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Thursday 13 September 2007
Conservative report on environment a "blueprint for feudalism"

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute, today denounces the Conservative Party report Blueprint for a Green Economy as a "blueprint for green feudalism".

Libertarian Alliance Director, Dr Sean Gabb,argues:

"The Conservatives are proposing more taxes and more regulations on the basis of fraudulent claims about the impact of human activity on the climate. There is no global warming. If there is, it is not our doing. If it is our doing, government action is not the answer. But there is no global warming. This whole set of claims is a device to rescue socialism from the failure of its promise to deliver heaven on earth. Shame on theConservatives for joining in the clamour.

"And shame, above all, on the very rich men who are telling us to tighten our belts in their attempt to 'save the planet'. Zac Goldsmith, one of the authors of this Report, is one of the richest men in the country.

David Cameron and John Gummer are not poor. If all the economic growth of the past century were to be rolled back, their sort would not suffer.

"If the rich want to travel, they have their private jets and helicopters. If they want to eat fresh fruit and vegetables out of season, they have their vast greenhouses. If they want to do without washing machines and gas-fired central heating, they can fall back on armies of servants and expensive personal generators. If they want entertainment, they can have their private theatres and orchestras, or
whatever in our degraded modern culture serve in their place.

"For them, a reduction of the general wealth would be a blessing. It would ease pressure on the roads that they would continue using, and reduce numbers at exotic holiday resorts that would remain within their reach.

"These people talk about making the world a better place. Perhaps they believe what they say. The natural effect of their words, however, would be to make the world a better place for people who have done nothing to earn their wealth other than take the trouble to be born.

"This whole report is a blueprint for green feudalism."

Tuesday 4 September 2007
European Commission’s racially offensive comic rises from the dead

The European Commission cartoon comic What?me? a racist?, on the Europa website since 2001, was taken down after a complaint by civil liberties group Liberty and Law, backed by the Commission for Racial Equality, that its caricatures of Europeans of African heritage were offensive.

Commissioner Spidla’s spokesperson asked the Communications Directorate General on 21 August to remove the comic from its website and this was done.

A check on 4 September, however, showed that the comic was up on the site again necessitating another call to the Commission from Liberty and Law and further action from the Commission’s spokesperson.

Update 14 September
After reporting its resurrection to the Commission it is now not available.


Wednesday 22 August 2007
European Commission to take down racially offensive comic from its website

The European Commission is to remove the comic What me a racist from its Europa website following a complaint from civil liberties group Liberty and Law taken up on its behalf by the Commission for Racial Equality [CRE].

The glossy A4 comic produced in 1998 to combat racism was published in all the official European Union languages. It was “designed for teachers to use when addressing the subject of racism with young people” and has been on its website since 2001.

Liberty and Law complained about the offensive racial caricatures of the black characters portrayed, reminiscent of the treatment given to Africans in Hergé’s 1931 book Tintin in the Congo.

The CRE made rapid progress with the Commission for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. On 21 August the CRE told Liberty and Law that the Commission underlined to them that it was “not their intention to be offensive to any group or individual and are looking into the matter”. Just a few hours later Commissioner Spidla’s spokesperson asked the Communications Directorate General to remove the comic from its website.

The commission also confirmed that the paper copies were out of print and would not be reprinted. The CRE reported that the “Commission wanted to reiterate that they did not intend to offend African Europeans (or any other group addressed in the cartoon) and should this have been the case they regret this deeply and offer their sincere apologies.”

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup commented: “ It is amazing that so little sensitivity was employed by those responsible for its commission and production and that it got past Europe’s anti-racist campaigners. However, Commissioner Spidla deserves credit for acting promptly when it was belatedly brought to his attention.”

What me a racist? http://ec.europa.eu/publications/young/txt_whatme_racist_en.pdf

31 August 2007 update Tne comic is no longer available on the above site.


Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Bedfordshire girl puts race commissars on the spot

It has taken an eighteen-year-old Bedfordshire student, Abigail Howarth, to expose the sickness and confusion at the heart of the UK’s race relations legislation. She did so because of what she found out when she wanted to compete for a training scheme with the Environment Agency.

The strangely worded advertisement stated that applications for the four traineeships “are encouraged from people of the following descents: Asian, Indian, White other (e.g. Irish, Welsh, Scottish, European), African, Caribbean or of Mixed Race origins.

The traineeships purported to be provided under Section 37 of the Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment 2000). This allows employers and their agents to provide training schemes to racial groups underrepresented in particular jobs compared to their numbers in the working population either locally or nationally. It had been restricted historically for commonsense reasons to non-white groups although civil liberty groups have long opposed the racial discrimination it perpetuates.

In this case PATH National Ltd, the major development agency acting in this business, in a bizarre and arguably illegal move, extended the qualifying groups to include everyone except white English people.

Civil liberties group Liberty and law has successfully campaigned against misuses of the Race Relations Act including Section 37 in cooperation with the Commission for Racial Equality. It has asked the CRE to request PATH to freeze the recruitment scheme until it has determined its legality.

There appears be no co-ordination between PATH and the Environment Agency.
Extending the scheme to anyone who is white unless they are English cannot be justified by the statistics available from the Environment Agency. They explained to Liberty and law that they “have no evidence that white Scottish, Irish or Welsh are underrepresented in the Anglian region of the Environment Agency.” More strongly they stated: “ Whilst PATH employ a broad criteria inviting applicants from people of these backgrounds, applicants would not be progressed further with us.”

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Thursday, August 02, 2007
Financial Times latest to award Trevor Phillips a knighthood

Today in a report about the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, Trevor Phillips its chair, in the news over his Queen Mother colostomy bag joke, was designated "Sir Trevor Phillips".

The Financial Times joins a host of other bodies that have assumed a man of his distinction would have a knighthood.

Mr Phillips OBE heads the new body that will combine the roles of the the Disability Rights Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

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Thursday, 2 August 2007
Commission for Racial Equality: institutionally racist and sexist to the end

White staff and men stay grossly under-represented at the Commission for Racial Equality [CRE]. This is revealed in the £20 million organisation’s final report buried away on its website.

