Monday, 21 March 2011

Labour's Definition of Equality

The Falkirk MP Eric Joyce considers he's saved one of Scotland's hotel chains from doom and disaster.

According to Eric Joyce, (I'm not providing a link to his blog), he discovered the BNP had made arrangements to launch their Scottish campaign at the Inchrya Grange Hotel, Falkirk (a MacDonald chain) last Saturday. Eric Joyce didn't approve of the event happening in his constituency so, on Friday, very publicly, he set about ensuring the event didn't take place. He admits to contacting the hotel manager who, to give him credit, refused to discuss the hotel's bookings diary with him - possibly because it was none of the MP's business. Undeterred, Eric Joyce then set about a Twitter campaign against the hotel, asking his Twitter followers to email or tweet the hotel 'to express your concern and to request that MacDonald Hotels refuse bookings from the British National Party'.  Some did send threatening emails and tweets.

Under this pressure the hotel capitulated and cancelled the event with only 24 hours notice: Eric Joyce, of course, was delighted.

As far as I believe the BNP is a legal political party. I understand they booked and paid for the function under the name 'BNP Scotland', although Eric Joyce says there is a well-known investment house (Paribas) with the same acronym in his constituency; thereby implying the hotel didn't realise the manner of the function.

I have no time for the BNP but they are as entitled to campaign as any other legitimate political party.  Eric Joyce's actions are completely undemocratic and should be condemned as sinister and bullying.  He underestimates the ability of the Scots to judge the BNP for themselves and by taking this action he has, quite possibly, encouraged some to look more closely at the BNP and its policies.  The consequences could result in an increase in BNP votes here in Scotland - the very outcome Eric Joyce said he wanted to quench.

Another aspect of this story is the action of the hotel.  Can you imagine booking a function with the MacDonald Hotel chain when they are content to cancel it with 24 hours notice because the local MP doesn't agree with it?  The chain describe itself as independent, yet there's nothing independent about allowing your MP to influence your business and pandering to his undemocratic, discriminatory requests.

Eric Joyce hasn't had his troubles to seek in his years as an MP.  Last year he was convicted of drink-driving and was the most expensive MP in Westminster in 2010 with his £200,986 expenses bill.

If a Labour MP is ruthless enough to disregard equality and discrimination legislation so publicly, how does the party operate out of the public gaze?  Something to ponder.


Joe Public said...

I guess the BNP (the legitimate political party) are now due a windfall, courtesy of the contract broken by the hotel chain.

petem130 said...

So much so for democracy then. Mr Joyce has demonstrated his fascist side. Oh he'll say it is they who are fascist yet he has denied this legal political party their right to meet.

I am no fan of the BNP but neither am I a fan of anyone who wishes to distort the political process. Mr Joyce will no doubt be jumping on the bandwagon of supporters for the current attacks on Libya. Mr Joyce has just demonstrated his ability to act like a mini Qaddafi.

I would suggest that Mr Joyce debate the policies and aims of the BNP with them and of course rely on the ballot box to provide the verdict on the policies which are most acceptable to electorate.

I'd suggest the Hotel send him the bill for the loss of earnings. It may be covered by the expenses he is demonstrably able to claim.

subrosa said...

I doubt if they'll be compensated Joe but I expect they'll get their money back. The hotel will probably tell them to take them to court for compensation. That's what happened to a local girl when a Perth hotel cancelled her wedding breakfast with just three weeks to go. She later found out they'd cancelled because they had an enquiry for a much bigger wedding for that day.

subrosa said...

I'm no fan either petern, but his behaviour is appalling and this only gives the BNP more publicity - along with other less savoury outcomes.

Fool that the man is when he never considered the consequences before taking action.

JRB said...

I feel sure that all who follow this blog, are most unlikely to be supporters of the BNP.

Unpleasant as their views may be, the BNP are nonetheless a legally constituted political party, with all the rights that that entails.

Was it Voltaire or was it Hall who said -
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Obviously such democratic truths do not extend to Mr Joyce and his party.

I do hope this is not a foretaste of unpleasant and bullying tactics to be adopted by Joyce et al prior to the election.

Foxy Brown said...

