Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bogus racial attack on Sikh youngster follows similar claims

On 15 November 2006 the Edinburgh News reported an unnamed 15year old Sikh youngster from Edinburgh as the subject of a vicious racial attack. According to the boy he had his hair cut off, his bandana pulled off and was punched. It was separately reported that he had racist epithets written on his body by four white youths who he was able to comprehensively describe to the local police and that he was kicked to the ground suffering bruising and swelling to his nose and both cheeks as well as soreness to his left shoulder and ribs.

The story was reported all over the world. It promoted an inter-faith vigil on 19 November to promote peace attended by Sikhs from all over the UK.

On 24 December the Observer reported Sikh boy admits his attack lie. Sources told the Observer “that he felt torn between his Sikh values and more westernised ones. They said he had wanted to get his hair cut for some time, but was afraid of the reaction of some members of his family and the Sikh community.”


No action is to be taken against the youngster who has apologised for his action.

Here are two more similar stories from Canada.

Globe and Mail, August 26, 1998

"SURREY, A Sikh teenager faked a racial attack to avoid facing his parents over his desire to look more Western, police said yesterday.
The 18-year-old man reported last month that he was attacked and beaten by three white skinheads who ripped off his turban and cut off his long hair. Police investigating the so-called attack quickly began hearing rumours that it never took place.
The victim has admitted to police that he staged the incident, Staff Sergeant Ross Fisher said. The teenager's wish to adopt a more Western style of appearance didn't sit well with his parents, so he and three friends faked the attack by cutting his hair. Because he and his friends have unblemished records, Staff Sgt. Fisher said, police will try to work with them to avoid laying charges."


B.C. teen won't face charges over racial attack story
Last Updated: Thursday, June 9, 2005 12:27 PM ET

The RCMP will not lay charges against a B.C. Sikh teenager who made up a story about being the victim of a vicious racial attack.
The 17-year-old Richmond Sikh had told police that five white men in their 20s beat him, cut off his turban and hacked off his hair, which, for religious reasons, had never been cut.
The alleged attack two weeks ago spurred outrage and fear among the Indo-Canadian community.
The teenager later admitted he made up the story, and that he had injured himself and cut off his own hair.
"The RCMP and our partners do not believe it is in the best interest of this young person or society in general to have this incident carry forth through criminal charges," the RCMP said in a statement.
"This incident is not as much about criminality as it is culture, compassion and the emotions of a young person. This is a time that calls for calm understanding and not a time to be thinking about criminal charges."
RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen wouldn't say whether the boy made up the story just to explain getting a haircut against his parents wishes.
There are definitely some cultural identity issues and this young person is under an incredible amount of pressure," he said.
Richmond RCMP Supt. Ward Clapham said the teenager will instead face a community justice forum.
"So the victim gets to be heard, the victim gets to feel they're being understood, the victim gets to share the pain the anger and all the emotions and realities they faced," he said.
But some in the Sikh community say the police are going too easy on the teenager.
Balwant Singh Gill, a spokesman for many of B.C.'s Sikh temple societies, said the incident has been an embarrassment to the Sikh community and set back racial harmony in the province.
Gill said he'd rather see the boy face criminal charges and that he's not sure how community leaders are supposed to come up with a suitable punishment.
He added that he's worried that the next time a real hate crime occurs, people will ignore it.
The RCMP said the boy will be held accountable and that in other cases, young offenders have been asked to perform community service, write letters of apology or undergo counselling.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Trevor Phillips and the 289 white people he turned his back on

In some of the few words so far directly attributed to Trevor Phillips at the Commission for Racial Equality’s two day conference [27/28 November] he talks of "the racism that smiles to your face just as it's dumping your job application in the bin marked 'not white enough'". [Guardian 27 November 2006]

Let us examine that statement. Trevor Phillips is a wonderful media performer capable of sublime political jujitsu.

If he had replaced “not white enough” with “white” he would have been talking about the biggest race scam for years in which he played a crucial role in facilitating and securing its success.

He aided and abetted the racist exclusion of 289 males this year whose applications to join the police were indeed binned by the chief constables of Avon and Somerset and of Gloucestershire. Mr Phillips was asked by Liberty and Law to intervene in time to reinstate their right to be considered for work. A single telephone call by him or one of his officers could have stopped the vicious colour bar but the CRE let the recruitment go ahead by spinning out its investigations. Mr Phillips knows how not to use the law. He is the soul of charming if diabolical discretion.

Of course, the CRE eventually had to conclude that the chief constables were acting against the law and make the police authorities sign a piece of paper saying they would not do it again. But tempo was important. The white males were successfully shafted and the job completed and with no penalty. The police got away with their [and his] racist recruitment policy scot-free thanks to his position as boss of the £20million quango with a legal monopoly.

Mr Phillips has been helped of course by a feeble national media and politicians from all the major parties terrified to call him to account. It would take more than white victims of racism to stir them.

Why did Mr Phillips collude in the colour bar? He has been bold enough to make it clear in his speeches.

At the Social Policy Forum on 19 June he stated “For example we recently had to order one police force - Somerset and Avon - to stop a programme to fast track some minority applicants into the force, because we thought a court might say that it was unfair to white applicants. Yet they were clear that they only brought in the scheme for operational reasons, not political or social reasons. I don't think it can be right that we have drifted into a situation where the CRE has to stand in the way of moderate measures to increase diversity in the police force - something which Scarman recommended twenty-five years ago, Macpherson more recently, and the Chief Police Officers are desperate to do so they can do their job better.”

Note the weasely description. The Forum wonks would not have got from his gloss how white applicants had been summarily rejected once their race had been discovered from the equal opportunity forms, which they were assured were no part of the recruitment policy.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Race watchdog's secret protocol on incitement to racial hatred

Civil rights group Liberty and Law was exclusively sent by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) its Protocol on Incitement to Racial Hatred on 5 July 2006. Its contents may be contrasted with the anodyne document published on the CRE’s own website on 8 November 2006.

