Dracula in charge of the blood bank?

When I look to excellence in terms of working with immigration & immigrants do I look to the Unity Centre (aka Akhtar Towers) or Rotherham’s Diversity Forum, or indeed the political leadership of the Asian-Pakistani community in Rotherham?

No more than I look to Roger Stone, who having shown no history of interest in immigration or expertise in the subject (look to his Council web page to get my point) suddenly he ends of as “Rapporteur” for the Committee of the Regions group studying Roma Integration Strategies.

Yet these form our welcoming party to the incoming Roma. They all seem to be gaining significant benefits from the Roma immigration, benefits in the in the form of grants or in the Dodgers case his beloved travel perks.

Then of course there is the increased demand for property rentals that will please our landlord class.

When I look to Rotherham I do not see a town that has in the past cracked the issues of integration of immigrant communities. Indeed I don’t see a town leadership, white or Pakistani that has even decided whether integration is the objective and if so what it looks like.

In the annual reports of RDF & the Unity Centre you will not see clear objectives, or measures of evaluating their success. There are no fine statements of intention and vision for a better world. RDF simply refers to “keeping their sponsors happy” as its measure of success, whatever that means.

They are organisations that seem to exist for the sake of existing or as some allege to provide jobs for family and friends of leading local politicians..

They have not delivered excellence in integration of the Pakistani community, what we have seen instead is parallel development. That is a separatism that leaves too many in the white and Pakistani communities deeply suspicious of each other. Many young people of Pakistani roots alienated and confused by both their role in British society and their elders efforts to keep them culturally back in Mirpur.

In fairness much of this separatism results from the racism and bigotry of hostile elements in the white community dating back to the arrival of the Mirpuri Pakistani community 50 years age.

But the leadership of the Pakistani Community has not helped. Many have gained by using the biraderi system to bring in the votes and give them power, by encouraging distrust of the white kafir to keep the biraderi together and the community silent & fearful. Real integration, for example a broad education of Pakistan children and encouragement to vote as they think, not as instructed, is a big threat to the traditional leadership.

I have to ask are the Unity Centre and the Rotherham Diversity Forum really the welcoming party that we want meet the newly arrived Roma community? Have these groups, their Board members and the traditional Pakistani community leadership contributed to creating a diverse but integrated Rotherham society where we share common values and aspirations while respecting each others differences?

Methinks not.

While I can appreciate that this as a tough job the reality is that white and Muslim Councillors have failed to show vision & leadership on the issue of integration, and both Unity Centre & RDF are very much the symbols of that failed leadership.

As we know funding them reflects the lazy and ignorant approach. It is simply a buy off, a bit of Danegeld. Pay Shaukat & Akhtars family a few quid and they’ll give you an easier life & maybe bring in a few votes ..in politics it is referred to as ”being realistic”.

Wil Ewart

Previously: More signs of community anger and concern

All in one place: The Jahangir Akhtar Files

9 thoughts on “Dracula in charge of the blood bank?

  1. http://cor.europa.eu/en/about/Pages/key-facts.aspx This page states the key facts of COR.
    It states its members are touch with their electorates’ concerns, and speak for their voters! Yes Roger is icertainly in touch with the concerns of the electorate! Most people would prefer Stone to be in Rotherham addressing the many, serious problems this towns has, rather then jaunting around Eastern Europe at their expense! if he was in touch with voters’ concerns he wouldn’t be trying to fascilitate these aliens entry into the town as most people see the Roma as a major problem and don’t want them here!

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    • Malcontent,
      More key-facts:
      Cllr. Stone’s 5 year term as an Alternate on COR began June 2009. 5 + 9 = June 2014.
      COR’s meetings take place in Brussels.

      Cllr Stone’s trips to COR during period April 2012 – April 2013
      Sun 22-Apr-12 to Mon 23-Apr-12
      Mon 11-Jun-12 to Wed 13-Jun-12
      (being in a different time zone makes it necessary to travel over the night before a meeting, tho’ it is do-able in a day via eurostar if you start from London).
      ____________________
      IMHO Wil’s piece was far more about the role of the RDF & the Unity Centre than it was about Cllr. Stone’s infrequent trips to Brussels.

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  2. R/R: He did make the point that Stone having shown no past interest,or expertise in imigration suddenly ends of as “Rapporteur” for the Committee of the Regions group studying Roma Integration Strategies for COR and also as a board member of Migration Yorkshire he has, on their behalf, made many visits to eastern Europe and visited Spain, once again to study the Roma people! MY have confirmed this! My point was that COR state that “its members are in touch with their electorates’ concerns”. If this was true Stone would be doing all he could to keep these people out of this town not facilitating their entry against the wishes of the majority of people of the town! Whoever he’s in touch with it’s certainly not the electorate!

