I attended the National Union of Teachers conference this year was delighted to hear Seema McArdle speak up for groups who are being negatively labelled, victimised and unfairly punished! Her message definitely deserved the standing ovation which followed!
Below you’ll find a slightly edited version of her speech. It’s SO worth reading!
Our media and MPs have played a massive part, in helping UKIP and their likes, gain a following! We need to combat xenophobia, racism, homophobia and Islamaphobia.
Some say we are living in a democracy where everyone is supposed to get a fair hearing, but sadly that is not true.
I grew up in an extremely poor, white working class estate in the Thatcher era. We had metal mesh put on our windows, as they’d been smashed so often. We had shit shovelled through our letter box. Stones were thrown at us and we were verbally abused. What did the police do? They stood by and did nothing!
Yet never EVER during that whole period, did I think ALL white people were like that. I sought out the nice ones, like those at the vicarage behind our home. They gave me a Terry’s Chocolate Orange every Christmas and we ate at each others homes. There were also some inspirational teachers who were genuinely lovely to me.
So, why am I hearing daily negative generalisations about immigrants? It’s cruel and it’s a form of bullying that takes me back to my childhood, making me wonder, if racism has changed at all!
In recent news, we’ve heard about anti-Semitic football chants, as well as Muslims being called ‘Ragheads’, so name-calling still exists.
Then there’s the Rotherham sex abuse case, where the media will have you believe all those taxi drivers represented Muslim Pakistani men. Yet when they talk of the Rotherham sex abuse involving several MPs, or the Derby sex groomers, these people don’t seem to represent white English Christians.
These double standards are there to divide, to rule and to brainwash us. I fear it’s working!
UKIP’s non-sacked members have said “Gays are disgusting,” “Women are sluts,” and “I’d rather live next to a German than a Romanian.” Replace ‘Romanian’ with ‘Jew’ and what does that sound like? I’m not Romanian or gay but these comments make me extremely angry.
Sadly those lacking empathy marginalise these issues or even jump on the bandwagon.
I have an Irish friend, whose husband is from the Ivory Coast. He works for a security firm in Brighton. He was given a work memo recently, whilst working at a bar, saying that staff shouldn’t allow black people in. My friend took the story to the local paper, who said they’d run the story, but her husband said he needed his job and “Didn’t want to make a fuss.”
UKIP has said they’d get rid of Equality laws, but don’t we still need them?
A London recruitment manager, who also recruits for the government, told me, “I put CVs with foreign names to the bottom of a pile.” Her surname is Irish, so I pointed out that people did the same thing to the Irish and that there used to be signs in B&B windows stating “No Irish, no dogs, no blacks.” It fell on deaf ears. I no longer see her as a friend.
Many racist stories don’t get reported in the media. A gang of teenagers invaded my Mam’s friends’ house, by smashing the living room window. The mother and her teenage daughters tried to run away! Their feet were cut by the broken glass and their attempt failed. They were caught! The teenagers beat them up and poured alcohol all over them and into their mouths. One of the girls later did her A level exams with bound injured feet. Can you imagine the headline; White Christian terrorists beat up Pakistani Muslim family? It wouldn’t happen would it? Well…it didn’t happen! The news did NOT report it!
MPs and the media would also have us believe that Multiculturalism has failed and I would say that’s rubbish. I married a Sunderland fan and I’m a Geordie!
The silence of friends hurts far, far more than the words of an enemy. When my friends get angry for me, it definitely relieves some of my burden and makes me feel far less lonely. In the same way, that yearly Terry’s Chocolate Orange wasn’t just chocolate for me; it was also a gift of hope.
So comrades, lets stand united in this union to support this motion.
Blame the Etonians, not the Romanians.
Let’s give the idiots a very clear message; ‘You are the ones who are not welcome in our country!’
One nation, one tribe, no pasarán!
Speech delivered by Seema McArdle at the NUT Conference 2015