The CRE claims that this published policy was approved in February and circulated after that. Liberty and Law has not been able to establish from the CRE what the status of the 5 July document sent to them was. It assumed that a spokesperson’s statement on 5 July “Please find attached the Code as you have requested.” confirmed its status.

Liberty and Law believes that the policy was only published after intense pressure from it over a period of more than a year. This included contacting Robin Allen QC on 27 June who the CRE had consulted over the protocol and seeking his help to speed up its publication. His immediate inquiry of the CRE no doubt speeded up the project.

A CRE spokesperson claimed on 7 November that “this document [at the time not published L&L] was intended for internal purposes and is already in use. The code has been approved by the Commission as official policy guidance to advise staff on how to deal with calls. It will be available on our website shortly".

In the CRE press release of 27 January 2004 its chair Trevor Phillips claimed, in announcing CRE plans new code of conduct for referring race hate material to the police: “I will publish that code, so that everyone who chooses can be guided as to why we at the Commission do what we do.”

Liberty and law director Gerald Hartup commented: “As it turns out that is pretty much nothing at all. The CRE leaves people to their own devices. If they contact the CRE they will be involved with a bureaucratic monster.”

The CRE's 5 July Protocol on Incitement to Racial Hatred is reproduced below.

Why is the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) concerned about incitement to racial hatred?

The CRE is a body established by the Race Relations Act 1976 with statutory duties to:

· Work towards the elimination of racial discrimination and

· Promote equality of opportunity and good race relations

Incitement to racial hatred creates conflict between different racial communities, which in turn can lead to a breakdown in good race relations. It could also have a wider impact, in that members of other racial groups might discriminate against members of the target group in, for example the work place, access to education or the provision of goods and services. The CRE would be failing in its statutory duty if it did not actively take steps to discourage conduct that incites racial hatred.

The CRE receives a number of complaints from members of the public about conduct they perceive as incitement to racial hatred. There are various reasons for this : for example:

· The complainant does not know that incitement to racial hatred is a criminal offence

· The complainant is does not know that the police, not the CRE, have responsibility for investigating complaints of incitement to racial hatred

· People are not confident that the criminal justice system will deal satisfactorily with offences that involve racism

The CRE does not have the power to deal with complaints of incitement to racial hatred. This is because incitement to racial hatred is a criminal offence and only the p0lice have the power to take action against those who commit it. The CRE therefore, advises complainants to report alleged incidents of incitement to racial hatred to the police, in the first instance.

There is no obligation on the CRE to refer a complaint to the Police but on very rare occasions it may be necessary for us to do so. This protocol sets out criteria which will govern the exercise of our discretion to make a referral.

Criteria for referrals
The test for referral is whether the complaint merits investigation by the Police: the decision to prosecute must rest with the CPS and the Attorney-General.

· There is evidence that the words or behaviour has led to, or is very likely to lead to, a breakdown in relations between people from different racial groups. The CRE will be guided by evidence that

Ø community relations are already strained; or

Ø community relations are very good - this might be evidence of an intention to incite racial hatred

Case Example: A BNP supporter in Glasgow distributed leaflets which were offensive to Muslims in an area with a significant Pakistani population. The local REC gave evidence that relations between the Pakistani and other EM groups with White Scottish people were good and that the leaflet undermined these good relations. The Sheriff stated that to distribute the leaflet in such circumstances was evidence of an intention to upset relations and consequently to incite racial hatred.

  • The rate of racial incidences is high
  • The rate of racial incidences has increased following an incident
  • At a local level, the offending words or behaviour refer to a particular group and members of that group are:
  • Ø few in number and
  • Ø are easily identifiable For example members of the particular group are known locally or are concentrated in a particular part of the region or are in an asylum dispersal area.
  • · Written material, containing false information, for example, about high public spending in areas known to have a high concentration of ethnic minorities, is distributed in surrounding areas with high levels of social deprivation among people from different racial groups
  • The speech or written material contains information, that is deliberately false, misleading or based on negative stereotypical assumptions; for example, it claims that Gypsies and Travellers are prone to criminal behaviour, or their presence will lower the quality of the community.
  • The words or behaviour goads or encourages others to commit offences against one or more racial groups, for example by the use of words such as ‘kill’, ‘wage war’ or ‘destroy’ This may be evident from the words displayed or spoken.
  • The conduct is perpetrated by a prominent public personality, such as a councillor, or a celebrity.
  • The information is particularly offensive and is capable of being disseminated widely, for example, via a broadcast, newspaper or the internet E.g. newspaper reports such as on the death of PC Blakelock with words like ‘hacked to death’ accompanied with reference to the racial group of the suspects.

Accountability - how the CRE will decide on referrals

The CRE is a public body and must exercise sound judgement in carrying out its statutory duties. Criminal enforcement agencies have stretched resources: and the CRE would not want to abuse or be seen to abuse, wittingly or unwittingly, those resources, by referring unmeritorious allegations for investigation. The CRE will therefore, ensure accountability and transparency in the referrals process.

Decisions on whether to refer a complaint to the prosecuting authorities will be taken by:The Legal Committee, subject to the following procedure:

· The Director of Legal Services and Enforcement refers the issue to the Legal Affairs Committee, with a recommendation for referral

· The Legal Committee decides on whether to accept or reject the recommendation

· If the Legal Committee accepts the recommendation, the Legal Director refers the matter to the police

The CRE will publish its decision on the CRE website.



The CRE’s protocol for dealing with queries relating to possible offences under the public order Act 1986 8 November 2006

CRE plans new code of conduct for referring race hate material to the police 27 January 2004

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sir Trevor Phillips tries on the Pope’s hat, Methodists knock it off

Sir Trevor Phillips has in an encyclical addressed to religious leaders excommunicated members of the BNP. He calls for all pastors to refuse them communion. He has already called for them to be dismissed from their jobs. Speaking to the TUC three years ago, describing them as “knuckle dragging apes” he explained “the workplace is no place for racists. Making this a reality shouldn't just fall to trades unionists. Employers have a responsibility too.”

