An appalling statement from the Chichester MP

If this is genuinely what Gillian Keegan has said the whole of Chichester should be feeling very unhappy along with the rest of Sussex. Although there are certainly many people are not supportive of the text on a non official Black Lives Matter website, it is very easy to find out that the sites are non official. The people who set out the Black Lives Matter have released the phrase to the millions of people who are anti-racist and want to campaign. Inevitably some of the people have unpopular elements and some have attached them to unofficial websites. However Black Lives Matter does not own the sites and the vast majority of the people campaigning under the name are doing very good things and indeed the Police in locations such as Sussex where Gillian is one of our MPs have been very supportive of the majority of actions by the Black Lives Matter campaigners. If we go back a year or so the appalling response by Donald Trump towards his own nations professional sports people because they were kneeling at the beginning of their games was very disturbing. However Gillian Keegan and indeed most people in the Conservative Party are nowhere near the extremist of Trump on most themes. Amazingly even Boris Johnson has been supportive of the footballers and indeed his office has called for people to stop booing them. In the meantime it appears that one of his Ministers and as she has stated, a number of the Conservative MPs have made appalling statements. Here is the text from the Independent article this morning

England footballers ‘taking the knee’ is “divisive” and fans who boo it “would like to end racism as well,” a government minister has said. Education minister Gillian Keegan told BBC Question Time that the gesture is “symbolism more than action”. Her comments contradict those of Boris Johnson – who backed the England squad’s collective decision to take the knee prior earlier this week. The prime minister’s spokesman had said he “fully respects” their right to “make their feelings known” and added: “He respects the right of those who want to peacefully protest in this way.” Players were met with boos by some fans when performing the gesture before last week’s friendly matches against Austria and Romania, but England manager Gareth Southgate has said the players will continue to make the gesture. The Conservative MP for Chichester said “people have to make their own decisions” when deciding whether to take the knee or not. “Actually what we’ve ended up with, whether it’s for statues, whether it’s the Queen’s picture, whether it’s taking the knee, we’ve ended up with these things being things that kind of divide us and actually, united societies are what solve these big issues,” Ms Keegan told the virtual audience. She added: “It’s not my judgment to say whether they should take the knee or not. They’re perfectly free to do what they want. If you want to say, do I think it’s symbolism more than action? Of course it is … but we’ve seen it’s creating division. “And by the way, the people who are booing, I’m pretty sure most of them would like to end racism as well. They disagree. There’s a lot of things that have been, you know, there’s different things that people are interpreting. She added: “There are some Conservative MPs (that) are very much against it, why? Because Black Lives Matter stands for things that they don’t stand for. It’s really about defunding the police and the overthrow of capitalism, which is, you know, Black Lives Matter the actual political organisation.

It is perfectly OK to be opposed to the website, but as I have made clear and indeed as has been stated on the radio from some of the US people who started the Black Lives Matter, they are not owning those websites and they are not controlling the campaigns. It seems vital for Gillian and her MP colleagues who sadly are making these comments to do a bit more research and then to apologise for these statements.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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