The English Defence League in Evesham, and why the Evesham Journal won't accept curbs on free speech

The English Defence League in Evesham, and why the Evesham Journal won't accept curbs on free speech

The English Defence League in Evesham, and why the Evesham Journal won't accept curbs on free speech

First published in News
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Evesham Journal: Deputy editor: John Wilson by , Group Deputy Editor

THIS newspaper has been taken to task by some members of the clergy and business community in Evesham.

In the letter below they express dismay about our report of a demonstration in the town by the English Defence League (EDL). Our original report is at the bottom of this article.

They register their distaste for the racially divisive policies of EDL – a distaste this newspaper shares. But they allow that in a democracy the party has a right to free speech.

So why then do they criticise us for reporting an event in a public place by an organisation whose activities have a track record of attracting violence?

The signatories recognise that our story was written with the “equanimity” we require of all our news reporting.

We allowed the EDL their say about what happened and included an assessment from the police, who said the event passed off “peacefully”.

Had there been protests about the EDL we would have reported them too.

Our report did NOT give the impression that Evesham is intolerant, and suggesting otherwise reads something into it that is not there.

We are a newspaper, not a public relations agency. Our job is to record the news, not give it a slant that suits one cause or another.

We commend our critics’ desire to see Evesham presented in a positive light. Indeed, we have ourselves promoted the town vigorously through the Abbey Bridge disruption and this week launch a new campaign, Grow In Evesham, to build on what has already been achieved.

Evesham is going places, but it does not require curbs on free speech to help it get there.

 

Our dismay at your report of English Defence League demonstration (also available here)

WE noted your report of the demonstration of the English Defence League (EDL) in Evesham’s Port Street (League holds a ‘peaceful' protest, Journal, March 27).

While we recognise that, in a democracy, organisations have the right to free speech, we were dismayed that it was reported in the Journal with equanimity.

Port Street is where there is a concentration of residents of our town from other parts of Europe and beyond. They bring business to the community, pay taxes and work hard.

As a town, we are keen to encourage the development of enterprise and to reverse the trend of local economic decline.

As a nation we have, for over two millennia, been a country of immigrants: Romans, Saxons, Jutes, Normans right up to the present day when we routinely eat Jewish fish and chips, Italian pizza, South Asian curry and Middle Eastern kebabs.

In Evesham next year we will celebrate the 750th anniversary of Simon de Montfort’s attempts to establish the first English Parliament.

De Montfort was a French nobleman whose movement began the process of the establishment of English self-identity, one of the many ways in which non-indigenous have contributed to the life of our nation, and continue to do so.

There is nothing we can do in a democratic nation to stop organisations such as the EDL coming to Evesham.

We do ask that it is not reported in the local press in such a way as to give the impression that Evesham is an intolerant or reactionary community, and that investment from any ethnic provenance is welcome, and that we are a town open for business.

Revd Andrew Spurr, Vicar of Evesham
Revd Dr Edward Pillar, Minister Evesham Baptist Church
Stuart Brown, Evesham Baptist Church
Revd David Haslam, Evesham Methodist Church
Revd Brian Holliday, Evesham Methodist Church
Sarah Hewitt, Missioner, Asum Aroup of Anglican churches
Anthony Rowland, Chair, Vale of Evesham Commerce and Tourism Association (Vecta)
Alan Jones, The Best of Evesham/Vecta
Louise Bugg, Birdseye Sports/Vecta
Peter Scott, Parkinson Wright Estate Agents/Vecta

 

League holds a 'peaceful' protest (from Evesham Journal, March 27, 2014)

A NUMBER of English Defence League members held a "peaceful" demonstration in Evesham over the weekend.

The Worcester division of the group says "a lot of research and investigation" went into planning the event which took place in Port Street on Saturday lunchtime.

About a dozen EDL members were believed to be present.

"Within the past couple of weeks a lot of research and investigation went into this," said the EDL spokesperson.

"It was simply a peaceful demonstration for a couple of hours."

He said the demonstrations received "a lot of support" from locals, adding there was "zero trouble".

"Anyone who did not agree with us that stopped to chat was very amicable and able to have a civilised discussion to share views," said the spokesperson.

"We handed out flyers about who we are and what we were doing."

Police were in attendance and confirmed the demo passed without accident.

