Middlesex Anti Racist Action

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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:27 pm

THE ICG

For our latest essay, Middlesex Anti Racist Action takes a look at the Independent Community Group and its controversial leader Phil Andrews. It is impossible to give a complete portrait of this subject matter in such a short article. However, the following is what we regard as a reasonably balanced interpretation of the ICG and its highly clever (though in our opinion, manipulative) creator. We would like to stress to the moderator that there is absolutely nothing libellous in this essay and that all of its contents are verifiable...

2014 update – What follows is an enlarged version of the original article first posted here three years ago.



The fascist roots of the ICG

Although the logo of the Independent Community Group consists of a plant whose roots are embedded in the community, the ICG's true origins lie in the Isleworth South National Front. Here, MARA charts the group's history and assesses how it has developed since its original formation.

BEGINNINGS

In 1984, a young Isleworth-based National Front activist named Phil Andrews wrote an article for his party's Nationalism Today magazine. Entitled 'New Structures for Winning Recruits', it set out an audacious strategy for gaining influence through a process of community engagement.

This was to involve infiltrating or setting up residents groups and, in the words of the author, "sinking local roots" so that "the personal trust of NF members will help lead the community to trust the NF itself".

Over the next thirty years Andrews would devote his life to pursuing this strategy, initially as a far right activist and subsequently as a self-styled community politician.

One of the earliest examples of his tactic of creating fake organisations came in 1985, when Hounslow Council banned the NF from using council-owned premises. Andrews got around this by booking meetings at Isleworth Public Hall in the name of a fictitious angling club: the club would cancel the meeting at the last minute and the NF would use the booking instead.

Andrews went on to found the short-lived 'Independent Ivybridge Tenants Association' after a failed attempt by the NF to infiltrate the estate's official residents' group, the 'New Ivybridge Tenants Association' (NITA).

Some years later, as leader of the ICG, he repeated the tactic by setting up the 'Ivybridge Tenants Action Group' (IvyTag). This would eventually merge with NITA to form the 'United Residents Association of Ivybridge' (URA) which still operates to the present day.

Andrews also co-founded the 'Mogden Residents Action Group' (MRAG). This was launched ostensibly to hold Thames Water to account over their ownership and management of the local Mogden sewage works, but in reality is an adjunct to the ICG.

MRAG's principal spokesperson is obsessively loyal to Andrews and has directed threatening and abusive language at anti-fascists on local internet forums. He has also publicly accused migrants of “sucking off our benefits system”.

Andrews and the ICG further strengthened their influence when they seized control of the 'Isleworth Community Safety Forum'. This subsequently issued statements demanding the return of conscription and corporal punishment.

Alongside Andrews' strategy of taking over or setting up community groups was his practice of writing to the press under assumed names.

One apparent example of this was the Indian-sounding nom de plume of 'M Mehta'. Although the name could never be traced on the electoral register, missives from this alleged Summerwood Road resident would regularly pop up in the letters columns of local newspapers.

They would invariably be supportive of whatever activities Andrews happened to be engaged in at the time, both during his final years in the NF (in the late 1980s) and throughout his first few years as leader of the ICG (in the early to mid-1990s).

In the autumn of 1993 ‘M Mehta’ wrote to the Brentford Chiswick and Isleworth Times attacking the Anti Nazi League for being “violent, undemocratic and evil” and for allegedly running a “despicable hate campaign” against a Heston-based BNP member.

This was published shortly after Andrews was himself in conflict with the ANL over their involvement in that summer’s Isleworth South by-election. (The group had conducted a leafleting campaign against a local ‘community’ candidate who was being backed by Andrews).

Three years later a letter appeared in the local press under the pseudonym of ‘Molly Asante’. Once again no such person could be traced, yet the author claimed to be an ICG member who was embarrassed by the preferential treatment she was receiving as a self-described “African woman”.

This particular missive was penned to support the agenda of Andrews’ allies in the newly-formed ‘Hounslow Residents Group’ (HRG), an organisation set up to oppose the local authority’s alleged practise of discriminating in favour of minority ethnic groups.

