Tuesday, June 24, 2008

McGrath Resignation: Debate Takes a New Turn

Councillor Bob Piper joins Dale and Co in attacking Boris Johnson for accepting some foot-in-mouth Ocker bloke's resignation. None of us can really know the details of the various transactions but I do think Bob's comparison with saying similar - "if you don't like it go home" - to Polish plumbers or Slovakian fruit pickers really does not hold water.

Very, very different. London's Windrush generation to which the "devil's advocate" Darcus Howe referred have (a) put up with and overcome a great deal of racism and (b) are the parents, grand-parents, great grand-parents of generations of Black Britons.

Home for these people is London. Boris was right. They are not over here on a gap year or waiting for the Polish economy to pick up.

FOOTNOTE: Here incidentally is what Darcus Howe had to say to the Guardian about one of the last Mayor's political advisors:

"I hold no brief for Lee Jasper," growls Darcus Howe, the veteran activist and commentator. "If Lee Jasper passed me on the street and said hello, I would not speak to him." With his shaven, bullet head, bulky build - once a massive 18 stone - and forceful oratory, 49-year-old Jasper has had a reputation for courting controversy ever since the 1996 Brixton riot, when he made what he described as a "very, very angry" speech just before the violence erupted.


Bob Piper said...

Well, Chris, if "Home for these people is London. Boris was right. They are not over here on a gap year or waiting for the Polish economy to pick up. it is Howe you should be having a go at, not McGrath.

Darcus Howe said...
...that the election of “Boris Johnson, a right-wing Conservative, might just trigger off a mass exodus of older Caribbean migrants back to our homelands”

Homelands? Homelands? Which homelands? Brixton? Notting Hill? Handsworth?

The fact is, it was Howe who suggested they would go back home, not McGrath. All he did was to say to Howe, well if they want to do that they are welcome to do so. He wasn't advocating 'sending people back home' or some sort of forced repatriation.

What are you trying to say? That if people don't like something in this country and want to return to their homelands then we should forbid it in some way?

Chris Paul said...

I agree on one point. Darcus Howe is a deliberate wind up merchant. Devil's Advocate as he calls himself. But that's no excuse for Johnson's man who said something very very stupid indeed.

There is no comparison with Polish plumbers and on reflection I think you could and should admit that to be the case. A silly point from someone who does not usually make silly points.

If people really want to relocate then of course they should.

If however they do not want to relocate but do so because the local government or local police change the climate or allow it to change so it is hateful they should be PROTECTED, their concerns ADDRESSED, and they should be URGED TO STAY and enjoy our ongoing welcome and thanks for their efforts over 60 years.

In my opinion.

Chris Paul said...

PS Did McGrath expect them all to go to Oz? Warm welcome there no doubt. Or just fuck off out of London?

Bob Piper said...

Chris, I think the comparison with Polish plumbers is perfectly sound and not at all silly. Perhaps it is the monocultural area you live in.

Around here we have had a polish community for a very long time. My doctor is Polish, my fellow Ward councillor is Polish, we have two Polish supermarkets in the neighbourhood and the newsagents sell Polish newspapers.

But if they said electing a Labour councillor may want them return to live under their right-wing reactionary government in Warsaw, I would say the same as McGrath... let 'em go if they want to.

You're making a bit of a twit of yourself on this one Chris... as someone who doesn't usually make a twit out of himself, and you shouldn't let your anti-Dale bias get in the way of criticising the buffoon Tories who panicked over this.

Chris Paul said...

Monoculture? You are kidding right? I live in Manchester! Both my kids were in a 10% or less ethnic minority in their primary school.

Do you really think it is reasonable to understand that by Polish plumbers and Slovakian fruit pickers you actually mean people from long established communities, comparable with the likes of the Windrush group Howe surely refers to?

Or are you just being very stubborn? Or resolute let's say?!

Bob Piper said...

Yes, there is a difference, but in essence the situation is the same. but if the Polish Jews and who flew persecution from the Nazis thought they had another homeland, and bear in mind that many of them do,and said they wanted to go there because they didn't agree with who had been elected - from whichever political party - then who am I or you to say they should stay.

Howe was talking bollocks, and by backing his ridiculous stance you're giving it credence.

Bob Piper said...

On your second point... Did McGrath expect them all to go to Oz? No. He didn't expect them to go anywhere... Howe said they might. He said Ok, then go if you wish.

I have no intention of making or defending racism and xenophobia, be it towards citizens of the Caribbean or Australia, but for johnson to sack someone for making a stupid reply to an even more stupid question is ridiculous.

Chris Paul said...

Well Bob, I think McGrath and Johnson probably did the right thing here. There may be more to those decisions. We may never know.

And I think your remarks about Polish plumbers and Slovakian fruit pickers are being - clearly referring to recent economic migrants who are not comparable to Howe's constituency - so massively post-rationalised as to become patently ridiculous.

I'm busy critting some Lib Dems in Rochdale for now so I'll be leaving it at that.