Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Liam is Spot On, Bob Bagley is Wrong!

There is an interesting story in the Sentinel today quoting comments by Liam Byrne (pictured) Labour's West Midlands Minister who is also the party's Minister Of State For Borders And Immigration. He really went of the offensive about the rise in popularity of the far right BNP in Stoke on Trent. For the record i agree with his opinion. Read what he has to say here:

I have been attacked consistently by Bob Bagley on the Sentinel website for saying that i think that some (not all!) of the local BNP councilors have been effective in dealing with issues in their local wards! I make no apologies for this because it's true! Bob thinks that we should not say things like this. Let me be clear it do not agree with a single policy of the BNP and i would never vote for them i have done enough research into the BNP to know they do not represent the way i live my life. My rule of life No1 is that i am willing to live in harmony with anyone of any race or creed as long as they want to live in harmony with me and mean me no harm. I happen to think that the people in this city are not stupid, i think that they can see that certain BNP councilors are effective but i also think that the vast majority of those people would not vote BNP. Why can't Bob have the good grace and humility to accept this? even more to the point why does Bob not vent his frustration toward the ineffective, egotistical Labour councilors who have become complacent in their outlook and service to our city. We have a Labour Elected Mayor who is not popular and insists in carrying out policies that the vast majority of this cities electorate do not want! such as in the schools re organisation, how people have not been consulted properly and been forced in some instances to have something that whole communities do not want,ie Trentham. What about the policy on elderly care, where we are seeing the closure of many city home care provisions! Labour councilors tell me in private that they don't agree with the mayor on these issues but are not allowed to come out and voice THEIR opinions, they have to to tow the party line. The are effectively GAGGED! Bob and his pal Joy Garner won't open up to the fact that it could be this that is turning people to the likes of the BNP. Gary Elsby summed it up perfectly the other day in a post on the Sentinel when he said "i am not allowed to comment on that comment" I rest my case!


Frank Fuller said...

Tony I have some amount of sympathy with the argument made by Bob Bagley. You can't go around giving the BNP respectability when in reality they are a bunch of thugs and include convicted nail bombers and rapists. Did you see the photographs of the people who turned up for the BNP rally last week? I wouldn't have wanted them coming near my door with their leaflets.

Tony said...

I have sympathy to a point Frank, of course Bob is right to point out the abhorrent policies of this party of hate and non tolerance. It is however true that not one Labour councilor put themselves forward as an LA governor when they had the chance. Any one of them could have said that it would be wrong to allow a BNP councilor to go onto the governing body of Longton High because of past issues and also that there is 13% BME within the school, but they did not. They did not raise an issue then so why raise one now? Joy Garner posted a comment on the Sentinel website that was factually incorrect and angered Longton HS so much that their senior leadership team responded (this can be read on this blog) Point is Frank that Labour need to be better than any opposition including the BNP. By being better councilors the will stave off the threat. Labour need to put their own house in order before commenting on others. Where are Bob and Joy tonight Frank? Shushhh they've gone very quiet

nita said...

Frank, welcome to the site. You make a very good point. I am no supporter of the BNP, but I can see why they are gaining in popularity across the City. People see them as the party that is actually listening to their views. If I had a fiver for every time Ive heard the words, "the BNP Councillors help us out all the time, we've asked Labour but they don't want to know". If you watched the BBC's Insisde Out Programme, you will have seen a BNP Councillor running a club for the pensioners in Abbey Hulton. This is one way of getting the votes. These are the people who are niave, and do not really understand what the BNP stands for. These are the people who will put the X in the box at elections. They go out doing peoples gardens and shopping, these people then think, well at least they care, and vote for them they will. What does concern me is, that Labour Councillors seem to have accepted defeat, and have admitted that they will probably all get beaten come the next elections. Well, that is not good enough, they should be taking action, to make sure they get back the voters they have lost. I for one do not want to live in a City with a BNP majority, it will be bad for investment. That's my opinion, what does everyone think??

ian norris said...