However, the ‘Molly Asante’ non-de-plume backfired badly when an ANL activist questioned her existence and offered to meet her in the Richmond office of the local Times newspaper. The ICG Chairman wrote in refusing the request on her behalf and ‘Molly Asante’ was never heard of again.

In 1997 a further mystery letter appeared in the same newspaper. This one urged the Labour Party to conduct a disreputable campaign against the ICG, arguing that “If enough mud is thrown some of it will stick”.

In an obvious attempt to incriminate Labour the author implied that he was a party member himself, though none of the CLP’s officers had heard of him. Predictably Andrews responded to the letter in his own name, highlighting it as an example of Labour’s alleged lack of ethics.

A subsequent decline in the circulation of the local press prompted Andrews to turn his attention to new forms of media. His main target was to be the fledgling Neighbour Net websites and in particular the local ‘BrentfordTW8.com’ internet discussion forum.

Aided by moderators who turn a blind eye to Andrews’ liberal use of aliases the ICG quickly became the dominant force in local online debates, often through a process of ganging-up and bullying.

RISE TO POWER

Infiltrating community groups and winning the propaganda battle in the local press were part and parcel of Andrews' electoral strategy.

An early test of this came at the 1986 local elections. Previously, the National Front had always contested Isleworth South Ward. However, on this occasion the NF did not stand and instead two candidates were fielded by the hitherto unknown 'Isleworth South Community Group'.

The West London branch of Anti-Fascist Action set out to expose the group by highlighting the fact that Andrews was the ISCG’s official election agent. The candidates responded by saying "We are only guilty by association".

However, their campaign was fatally undermined when special magnifying equipment was used to examine the legal printing code on their election literature: this revealed that it had been produced at the NF HQ. As a consequence the ISCG performed badly, polling only 5% of the vote.

In the aftermath of the election Anti-Fascist Action accused Andrews of “mismanaging Hounslow National Front as his personal publicity machine” and warned the ICSG that it would continue to “expose racism in all its forms”.

Though disappointed with the result, Andrews noted that it was at least an improvement on the level of support previously attracted by unreconstructed NF candidates. Encouraged by this he continued with the new electoral strategy while gradually recasting his own political image in more centrist terms.

In each subsequent election the vote won by 'community' candidates increased until, in 1998, Andrews became the first councillor to be elected under the ICG banner. His margin of victory was a wafer-thin two votes.

The defeated Labour candidate questioned the ethics of the ICG campaign, claiming among much else that false rumours had been circulated regarding which blocks were earmarked for demolition on the local Ivybridge estate.

His remarks seemed to echo sentiments expressed by veteran Tory Councillor Peter Carey only a few months earlier. He, too, had been scathing about ICG campaigning methods and referred to the contents of a leaflet distributed by Andrews in his Spring Grove Ward as “malicious, mischievous and total rubbish”.

The next four years would see a sustained campaign of vilification against the two remaining Labour councillors for Isleworth South. They were repeatedly attacked in the local press and the ICG made a series of thinly veiled insinuations that they were involved in corruption, though failed to produce any evidence when challenged.

Meanwhile one of the Labour councillors suffered a series of unfortunate ‘mishaps’. Paint was twice splattered over her car and its tyres repeatedly slashed. More ominously, a shot gun pellet was fired through her bedroom window. To top it all she and her family began receiving unrequested pizza deliveries and cab calls all hours of the day and night.

The harassment came to an abrupt halt when she was defeated in the 2002 local elections. This saw the ICG win all three Isleworth seats in a victory so crushing that even Andrews himself was taken by surprise.

However, the ICG leader was in no mood for magnanimity and instigated legal proceedings against the defeated Labour candidates over the contents of one of their election leaflets. This had claimed that minority ethnic voters would be at risk should he be elected. Andrews charged that this was a 'malicious falsehood' but the case was thrown out of court.