Church leaders have in general backed his pontificate but have been slow to respond to his latest fatwa. As he put it following BNP boss Nick Griffin’s acquittal by a secular jury: "If ever there was a moment for hellfire and damnation, this is it.”

So far only the Bishop of Croydon, Nick Baines has publicly backed the CRE chair. He has not, however, yet called for their exclusion from communion nor stated that he will back any of his priests who turn away BNP supporters from communion as Sir Trevor has demanded.

Fringe religious groups rejecting his authority will now be put under pressure. One such, Methodists, have gone so far as to reject his call in a press release “Communion should be for all”. In a direct challenge to him Anthea Cox, its coordinating secretary for public life and social justice said:

"We would welcome everybody into Methodist churches. There is no room within the Church for racism under any circumstances, and we will always challenge these attitudes, but we will never turn people away."

In his other part time secular job as chair of the Commission for Racial Equality Trevor Phillips was successful in allowing Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset Police to unlawfully turn away 295 white job seekers. He issued indulgences to the Chief Constables allowing them to escape without penalty. Whether the secular authorities will allow him to continue to offer them sanctuary is not yet clear.


Note to editors

1. Trevor Phillips is not a knight although he is often referred to as such by the media.

2. Methodist press release “The Good news” 17 November 2006®ion=reg0

3. Trevor Phillips’ speech 9 September 2003

Friday, September 08, 2006

Trevor Phillips turns out to be an exceptional candidate

As expected Trevor Phillips has been appointed chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). The salary was advertised at £140,000 but more for an exceptional candidate. His salary is £160,000. As we pointed out it is fortunate that Mr Phillips raised his salary at the Commission for Racial Equality from £120,360 to £149, 690 last year. Otherwise it might have been thought that he was not Premier League.

All’s well that ends well.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Race entrepreneurs fall out over establishment Trevor Phillips’ appointment

Britain’s race entrepreneurs are out to get Trevor Phillips, the £150,000 personable chair of the Commission for Racial Equality [CRE]. They did not want him to get the job as the boss of the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). [Salary £140,000 but more available for an exceptional candidate.] Lucky then that his CRE salary was increased from a derisory £120,360 to £149,690 last year. So he won’t come cheap.

Lee Jasper, £111,000 race adviser [when we last looked] to London Mayor Ken Livingstone who had a run in with Phillips over his offer to let him run as his deputy in the 2000 mayoral election, was the key figure in the campaign.

In his capacity as secretary of the National Assembly Against Racism [GLA grant £180,000 grant] Mr Jasper was deeply unhappy at the prospect of his boss’ old enemy getting the top job.

He was backed up by colleague Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote [chair Lee Jasper] [three year Labour government grant £450,000] who is also chair of Black Londoners Forum [GLA grant £37,500] and who wants a ‘chair of conviction’.

These champions of the movement are joined by Milena Buyum, of the National Black Alliance [founder Lee Jasper] who accuses Phillips of reducing the number of discrimination cases the CRE supported.

They certainly have a point here. Mr Phillips resolutely refused to act to punish
Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services for rejecting hundreds of white male applicants out of hand in blatantly racially fixed recruitment policies. But that is not what these guys are going on about. That sort of discrimination is OK for race entrepreneurs.

The campaign to stop Phillips was run on the website of the 1990 Trust’s [three year Labour government grant £450,000; former director Lee Jasper] Black Information Link [BLINK]

BLINK prominently reported Mayor Ken Livingstone’s last ditch attack on Phillips with the headline Trevor Phillips “to join the BNP soon” says Mayor [31 August 2006]. This cavalierly misquoted Livingstone’s jibe “ I don't know where he's going. He accused me of being a racist when during the first Mayoral election I asked him to be my deputy. He's going so far to the other side I expect he'll be joining the BNP soon.” But what the hell!

Trevor Phillips appointment as CEHR chairman condemned, BLINK, September 1 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Racist thugs in ‘affront to society’ lock up farce

An Asian man was subjected to appalling racial violence in Edinburgh by three young thugs. They were caught, prosecuted and found guilty. The judge rebuked them harshly for their actions. BBC Scotland, the Scotsman and the Glasgow Daily Record provided similar reports shown on Google as below. Reports suggested that tough punishments had been meted out.

Racist thugs locked up for 13 years after brutal attack Scotsman, United Kingdom - Aug 11, 2006 THREE racist thugs whose savage attack on a young Asian man was described as "an affront to civilised society" were put behind bars for a total of 13 years ...

Total of 13 years for race attack BBC News, UK - Aug 11, 2006 Three young men who carried out a racist attack on an Asian man have been jailed for a total of 13 years. John Anderson, 21, got ...

RACIST THUGS CAGED Glasgow Daily Record, UK - 10 hours ago THREE racist thugs who savagely attacked an Asian man have been locked up for a total of 13 years. They left their 22-year-old victim ...

All the reports suggested that the perpetrators faced a total of 13 years in jail: “put behind bars for a total of 13 years” ... “jailed for a total of 13 years”… “have been locked up for a total of 13 years”.

Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth although the news media merely used the reporting convention that pretends that the sentence passed is the sentence to be served. This convention pulled the wool over the eyes of the public for many years about the nature of the criminal justice system. Today it merely alienates a more informed public aware of its inability to enforce change on a judicial Establishment out of touch and out of control.

How can news media change their reporting? It is not practicable for them to always include a note to the effect that less than half, sometimes much less than half of the sentence passed will actually be served. However, we should be spared the language of the reports quoted above all of which also gave the impression that the reporters considered the punishments imposed harsh if fair.

Of the three reports the Scotsman was by far the most interesting because its website contained feedback from readers.

A Cape Town reader stated: “Why say "a total of 13 years" in the title? That's a completely pointless thing to say. It really makes my blood boil. This "newspaper" gets worse all the time. Why not say, racist thugs get 4 years each in jail, for example?
It means nothing to totalise the sentences given. You are cretins, complete cretins. The thugs will be out in two years, which is 11 years of difference to what it says in your headline. Sort it out FFS.”

