Lord Bletchingley has spoken. The MP for Croydon South is usually far too busy to deal with matters affecting Croydon as a whole, what with his role at Westminster on the foreign affairs committee, filling in his expenses claims or, as he did a couple of years ago, sailing off to Cowes when the town was in flames.
But Cowes 2013 is next week. This week, Richard Ottaway has done the decent thing.
He’s called out the racist EVF for its offensive protest planned for central Croydon today. “A load of rubbish,” is what the veteran Tory MP has had to say of the false premise of the “English Volunteer Force” demonstration.
“There’s not a lot we can do to stop the English Volunteer Force protest, distasteful as it is,” his lordship said. “The group plans to congregate outside Lunar House, the first port of call for immigrants. They claim they are demonstrating against ‘Islamification and mass immigration in the UK’. But that’s a load of rubbish. What they are in fact seeking to do is divide our community by deliberately stoking up hatred against Muslims.
“Unite Against Fascism is planning counter demonstrations, which I hope won’t make matters escalate. While I too disagree with the views espoused by the EVF, I believe that indifference is a much more powerful antidote.”
The Croydon Trades Union Council, on behalf of the many Home Office employees who work at Lunar House in Wellesley Road, are calling for those opposed to the EVF’s divisiveness to gather at the government offices at 11am.
“I know, from every person I’ve met in Croydon, from every school I visit, every mosque, temple, or church where I’ve attended celebrations, from the simple common decency of ordinary people living among each other, that we will reject the EVF’s poisonous views and get on with our lives together,” Reed said.
Reed said that the idea of the EVF demonstration “sickens” him. “They want to hurt and insult our community with their extremist bigotry. Their views have no place here or in any decent place,” Reed said.
“They want to stir up hatred for their own warped ends, to bring discord where we have unity. They will not succeed.”
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