More Doncaster mayoral follies

Mr and Mrs Midgley from the CAPC and an interested party

When it comes to woolly thinking, woolly expressions come in handy – expressions like ‘political correctness’.

Ask the many people who use the term ‘political correctness’ what exactly it means, and five will get you ten that very few of them will come out with anything but some anecdotal twaddle.

As I see it, the term covers a multitude of largely failed attempts to address what are perceived as imbalances and unfairness in our society that are simply a natural consequence of individual and group differences.

These attempts to make our society more equal seem to have done nothing but waste a serious amount of money and alienate many people who would rather be left to plough their own furrows.

However, such is the power of the concept in capturing the attention of those amongst us with limited imagination that there’s even a campaign to eradicate ‘political correctness’.

But what’s this I see?

Why, it’s our old friend Peter the Punter and his new chums the Campaign Against Political Correctness’ very own co-founders Mr and Mrs Midgley:

Following the election of Peter Davies in Doncaster, the Campaign Against Political Correctness is pleased to announce that it will be working closely with the Mayor in his term of office to fulfil his election pledge to stamp out political correctness wherever possible.

The first official meeting between the Mayor and the Co-Founders of the Campaign took place on 5th August 2009 and it was very productive!  The Mayor is a founder member of the Campaign Against Political Correctness and John Midgley said: “What we have got in Mayor Davies is a Mayor who has been elected on a platform to reduce and eliminate PCness in Doncaster. People are crying out for it. We commissioned a survey recently that said 80 per cent of people are fed up to the back teeth with it. What we are here today to do is to look at the sorts of institutional PC that Doncaster has… and where possible to assist the Mayor in providing advice on where PC can be cut.

“Further details will be posted here in due course….

Even the Mail carried a story about it:

A town’s mayor has brought in ‘experts’ to root out political correctness in his council, targeting groups aimed at ethnic minorities and women.

Doncaster’s elected mayor Peter Davies has drafted in Laura and John Midgley, from the Campaign Against Political Correctness, to see what can be ditched.

Among the groups they have already identified as too politically correct are an ethnic minorities welfare rights service and a racial multi-agency partnership.

Now, that’s more like it, Peter Davies can finally deliver on another election pledge.

But, oh dear, banana skin alert!

I’ve just read this in the Doncaster Free Press:

The Ethnic Minorities Welfare Rights Team was last week singled out for criticism by the Campaign Against Political Correctness (CAPC), who were brought in to advise Mr Davies on “PC” services that could be reformed.

John Midgley of the CAPC said the team was “the sort of divide and rule policy that is outdated not only in Doncaster but in the country as a whole”.

So far, so good…

But then the bombshell drops:

But this week the council’s managing director Paul Hart confirmed that the service had not existed since 2006.

In an email to Tim Brown, of the town’s BME Community Forum, Mr Hart wrote: “In 2006 the Welfare Rights Team became externally funded to deliver outreach sessions at numerous locations across the borough to anyone who approached them. The two members of staff who prior to that were known as the Ethnic Minorities Welfare Rights Team formed part of that team and no longer specifically targeted ethnic minority groups.”

Mr Brown told the Free Press: “I am concerned that Mayor Davies’ ‘political correctness’ campaign is not based on fact. In the absence of any reasonable explanation it would appear that the campaign is a smokescreen for attacking minority groups.

“This approach can be seen as divisive and undermines community cohesion.” He added: “I think the mayor is missing the point and they will find that Doncaster Council isn’t ‘politically correct’.

Fortunately, as the Mail points out…

Mr and Mrs Midgley are not being paid for their advice

…as said advice was worth precisely nothing.

And all this within the space of less than a fortnight…

By the way, before some fellow Libertarian bloggers – you know who you are – start to get too excited about Peter Davies and his attacks on the ‘righteous’ please examine his party and also some of his gaffes as mayor.

He’s no saviour, I assure you.

English Democrats, racism and censorship

A guest spot on the blog from a fellow EDP fan…

For all you need to know about the English Democrats Party, the views they hold, the way they conduct themselves, their attitude to their own members, their committment to freedom of expression, their total lack of racism or religious bigotry, follow this link: and please don’t fall for the “admin’s views are not necessarily those of the party” line – the admins are senior members of the party, and their comments are allowed to remain even when blatantly and insanely racist.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40331215@N04/

It is a series of screen captures – unfortunately one has to do this when dealing with people who claim they believe in free speech but actually censor comments on their site.