“A small, impromptu EDL demonstration took place on Saturday afternoon in Port Street, Evesham," said Superintendent Mark Travis.

"Between 12.45pm - 2.20pm, 10-12 people gathered and those present were law-abiding and the afternoon passed off peacefully.

“Police officers attended to ensure the right to lawful protest was facilitated while those going about their business in Evesham were not inconvenienced.”

The EDL division had considered staging a demonstration in Worcester earlier this month postponed the idea in light of the recent flooding.

Comments (21)

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9:46pm Thu 10 Apr 14

adc1960 says...

Think the Journal is right and the signatories of this letter are way off in their judgment and assessment......unle

ss i've missed something the original piece in the Journal did nothing of the sort to give the impression that Evesham is an intolerant or reactionary community........and perversely, by raising this issue now, when most people didn't pay too much attention to it in the first place, the signatories to this letter have breathed a bit of life into this controversy when in all probability it would have gone away quietly - in my opinion a serious error of judgment on the part of the local clergy and businessmen who put pen to paper.......
Think the Journal is right and the signatories of this letter are way off in their judgment and assessment......unle ss i've missed something the original piece in the Journal did nothing of the sort to give the impression that Evesham is an intolerant or reactionary community........and perversely, by raising this issue now, when most people didn't pay too much attention to it in the first place, the signatories to this letter have breathed a bit of life into this controversy when in all probability it would have gone away quietly - in my opinion a serious error of judgment on the part of the local clergy and businessmen who put pen to paper....... adc1960
  • Score: 7

10:06pm Thu 10 Apr 14

jasmith93 says...

The original article, while yes, giving the facts of the matter quite succinctly, fails when it comes to the rigorous neutrality newspapers should follow. This is especially true of the Journal since it's the largest and most available paper in Evesham. The original article seems, purposefully or not, very keen to portray the demonstration as peaceful and amicable. This may well have been the case, but it seems the Journal didn't feel it necessary to talk to anyone from the community who might have felt threatened or unhappy with the protest. In fact there are no quotes from the Port Street community at all. The letter from the Church isn't asking for the journal to ignore this protest, this isn't a "free speech" issue. It is a matter of principled and fair reporting, and too much of a positive focus on one group with no focus on the group they're protesting against. There might be other articles about those communities in the Journal, fine, but there is still a responsibility to make each new article fair and balanced.
The original article, while yes, giving the facts of the matter quite succinctly, fails when it comes to the rigorous neutrality newspapers should follow. This is especially true of the Journal since it's the largest and most available paper in Evesham. The original article seems, purposefully or not, very keen to portray the demonstration as peaceful and amicable. This may well have been the case, but it seems the Journal didn't feel it necessary to talk to anyone from the community who might have felt threatened or unhappy with the protest. In fact there are no quotes from the Port Street community at all. The letter from the Church isn't asking for the journal to ignore this protest, this isn't a "free speech" issue. It is a matter of principled and fair reporting, and too much of a positive focus on one group with no focus on the group they're protesting against. There might be other articles about those communities in the Journal, fine, but there is still a responsibility to make each new article fair and balanced. jasmith93
  • Score: -9

10:55am Fri 11 Apr 14

Rita Jelfs says...

In a democracy there is a need to give freedom of speech, so that bigots and racists of the EDL can be exposed for the people they are. Without this public exposure, their views can't be challenged, shown to be ignorant, divisive, and ridiculous, and the EDL will not be forced to be accountable to the electorate prior to an election. Their uncontested views will continue to damage the coherence of the country.
The Evesham Journal reported on the demonstration. But the Evesham Journal didn't report whether in fact 'locals' were supporting (or not) the views of the EDL. Were 'locals', who were unhappy with the EDL, prepared to front-up and be counted? If not, why not? Perhaps the unpleasant truth was too unpalatable to report?
In a democracy there is a need to give freedom of speech, so that bigots and racists of the EDL can be exposed for the people they are. Without this public exposure, their views can't be challenged, shown to be ignorant, divisive, and ridiculous, and the EDL will not be forced to be accountable to the electorate prior to an election. Their uncontested views will continue to damage the coherence of the country. The Evesham Journal reported on the demonstration. But the Evesham Journal didn't report whether in fact 'locals' were supporting (or not) the views of the EDL. Were 'locals', who were unhappy with the EDL, prepared to front-up and be counted? If not, why not? Perhaps the unpleasant truth was too unpalatable to report? Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -13

11:27am Fri 11 Apr 14

Sonia Gable says...