Whatever happened to that old democratic right of freedom of association? This sort of action is counterproductive, all attempts to stifle the BNP in England resulted in a rise of party membership. Major (retired) Joyce is doing a pretty good job of being a recruiting sergeant for Nick Griffin.

Sir Henry Morgan said...


" Unpleasant as their views may be"

You've read ALL of our manifesto have you? Then you'll be able to tell me which of our views are unpleasant (at a guess I'd say that making war on Libya is pretty unpleasant ... wouldn't you agree? We think so anyway; ditto Iraq, Afghanistan. Serbia etc)and which are pleasant.

Or do you accept your opinions as given by the Manchester Guardian?

You only have to say ... then we'll all know exactly where we stand. I suspect you will be standing in the dunce's corner wearing a funny pointed hat.

JRB said...

Sir Henry

"Unpleasant as their views may be"

… that is my current ‘opinion’, and in a democracy I am entitled to hold that opinion.

… that is my current ‘opinion’ if you or the BNP think I am wrong, then it is for you or the BNP by the power and right of your argument to change my opinion.

… that is my current ‘opinion’, and if it concurs with that of the Manchester Guardian - which I have never read – all that it proves is that I am not alone in my opinion.

Apologies SR for a second post.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Er ... we do try and persuade you. The current accepted method of doing this is via a party election manifesto. It's no more boring than that of any other party ... but if you wont read it, what else can we do?

Clarinda said...

With Mr Joyce's track record - was his unilateral decision to deny the excerise of democracy more about the protection of the up-coming wobbly Labour vote perhaps being diluted by the BNP Scotland in the west and central belt where there may be some growing support. However as I gather only 90 tickets had been sold, better surely to hear what they have to say and deal with it responsibly rather than in the manner of a petulant yoof - the very attitude Mr Joyce appears to associate with the BNP? Irony. It's news to me that freedom of speech of legal political parties is up to a booking clerk in a hotel aided and abetted by someone needing to attend to his own house first.

subrosa said...

I would agree with you JRB that BNP supporters wouldn't be attracted to my writings because I don't support their ethics, However, this post is about the deviousness and sinister ways of one Labour MP, which leads me to suggest Labour tactics are a disgrace to democracy.

I do trust your hope will be unfounded.

subrosa said...

Well said Foxy. Stupid man didn't even think of the consequences.

subrosa said...

Henry, the BNP have never done themselves any favours, at least not in my view. Your current infighting doesn't help your cause either.

As I am a strong supporter of Scottish independence I would never support the BNP.

subrosa said...

Henry, I should have added, but I defend your right to have a campaign/manifesto launch without the intrusion of another party's representative. As I see it the hotel knew who you were and agreed to host the function. The agreement was between the BNP organiser and the hotel management. For them to break that contract, unless they had proof that you would be undertaking illegal actions on their premises, is a disgrace.

subrosa said...

Well said Clarinda. I wasn't quite sure how many tickets had been sold but the hotel isn't massive so I suspected they couldn't seat more than 150/160 for a function with entertainment.

Apogee said...

Hi SR, seems that Eric Joyce believes in following Basic Socialist ways of persuasion.
Many people in this United Kingdom are not happy with the Socialist ways of threatening folks, its just one reason why they are now on the opposition benches,along with a flawed (or non existant) grasp of economics.
Eric Joyce is perhaps starting to realise that the people up here may well like the policies of another party other than Labour, but I wonder if his current actions have not crossed the boundary into criminality?
He would seem to be at odds with his own party's legislation?
Restriction of trade?

subrosa said...

Hi Apogee, yes, you could well be right about his actions being criminal. If this is their tactics in the West, it's no wonder the SNP struggle there. They play it reasonably straight but against such blatant bullying it must be difficult.

subrosa said...

Oh, just to clarify, I did mean SNP in your reply Apogee.

Brian said...

Perhaps reading this blogpost from EUReferendum, clicking through the link, may have raised some commercial concerns about the party. Naturally, I don't wish to comment either way.

English Pensioner said...

