A Strong Voice for Croydon Central - Gavin Barwell MP
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It's people like this we could do without in this country
28/11/2011 21:16:00

Earlier today, my attention was drawn to this video of a woman on a Croydon tram subjecting her fellow passengers to a torrent of swear words and disgusting racial abuse.

As a result, Croydon is once again in the news for all the wrong reasons. It is depressing that in the 21st century some people still hold these views. How dare she tell fellow citizens that they are not British because of their skin colour? Frankly, it's people like this woman we could without in this country. But most of all, I feel sorry for the poor child that has to grow up exposed to views like that.

But as with the riots there is a silver lining - the reaction of some of her fellow passengers of all ethnic backgrounds; the use of modern technology to record what she was saying, enabling her to be identified and arrested by British Transport Police earlier this evening; and the overwhelmingly reaction of Croydon residents who have seen the video on social media.

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Readers' Comments

On 29/11/2011 15:25:00 Cllr Vidhi Mohan wrote:
Well said Gavin. The woman's comments were deplorable and it was good to see they got a strong reaction from the other passengers on the tram, demonstrating how the people of Croydon abhor racism.
On 29/11/2011 19:40:00 Ronald Rickcord wrote:
Frankly, I am appalled to learn that you are a ‘Conservative’. Before reading your biography, I imagined that you must be another bleeding-heart liberal.

I am an old man who spent almost a quarter of a century in the armed forces, supposedly defending our country from enemies and foreign invasion. Well, we have been truly invaded now; something that neither Napoleon nor Hitler was able to achieve.

In the years ahead, people like you will be held responsible for the inevitable catastrophe that immigration and multiculturalism is rapidly thrusting upon us.

As for that poor inarticulate lady in the tram, she was simply expressing what the majority of Britons really think.

On 29/11/2011 20:07:00 Jon Ellacott wrote:
While I absolutely deplore this lady's behaviour and her racist vitriol I think we shouldn't judge her as we still have to wait for the psychiatric report to come, we don't know for sure that there was anything psychologically wrong, hopefully (if found to have a psychological illness) she gets the help she drastically requires and then reassess why the system has failed her and also failed her son.

As for one of the posters above saying most of Britain shares her view, as a white, working class, BRITISH person that view is not at all the case, and you only have to look at social media to see the outcry this caused and how people were disgusted with her behaviour.

I still think we should use an air of caution before we know the full facts, and also trial by Youtube could lead to a dangerous precedent.

On 29/11/2011 20:23:00 Gavin wrote:

I have the utmost respect for the service you have given to our country but with respect I think you are a bit confused about what you were defending. You weren't just protecting the country from invasion, you were defending our way of life - freedom, the rule of law etc - yet you now seem happy to defend people who appear to have broken the law?

As for equating immigrants with enemies or invaders, not only is that offensive it is also plainly ridiculous - they're not hostile to our country, they want to be part of it!

You question my Conservative credentials. I believe immigration was too high under the last Government and since I got elected I have supported measures that will significantly reduce it and ensure that the people we do let in have the skills we need and will create jobs for others, rather than letting in people with few skills who then compete with our own unemployed for jobs. But I do think some immigration is a good thing - not least because without it we would have fewer people of working age and more pensioners and we wouldn't be able to support you in your well-earned retirement. And as a Conservative I can't abide the kind of anti-social behaviour and racism we saw in that video.

Finally I have a lot more faith in the decency of the British people than you appear to.


Fair points, agree with what you say.

On 29/11/2011 21:12:00 Cllr Tony Pearson, New Addington wrote:
Ronald, I, like Gavin, respect and appreciate the service you have given for your Country. I too am ex Armed Forces. But I have to say that this woman in no way speaks for me or for the community of New Addington. It is appalling that in the 21st Century, people can still be abused just because of the colour of their skin. This woman is NOT representative of New Addington or Croydon. I am proud to represent, and live in, New Addington and our community spirit has never been stronger. There is no place for this disgusting behaviour, whatever issues the individual may be suffering from.
On 29/11/2011 21:39:00 Ronald Rickcord wrote:
Thank you Mr Barwell for your reply.

