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  1. Published on: 18/06/2020 09:11 AMReported by: roving-eye
    Southport's Conservative MP has been told he should apologise after denouncing the Black Lives Matter protest held in the town at the weekend.



    Posting on his Facebook page, Damien Moore made a lengthy criticism of the event, which he'd previously asked residents not to attend. The MP stated he supported the aims behind it but his opposition was on the basis of Covid concerns, saying:



    "The demonstration that took part on Saturday was unhelpful and went someway to undoing our town’s efforts to tackle this pandemic, protect our NHS, and save lives."



    But critics have pointed out that in the very same post he also stated that veterans who had staged their own gathering at the same time just a hundred metres or so away had his "full support", seemingly unaware it completely undercut his own professed public health stance.



    Local councillor Greg Myers, who attended the Black Lives Matter event, says he believes the contradiction leaves the MP with an apology to make, explaining:



    "He is actually discriminating against an anti-race discrimination protest while saying he supports racial equality, it's very confusing."



    "If public health is his concern then how can he damn the BLM event in the manner he has and then not only fail to address the veteran event in the same terms but actually state they had his "full support"? Either both gatherings were wrong or neither."



    "How can he wildly speculate about the BLM event increasing Covid-19 here as he did but give the other gathering a free pass and praise? It's simply antagonistic and clear discrimination in relation to the events, to my mind."



    "Mr Moore is keen to stress he supports the aims behind the BLM event and I commend him for that but this post is very mixed messaging that he must make amends for. No wonder black people are angry if that sort of nonsense is actually coming from their MP. Other residents should be too."



    "There were hundreds of responses on his social media page, with many clearly unhappy over the unfair comments. Buried in there is a wishy-washy reply from him made later on saying all gatherings including those at beaches etc are wrong. That does not begin to address the problems with his post."



    "He should either apologise immediately to the BLM protestors and organisers or clearly tell the veterans in the same damning terms he used against the BLM event that as far as he's concerned, they too have endangered Southport and possibly contributed to a future Covid spike."



    "Though, of course, that would be just as unfair on the vets as he'd have no proof of that claim either - especially given how the lockdown has eroded in recent weeks due to the actions of his own government."



    "His credibility on the matter is further reduced by the fact that this is an MP who liked a tweet in support of Dominic Cummings as the scandal over his breaking the guidelines erupted. So he seems rather selective in his Covid position to me."



    The MP's post also claimed that social distancing was observed by "very few people" at the BLM event. It prompted a barrage of angry response from many who had been there, strongly rejecting Damien Moore's claims. One of the event organisers, local resident Grishma Bijukumar, telling him:



    "If you made an effort to turn up instead of encouraging people to not come you’d have seen that everyone was socially distant and had face coverings!"



    Protestors pointed out that a raft of measures had been put in place to protect those attending. Stewards were in place to help reinforce the distancing and check that those not doing so were in household groups. They also handed out free facemasks to those who had failed to bring one, with hand sanitiser also on offer.



    Even one of the MP's own supporters, Ann Pearmain, a former Tory council candidate, who replied to his post to commend him still acknowledged that, in fact, distancing had been observed well, stating:



    "When I was at the in Town on Saturday it was very peaceful, with most observing the 2m social distancing and or wearing masks! There was a positive feel, maybe there was some minor altercations, but they did not distract from the message on both sides of the coin."



    Mr Moore, however, denied this and continued to repeat his claims.



    Cllr Myers says that the MP is trying to hoodwink residents who weren't present over the issue to suit his own narrative and is wrong to single out the BLM event, especially given the series of steps it took:



    "He wasn't there, he's told repeatedly that distancing was well-observed and even by his own supporters but still he persists in trying to say very few did so. This is a man simply trying to justify his own poor decision-making. The vast majority of the crowd outside the town hall made a real effort."



    "It was also very clear beforehand that the protest was going ahead despite his objections. At that point, it seems to me that if he was interested in public health and he was also supportive of the event's aims, as he says, then he should have tried to do something positive to help improve the situation but he didn't."