Further controversy occurred on the eve of the following (2006) local council election, as a new team of Labour candidates fought to regain the ward. A report in the London Evening Standard stated:

“Police were today investigating a firebomb attack on one of tomorrow’s candidates. An object believed to be a petrol bomb was thrown at the home of Susan Sampson, a Labour candidate in Isleworth, in the early hours. She led her two young children to safety after flames engulfed rubbish bins outside.”

The news item continued: “Mrs Sampson has been a vocal opponent of sitting councillor Phil Andrews, a former National Front parliamentary candidate and Holocaust denier who was jailed in 1986 for causing actual bodily harm to a black police officer at a St George’s Day rally.”

In the following hours the ICG went into overdrive to deny any involvement in the attack and on election night successfully held Isleworth whilst capturing the neighbouring ward of Syon. The group then formed a coalition with the Conservatives on Hounslow Council, breaking a 35 year run of Labour rule.

Searchlight editor Gerry Gable characterised the ICG’s rise to power as an example of “Trojan horse politics”. Andrews responded by posting a ferocious attack on Gable on ‘BrentfordTW8.com’, but in a serious error included the address of an anti-Gable webpage whose sole link is to a Holocaust-denying website. Andrews subsequently denied all knowledge of the link.

The post-election deal brokered between the Hounslow Conservative Group and the ICG gave the latter two places on the council’s ruling executive. Andrews was awarded the ‘Housing & Community Safety’ portfolio, a move which provoked a major furore due to his previous criminal conviction.

Whilst his acquisition of the Community Safety brief may have caused the most controversy, it was the Housing brief that was Andrews’ most prized possession. This would enable him to realise his long-held ambition of reshaping the relationship between the local authority and tenants’ groups, albeit through the Arms-Length Management Organisation ‘Hounslow Homes’.

Having once bitterly criticised the council for its alleged political interference in the running of local estates, Andrews now performed an amazing about-turn. Responding to claims that he was trying to “bully” the ALMO into submission, he argued that “The local authority is democratically elected by the residents of the borough and has both a right and a duty to provide the strategic direction which it requires Hounslow Homes to follow.”

He further emphasised that ICG policy was “to ensure that all our tenants are treated fairly and have an equal right to participate in the work of their associations.” His critics interpreted this as a desire to avenge the removal of one of his former NF colleagues from the NITA management committee twenty years earlier.

Andrews lost no time in exerting control over the local Ivybridge estate, even to the extent of plastering the URA’s official blog with ICG links. His rhetoric became increasingly triumphalist, yet paradoxically the tenants’ leader who would emerge at the helm of the newly formed residents association was a former Chair of NITA (a body Andrews had fiercely opposed).

Other positions on the new URA committee were shared out between the estate’s former warring factions of NITA and IvyTag. During this restructuring process Andrews made new enemies by sidelining many of those who had supported him during his rise to power.

DECLINE AND FALL

The Tories had given Andrews control of the borough’s estates in return for his support in helping to transform Hounslow into a low-tax authority. He fully complied with his part of the bargain, stating: “The ICG shares the aspiration of our Conservative coalition partners to keep council tax levels down in order to redress the injustices of the past.”

In practical terms this meant the ICG was compelled to back major cuts to local services. Andrews was strongly criticised for voting to slash £2.3m from the education budget and in particular for supporting the removal of six community teachers. He then compounded his unpopularity by announcing that he would send his children out of the borough to private schools.

However, not everyone was dissatisfied with the part he was playing in the administration: he won plaudits from local racists by voting to axe funding to the highly-acclaimed ‘Hounslow Language Service’ (HLS) which had provided specialist English tuition to refugee children.

HLS aside, the ICG’s stance on race did not always conform to conventional wisdom. One of its councillors used his position as Chair of the Community Investment Trust Fund to award grants to a range of BME groups, including the Bangladeshi Welfare Association.

Even Andrews himself surprised his critics by stating “We recognise that racism is a plague on society” while helping to launch ‘Hounslow against Hate Crime’, though some disputed the sincerity of his words.

After three years on the council’s ruling executive, Andrews resigned to concentrate on his ward ahead of impending local elections. The urgency of his mission was stark, for he had been deserted by many of his old allies.

