Tag Archives: community cohesion

Tackling the PPE problem

It became apparent very early in the COVID-19 pandemic that there was going to be a problem with the supply of PPE. All eyes at that point were understandably on the NHS and our hospitals in particular and available supplies of PPE were directed their way.

But, as City of York’s Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, I was very aware that there were other front line workers who also needed PPE, although of a different specification from that used in hospitals. Regular reports came to me about supplies in care homes and home care organisations and I knew …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Javid’s oath is nothing but dog whistle displacement activity

With barely a trace of irony, a minister in the Government which has just passed the most illiberal snooping legislation talked about defending freedom in an article in the Sunday Times (£) today. Not only that, but he seems to think that the answer to  any problems harming community cohesion could be resolved by holders of public office swearing an oath committing them to so-called British values of “equality, democracy and the democratic process.”

He spends the first 8 paragraphs of his article having a real go at Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities, setting up the scapegoats while using the language of tolerance as a fig leaf in which to wrap the dog whistle.

This is a government, struggling to get a grip on Brexit – trying to distract us by scapegoating an entire community of people, reinforcing the horribly divisive rhetoric of the referendum. Does that sound tolerant to you?

As an aside, the phrase “British values” makes me wince – as if respect for the democratic process or support for freedom of speech was a uniquely British thing that stopped at our borders. You can’t confine a basic human instinct to a tiny little blob on the map. These universal values are exercised every day in every part of the world – and often with great courage and bravery. The women in Saudi who defy the law and drive. The people who marched in places like Myanmar and Teheran for democracy. The people who attend gay pride rallies in places where being gay is punishable by imprisonment or even death. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 50 Comments
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Recent Comments

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    Re the virus The fact that people are testing positive, but the death rate is going down is telling us that this particular coronavirus is...
  • User AvatarPamela Manning 7th Jul - 1:00pm
    Facebook did not "err on the side of free speech" when it closed down the Facebook page of dozens of Palestinian journalists and activists in...
  • User AvatarNick Baird 7th Jul - 12:38pm
    Criticism of both Facebook and Nick Clegg are valid. Facebook for many reasons, including the fact that it is the platform that enabled the whole...
  • User Avatarsuzanne fletcher 7th Jul - 12:37pm
    I am not voting for any candidate that goes around condemning people for what we have disagreed with. Or in this case have agreed with...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 7th Jul - 12:25pm
    A fine critique of the terrible approach of the old attitudes.I , just a few years younger, became in my mid teens, aware of a...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 7th Jul - 12:16pm
    @ JoeB, "This ignores the fact that the system is deliberately set up to make sure that corporation tax plus dividend tax is about the...