You are quite right when you say that during my service I was ‘defending our way of life’ in addition to protecting our country. However, our mores and way of life are now very different to what they were when I was serving. I served in the RAF from 1951 until I retired in 1974.

Regarding your comments about freedom and the rule of law, I have to say that we have all but lost the freedom of speech, especially when it comes to discussing racial matters. I also think that it ill-behoves MPs to lecture us on the rule of law when so many of them in recent times have proved to be cheats and thieves, though I am aware that you are innocent of such behaviour. Why have so many of them been able to get away with it scot-free? Something is undoubtedly rotten in the State of Denmark!

On 29/11/2011 23:45:00 George Coshall wrote:
No Gavin, this country would be better off without the colonisers and traitors like you, you have NO statistical data backing up your claims, you should be tried in a British Peoples Court.
On 30/11/2011 00:57:00 Charlotte Muldoon wrote:
Hi Gavin, Cllr Vidhi Mohan, Ronald Rickcord, Jon Ellacott

After reading all five comments (two from Gavin) I have to strongly agree and disagree with certain aspects of ALL of your submissions.

Gavin, I thank you for replying personally to my email.

However after reading your comment 'it's people like this woman we could do without in this country', I do not agree is a valid response. I refuse to believe this woman is physiologically ill, as Ronald Rickcord trusts this woman is displaying our nation’s thoughts, these thoughts are outdated and disrespectful views. I do however feel generations beyond fresh Alevel students (like this woman and Ronald) are still not being taught in their adult life something that is part of a child’s curriculum at school, cultural studies (which her own child will receive). Without people understanding other cultural backgrounds it is causing racial attacks from ALL races, which should not be acceptable in our multicultural society.

I am more than happy to agree that this woman should be prosecuted, but what about all the other discriminative attacks that affect our public on a daily basis? Are we approaching a world that serious action can only be taken if it is caught on camera?

We live, and have for some time, in a society that stops us from being discriminative towards others, whether this is racial, homosexual, sexual, political (etc.) discrimination. It does not matter the colour of your skin Ronald, we are all human beings, we all have feelings and we all (the rest of the world included) live in a country we expect better from.

I ask to use your imagination and envisage life from a juror’s perspective, remembering your opinion no longer matters; it is based on hard evidence. Now where is the hard evidence that racism from ALL parties is acceptable?

Unfortunately we do not live our life from a juror’s perspective, and we ALL have opinions but we must remember they are ours, and these opinions we have may offend others. I am not preaching peace, as this is something that is beyond all humanity's control, I am insinuating you ‘think before you speak’ a quote that has been around, the world, for centuries, no matter what your race.

On 30/11/2011 01:25:00 Keith wrote:
I am not one of you constituents, I live in Leicester which has a high percentage of immigrants. I recently was on a bus going to the local hospital to visit a friend. It was a similar situation to what happened in Croydon, I was the only white person on the bus and I was subjected to racial abuse from the other passengers. I heard people say loudly "White trash shouldn't be on our bus" and "I see we have a piece of white s***e contaminating the air". I did not fall into the trap of retaliating as the lady in Croydon did.

I can understand her frustration, but I don't condone her outburst. I felt a similar anger and I knew that if I reported the incident nothing would be done anyway, but if it had been the other way round no doubt I would have been arrested!

I also realise that you will not publish this comment, but I think you should not have posted about the incident on the Croydon tram until you were in full possession of all the facts, you may have jeopardised her case when it comes up.

On 30/11/2011 07:58:00 Jim wrote:
When I read the headline, I thought it was about striking public sector "workers".
On 30/11/2011 10:23:00 John Savage wrote:
Emma West is a very brave woman who has voiced the sentiments which millions of we British voice behind closed doors. But such is the poor condition of our democracy and the 'thought police state' we live in, which has been partly brought about by the left wing liberal Tories, Labourites and LibDims, of which Gavin Barwell is one, that she is vilified.

It is our mainstream politicians who should be the ones vilifed.