One community figure publicly scolded him, stating “You lost touch with residents, you don’t know anything about their problems.” Whilst the perception that Andrews had become remote may have been partly due to time spent on borough-wide issues, it was almost certainly made worse by his receipt of £65,000 in councillor allowances during the 2006-9 period.

This did not, however, prevent him from being an out-spoken critic of the expense claims of the local Labour MP. When squatters took over her Brentford home they unfurled a banner bearing the words "Reclaiming your taxes". Andrews’ immediate response was to assist them.

Praising their campaign as an example of “community-led activity”, he donated food and even devised a press statement for the new ‘legal occupiers’. This was widely seen as payback for the MP’s objection to his inclusion in the council’s executive.

Meanwhile, the full extent of the organisational challenges facing the ICG became apparent to a wider audience when the minutes of their 2009 AGM were discovered in a civic centre photocopier. These revealed that the group was struggling to find the necessary manpower to distribute its newsletters.

This seemed to contradict remarks made by Andrews in an online debate around the same time: with reference to leaflets, he boasted to an opponent “Unlike New Labour, we’re not short of people to put them out.”

The minutes also spoke of the need “to make an effort to reconcile any differences that have arisen with some of our core supporters”. The seriousness of this problem was highlighted a few months later when a former ICG councillor wrote a letter to the local Hounslow Chronicle. It contained a stinging rebuke of Andrews:

“With regards to ‘incredible demands on their time’, Mr Andrews and family find enough time to pop over to Portugal during holidays yet find it absolutely impossible to visit a lady who lives no more than three-quarters of a mile away from his home and has given him so much.” (The woman referred to had been a leading light of the ICG in its early years).

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the minutes was their revelation of how keen Andrews was to strike an electoral deal with the Conservatives. They record the way in which he had begged Hounslow’s Tory leadership to give the ICG a clear run against Labour in Isleworth and Syon.

This private desperation seemed curiously at odds with his public bravado. In online debates Andrews frequently seemed dismissive and even contemptuous of the notion that he might lose, in one instance informing a Labour activist that his party was about to face a further “drubbing at the polls”.

However, the ICG’s worst fears were soon to be realised: the Conservatives would submit completed nomination forms for a full quota of three candidates in both Isleworth and Syon, thus ensuring a lasting legacy of bitterness between the coalition partners.

The ICG did, however, succeed in forging an agreement with the Liberal Democrats. It was resolved that the two parties would not contest the same wards, thus avoiding a potential split in the non-aligned vote.

This was all to no avail. The ICG was wiped out in the May 2010 elections after it was revealed that Andrews had put in an expenses claim for the cost of a holiday flight. In a typically ungracious remark he blamed the defeat on voters who “don’t really give much of a toss about local community business”.

Andrews is currently planning a come-back as one of three ‘community’ candidates vying for election to Isleworth Ward on May 22.

THE SINNER REPENTETH?

Although still regarded by many as a divisive figure, some claim that Andrews had been a restraining influence on Tory councillors during the four years of the Conservative/ICG coalition.

Even so, there are conflicting signs as to how far he has genuinely reformed since his NF days. He has long since dispensed with using racist language (at least when writing under his own name) but does routinely defend his allies when their rhetoric sales close to the wind.

During an online debate in 2007 Andrews attacked a Labour activist after he had criticised the inflammatory rhetoric used by the ICG’s principal benefactor in relation to patrons of a local Islamic centre. The ICG donor had likened them to “a swarm of black ants”.

When asked if he would like to disassociate himself from his colleague’s remarks Andrews refused, blasting “Can you not say or do anything in life which isn’t driven by the need to score a point for your miserable political party?”

A year later, Andrews came to the aid of another on-line ally who had been accused of trying to justify racially-inappropriate language. Whilst making it clear that he would not indulge in such rhetoric himself, Andrews opined: “What offends basically decent people like Andy is the veneer of smug self-importance which seems to surround those who presume the moral authority to decide what terminology is and is not appropriate for the unenlightened majority to adopt.”

