Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Stoke's Racist Lord Mayor

Ah, racism. How Stoke has missed thee. Nine years ago the British National Party were banished from the council chamber when, prior to the 2010 general election, Nick Griffin had proclaimed Stoke the jewel in the BNP crown. Well, sucks to be them. But the stench has never fully gone away. Every so often there's an unwelcome waft of the recent past when some councillor or another says or does something. For instance, the City Independents - when it was (ostensibly) the senior partner in the coalition running Stoke - put forward one Melanie Baddeley for the office of Deputy Mayor back in 2015. The problem was she sat for the BNP during their height and, at that point, had never accounted for racist past deeds.

A one off then? Perhaps. If you was feeling charitable, you could put this down to political naivete. There was never anything much holding the City Independents together, apart from the desire to be the Big I Am and antipathy toward the local Labour Party. Not long after Baddeley's appointment was derailed her co-councillor in the Abbey Hulton ward, one Richard Broughan of the United Kingdom Independence Party, made his presence felt after tweeting a "joke" about the deaths of 71 refugees in Germany. Can you guess what happened next? UKIP decided he was too much of a racist liability for them, and out the door he was pushed. Only to wind up sitting for the City Independents. He lasted until finding further controversy as a sex pest and a drunkard. He ended his political career as the sole elected official for Anne Marie Waters's For Britain. Thankfully Labour's Jo Woolner had the satisfaction of taking his seat last May.

Lightning sometimes strikes twice, okay? But how about three times? Cllr Jackie Barnes entered the chamber at a by-election in 2012 after issuing the most ridiculous manifesto I've ever seen. It fulminated against cervical smears, plagiarised crap Facebook memes, and had nudge nudge, wink wink innuendoes about "proper Stokies" littered throughout. Still, it got them the seat and I suppose it was logical it would serve as their programme for the 2015 local elections. Success breeds success, right? Five years on we're still awaiting the promised tea set and package tour. But hey, madcap peccadilloes and weirdo policies are no barriers to getting elected in Stoke-on-Trent. Anyway, to pull things back from this necessary tangent Cllr Barnes, who is presently the Lord Mayor of our fine city has added herself to the City Independents' ignoble record on matters racism.

Our so-called first citizen has excelled herself reposting fake news, sharing the "White Lives Matter" statue bullshit of the self-proclaimed 'Proud to be British' Facebook group, and the meme that did the rounds exploiting the memory of Lee Rigby - one that has been publicly attacked by Lyn Rigby, his mum. The Mayor's feed is peppered with this sort of nonsense, the usual "immigrants should be grateful" and whites under siege idiotics. Again, if one was charitable you could put this down to stupid boomer edgelording flipping the bird to the "you can't say that!" liberal in their heads, but then we have stuff about the golliwogs. When you consider all this together, the manifesto she stood on, and the dubious record of the City Independents on racism, the conclusion is obvious: she is racist.

The question is what the ruling coalition are going to do about it. This is not the first time racist posts and endorsements on Jackie Barnes's Facebook feed have been flagged up, but the City Indies don't care and neither do their Tory coalition partners. There is no electoral price to be exacted one year on from a famous victory, and so the eyes stay shut and the pall of silence seals independent and Tory lips. Pathetic. Damning. And for both parties, most revealing.

Image Credit

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's a nutter, claimed on the Louise Stones show on BBC Radio Stoke that she was a dolphin in a previous life.

Unknown said...

The last thing Stoke needs is a racist mayor. Educate yourself woman. Councillors,speak up.

Anonymous said...

You never see Jackie Barnes and Tory MP Mark Francois in the same room do you? Vile.

Unknown said...

Surely she meant dauphin given her imperious attitude

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to get good people to stand for office.

Any of you spads reading this blog, what about trying to get Tracy Daszkiewicz to stand for office. Failing that how about Anne-Marie Duff.

Unknown said...

Her Reign is over now the new major should be taking up office but it may be postponed until the pandemic is over I guess.

Rcb said...

It was postponed for that reason but the council elected Melanie Baddely as her replacement.... The entire council is rife with racism.

Karen said...

Having racism in the council & an elected lord mayor who spouts with racist connatations gives the other racist minority in this city the golden ticket they are after to justify their own racism. An educated person knows what you are doing Jackie Barnes - putting it out there to divide the city - I work in education and this sort of behaviour does not lead our future generations, moreover it continues to divide. Realise what is being done by those who supposedly lead this great city. Grant us with more intelligence than you currently give us credit for!

Anonymous said...

Iv known jackie barnes for years shes an absolute joke and as fake and false as they come they say government is full of corruption now I know its defo true. I could tell u things about her that would make your hair curl lol