The Public Gallery: Suspensions and appeals


By - Thursday 13th November, 2014

Tom Black takes a break from the Barwell/Jones 2015 prizefight and looks at two setbacks for smaller parties in Croydon



Anti-incinerator judicial review fails, appeal planned

Shasha Khan, who has been the face of the Stop The Incinerator campaign for some years, has had all four of his grounds for legal challenge thrown out. The news is a blow to Khan and to the campaign, as now the way is clear for the incinerator to be built by waste management firm Viridor.

Or is it? Khan has a right to appeal, and has announced his intention to do so, on one of his original four grounds. More details can be read in the link above to the Advertiser. Khan is the Green Party candidate for Croydon North next year, and has been much-praised across the political spectrum for his personal investment (in time and money) in the legal challenge. While this is a setback for him in the short term, it will doubtless look very good on a leaflet in 2015.

That said, public comment and opinion about the incinerator, on the Citizen and elsewhere, has been a little one-sided. Whether that’s because there are no positive arguments to be made for it, or for another reason, I couldn’t say. So I’m taking this opportunity to call out to anyone who has a view that they feel hasn’t been heard about the incinerator – one of support. Do you support it? If so, why? What do you say to the myriad criticisms the scheme has received?

The Citizen takes contributions on any topic in Croydon, and from any angle. I know I’d be interested to see another side to the incinerator debate – in spite of my own view of the matter.

@CroydonUKIP Twitter account suspended over Nazi picture

A Twitter account claiming to be supportive of UKIP in Croydon has courted controversy in recent weeks, and has now been suspended by Twitter’s administrative team. The account was a fairly bog-standard tribal affair, posting that only UKIP had the answers, LibLabCons were all the same, and so on.

But what attracted my attention when I saw it popping up here and there was the account’s profile picture.

Featuring a Photoshop of a classic poster, it seemed to depict Nigel Farage as a soldier, with “he fights for you” written above the image.

What was interesting was the fact that the soldier in question was a German one. From the Second World War.

The Twitter account, with the offending image enlarged.
Screenshot by Tom Black, original picture by @UKIPCroydon.

Putting on my historian’s hat for a moment, few things irk me more than the erroneous assumption that all German soldiers were Nazis. But while the uniform that ‘Farage’ seems to be wearing in the poster is that of a normal German army soldier (not a member of the unequivocally Nazi SS), that doesn’t change the fact that the poster itself is a piece of Nazi propaganda. Farage’s head could have been Photoshopped onto a German civilian’s body and it would still be highly offensive – a Nazi poster is a Nazi poster.

So it’s no surprise the account fell foul of Twitter’s rules. Chairman of Croydon Central and South UKIP, Peter Staveley, was able to confirm that it was UKIP itself who requested the account’s suspension, and that Twitter agreed on grounds of ‘brand impersonation’. Despite the name of the account, it was not an ‘official’ UKIP account, and it was not run by a senior figure within the Croydon branch of the party. No statement disclosing the identity of the individual behind the @CroydonUKIP account has been released by Twitter or UKIP, the latter of which says Twitter has not even revealed this information to them.

Panic over. It doesn’t appear that Croydon UKIP has any plans to create a Croydon Reich. It seems this is a story that can be added to the long litany of ‘UKIP members doing stupid things on social media’. But if UKIP wants to ‘come through the middle’ in 2015, particularly in Croydon Central, it had better cross its fingers and hope it doesn’t have any more local members with this kind of ‘enthusiasm’ – or access to Photoshop.

Tom Black

Tom Black

Tom is the Citizen's General Manager, and spent his whole life in Croydon until moving to Balham in 2017. He also writes plays that are occasionally performed and books that are occasionally enjoyed. He's been a Labour Party member since 2007, and in his spare time runs an online publishing house for alternate history books, Sea Lion Press. He is fluent in Danish, but speaks no useful languages. Views personal, not representative of editorial policy.

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