Tory councillor fired for anti-immigrant poem November 6, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Asian, Britain, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Racism, Racist, UK, White.
The Conservatives have suspended a councillor and would-be MP after an “utterly dreadful” poem about illegal immigrants was sent from her email account.The Liberal Democrats reported Ellenor Bland to the Commission for Racial Equality after obtaining a copy of the message. But Mrs Bland – who stood for parliament in Swansea East at the last election and was until yesterday an approved Conservative candidate – told the Guardian it was “lighthearted”.
Forwarded under the words Oh Yes! Ellie, it is titled Illegal Immigrants Poem and written in pidgin English. It describes a migrant coming to Britain to live on benefits before inviting friends from his home country to join him, buying up the area after white residents move out and “breeding” large families.
“Write to friends in motherland – Tell them ‘come fast as you can’. They come in turbans and Ford trucks. I buy big house with welfare bucks,” runs one verse.
“Soon we own the neighbourhood … We have hobby, it’s called breeding. Welfare pay for baby feeding.”
It concludes: “We think UK darn good place. Too darn good for the white man race! If they no like us, they can scram. Got lots of room in Pakistan!”
Beneath the poem appear the words “Please send this to every British taxpayer you know” and a cartoon of the white cliffs of Dover with the words “Piss off – we’re full!” scrawled across them.
Mrs Bland said the email had been forwarded by her husband, David – also a Tory town councillor in Calne, Wiltshire – despite bearing her name.
But she claimed that the leak was “an infringement of my life”, adding: “I’m finding this all rather tiresome.
“It’s incredibly childish and churlish for anyone to make something big of this … My husband and I are not racist.”
She said it was fine if people brought skills or came to Britain because they were persecuted, but that she was worried “so many people are coming in and we don’t have the infrastructure to provide for them all”.
Asked why the poem singled out Pakistanis and turban-wearers and talked about the “white man race” if it was not racist, she added: “I didn’t write it … We do have friends of all kinds – we actually have German in-laws. And we have friends who are Asian. I wouldn’t be rude to them.”
Mrs Bland insisted that the message had nothing to do with her political career. But a Conservative spokesman said they had suspended her from its approved candidates list and from the party pending a full investigation.
He added: “The Conservative party disassociates itself entirely from the sentiments in this poem.”
Asked about her husband’s position, the spokesman added: “It’s from her email account. We can’t at this stage substantiate who it was from.” Her husband could not be reached for comment.
It later emerged that someone had also posted the doggerel on the website of Boris Johnson, the shadow higher education secretary.
“It is an utterly dreadful poem and I condemn it unreservedly,” he said. “Hundreds of people post material on to the site and I had absolutely no idea it was there.”
Dominic Grieve, the shadow solicitor general, told Sky News: “Members of the party shouldn’t be sending racist emails of any kind. [It was] suggested that it’s lighthearted, but it seems to me it has an underlying unpleasantness. I consider it offensive.”
Ed Davey, the Lib Dem chair of campaigns and communications, has asked the CRE to rule on whether the message conformed with the watchdog’s guidelines to political parties and individuals in elected public office.
“It is totally unacceptable for elected representatives to be distributing this kind of material. Racism has absolutely no place in British politics and I am asking the CRE to advise on what further action can be taken,” he said.
“Despite David Cameron’s best PR efforts, the Conservative party clearly continues to contain some deeply unpleasant elements.”
Mr Cameron had to distance himself from a would-be Tory councillor at the party’s spring conference this year in similar circumstances. Joan Haworth, an activist in Manchester, told Channel 4 that selecting an ethnic minority candidate in her constituency would be a mistake, adding: “We are a traditional working-class constituency. It wouldn’t work for us.”
She later recanted her remarks – saying they were “not what I meant or believe at all” – after Mr Cameron said she was in the wrong party.
Source: The Guardian