For the technically foolish (like me), the screen captures are in numerical order, starting bottom right. Click on the first one, read the comment underneath it, and enlarge it by clicking “all sizes” at the top left under the picture title. Then go back to the photostream and move on to the next one.

Enjoy

How to take the EDP seriously

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here.

Vast amounts of decorating have been going on but now this latest phase of getting the house presentable for eventual sale later this year is over, I’m now on holiday and the coast is relatively clear.

Apart from the decorating, I’ve also been spending quite a lot of time posting to and reading the Facebook group set up to oppose Doncaster’s new mayor, Peter Davies.

It’s been an interesting experience to say the least.

Inevitably, you get visitors from the English Democrats Party – as I’ve detailed elsewhere – and whilst some are prepared to participate in debate, others just come on and rant in a most unpleasant and counter-productive manner.

And these rants aren’t just coming from rank and file supporters, but from prospective European and UK parliamentary candidates.

Now, far be it from me to tell anyone how to run a political party, but what I can say – having observed how parties have presented themselves to the electorate over four decades of being eligible to vote – is that no-one ever got votes by calling voters idiots.

Such indiscretions can’t be undone, either.

We live in an age when information and data can be preserved for everyone to see at anytime, in spite of people’s best efforts to conceal it.

Once you say something like the following, you’re stuck with it:

Hello again pc loonies. Are you STILL caterwauling. Did none of you bother to answer my questions about what gives YOU the right to an opinion on somebody who is not even two weeks into his job?

You’re just not representative of normal people these days. Most NORMAL people think you would have been consigned to an asylum years ago.

And this person wants your vote?

Now, however, it seems that one or two people in the EDP are starting to ‘get it’.

What’s said now on this here interweb thing can come back to haunt you later on down the line – and will, as long as people have a yen to report news for those willing to read it whether it’s in the MSM or the blogosphere.

That’s why you rarely get such behaviour displayed by the vast majority of political parties.

They’re wise to it.

And it’s hardly political rocket science, is it?

Similarly a few people in the EDP seem to have twigged that if you allow racist comments to remain on your Facebook page then this will do a party which claims not to be racist no favours whatsoever.

A few even seem to be saying that abusing people who disagree with you is perhaps not the best approach and that reasoned argument might be more productive.

Another EDP ‘debating’ tactic is to brand everyone who disagrees with them a ‘loony lefty’.

Well, some critics might well be coming from the left but not all – and certainly not this blogger.

Such labeling is simplistic and just a plain lazy debating tactic.

It’s far easier to lump your opponents together into one homogenous group rather than deal with several different opposing viewpoints.

It’s also inefficient as you’re not going to address all your opponents – only the ones you have targeted.

My criticism of the EDP can be summed up very easily and it has nothing to do with any particular political stance on my part.

I disapprove of the way Peter Davies was voted in as Mayor after standing on a platform of promises he hadn’t checked were able to be kept and I dislike some of the ways in which the EDP present themselves badly and then go on to attack criticism of this public image that they themselves have manufactured in ways which have never been and never will be acceptable from a politician of any party.

I’ve never known anything like it emanating from any political party which took itself even remotely seriously.

I’d have the same criticisms no matter what the party was.

It’s not everyone, but I get the distinct impression that certain prominent figures in the EDP are far more concerned with getting support in quantity rather than quality and that some have very few scruples as to how they do it.

Does this mean that the party is fatally ‘holed beneath the waterline’?

Well, some think so.

In my opinion, the EDP may be salvageable as a credible political party if it starts to behave like one and treat the electorate and also its critics with respect and also ensures that all racist references are removed from public forums such as the EDP’s Facebook group.

How do you take this sort of public statement seriously?

You are all pathetic whingers with no foundation in reality and you are running around like headless chickens because YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED AND YOU KNOW IT. Oh but it won’t be like you think it is. You will all be choking on your words and feeling utterly stupid when you realise just what it is you are criticising.

It’s a question the EDP should be asking itself if it wants to gain credibility.

To ‘English Nationalist’

I have to admit that I’m puzzled by the latest comment from ‘English Nationalist’ which you can find here – 9th comment down.

