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.
I would be interested to know who in the LibDems you have spoken to as I cannot find anyone who can recall speaking to you.
Incidentally, if you had asked me if Andy Cooper is a racist I would have said no. If you ask me did he make a racist comment I would say yes. They two are very different.
Is it just calling Germans Nazis that is racist or would it have been as racist to call her after some other German woman. Lets say Heidi Klum. Was I being racist when I referred to a particularly clever German friend as an Einstein? Is it racist to say a Frenchman has a Napoleon complex?
To me this is name calling, not racism.
Well they did, Steve. Also, you report that you have ‘never avoided a direct question’. Yet when a user on Twitter asked something directly yesterday, you blocked her. On Bramcote Today, you childishly called into question a fellow poster’s gender when she had the audacity to disagree with you. And my question to you, asking if Soubry should resign for knowingly hanging out with a fascist, remains unanswered. Strange that.
Perhaps too many years in power have eroded any sense that the electorate who disagree with you might have valid opinions, and if you claim you never dodge a direct question, then you don’t dodge them.
Oh dear. Well I have spoken to all councillors and Beeston active members. None of them have spoken to you Matt. Name names.
As for Ms Wade. Well that’s another story. I will leave that for you to find out.
You asked me a question the other week as to whether I was behind Broxtowe Blue. A direct answer to what was actually quite an insulting question.
In the meantime, I continue to look after those that elected me.
I am not commenting on your accusations about the chap in Kimberley as I have seen emails from official sources that are contrary to your comments. I am bound by a Code of Conduct which of course you are not.
Apologies from Tory and Lib Dem politicians are like hen’s teeth. I’ve a box file of unanswered ones.
Under the Equality Act it is a racist comment. No escaping that one really in the eyes of the law. Having said that I know that Andy is not a racist BUT he made a racist comment.
Where in the Equality Act does it define what a racist comment is? Would be helpful if you could provide a link to educate me as I cannot recall that bit.
The word racism does not appear in the Equality Act 2010. The Act deals with discrimination – less favourable treatment – in respect of what are called protected characteristics and the Act is limited in its scope to certain defined areas of activity.
Matt, your single-minded obsession with Anna Soubry is genuinely concerning. It’s way beyond the realms even of someone whose sole purpose is to discredit or criticise and your articles have descended into a bizarre frothing-at-the-mouth series of incoherent ramblings about some very pathetic points on a regular basis.
You do no favours to your professed impartiality when you so readily understate the significance of Cooper’s comments, a generosity you know you would not afford to the MP, or indeed anyone else (unless doing so allowed you to find more ‘ammunition’ against the MP, however weak it may be). If you held everyone up to the same standard I could understand it, but you have a real hatred of her which is now evident in all your articles and it’s just bad journalism.
Steve Barber’s inimitably nonchalant comments on almost every article only emphasise this. I know they’re out your control, but Barber pops up with his innocent little remarks fuelled by a similar contempt which is also not very well hidden.
Hi Aj. It is strange that every time I put Soubry in a difficult position, a similar (but in many ways, indentical) retort is made questioning my mental health in a faux-pitying, utterly defensive way. Rather than deal with the questions I have posed, you make accusations that are in part offensive, in part ignorant as if you read through the article I didnt excuse Cooper. I think what he did was idiotic and he was right to apologise. Soubry and Carr both refuse to say wherever knowingly consorting with a fascist is also worthy of an apology. Failure to do so is hypocrisy, and that is unacceptable behaviour from elected representatives. Care to argue this point, or just cast aspersions on my sanity?
Didn’t mention your mental health, so not sure where that’s come from – I don’t think bitterness is an illness.
It’s not my job to answer the questions you pose but regardless there’s clearly a big distinction between the things that you mention have happened and what’s happened in this case. This is an elected official using racist language – the other matters involve no such thing, but you desperately align them to reinforce your anti-Soubry message.