The problem is not that the Evesham Journal reported the demonstration but that the report made the EDL seem benign and unthreatening. Nowhere did the report say what the EDL was protesting about and what its views were. The EDL is a nasty racist bunch of thugs who object to people because of where they, their parents or grandparents were born, or the colour of their skin, or their faith. The EDL tries to stir up division in every community they visit and as such they are dangerous, even if a particular protest is not itself violent. If the Evesham Journal considered that a visit by a small group of activists from a tiny and unpleasant organisation is sufficiently newsworthy to report, then the report should have challenged their views.
The problem is not that the Evesham Journal reported the demonstration but that the report made the EDL seem benign and unthreatening. Nowhere did the report say what the EDL was protesting about and what its views were. The EDL is a nasty racist bunch of thugs who object to people because of where they, their parents or grandparents were born, or the colour of their skin, or their faith. The EDL tries to stir up division in every community they visit and as such they are dangerous, even if a particular protest is not itself violent. If the Evesham Journal considered that a visit by a small group of activists from a tiny and unpleasant organisation is sufficiently newsworthy to report, then the report should have challenged their views. Sonia Gable
  • Score: -17

1:53pm Fri 11 Apr 14

john wilson says...

We did seek the reaction to the demo by traders in Port Street, but no one wanted to be quoted.
We did not go into details about what the EDL were protesting about because we did not give a platform to their policies. We would treat any other political demonstration the same way in this respect.
Our interest was purely in reporting an event in a public place that had the potential to cause unrest. In the event it didn't (a fact we sought police verification of), and we reported it accordingly.
John Wilson, deputy editor.
We did seek the reaction to the demo by traders in Port Street, but no one wanted to be quoted. We did not go into details about what the EDL were protesting about because we did not give a platform to their policies. We would treat any other political demonstration the same way in this respect. Our interest was purely in reporting an event in a public place that had the potential to cause unrest. In the event it didn't (a fact we sought police verification of), and we reported it accordingly. John Wilson, deputy editor. john wilson
  • Score: 11

5:33pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Fred Bishop says...

The clergy seem to think that a few bad pennies in an organisation can brand the whole organisation. I suggest they think about that and consider what some members of the clergy have been convicted of. Not only disgusting but illegal.
I think that in a poll most people in this country would agree with many EDL policies.
Both the clergy and the Evesham 'business community' very much have vested interest in matters that the EDL wish to demonstrate against.
There are many that accept that violence and thuggery at such demonstrations need to be investigated to see what contribution the UAF and other extreme left wing infiltrators contribute.
The clergy seem to think that a few bad pennies in an organisation can brand the whole organisation. I suggest they think about that and consider what some members of the clergy have been convicted of. Not only disgusting but illegal. I think that in a poll most people in this country would agree with many EDL policies. Both the clergy and the Evesham 'business community' very much have vested interest in matters that the EDL wish to demonstrate against. There are many that accept that violence and thuggery at such demonstrations need to be investigated to see what contribution the UAF and other extreme left wing infiltrators contribute. Fred Bishop
  • Score: 13

8:30pm Fri 11 Apr 14

martinberry41 says...

@Sonia Gable. "The EDL is a nasty racist bunch of thugs who object to people because of where they, their parents or grandparents were born, or the colour of their skin, or their faith."

No Sonia The EDL and others whom you tar with the same brush are not racist as i'm very sure that you are aware, Islam is not a race.Neither is Islam exclusive to a certain skin colour or where people are born. White people from London can be Muslim just as much as can a Pakistani be Christian.
Hardly surprising that would come out with negative stereotyping like that. It is in your best interests to demonize critics of Islam and make the public fear them. After all without the EDL to scaremonger and make false accusations about you would be out of a job. After all both you and your husband benefit nicely out of the Islamophobia gravy train don't you Sonia ??
Wasn't your serial fantasist of a husband a candidate for the communist party and staunch supporter of the oppressive Soviet regime who murdered millions in the gulags during the cold war and considered by most as a traitor??? .

"If the Evesham Journal considered that a visit by a small group of activists from a tiny and unpleasant organisation is sufficiently newsworthy to report, then the report should have challenged their views."