It shows 43% of its staff are white and that 64% of are women.

The CRE has remained indifferent about its discriminatory recruitment policy during its entire existence despite being challenged by equality campaigners to set targets to attain a racially and sexually representative workforce..

It still brazenly claims in its final report that its “workforce showed a good mix by ethnicity”1. It has refused to state for many years what the racial profile of its staff should be. This strategy has worked well given lax parliamentary supervision of its work.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: “This claim is outrageous. Do its commissioners read the publications their organization puts out? Why do they believe that targets are necessary for everyone else but that they should be exempt? That’s a rhetorical question, of course. The answer is clear. They knew they could get away with it.”

In the absence of any statement from the CRE, Liberty and Law believes that it should have adopted the targets of Ken Livingstone’s Greater London Authority that 52% of the workforce should be women and 27% black, Asian and minority ethnic people. This would at least reflect London’s population from which the majority of the CRE’s staff is presumably drawn - if not the national population.

As the CRE will only exist until 31st September 2007 it will of course escape any sanctions from our holidaying elected representatives.

1 Commission for Racial Equality Employment Monitoring Data 2006

http://www.cre.gov.uk/downloads/cre_employment_monitoring_data.pdf

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Friday, July 27, 2007
Equal Opportunites Commission celebrates over thirty years keeping out men

Institutional gender discrimination had been alive and kicking at Britain’s Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC] ever since its inception. Arguing relentlessly for “targets” for all other employers it has resolutely failed to act to bring about fair employment policies in its own organisation. Successive government paymasters have failed to bring the organisation to heel. The annual report of the government funded £9.5 million quango reveals that male staff has been reduced in its final year to just 17.6% - down even from last year’s derisory 18.2%.

It is surely the lack of a male perspective that ensured that the EOC last year let Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services get away scot free with their recruitment scam excluding almost 300 men in favour of women.

We don’t read about these “achievements” in the EOC’s annual reports. Who knows what other initiatives doing down men will be lost down the memory hole when the EOC in October metamorphoses into the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007
Does Britain need a Libertarian Party?

Maybe, or maybe not. The argument bubbles up regularly in the forums and now the Libertarian Alliance makes it the subject of the first £1000 Chris R Tame Memorial Prize.

Dr Tame was the dynamic founder of the Libertarian Alliance whose contribution to British politics and political thought was not fully appreciated until his premature death last year. It is now and in his honour The PROMIS Unit of Primary Care has established a major yearly £1,000 essay prize.

It is open to everybody. The deadline for receipt of essays is 1 October 2007.

Details of the prize can be found at http://libertarian.co.uk/conf07/prize07.htm

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Thursday 12 July 2007
European Commission updates offensive Tintin cartoons

The European Commission has had on its website now for almost seven years offensive images of African European young people. The artist for the publication "What me a racist?", Sergio Selma, illustrates "sympathetically" a black mother and her son with the same enormous mouths used by Hergé in his 1931 book Tintin in the Congo that has now been reported to the British police.

The most offensive illustration in the ezine is a cartoon showing a middle aged white couple looking fondly at a little black boy and girl with enormous offensively caricatured mouths stating: "Aren't they cute? They're just gorgeous at that age." with the reply "Pity they have to grow up."

The cartoon magazine crassly designed to combat racism can still be seen on the European Commission's website.

Civil liberties group Liberty and Law has reported the website to the Commission for Racial Equality asking it to use its good offices and European contacts to get the European Commission to take it off the website and to pulp all remaining copies of the document published in all the official European Union languages.

The European commission in a forward to the document claims that "it is determined to combat discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability , age or sexual orientation". It goes on to claim that "the humorously written and informative pamphlet has been designed for teachers to use when addressing the subject of racism with young people".

Liberty and law director Gerald Hartup commented: "It is astonishing that this comic has circulated so widely for so long without any action being taken especially given the sheer size of the race relations industry in Europe. We are contacting the European Commission directly to have it taken off its website."

What me a racist? http://ec.europa.eu/publications/young/txt_whatme_racist_en.pdf

Tuesday 3 july 2007
How many Shami Chakrabatis does it take to change a light bulb?

Liberty has come up with a super idea to protect citizens from terrorism in the UK. With their experience they should really be handed the job of security if the paying public want to really feel safe.

As a spokeswoman put it: "If stop and search powers are applied even-handedly, without racial profiling, they will have the support of Liberty and, hopefully, the whole community."

Just the ticket. Under no circumstances use other than hard intelligence to stop and search unless done on a random basis. That means stopping 90 white people for every 10 minority ethnic people. And make sure you get a fair share of kids playing on the swings too.

This may take a little longer to get results. But, hey, better safe than sorry, surely?

The Scotsman 3 July 2007 Terror, bomb scares, arrests - and births at the Alexandria http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1033292007

Sunday 1 July 2007
Is it really time to sack smokers?

If you want to know about employment matters log on to Personnel Today. They have a very good selection of informative articles on smoking in the workforce and smoking by members of the workforce.

On 6 May they ran an article Smoking is not the only addiction that must be tackled in the workplace in which the following mainstream advice was given to employers: "…you should adopt a robust approach to your recruitment strategy and find out at an early stage whether a candidate is a smoker, or likes more than a glass of shandy after work. If so, reject them - unless you are prepared to spend the time tackling future issues that may arise."

These major issues are productivity and absentee losses associated with smoking and alcohol related accidents in the workplace.

This is already being done by some employers. A Sunday Times October 3, 2004 Job vacant ... but not for smokers explained: "BRITISH companies have started to refuse to employ smokers, even if they promise not to indulge their habit during working hours. It reports Kalamazoo-UCS of Northfield, Birmingham that employs 400 people and Kershen-Fairfax, a London accountancy firm as leaders."

Using google "smoking sacking" gives a good introduction to such trends.

Personnel Today’s Employment law: smoking ban special 26 June is cautious about sacking existing smokers "Sacking someone because they smoke in their spare time would be an unfair dismissal…" but as they go on to point out of the United States "… twenty states give employers the right to sack employees who smoke away from work in their own time."