Ordinary citizens might be surprised that the attack took place as long ago as 1 May of last year. They will be less surprised to note that one perpetrator “had three previous convictions for assault to injury, one of which was a racial matter” and that another “had a previous conviction for assault”. The third “was a first offender at the time, although the sheriff noted he had been in trouble since.” [The Scotsman]

As Lenin said, perhaps in a different context: “What is to be done?”
BBC diversity czar’s call for reporting colour bar challenged

Civil rights group Liberty and Law has reported the BBC’s powerful editorial director of diversity to the Commission for Racial Equality following her racially charged reported comments in the Observer [13 August] about its white reporters that appear to have the backing of the corporation. It has asked CRE chair Trevor Phillips, a broadcaster himself, to intervene.

Mary Fitzpatrick is quoted as speaking of the BBC’s white international reporters in unacceptable terms: 'I get tired of repeatedly seeing programmes where [the situation is] "here we are in Africa and here's a white person, saying well, look at these people".
'I would prefer to see somebody who understands that culture, understands what's going on and can say, "look with me, because I am a part of this". It feels more authoritative and more involved.'

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: “It is grossly inappropriate for Ms Fitzpatrick to attack the professional ability and credibility of fellow journalists in this way. Her remarks make it difficult to see how journalists can be treated fairly given her key role at the BBC. The BBC must act immediately to repair the damage to community relations and to its reputation as an equal opportunities employer. Its journalists must be appointed and deployed and seen to be appointed and deployed on the basis of their objective talents not on the basis of Ms Fitzpatrick ‘being tired’ or of pandering to her feelings.”

Ms Fitzpatrick also addresses domestic reporting from the same divisive communitarian perspective. She states: 'If there's a situation where the Muslim community is unhappy, you need to feel that the person that is reporting from whatever that event is, actually has some understanding.'

Observer media correspondent Rob Sharp’s understanding of Ms Fitzpatrick’s personnel philosophy is shown in two paragraphs of his report.

“The BBC's team of foreign correspondents should come from the same ethnic background as the country they are reporting from, according to the corporation's new diversity tsar. ….” and
“Fitzpatrick said that the same rule on ethnicity and reporting should be applied in the corporation's domestic coverage, and that the broadcaster should recruit more reporters who could 'confidently speak' to non-white Britons.”

Liberty and Law has successfully campaigned against racially and sexually discriminatory recruitment schemes, most recently those adopted by Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services.

It continues to press the CRE and EOC to conclude their investigations into the Metropolitan Police Service’s publicised policy of discriminating against white males by selectively delaying their start dates.


BBC correspondents abroad 'too white', Rob Sharp, Observer 13 August 2006,,1843598,00.html

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Equal Opportunites Commission celebrate thirty years discriminating against men

Institutional gender discrimination is alive and kicking at Britain’s Equal opportunities Commission [EOC] .The annual report of the government funded £10 million quango reveals that male staff has been reduced to just 18.2% after an unfortunate blip the previous year when 19% was reached. EOC could surely win the prize for the most successful homophobic major employer in the country. It would certainly be hard to beat over the last thirty years.

Glamorous and charismatic EOC chair Jenny Watson could also boast how her organisation had frustrated an attempt to prevent Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services operating recruitment scams to arbitrarily exclude almost 300 men in favour of women. They were able to exploit their statutory powers to ensure these sexually discriminatory recruitment processes were successfully completed before making a pointless judgment on 26 June that they were unlawful, accepting a promise from the guilty authorities that they would not employ those particular tricks again. The cheats were allowed to walk off with their gains with no penalty.

Gerald Hartup director of civil libeties group Liberty and Law said: “ There is a lesson to be learnt. Rules are for little people. Why did I expect the EOC to act after informing them about discrimination so blatant that everyone knew it was a scam? Citizens clearly need to understand that for proper governance there is a requirement for double standards and to operate within the new system. Only in this way will they not be alienated from it. The EOC is the model to follow.”

Liberty and Law in November 2005 also reported the Metropolitan Police Service to the EOC over another version of institutional gender discrimination against men. It is confident however that the EOC is capable and determined to meticulously research the programme with the help of the Met with the result that no conclusion of any help to discriminated against men is arrived at.

Mr Hartup stated: “It will be another triumph for modern democratic management. The crude enforcement of the rule of law has proved to be unsatisfactory to progressives who require and can now utilize discretion to control the mob, the schmucks with their childish obsession with “objective justice". But we shmucks will still be shmucks.”


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Race watchdog to decide tomorrow whether to prosecute colour bar police forces. EOC to let them off sex discrimination scot free.

The Commission for Racial Equality’s Legal Affairs Committee will decide tomorrow [12 July] whether or not to take action against two police services who this year operated a sex and colour bar recruitment policy.

Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services excluded a total of almost three hundred white male applicants from consideration for employment in a successful bid to favour minority ethnic and female candidates.

The method used according to civil liberties group Liberty and Law was to interrogate the Equal Opportunities page of each candidate’s application to determine their race although this page claimed that under no circumstances would it be used as any part of the recruitment process but for monitoring purposes only.

Avon and Somerset then randomly deselected 186 white male candidates to reduce their numbers. Gloucestershire assessed all applications before splitting candidates into two sections. All women and minority ethnic candidates who were successful in the paper stage were allowed to go through to the final selection stage but only the top performing white males were allowed through. 109 white males were unfairly rejected under this system.

When the police action was leaked Liberty and Law reported the race discrimination to the CRE and asked them to request the two services to freeze their recruitment processes pending its own assessment of their legality. The CRE declined to do this and as their investigations took about four months in both cases this facilitated the racially and sexually discriminatory recruitment to be successfully completed in both services.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup commented: “These are almost certainly the biggest racially discriminatory recruitment operations that the CRE has investigated but it has failed dismally to protect the people affected by this public sector scam. All competent lawyers were unanimous about the illegality of the two services’ secretive schemes but by their reluctance1 to act and their decision not to intervene and to procrastinate in coming to a conclusion the CRE has brought the Race Relations Act into disrepute. Legal action against the two police authorities is now the least that they can do in order to regain some credibility.”