No they report the news plain and simple. This isnt the communist Soviet Union that you wish it was like, where the news is controlled by the commies secret police. This is England where free speech still just about exists.
@Sonia Gable. "The EDL is a nasty racist bunch of thugs who object to people because of where they, their parents or grandparents were born, or the colour of their skin, or their faith." No Sonia The EDL and others whom you tar with the same brush are not racist as i'm very sure that you are aware, Islam is not a race.Neither is Islam exclusive to a certain skin colour or where people are born. White people from London can be Muslim just as much as can a Pakistani be Christian. Hardly surprising that would come out with negative stereotyping like that. It is in your best interests to demonize critics of Islam and make the public fear them. After all without the EDL to scaremonger and make false accusations about you would be out of a job. After all both you and your husband benefit nicely out of the Islamophobia gravy train don't you Sonia ?? Wasn't your serial fantasist of a husband a candidate for the communist party and staunch supporter of the oppressive Soviet regime who murdered millions in the gulags during the cold war and considered by most as a traitor??? . "If the Evesham Journal considered that a visit by a small group of activists from a tiny and unpleasant organisation is sufficiently newsworthy to report, then the report should have challenged their views." No they report the news plain and simple. This isnt the communist Soviet Union that you wish it was like, where the news is controlled by the commies secret police. This is England where free speech still just about exists. martinberry41
  • Score: 18

8:37pm Fri 11 Apr 14

adc1960 says...

i'm clearly being dim here - i don't get what the problem is.....the journal reported the facts in a straightforward manner - end of story. all of those folk who are objecting to the article seem to me to be making a number of assumptions that have no base in reality....namely that even though the EDL's protest in question was peaceful and passed off without incident, there was and is something inherently bad about the EDL protesting, even when there clearly isn't.......Jasmith9
3 - you state that the journal didn't feel it necessary to talk with anyone who felt threatened - maybe there wasn't!. my political outlook on life is left wing - i can't think of one element of anything that the EDL stands for that i would agree with - but to try and censor any reporting of their activities is unjustified, immoral and very patronising on the part of those who advocate it.......and dare i say it is similar to the kinds of extreme attitudes espoused by the EDL themselves........
i'm clearly being dim here - i don't get what the problem is.....the journal reported the facts in a straightforward manner - end of story. all of those folk who are objecting to the article seem to me to be making a number of assumptions that have no base in reality....namely that even though the EDL's protest in question was peaceful and passed off without incident, there was and is something inherently bad about the EDL protesting, even when there clearly isn't.......Jasmith9 3 - you state that the journal didn't feel it necessary to talk with anyone who felt threatened - maybe there wasn't!. my political outlook on life is left wing - i can't think of one element of anything that the EDL stands for that i would agree with - but to try and censor any reporting of their activities is unjustified, immoral and very patronising on the part of those who advocate it.......and dare i say it is similar to the kinds of extreme attitudes espoused by the EDL themselves........ adc1960
  • Score: 6

1:03am Sat 12 Apr 14

jasmith93 says...

john wilson wrote:
We did seek the reaction to the demo by traders in Port Street, but no one wanted to be quoted.
We did not go into details about what the EDL were protesting about because we did not give a platform to their policies. We would treat any other political demonstration the same way in this respect.
Our interest was purely in reporting an event in a public place that had the potential to cause unrest. In the event it didn't (a fact we sought police verification of), and we reported it accordingly.
John Wilson, deputy editor.
I'm sure that's true, but the fact is that by printing something like this

the demonstrations received "a lot of support" from locals, adding there was "zero trouble".

quote from an EDL spokesperson, then not having anyone question them, you're still giving a platform to them, helping to legitimize them, even if you're not mentioning their policies in particular. People don't need reminding of what the EDL's policies are anyway, they're in the news often enough.

If you can't find anyone to speak out against it, look! Clearly the clergy would have been keen to talk to you, and probably willing to have their views printed, even if the Port Street community weren't.