I’m not casting aspersions on your sanity as I don’t think your insane; I just think that you’re desperate and full of contempt.
“Carr” Just how more rude can you get? I refer to my post above. You are wrong on many accounts about the said gentlemen.
Councillor Carr, if Matt wanted to be rude he could always accuse you of lying about your identity like you did to Joan over at Bramcote Today.
Can you now answer the direct question that has been asked of you several times? Should Anna Soubry MP resign and/or apologise for her association with a racist?
Chris would you like to substantiate please. Oh and at the same time not hide behind just your first name
How about this quote from Nick Palmer’s recent newsletter over at BT.
“Steve Carr says:
1 September 2014 at 22:03
If Joan Wade actually tells us who he, sorry she is I might.”
Why would you write that unless you were accusing Joan Wade of lying about their identity? Do you have an alternative explanation.
I reserve the right to remain semi-anonymous by not giving my last name. I could just as easily post under a pseudonym and it in no way invalidates the strength of my argument or that of other such as AJ, Mavan and Joan. I don’t know these people but I read their contributions based on their words not their identities.
I am a Broxtowe resident but not a person of any local prominence so I don’t think that it matters who I am. Besides, given your correspondence with Joan you might not believe what I told you anyway. If I were to ever stand for election in Broxtowe or take on a position of some importance then I feel it would be appropriate to give up my anonymity. Until then, this is the internet, people can be as anonymous as they want. Get over it.
Frankly, your messages on this topic have in my opinion been embarrassing. You say that you never duck a direct question but have been shown repeatedly to do so. Rather than doing so you hide behind accusations of being the victim of rudeness from Matt on this site and Grenville Green over at BT.
Finally, for the last time, can you answer the question that has been asked of you half a dozen times? Should Anna Soubry MP resign and/or apologise for her association with a racist? I see no point in continuing this conversation while you insist on dishonestly refusing to answer a direct question. I now expect for you to accuse me of being rude, lying about my identity and continuing your evasiveness.
Sorry that this is slightly of the thread but I would like to thank Chris for what he has said here about the identity issue. It puts into words my own thoughts on the matter. Mr Carr has raised the issue of my identity on various web sites. I have been made aware that today there was even an exchange between Ms Soubry and Mr Carr on the Tram Ranting site about my name not appearing on the electoral roll with Ms Soubry going on to say that further checks were being undertaken!!!
I would have thought that she might have better things to do with her time. I have used a name that I am known by. I do exist. I am neither a local politician nor a member of any political party. I have made comments in qualified support of the tram project but nothing more controversial than this. I value my privacy and security and so it should not really be for a government minister or a local councillor to be spending time on trying to ascertaining a precise match between my professional / working name and a match to the electoral roll.
If you would like to make a complaint Joan against either party, please see elsewhere on the thread where details are available. It is sinister that Carr and Soubry should do this.
It is simple enough for anyone one of on here to personally criticise someone else. I for one have become increasingly critical of Anna over her term as our MP for failing to listen and represent me. Elected representatives ignore people’s feelings and expectations at their peril and against the fundamental reason for their role. As much as we bounce of each other and cast aspersions on here, or anywhere else, it is hard to ignore a pattern of feeling that has developed in regard to our MP that I hear frequently online and in general public conversation.
I am very pleased that people like Matt raise challenging questions how ever uncomfortable they may make some people feel, it’s all part of healthy democracy. If it’s hard and uncomfortable then clearly public life is not the place to be.
How you approach your harshest critics truly reflects someone’s competence, courage and skills. QED.
What does that say about someone who has threatened to sue multiple people who mentions a conflict of interest with regard to their partner’s involvement in a developer?
I understand and expect criticism of public figures in the media. As you say, it’s necessary for a healthy democracy for this to be so and long may it continue. Beestonia isn’t about “holding public figures to account” though, it’s about Anna bashing – for anything she does.
