I wasn’t intending to write up again on Kimberley, as when I last checked this blog was about Beeston, and the last thing I need now is blogging mission creep. Yet the fall out from my story earlier this week has shown why this is not just a story restricted to our neighbours in NG16.
Andy Cooper issued a full apology for his offensive remark, this was accepted by Kat Boettger though she still called for his resignaion and a by-election. Soubry persists in calling for his resignation, despite not addressing the points I made, namely:
1. Is it not hypocritical for Soubry to call for Cooper’s resignation when she employed Craig Cox, a man who thinks it’s amusing and totally ok to hold up a sign at a meeting demanding ‘BRING BACK SLAVERY’?
2. Does she not think it unwise, and will she make a public apology as such for taking a known thuggish facist, Darren Warner, to meet Nick Boles, despite being warned about his awfulness?
3. Is this desperate electioneering, kneejerk-shout the loudest gung-ho utterly depressing vote-grabbing in action?
While over on excellent local news-site Bramcote Today, Beeston North Councillor Steve Carr has been demanding Cooper step down, his fellow Lib Dems have expressed to myself and others that they don’t believe Cooper is a racist, and this is electioneering. This also echoes people who left KTC, one even expressing embaressment at Soubry’s intervention.
One Beeeston resident got in touch with me after reading the blog: an ardent anti-racist campaigner and no fan of the Labour Party wrote to her questioning her language. I am going to print this exchange in full, with Mr Swift’s permission, as an example of Soubzlogic: the binary mindset that refuses to brook any argument but their own, a terrifying hubristic logic that is immensely damaging to free political discourse:
What is really shameful is playing the racist card when comments may certainly be rude and inappropriate but can possibly only be construed as racist at the extreme ends of political correctness. There is plenty enough everyday racism going on that needs tackling head on without making up more for party political purposes.
Thank you for your email. I will share your comments with Katharina Boettge who quite rightly in my view takes a very different view. I would be interested on her comments. I wonder if your view would be any different if a Lib Dem councillor called someone of Pakistani origin a P***i ? It doesn’t matter what label you attribute to the comment, nor the political party of the author as far as I am concerned. However, it seems in Broxtowe all that matters is whether the person in the wrong is a member of the Labour Party.
I was writing to you as my MP based on the contents of your newsletter. Not sure that I would expect my personal comments to be shared with others. If you do pass on to Katharina Boettge, who I do not know, then please also pass on that I am not a member of the Labour Party. Based on my increasing despair of the main political parties I am currently most likely to vote Green at the election.As a life long anti-racist campaigner I am concerned about the accusation of racism being made inappropriately as I think that it undermines the use of the word, particularly given the current trajectory of UKIP. The following is the Oxford Dictionary definition:
The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races:
Are you making the case that a Kimberly Councillor is racist towards people of Germanic origin? If so I think that further evidence is required. I would certainly not defend him based on what political colour he is as I am well aware that racism can cross party boundaries. However, one rude and offensive comment for which he has unreservedly apologised does not make him a racist, With regard to your example referring to people of Pakistani origin then I would generally regard the use of that word as racist. However, if someone was to say that a Pakistani political opponent reminded them of General Musharraf then I wouldn’t jump to accusations of racism.
Whilst I would never be a political supporter of yours I have subscribed to your newsletter for useful local news whilst respecting some of your political positions, e.g. over same sex marriage. Pleasingly the contents have retained some political balance rather than being a partizan party bulletin. I hope that this continues to be the case in the run up to the election next May.
As yet, no reply.
Further investigations into the former head of KRA (swiftly replaced by Tory Shane Easom last month) Darren Warner turn up more unedifying details. I’ve talked to several people who contacted me from Kimberley and the surrounding areas, painting a pretty awful picture of a pretty awful man. I have promised to protect these sources as he is a pretty terrifying character, not a person you want to cross due to his history of violence against those who oppose him, and the way he uses community projects such as SOBS (Save Our Brewery Site) to gain a foothold for his vile politics into local groups; a comon tactic used by fascist organisations the world over.
I have two sources tellign me Soubry WAS warned against this guy before she took him to a meeting with Nick Boles MP, possibly even by a senior member of her own party. Yet she ignored them, and continued to trumpet Warner’s achievements in her newsletter.
Thus, I would like to publicly announce that I wish Anna Soubry not to resign over this matter, but to make a full apology for this lack of judgement. I would also like the KRA to explan their association with Warner. I will stress again that the greens who left KTC are NOT aligned with KRA and refuse to work with Warner. A principled stand: will Soubry and the KRA also join in condemning this vile racist in their midst?
I’v been asked for an update several times about my legal travails with Soubry’s partner, Neil Davidson. Nothing really seems to have happened, despite the threats I’d be hauled into court asap if I didn’t obey their demands and pay costs to Davidson. I even rang up BrowneJacobson over a week ago asking what was happening; to be told that the guy dealing with the case was on holiday and would ring me on his return the following week. That week has now passed, so I’m still none the wiser. Was it just a bit of muscle-flexing blustery bollocks? I have the letter framed and ready for my toilet wall, but can’t hang it until I’m sure I won’t need to take it down again to check. Neil Davidson, BrowneJacobson, are you still suing me? Cheers, Matt.