Monday, 3 December 2012

£597,000 to fight the BNP and guess who is paying?

Many would regard it as particularly poor blogmanship should I not finish what I started with regards exposing the priorities of Conservative MP for  Pendle, Andrew Stephenson. You will remember that at the very same time the report into the organised rape and prostitution of English children in the north of England was released, Mr Stephenson had concerns of a rather different nature.

Career-ending timing gaffes like these are by their very nature not without side effects. Consequently it was with fitting synchronicity that Mr Stephenson received an answer to another similar question on the very same day the BNP polled more than the Conservatives and Lib Dems put together in Rotherham.

Andrew Stephenson Conservative- Pendle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken to protect Muslim communities from harassment, intimidation and violence by extremist organisations.

Don Foster Lib Dem -Bath -Department for Communities and Local Government : The Government will not tolerate those who spread hate against or target Muslim communities in order to divide society and deliberately raise community tensions.

Local authorities and local police forces are best placed to work with their communities to protect them from extremists, and we trust them to do so. The Department for Communities and Local Government has provided £200,000 to support a special interest group of local areas, led by Blackburn with Darwen borough council and Luton borough council. This group will support a range of activities such as peer networks, seminars and conferences designed to enable local partners to share information on how best to handle far right activity and develop solutions for the problems brought by the far right. The Government has also provided £183,000 to Tell Mama, a project which monitors and encourages the Muslim community to report anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents and has made a further £214,000 available subject to the project becoming sustainable.

By my reckoning that £597,000 would buy almost 75,000 chicken dinners from Lidl, for want of a better analogy. A nation whereby politicians handsomely compensate child rapists for the inconvenience of their resultant unpopularity doesn't instantly spring to mind.