Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Bath City offer discount to Polish people, EHRC say this is OK.

Bath City Football Club have come up with a novel yet controversial scheme to try and boost support at their matches.

The Blue Square Premier club have offered the city's Polish community an 80 per cent discount to attend this weekend's clash against Grimsby Town.

On production of a Polish ID card, fans can watch the game for as little as £2.50, instead of the usual £13 to stand on the terraces and £14 for a seat.

The club have cleared the move with the Equality and Human Rights Commission but not everyone is happy with the decision.

Dr David Green, director of social think-tank Civitas, said: "It's going to upset people. It’s obviously discriminatory on grounds of nationality.

"I can't understand why this is in the interests of the football club. Imagine M&S wanting to make a pitch for the Polish market (along the lines of) if you could prove that you were Polish you would get a 10 per cent discount."

Meanwhile, some Bath City fans voiced their displeasure at the decision on a club fan forum.

"The people who have loyally supported City through the lean years, and the regulars who have come back, are the ones who should be rewarded, not one small community, the majority of whom will not return in the future," wrote one fan.

"This is another kick in the teeth for City's full-paying English supporters and I don't want to stand next to anybody who's bought a ticket cheaper than mine because they are Polish," wrote another.

However, acclaimed film director and Bath City supporter Ken Loach said he welcomed the decision.

"It is a good idea - I hope they will chant in Polish. There is a fantastic opportunity on the playing side and we just want to boost the attendance," he said.

Bath City have launched the scheme as part of 'Campaign 3,000' which the club have set up to try and attract their first 3,000-plus crowd at a regular league match since 1978.

The club, who lie 14th in the table, have been averaging crowds of around 1,300 so far this season.

Ned Vaught, the club’s communications and enterprise manager, said the move was anything but discriminatory.

"The EHRC said the Polish discount was allowed because it is a one-off and for a 'laudable' cause. The aim is to get Polish people to integrate," he said.

Bath City Communications and Enterprise manager Ned Vaught defended the project, saying other groups, such as students, had also been targeted. He said: 'One of the ideas that had been floating around for a while was to try and involve Bath's Polish community in the club.


'I have met a prominent member of the Polish community and he was enthusiastic about the idea because the community suffers from a lack of integration.


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I wonder if the EHRC would allow it if the club only offered a discount to indigenous fans.

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Whites only village no longer reflected English society

Midsomer Murders producer suspended over diversity remarks
Co-creator Brian True-May said ITV crime drama 'wouldn't be English village' if it featured minority groups

The producer of one of ITV1's best-known crime dramas, Midsomer Murders, has been suspended from his job after he suggested in an interview that there was no place in the programme for ethnic minorities and it was the "last bastion of Englishness".

Brian True-May, the co-creator of the show which began on ITV in 1997, said the series "wouldn't work" if there was any racial diversity portrayed in the sleepy village life of the fictional county of Midsomer.
Production company All3Media has suspended True-May while it conducts an inquiry and an ITV spokesman said the broadcaster was "shocked and appalled" by his comments.

"We just don't have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn't be the English village with them," True-May said in an interview with the Radio Times. "It just wouldn't work. Suddenly we might be in Slough ... We're the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way."

An ITV spokesman said: "We are shocked and appalled at these personal comments by Brian True-May which are absolutely not shared by anyone at ITV.
"We are in urgent discussions with All3Media, the producer of Midsomer Murders, who have informed us that they have launched an immediate investigation into the matter and have suspended Mr True-May pending the outcome."

True-May was speaking to the Radio Times in advance of the new series of the drama, which returns to ITV1 next week. Originally based on the books by Caroline Graham, Midsomer Murders has so far featured 251 deaths, 222 of which were murder.

The show's original star, John Nettles, previously best-known for his title role in another long-running crime drama, BBC1's Bergerac, appeared in the last of his 82 episodes last month. He will be replaced in the leading role by Neil Dudgeon playing John Barnaby, the cousin of Nettles' original inspector Tom Barnaby.
Perhaps anticipating criticism of his comments, True-May admitted: "Maybe I'm not politically correct ... I'm trying to make something that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed. And I don't want to change it."

The race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust said True-May's comments were out of date and no longer reflected English society.

"Clearly, as a fictional work, the producers of Midsomer Murders are entitled to their flights of fancy, but to claim that the English village is purely white is no longer true and not a fair reflection of our society, particularly to this show's large international audience," said the trust's director Rob Berkeley. "It is not a major surprise that ethnic minority people choose not to watch a show that excludes them."

True-May has also banned swearing, graphic violence and sex scenes from the show, but his idyllic formula does not stop challenging storylines or other elements of diversity which do not involve ethnicity.
"If it's incest, blackmail, lesbianism, homosexuality ... terrific, put it in, because people can believe that people can murder for any of those reasons," he said.

Not all of the programme's cast appeared to agree with the programme's producer. Actor Jason Hughes, who plays sidekick DS Jones and starred as Warren in BBC2's This Life, said: "This isn't an urban drama and it isn't about multiculturalism. That's not to say that there isn't a place for multiculturalism in the show.
"But that's really not up to me to decide. I don't think that we would all suddenly go, 'a black gardener in Midsomer? You can't have that'. I think we'd all go, 'great, fantastic'."

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I find it sickening how everybody has condemned Brian True-May and gone out of their way to make it known they do not share this view or that his view in no way reflects those of ITV or All3Media, and have rushed of to make enquiries into how this outrage could happen.

It is a sad day when it is stated that an English village that is purely white no longer reflects English society.
The other side of this is that now any non white who is shown as a criminal in the show will obviously create just as much outrage.

I wonder if the Runnymede Trust would agree that a gang of black gun toting youths, or a group of islamic peadophiles grooming 12 year olds would be amore accurate reflection of English society.

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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Five people arrested on suspicion of using college to facilitate immigration offences.

Five people have been arrested in a series of coordinated raids targeting a college suspected of being used for UK immigration crime.

The raids were at residential addresses in Saltwell Road, Gateshead, and Moorside Court, Newcastle, as well as at the college, in Park Road, Felling. 

The arrests in Gateshead and Newcastle follow an extensive investigation into Castle College , Park Road, Felling, Gateshead.

The college, which offers language, business and computing courses, described as a privately-owned institute of further education, had its licence to enroll overseas students suspended.

For genuine students arriving for their studies this morning, UK Border Agency Officers we on hand to give advice.
Four of five that were arrested were senior staff at the college, a 37-year-old Pakistani woman, a 41-year-old Pakistani man, a 37-year-old Pakistani man and a 33-year-old Bangladeshi man were held on suspicion of using to college to facilitate immigration offences.
Another Nigerian woman, was arrested for overstaying her UK visa.

A substantial amount of cash was also seized from a safe at the college.
Jeremy Oppenheim, regional director for the UK Border Agency, said:
‘The UK Border Agency takes immigration crime very seriously and will not hesitate to take the strongest possible action against those involved.

‘We have dedicated teams of UK Border Agency investigators working with police officers across the country to protect our border and prosecute those criminals who undermine and abuse our immigration control.’

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