It might be worth printing the fact nobody was willing to speak out too. What does it tell you if communities on the receiving end of the EDL's ideas aren't willing to speak publicly about a protest right there on their street? They're probably too scared of retribution to have anything printed.
[quote][p][bold]john wilson[/bold] wrote: We did seek the reaction to the demo by traders in Port Street, but no one wanted to be quoted. We did not go into details about what the EDL were protesting about because we did not give a platform to their policies. We would treat any other political demonstration the same way in this respect. Our interest was purely in reporting an event in a public place that had the potential to cause unrest. In the event it didn't (a fact we sought police verification of), and we reported it accordingly. John Wilson, deputy editor.[/p][/quote]I'm sure that's true, but the fact is that by printing something like this the demonstrations received "a lot of support" from locals, adding there was "zero trouble". quote from an EDL spokesperson, then not having anyone question them, you're still giving a platform to them, helping to legitimize them, even if you're not mentioning their policies in particular. People don't need reminding of what the EDL's policies are anyway, they're in the news often enough. If you can't find anyone to speak out against it, look! Clearly the clergy would have been keen to talk to you, and probably willing to have their views printed, even if the Port Street community weren't. It might be worth printing the fact nobody was willing to speak out too. What does it tell you if communities on the receiving end of the EDL's ideas aren't willing to speak publicly about a protest right there on their street? They're probably too scared of retribution to have anything printed. jasmith93
  • Score: -7

7:04am Sat 12 Apr 14

adc1960 says...

No, jasmith93 you are wrong. We live in a free country (just about) - this is a freedom of the press issue. You may not like the EDL, i certainly don't, but who are you to question what should be reported in the local press. The local clergy certainly have no right to tell me and the people of Evesham what they should like or dislike and they have no right to interfere in what we should be allowed to read in the papers. What you and the local clergy are advocating is censorship and that is wholly unacceptable. Some of the clergy mentioned - i know personally, but with respect to them, they should stick to doing what they are paid to do and not making judgment calls about things they have no business to.
No, jasmith93 you are wrong. We live in a free country (just about) - this is a freedom of the press issue. You may not like the EDL, i certainly don't, but who are you to question what should be reported in the local press. The local clergy certainly have no right to tell me and the people of Evesham what they should like or dislike and they have no right to interfere in what we should be allowed to read in the papers. What you and the local clergy are advocating is censorship and that is wholly unacceptable. Some of the clergy mentioned - i know personally, but with respect to them, they should stick to doing what they are paid to do and not making judgment calls about things they have no business to. adc1960
  • Score: 10

5:48pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Tazmmmmm says...

There is a lot of opinion on here about what the EDL protest about but if some of you bothered to visit the EDL website where you will see articles about the rise in muslim pedophile gangs, female genital mutilation, the burka, the link that Islam has to many of the conflicts we see around the world today and also articles about woman's rights in Islam and Islam's attitude to gay men and women you will actually know what the EDL's protests are about.
There is a lot of opinion on here about what the EDL protest about but if some of you bothered to visit the EDL website where you will see articles about the rise in muslim pedophile gangs, female genital mutilation, the burka, the link that Islam has to many of the conflicts we see around the world today and also articles about woman's rights in Islam and Islam's attitude to gay men and women you will actually know what the EDL's protests are about. Tazmmmmm
  • Score: 18

6:54pm Sat 12 Apr 14

adc1960 says...

in response to the last comment, i am well aware of the abhorrent nature of what the EDL stands for..........but, the way to defeat these kinds of beliefs, values and attitudes is not to censor them..........yes, don't give them a platform (and i'll repeat, as far as i can see the Evesham Journal has done absolutely nothing wrong), but equally don't actively hide them away and censor them from the general public.....in most instances adopting the attitude that the signatories to the letter have done will raise these kinds of extreme views upon a pedestal and give them credence with a far wider audience than they otherwise would not have had.......the kind of extremism of the EDL will in a civilised society eventually die out of its own accord, attempting to censor it will have the opposite effect....i have no doubt that the original authors of this letter have and had the best interests of Evesham at heart and acted with the best of intentions..........
they are terribly misguided though........
in response to the last comment, i am well aware of the abhorrent nature of what the EDL stands for..........but, the way to defeat these kinds of beliefs, values and attitudes is not to censor them..........yes, don't give them a platform (and i'll repeat, as far as i can see the Evesham Journal has done absolutely nothing wrong), but equally don't actively hide them away and censor them from the general public.....in most instances adopting the attitude that the signatories to the letter have done will raise these kinds of extreme views upon a pedestal and give them credence with a far wider audience than they otherwise would not have had.......the kind of extremism of the EDL will in a civilised society eventually die out of its own accord, attempting to censor it will have the opposite effect....i have no doubt that the original authors of this letter have and had the best interests of Evesham at heart and acted with the best of intentions.......... they are terribly misguided though........ adc1960
  • Score: -11

7:06pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Tazmmmmm says...

