Lib Dem foreign minister’s French slur

Foreign office minister Jeremy Browne was accused of racism by a heckler on Question Time last night after remarks about the French. Talking about the Anglo-French defence treaty signed by the prime minister and President Sarkozy this week, he said: "We're not merging our Army with France. Our soldiers won't be required to speak French or wear onions round their necks or stripey t-shirts, or ride bicycles."

Foreign office minister Jeremy Browne was accused of racism by a heckler on Question Time last night after remarks about the French. Talking about the Anglo-French defence treaty signed by the prime minister and President Sarkozy this week, he said:

“We’re not merging our Army with France. Our soldiers won’t be required to speak French or wear onions round their necks or stripey t-shirts, or ride bicycles.

“Don’t believe every thing you read in the newspapers.”

Watch it:

Yesterday, Left Foot Forward looked at whether Anglo-French co-operation on nuclear warheads, covered by the treaty, was legal.

21 Responses to “Lib Dem foreign minister’s French slur”

  1. Paul Seery

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem foreign minister's French slur: http://bit.ly/a3cdKN #BBCQT by @shamikdas

  2. Shamik Das

    Video: RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem foreign minister's French slur: http://bit.ly/a3cdKN #BBCQT by @shamikdas

  3. David T Breaker

    “@leftfootfwd: foreign minister's French slur: http://bit.ly/a3cdKN #BBCQT @shamikdas” <Leftists need to get a life! Is everything 'racism'?

  4. Anon E Mouse

    Oh Please. The French call us Ros Bif’s… so what – it’s just a joke.

    I can see the left haven’t lightened up…

  5. StephenH

    to be fair… that was just crap-humour and the least of his problems last night.

    If you shut your eyes and just listened would you think David Davies was a Tory and Jeremy Browne a Liberal?

  6. Simon

    To be fair it was obviously a joke aimed at those who really do have that sort of prejudice – he was not espousing it himself. I have no love of the lib-dems or the tories either but this sort of pathetic character slur of a statement taken out of context is worthy of the daily mail – I’d like to think we were above this?!

  7. Dan Benson

    He sounds like an amateur compared to Phil Woolas

  8. Pete James

    It was a rather adolescent remark to make, but making hay about it does suggest you’re dining on scraps.

    Incidentally, as you claim to be fighting aginst greed and corruption I look forward to your forthcoming post about Phil Woolas and the judgement passed today against him.

  9. 13eastie

    Left Foot Forward only find racist jokes funny when Hattie Harperson tells them.

    But even she wasn’t hell-bent on stirring up real racial tension for personal gain.

    Which is what no less than two high court judges seem to think Labour front-bencher and and (former minister for immigration of all things) Phil Woolas is guilty of.

    If you’re going to play the racism card, take a look in the mirror first.

    The Guardian has a nice picture of his disgusting campaign leaflet:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/05/phil-woolas-immigration-leaflets-oldham-east-rerun

  10. Simon

    Disappointed to see @leftfootforward in ridiculous character slur following #bbcqt. http://bit.ly/a3cdKN Lost a lot of my respect for this

  11. Anon E Mouse

    StephenH – I agree on things being backwards re Tories and Lib Dems but what really frightens me that Labour activists seem to show no intelligence whatsoever when it comes to their party. It’s as if they don’t care.

    Why on earth would Left Foot Forward publish this complete non story on the very day Phil Wollas was chucked out of Parliament for lying about racism?

    I sincerely hope Labour has the decency to throw Wollas out of the Labour Party instead of funding the inevitable appeal.

    Also where is LFF’s damnation of that useless, thieving, imbecile – Denis McShane? Well? Do you not realise how bad Labour looks by effectively condoning that sort of dreadful behaviour?

    Why doesn’t LFF start DEMANDING that the Labour leaderships makes itself electable and when something is wrong shout it loud and clear – don’t excuse it.

    When Ed Miliband starts banging on about Housing Benefit after HE wrote the Labour manifesto which contained EXACTLY the same policy he should be told to shut up.

    If articles like this are the best the left can offer in opposition you can forget them being elected the election after next it will be a generational thing.

  12. Kerry Jenkins

    RT @leftfootfwd: Lib Dem foreign minister's French slur: http://bit.ly/a3cdKN #BBCQT by @shamikdas

  13. KevinJump

    Didn't stay up for the all of rant fest #bbcqt last night, but it looks like Jeremy Browne continued to have a stinker http://bit.ly/cVOcUZ

  14. Shamik Das

    Let’s be clear, at no stage have we called Mr Browne racist nor placed this article in that category. This is a straightforward reporting of the facts.

    On Woolas, we will publish something on him very soon and he will feature in Look Left later today.

  15. Mr Jabberwock

    “Let’s be clear, at no stage have we called Mr Browne racist nor placed this article in that category. This is a straightforward reporting of the facts.”

    Shamik that is the scoundrels defence.

    You state that he has slurred the French as the subject of the post and the only allegation is that someone said he was racist. So you certainly appear to any neutral reader to be at the very least egging on the allegation.

    This is a most pathetic article; particularly given the timing of it….

  16. Anon E Mouse

    Shamik Das – Fair enough on the Woolas thing.

    I don’t know if you’re aware of it but last night the audience was apparently “encouraged” to be boisterous and heckle since it was in Sheffield.

    The whole thing stinks of a typical media stitch up although I have to say Jack Straw came across very well (and before anyone says it I’m not sucking up to his son here. As if…)

  17. tgc63

    First of all I am a Labour supporter.
    I watched the program. If anything I think the attack was against the right wing media i.e. the Mail.

    Having said that he was struggling now that he is in government, having to defend rather than attack……..c’est la vie

  18. Liz McShane

    Given that the Lib Dems are or were (as we know they have done lots of U turns since May 10) supposedly the most Euro-friendly party, this sort of comment by someone who should know better than to resort to simplistic tabloid style headlines is pretty pathetic as well as unedifying.

  19. 13eastie

    “Let’s be clear, at no stage have we called Mr Browne racist”

    That is truly pathetic. You’re only kidding yourself, young man…

    You know full well that his remark, in context, was an attempt to lampoon those who use stereo-types and innuendo to make political points. He made no remark at all about the French themselves. These are the “facts” and they’re barely WORTH “reporting” (as you call it).

    To aim to create racism out of thin air to serve (what you misguidedly think) are your interests is childish, cynical and smacks of desperation.

    The gleeful posting of your silly clip entitled “Jeremy Browne accused of racism on Question Time” in a post that outright accuses him of making a “French slur”, says a lot more about you than it does about him.

    And Woolas’ disgraceful election pamphlets spoke more truth about him and Labour than they did about Oldham or his opponents.

  20. jeff_h

    More racist crap from Shamik. You wouldn’t be implying he was a racist if he wasn’t white.

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