The European Commission provides no protection for smokers. According to Commission equal opportunities spokesperson Katharina von Schnurbein "The Commission can legislate on age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, race and gender . For all other areas, it's the member state's responsibility."

Under these circumstances civil liberties group Liberty and Law is asking the Commission for Racial Equality [CRE] and the Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC] to investigate any companies who refuse to employ smokers as well as any recruitment companies or media outlets that accept advertisements proclaiming such discriminatory intent.

Companies refusing to take on smokers are certain to be indirectly sexually and racially discriminatory because of the differential smoking patterns related to the sex and race of Britain’s workforce. The penalties for such discrimination are potentially massive and trade unions can be expected to support affected members at employment tribunals.

Action on Smoking and Health, ASH provides evidence of widely differential smoking patterns by race and sex. It shows that Bangladeshi men for example under a no smoking regime will be turned down almost twice as frequently as Chinese men. Irish women will be turned down 13 times more frequently than Bangladeshi women.

Liberty and Law is contacting recruitment companies to check that they have not and will not accept commissions from companies that refuse to hire people who smoke outside working hours and that they will report such companies to the CRE and the EOC.

It will also directly report companies advertising their intention to exclude smokers to the CRE the EOC and libertarian smoking rights group Forest.

http://www.forestonline.org/output/page209.asp

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: “We must have zero tolerance of businesses that would indulge in repressive bullying. Their hectoring intolerance must be stubbed out. If necessary they need to suffer the consequences of their anti-social pretensions in the courts or in other ways that affect their bottom

Saturday, June 30, 2007
Do you really want to know how they dumbed down A-level maths?

Education think tank Campaign for Real Education published a short document in 2004 summarising what has happened. You can find it on http://www.cre.org.uk/maths1.pdf

It shows exactly what was ripped out of the syllabus and the disastrous results for students taking university courses with a substantial mathematical content.

Tuesday 19 June 2007
Mayor’s action over Fire Authority appointments reported to race and sex watchdogs

London mayor Ken Livingstone has blocked the appointment of every Conservative and Liberal Democrat white male nominated to the governing body of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. He has acted claiming that their nominations failed to tackle the under representation of women, black, Asian and ethnic minority Londoners. He has asked these parties to reconsider their nominations except for one Conservative female councillor acceptable to him.

At a press conference on Tuesday he confirmed that he had not sought advice from either the Equal Opportunities Commission or the Commission for Racial Equality and that there were contradictory legal views of his powers in this area.

These appointments are well paying with a basic allowance of £7,206 a year to every borough representative. Special responsibility allowances bumped up the average payment to over £11,000 in 2005/2006.

By discriminating in favour of Conservative Cllr Rebekah Gilbert in her appointment and against her white male colleagues it is thought that Mr Livingstone may be in breach of both the Sex Discrimination Act and the Race Relations Act.

Civil rights group Liberty and Law has asked the EOC and the CRE to investigate urgently the action of the Mayor to determine whether it conforms with equal opportunity legislation.

Director Gerald Hartup said:“ This is not just a quarrel between the Mayor and the political parties. It raises important issues about the nature of our democracy. It is too important to be just left to them to sort out".“

The mayor argues in a press release of 15 June: "It is crucial that important public bodies such as the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority represent London’s diverse communities. This year’s nominations offered a real chance to improve the profile of the authority and address the serious under-representation of women and black and ethnic minority Londoners but sadly this has not been acted on.

‘The nominations that have been made by groups within London Councils and the London Assembly are unrepresentative of London’s diverse communities.

"I just do not believe that it is impossible to find more black and Asian people to serve on the fire authority, or that there are not more women who wish to participate.

"It is unacceptable that when there are 1,861 councillors in London, of which 555 are women and 293 from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority groups, all seven Conservative nominees to the fire authority are white and include only one woman, and all three Liberal Democrat nominees are white men.

"To fulfill my duty to promote genuine equality I have decided not to accept these unrepresentative nominees for the fire authority and to ask those who are making these nominations to ensure that they reflect London as it really is.

"I have written to the Chair of London Councils, Cllr Merrick Cockell, Conservative Assembly leader Angie Bray AM and Liberal Democrat Assembly leader Mike Tuffrey AM to ask them to reconsider their nominations.

"It is absolutely crucial that the body which runs the third largest firefighting organisation in the world is far more representative of the people it serves and I will use all the powers of my office to promote equality and tackle under-representation.”

Merrick Cockell Tory chairman of London Councils (formerly the Association of London Government) responded : "It is disappointing that the Mayor has rejected two pensioners, an openly gay councillor and a councillor under 30 as being 'unrepresentative' of London's diverse communities. The fact remains these councillors were democratically elected by London's diverse communities."

Lib Dem leader of the London Assembly Mike Tuffrey raises the fundamental question to be answered:"It is not for the Mayor to dictate to the other parties who they appoint."

This remains to be seen.

Thursday 7 june 2007
Chancellor reported to race watchdog over jobs for Brits speech

Following Gordon Brown's speech to the GMB union on 5 June in which he indicated that he wanted a claimed 200,000 new jobs to go to what he called "British workers" civil liberties group Liberty and Law has reported him to the Commission for Racial Equality [CRE].

It has asked the CRE to make a statement explaining that any job discrimination based on nationality is against the Race Relations Act and to investigate the policy of the government to ensure that its employment policy is not designed to privilege British job seekers over any other people entitled to seek work in this country.

It has also asked the CRE to obtain a statement from Mr Brown clearly indicating that nothing he has said was intended to suggest that British workers were to be given any priority whatsoever in obtaining employment over foreigners seeking the same work.

Headlines in the media showed clearly Mr Brown's message.

British workers for British jobs, Daily Telegraph
Brown pledges ‘British workers for British jobs’ Daily Mail
Get British jobless doing British jobs Daily Mirror
Brown to put British workers first in jobs queue The Herald
Brown promises Britons first refusal on jobs The Independent

Colin Brown of the Independent explained: “Gordon Brown promised his union backers for the leadership of the Labour Party that as Prime Minister he will ensure British people get first refusal of jobs in Britain.”