That is not a response to my comment adc1960, my comment suggested that people should visit the EDL website if they won't to find out about why the EDL protest for themselves. Your comment is full of your opinion using words such as abhorrent and extreme to describe the EDL but produces no evidence to justify there use it is just a reflection of your opinion. I would like to challenge you to produce some quotes from the EDL website that do justify your use of the words abhorrent and extreme to describe them. Have you ever visited there website to see what they stand for ?
That is not a response to my comment adc1960, my comment suggested that people should visit the EDL website if they won't to find out about why the EDL protest for themselves. Your comment is full of your opinion using words such as abhorrent and extreme to describe the EDL but produces no evidence to justify there use it is just a reflection of your opinion. I would like to challenge you to produce some quotes from the EDL website that do justify your use of the words abhorrent and extreme to describe them. Have you ever visited there website to see what they stand for ? Tazmmmmm
  • Score: 12

7:14pm Sat 12 Apr 14

adc1960 says...

i have indeed visited the EDL website to see for myself - to ensure that i can be as fully informed as possible in my response and i stand by my views that the EDL's policies/beliefs have no place in a civilised society........that being said, attempting to censor the reporting of these views is not and never will be justified in my view...........
i have indeed visited the EDL website to see for myself - to ensure that i can be as fully informed as possible in my response and i stand by my views that the EDL's policies/beliefs have no place in a civilised society........that being said, attempting to censor the reporting of these views is not and never will be justified in my view........... adc1960
  • Score: -7

7:42pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Tazmmmmm says...

Hello again abc1960, can you share with myself and the rest of the readers what the EDL's policies and beliefs that you saw on their website that have no place in a civilised society are ? With quotes please.
Hello again abc1960, can you share with myself and the rest of the readers what the EDL's policies and beliefs that you saw on their website that have no place in a civilised society are ? With quotes please. Tazmmmmm
  • Score: 9

7:43pm Sat 12 Apr 14

head thumper says...

The journal is very two faced over this and other "race" issues. A while ago I wrote about gypsies and was warned over my racism where was my allowance for free speech then. The EDL are a scare mongering group which like the National front and the BNP thrive on peoples fear's which are fed by a right wing media. We must now assume that the Journal has shifted from a local paper to challenging The Daily Mail for scaremongering in Britain
The journal is very two faced over this and other "race" issues. A while ago I wrote about gypsies and was warned over my racism where was my allowance for free speech then. The EDL are a scare mongering group which like the National front and the BNP thrive on peoples fear's which are fed by a right wing media. We must now assume that the Journal has shifted from a local paper to challenging The Daily Mail for scaremongering in Britain head thumper
  • Score: -11

6:03am Tue 15 Apr 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Tazmmmmm, the latest EDL website uses a picture of an iconic Christian, philosopher, and German preacher, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, during the time of the Hitler Nazis in the Second World War. He opposed the Nazis. They eventually executed him. This man was opposed to the oppression by Hitler of the Jews.. For the EDL to use this Christian icon to sell their extreme hate and lies to demonise a religious group, indiicates to me how they cynically manipulate uninformed people. Evil. .
The EDL website also takes out of context, and tells lies about what is happening with muslim migration and acceptance in Australia. It refers to articles that are sourced by right-wing extreme Zionists, Nordic extreme right-wingers, ignorant Nationalists, and loony Tea Party types. Fortunately these are a very small 'fringe' group, that only attract the most misguided minority in Australia.
Tazmmmmm, the latest EDL website uses a picture of an iconic Christian, philosopher, and German preacher, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, during the time of the Hitler Nazis in the Second World War. He opposed the Nazis. They eventually executed him. This man was opposed to the oppression by Hitler of the Jews.. For the EDL to use this Christian icon to sell their extreme hate and lies to demonise a religious group, indiicates to me how they cynically manipulate uninformed people. Evil. . The EDL website also takes out of context, and tells lies about what is happening with muslim migration and acceptance in Australia. It refers to articles that are sourced by right-wing extreme Zionists, Nordic extreme right-wingers, ignorant Nationalists, and loony Tea Party types. Fortunately these are a very small 'fringe' group, that only attract the most misguided minority in Australia. Rita Jelfs
  • Score: 1

