Harlow man at heart of traveller campaign cautioned by police over “racially abusing councillor”
Politics / Sun 9th Aug 2015 at 11:50am
A HARLOW man who has been at the heart of the campaign against illegal traveller encampments has been cautioned by Essex Police over “offensive comments’ on social media.
YH has spoken to Malcolm Mitchell who confirmed to us that he has received a police caution after comments he made on Facebook.
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “Police have immediately taken action to deal with a man who racially abused a Harlow councillor on Facebook.
Officers visited the offender as soon as they were made aware of the offensive comments made on a Facebook group about Travellers in Harlow.
Police traced the man and, after speaking with the victim, the matter was dealt with by way of a community resolution.
“The man was told to remove the offensive post and advised that any more racial abuse would result in further enforcement action against him”.
Inspector Paul Maleary said: “We will not tolerate racist behaviour in any form. By making this comment on social media the man has committed an offence which has been dealt with and the item has been removed.
“If anyone is the victim of any such abuse, either on-line or in person, then I would urge them to call us immediately on 101 or 999 in an emergency and we will respond.”
It comes as no surprise that UKIP candidates Sam Stoppelcamp, Mark Gough and Christopher Staunton are leading players in the anti-Traveller campaign and are long-standing members of racist Malcolm Mitchell's Facebook group. Given that UKIP's strategy is to blame migrants for everything, including tailbacks on the motorway, then it is not hard to see why they involve themselves in anti-Traveller campaigns as this is the way they build support by tapping into the latent prejudice in society and exploiting people's fears. So some may ask "why would they involve themselves with an overt racist and risk being open to accusations of 'guilty by association'." Maybe, Mr Mitchell hadn't exposed his true nature until now. Or maybe these UKIP representatives were not too bothered to check Mr Mitchell's attitudes. What leads me to believe the latter is the nasty rhetoric Mark Gough used in the Mark Hall by-election in February. On his eve of election leaflet that wasn't a design nightmare, although on yellow A5 paper, Mark Gough used the phrase "Traveller loving Labour Party," I was taught at Sunday school to love my neighbour and not to persecute them. However, other leading lights of Harlow UKIP seem to be a little more enlightened. UKIP Councillors Pryor and Dan voted in favour of spending money on refurbishing the Fern Hill Lane Traveller site. These two UKIP councillors clearly display a pragmatic attitude to their counci duties. However, I can imagine the sort of divisive campaign Mr Gough would engage in to try to win in Netteswell next May. However, his track record is not that good, having not won an election since 2008 and was shown the exit door by the Netteswell electorate in 2012.
As I was mentioned in Harlow TUC's post concerning the illegal halting sites I thought you might allow me the courtesy of a reply. We cannot allow words such as 'racism' to take on ju-ju power to shut down debate, for that road leads to totalitarianism. As for police involvement in enforcing political views what if fashion changes and they start knocking on the doors of Harlow TUC members? Unlike so many countries we have never needed to fear the police arresting us because we disagree with the government, let us hope our children will be able to say the same.
It is great to see the local UKIP members being so active by representing all members of our community, and standing up for what is right. It would appear a number of them played a big part in standing up to those who believed they could set up illegal encampments, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.( a stance not taken by all councillors) The decision by the UKIP councillors to support the investment in the existing LEGAL traveller sites shows the party believe in improving all areas of our town. I believe the only people who have tried to turn this into a debate on race relations is the left. The majority of people in Harlow believe it is about equality (a word cllr Forman likes) before the law.