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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Offensive: Councillor Benjamin Dennehy and his blog

A lot has been said on the internet about Cllr Benjamin Dennehy and his blog. Certainly one way to increase visitors to your blog is to make a statement that many members of the online community have found offensive, racist or both. Sadly I think his motivation was not rooted in increasing website traffic but something else.

The blog post was taken down and cached copies have also been removed so in one sense you are lucky not to have to read it. Cllr Benjamin Dennehy has been suspended pending some sort of internal investigation. I understand that he does not want to speak to the press. Will we ever see an public apology?

My party, the Liberal Democrats, believe that racism is wrong. And to many this sort of material is hugely offensive. After gaining the viewpoints of friends elsewhere in the country their conclusion was that it was offensive and some (mild mannered friends) used the R word.

The actions I have taken is that I have put in an official complaint to Ealing Council as Cllr Benjamin Dennehy appears to have broken two rules that relate to how Councillors should act. A Council committee which includes non Councillors will adjudicate the case. Not sure whether it will take weeks or months to come to conclusion.

I have also taken legal advice about whether he has broken the law. It appears that he may have breached  section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986 which concerns stirring up racial hatred. Anyone who is of an Indian origin is likely to be offended by his words.

Again we await a full public apology from current Councillor Benjamin Dennehy.

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