Liberty and Law also reported the actions of the two police services to the Equal Opportunities Commission. These investigations, according to Liberty and Law were carried out at an even slower pace. The EOC finally wrote to both police authorities on 26 June stating that their actions were not in compliance with the Sex Discrimination Act to which Avon and Somerset have today [11 July] responded with the statement required of them by the EOC. The EOC awaits a similar response from Gloucestershire Constabulary. The EOC claims that no further action is required in either case.

Mr Hartup commented: “This is another triumph for the EOC. They believe the police broke the law. They are the body responsible for enforcing this law but using their discretion the police are allowed to get away with this blatant discrimination. It is a result for our untouchable politically correct establishment.”


Further information: Gerald Hartup Tel: 020 7928 7325 Fax: 020 7207 3425

1. CRE chair Trevor Phillips’ view in speech to Social Policy Forum on 19 June “For example we recently had to order one police force - Somerset and Avon - to stop a programme to fast track some minority applicants into the force, because we thought a court might say that it was unfair to white applicants. Yet they were clear that they only brought in the scheme for operational reasons, not political or social reasons. I don't think it can be right that we have drifted into a situation where the CRE has to stand in the way of moderate measures to increase diversity in the police force - something which Scarman recommended twenty-five years ago, Macpherson more recently, and the Chief Police Officers are desperate to do so they can do their job better.”

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

“Pants down” Prescott fair game says advertising watchdog

Ryanair’s advertisement entitled Don’t get caught with your pants down featuring a caricature of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in such a state published in the Daily Telegraph of 3 May did not breach the advertising code according to the industry’s watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority.

Ryanair’s advertisement was exploiting the publicity surrounding Mr Prescott’s sex life to advertise the airline’s low fares.

Responding to civil liberties group Liberty and Law, which had argued that the advertisement breached the ASA code in eleven ways it explained: “Although this advertisement did refer to Mr Prescott in an adverse way, it did so in a manner very much in step with the already high-profile negative media coverage surrounding the story of Mr Prescott’s extra-marital affair, and as such we do not feel that the advertisement, tasteless though it may have been, was unfair to Mr Prescott.”

In arriving at its decision the ASA’s “Council posed three questions: will the advertisement offend most people who see it; will it so deeply offend a few that their interests should prevail against the undoubted liberty of advertisers to reasonable free expression; should the majority who are not offended be prevented from hearing what the advertisers want to say? Their answer to all three was negative.”

The Council “felt that although the advert could be considered distasteful, it was likely to be seen as light-hearted.”

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup commented: “Politicians may now sleep less comfortably even when laying in their own beds. The ASA’s strong judgment in this case is a helpful clarification of how the advertising rules are interpreted. Ryanair has set a trend in using satire to squeeze commercial value from discredited politicians.”
Liberty and Law had invited the ASA to consider the following potential breaches of the Code:
2.1 The communication is not decent since it refers in a trivialising way to reports of sordid sexual behaviour that the DPP has not even admitted to be true.

2.2 Holding up the DPP to ridicule for actions that the Prime Minister has accepted are personal matters not affecting his ministerial office is irresponsible.

2.4 The advertisement brings advertising into disrepute by using such means.

3.1 The advertisers have not made any attempt to prove the claim that Mr Prescott was actually caught with his pants down.

3.3 There is a significant division of informed opinion about the claim.

3.4 The claim is not an obvious untruth or exaggeration and so cannot be protected on these grounds.

3.5 The advertisement is couched in a manner certain to cause widespread offence particularly since it deals with intimate sexual relationships.

9.1 The advertisement can only cause distress to Mr Prescott and it does so for no better reason than to use a shocking image to attract attention.

9.2 It cannot seriously be argued that Ryanair is taking it upon itself to encourage prudent behaviour or to discourage dangerous or ill-advised actions by politicians.

12.3 It could be argued that the advertisement is designed to influence voters not to support the Labour Party and so is exempt from the Code, but not surely with any conviction. It can only be an accidental by-product.

13.1 Marketers should not unfairly portray or refer to people in an adverse or offensive way. There can be no doubt that in this case the portrayal is adverse and offensive.

ASA Code of Practice

Friday, April 21, 2006

Does Freedom Association’s attack on Tories presage first skirmish of party civil war?

Freedom Association chairman, anti federalist campaigner and former Conservative MP Christopher Gill [Ludlow 1987-2001] is to join Ukip. His action reflects the struggle for the soul of the Conservative party. The Freedom Association’s governing Council contains senior Tory MPs Christopher Chope, Gerald Howarth and Andrew Rosindell, influential MEP Daniel Hannan as well as effective Commons newcomer Philip Davies while its magazine Freedom Today enjoys a regular column by John Redwood.

In a statement reported on Ukip’s website Mr Gill stated: “Mr Cameron’s new, forward looking Conservative Party seems to have brought back many of the disastrous has-beens from the Major administration: Maude, Gummer, Heseltine and Clarke, to name but a few, dinosaur Europhiles all.
“It is clear that no argument will move the Conservative Party’s official position on Europe, despite many of their MPs privately agreeing with UKIP.”

Friday, April 14, 2006

Standards Board gives Mayor Livingstone all clear over “chiselling little crook“ jibe about American ambassador

Responding to the complaint by Liberty and Law of 28 March the Standards Board for England’s decision made on 5 April and sent to the parties on 6 April was:

"It was noted that the Mayor of London Mr Livingstone has a political platform that he can use to draw attention to matters of public importance. Whilst it was considered that Mr Livingstone’s choice of language could potentially amount to a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct, in particular the obligation to treat others with respect, on balance it was not considered that the allegation is sufficiently serious to warrant referral for investigation and any consequent action."

The Mayor’s office issued a press release on 7 April in which its Notes to Editors cut the decision to “ on balance it was not considered that the allegation is sufficiently serious to warrant referral for investigation and any consequent action”.