It’s not the content of it that puzzles me – indeed, it’s refreshing to find a comment from this person that’s so civil – but its source.

Here’s the posting details as revealed in my email inbox:

New comment on your post #2371 “The English Democrats, Will Carling, Billy Bragg and Fakebook celebrity ‘endorsements'”
Author : English Nationalist (IP: 81.2.97.151 , mail.engdemmail.org)
E-mail : England@EngDem.org
URL    : http://www.EngDem.org
Whois  : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=81.2.97.151

And here’s a screen capture of that:

Capture

The same address as the other comments from this author and the IP checks out again.

This message like most of the others appears to have been sent from an English Democrats Party email address, which leads me to conclude that the author is an EDP member.

So, here’s what puzzles me.

Why would a member of a political party which wants to be taken seriously write offensive comments on my blog which are full of personal attacks?

If I wrote something on this blog which attacked Brown, Cameron and Clegg – even Griffin of the BNP – would someone from any of their parties leave comments using their party email accounts?

Possibly – but it’s highly unlikely.

Ian Dale’s the nearest I’ve come to a proper politician leaving a comment here.

Would they leave offensive comments which concerned my sex life?

Never.

Furthermore, would they leave comments anonymously?

‘English Nationalist’ is hardly a name which identifies an individual, is it?

In seeking to solve this puzzle, I appear to be faced with a couple of possible answers.

1) English Nationalist is a fake. He’s somehow managed to hack into an EDP member’s email account and is trying to discredit the party. It all looks pretty genuine though – not like some of the spam attempts I’ve seen where the email address can be faked but the IP address reveals the fakery. I even put the IP address through a route tracer program and it revealed no strange route from its apparent source to my inbox.

2) English Nationalist is a genuine EDP member who seems to think that the anonymous posting of insulting comments is a legitimate political tactic. Why he should be so set on making juvenile comments about me I don’t know. OK, he obviously disagrees with my point of view and doesn’t like my attitude, but the last time I checked, representatives of political parties put their views across with reasoned arguments, not abusive comments.

I’m 100% positive that I know the name of ‘English Nationalist’ and I find it hard to believe that someone who eventually wants to hold national political office actually believes that such tactics are reasonable, acceptable, moral or ethical.

Such behaviour would be grounds for immediate dismissal in any other party.

This person really doesn’t get what I’m about.

I have no political axe to grind – my beef with Peter Davies isn’t his politics but the way in which he conducted his mayoral campaign.

Similarly, if the person in question here had not decided to adopt an extremely hostile attitude and then seek to make this matter personal then I probably would still be unaware of the existence of his party – which I was until a few weeks ago when a fellow blogger uncovered some of their dubious tactics – and of Peter Davies also, since I heard of Davies after I heard of some of the questionable methods of the EDP.

In fact, I blog about the EDP and Davies because of you, English Nationalist.

If you’d been far more discrete and adopted the usual methods of aspiring politicians, I wouldn’t be writing this and you might have got more votes in the EU elections.

I’m at a loss to guess why English Nationalist thinks that he’s going to win people over to his way of thinking when he deliberately adopts methods which the vast majority of people would find undemocratic and more suited to a banana republic – which we aren’t quite, yet.

If this person is who I firmly believe it is, then they have accused me of being ‘aggressive’.

All I can say is that if the negative views of a few bloggers really worry you that much then how are you going to cope with the cut and thrust of experienced politicians if you get into the Commons, or your constituents when they come to you with problems?

Are you going to send everyone who’s aggressive towards you ‘anonymous’ emails making smutty comments about their sex lives or poking fun at their names?

And would it show how politically astute you were if you sent them using your own party’s email address?

Such methods doom you to obscurity.

If the person whom I believe English Nationalist to be is reading this and goes with my first option above – then you seriously need to pay a good IT guy to come in and find out how your party’s email accounts are being hacked.

If, as I suspect, you are the latter – an anonymous EDP poster with some rather bizarre notions of how to win support for your party – then perhaps you’d like to start commenting under your real name if you want to win any sort of political respect.

Either way, whether you realise it or not, this may be some of the most helpful advice you’ve ever received during your political career.

The new Doncaster Mayor speaks

From here.*

…I also find that the councillors are fighting like rats in a sack not only between the parties but inside their own parties too.

