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Donny’s nightmayor

peter-daviesDoncaster is not usually a topic of conversation in the multicultural big cities of Britain – but it is now… This is because since the Yorkshire town elected as their mayor – a right-wing English Democrat – he’s proving to be even more extreme than many people feared

The antics of the mayor, Peter Davies (pictured above), is covered by the Guardian’s Hugh Muir lifts the lid on Doncaster’s crackdown on minority groups.

From the banning of a gay pride event, to Davies’s expressed desire to axe the town’s diversity officers – and claiming that the Taliban represented family values – the new mayor is causing consternation in local government circles.

The article quotes OBV’s Simon Woolley commenting on the issue.

“The very area we should be strengthening -equality- is under the greatest threat,” says Simon Woolley, coordinator of Operation Black Vote.

“We get this wrong and those least likely to defend themselves will be readily thrown out of work, and find it most difficult to be re-employed. Furthermore, our inability to close the inequality gap could result in community antagonism, and in some places rising crime.”

The reason why Doncaster matters is because the government’s experiment in handing locally elected mayors extensive powers could end up delivering towns, and even cities, into the hands of the extreme right.

The first warning sign came as early as 2002, and didn’t involve neo-Nazis, when a football mascot called H’Angus the Monkey (aka Stuart Drummond) was elected mayor of Hartlepool… and then re-elected him.

Today, the British National Party are eyeing up the office of Mayor of Stoke, where they have several councillors. This heralds the alarming prospect of a far-right party which excludes ethnic minorities from joining it, governing over Black voters.

The prospect of avowed racists deciding funding for community projects, or how to target local services, should ring alarm bells. That’s why High Muir is right to raise the issue of Doncaster, lest the extreme right seize control of councils, or even cities, by winning elected mayor contests.

Lester Holloway
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7 Responses

  1. Hang on guys. Peter Davies did not ban any Gay Prode event. He merely said that the rate payer would not fund it. I understand one of the leading lights in his cabinet is gay. He IS NOT homophobic.

    He is an English Democrat which believes in a seperate English Parliament for ALL the people of England what ever race or creed. Their in-house magazine ran a three page article on an English BLACK rugby player.

    Beware those who would divide the people and ask why? There is a bigger game being played here by powerful elites.

  2. Guy, you are right to point out that he did not ban the event. He cut the public funding for it. Strangely enough he inadvertantly deprived Doncaster of the boost that event would have provided to the local economy in a recession.

    However, on the wider issues of being an English Democrat, whilst their English Parliament would be for all the people (a novel concept in a democracy); and their magazine devoted not one, but three pages to an English rugby player (blimey); I can’t help but think that their policies (or lack of them) give rise to the beliefs expounded in the article above.

    With about 8 months to go before a general election their website link ‘policies’ cover a full four ‘key issues’:

    1. Immigration
    2. English identity
    3. The EU
    4. Political Correctness

    So that’s one quarter of their policy framework devoted to an ideological concept. They say they would do this by repealing “…those laws promoting political correctness”. Not that there are any, although they’re obviously referring to anti-discrimination laws.

    http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=26%3Akey-issues&id=318%3Athe-eu&Itemid=32

    As they point out they “want English freedoms and values, not multiculturalism”. Which I guess either means that they think English values and freedoms are currently suppressed; or they want no other cultures but the English culture celebrated; or they believe that you can’t celebrate more than one culture at once?

    The reason I would empathise with the portrayal above is that despite the recession and what consequences it has had (and will have) for English people there is absolutely nothing on the economy. Or health, education, the environment, or defence for that matter.

    When the dislike of anti-discrimination laws trump addressing the above basic policy areas, you might be forgiven for thinking there is smidgin of intolerance there.

  3. Hi David. I have marched many times over the years starting back in Grosvenor Square around the time of the Vietnam pull out. We never got funded (although the smear was that these marches were funded by the USSR!) but we still marched. I don’t understand why Gay Pride cannot march in Doncaster without government funding, because they are welcome for Heaven’s sakes.

    English Culture.

    In the Tour de France last year we had a Scottish team, a Welsh team, a Northern Irish Team and a British team! When the Ministry of Sport were asked why British and not English they referred the enquirers to the Ministry of Culture who stated that they didn’t want to fuel “English nationalism”!
    Why do the BBC never refer to English Ministers yet use the correct national descriptor for Scottish and welsh politicians? (The Minister for Health is actually the English Minister as Scotland has their own!)
    Why does the Scottish political establishment vote itself free university educations for the students, free old age care for the elderly, free prescription charges for the sick and access to life saving drugs which are not accessible to the English residents and then vote against such for England in Westminster.
    Cross the border from Scotland and you pass the Saltaire as you leave Scotland and the Union Jack as you enter England – why is the national flag not flown?

    There is tons more of this stuff and that is why the English Democrats want an English Parliament (with a lot less MPs) and a small federal UK Government. No different than Scotland really.

    Immigration
    England is the country with the third densest population in the world. The financial tsunami about to hit us will mean we will hard pressed to support our current population because we simply will not have the cash. Apart from exceptional circumstances all immigration should be halted, even that from Europe. Our focus should be on the people who live here right now and getting them through the austerity that is facing us.