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    • Hi Mal,
      we are hardly in disagreement, and certainly not about Cllr Stone’s and other councillors’s jaunts outside UK.
      Look at the comments I made on an earlier piece by Wil.
      https://rotherhampolitics.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/advertiser-jollies-story-deconstructed/
      ___________________
      I should also have added then the trips taken on behave of this initiative:
      http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/info/662/town_twinning/226/international_work_and_strategy/4
      Such as this one:

      I love this photograph, it has everything! Please click.
      If you are wondering what they are about to unveil, well it’s a Doctor Who telephone box, and even the S. Yorkshire police brass band was in attendance for the ceremony.
      _____________________

      But just what is Cllr. Stone doing that is “facilitating Roma to come to Rotherham”?
      My understanding is that the reason why S. Yorkshire has a relatively large Roma community is that :
      1. Brown’s government didn’t put transitional arrangements in place when Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Cyprus and Malta joined the EU in May 2004.
      2. Local housing is relatively cheap and there are lots of low cost rental properties available in some areas.
      I can see that with South Yorkshire now having a relatively large and settled Roma community it may well become a “place to migrate to” for Roma from Romania and Bulgaria when the transitional arrangements for those countries cease Jan 1, 2014.
      But I just can’t see what Cllr. Stone can do about it.

      What am I missing ?

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  3. RR: Don’t wish to be pedantic, but it was Blair’s government in 2004. Though your point is a valid one, however Migration Yorkshire have confirmed in writing that the many trips he has undertaken on their behalf were part of a project to study the Roma people and the problems they experience integrating into the countries they are already living in. Presumably this is so when they come here the 10 councils that comprise MY will be able to facilitate their entry and acceptance into the region. Of course, after January 1st 2014 he can’t stop these unwanted aliens from coming here! “But surely it is obvious that by making these frequent trips to Eastern Europe, he as leader of RMBC, is highlighting Rotherham as a choice destination for the Roma!” One of the criteria for a town to be designated an immigrant dispersal town is that there should be ample suitable housing! That’s why Shaukat Ali, Jahangir Akhtar, and of course not forgetting Lord Nazir Ahmed who has several properties in the Page Hall/ Firth Park areas plus his B&B in Doncaster, have gone into the lucrative property rental market! Their view is that some one’s going to make money out this situation so it might as well be us!

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  4. RR: I accept you have a greater knowledge of the asylum racket…… er sorry I meant service , than I have and I have no wish to go over the semantics of economic migrants versus asylum seekers once again. Though a glaringly obvious example regarding the misnomer of these labels was the recently Tizer reported case of a family of Tamil “asylum seekers” now residing in Brinsworth. Of course, I accept many people in Sri Lanka have had a terrible time and witnessed appalling atrocities. However, the Tamils originate from the mainland of India and surely if these people were genuinely seeking asylum that’s where they would want to go. Yet they have flown right across Asia and Europe to get sanctuary in Brinsworth! I simply cannot accept they are genuine asylum seekers! Just as Akhtar as a mere taxi driver is thriving on this situation, the following shows how a lowly seller of fish and chips has prospered:

    Lord Nazir Ahmed’s Interests Declaration Posted on March 30, 2013 by Lord Ahmed
    Category 1: Paid Directorships
    Blackhorn Properties Limited (property development company)
    Redbrick Homes Limited (property development company)
    Director, Newbond Investments Limited (real estate; remuneration from Reliance UK Border Agency Escorting (see category 2) is received through this company)
    Category 2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc: House of Lord’s attendance expenses
    Business development Owner and Manager, Kilnhurst Business Park, Rotherham
    Chancellor, British Institute of Technology and E-Commerce (expenses and loss of earnings only, for attending meetings and conferences)
    Paid Adviser on Diversity, Reliance UKBA Escorting (provides escorting services both in-country and overseas to Mecca on behalf of UK Border Agency) (until July 2013)
    Category 4: Shareholdings (a)
    Owner of Kilnhurst Business Park, Glasshouse Road, Rotherham
    Newbond Investments Limited (real estate)
    Category 5: Land and property
    Income from Bed & Breakfast Guest House in Doncaster
    Kilnhurst Business Park, Rotherham

    Freehold interest in, and ground rent investments from, 12 properties in Sheffield at Cammell Road, Firth Park, Sheffield and Granby Road, Firth Park, Sheffield

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