Monday, December 11, 2006

Is Bob Piper Toast?

Many people will have noticed that a certain Labour councillor for Sandwell one Bob Piper who's blog is here has received much flak for a post on his blog using an image from the Ministry of Truth (Does he realise just how Orwellian that is?) here.

Bob has now taken it down.

However the storm looks set to continue. In many replies on his blog it seems clear he has offended people. Fair enough politics does, however what caused him to take down the article appears to have been his Labour group leaders comments as reported by the BBC here rather than him coming to his senses on his own. What also seems clear is that Councillor Bob will be reported to the Standards Board for England and possibly to the Commission for Racial Equality as well. An adverse finding by the SBE or CRE will finish him.

Could it possibly get any worse for Councillor Bob?

18 comments:

Unity said...

Yes he does realise that the name is an Orwelliam reference, that's why he chose it in a fit of unbridled irony.

Benedict White said...

Ah, I see. Next to goldie in the periodic table should our American cousins be wondering :)

In which case I may shorten it to minitrue.

Praguetory said...

It's been a very "ironic" episode all round.

Unity said...

Not as ironic as Adam Boulton's blog, where half the punters are eagerly discussing the right and wrongs of taking the Black & White Minstrel Show of the TV.

Oh dear - always expect the British people to do the unexpected.

dexey said...

I'd be happy to make the complaint to the CRE but I'm pink and anglo saxon, do I count?

Benedict White said...

Unity, I often wonder about making things of the past politically correct rather tham viewing them in the context of the times. Interesting debate though.

Dexey, I think that may have already been done. You do have to wonder though if you could ;)

Unity said...

Benedict:

Look up the works of Gianbattista Vico if that really interests you - I'd start with Isaiah Berlin's biography to begin with and work from there - but yes, I agree, history needs to be viewed in its proper context and not through a modern lens if its to be understood properly.

Mind you, most history teaching these days is bloody awful anyway.

Benedict White said...

Unity, I agree with you that history teaching seems to be not that good. The issue is that the teaching of history is a political act and most of the teachers have politics which makes them a bit reluctent to do certain parts of history justice.

Ellee said...

I'm delighted to see his local press have picked up on it too, I hope he can explain this to his constituents:

http://www.bobpiper.co.uk/2006/12/promoted.php

Benedict White said...

Ellee, yes, and they seem to have made him an MP as well. It looks like he may be suffering the same sort of sense of humour failure as Sion Simon did. Ah well.

It would have been much better had the picture remained where it was created and people linked to it.

Out From Under said...

He's done it before

Benedict White said...

Out from under, Bob does ned to learn to stop digging!

Bob Piper said...

benedict, I don't know what ned has got to do with it, but... If I didn't think the Cameron post was racially offensive... why would I think the Howard one was? And vice-versa. As it happens, it was nothing to do with the Leader of the Council, who hadn't even seen the thing when he commented and had just been given a lot of baloney from a journalist. He has accepted entirely my explanation that this was an error of judgement and I have apologised for offending any members of the black community. As indeed has the Chief Executive of Race equality Sandwell. I have a long history of working with Sandwell's minority communities and they fully appreciate PragueTory's fake concern.

Finally, I didn't take it down when a lot of white tories started jumping up and down, but I was more than willing to do so when members of the minority ethnic communities in Sandwell asked me to.

The second lot I respect, the first bunch were posturing.

Benedict White said...

Bob, tahnsk for the post. I don't agree with you about Prague Tory, but he can defend himself.

What does annoy me though is they nudge nudge wink wink pointing at Conservatives as if we are racist.

Still never mind.

Bob Piper said...

benedict, I'll accept you are genuine, but perhaps you can explain why PragueTory came on to that posting and commented very early on, with no mention whatsoever that he found the image offensive. It weasn't until 2 hours later after someone else raised it that he suddenly realised he had been offended and the image was 'racist'.

I know you will say he can answer for himself... but despite being asked the question, he avoids it. On that basis I will continue to say his outrage was fake... and probably engineered with someone with more brains than him.

Benedict White said...

Bob, I can't and won't answer for Prague Tory. However your last remark does not strike me as the best way of moving on.

On the substantive point of using accusations of racism, when I stood for union president, on a non party ticket, with one running mate from Boston (The real one in Lincoln) and the other from Tanzania (of Indian extraction) people close to the Labour campaign seemed to be putting it about that I was racist and homophobic.

Please forgive us Conservatives if we object to being painted that way.

billy said...

Benedict White said...
Unity, I agree with you that history teaching seems to be not that good. The issue is that the teaching of history is a political act and most of the teachers have politics which makes them a bit reluctent to do certain parts of history justice.

8:34 PM, December 11, 2006

What do you base this on Benedict? The political act in History for teachers comes in the goverment guidelines.
I'd guess all teachers have politics but I'd doubt they have much chance of fitting them into History lessons. Lecturers are another case, however.

Praguetory said...

At risk of reheating this, Bob had plenty of ethnic minorities complaining about his post before he took it down. Maybe, his words are revealing. A cynic might think that it was because Tories were complaining that Bob refused to take it down and that it was when his boss told him to take it down that he did.

Personally, I hold the view that different people's viewpoints should not take precedence over others and that type of unfairness is a heresy.

Bob likes to point out the time I spent preparing the post (I've answered this point of this to him elsewhere, but he keeps bringing it up). Aside from having things like work to do, I hope people will appreciate that a rushed and poorly prepared posting dealing with sensitive issues such as race is a bad idea. If nothing else I think this episode proves that at least.