A senior UKIP official has been forced to delete racist Facebook posts after claiming he accidentally shared them to his followers.
Gordon Parkin, who is assistant to North East Euro MP Jonathan Arnott and who has himself stood for Parliament, shared a series of images by the far-right groups Britain First and The New Daily Patriot on Facebook.
One post depicts Enoch Powell – the politician who made the notoriously racist “rivers of blood” speech in 1968 – next to the House of Commons alongside the words “I told you so…”.
He also shared an image of women wearing the niqab which said “share if you find this offensive”.
Another from Britain First, a group which opposes what it calls the “Islamification of the UK” and was founded by a member of the BNP, claims schools who choose to stock halal meat are “wrong”.
Mr Parkin, who is a powerful official in the regional party and sits on panels that assess UKIP’s potential General Election candidates, claims he accidentally shared them on the social networking site and has now deleted them.
A nurse at South Tyneside’s main hospital has been kicked out of the profession after launching an ‘abhorrent’ anti-Muslim tirade on the internet.
Lisa Marie Kane identified herself as a staff nurse on her Facebook social networking site and embarked on a tirade of abuse against patients after a visit to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
She told her Facebook ‘friends’ – which included colleagues at South Tyneside District Hospital – that there were more Muslims in the RVI “than in Kabul”, accused them of being “brainwashed” and demanding they “get out of my country”.
She also accused Muslims of “chopping off people’s heads” and carrying out rapes.
The comments were made on June 19, 2013, and were reported to hospital bosses.
She was subject to a disciplinary hearing in October 2013 and subsequently dismissed from South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust.
Now Kane, who worked at the hospital from April 2011 until her dismissal, has been struck off following a conduct hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London.
The investigating panel was provided with screenshots of the comments Kane had made, as well as a transcript of an internal trust investigation and interview with Kane in which she had admitted posting the comments.
During the interview, she admitted making similar comments.
The hearing heard that she was ‘friends’ with other trust staff members on Facebook and had received e-mails from managers regarding how to use Facebook appropriately.
A charge of making inappropriate comments on Facebook was found proven by the panel, as was a second charge that the comments were racially motivated.
The panel concluded that her behaviour had brought the “profession into disrepute” and amounted to serious misconduct.
Robert Barnwell, chairman of the NMC panel, said:
“The panel determined that the act of posting racially offensive comments, borne out of deep seated attitudinal views, was abhorrent.
“The panel finds that Miss Kane’s actions fell seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse and amounted to serious misconduct.”
“Miss Kane made multiple racially offensive comments on Facebook over a seven-hour period and, during the conversation on Facebook, it was brought to her attention that her comments were inappropriate. But Miss Kane continued.
“Her comments were demonstrative of a deep-seated attitude that was not only uncaring but hostile to a particular group within society, and are fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the register.
“Balancing all of these factors and after having taken into account all the evidence before it during this case, the panel determined that the appropriate and proportionate sanction is that of a Striking-Off Order.
“Having regard to the matters it identified, in particular the effect of Miss Kane’s actions in bringing the profession into disrepute by adversely affecting the public’s view of how a registered nurse should conduct herself, the panel has concluded that nothing short of this would be sufficient in this case.
“The panel considered that this order was necessary to mark the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, and to send to the public and the profession a clear message about the standard of behaviour required of a registered nurse.”
Kane has 28 days to appeal against the decision, with an interim ban imposed in the meantime.
Source – Shields Gazette, 02 Mar 2015
Council leaders in South Tyneside are being asked to launch a crusade against high-interest rate lenders.
The move comes as the Citizens Advice Bureau in South Shields says the number of people approaching it with debts resulting from payday loans has doubled in the last two years and the average amount owed is £1,610.
A motion, to go before a full meeting of South Tyneside Council council later this week, calls for a series of measures to clampdown on lenders like Wonga, The Money Shop, Quickquid and Payday UK.
The recommendations are:
* Blocking access to loan company websites from council-owned computers.
* Issuing public warnings about the dangers of payday lenders.
* Work with partners to stop lenders locating in South Tyneside and prevent them promoting their businesses in the borough.
* Try to get licensing powers extended to limit the expansion of lenders in the borough.