    EU
    I won’t bore you with the EU, but it is an affront to all the principles of democracy and is created to support the goals of the capitalist/political elites. I understand that at least one MEP of 15 years standing has worked his way through £25M of expenses. Take a look at the Taxpayers Alliance website for more horrors!

    There is no way the English democrats would gain power so there is little use of putting forward a great detail of basic policy. The English Democrats are pushing for a major change in the way our democracy works, the high level message being to get power to do things in England, back in the hands of the people of England and put local power back into the hands of the localities.

    With regard to “celebrating” culture, we are very happy to celebrate culture. But when we want to hold St George’s Day’s parades we are banned by the local councils. Our general experience in similar situations is that it is not acceptable to “celebrate” English Culture – everyone else’s, but not English!

    Well that’s it and I hope the march goes ahead nest year – it is always a bit of a festival!

  4. Guy, I simply don’t recognise your description of English culture not being celebrated in England. Go anywhere in the country and you’ll find fairs, events and celebrations which are traditionally English… even if many of the customs owe their origins from migrants centuries ago. The notion that English culture is being swamped by foreigners may raise a grievance and feelings of persecution from people who consider themselves English, but it is simply not based on reality.

  5. Hi Guy,

    I am confused as to why the Ministry of Culture felt that an English team would fuel “English nationalism”.

    As to the lack of reference to English Ministers (is it just the BBC though?). I think this is because the jurisdiction of ‘English’ Ministers is not uniformly English, yet in the devolved parliaments they are uniformly Scots or Welsh.

    As to the perceived inequity of Scotland vs. England in terms of MPs. I understand your points, and that Scots (and the Irish and Welsh) get more out in terms of public services than England and contribute less tax.

    However these arguments overlook the impact that London plays, and whether it is fair to compare Edinburgh, Belfast, or Cardiff. Conversely there are many English ‘benefits’ that are part paid for by Scots, irish, and Welsh. The Millenium Dome (like it or not); Wembley; and the Olympics are just three benefits London / England has had from British taxpayers.

    Further, Scotland and the other countries provide revenues for our exchequer via its natural resources.

    As per the flags, I guess the country that conquered values its conquests more than those who were conquered? I’m not a Unionist but there are quite a few of them out there.

    Whilst England is the country with the third densest population in the world. I think that the immigration argument would be much stronger if those making brought in:

    a) the concept of land reform: it means more available land for housing, and the more land available the lower the price of available land. The country is not full I as I hear so many people say, it has the land equivalent of a gastric band.

    b) tougher talk and action for those who live here: it may not be good politics, but perhaps the EDs need to be more curt with those English / British people who refuse to work. This ties in to my earlier post about a lack of wider policies (e.g. work and pensions).

    c) an analysis of jobs markets: what would the work shortage on in public health and education; and low-skilled jobs that ‘Brits’ can’t do / refuse to do. We have skills shortages that can’t just be papered over.

    I agree the EU needs reform and that it has the hallmarks of a Eurocentric trade initiative that stymies ‘the developing world’ and ‘small business’ when it suits it. I think there have been other benefits e.g. human rights benefits to the EU Court (innocents peoples’ DNA case for example).

    I think the argument the EDs being a long way from power as the reason for putting little policy detail forward is a bit of a cop out. There is very little period. If EDs are pushing for a major change in the way our democracy works, there if far much more to democracy that the EU.

    With regard to culture I would not object to St. George’s Day celebrations, and feel that those local councils who are doing are operating out of an inability to reclaim Englishness from the margins.

    However, I believe that there two issues. 1. We conquered the rest of the Union, so what is English becomes British by default. 2. There are far many more celebrations of English culture beyond St George’s Day. They include:

    – May Day
    – Wakes weeks / fortnight and the August Bank Holiday
    – Bonfire Night
    – Harvest festivals
    – Rememberance Sunday
    – The Solstices and Equinoxes

    None of these are not banned. Neither are regional celebrations of culture, which are English but not in a regional sense.

    Many so called English patriots couldn’t tell me what some of the above were or when or why they are celebrated. These are sometimes the same people who bandy about labels like PC and unpatriotic.

    Speaking of so called patriots I was joking with someone a couple of years about Turkey entering the EU. They were dead against it. I said it was unpatriotic to be anti-Turkish. St George mattered so much to them they completely missed the joke (it is his reputed country of birth)!

  6. Corrections: those should have been…

    Noone of these are not banned. Neither are regional celebrations of culture, which are English but in a parochial sense.

  7. Lester, “swamped” was your word not mine. I am not saying that English culture is being swamped. All I am asking is wht could we not have an English cycling team? Why are St George’s Day marches not allowed and why in some councils moves have been made against people flying the national flag in their garden?

    This has nothing to do with race Lester ,and much more to do with politics and the ‘milking’ of the English (of all colours & creeds). English nationalism could damage the EU gravy train and is to be crushed at all costs. It would not to threaten Mr Blair’s prospective new job you see!

    I would never consider myself a socialist, but I do believe the power elites would love to have the working class hating the middle class, white hating black, East hating West as it would keep all our eyes from the real evil and that is that there is a small number of very rich, powerful people looking working together who care for nothing but their wealth. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening at a frighten rate as democracy is slowly being eroded. Regrettably, when the world wakes up, it will be too late.

    End of sermon.

    Cheers mate!

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