7:34pm Fri 18 Apr 14

jasmith93 says...

adc1960 wrote:
No, jasmith93 you are wrong. We live in a free country (just about) - this is a freedom of the press issue. You may not like the EDL, i certainly don't, but who are you to question what should be reported in the local press. The local clergy certainly have no right to tell me and the people of Evesham what they should like or dislike and they have no right to interfere in what we should be allowed to read in the papers. What you and the local clergy are advocating is censorship and that is wholly unacceptable. Some of the clergy mentioned - i know personally, but with respect to them, they should stick to doing what they are paid to do and not making judgment calls about things they have no business to.
Come on people. There is a massive difference between a government threatening journalists and forcing papers to present a certain view of them, and the local clergy, who have a lot of influence but no real power, requesting, very publicly that the only major paper in the area present a more balanced view. Nobody's being persecuted here, well the journal definitely isn't anyway.

They should address this criticism properly and not just boil down something that was about balance and fair reporting into something about whether they "should or should not have written about the EDL." Its more complicated than that.
[quote][p][bold]adc1960[/bold] wrote: No, jasmith93 you are wrong. We live in a free country (just about) - this is a freedom of the press issue. You may not like the EDL, i certainly don't, but who are you to question what should be reported in the local press. The local clergy certainly have no right to tell me and the people of Evesham what they should like or dislike and they have no right to interfere in what we should be allowed to read in the papers. What you and the local clergy are advocating is censorship and that is wholly unacceptable. Some of the clergy mentioned - i know personally, but with respect to them, they should stick to doing what they are paid to do and not making judgment calls about things they have no business to.[/p][/quote]Come on people. There is a massive difference between a government threatening journalists and forcing papers to present a certain view of them, and the local clergy, who have a lot of influence but no real power, requesting, very publicly that the only major paper in the area present a more balanced view. Nobody's being persecuted here, well the journal definitely isn't anyway. They should address this criticism properly and not just boil down something that was about balance and fair reporting into something about whether they "should or should not have written about the EDL." Its more complicated than that. jasmith93
  • Score: 2

9:15pm Fri 18 Apr 14

JohnJason says...

I'm sorry if your vicars found your report not sufficiently condemnatory. They and some of your posters display a wilful ignorance about Islam, immigration and the EDL.

1. All the earlier immigrations mentioned were small in number and by peoples so similar in culture and outlook to the resident British that they became indistinguishable in a few generations. The latest immigration has been on a massive scale, engineered for unscrupulous reasons by the Blair government and of a people whose religion instructs them to convert or subjugate all non believers, as is happening all around the borders of Islamdom when the population proportions are favourable.

2. The EDL are not racist or even right wing. Their only issue is with an aggressive and intolerant religion.

3. The articles on the front page of the EDL website provide information which the mainstream media suppress. For instance, there is a recent one on a 300 page report on the entire grooming gangs scandal called "Easy Meat" which details the full horror of both the gangs' activities and the refusal to confront it by the authorities. You won't have seen it mentioned in any other media outlet but it will open your eyes - if you want them opened.
I'm sorry if your vicars found your report not sufficiently condemnatory. They and some of your posters display a wilful ignorance about Islam, immigration and the EDL. 1. All the earlier immigrations mentioned were small in number and by peoples so similar in culture and outlook to the resident British that they became indistinguishable in a few generations. The latest immigration has been on a massive scale, engineered for unscrupulous reasons by the Blair government and of a people whose religion instructs them to convert or subjugate all non believers, as is happening all around the borders of Islamdom when the population proportions are favourable. 2. The EDL are not racist or even right wing. Their only issue is with an aggressive and intolerant religion. 3. The articles on the front page of the EDL website provide information which the mainstream media suppress. For instance, there is a recent one on a 300 page report on the entire grooming gangs scandal called "Easy Meat" which details the full horror of both the gangs' activities and the refusal to confront it by the authorities. You won't have seen it mentioned in any other media outlet but it will open your eyes - if you want them opened. JohnJason
  • Score: -1

7:50am Sat 19 Apr 14

JohnJason says...