Oonagh Blackman of the Daily Mirror summarised his position as:"Gordon Brown yesterday pledged to give jobs to British workers ahead of migrants.”

These headlines were eerily similar to a British National Party campaign posted by its South West Correspondent a few days earlier on 26 May.

"A new leaflet sized poster is starting to “mysteriously” appear on works notice boards in a growing number of Somerset factories - particularly those increasingly employing migrant labour in preference to local people. The posters have the basic design as shown in the example below - but are “customised” by the addition of Party contact details and a strap line depending upon location - such as “British jobs for British workers at Bloggs Foods".

Mr Brown's policy would seem to be similar to that of the BNP. He has given the clear impression that employers can and should discriminate in recruitment between British people and people who are not British but have come to Britain to work and live either permanently or temporarily.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated "He must be aware that non- British citizens from the European union have an absolute right to live and work in this country without being subject to discrimination by employers. His speech appears to be xenophobic and gives reason for foreigners to fear for their safety in this country as well as for their employment rights, apparently facing a government under his leadership that will attempt to discriminate against them. The BNP website does not yet contain an article trumpeting the fact that the government is now belatedly following its lead. No doubt it will. Mr Brown is doing its job for it."

Monday, May 28, 2007
Prison Service Directorate colour bar sinks Corby

Liberty and Law Journal has now been provided with the Prison Service’s delayed draft Race Impact Assessment on the controversial proposed move of 65 jobs from the struggling town of Corby to Peat House, Leicester.

The document claims “the setting up of a Joint Midlands Procurement Service Unit is expected to result in efficiency gains in excess of £700k.” It will “try and assist as many staff as possible to relocate to the new property in Leicester through the provision of excess fares and possibly a coach service.”

Apart from the logistical advantages claimed for the move it makes clear the reason why Corby had to be disqualified as a contender from the start and has caused such outrage in the town among staff, residents, councillors, local MPs and Northants Race Equality Council.

The document boldly states: “Crown House is unable to meet Directorate (13%) or HMPS (6%) Race/Ethnicity targets. Race/Ethnicity targets to contribute to meeting HMPS’ Race Equality Duty. This is a ministerial requirement.”

It adds: “Leicester provides good recruitment prospects and in time (existing staff are likely to transfer) is likely to assist HMPS in meeting its staff race/ethnicity targets.”

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup commented: "It looks hopeless for Corby. It seems there is nothing the town can do to persuade the Prison Service to stay. The demographics are against them. They are a black spot to be avoided by employers with government racial targets to meet."


Sunday 27 May 2007
Time to end charitable status of schools and state interference

According to Geraldine Hackett's report ['Poor law' comes to public schools, 26 October 2003] charitable status was worth £82 m a year in tax relief to independent schools. Since then it has apparently escalated to be worth £100 millions.

I use Ms Hackett’s report simply to show how the government uses gradualism as a means of taking control of every aspect of our lives. The government is determined to interfere in their running as a condition for keeping this tax advantage. Independent schools should now belatedly tell the government to get lost and accept the abolition of their charitable status. It just isn’t worth the hassle.

In 2003 I calculated on the back of an envelope that with 600,000 children in the independent sector the charitable tax break was worth just £137 a year for each pupil. According to the Independent Schools Council “the UK independent sector as a whole educates 620,000 children in around 2,500 independent schools”. My revised back of the envelope calculation makes the tax break now worth £161.29 per pupil. [Let’s go for spurious accuracy. We are talking education after all.]

Parents in the independent sector subsidized the the state in 2003 by the £1.7billion it would otherwise have cost to educate their children. No doubt given the investment in state education since then the figure has risen considerably. But pretending it has not for a moment a back of the envelope calculation shows that the Education Secretary takes in a cool £2741.94 from each of these children.

Parents whose children are educated independently should demand that their schools deregister as charities and pay the extra 44p a day necessary to get the government and its bureacrats off their backs. Their schools can still carry on making some of their facilities available to children forced to go to state schools but it would no longer be charitable any more but an independent gesture of social solidarity untainted by the state.

Saturday 12 May 2007
David Cameron’s ‘no platform] group wins campus ban on BNP

Ken Livingstone’s group Unite against Fascism successfully stopped British National Party chair Nick Griffin from speaking at Bath University next Monday. Together with the University and Colleges Union [UCU] and the National Union of Students they argued for the ‘no platform’ policy to be extended to the university.

Currently the most prominent parliamentary UAF supporter is Conservative leader David Cameron. He is joined by his shadow Home Office minister Edward Garnier, QC MP.

Historically the Conservative party has argued in favour of free speech and against the ‘no platform’ policy of the National Union of Students that in the past was used to prevent Conservative cabinet ministers from speaking.

Bath University had originally given permission for the meeting to go ahead as the BNP was a lawful political party and to conform to its freedom of speech code.

The university only reversed its stance on 10 May following a campaign launched by the ‘no platform’ groups that made the university fear for the safety of staff and students. It also had “fears of disruption to examinations given the likely scale of protests on the day."

Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary of Unite Against Fascism explained his stance: “The racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic politics of the BNP pose a danger to many of the staff and students who make up the diversity of the university.”

Sally Hunt, UCU joint general secretary said: “Allowing the BNP to speak would have compromised the safety of staff and students and sent out a very worrying message about Bath University’s commitment to diversity.”

Let’s give them a warm welcome 4 May 2007
http://bristol.indymedia.org/newswire.php?story_id=26246

University in row over BNP invite 10 May 7.34a
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/6641407.stm

University halts BNP speech plan 10 May 2007 17.55
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/6644117.stm

Fascist BNP leader stopped from speaking at Bath University
Protest cancelled 10 May 2007
http://www.uaf.org.uk/news.asp?choice=70510


Tuesday May 1 2007
Legal aid cuts need race equality impact assessment first

The UK Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee has woken up to the fact that the government’s proposals to reform legal aid payments to “save” £100 million pounds a year could breach statutory duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. These regulations now force businesses to carry out a race relations impact assessment when making changes to their business practices that could have an unequal impact on different racial groups.

