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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

No Irish need apply

It's well known that the Sicilian Mafia are, amongst many other things, deeply racist. You only have to watch the Godfather to know that. And it seems that the Tameside branch share this characteristic.

At the full Council meeting on Valentine's Day (no massacre took place this time), Roy Oldham returned to a favourite subject of his - the state of Tameside's roads. He repeated his comments from two years ago that potholes were a 'traffic calming measure' (Oldham code for 'potential death traps for cyclists') and then laid the blame for this firmly on the shoulders of one company in particular. A witness to his comments has told us his comments were broadly as follows:

"Murphy's, the Irish builders, just come along, lay a load of tarmac, lay a wooden board down and start jumping up and down on the board to get the tarmac flat"

We presume Roy is referring to the local Civil Engineering firm from Audenshaw he is referring to. Whether the Proprietor is actually Irish or in fact had ancestors who once were (much like Oldham's brother-in-law, Mike Flynn) is irrelevant. Oldham is content to make defamatory, libellous and racist comments. And we can only presume that the other Councillors share his views, because none rose to challenge him.

Oldham conveniently forgets that large parts of the original industrial infrastructure of this land were built, at a horrendous cost, largely by (at the time Irish) migrant labour. Anti-Irish racism at that time used much of the same language, tone and caricatures as more modern-day racism does, when similarly applied to people who come here to do the jobs no-one else will do. It is still as offensive as it is ever was and also archaic, much like Tameside's Councillors.

Were the minutes of Council meetings as comprehensive as they should be, no doubt Tameside Racial Equality Council would have something to say to Mr Oldham.


Liam said...

What is interesting is that I have seen Murphy's doing a lot of road work across Tameside. A spat with Roy Oldham or a joke between good friends?

Roy Oldham said...