Socialist Worker

Who is spouting the hate rhetoric now?

| Tabloid hate | Education | Housing | Who says? |

Issue No. 1910

THE DAILY Mail went ballistic over the visit of Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi last week, saying he was in London to “spout his hate-filled rhetoric”.

He is only here to “incite religious hatred”, the paper ranted.

On the next page the paper gloated over the end of the case against 12 villagers who burned an effigy of travellers at their annual bonfire. The Mail said this was a “light hearted protest” at the presence of Gypsies in the village.

A mock caravan used to insult Gypsy travellers had the number plate, P1 KEY and the slogan “Do as you likey Driveways Limited, guaranteed to rip you off”.

The men were arrested for allegedly “inciting racial hatred” but the case against them was dropped last week.

A spokesperson said they couldn’t be sure of a conviction, however abhorrent they found the actions.

The Mail’s verdict? “At worst, they were guilty of an error of judgement.”


“IT IS 15 years since the Sun committed the most terrible mistake in its history,” the Sun proclaimed last week.

It has taken the Sun 15 years to apologise for its coverage of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in 1989, when the paper accused Liverpool fans of being drunk, stealing from dead fans and beating up people who were trying to help the dying.

The Sun’s sales on Merseyside collapsed. Today they are still 50,000 a day down as a direct result of the Hillsborough disaster.

In a crude attempt to rebuild sales, the Sun ran a big interview with Merseyside football hero Wayne Rooney. This simply enraged local people, who jammed radio phone-ins to express their anger.

Even the Sun’s grovelling apology has made no impact. As actor and activist Ricky Tomlinson said, “I simply cannot believe this. They can stick the apology where the sun doesn’t shine.”


In this week - 25 years ago - 1979

NICARAGUA’S dictator, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, was toppled by the left wing Sandinista movement.

The Sandinistas led a rebellion against US-backed Somoza that combined strikes, urban uprisings and guerrilla attacks.

Somoza’s National Guard army fell apart under the pressure and the dictator fled the country on 17 July.

Two days later the victorious Sandinistas entered the capital and took power.

The Nicaraguan Revolution was hailed around the world as a blow against the US.


Did the biters really get bit?

A WOMAN was charged with indecent assault after allegedly pinching a police officer’s bottom on an anti-capitalist demonstration.

Thirty seven year old Louise Danby was protesting outside the Greek embassy over the imprisonment of activists in Greece when she committed the alleged assault.

Last week the Crown Prosecution Service finally gave up the case altogether. The costs of the failed prosecution are estimated to be around £20,000.


It’s capital punishment

THE LONDON Housing Federation says that soaring house prices have created an exhausted and isolated population forced to travel miles to work every day.

To afford the average property in London at £251,368, a buyer would need a salary of £68,228, over twice the average London wage—and the average overestimates what people get.


Look out behind, minister

IN THE week the government announced the death of comprehensive education, New Labour got a taste of its own medicine from school students.

Tony Blair thought he was on safe ground meeting art students at the Charter School, Dulwich. He admired a painting by 14 year old Lydia Burchill, but appeared not to notice the CND logo and the “Not in my name” written boldly across her easel.

Last week it was the turn of schools minister Stephen Twigg to get ambushed. Twigg was patronising a gathering of young competition winners at the House of Commons when 13 year old Jade Neville seized her chance to upbraid the minister about the dreadful state of her crumbling school.

Jade handed Twigg a dossier of the Dickensian conditions, including a flooded library, mouldy walls, and twisted and broken window frames. She told him, “It’s like the Third World, and we deserve better.”

The school, in Walsall, was turned down for money under a Private Finance Initiative. It was then taken over by a private firm, Education Walsall, and had another bid for funds rejected.


Publicly humiliated

A BOSS accused of sacking workers and then forcing them to parade through the streets faces an industrial tribunal.

Michael Webb was head of the Knowles West Development Corporation, a regeneration agency that is funded by £1 million of public money. Among other things, it aims to deal with anti-social behaviour.

Former employee Michelle Cummings told an industrial tribunal that Webb bullied and abused her, and even shut down a project aimed at helping 100 disadvantaged families just to get rid of her. Six other workers also lost their jobs.

Mrs Cummings said, “Apparently, we were supposed to be escorted out of the building to make sure we hadn’t taken anything.

“Michael made us walk up and down the Filwood Broadway three times. I don’t know why. He said, ‘Don’t ask any questions—just do it’.”

Four wardens employed by the agency were sacked in May after allegations of burglary. They were only allowed back to work after protests from the residents they looked after.

The agency is now being investigated by the Charity Commission and Webb has been forced to resign.


Figure it out - £50 million

A BOSS accused of sacking workers and then forcing them to parade through the streets faces an industrial tribunal.

Michael Webb was head of the Knowles West Development Corporation, a regeneration agency that is funded by £1 million of public money. Among other things, it aims to deal with anti-social behaviour.

Former employee Michelle Cummings told an industrial tribunal that Webb bullied and abused her, and even shut down a project aimed at helping 100 disadvantaged families just to get rid of her. Six other workers also lost their jobs.

Mrs Cummings said, “Apparently, we were supposed to be escorted out of the building to make sure we hadn’t taken anything.

“Michael made us walk up and down the Filwood Broadway three times. I don’t know why. He said, ‘Don’t ask any questions—just do it’.”

Four wardens employed by the agency were sacked in May after allegations of burglary. They were only allowed back to work after protests from the residents they looked after.

The agency is now being investigated by the Charity Commission and Webb has been forced to resign.


Who says?

“For President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair I have only three words of admonishment. Those three words are ‘Shame on you’.”

REVEREND JOHN MANN, at the funeral of Gordon Gentle, the soldier killed in Iraq two weeks ago

“The referee’s decisions have robbed the retail trade of millions of pounds of potential sales.”

DAVID SOUTHWELL, British Retail Consortium on Euro 2004

“You might as well join the Taliban as the British Airline Pilots’ Association.”

WARWICK BRADY, Ryanair manager at Stansted Airport

to cockpit crew thinking of joining a union

“They are taking the children out of the figures rather than taking children out of poverty.”

End Child Poverty Coalition, on government plans to change statistics which will remove 700,000 children from the poverty figures

“I want to make clear, the state of Israel absolutely rejects the ruling.”

ARIEL SHARON, Israel’s right wing prime minister defies the International Court of Justice ruling that the wall segregating Palestine is illegal

“We are not opposed to the Private Finance Initiative.”

VINCE CABLE, Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor

shows his party’s support for New Labour’s disastrous scheme for privatisation


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Inside the System
Sat 17 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1910
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