The government’s scheme has been opposed by Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Law Society.

The Law Society Gazette reported last week that the Society of Asian Lawyers (SAL) and the Black Solicitors Network (BSN) had sent the legal Services commission a letter before action challenging its failure to carry out the assessment.

The “best value” competitive tendering sought by the LSC these groups argue would have a disproportionate effect on small firms which themselves disproportionately employ minority ethnic staff.

Liberty and Law believes that SAL, BSN and the Law Society have a very good case. It also believes that the legal profession should be able to pick up massive fees in litigation certain to take place across British industry as a result of the legislation. Trade union lawyers should be on to a winner.

Already the Prison Service has been challenged over its proposed move from Corby to Leicester over the disproportionate effect that would have on the employment of its existing white staff.

MPs say legal aid changes could breach race laws
http://uk.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUKL3032764720070430

Monday, April 30, 2007
National Black Police Association poll rejects ACPO's Affirmative Action bid

The decision by the Association of Chief Police officers [ACPO] to campaign for the right to discriminate against the hiring of white males has met opposition from the National Black Police Association. Its website poll shows that 55.6% of 520 respondents strongly disagree with Affirmative Action. They outnumber those who strongly agree [28.1%] by 2:1. A further 13.1% agree "with conditions".

National Black Police Association
http://www.nbpa.co.uk/index.php?option=com_poll&task=results&id=16&mosmsg=Thanks+for+your+vote%21

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Police colour bar puts Trevor Phillips at odds with CRE

The decision by ACPO to campaign to racially and sexually discriminate against white males in order to meet government employment targets has revealed a split between Trevor Phillips the newly appointed boss of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). and his old organisation the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

A spokeswoman for the CRE told The Guardian: "The CRE doesn't support positive discrimination and affirmative action," and that "these forms of 'reverse discrimination' could actually increase community tensions, rather than ease them.
"In many areas forces are struggling to recruit people from diverse backgrounds because of people's negative perceptions and experiences. This is the real problem that needs to be addressed."
In the CRE’s view: "The police ought to stop hiding behind the smokescreen of 'affirmative action' and start looking at the real reasons why ethnic minorities are not applying to become police officers."

Mr Phillips has argued for a change in the law since he was first appointed chair of the CRE . In an early and important interview with The Guardian [March 17 2004] his views were revealed:"Phillips wants the body that will succeed the CRE, which goes under the working title of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), to be given powers to apply to the secretary of state to suspend race and sex discrimination laws so that, in "extreme" cases, numbers of ethnic minorities may be fast-tracked into the force. Once the organisation had boosted its ethnic recruitment, the exemption would be lifted, and recruitment would continue normally."

He went on in the interview to express his alarm that he might be compelled to act against a police force for jumping the gun."A woman or a white man or a man might come along to us and say, 'They're fast-tracking ethnic minorities or they're fast-tracking women; that means I am being deprived of the possibility of two years' salary as a police officer', and under the law we would have to support their case."

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup said: “ACPO have got the man for the job. Since Mr Phillips in his new job will once again be responsible for policing the police we can have no confidence whatsoever that they will not go ahead with discriminatory schemes even without any change in the law. The law seems to be for the little people. I had never thought that I could possibly regret the passing of the CRE but now I do.”

Tuesday 24 April 2007
Call for corporal punishment in schools

Lynette Burrows is a journalist who argues for the traditional family values overturned and outlawed by the British establishment. She does so with wit and style.

Speaking on 23 April at a conference organised by PARITY and the Royal Society of Medecine she claimed that the abolition of the cane twenty years ago created a culture of violence and anarchy in schools.

She argued that corporal punishment should be reintroduced to restore order in the classroom and teach boys the difference between right and wrong.

PARITY has campaigned for equal rights for men and women since 1986 with some success. Its current objectives are:

· equal liability of men and women over 60 in respect of National Insurance contributions (NICs);

· mitigation, and no further aggravation, of the present inequality as between men and women in state pension provision due to the continuing unequal state pension ages (lasting until, year 2020);

· substantially equal public funding for medical research into and treatment of male and female specific diseases;

· funding for research into the reasons for and means of reducing the persistent difference in life expectancy between men and women;

· equal status for separated parents and more rigorous enforcement of child contact and ofmaintenance orders;

· equal treatment of victims of domestic violence, both male and female, and their children;

· effective Government policies to encourage a more even balance between men and women in primary school teaching;

· equal anonymity for defendants and complainants in sex offence cases until conviction;

· equal provisions for men and women in all statutory and public policies and benefits.

PARITY http://www.parity-uk.org/

Sunday, April 15, 2007
Police chiefs to advocate race and sex discrimination

ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers, is expected later this month to back a scheme to fast track women and ethnic minorities into police services throughout the country.

A report by the Daily Express 13 April states that ACPO wants to institute “affirmative action” to meet the diversity targets set by the government. It has been drawn up by Suzette Davenport, Assistant Chief Constable of Staffordshire police and vice-chair of the British Association for Women in Policing.

The proposal is opposed by the Police Federation and the Daily Express reports that a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local government stated: “We have no intention of changing the law.”

The News of the World, however, [15 April] claims that the scheme is being backed by Home Secretary John Reid.

They report the ACPO plan “as being similar to that used in Northern Ireland which has a 50:50 intake of catholics and protestants.”

The most prominent supporter of a change in the law to allow fast track recruitment of racial minorities is Trevor Phillips. In an early and important interview with The Guardian [March 17 2004] his views were revealed:"Phillips wants the body that will succeed the CRE, which goes under the working title of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), to be given powers to apply to the secretary of state to suspend race and sex discrimination laws so that, in "extreme" cases, numbers of ethnic minorities may be fast-tracked into the force. Once the organisation had boosted its ethnic recruitment, the exemption would be lifted, and recruitment would continue normally."