The Standards Board was not asked to adjudicate on Mr Livingstone’s later elaboration of his initial insult to the American ambassador speaking on 2 April to Andrew Marr [BBC 1 Sunday AM] "A chiselling little crook. And that's actually quite an interesting parallel because when we find someone who consistently doesn't pay the congestion charge we usually find the police want them for other things as well, minor crimes in some cases armed robbery, so there is a clear pattern –"

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: “Complaints to the Standards Board and its decisions allow local politicians covered by its rules to have a better understanding of what they are or are not permitted to say in our now regulated democracy. The term ‘chiselling little crook’ and similar terms may now enliven political debate following the Board’s admirably speedy decision.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Colour and sex bar constabulary now seeks white male cops

Gloucestershire Constabulary has written to 108 white male candidates whose applications were controversially rejected in January on the grounds of their race and sex inviting them to a new assessment stage beginning 21 August.

Civil liberties group Liberty and Law who reported the constabulary to both the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission welcome the development but remain disturbed by the Constabulary’s handling of the situation and the institutional inertia of the CRE and EOC in failing to act with any sense of urgency. Gloucestershire Constabulary are still waiting for a decision by both the CRE and EOC.

The constabulary states that it has not completed its recruitment requirements for 2006/2007 and 2007/8.

Recruitment officer Anthea Barrett explains in her letter of 7 April to the men: “I recognise that you will have been disappointed not to have been invited to attend the Assessment Centre held in February. The number of candidates who attained the score required to pass the CBQ1 stage significantly exceeded the number of places we were able to offer at the February Assessment Centre and therefore you were not offered a place.”

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated:“ The Constabulary just cannot come clean about what it has done. It carefully avoids admitting that these applicants had been lied to in January. They were told then that they had been “randomly deselected” because too many applicants had passed the paper test. The truth was they had been specially selected for rejection on the grounds of their colour and sex and that the “confidential”2 Equal Opportunities page of their application form in which their racial origin could be found was used to discriminate against them. Only those white males who obtained the highest marks were allowed through unlike their minority ethnic and female competitors for whom a bare pass was sufficient.”

Rejected white male applicants have been advised that they should take their cases to an employment tribunal but those still seeking a career with Gloucestershire Constabulary are put off because they fear that such action would harm their chances of selection. They are prepared to settle for being discriminated against for the sake of their potential long- term careers.

Some failed candidates simply believe that the letter from the Constabulary is an attempt to dissuade victims of the constabulary’s positive discrimination selection process from applying to an employment tribunal within the time limits allowed.


1 CBQ Competency Based Questionnaire

2 “The information on this form is for monitoring purposes only and will not be made available to those assessing our application. The information supplied will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not affect your job application in any way. …. This information forms no part of the recruitment process. It will be detached from your application on receipt.”


Gloucestershire Constabulary Statement on Police Officer Recruitment, 10 April

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Gloucestershire Police reported to CRE and EOC over blacklisting white male recruits

Tuesday, 7 March 2006
Police drop race and sexually discriminatory recruitment scheme after three months pressure by civil liberties group

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Livingstone insults Britain’s dead soldiers in spat with US ambassador

London mayor Ken Livingstone puts his customary spin on a New York Times editorial agreeing with his view that the American embassy should pay the congestion charge.

What he neglected to tell Londoners on his taxpayer funded website was that the New York Times shared the view of most observers that his behaviour was utterly inappropriate for someone in his office.

This is what it said: “The London mayor, Ken Livingstone, needs to work on editing what comes out of his mouth (this week he called the American ambassador a "chiseling little crook" and he is currently appealing a suspension from his duties for comparing a Jewish journalist to a guard at a concentration camp). He poked further fun at the ambassador for his previous job, which - unfortunately, in light of the debate - was owning a large car dealership.”

His behaviour has become even more obnoxious elaborating even more offensively on his earlier remarks about American ambassador Robert Tuttle in today’s interview with political journalist Andrew Marr [BBC 1 Sunday AM]
Livingstone: A chiselling little crook. And that's actually quite an interesting parallel because when we find someone who consistently doesn't pay the congestion charge we usually find the police want them for other things as well, minor crimes in some cases armed robbery, so there is a clear pattern -
Andrew Marr
: ... ambassador ...
Livingstone: No, no but there is a clear pattern of those people who they consistently don't pay their fines and that they're wanted for other ... of the police."
After that outburst he continues: "I have to say I do think it is completely and utterly unacceptable that the American ambassador turns up, having made his billions selling cars, and they stop [paying] particularly at a time when we're basically the only serious ally that America's got and our young people are putting their lives on the line for George Bush's foreign policy every day. I think it stinks that he's weaselling his way out of paying his fair share to London because it makes Londoners have to pay more if he's not paying his whack."

So what is Livingstone now saying? By “we” in the “only serious ally” he certainly doesn’t mean “him”. Our young people are putting their lives on the line for our government’s foreign policy not the mayor’s. Livingstone’s jibe exploits both our dead and serving military as if their lives can be equated with a motoring tax and used as a bargaining chip in his vulgar argument with the American ambassador.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup commented: “Mr Livingstone’s cheeky chappie mask is slipping and we are seeing something altogether more unpleasant.”

Further information:

New York Times urges US Embassy to pay congestion charge 31 March 2006

Mayor defends US toll payment row 2 April 2006

Andrew Marr interview

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Livingstone reported to Standards Board over “chiselling little crook” attack on U.S ambassador

Civil liberties group Liberty and Law has reported London mayor Ken Livingstone to the Standards Board [11.00am] for what it believes to be a breach of the code governing the conduct of the Greater London Authority {GLA] over the way he has conducted his dispute with embassies based in London over the Congestion Charge because of their refusal to pay what he calls a "charge" and what they call a tax.

Liberty and Law believes that Mr Livingstone is in breach of the Standard board's code’s requirement that members of the GLA must - treat others with respect; that they should not do anything which compromises or which is likely to compromise the impartiality of those who work for, or on behalf of, the authority; and also that a member must not in his official capacity, or any other circumstance, conduct himself in a manner which could reasonably be regarded as bringing his office or authority into disrepute.

