Monday, March 05, 2007

Cambridgeshire council racism III

I promise you this is a *new* Cambridgeshire story, no matter how much it might seem like something I've said before (like this, this and this)

Gail KenneyTory Councillor Gail Kenney (Sawston) is up before the Standards Board tomorrow after complaints from the Soni Kuriz Young Asian Women's Group that she'd made Islamophobic / racist remarks to them after the councillor visited them in her capacity as Children's & Young People's Services Scrutiny Committee member. The girls aged between 16 and 18 claim Kenney was "racist, arrogant, prejudiced, judgmental, patronising and did not listen."

The internal investigation found that the councillor was "unintentionally" racist, breached the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and "therefore failed to treat people with respect." However, it also ruled that she had not damaged the reputation of her office, which is an interesting ruling don't you think?

She breached the Race Relations Act but that's OK? Hmmm.

Anyway, what did she actually do, apart from clearly upsetting and infuriating a group of spirited young women? She told one girl she only wore the hijab "because it suited her", made offensive remarks about Islamic terrorists and assumed that one of the girls would be "married off to some illiterate man from back home" against her will. On an official visit to a young woman's Muslim group, ffs. They should be glad she didn't come in with fists flying I suppose.

Kenney has apologised for the remarks but then goes on to state "I believe this issue has been blown out of all proportion... I take my role as a county councillor extremely seriously and will listen with interest to the deliberations of the standards board."

Well, at least she's listening to someone. Shame it isn't her constituents.

Patricia O'BrienWhich reminds of another story in today's papers. Cllr Patricia O'Brien has described how she has been recieving hate mail, which is obviously a bad thing. Why wont her constituents let her close schools in Newmarket, Mildenhall and Haverhill in peace. It's just so unfair isn't it?

She admits that she is surprised at the strength of local reaction to her plans for schools in the area but "I have got a lot of faith that we're doing the right thing." Apparently she represents a "silent majority" but, and I've always wondered this about silent majorities - how do you know what they think if they are silent?

Aren't any of these people listening to the people at all? Why are they making such a virtue out of being out of touch with those who live in their areas? That's democracy I guess... cough, cough.

1 comment:

Renegade Eye said...

She talked out loud what other bourgeoise politicians really think.