    "I'd also been concerned about the public health risk so I contacted the organisers, who I think did a great job of trying to make sure the event was both responsible and peaceful."



    "I asked what measures they were putting in place and discovered that while they intended to socially distance and for people to wear masks there weren't any stewards to help with this."



    "In that situation, I decided it was far better to offer help to try to improve things and minimise risk. It's never going to be perfect but by taking action you massively reduce potential harm. Thankfully several of my Southport Labour colleagues agreed."



    "So we volunteered to assist in a non-political capacity with our Labour hi-viz tabbards turned inside out given the human rights nature of the protest."



    "The MP could easily have discovered this information and helped improve things if only he'd bothered to try."



    "It was actually a privilege to be there and show support, especially after all the scaremongering that went on. The MP didn't help with that either, subsequently stating there were violent incidents at the event."



    "In fact, it centred around what I'd describe as a lone right-wing idiot who attempted to cause a confrontation. He then had to be protected from the results of his own stupidity and was quickly ejected, the police then just as promptly dealing with the matter."



    Despite efforts by some to portray the event in a different light beforehand, local resident and organiser Ruby Jones made clear that it was always a local affair, commenting:



    "We are separate from the official BLM organisation, we are just a group of local residents who wanted to stand up for equality and give a platform to other locals who wanted to share their thoughts and experiences."



    Cllr Myers says that he believes the MP's comments only feed into attempts to stoke division in the town:



    "Damien Moore can try to condemn one event and not the other but I'm heartened that the vast majority on both "sides" actually respected the views of the other and ensured that the day passed peacefully."



    "I think both the protestors and the veterans did Southport proud by doing so. As did the police who handled it really well. They also contacted me afterwards to say that having the stewards was certainly beneficial, so those volunteers did their bit too."



    "The testimony I heard at the event from black people of all ages who live in this town has given me a far better understanding of how many residents here have a totally different experience to myself based solely on the colour of their skin. That has to change."



    "Judging from the local MP's comments, I'd suggest an apology from him for his crass handling of this matter is a good place to start."
      

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  4. Toodles McGinty says:18/06/2020 09:51 AM
    It's a fair comment. You can't berate one group of people for gathering during a pandemic, and not another.

    If the only reason you take a stand against them is purely for public health concerns, that is. I was there and saw both groups. I understand the reasons for both groups attending. Only one made any attempt to stop the spread of the virus by wearing masks.

    If there is a different agenda at play, perhaps Moore could address it?

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  6. Username2016 says:18/06/2020 09:59 AM
    I think in spirit of transparency the “community contributor” could have said in title “demands local labour councillor” as in this context feels like a continuation of the other stories to battle with the local MP.

    Is this article the place “where he’s been told” also?

    Finally, and I am starting to lose respect for Cllr Myers it’s a bit too much spin to point out his contradiction without the quote to let the reader decide for themselves whether it’s a direct contribution as Damien actually said

    Had the BLM demonstration not been planned, I am confident that our veterans would not have felt the need to attend and defend their memorial from would be opportunists and they have my full support
    Personally I think the BLM visibility is important, especially educating that BLM does not mean that all lives don’t matter, however whether you support the protest or not it’s disappointing if our local councillors are appearing to create political capital from it to help better their cause, it may not be intentional but the stream of articles of late feels like anything is up for being a political football.

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  8. gnalist says:18/06/2020 10:43 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Username2016 View Post
    I think in spirit of transparency the “community contributor” could have said in title “demands local labour councillor” as in this context feels like a continuation of the other stories to battle with the local MP.

    Is this article the place “where he’s been told” also?

    Finally, and I am starting to lose respect for Cllr Myers it’s a bit too much spin to point out his contradiction without the quote to let the reader decide for themselves whether it’s a direct contribution as Damien actually said



    Personally I think the BLM visibility is important, especially educating that BLM does not mean that all lives don’t matter, however whether you support the protest or not it’s disappointing if our local councillors are appearing to create political capital from it to help better their cause, it may not be intentional but the stream of articles of late feels like anything is up for being a political football.