This is typical of the left wing; try to get an organisation banned if you don't like it. In fact, frequently their actions are worse that those of the people whom they are opposing. I'm no supporter of the BNP, but if you try to look objectively at what they are doing, it is by no means as bad as the left claim, and if you look at some of the videos on the web (not the BBC reports) it seems that the left AFL is frequently responsible for starting trouble.
Similar attempts by the left have been made to cause trouble at the English Defence League parades, but so far they have, in the main, kept clear of the temptation to fight back and left it to the Police, as recently at Luton. Thank goodness this idiot MP is from Scotland, we've got enough idiots of our own.
Meanwhile I continue to support UKIP.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

As an MP under the present climate, especially as one in opposition, you would think he had enough to do fighting the austerity scam, without wasting his time and the money he gets from his constituents on checking the booking lists of local hotels.

Joyce is an ambulance chasing carpetbagger of the first order.

J. R. Tomlin said...

Totally off topic, Rosie, I hope you've enjoyed your reading. :-)

wisnaeme said...

English pensioner let's get this straight shall we.

Labour and particulary New Labour being left wing is one hell of a nonsense. You should know better.
perhaps by your brand of poison they may be to the left. But new labour ...left wing.

comoan noo. behave yersel.

Observer said...

Eric Joyce is a laughing stock, so I don't imagine that the Hotel canceled just because of him.

They are a respectable chain, it seems more likely to me that they didn't realise who they had booked.

Sir Henry Morgan said...


They're about as spot on as the people who claim the BNP is Right Wing.

Do you seriously think I could vote Tory? THEY are Right Wing.

But those who really read our manifesto could never think it.

Sir Henry Morgan said...


And as you must obviously know, the mental image you have about the likelihood of BNP people being interested in what you write is entirely innacurate ... what you think is based more on what people say ABOUT us than what we say for ourselves.

I'm a Welshman (Anglesey bred born and raised on the same little area of rocky earth- do you think I could possibly NOT be interested in the doings of most successful Nationalist ( hmmm ... I'll let the European Union pass)) party in the UK and still consider myself Welsh? I'll bet you have some Scottish neighbours Well - readers at least - who secretly vote BNP.

Yes, our Party antics over the past year or so have been quite literally mesmerising. I'm horrified that the Party can do this to itself.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Left a couple of bits out - here they are:

same little bit of rocky earth *for the past four generations, literally* I have the photo proof.

quite literally mesmerising - all agog and fascinated ... and horrified. Like a particularly nasty episode of Eastenders. Shame ... we seemed to be going places.

Observer said...

The BNP are a race based party. They believe that a person - even if their family have been here for generations - do not have the same entitlement to citizenship as other people because of the colour of their skin.

That is white supremacy, it is an evil & repugnant notion which is why very few people have anything to do with the BNP, no political party in Scotland will share a platform with them, & is quite probably why the Hotel canceled rather than anything the clown Joyce did.

The BNP have no representation in Scotland at all. None. Not even a Councillor. So any idea that the nationalism which is apparent in Scotland may have any association with white supremacy is demonstrable nonsense.

subrosa said...

I think Henry would agree with EUR's point Brian.

subrosa said...

At least you have a charismatic leader EP. :)

subrosa said...

He is Crinkly and I suspect there are a few others like him around.

subrosa said...

Jeanne, I was going to email you today and say your story is superb and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Only managed to get round to reading it this weekend and finished it last night.

Thanks so much for the gift.

subrosa said...

I'm told they knew fine who they'd booked Observer. Since when did an MP instruct a local business who they should have as customers? That's the principle here.

It was a private function, not paid from the public purse but by ticket I believe.

No matter if you agree with their policies it's just wrong of an MP to behave in this way.

As for the hotel, I'm lead to believe they knew full well what the function was for and they were paid by a BNP Scotland cheque so don't tell me they didn't know. Their stupidity was in allowing Joyce's bullying to interfere with their business. They took the contract and should have honoured it.

subrosa said...

See my reply above Observer. As I said in the post people will make their own decisions about the BNP and it would seem most Scots have.

The hotel had the opportunity to refuse the booking when they were approached but they did not. They chose to make a contract with them and they would know exactly what kind of function it was to be. When any function is booked with a respectable hotel, time is spent discussing details. It's not just a case of phoning as you would to reserve a room for the night.

It's the principle of the matter here. If a labour MP is so openly declaring discrimination on a legal political party that says more about the MP.

Related Posts with Thumbnails