Tag Archives: racism

On making LDV more inclusive

Today has not been a good day. It’s not a good feeling when you discover that someone has left the party over something you did, as Lester Holloway has done. I hope that he reconsiders his decision.

The story begins on Saturday when I published this story about Lib Dem Campaigns supremo Victoria Marsom’s visit to Botswana at the culmination of a year long  project to help our sister party in the elections there.

Lester said in the comments that he was unhappy with our interference in this African election. In the ensuing debate, onc eommenter, who as far as we know is not a member or even a supporter of the party, made a racist comment at around 11pm on Monday. I woke up to an email complaining about it at 8am on Tueadsy. I immediately removed the comment and had a fairly lengthy email conversation with a number of people who were copied into the email. I would have been quite happy to bin the comment completely, but I gave an additional option that it should be reinstated but with a very clear statement that comments of that nature are completely unacceptable. It was agreed that this is what we should do and two of the people who were copied into that email thanked me and seemed happy with the outcome.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 105 Comments

“Label the behaviour not the person”: why we shouldn’t call Ukip a racist party

ukip-poster-manchesterFor once I’m going to agree with Nigel Farage. Speaking at a rally this week, he pleaded with the media and public, “from this moment on please do not ever call us a racist party. We are not a racist party.”

As rallying cries go, it’s not the most ambitious. But, then, Ukip’s not an ambitious party. As Farage himself happily boasts, it has just two policies: withdrawal from the EU and bringing back grammar schools. It doesn’t really matter, though. Ukip is defined by what it’s against, not …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 107 Comments

Don Foster MP writes… The Integration Strategy: one year on

The Government’s Integration Strategy, Creating the Conditions for Integration was published a year ago on 21 February 2012. Since becoming a minister a few months ago, this is one of the areas about which I’ve had some of the strongest feedback from party members.

The views I’ve heard range from “the strategy is welcome, but not enough” to “it isn’t a serious substitute for a strategy to tackle racism and racial injustice”. Some have said that the document skates over the fact that integration is a two way process of mutual accommodation. Those with this view argue that there’s …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

The Independent View: What do we do when children are taught racism at home?

Racism is an uncomfortable and emotive subject to discuss. To its victims it is absolutely devastating and can affect entire communities. In Britain it is considered socially unacceptable but despite this, and the numerous laws designed to prevent discrimination, racism is still worryingly commonplace. I’ve witnessed it myself on duty more times than I can count; the culprits are usually adults, which is shocking and unpleasant enough, but for me, the truly worrying cases are those involving children.

Last month I spoke to an officer who specialises in groups with extremist views. He told me about a child living in the …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Has our police force been ‘completely transformed’ by the Lawrence case?

Like the summer riots, the Stephen Lawrence case provides us with yet another attitudinal Rorschach test; we screw our eyes up, peer closely, and conclude that what we have seen is just what we expected. At least, that’s my view, after hearing Paul Dacre’s astonishing self-congratulation on Tuesday.

For him, the verdict was ‘a glorious day’ for the Lawrences, the police, British justice, politicians, British newspapers (especially, of course, the Daily Mail, without whose ‘relentless campaigning’ none of this would have happened).

For me, it was a good day; but it was also a reminder of

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

LibLink: Brian Paddick – A bad day for race relations in the police

Over in The Indpendent, former top police officer and 2008 Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London Brian Paddick writes about the case of Commander Ali Dizaei, jailed yesterday for perverting the course of justice. Here’s an excerpt:

If ever there was a “Marmite” senior officer, it was Ali Dizaei. Many hated him, believing he had “got away with it” because “he was black”. But for the Black Police Association, he was their flag-bearer.

He was an undoubted champion for racial equality, but his approach was sometimes aggressive and confrontational when dealing with “the establishment”. Ali Dizaei’s MO was getting things done

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Tory councillor’s racist comments censured

Here’s what a Conservative borough councillor Smith Benson said at a public meeting in Colne, Pendle, last year:

The problem with Colne is that there are too many takeaways. And too many Pakis, that’s why people don’t come to Colne.”

His comment to the Colne town centre regeneration forum – and which he repeated in the meeting when asked to clarify his remarks – led Lib Dem councillor Tony Greaves to complain that Cllr Benson had breached the local authority’s code of conduct: this has been upheld, and the matter has now been referred to Pendle Council’s standards committee.

The BBC reports:

The

Posted in Local government | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Brick through window is British way, says BNP councillor

The Guardian reports on a volient incident in Loughton, Essex:

Racist attackers abducted a Muslim community leader at knifepoint, bundled him into a car and threatened his life unless he stopped running prayer sessions in a community hall that has been the target of a British National party campaign. Police have confirmed they are treating the incident as a hate crime and are investigating links with an earlier firebomb attack on the same man’s home. …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Oxford Tories suspended over ‘racist jokes’

The Independent (and most other ‘papers) have the story:

Two student Tories have been suspended from the party after making racist jokes during a meeting of the Oxford University Conservative Association .

At a drunken hustings for the next president of the association – which includes a host of Tory politicians among its alumni – student politicians were invited to outperform each other with racist jokes. A master of ceremonies told them to repeat ‘the most inappropriate joke you have ever told’.

Last Sunday Nick Gallagher, who was running for the post of Political Officer, a role that requires him to liaise with Tory central office, was also asked to name his least favourite minority.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

NEW POLL: was the BBC right to ban Carol Thatcher from The One Show?

I’ve avoided for as long as possible the uber-hyped ‘nowtrage’ over Carol Thatcher’s off-air-but-in-the-studio comment that a still-to-be-identified tennis player looks like a ‘golliwog’.

It does of course pose lots of interesting questions for liberals: the conflict between freedom of speech, and the offence that may cause; to what extent unbroadcast behind-the-scenes remarks should be regarded as private; whether remarks that cause offence are best dealt with by individuals at the time, rather than by being referred to an ombudsmanperson.

The Lib Dem blogosphere has wrestled with many of these issues and more, and given more time to …

Posted in Voice polls | Also tagged , , , , and | 15 Comments

Opinion: We should not be offended by keeping our noses out of other people’s business

Last weekend’s media was dominated by the earth shattering news that Prince Harry called a fellow soldier in the Pakistani army a “Paki”. The press have hounded him, people have accused him of racism, and the soldier’s father has spoken of his offence too.

As if this “race row” wasn’t enough to shock you to your very core, we learn that Prince Charles has been calling an Asian friend of his, Kuldip (Anglicised to Kolin in some reports) Dhillon, “Sooty” as a nickname for years without anyone taking offence at it.

As a society, we British are offended way …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments
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