In his letter to the Standards Board Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup drew attention to reports in national newspapers about the affair and how it was viewed. The Daily Mirror reports what has happened 28 March as:
Ken Livingstone: Us envoy “A chiseling [sic] little crook
Ken road toll fury at envoy

It started: Ken Livingstone yesterday branded a top American diplomat a “chiseling [sic] little crook for refusing to pay congestion charges.

The Guardian reported the affair 28 March: Livingstone under fire for likening US ambassador to crook

Ken Livingstone's colourful vocabulary landed him in more hot water yesterday when he likened the US ambassador in London to a "chiselling little crook".
The mayor of London criticised Robert Tuttle while bemoaning the US embassy's insistence that its diplomatic staff should not pay the congestion charge because they view it as a tax. Embassies are exempt from all local tax under the 1961 Vienna convention.

The Independent reported jthe event 28 March:
'A little crook': Ken's undiplomatic name for US ambassador
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, launched an attack on the US Ambassador yesterday, accusing him of being a "chiselling little crook".
Mr Livingstone, who was spared a suspension last month after being accused of anti-semitism, also likened Robert Tuttle to a car salesman.

... speaking at the unveiling of the new Wembley Park station yesterday, Mr Livingstone queried the motivation for the decision to stop making the payments. He said: "This new ambassador is a car salesman and an ally of President Bush. This is clearly a political decision. When British troops are putting their lives on the line for American foreign policy it would be quite nice if they paid the congestion charge," he said. "We will find a way of getting them into court either here or in America. We are not going to have them evade their responsibilities."

Mr Hartup commented: "Although like Mr Livingstone we believe the Standards Board should be abolished and that electorates should determine the suitability or otherwise of their representatives, until that position is reached it is important to ensure that even the most dignified and progressive of politicians is subject to the same rules as more humble office holders."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Margaret Hodge blames Commuters for London unemployment

Speaking at Saturday’s packed State of Race Equality in London Conference Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform Margaret Hodge provided what may prove for the government an easy solution to London’s unemployment problem. There would be enough jobs for all Londoners she explained except for the out of town commuters who she claimed snap up 3 out of every ten jobs that could otherwise go to London residents.

One of these job snatching out of towners speaking at the conference was Transport for London supremo Peter Hendy, CBE who earns £300,000 a year commuting from Bath. He told Liberty and Law Journal that his salary was “outrageous” but that he would be able to earn more in the private sector [no doubt true]. He may have to under a Hodge regime unless he gets a second home to legitimise his employment in the capital.

A valuable contributor in the morning was Rose Fitzpatrick who explained her role as Deputy Assistant Commissioner was of the Metropolitan Police Service was to make the Metropolitan Police Service an employer of choice for black and minority ethnic people. She reported that minorities in the Service had increased by 82% since 2002 – but from a very low base. BME officers now constituted 7.4% and were targeted to reach 7.7% this year. She explained that support was now being given to BME individuals before, during and after the application stage and that 43% of applications were now coming from minorities.

The Mayor Ken Livingstone gave a typically brilliant speech in which he reprised to an appreciative audience how England’s colonial record in Ireland made them worse than the Nazis and explained how the problems in Ireland could be resolved were it not for Ian Paisley and his knuckleheads.

Conference MC Lee Jasper the GLA’s Director of Equalities and Policing had optimistically told delegates just before lunch “Don’t forget the London Philharmonic Orchestra will play requests for you. They will never have seen so many black people. You can all go out and shock them. Asking for Reggae tunes”. As it happens the orchestra had finished its performance and delegates instead queued stoically for a meal for over an hour because Lee’s catering ran out and he had to send off to Marks and Spencer’s for sandwiches.

In the final session the delegates showed a surprising commitment to ignore equal opportunities by agreeing with a workshop report that the new boss of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights had to be a black woman.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Police drop race and sexually discriminatory recruitment scheme after three months pressure by civil liberties group

Avon and Somerset Police Service today caved in over their attempt to discriminate against the employment of white males following three months of pressure from civil liberties group Liberty and Law.

Director Gerald Hartup had warned them that their positive action in randomly deselecting white males to bring about a more diverse workforce was in breach of the Race Relations and Sex Discrimination Acts.
He reported the Service to the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission on November 29 and also to the Information Commission.
Mr Hartup commented on the decision:
“I obviously welcome the decision of the Chief Constable to drop the scheme but am disappointed that it took him so long to do so. I am also concerned that he did so without the benefit of any input from either the CRE or the EOC whose investigations have been extremely dilatory.”

“I had asked the Chief Constable to suspend the recruitment process pending the advice of these two bodies but unfortunately he refused to do this. He deserves credit, however, for acting on his own initiative."

“I warned both the CRE and the EOC that it would be outrageous if their investigations took so long that in the event they determined that the policy breached employment law that the racially and sexually discriminatory appointments would stand. I asked them to request that Avon and Somerset suspend the recruitment process pending their investigations but they refused to do so."

“It is of course important that the white male candidates who were rejected on racial grounds are not disadvantaged and this can be achieved provided no appointments have yet been made.”

He continued: “It is important that these equal opportunities bodies get their acts together if they are to have any credibility with the public. We have the right to demand that they now act speedily to investigate and to come to a conclusion about the schemes of the Metropolitan Police Service and Gloucestershire Police Service.”

“The lesson to be learned from this fiasco is that public authorities must trust the public and not try to sneak through their plans. Local newspapers deserve great credit for their determination in reporting this abuse of power.”

A CRE spokesperson commented:

"What this case highlights is the difficulties, employers, like police forces, face when trying to tackle the problem of under-representation within their workforces. There is a need for a public debate that looks at how other measures may be used to help authorities to tackle under representation across all elements of discrimination. In the meantime, we will encourage police forces to use every legal step available to them to improve representation".