    Hi there - it's abundantly clear who is saying what in the article, so not sure what your quibble is about says local labour councillor etc.

    As to the quote you've selected - the point is that still does not explain how you can damn one gathering on public health grounds and not the other - which is why it wasn't quoted.

    The MP has already put this widely out there, on his social media and it was also featured prominently in the Champion yesterday, for instance - I am responding to, not regurgitating, his message and have provided plenty of context.

    So, feel free to lose respect as you see fit - this needed challenging and it's challenged on the basis of the inherent contradiction in the approaches to the two gatherings.

    Also, I was happy to get simply try and help improve matters on the day on a non-political basis - actually getting out there and doing something about the situation.

    (I'd have also been very happy not putting out something involving the local MP again for a bit, even if the last one did get results you claimed it wouldn't)

    The MP, however, then decided to make his quite astonishing distinction and attack and so I responded as someone who not only attended and tried to help with the safety side of things but also to represent those residents who were complaining. That's my role. If you don't like it, well, sorry but I actually think there are important points being raised here.

    Am heartened to see though that you think that BLM visibility is important. We agree on that.

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  10. said says:18/06/2020 11:07 AM
    It is obvious that the excuse being used over this issue is the virus outbreak. A brief mention on this is that a small group of the BLM organisers were using masks, but the vast majority of the supporters were not. There was very little evidence of social distancing among any of the Patriots, the BLM or the Police.

    The objections would appear to be that BLM protest groups are unwelcome in the UK. This is a reasonable objection to make. The UK due to its Commonwealth connections is the least 'racist' of a huge number of global countries. This has been reported on by many overseas people and part of the reason why so many travel to the UK.

    Too many events are labelled 'racist' when in reality they are attributed to other causes. If large numbers of immigrants settle into poorer UK areas and the less well off white British people complain that they are finding local school and medical services difficult to obtain because of the great demand - the white people are labelled 'racist' when it has obviously nothing to do with race. Or when a White woman raised concerns about crime and immigration to Gordon Brown - she was called a 'bigoted woman' These examples are elaborated on in the media creating a vision of Britain being a 'racist' country. Nothing is further from the truth. At a Commons Educational Committee meeting an Ofsted Inspector raised the concern that white working class students are being overlooked because they have less representation than the ethnic groups.

    Too much race awareness tends to create division rather than inclusion, that is the real reason why BLM protests are not welcome in the UK.

    Those who accuse others for their lack of understanding - should first address their own misconceptions.

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  12. gnalist says:18/06/2020 11:51 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by said View Post
    It is obvious that the excuse being used over this issue is the virus outbreak. A brief mention on this is that a small group of the BLM organisers were using masks, but the vast majority of the supporters were not. There was very little evidence of social distancing among any of the Patriots, the BLM or the Police.

    The objections would appear to be that BLM protest groups are unwelcome in the UK. This is a reasonable objection to make. The UK due to its Commonwealth connections is the least 'racist' of a huge number of global countries. This has been reported on by many overseas people and part of the reason why so many travel to the UK.

    Too many events are labelled 'racist' when in reality they are attributed to other causes. If large numbers of immigrants settle into poorer UK areas and the less well off white British people complain that they are finding local school and medical services difficult to obtain because of the great demand - the white people are labelled 'racist' when it has obviously nothing to do with race. Or when a White woman raised concerns about crime and immigration to Gordon Brown - she was called a 'bigoted woman' These examples are elaborated on in the media creating a vision of Britain being a 'racist' country. Nothing is further from the truth. At a Commons Educational Committee meeting an Ofsted Inspector raised the concern that white working class students are being overlooked because they have less representation than the ethnic groups.

    Too much race awareness tends to create division rather than inclusion, that is the real reason why BLM protests are not welcome in the UK.

    Those who accuse others for their lack of understanding - should first address their own misconceptions.
    I was so hopeful this was a new leaf for you "Marvin" when reading your first comment but then after that you just lied through your teeth.