On 30/11/2011 11:05:00 sandy dennis wrote:
I hope the person who posted the video is just as forthright about the things happening in their own country. splinter and eye come to mind
On 30/11/2011 11:24:00 Gavin wrote:

You should have reported the incident.


Why do you assume that the person who recorded the video isn't from this country?

On 30/11/2011 12:51:00 Jon khobar Hawkins wrote:
You appear to be making some kind of political point over a regrettable storm in a teacup.

Like Ronald, I'm a former serviceman and again like Ronald former RAF, a later period taking in the Falklands and the first Gulf war.

Your idea that he is somehow mistaken in what he was fighting for is arrogant and insulting. Perhaps if you had any experience of the armed forces whatsoever you would be able to speak from a better informed viewpoint.

As for the Britain we served to protect, where has it gone? I find it harder and harder to find but you appear to believe it's still there. Any chance you could point it out to those of us who swore an oath to protect it?

On 30/11/2011 16:28:00 Ronald Rickcord wrote:
Charlotte Muldoon’s implied suggestion that because I am just an old ex-serviceman and was not taught ‘cultural studies’ when at school, I therefore lack the intelligence of ‘fresh A-level students’. This borders on impertinence. Possession of paper qualifications does not confer either intelligence or wisdom.

As it happens, I do have A-levels, taken in my own time many years ago while serving in the RAF. Those were the days long before such exams were ‘dumbed down’ as they are today. However, I venture to suggest that I learned far more about the cultures of other people during a large part of my service career during which I served overseas. I certainly learned more than I could in a classroom.

The suggestion that older people like me (and even younger ones like Emma West) are uneducated because ‘cultural studies’ were not part of the curriculum when we were at school is nonsense. ‘Cultural studies’ is but a euphemism for the brainwashing our children are today subjected to by self-hating left wing and Marxist social engineers.

On 07/12/2011 19:49:00 Anthony Miller wrote:
May I take this change to point out to Mr Ronald Rickcord that it is not only people from the UK that fought to protect Britain in two world wars .... by the wonders of technology he can now take a virtual tour of the military gallery of the Museum of Barbados

http://barbados.org/barbmus.htm which documents the British Empire's various expeditions to the Caribbean in search of ...erm ... cannon fodder?

However, I do agree with him to an extent that...while the very aggressive way the woman communicates to those who are physically trapped in a situation where they cannot escape her vitriol should probably invoke some kind of sanction...

...I am not sure that what she said should be criminal in itself. It bothers me that people can now get criminal convictions simply for swearing in public. Although swearing at people who can't escape should probably definitely invoke some kind of sanction.

Then again we do know more about the links between verbal and physical violence now... but is it really practical or sensible to bang up or fine everyone who mouths off in this way…? At the end of the line it is her (hideously ill informed) opinion. I think it is counter productive and probably not practical to criminally convict everyone with a peanut for a brain. What is worse this ...? or the icy stares and cold shoulders...? At least one can respond in some way to this kind of aggression. Then again maybe I'm getting too romantic about silent hate. Still... I think it is better for people to feel they can speak their minds (not to be confused with bullying others into their opinions in an enclosed space) than not .... most of the time.... though there will always be those who exploit these freedoms to incite racial hatred…. Which I suspect is what this woman is trying to do … only to find it all fell on stony ground?

When I first heard about this I thought it was a CCTV thing but it's interesting that this is just someone recording with mobile phone. A sort of reverse happy slap? It shows how society has changed. Fascinating to be able to actually watch this sort of thing and the body language of the participants ......from those trying to hide to those taking her on head on. This isn’t Big Brother …. this is ordinary people filming ordinary people. Nowhere is private any more. No doubt this lady will be complaining to the Leveson inquiry about having her "privacy invaded" nonetheless.

Inverse racism. Yes, it is real and something I have experienced but actually there are prosecutions of the likes of Abu Hamza... more often than some of white extremists?

As to immigration levels – I don’t believe any government which says it can “protect” “us” from it. I think the fact is since someone invented the jet aircraft it was almost inevitable that we would all start to get jumbled up at lot more…




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