The top brass on Southend Council seem to be remarkably sanguine about one of their number consorting with the far right. Despite multiple requests, Tory leader Nigel Holdcroft is yet to outline what action he will be taking after after Scrapbook exposed his colleague Cllr Blaine Robin for attending an organising meeting of the English Defence League.

Holdcroft’s silence is surprising given the damage to community relations in Essex and elsewhere by the EDL, a racist organisation linked to football hooliganism, Northern Irish paramilitaries and other extremist groups across Europe.

For those that missed it on Monday, here is the video of EDL leader Tommy Robinson describing how “proud” he is to have been introduced to Cllr Robin, who he describes as “the first politician I’ve ever met that understands the feeling of his community”:

Rather than explain himself and apologise, Cllr Blaine, meanwhile, is bleating on Facebook that he is being “bullied” by left-wing bloggers, while telling anyone who will listen that he went to the EDL “social event” because he “was curious”. The unfortunate reality is that he had been mixing with the EDL online and offline for some time before he attended their rally.

Facing the voters next year in his ultra-marginal Kursaal ward, rumours of his possible deselection are already swirling off the Essex coast.

  1. Freedom of speech and freedom of democracy to do attend these meetings. That is why democracy is sometimes described as a sheep and two wolves deciding what to have for dinner.

    Q.) Where should we draw the line?

    Q.) Is democracy flawed if it “lets” (i.e. votes) these people, and similar groups, into power?

    Q.) How do you deal with such groups if they ever have a democratic mandate to govern?

    It would be great if this started a debate such as this as opposed to the usual left wing/right wing tit for tat we are so accustomed to.

  2. @Michael Roberts

    The EDL have never got any votes, and never will do, and do not have a ‘democratic mandate’ to do anything because they’re not a political party. Unless you’re referring to the Tories…?

  3. Why shouldn’t a black man attend an EDL meeting?

    As far as I can tell Islam isn’t and has never been a race, so how it can be described as a race hate meeting is baffling. It’s pretty clear the EDL stand against Islamic extremism, so again why shouldn’t a black man attend, are YOU a racist who assumes a black man has to be left wing.

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