has this to say about the row over Reading Labour's racist campaign in Church ward. He cites four party websites, Conservative and LibDem, which use the phrase "born and bred" to describe their candidates. He omits to mention that two of those, Twickenham and Peckham, use the phrase precisely to refer to race, and to indicate that the candidate they are promoting is black, without saying so. The Greens are a party which does not exactly have an honourable record on race. They are a Europe-wide movement, and have been in government in several countries. In Latvia they were overtly racist in government, promoting the expulsion of all Jews from Latvia (the SS had previously done a pretty good job of that). Adrian Windisch's own heritage is I believe Baltic Jewish. Why did his ancestors leave?
Even if the phrase "born and bred" was in widespread use in party literature promoting candidates in a neutral sense, to refer simply to the place the candidate comes from - and Mr Windisch's examples indicate that it is not - it has not been so used in Reading, and is not being so used in this election. Labour's other leaflets are not using the phrase. They chose to use it in Church ward because of who the Conservative incumbent councillor is. And they, and we, know precisely why they did so. No one has a monopoly on language. But its use can kill.
Church ward in Reading has a Labour councillor. He is called Paul Woodward. He is not standing for election this year. He should publicly distance himself from Reading Labour's racist leaflet. That is the only honourable thing to do.