In 2009 Andrews and his allies succeeded in derailing an anti-BNP thread on a local internet forum. The thread was promoting a petition against Nick Griffin’s projected appearance on the BBC’s flagship current affairs discussion programme ‘Question Time’.

Whilst claiming to support the petition’s objectives Andrews repeatedly attacked the two anti-fascists who were behind it, describing their campaign as a “noble act” being done for “ignoble instincts”.

His criticisms came after the petition’s primary organiser refused to drive to his home to collect his signature. Her reluctance to do so stemmed from doubts about his sincerity. These were fuelled by a passage in a blog article that Andrews had posted only four months earlier in which he seemed to argue in favour of Griffin’s right to air his views.

Referring to an egg-throwing protest which had disrupted an open-air BNP press conference, Andrews had argued that “… It allowed Griffin to emerge as the poor innocent victim making a stand for free speech against an intolerant political establishment”, adding that without the protest he would have had to explain his “confused and contradictory policies”.

Andrews remains a stern critic of the organised anti-racist left and says with much bitterness “Having spoken out publicly against groups like the BNP I was surprised and disappointed by the reaction of so-called anti-fascists who went out of their way to make it difficult for me to expose the activities of those I'd left behind.”

There is seemingly no recognition from Andrews that others with a far-right background actually have been welcomed into the anti-fascist fold. His critics are quick to point out that such people reserve their main contempt for their former colleagues whereas Andrews often directs his at his (alleged) new-found allies.

For his part, Andrews complains that his opponents prefer to cast him in the role of an unreconstructed racist because it suits their narrow political purposes to do so. His resentment is often palpable when the spectre of his neo-Nazi past is raised, especially if not done on his own terms.

When a group of local Conservatives once highlighted his 14-year-long association with the far-right he warned that their actions could have the effect of exacerbating racial tension and accused them of indulging in “personal attacks and smear politics”. His remarks earned him a rebuke for using “twisted logic”.

Andrews was equally scathing when the BBC featured him in a documentary about the lives of former NF members and was incandescent with rage when, in 2006, Andrew Gilligan penned an article about him for the London Evening Standard.

Five years later Andrews revealed his capacity to bear grudges by posting a thread on a local internet forum entitled ‘Andrew Gilligan mugged’. He quipped “I would be lying if I tried to pretend this would spoil my day too much.”

Another long-running sore for Andrews is his belief that he has not been given proper recognition for his work on Community Cohesion. He states that although some Labour councillors congratulated him privately for this, none did so publicly.

In fairness he has in recent years made a number of eloquent and well-reasoned arguments against racism and has even, on occasion, managed to do so without taking his customary swipe at the anti-fascist left.

Nonetheless, his 2009 pronouncement that he was an anti-racist of eighteen years’ standing is difficult to justify. Though he did end all formal links with the far right in 1991, some of his political associations since then have raised more than a few eyebrows.

These have included his electoral pact with the HRG (whose leaders’ rhetoric frequently echoed that of the BNP) and his alliance with an ex-Lib Dem Councillor who had left his previous party in protest at their selection of an Asian candidate. (Andrews praised the renegade for his "impeccable liberal credentials").

Many have observed that Andrews has shown a repeated willingness to ally himself with dubious individuals whenever this has offered him some short-term strategic advantage. The effect has been to diminish the credibility of his claims to be a born-again anti-fascist.

The fundamental flaw in the Andrews game plan appears to stem from the inherent difficulties of trying to build an electoral coalition which includes both those on the racist right and their opponents on the liberal left.

Though the ICG is adept at distributing literature which gives out separate messages to different constituent groups, this strategy falls apart when it comes to the general media (which, by definition, demands one consistent message).

For their part the anti-fascist left no longer organise against the ICG, though many of their number still view Andrews with suspicion. His contradictory behaviour continues to sow the seeds of this mistrust.

As an example he has a blog entitled ‘Walk Away’, which encourages far-right activists to turn their backs on fascism: yet his main blog, entitled ‘A Community in Action’, carries a photo tribute to the man who led an attempted NF takeover of NITA in 1987.

