Thursday, August 09, 2007

Iain Dale, David Davis, Professor Keith and the Labour Apology

Iain Dale is getting on his high horse over the comments of one Professor Michael Keith, with regard to comments about the Sonali Greens housing block, a housing block that David Davis supposedly suggested should be "burned to the ground". Of course, David Davis is unlikely to have ever said those exact words, so lets take a look at what's actually going on here.

A little digging reveals the following New homes block is for 'Asians only', Sonali Green also gets a mention in this paper on Ghettoisation in London.

What David Davis actually said was:
"There would rightly be outrage if a council offered a whites-only housing block.

"I firmly believe that we should look to achieve integration rather than segregation in our society. This is the sort of thoughtless policy that feeds extremism."


Key to this is the fact that the development provides specialist services, halal meals, Bengali-speaking carers and Islamic praying facilities. These facilities are needed, since the residents in this block will largely be old Bengali's who speak little English and are unlikely to integrate further into British society.

Looking at this from the council's point of view, it would seem sensible to have a housing block with all residents who need the same set of specialist services in one place. This would be the most cost effective and practical way of providing the services.

David Davis may not have said what he Professor Keith suggested, but he does stand accused of opposing a council's practical measure for no reason other than to score a few political points all in the name of "integration".

UPDATE: A clarification (for Iains benefit), David Davis adopted a position that opposed Sonali Green a position he presumably stands by and has not taken back and has certainly not apologised for. Any apology from Prof. Keith should be phrased something along the lines of "I apologise for saying that David Davis said he wanted to see this development burnt down, it is clear now that he was merely opposed to the idea of the council providing the best possible services to Bengali Senior citizens.

citizenandreas [at] slick47 [dot] co [dot] uk

1 comment:

Iain Dale said...

I'm not sure I see the point of this post. You accuse DD of scoting political points (translation: giving a straight answer to a straight question) but you don't condemn your party colleague for slandering him by saying that he said it should be burnt down.

That's today's Labour Party for you, I guess.