It concerns me that elected councillors are yet again embroiled in scandal over their use of Twitter.
Solihull MBC should have acted decisively after Councillor Hawkins waded into the Grenfell tragedy with an inappropriate, rabble-rousing commentary. Then, in what seems like quick succession, Councillor Potts and Councillor Bassett have themselves been exposed for spreading racially inflammatory, anti-Muslim sentiment. Whilst he cannot control their personal views, Councillor Sleigh (Leader of the Council) must act now to ensure that Councillors understand the social media technologies they use. Ignorance is one thing, but racism, indirect or otherwise, has no part in our society.
Councillor Potts is right to apologise for retweeting some rather ignorant and offensive comments of other people. I also strongly endorse the complaint about WM police officers who talked about possibly shooting a black man on a future occasion. Abominable.
However it is ridiculous to hassle Councillor Bassett over discussion items she retweeted which were at least considered comments, on for instance the child refugee who repays the UK by planning to murder people on hate grounds. Or do we not care about the murder of ordinary UK people?
The UK and its government and people are being taken for a ride by countless people who attempt to trick or force their way into the UK for their own advantage and to our disadvantage. Many ‘child refugees’ seem to be clearly adults.
In some cases, they go on to be hate activists against the general public. It is fair to comment on that, and to question exactly how many people from completely different cultures in far-away parts of the world we want to admit to the UK. Since when is it meant to be a free-for-all?
The Saudis have no such policy in their country, nor do the Muslim Malaysians. So presumable we should conclude they are racists?
I think the Green party councillor is over-reacting a bit. From all my recent trips to Solihull I have seen plenty of Asian Muslim people everywhere. They are clearly not in a panic to avoid the area based on Councillor Potts’ error of judgement.
Following recent stories about three of our local Tory councillors getting in a bit of bother over inappropriate tweets on Twitter, I wonder whether they actually lack the intelligence to serve the local community. Two in particular have re-tweeted things that are clearly intended to anger and upset certain parts of the community then, when caught out, state that the tweets don’t actually represent their true views!
That’s beyond belief, frankly!! If they didn’t agree with the original tweets, why give them the oxygen of publicity by passing them on to their own followers without adding any comments to condemn those views?
At the very least, councillors should be given appropriate training on how to use social media responsibly, but honestly they should really be banned from using it altogether so they don’t get themselves into pickles like this, when they clearly lack the nous to use it in the right way, and in an effective and useful manner.
I was very disappointed by Julian Knight MP’s words in this newspaper recently about the ongoing problems we are all experiencing with travellers, especially in Shirley. These problems are happening with a Conservative Government in London and a Conservative Council in Solihull, yet he spends time to point the finger of blame elsewhere.
Blaming the police for not doing enough on travellers, after they’ve seen cuts in recent years, is only adding insult to injury. While the Council can and should be doing more, his own Government can resolve this seemingly never-ending problem but nothing is done.
Councillor Max McLoughlin
Shirley South ward