* Provide debt advice to people affected by lenders.
* Promote the Bridge Community Bank in South Shields as an alternative lender.
> If it’s any incentive, I’ve got an account with The Bridge !
The Money Shop, which has an outlet in Fowler Street, South Shields, offers an annual interest rate of 390.94 per cent and an annual percentage rate – the rate for a payment period, multiplied by the number of payment periods in a year – of 2,962 per cent.
Anyone taking out a £200 loan would face repaying – in a single payment, within 28 days – £259.98.
Coun Allan West, the council’s lead member for adult social care and support services, is a signatary to the motion, and says he is concerned that the most vulnerable people in the borough are falling foul of the lenders.
He said: “It is easy to understand the financial pressures that lead people to rely on payday lenders, but their excessive interest rates mean there is a real risk of a short-term financial issue turning into a long-term spiral of increasing debt and interest payments. A national cap on the cost of lending would go a long way towards protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens from the dangers of payday lending.”
He added: “In the meantime there is a lot we can do locally, by letting people know about options like The Bridges Community Bank, which offers much lower rates, as well as keeping money in the local economy.
“I would encourage anyone who has financial problems or concerns about the Government’s changes to the welfare system to contact the council’s welfare rights service on 424 6040.”
The full council meets at South Shields Town Hall at 6pm on Thursday.
Payday lending firms have become a major political issue in recent years.
Many councils already block access to lenders’ websites from libraries and other public buildings and South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, last year, signed a national charter – supported by some of Britain’s biggest debt, consumer and anti-poverty organisations, including Which?, Citizens Advice, StepChange Debt Charity and Church Action on Poverty – calling for tougher regulation of payday lenders.
In October 2012, Newcastle United sparked a storm when the club announced a four-year sponsorship deal with Wonga.com.
The payday loan company now has its name on the club’s shirts.
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery labelled the company “morally bankrupt” on social networking site Twitter.
Before the start of this season, the club’s star striker, Papiss Cisse, said he would not wear the club shirt bearing a Wonga logo on religious grounds, but the row was resolved in time for the club’s warm-up match against St Mirren.
Source – Shields Gazette, 11 March 2014
An MP has said she’s determined to stand up to internet trolls after she received a barrage of abuse online.
Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, became a target for cyber bullies after she spoke out on theissue of children’s toys.
She hit headlines earlier this month when she led a debate in parliament on gender-specific toys.
Chi pointed out that it was “illegal to advertise a job as for men only but apparently fine to advertise a toy as for boys only. Why should girls be brought up in an all-pink environment? It does not reflect the real world.”
She also condemned toy shops that have a pink aisle for what they see as girls’ toys and a blue aisle for boys’ toys.
But, ever since Chi spoke out, she has been on the receiving end of a stream of abuse on social networking site Twitter.
Chi said: “I’ve had quite a bit of intense abuse, the whole range right up to, although thankfully not including, death threats.
“Everything from aggressive sexual swearing to bizarrely being told that I’m both a publicity seeker and that no-one is interested in the issue.
“I’ve been told I’m stupid, lazy and had the strongest swear words directed at me.”
But she vowed: “I’m determined it’s not going to stop me.”
In her speech to parliament, Chi claimed that directing girls towards pink toys featuring princesses and domestic tasks, while boys are encouraged to play with construction toys and characters who have adventures, limits their horizons and is bad for the economy.
She pointed to a page from a 1970s Argos catalogue that featured toys such as a baby buggy or shop till in variety of colours and compared it to the current catalogue, which has the same toys but only in pink.
She said: “I’m not calling for legislation.
“There is a fear that you are accused of wanting a nanny state but we are just fighting for more choice so children can play with what they want.
“It causes a lot of distress among parents to see their girls forced down the route of being pink puppets.
“I’ve had a lot of parents contact me since the debate too.”
Fellow Labour MP Stella Casey received rape and death threats after she called for more women to be featured on bank notes.
And Isabella Sorley from Newcastle and John Nimmo from South Shields were jailed after they sent messages to campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez.
Another alleged troll is due to face court this month.
Source – Newcastle Journal, 24 Feb 2014