In a further illustration of his confused position he still refers to his former mentor Nick Griffin as “my old mucker” and even describes him as “clever, witty and articulate” but warns that “anyone who votes for him is playing with fire.”

Though his present-day ideology is unclear, there remains an abundance of compelling evidence that Andrews still retains much of the mindset of his NF past. Many of his public pronouncements seem to betray a continuing petulance, mendacity and paranoia and to this day a number of the ICG’s opponents are routinely threatened, misrepresented and stalked.

In addition, the group's attempts to control local organisations continue unabated. Despite losing power four years ago it still tries to influence the URA and Andrews himself chairs AGMs of the 'Residents of Worton Estate' (ROWE), despite not living in the area.

The ideology of the ICG may have changed over the years, but the obsessive controlling mentality of its leader appears to have altered little since his days in the National Front.


Phil Andrews then and now...

On Britain: "An Americanised, bastardised multi-racial sewer". (1984).

On local anti-fascist journalist Stefan Bialoguski: "Paranoid and unbalanced". (1989).

On American tourists: "The scum of the earth". (1985).

On anti-fascist magazine Searchlight: "A monthly hate sheet". (1989).

On the Holocaust: "The most absurd of war-time fairy stories". (1984).

On the Anti Nazi League: "A marauding gang of hooligans". (1994).

On BNP leader Nick Griffin: "I have difficulty seeing in him the swivel-eyed monster of traditional anti-fascist folklore". (2009).

On Hounslow Labour Group: “A self-serving incestuous mob”. (2005).

On former Labour MPs Ann and Alan Keen: “Parasites”. (2010).

On Liberal Democrat activist Conal Stewart: “A repulsive arse”. (2009).

On Evening Standard journalist Andrew Gilligan: "A lying scumbag". (2008).

On anti-fascist activist Robin Taylor: "Disturbed". (2014).

On Tory Party activist David Giles: "A liar and a moral coward". (2012).

On Labour Party activist William Hughes: "A gutless creep". (2006).

On local tenants’ leader Al Ayobi (a former ally): “Despicable… an incontinent liar, a lunatic and a fantasist of truly ludicrous proportions”. (2010).

On local tenants’ activist Simon Anderson (another former ally): “A liar, a dumbass and a man of questionable honour, honesty and integrity”. (2008).

On former Isleworth Labour Councillor Vanessa Smith: “Low and treacherous”. (2014).

On Isleworth Labour candidate Sue Sampson: “No more welcome on most people’s doorsteps than a pile of dog poo”. (2010).

On Brentford FC supporter Trevor Inns: "A dickhead". (2014).

On anti-fascist campaigner & Labour activist Dave Hughes: "Demented". (2008).

On himself: “Us old-fashioned sorts believe that honesty and integrity still have a part to play in local politics". (2010).

NB: MARA's review of the forthcoming local elections in Hounslow (as well as in Ealing and Hillingdon) can be read here... viewtopic.php?f=14&t=42&start=40#p336
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:57 am

ANTI-IMMIGRANT HYPOCRISY

The result of the 'phone-in poll' on yesterday's Sunday Morning Live was painfully predictable.

The question was "Should we insist immigrants speak English?"

Why does the BBC have to sink to Daily Express levels by conducting these trite exercises?

No fewer than 5.5million Britons live overseas.

You can bet your bottom Euro that a sizeable proportion of them are not fluent in the language of their adopted country.

But that's okay, isn't it?


MIGRATION WATCH

The BBC nearly always has a representative from this net curtain-twitching organisation when immigration matters are discussed.

MW's absurd Chairman, Sir Andrew Green, is quite patently racist.

Why else would he say it is "a problem" that Leicester will soon be a majority "non-white" city, as he recently did on Newsnight?

He could learn a lot from members of the immigrant population, many of whom have a better understanding of the English language than he does.

That much is clear from his meaningless remark that "The ethnic community of Britain will go from 9% to 29% by mid century".

Will someone please give 'Sir Andrew' a dictionary so he can look up the term 'ethnic'?
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:16 am

POWELL

Of all the commentary on the recent riots, David Starkey's remark on yesterday's Newsnight programme must surely rank as the most fatuous.