Bob seems to have a problem with anyone not part of the 3 main party Allaince at the Council, keep the City run by mayor parties and have tham all gagged and force to vote along with the National Parties. Is that what we want or do we want Local Councillors to dwal with local issues?

nicky said...

I wouldn't worry about Bob Bagley as he's clearly a bit obsessed. Tony I don't really see what you or anyone from the TAG has said to get him so upset. STH Campaigner put it well on the Sentinel site when s/he said that we are a non-political group but of necessity we need to interact with councillors of various political parties. And I have said I am not prejudiced and will talk to any of them. Maybe that's one of the things he doesn't like. He says "if I were fighting a cause I would rather be on the losing side than win by accepting the support of the likes of the BNP". Isn't that just a tad prejudiced of him? Isn't prejudice his criticism of the BNP? So isn't he rather like them in that respect? And if he is a parent, wouldn't he be prepared to fight for his children. To me, I would fail as a parent if I didn't do everything I could to secure the best education for my children. And I am quite happy to accept support from labour, tory, libdem if it is offered to me. In fact there was support on the scrutiny committee from members of two of these parties, for which I am grateful. So there is actually a bit of support from SOT councillors across all political groups, except for the tories, unless one of them wants to shout otherwise. But Mark Meredith is the one I am waiting to see sense from. Bob Bagley may wish to rest assured that at the last council elections, not a single person in Trentham and Hanford voted for the BNP!

Maybe this Liam Byrne is someone else I should put on my emailing list. What does annoy me is him coming in from the outside without really knowing what things are like here for ordinary people and critises the fact we have a lot of BNP councillors, when as like Tony says, he should really be telling labour councillors and our mayor, from his own party, to get of their backsides and start respresenting the people. What irritates me most is if we take our problems to ministers we get fobbed off with 'it's a local issue'. And yet it's ok for him to poke around in our neighbourhood. Well maybe as he's West Midlands Minister it's his job. So I should, actually, write to him and just see - do I get the it back with 'these are things for your LA to decide and it's not for me to intervene'? Actually it probably wouldn't be from him, it'd probably be from one of his minions more along the lines of 'ministers are very busy and can't be bothered with plebs like you'. I'll give it a try, just to see what happens.

Alison said...

Nicky, what a great idea - add him to your mailing list and see what he's got to say for himself.

I'm firmly in the same category as you - I don't mind who we work with or get support from (politics doesn't really interest me) - I just want to know that I have fought as hard as I can for what I believe is right for my kids.

As Tony and yourself have pointed out, there are different councillors, from different political parties, who have supported various causes, not least the schools issue.

Tony is also correct when he states that not one Labour councillor offered or suggested becoming a governor of Longton High. Perhaps if they had, we might be a bit more inclined to believe them when they say they support us.

I am really pleased this site is generating some serious debate and comment - it's about time we had somewhere to vent our frustrations!

Worzel Gummidge said...

I think you may be wasting your time, Alison.
Remember that the unwritten truth is that this lot are from the West Midlands quango.
Byrne, Flello, Meredith and all the bag carriers linked to these clowns.
Check it out for yourself and you'll find that the whole plan is to deliver the West Midlands Office order.
They have all been found safe seats in Stoke and all locals forced out, this is why people around here struggle to find any link to local needs and resort to protesting with the vote.
It can definitly be proved that Meredith and Flello have angered people into voting BNP.
Their game is always to stick together and frustrate alternative opinion.
Meredith lived in Birmingham for 20 years and was promised all help to win the Mayor's job and Flello )born Birmingham) saw all local councillors fail to make the final cut in selection.
A total stitch up by idiots who have no long term honour or identity with stoke people.
Flello is the clown splashed across the internet for being the prime fool who ran the 'Tory Toff' campaign in Crewe recently.

nicky said...

Well I've sent this Liam Byrne an email anyway. While I was on a roll with the idea I stayed up until the wee small hours to send it. That annoyed the BNP though as they were all there waiting for me to get into bed with them... as Bob Bagley would have it...

brooneyes said...

Tony, care to clarify just what these "abhorrent policies" might be?
You can't take Bob Bagley seriously, the mans mad! Everything is the fault of the BNP!

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