He went on in the interview to express his alarm that he might be compelled to act against a police force for jumping the gun.
"A woman or a white man or a man might come along to us and say, 'They're fast-tracking ethnic minorities or they're fast-tracking women; that means I am being deprived of the possibility of two years' salary as a police officer', and under the law we would have to support their case."

Liberty and Law asked Mr Phillips to investigate the Metropolitan Police Service who operated this system but under his leadership the CRE refused to act. It is not at present known how many white males have been discriminated against by the Met since the policy was adopted. Simon Marshall, Director of Recruitment at the Met has admitted “It is true that some white males had to wait up to three years before they were allocated an intake date at Hendon.”

Other police forces have just ignored the rules to favour ethnic minorities and women. Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset Police Services misused the ethnic monitoring forms on candidates’ applications that assured applicants that under no circumstances would the information be used as part of the selection process. In fact they used it to discriminate against white males, either by selectively and secretly discarding their applications or by demanding higher standards.

The CRE [and the Equal Opportunities Commission] could have halted the racially and sexually discriminatory recruitment process having been asked by Liberty and law to do so but allowed the scam to be successfully concluded before eventually asking the two forces not to do it again.

Mr Phillips’ attitude to his responsibilities to act evenhandedly was revealed on 19 June 2006 in a speech to the Social Policy Forum .
“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.”

Race against time, Saba Salman and Patrick Butler, The Guardian Wednesday March 17, 2004 http://politics.guardian.co.uk/publicservices/story/0,,1171077,00.html

Quotas plan will favour ethnic cop, News of the World, Ian Kirby 15 April 2007

Our PC police force, Daily Express Tom Whitehead 13 April 2007 http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/4322



Friday, April 13, 2007
Corby victim of Prison Service Alice in Wonderland justice

The Commission for Racial Equality’s investigation into the decision by the Prison Service to move jobs from Corby to Leicester based at least partially on the unsuitable racial demographics of the Northamptonshire town has been delayed because of the failure of the Prison Service to complete a compulsory race equality impact assessment. According to the Commission for Racial Equality it is not now due to be completed until early May.

Civil rights group Liberty and Law that instigated the CRE investigation has asked Prison Service boss Phil Wheatley to invite not only the trade union but also the local MPs and Northamptonshire Race Equality Council to participate in an assessment vital not only to the town of Corby but to good race relations.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup commented: “We live in a sinister Alice in Wonderland world where decisions are taken first and only then followed by investigation and consultation. For whoever turns out to be the Queen of Hearts in this unpleasant fiasco there can only be one judgment: “Off with her head!” - or at least an administrative rebuke.”


Monday, 9 April 2007
BBC mocks over sixties Tories as white, middle class and hearing impaired

The Today Programme BBC Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs programme ran an item on the speaking appearance of California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Autumn conference of the Conservative party.

Its presenter offered political correspondent Robin Brandt a full toss to exercise his campaigning skills: “How is it going to go down with the Tory faithful?” he asked.

Mr Brandt took up the challenge. “Huh, huh! Most of them are over sixty. They’re white, they’re middle class. I was thinking earlier perhaps half of them can’t hear without the aid of something mechanical.”

Attempts to reach the Today studio to obtain a retraction during the course of the programme were of course futile.

It is quite possible that Mr Brandt is expressing the corporate view of the BBC and that they consider no apology appropriate or necessary.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup has warned Governor Schwarzenegger of the BBC’s attitude to age, race, class and disability. He commented: “Arnold Schwarzenegger will of course be over sixty when he addresses this particular audience. Perhaps on the occasion of the Governor's speech in Blackpool BBC correspondents will, referring to his open-heart surgery, opine that speaker, audience and seaside town match one another perfectly. That would seem to be par for the course.”

Liberty and Law has asked chairman of the Disability Rights Commission Sir Bert Massie and chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights Trevor Phillips to take this up with the BBC following its failed attempt to contact the Today programme

Thursday, 5 April 2007
Prison Service initial response to race investigation

In the latest development surrounding the proposed racially controversial move of Prison Service jobs from Corby in Northamptonshire to Leicester the Home Office told Liberty and Law Journal that the Prison Service now has a draft race equality impact assessment with its Management Board and that they will be in consultation with their trade union and staff. [Click on “prison service” for background]

The impact assessment is not yet publicly available for consultation or challenge but will be published on the Prison Service’s excellent website. This contains an extremely impressive Annual Staff Ethnicity Review for 2005/2006. It repays study by anyone concerned with the direction of public policy.

The Commission for Racial Equality asked the Prison Service for the race equality impact assessment by 3 April. It was unable to provide this in the time and has been set a new deadline of 5 April.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup stated: “There are difficulties facing all racial groups in the Prison Service because it currently operates to the definition of “institutional racism” foisted on public institutions by Macpherson that this is “the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amounts to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance or thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people”

"At present the Prison Service rules out by definition that non- minority ethnic people can suffer from its collective failure. This must change. It is time that the public, partners after all, took ownership of the rules of the game. The Prison Service is a good place to begin the necessary dialogue to effect required changes.”

Further information about the Prison Service can be found on its website where the impact assessment will be published in due course. http://www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk/abouttheservice/racediversity/

Readers concerned about the issue can write to the Commission for Racial Equality to keep up with its progress in the investigation. The CRE can be emailed at info@cre.gov.uk.

Corby Prison Service employees and those who support them can contact Northamptonshire Race Equality Council to seek their advice and to discuss with them how best NREC can bring public pressure on the prison Service. Their website is http://www.wellingboroughrec.org.uk/index.asp and their email address info@northamptonshirerec.org.uk

Posted by gerald hartup at 7:46 AM

Labels: Macpherson, Northamptonshire Race Equality Council, prison service


Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Nelson Mandela guilty of "unwitting racism"

Nelson Mandela is likely to come under fierce criticism from British racial equality campaigners for finding “quite amusing” Barnet councillor Brian Gordon’s dressing up as him at a fancy dress party to celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim.