    The large majority at the BLM gathering had masks - of those that didn't I personally handed out about 30 to people who either asked for them or where asked to wear them. As such, I felt safer there than when shopping. Only a couple refused - one being the rightwing idiot who then within minutes tried to start a kick off in the crowd.

    I realise that your support for the BNP makes you feel compelled to make up stuff this but it is really just that.

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  14. Toodles McGinty says:18/06/2020 12:29 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by said View Post
    It is obvious that the excuse being used over this issue is the virus outbreak. A brief mention on this is that a small group of the BLM organisers were using masks, but the vast majority of the supporters were not. There was very little evidence of social distancing among any of the Patriots, the BLM or the Police.
    There are photos of the BLM protesters all over the news section on here. Most are wearing masks. Can you see a single mask on the photo below? And why are only one side 'Patriots'? What indicates the protesters aren't patriots?

    If it isn't about public health, then Moore needs to state exactly what his post was about.


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  16. donkey22 says:18/06/2020 01:02 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by said View Post
    It is obvious that the excuse being used over this issue is the virus outbreak. A brief mention on this is that a small group of the BLM organisers were using masks, but the vast majority of the supporters were not. There was very little evidence of social distancing among any of the Patriots, the BLM or the Police.

    The objections would appear to be that BLM protest groups are unwelcome in the UK. This is a reasonable objection to make. The UK due to its Commonwealth connections is the least 'racist' of a huge number of global countries. This has been reported on by many overseas people and part of the reason why so many travel to the UK.

    Too many events are labelled 'racist' when in reality they are attributed to other causes. If large numbers of immigrants settle into poorer UK areas and the less well off white British people complain that they are finding local school and medical services difficult to obtain because of the great demand - the white people are labelled 'racist' when it has obviously nothing to do with race. Or when a White woman raised concerns about crime and immigration to Gordon Brown - she was called a 'bigoted woman' These examples are elaborated on in the media creating a vision of Britain being a 'racist' country. Nothing is further from the truth. At a Commons Educational Committee meeting an Ofsted Inspector raised the concern that white working class students are being overlooked because they have less representation than the ethnic groups.

    Too much race awareness tends to create division rather than inclusion, that is the real reason why BLM protests are not welcome in the UK.

    Those who accuse others for their lack of understanding - should first address their own misconceptions.
    What a vile disgrace you are. The nonsense you normally write on here, if nothing else is laughable. This torrent of verbal diarrhoea shows just how low you can stoop.

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  18. Username2016 says:18/06/2020 01:45 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by gnalist View Post
    Hi there - it's abundantly clear who is saying what in the article, so not sure what your quibble is about says local labour councillor etc.
    There’s too many “community contributions” from local politicians that actually are mostly divisive statements to improve one parties position over another. It used to be a Lib Dem thing predominantly but now Labour seem to be in on it. My concern here is our local parties first motive appears to be how to make another party look bad rather than the interest of the electorate. May be not true but appearance is there still.
    As to the quote you've selected - the point is that still does not explain how you can damn one gathering on public health grounds and not the other - which is why it wasn't quoted.
    if you’d put the actual quote and look at it from a non partisan matter he’s actually said due to covid he does not want the protest to happen but as it did happen he understands why they veterans chose to make sure the monument was protected, of which I’m sure you will agree some were there to do that. So it’s more a “would rather this didn’t happen but if it does happen I support something else happening”, unfortunately does not have as much of a political impact.

    Also, I was happy to get simply try and help improve matters on the day on a non-political basis - actually getting out there and doing something about the situation.
    very good, good to see something being done proactively.

    (I'd have also been very happy not putting out something involving the local MP again for a bit, even if the last one did get results you claimed it wouldn't)
    what result did you get?