More about the EDL here:

http://ecawblog.word
press.com/about/

And by the way, why are the clergy so silent about the current persecution, and often the slaughter of their co-religionists in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria and Pakistan to mention only the most extreme examples?

You didn't know about it? Find out here:

http://rescuechristi
ans.org/
More about the EDL here: http://ecawblog.word press.com/about/ And by the way, why are the clergy so silent about the current persecution, and often the slaughter of their co-religionists in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria and Pakistan to mention only the most extreme examples? You didn't know about it? Find out here: http://rescuechristi ans.org/ JohnJason
  • Score: -1

4:38pm Sun 20 Apr 14

adc1960 says...

following this thread there has been a fascinating discussion - i think however to a degree there are several issues and they have become blurred into one.......
1) was there anything wrong with the Journal's original report? having read it and re-read it several times i still can't see what the issue was - it seemed to me to be factual and straightforward.
2) were the signatories of the original letter to the Journal regarding this report right? no, i don't believe they were.
3) is it the job of the local clergy and local businesses to comment on such matters? well, no, but i may have been a touch harsh there - knowing several of the individuals who signed the letter i am 100% convinced that their motives for doing so were well intentioned and that at the heart of the letter it was all about making Evesham the best place it can possibly be - and after the bridge saga, who can argue with that?
4) is the EDL a legitimate political organisation that deserves to have its view taken seriously? no, absolutely not.......i was taken to task by some of the above correspondents by not quoting details of their website, chapter and verse, which would justify apparently labelling it as extremist.......the reality is far more complex and nuanced and its all a question of interpretation - a quick google search shows that the beliefs of the vast majority of the EDL are right wing, racist and dangerous......we live in a multi-cultural country and town and if the EDL wants to add to this debate in a positive manner, i'm sure that many, me included, would welcome this - i've seen no evidence of this however
5) does this mean the EDL's view's shouldn't be reported? no, absolutely not.
6) there's a great deal of debate and discussion around the idea of immigration, both in Evesham and nationally. i think that much of this is valid and deserves to be reported, but debate is only good when founded on objective facts that can be independently verified - i think that the debate that the EDL is engaged in is scaremongering and is not based on any objective facts - and i think that this discussion thread has unwittingly added to this scaremongering......
..

lets all agree on this - Evesham is a town that has a great deal of potential, great shops and people and is open and inclusive to everyone of every view and whichever side of the debate you're on......
following this thread there has been a fascinating discussion - i think however to a degree there are several issues and they have become blurred into one....... 1) was there anything wrong with the Journal's original report? having read it and re-read it several times i still can't see what the issue was - it seemed to me to be factual and straightforward. 2) were the signatories of the original letter to the Journal regarding this report right? no, i don't believe they were. 3) is it the job of the local clergy and local businesses to comment on such matters? well, no, but i may have been a touch harsh there - knowing several of the individuals who signed the letter i am 100% convinced that their motives for doing so were well intentioned and that at the heart of the letter it was all about making Evesham the best place it can possibly be - and after the bridge saga, who can argue with that? 4) is the EDL a legitimate political organisation that deserves to have its view taken seriously? no, absolutely not.......i was taken to task by some of the above correspondents by not quoting details of their website, chapter and verse, which would justify apparently labelling it as extremist.......the reality is far more complex and nuanced and its all a question of interpretation - a quick google search shows that the beliefs of the vast majority of the EDL are right wing, racist and dangerous......we live in a multi-cultural country and town and if the EDL wants to add to this debate in a positive manner, i'm sure that many, me included, would welcome this - i've seen no evidence of this however 5) does this mean the EDL's view's shouldn't be reported? no, absolutely not. 6) there's a great deal of debate and discussion around the idea of immigration, both in Evesham and nationally. i think that much of this is valid and deserves to be reported, but debate is only good when founded on objective facts that can be independently verified - i think that the debate that the EDL is engaged in is scaremongering and is not based on any objective facts - and i think that this discussion thread has unwittingly added to this scaremongering...... .. lets all agree on this - Evesham is a town that has a great deal of potential, great shops and people and is open and inclusive to everyone of every view and whichever side of the debate you're on...... adc1960
  • Score: 1

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