There are “challenging questions” about legitimate issues and then there’s the angry ranting of this blog that still professes political impartiality.
I’d be “happy” (albeit concerned) to read about genuine failings of the MP and would expect to see it publicised in the media. But the subject of a lot of the criticism posted on here is pathetic or clearly motivated by an agenda. You also seem to share that agenda though, maybe that’s why you’re keen to defend Beestonia.
I’m not an Anna super-fan (although I’d vote for her again) but I’ve heard good words regarding the tram and she seems to get a lot done (admittedly that’s based on what’s in her email newsletter) but people I know have admitted she’s a good local rep so I’m not sure I’d agree there’s a consensus against her though Chris.
Vote with your feet then ‘AJ’. Don’t read it. Try Broxtowe blue, thats more your thing.
Oh dear Matt I expected better than that! I’m not really interested in Broxtowe Blue, but thanks for the recommendation. At least it’s upfront about its political affiliation.
I could just ignore it, and leave the comments section only to those who are going to sing to your hymn sheet, but stuff like this deserves to be challenged.
Can Steve Carr really not think of any ruder term of address than “Carr”? Genuinely baffled by someone who thinks their own name is rude.
He probably prefers the title ‘HIS DIVINE WORSHIPFULNESS SIR CARR OF BEESTON AND ALL LANDS HE SURVEYS’.
I could understand objecting to people using your surname if your name was Steve Twat or something. But Steve Carr? That makes no sense.
Steve Carr. Someone did leak, and no I will not name names. Are you forcing me to reveal sources? How very liberal of you. If you would like to take this further, then I will. How about I screenshot my evidence and show a neutral party, let’s say Ruth Hyde, and she will then tell you if I was right or not, without telling you who it was thus allowing me to protect my sources. Then I would like a full apology for accusing me of lying. Are you willing to take on this challenge? Or will this be another question / challenge you will duck?
Also, anyone on here who feels that Steve has been offensive in his conduct, please feel free to check out this link. I have screen shots of various instances if required.
Did I accuse you of lying? I think you will find that I have not.
Insinuation. Also, you have still not answered the question this all stems from. Who’d of thunk it, a politician who avoids a direct question?
I merely said that I asked many LibDems who told me they had not spoken to you. I do not think you have a legal background. Especially before you get very personal. You stated that the Bramcote Today website was excellent. I suggest you take a look at their rules and adopt them for your site.
Hang on your post says
“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.”
Now your saying “Someone has leaked….”
Can you clarify was it more than one as you originally stated or someone? The two are very different.
Why do you think I have been offensive Matt? Is it because I have disagreed with you, answered your accusations and stood up to you?
Last paragraph hits the nail on the head. In my experience, these kinds of people don’t like it when they’re stood up to.
I will clarify that Steve. More than one. Now, that question you still haven’t answered?
“I merely said that I asked many LibDems who told me they had not spoken to you.”
Maybe they don’t want you to know whether they’ve spoken to Matt or not? Just a thought.
I guess I am left wondering as few things then
Where am I allowed to rant about my MP, is this to be prescribed to me like many things in politics?
Why not address the reason for the rants as I suggested above?
Why are you so concerned?
You will see from Anna’s own website that she frequently rants about the council and the tram companies. She also supports the tram Facebook page which she openly admits is a ranting room with offensive language. She does this through frustration and failing to be listened to.
No surprise about lack of legal follow up. Most threatening letters from lawyers and big corporations are no more than bluster in my view & experience and they assume that everyone will just capitulate in the face of these. A fact-based and robust response usually exposes this, thereafter everything goes strangely quiet. Personally I like to tone my reply as aggressively as possible (in business language obviously, nothing personal) as that makes me feel a lot better 🙂 Probably need to get out more….
[…] get back to Carr though. He’s like Watts on steroids. He’s kicked out some of the most hilariously pompous zingers of late, my favourite being, when I referred to him as ‘Carr’ in a […]