Thousands of the rioters were white and thousands of their victims were black or Asian.

So on what basis can Starkey claim that Enoch Powell's prophecy in his Rivers of Blood speech has come true?

As well as being the most overrated politician of the twentieth century, Powell was an armchair yob.

During Michael Cockerell's fawning "life portrait" of the former Wolverhampton MP (broadcast on the BBC shortly before his death in 1998) Powell sought to justify the attacks which occurred on the black community in the aftermath of his speech by saying that it just proved that the tensions were always there.

The racist thuggery that occurred in the days following his ill-advised remarks must never be forgotten, and to this end a member of Middlesex Anti Racist Action (editing under the pseudonym of "Multiculturalist") last year added the following paragraph to Wikipedia's otherwise largely pro-Powell "Rivers of Blood" article:-

The Times newspaper declared it "an evil speech", stating "This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our postwar history."[18] The Times went on to record incidents of racial attacks in the immediate aftermath of Powell's speech. One such incident, reported under the headline "Coloured family attacked", took place on Tuesday 30 April in Wolverhampton itself: it involved a slashing incident with 14 white youths chanting "Powell" and "Why don't you go back to your own country" at patrons of a West Indian christening party. One of the West Indians who was cut, a Mr Wade Crooks of Lower Villiers Street, was the child's grandfather. He had to have eight stitches over his left eye. He was reported as saying "I have been here since 1955 and nothing like this has happened before. I am shattered."[19]

The passage still remains in the article as an important reminder to all.
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:56 pm

LIBYA

In the news today, Tory right winger Liam Fox has been complaining about South Africa's neutral stance on the Libyan conflict.

He says "It is very clear what side the Libyan people are on and I think that is what the South African government should respond to. I think there will be huge moral pressure on South Africa. They wanted the world at one point to stand with them against apartheid. I think they now need to stand with the Libyan people..."

Yes, Dr Fox, and we all remember the policy of appeasement which your hero Margaret Thatcher pursued in relation to the apartheid regime in the 1980s.

It was very clear then which side the majority of the South African people were on, but your wing of the Tory Party chose instead to side with the government of PW Botha.

Lectures about "huge moral pressure" carry no weight at all when they emanate from Liam Fox.
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:47 am

THE EDL

A group of mindless, untalented cretins calling themselves the English Defence League will today try to defy the law by meeting for a provocative demonstration outside a mosque in Tower Hamlets.

How very keen they are to abuse the freedom of speech which hundreds of thousands of Indian soldiers (many of them Muslim) died fighting for them to have.

Did you know..?
The EDL were among the first to rush out a statement about the recent killings in Norway. They actually blamed the Norwegian government's immigration policies for the attacks that took place.
What they are in effect saying is that Breivik's actions were an understandable (or even justifable) response to Norway's immigration policies and that those policies should be modified to suit his opinions. (A similar piece of twisted logic was recently used by a UKIP member on Channel 4's 4thought slot).

The fact that the EDL are willing to use what he did as a tool with which to advance their own malign agenda is proof of an ideological link between them and Breivik.
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:15 am

METROPOLITAN POLICE

PC Yvonne Fletcher was shot and killed outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984.

Her former colleague John Murray has gone to Libya to track down her killer.

Good luck to him. It was a tragedy that an innocent WPC should have been killed in such a way.

Just one question, though... Can Mr Murray shine any light on another killing which happened five years earlier, in 1979?

We are referring here to the murder of anti fascist activist Blair Peach.

Mr Murray would not need to go all the way to Libya to find the culprit, for Blair's murderer is (or was) employed by the Metropolitan Police.

So, Mr Murray, will you be trying to track down the officer responsible?

Thought not.
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:07 am

HILLINGDON BLACK HISTORY MONTH

The Hayes & Harlington Gazette has been reporting on Hillingdon Council's policy of refusing to recognise Black History Month. The decision was made by the local authority's Tory-controlled cabinet, which comprises eight white middle class men.