  19. gnalist says:18/06/2020 02:34 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Username2016 View Post
    There’s too many “community contributions” from local politicians that actually are mostly divisive statements to improve one parties position over another. It used to be a Lib Dem thing predominantly but now Labour seem to be in on it. My concern here is our local parties first motive appears to be how to make another party look bad rather than the interest of the electorate. May be not true but appearance is there still.


    if you’d put the actual quote and look at it from a non partisan matter he’s actually said due to covid he does not want the protest to happen but as it did happen he understands why they veterans chose to make sure the monument was protected, of which I’m sure you will agree some were there to do that. So it’s more a “would rather this didn’t happen but if it does happen I support something else happening”, unfortunately does not have as much of a political impact.



    very good, good to see something being done proactively.



    what result did you get?
    If you are referring to the other site re. the community contributor tag they put on stuff... firstly, I've written to them in the past saying they should declare all of the contributors - Secondly, a v. important distinction is that our stuff has attributed quotes etc, so you can see where it's from.

    Next, sorry but if you (as in the MP) are using public health as your grounds then it's no excuse to say if they hadn't done this they wouldn't have done that - two wrongs not making a right and all that. Either you castigate both or neither, you certainly do not denigrate one and say the other has your "full support" - it is palpable nonsense and if you can't see the inherrent contradiction in it then I'm quite astonished.

    Also, if you take the whole of his post instead of trying to cherry pick a bit as you have there is a total difference in the way the two gatherings are treated by him - which as I say under a public health argument is nonsense. It's that simple.

    You can try and justify it as much as you like but if you are using public health as the reason to attack one gathering you must do the same to the other or face questions and calls to apologise, as he is doing.

    Cheers, one tries :)

    The result re. the funding is listed on that article. I put a link on there. Was a just side reference to show that actually challenging him on stuff can get results. Certainly not looking to get stuck into that again, we moved on :)

  20. Username2016 says:18/06/2020 03:24 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by gnalist View Post
    If you are referring to the other site re. the community contributor tag they put on stuff... firstly, I've written to them in the past saying they should declare all of the contributors
    I’d be interested if any of the parties would be interested in submitting a motion to the council for a transparent local council in which councillors need to declare that they are submitting an article (or if on behalf of).

    Sefton council clearly has problems with the behaviour of some of its members on social media that have been well reported but never answered so given they are representing the electorate it’s important to know what they are doing in political articles on social media and which stories are on behalf of a councillor or party.

    That would be a tangible improvement in my view and the objections would be very interesting.

  21. gnalist says:18/06/2020 03:53 PM
    Am not really sure it has the power to do that tbh, I'd be surprised if it did? I'd certainly think it doesn't have the facilities to police it... but I agree, if it could - the objections would be fascinating :)

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  23. Username2016 says:18/06/2020 04:44 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by gnalist View Post
    Am not really sure it has the power to do that tbh, I'd be surprised if it did? I'd certainly think it doesn't have the facilities to police it... but I agree, if it could - the objections would be fascinating :)
    I’m sure there’s enough adults in the council to take a vote on whether if posting on a political matter it’s in the public interest to know if submitted by a councillor or party. Be very interested which councillors had reasons to not agree with that.

  24. Username2016 says:18/06/2020 06:20 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by gnalist View Post
    Am not really sure it has the power to do that tbh, I'd be surprised if it did? I'd certainly think it doesn't have the facilities to police it... but I agree, if it could - the objections would be fascinating :)
    it may be possible as sometime ago this was unanimously accepted in a similar vein

    It means that any councillor caught or proven to have taken part in malicious trolling will not be allowed to stand for election, and will also be removed from their position on the council.
    https://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/n...ll-6599215.amp

    so although submitting stories is not trolling council may have appetite for upholding some standards if agreed.

  25. local says:18/06/2020 07:32 PM
    The BLM campaign has had some results already despite the obvious health risks of their demonstrations.

    Managing it from now on is so important so as not to alienate people.

    Black lives do matter and so did Georges.

    His legacy is some useful change but the knuckle draggers who don't want to take the other communities with them will only cause division and collapse of the impetus.

    All lives matter for without the majority feeling involved there will be no firm foundations for permanent change.

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