A couple of days ago, the SKWAWKBOX covered the hideous abuse directed at the new Crewe Labour councillor Natasha Maroni, after she dared to challenge online comments by a racist, and the resulting threat of suspension that followed, accompanied by instructions to close down her social media accounts, which she refused to do.
That post appeared to stir something of a hornet’s nest. Various councillors – most of whom have apparently shown little interest in engaging with Councillor Maroni previously – have jumped into threads on Twitter and Facebook to attack the claimed threat of suspension and any suggestion that they have not been fully supportive, even though Councillor Maroni’s contributions to the discussion make it clear that this is exactly how she’s felt.
The SKWAWKBOX has not been exempt from attack. Some councillors have engaged in a civil way to ask for clarifications and this is welcome. Others have attempted to rubbish and attack not just that one story but its author and the blog generally. This is probably the ‘pick’ of the bunch so far:
If only it was accurate, this writer would be a lot richer than he is.
The author of that message – and of a series of tweets with an attempted intimidating tone – is also a councillor in Crewe, who presumably felt that this approach reflects well on him and the Labour party.
I’ll let the reader judge whether that is wise or ill-advised, but one hopes that Mr Bailey shows the same energy in combating local and online racists. Perhaps that’s a question his local electorate will ask next time he’s up for election.
In view of his and the general reaction, this author does not find it hard to attribute credibility to Councillor Maroni’s claim of feeling unwelcome and unsupported since her impressive win over her UKIP and Tory opponents in this month’s by-election.
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