3 Oct 2010

BNP not coming to Stroud: would a motion help?

The SNJ report that the BNP are not coming to Stroud as planned - however the Say No To The BNP protest meeting went ahead on Wednesday night.

Whatever we feel the BNP is a recognised political party and I do agree with Andy Reed's comments made earlier that: "Whenever the BNP has put up candidates locally, it has had no support whatsoever. However, history shows that censorship only plays into the hands of such groups. The best approach is to bring the BNP and their policies out into the open. I know many Stroud people feel strongly about the BNP and will relish this opportunity to expose and challenge its policies."

With that in mind I have been very supportive of the initial drafts of a motion that folk can put to local Councils. Below is the latest version that is being circulated by email - this seems to me a more constructive approach. Yes a motion is just words but the hope is that it could also lead to actions....

News .... News... News ...

Model Motion for Parish Councils, District Councils and the County Council -

Perhaps we should consider this as part of a theme of Standing Together and Providing Community Leadership.

First of all thanks to all who have commented on the Model Motion - Even though the immediate issue of the BNP has reduced the wider issues of combating racism and other threats to our communities still exists and I urge everyone to get involved.

We are anticipating (subject to a bit of red tape) that the First Council to consider adopting the Model Motion will be Cam Parish Council on Monday. Notice of Motion is being submitted to Stroud Town Council today and is expected to be debated at the next full Council Meeting on 26 October

We would urge all Parish and Town Councils and the District and County Council to consider adopting the model motion:

This Council is proud of Gloucestershire’s long tradition of welcoming and integrating new citizens regardless of race, colour, religion or gender. Recognising that this Council has a responsibility to challenge the underlying misunderstandings and misconceptions that allow racism to pollute our society we wish to promote Gloucestershire as a Discrimination Free Zone and call on all citizens to work together to create a society in which Equality, Human Rights, Justice and Inclusion are the core values of all.

Supporters Network
We have set up a Survey on Survey Monkey to enable people to show their support and contribute their ideas. This can be found at

Democratic Structure
At present the Network is being co-ordinated by one individual but we need to set up some form of Governance Structure to get the project going. If you are interested in helping please include your comments in the Supporters Network Survey

Meanwhile the Equality Act comes into force

The act consolidates all the separate discrimination acts however it has not been enacted in full. This does in my view rather make a nonsense of the Coalition's speeches about equality and a fairer Britain!

The Act does have some useful measures - it restricts the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health prior to offering them a position, making it more difficult for disabled people to be unfairly screened out. There are also new powers for employment tribunals. The Act will also stop employers using pay secrecy clauses to prevent employees discussing their own pay, which means men and women can compare pay. But the Act will not make employers reveal how much they pay men compared with women, as had been planned by the Labour government. See BBC report.

The Fawcett Society says partial implementation of Equality Act renders it toothless - see here. It is certainly disappointing when the Act was so close to going through and had already largely reached agreement under the previous Government.

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