After Liberal Democrat press officer Ms Stieve de Lance had taken the trouble to appear on television to denounce Cllr Gordon as a racist, to report him to Barnet council’s director of corporate governance and to the Commission for Racial Equality; after the BBC had door stepped him and Keith Vaz MP, the chair of Labour's ethnic minority taskforce had denounced him, it could only be seen as a betrayal when Mr Mandela failed to see the racism inherent in the councillor’s action.

Mr Mandela's spokeswoman Zelda le Grange said: "We shouldn't be over sensitive about issues of this nature. Mr Mandela thought it was quite funny. We can't find anything derogatory in someone dressing up, in fancy dress, portraying Nelson Mandela."

Clearly Mr Mandela should have taken advice before speaking. His own experience of racism is strictly limited and he is totally unqualified to make a judgment on such matters.

It is not known whether the CRE will report Mr Gordon or Mr Mandela to the police. The Guardian reported on 28 March that a CRE spokesman found Mr Gordon's actions objectionable. He stated: "It is unacceptable for elected representatives to behave in a way that might offend members of their local communities ... Good council leadership is essential in managing the differences in our increasingly diverse communities as councils have a duty to promote good race relations."

Saturday 31 March 2007
Prison Service deadline of 3 April to respond to race watchdog over contested move

The Commission for Racial Equality [CRE] has written to the Director General of the Prison Service Phil Wheatley about a proposed move by the Service from offices in Corby for which one of the criteria publicly provided was the unsatisfactory racial make up of the town’s inhabitants - it being too white.

Writing to local MP Philip Hollobone [Kettering] on 29 March the CRE confirmed that it expected a response from the Prison Service by Tuesday 3 April.

Civil rights group Liberty and Law had formally complained about the matter to CRE chair Professor Kay Hampton on 6 March. The CRE confirmed to it on 15 March that as a reponse to allegations of racial discrimination by the Prison Service it had written to them about any race equality impact assessment they had undertaken over the decision to relocate offices from Corby to Leicester.

Britain’s prison service has been heavily criticized for deciding to move one of its locations from Corby in Northamptonshire to the city of Leicester on racial grounds. Its reasons were disclosed in a leaked letter as being partially on the grounds of the racial profile of Corby, which at 93.7% white was considered to be not sufficiently diverse compared to Leicester’s more favourable 59.6%.

Leicester’s racial profile, the Prison Service believes will allow it to attract a more diverse workforce.Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup in urging the CRE to investigate the legality of Prison service plan stated “The CRE has a responsibility where the actions of public bodies fuel resentment and do enormous damage to race relations to investigate their strict adherence to the law and to report back to the people."

Liberty and Law last year successfully challenged the racially and sexually discriminatory recruitment procedure of Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services.

The Prison Service’s proposed move to Leicester is clearly impractical for the majority of the white staff but any reduction in their numbers will create vacancies to allow the Prison Service to more effectively chase government race targets.

Northants Evening Telegraph report that Mr Wheatley has written to Corby Council chief executive Chris Mallender and council leader Pat Fawcett: “I am sorry the decision to relocate our office from Corby to Leicester has been portrayed in such a negative fashion in the media.“The press has chosen to focus on our desire to be able to recruit a well-educated, diverse workforce. I make no apology for including the impact on diversity as one of the key determining business factors of the decision. I want you to understand that we wanted to be sure that we could recruit the right calibre of workforce. These requirements were not catalysts for us moving from Corby – this
decision was based on business need and our desire to save the taxpayer unnecessary costs. Most of the staff will be relocating with us.”

Northants Evening Telegraph continued: Corby Council leaders were angry that it took the Prison Service more than two weeks to respond to its original letter. Council chief executive Chris Mallender said: “The service is in denial. We know directly from the workforce that the majority of the people in Crown House do not want to travel to Leicester.“The service is clearly looking to sweep this under the carpet, but we and the workforce are not prepared to let the issue go.”

Newspaper reports have been universally hostile: The town branded too white and too British; Corby ‘penalized for having the wrong kind of immigrants’; Ordered to discriminate; Outraged town hits back, Prison service ‘in jobs denial’

The response of the public on websites and blogs has been overwhelmingly hostile to the social engineering adopted by a government that works on the principle that people are just ‘human resources’ to be manipulated by their mandarinate.

Northamptonshire Race Equality Council has condemned the action of the Prison Service.

Despite the criticism the Home Office has so far been firm in its backing for a Prison Service that is following government orders to increase the percentage of ethnic minorities on the government pay roll.

A glance at the website of the CRE explains how the Corby situation has come about taking politicians by surprise at the results of their legislative follies. Factoring racial equality into relocation explains it all. The CRE’s successor the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) under Trevor Phillips argues for an even more extreme change in legislation to allow companies to discriminate directly on grounds of race to attain racially balanced workforces.

Sunday 25 March 2007
UCAS application form slammed by top lawyers

Liberty and Law’s challenge to UCAS’ proposal to provide information about the racial background of college applicants to Admissions Officers has been backed by top lawyers in the field of education and human rights.

The Sunday Telegraph reports [Legal challenge to degree admissions, 25 March 2007] leading education and human rights solicitor Jaswinder Gill concluding that the data raised a “real risk of prejudice” and that it breaches Article 14 of the Human Rights Act.

Nick Saunders of Eversheds, a legal firm specialising in services to further and higher education providers, warned that UCAS’ policy would have legal consequences.

Data protection specialist Susan Singleton also saw major difficulties with the policy, warning that its operation could lead to criminal offences under the Data protection Act 1998.

Wednesday 21 March 2007
UCAS challenged over proposed new application form

A civil liberties group has asked the Commission for Racial Equality [CRE] to intervene over the University and Colleges Admissions Service’s [UCAS] proposal to provide data about potential students’ ethnicity to Admissions Officers before rather than after the selection process is complete.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup has written to CRE chair Professor Kay Hampton complaining about the proposal on the grounds that it would be in blatant breach of good equal opportunities practice propounded by the CRE over many years.

Monitoring forms the CRE has always argued should be anonymous, kept separate from any application form and from the entire selection process.