For anyone who is interested in their reasoning, here is the link:

http://www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/west-l ... -29468577/

Middlesex Anti Racist Action responded to this by sending in the following letter. It has already been published in the hard copy of the Gazette, but has not yet appeared on the newspaper's website...


It comes as no surprise that Hillingdon's Conservative Council has chosen not to promote Black History Month (Gazette, September 21).

Only a few years ago the Tories closed down the local Race Equality Council, making Hillingdon one of the few boroughs without such a service.

A cynic might conclude that the Conservatives - the party of Enoch Powell - simply don't like black people.

It is plain silly for the borough's Tory administration to claim that the new "Hillingdon History Month" can replace Black History Month.

As Labour Councillor June Nelson points out, they clearly do not understand the purpose of setting aside a month to celebrate black history.

It is needed because the historical contribution of black peoples has never been properly recognised, and continues to be marginalised to this day.

For example, how many Britons know about the contribution to our war effort made by people of African Caribbean or Indian heritage? Not many.

However, to some Tories the identity of black people is only relevant in a negative way and if they can be labelled as a 'problem'.

That has also been the agenda of the Tory supporting national tabloid press, which thrives on creating ignorance and hostility to those who are different.

It seems that Hillingdon's Conservative Council is quite happy for that ignorance to be maintained.

Robin Taylor
Organising Secretary,
Middlesex Anti Racist Action.
(MARA).
Last edited by Captain Darling on Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:21 am

MIXED RACE SEASON

The BBC's recent Mixed Britannia series was arguably one of the best ever.

George Alagiah's own very special empathy with the subject matter (he is in a mixed race relationship himself) made him an excellent presenter of this landmark set of documentaries.

In fact, the series was so compelling that it seems almost unfair to pick out any one aspect for special mention.

However, a particularly memorable (and shocking) quote came in the clip from a 1960s ITV documentary. It featured a stuffy and pompous Conservative parliamentary candidate by the name of James Wentworth-Day.

He had very strong feelings about mixed marriages:

"My view is that no first class nation can afford to produce a race of mongrels and that is what we are doing. The black man has a different set of standards, values, morals and principles. Why, in many cases, their grandfathers were eating each other!"

Jaw dropping stuff which would be hilarious were it not for the fact that some people still possess a similar mentality. (Anyone who disagrees should try going into certain pubs on the Kent/London border with a partner of a different race).

***********

The series also included an amusing reference to one of the alleged "scientists" who was a proponent of The Bell Curve.

The individual concerned had argued that African Americans are genetically inferior to their white compatriots, yet it later became apparent that he himself had been endowed with both African and Native American ancestry.

The Bell Curve was a tome which spawned an insidious so-called "theory" that because the IQ level of the average black American is lower than that of the average white American, the former must therefore be innately inferior to the latter.

However, the IQ test was devised exclusively by white people and based upon white western notions of what intelligence is. Further more, the book's analysis of the test results failed to compensate for the effects of socialisation, thus totally discrediting its authors.
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:16 pm

GURU NANAK PRIMARY

Congratulations to this excellent Sikh school in Hayes, where nearly all pupils have Punjabi as a first language.

It has just been rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors - proof that being multilingual can be an educational advantage.
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Re: Middlesex Anti Racist Action

Postby Captain Darling » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:38 pm

EALING ROAD, WEMBLEY

It's a little outside the MARA catchment area, but check out the Shree Sanatan Mandir if you happen to visit Wembley.

This is the name of the new temple which recently opened on Ealing Road in the heart of London's Gujarati community.

Although it does not possess the fairy tail-like beauty of the Neasden temple, it did take three times as long to build and stands as a quite magnificent piece of Hindu architecture in its own right.

Whereas the temple in Neasden is characterised by dreamy white spires, the one in Ealing Road is striking because of its natural earthy colour.

Perhaps its most compelling feature, however, is the patterns on its various figurines. These are truly breathtaking in their intricacy.

Why not spend a Sunday afternoon visiting the area? Have a look at the temple and then spend your money in one of the nearby eateries.

By doing so you will be helping the local economy of the wonderful, thriving 'mini Gujarat' which is Ealing Road.
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