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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Blair's Britain

The visit of Charles Kennedy to Cardiff today was not without incident. Unfortunately, the incident in question underlined better than anything I can say how Britain has taken a turn for the worst under Labour.

As Charles Kennedy was undertaking a quick tour of key areas of the UK, he effectively flew into Cardiff Airport, held a press conference and then flew out again. He will be back for a more substantive visit to the City itself. He was met by a large number of Welsh Liberal Democrats candidates and activists including Caerphilly candidate and Cardiff Councillor Asghar Ali.

As with all party leaders, the police were much in evidence, but only one person was stopped and challenged, Councillor Ali. As Jenny Randerson, our Welsh Party General Election Chair, said, we fully understand and support the need for security, indeed all of the party members at the airport would have been happy to have their bags searched. We are after all used to that in the Assembly, in Parliament or even at party conferences. However, what was upsetting for all those present was that of all the people attending this event just one was picked out.

This seems to bear out the fears of the Muslim community that they would be unfairly singled out in the heightened atmosphere of fear of terrorism. As Councillor Ali had already been introduced to Charles Kennedy as an election candidate, it is surprising that he was still regarded with suspicion. At least one government minister had predicted that police would be singling out the Muslim community in this way. It appears that this minister's warning is starting to come true.
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