Heaven forbid that any party – no matter how small – should have its members disagreeing with each other…

*Just in case some moronic fuckwit comes on here and starts giving me a lot of gob about editing quotes and using them out of context, a link is there in the second word of this article. In my browser it’s underlined and blue. People reading this are invited to go to the site linked to and make their own minds up as to my integrity and honesty.

Wheelie bad news

Hmm…a bit of free time, so a cruise through the news…

World news…Ooh, Iran…OK there…nice and quiet…and North Korea won the footy…well done, them! So much for the ‘axis of evil’ and regional instability in the Far and Middle East.

The Economy…ah…lots of green shoots, so everything OK by Christmas. Two jobs for everyone and maybe some tax cuts next year!

Politics…nice to see full transparency over the MPs’ expenses…no need to bother with any reforms there. Carry on chaps – and dredge another moat on me, why don’t you?

Health…lots of dosh sloshing round in the NHS…waiting lists so short they’re begging you to have an op even if you don’t need one.

Local news…Doncaster’s well set…new EDP Mayor who’s going to clean up the town…Utopia by the autumn!

Everything’s great!

Not much news at all.

Which must explain why the Daily Mail is making such a big deal over this – even to the extent of launching a campaign.

Child abuse…economic ruin…criminal justice system broken…parliamentary corruption…

Pah!

It’s those evil, evil wheelie bins that are the source of all mankind’s woes.

To Paul Dacre…it’s not the bins you twat…it’s the EU directives on waste you should be concerned about…

Very…

interesting

I wonder what the ordinary EDP member thinks of all this?

A lot of it checks out very accurately – lest I be accused of being a Liberal* pinko commie socialist anti-English self-hater.

*For LoudMimeDave

Just in case you missed the EDP’s admission of guilt…

The EDP has a Facebook list of what are obviously meant to be celebrity endorsements.

Many of them appear to be bogus.

Will Carling himself and Billy Bragg’s agent – at the very least – are both outraged at the way in which  their names have been hijacked to make it appear as if they are EDP supporters.

An EDP member said last night on the anti-Davies Facebook group:

you are right about those bloody stupid celebrity endorsements, who ever thought of that is in need of a kick up the arse.

Now, today, an English Democrat has commented from the EDP web site:

Well done, Steve, you are doing the work of the English Democrats for them.

Finally we can get these celebrities aware of the English Democrats

He’s admitting that these celebrities on the list aren’t aware that their names are being used…

I think that’s a clincher, don’t you?


The English Democrats Party reacts to ‘celebrity endorsement’ revelations

Received as a comment on this article just now: 16.16, 15/6/09 – from ‘English Nationalist’ at http://www.engdem.org/

Excellent Steve – we were waiting for someone to do this.

Are these celebrities who made their fortune by being English & Proud, going to deny a connection.

Let’s see what happens.

Seems as if the EDP don’t like me exposing their celebrity endorsements for the sham that they truly are.

As for ‘these celebrities who made their fortunes by being English & Proud’ denying a connection, would they be the same celebrities who weren’t asked if they minded their names being used in connection with the EDP, whose names have been used to mislead the public into thinking they support the EDP and who, in the case of Mr Carling and Mr Bragg, seem all too eager to distance themselves from the EDP as far as possible?

What makes you think that any of the other celebrities will feel anything other than distaste and outrage at such cheap and devious tactics?

Yes, let’s see what happens.

Heh…

The same guy’s just commented again on another article:

Well done, Steve, you are doing the work of the English Democrats for them.

Finally we can get these celebrities aware of the English Democrats

Thank you Steve

So, these endorsers aren’t already aware?

Gotcha!

I think it’s time the frothing fool went here.

EDP ‘celebrity endorsers’ – the story so far…

Celebrities, or their agents, now informed:

  • Will Carling
  • Jeremy Paxman
  • Sir Bobby Charlton
  • Dame Judi Dench
  • Billy Bragg
  • Jeremy Clarkson
  • John Cleese

Details, etc below in my blog and more to come.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to nominate a celebrity from the EDP’s Facebook list of ‘celebrity endorsers’, just contact me, tell me your choice and I’ll do my best to contact them or their agent.

If Peter the Punter Mayor Davies is reading this, maybe he’d like to have a punt on who gets chosen next…