Where they are not this can and does allow ruthless discrimination at the selection process. This was evidenced notoriously by the use of equal opportunities data about their race being used last year to reject 289 white male applicants from consideration with Avon and Somerset and Gloucestershire Police Services.

Mr Hartup stated: “We must learn our lesson. We cannot trust Chief Constables with confidential information but they were at least breaking the law. How can we possibly allow the careers of students to depend upon the self denying integrity of Admissions Officers under pressure to come up with the results necessary to achieve maximum funding.”

“Should UCAS go ahead with their misguided policy they must expect legal action by students who can never be sure that the reason for their failure to obtain a place at their preferred institution was because their race did not fit the Education Secretary’s matrix.”

Liberty and law has written to UCAS Chief Executive Anthony McClaren urging him to drop the scheme. It has also written to OFFA [Office for fair Access] that has “a role in identifying and disseminating good practice and advice connected with access to higher education.”

End

Tuesday 13 March 2007
MEP asks Scotland Yard to investigate BBC relations with EU

The Metropolitan Police have today (13 March) received a bundle of papers from Ashley Mote MEP, Independent, SE England, detailing the tens of millions of euros received by the BBC over recent years.

He has invited Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Yates, Director of Intelligence at Scotland Yard, to review the BBC's sources and application of funds, excluding the licence fee. The police have been asked to examine the evidence linking the EU as a source of these funds with the BBC’s open support of the EU in its editorial coverage, contrary to its obligations under the Royal Charter.

Recent correspondence between the BBC’s management in Brussels and the MEP has revealed a prima facie case for investigation, Mr Mote claims. The documents show that the BBC’s senior management has, over many years, accepted money from the EU and its institutions in exchange for which they have enforced an editorial policy of positive support of the EU, contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the charter.

The BBC’s Royal Charter has the force of law. It requires balance in the reporting of news and current affairs. All strands of opinion on political matters must be given a fair hearing and roughly equal air time.

Solid proof exists that this is not the case, Mr Mote says. He has told Scotland Yard that evidence of bias has been collected by professional media analysts for Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who has funded research into BBC coverage of the EU for many years.

“My focus has been on the money”, Mr Mote says. “We now know that the BBC has in recent years borrowed tens of millions of euros from the European Investment Bank, an institution of the European Union. The correspondence shows that the BBC gained these large sums of public money from the EIB on terms that would never have been available commercially. It also acquired funding from other parts of the EU’s web of institutions, again on less than transparent terms and – sometimes – for the vaguest of reasons.

“The purpose of these soft loans and other funding is clearly intended to further the cause of EU federalism – in effect to ‘buy’ BBC support. Some might argue that it is bribery and corruption, others that it is fraud. At the very least I suggest malfeasance – a deliberate act knowingly undertaken against the public interest”, he wrote to DAC Yates.

The full text of the letter from Ashley Mote MEP to DAC John Yates at New Scotland Yard follows:

BBC Malfeasance – A Case for Investigation?

You will recall my letter of 20 February offering to provide you with evidence of the BBC’s commercial and editorial activities which conflict directly with the Corporation’s legal obligations under the Royal Charter. There appears to be a prima facie case of malfeasance.

This letter and the enclosures represent the evidence accumulated in recent months. If, having considered it, you need any further information I will of course attempt to provide it.

In a nutshell, the case is this: the BBC’s senior management has, over many years, accepted money from the EU and its institutions in exchange for which they have enforced an editorial policy of positive support of the EU, contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the Royal Charter.

The Charter, which has the force of law, requires balance in the reporting of news and current affairs, although it has to be admitted that the obligations to maintain balance set out in the present document are much watered down from those in the original of some 80 years ago.

Nonetheless, even the present Royal Charter makes it clear that all strands of opinion on political matters must be given a fair hearing and roughly equal air time.

Solid proof exists that this is not the case. That evidence can be obtained from Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who has funded research into BBC coverage of the EU over many years. I have no doubt he will gladly make it available to you, together with any other relevant evidence you might find helpful.

You might also find a recently published book instructive - Can We Trust the BBC? by Robin Aitken. Mr Aitken worked for the Corporation for 25 years. His book describes numerous horror stories of bias and political prejudice, many of them quietly buried by past generations of BBC management.

This letter and enclosures concern themselves mainly with the other side of the coin – to be precise, the provision of substantial sums of EU money on less than commercial terms and for questionable motives.

I have also taken the liberty of enclosing background reading – for example the BBC’s internal attempt to put right an acknowledged lack of balance in EU editorial policy.

The BBC receives an annual funding of approximately £2.7 billion from the public through the licence fee system. This obliges members of the public to finance the BBC simply because they own a TV set.

As this is a legally enforceable poll tax, the public can expect the BBC to comply scrupulously with the terms of its Royal Charter. The governors have a duty to satisfy themselves that all activities of the BBC are carried out in accordance with the highest standards of public accountability.

It is arguable that they have not complied with such obligations. When reporting on the EU, the BBC routinely demonstrates a commitment to UK membership which at times amounts to little more than pro-EU propaganda.

Furthermore, the BBC has openly admitted that their reporting of EU activities is biased. Why else have they taken steps to redress the balance by appointing internal investigations and commissioning reports on the subject?

Some brief points from the evidence follow, specifically:

a) Article 7(1)(e) of the Royal Charter requires the governors "to ensure that any comments, proposals and complaints made by viewers and listeners of the Home Services are given due consideration and are properly handled by the Corporation". Lord Hutton's report on the death of Dr David Kelly clearly showed that the BBC did not comply with this Article when dealing with complaints from Alistair Campbell.

Furthermore, the BBC has on numerous occasions refused to consider complaints from viewers and listeners about coverage of EU affairs, despite the Charter obligation for complaints to be given due consideration. Refusing to accept complaints is not an option, and unlawful.

b) Article 7(1)(f) requires the governors "to ensure the treatment of controversial subjects with due accuracy and impartiality". The BBC clearly supports Britain’s membership of the EU and the abolition of the £ sterling in favour of the euro. The statistical and document