An EOC spokeswoman was able to make no comment because its investigation was still ongoing

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Media campaign to knight Trevor Phillips now looks unstoppable

An international campaign led by the BBC, British Council, Guardian/Observer, Daily Mirror, NUT, North Yorkshire Police Authority the South African Sunday Times and Parliament’s Joint Committee On Human Rights to surreptitiously upgrade the title of the ambitious chair of the Commission for Racial Equality from humble OBE to knight thought to have been thwarted by British civil liberties group Liberty and Law has gained further momentum.

It was thought that The Guardian at least had lost its nerve on 19 August coming clean about their man’s real title in Corrections and Clarifications and that with this setback the campaign would run into the sand.

A Google search In August 2005 for “Sir Trevor Phillips” gave 66 results. During his u-turn on multiculturalism on ITV’s Jonathon Dimbleby programme on 26 February his new title was launched giving it a massive boost. There are now 125 such links and the new title is now firmly entrenched with the BBC, ITN. Channel 4 News, Daily Telegraph, The Times and Scotsman.

The Guardian thought it was safe to return to the campaign on 27 February but its Corrections and Clarifications fought back bravely today reinstating Mr Phillips as a commoner [although it did continue to refer to him as the “chairman” rather than chair of the CRE].

Liberty and Law director Sir Gerald Hartup has now admitted his failure. “It’s no good, I’ve done my best. The position must now be regularized and Mr Phillips given a knighthood.”

It is thought that Mr Phillips, for whom only a peerage serves any practical purpose, is annoyed by the clumsiness of his cheerleaders.

1445 update The BBC's website confirms that it is now seeking to destroy all use of the false title in its reports.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gloucestershire Police reported to CRE and EOC over blacklisting white male recruits

Civil liberties group Liberty and Law has reported Gloucestershire Police to the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission for what it claims to be breaches of both the Race Relations Act and Sex Discrimination Act.

Gloucestershire Police Service, following its interpretation of these Acts, rejected 109 white male candidates at the second stage of a recruitment drive. This was part of its positive action programme to boost the number of minority ethnic personnel and women in its ranks.

The Gloucestershire Police Service in its document Positive action guidance makes the claim that “it has been approved by both the Commission for Racial Equality and the Race Relations Employment and Advisory Service.”

Liberty and Law argues that the attempt by Gloucestershire Police Service to stretch the clear meaning of legislation so as to enable them to racially and sexually discriminate in the early stages of recruitment providing they are not caught out “discriminating in favour of a certain group at the point of final selection” is an interpretation that has no credibility.

The discovery of Gloucestershire Police Service’s policy follows Somerset and Avon Police Service’s similar action that is currently under investigation by the CRE and EOC following a complaint by Liberty and Law on 29 November last.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup has asked both bodies to request that Gloucestershire Police freeze the recruitment process pending their investigation of its legality.

Both bodies have also been asked to check whether similar policies are being rolled out without public debate by other police services.

Mr Hartup stated: “The public must be concerned at the time that our enforcement bodies have taken to come to a conclusion in the Somerset and Avon case. In these circumstances it is important that neither of these two police services should make their final appointments pending speeded up investigations.”


Further information: Gerald Hartup 020 7928 7325 or 020 7207 3425

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Race boss plans new code of conduct to refer race hate material to the police

Difficulties about deciding what is or is not a hate crime could now be resolved by Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality [CRE]. Its chair Trevor Phillips has intervened dramatically [27 January] over race hate material by drawing up a code of conduct for him to refer material to the police under the incitement to racial hatred provisions of the Public Order Act.

Mr Phillips explained: “I think that the public has every right to expect consistency and transparency in the exercise of my judgement in these matters. I am therefore taking three steps to ensure that my conduct is clear, and that my powers are exercised fairly. First, I have asked the distinguished lawyer Robin Allen QC to review the way in which the Chair of the CRE intervenes in such cases and to advise me on my legal responsibilities. Second, on receiving Mr Allen's opinion the Commission will draw up a code for my own conduct in these matters, after consultation with our colleagues at the Press Complaints Commission, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General. Third, I will publish that code, so that everyone who chooses can be guided as to why we at the Commission do what we do.”

Nearly ready now

Substantial progress has been made since Mr Phillips announced the initiative just two years ago [27 January 2004]. On 1 September 2005, following the return from vacation of one of its key officers, the CRE was able to report that the “document has been drafted and is currently awaiting approval”. The exact current state of readiness [29 January 2006] of the document, however, is not known.

Not ‘all mouth and trousers’

Liberty and Law
director Gerald Hartup who has closely followed the CRE’s initiatives commented: “There are many critics of the CRE who doubt its ability to act expeditiously and who claim that the organisation is “all mouth and no trousers”. This is just one illustration of how a modestly funded organisation with a part-time chair actually delivers the goods.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

EOC cooks the books over women’s pay

Every year round about Christmas the Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC], the UK’s “sex equality” body that has successfully kept its male staff down to 20% for 30 years, comes out with phoney statistics about women’s earnings, which generally takes in the media and politicians.

So a typical headline runs Cameron will campaign to end women's pay 'scandal' Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2005.

The ‘scandal’ is created with the bogus concept of “pay gap” defined as the difference in hourly earnings between part-time women and full- time men. This is currently 38.4%. A meaningful comparison would be between part time hourly earnings of both men and women. This shows a mean pay gap of not 38.4% but just 10% and a “pay gap” for median earnings actually 3% in favour of women.

It is no good looking for this in press releases from the EOC. You won't even find there what hourly earnings of part time men are. In a welter of statistics this crucial information has been censored. [Mean £9.81, median £6.50 actually] How can you make a sensational claim if you give people all the facts? Only if you search around a bit does an obscure EOC report acknowledge that “there is no gap between the earnings of female part-time workers and male part-time workers over most of the distribution”.

A genuine equal opportunities body of course would be publicising the plight of low paid men as well as women. Since the EOC reports that “men from black and ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be in part-time employment as white men” could the reason for it marginalising men be attributed to institutional racism as well as its ingrained institutional sexism?

I wonder whether the EOC will be able to pull the same trick next Christmas.