On 10 Aug 2010 at 12:24am FieldFairy wrote:
I feel this David Smith story has now got out of hand. As much as I like a good squabble this is now ending up demeaning us all. I am sure if the people met in person then things would be resolved, or at least stopped from festering like this. Neither what Mr Smith wrote nor the reaction to it is productive. Is there anyone out there who is a good adjudicator who would be willing to host a public debate about this? Can anyone offer a venue? Maybe Norman, if you have some time you could organise something. Or one of the council? Polly if you're down for the weekend? Even David Dimbleby, you could make the drive from Polegate.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 12:31am Me wrote:
The damage is done . . David is the Racist, His lovely wife and children are lovely - Welcome to Lewes and F,,K Off David
On 10 Aug 2010 at 12:42am Southover Man wrote:
FieldFairy, please explain why our comments are demeaning us all. This forum seems to me to consist of the many people in Lewes who are livid at being called racist in a national newspaper with no recourse and are simply getting off their chest how angry and upset they are. What do you propose the subject of this debate would be? Surely not 'Is Lewes Racist?'. We all know the town isn't. How about 'Is it acceptable for the Sunday Times Magazine to print this inflammatory rubbish'?
On 10 Aug 2010 at 1:16am Me wrote:
Its not colour or creed that bothers us, Its the act of an individual that does.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 7:17am Me (the real one) wrote:
post under your own name
On 10 Aug 2010 at 8:45am Me wrote:
But Me is a name that many people automatically choose....basically it is a common forum name....and you don't own it
On 10 Aug 2010 at 9:19am Down and Out wrote:
FieldFairy - to the extent that I suspect the journalist is a great deal more interested in self-publicity than in honestly addressing racism, and will doubtless be loving the current furore on here, you're right - it's now been done to death.
But I don't think a public debate is appropriate, because I don't think this self-aggrandising idiot's views merit one.
After all, he would be in a position, to write up the 'results' of the debate in the national press. You or I would not.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 9:32am dfl&lewesb&bcouple wrote:
Following the article in the Sunday Times, I would venture to add that Mr James Smith is a fairly recent newcomer to Lewes and as with many people who are migrants to many locations, whether in the UK or abroad, there is a fairly lengthy period of adaptation to a new life, one cannot expect to feel one belongs overnight. I imagine the constant discussions over the kitchen table questioning their decision to live here is precisely because they do not have a sense of belonging yet. It takes a long time to feel part of a community, more so for parents than their children, who often settle in with friends quite quickly, as I believe his children have. It is easy to blame others for your own dissatisfactions and anxieties, but let me assure you it will not win you friends in a close community to accuse your children's teachers, friends and acquaintances of being inherently racist.
I am sure that Mr James Smith is concerned about the future of his children, afterall, he moved them away from multicultural London to live in a predominantly white provincial town where they have had the benefit of good schools, liberal minded, middle class friends, who have welcomed them into their community.
I know of them as a family as my children attend the same Primary School. In my experience, there has been nothing but thoughtful teaching of racial and religious diversity, long before their family arrived. As for the perceived racism that he believes his son to have suffered, some children exhibit challenging behaviour which can include physical aggression/verbal abuse and under a positive policy of inclusion for those children with special needs, their behaviour is managed well at the school. The teachers at the school are not racist if they tell a child off for bad behaviour, likewise, in a small community, it is one of the many benefits that one's own children are subject to a ticking-off by another parent if they witness bad behaviour. If more parents intervened in these situations, children may would learn that they can't get away with it because their own parents aren't around to witness them punching or kicking other kids without any provocation.
Perhaps Mr James Smith should look at their problems a little closer to home.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 9:43am The cat's mother wrote:
The article was clearly poorly researched and sensationalist and as a result I can understand why people feel angered by its content and indeed at the fact it got past the editorial desk of a broadsheet newspaper. That said, I do think that some of the issues raised were valid and worthy of national debate (e.g. use of language, and differences in educational performance based on race/class) Such a shame that they were pinned to such spurious/anecdotal 'evidence' on a local level. This was unfair and unfortunate for Lewes. I do think though that most discerning people will see the article for what it was - a badly executed book promotion. The fact that he dismissed our fantastic local secondary school (Priory was deemed 'outstanding' by OFSTED after their very recent inspection) as 'moribund' says it all.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 3:36pm Ps209 wrote:
As a former (recent) pupil I found the description of priory very accurate what a sad dead school, I'm so glad i live in lewes and do partake in many activities around the local area but lewes does suffer from many of the problems he raises in his articles.
On 11 Aug 2010 at 9:46am Sair wrote:
Oh and check out Balls of Steel on CH4, there is a comic/actor who plays a character called Black Millitant, this second rate writer of the Times article is the white version of this comedy character. Watch on Youtube and you will see my point.
On 11 Aug 2010 at 9:53am jonnyboy wrote:
Found an interesting critique of David Smith's rant. Google "Lewes Racist" and read The Idle Pen Pushers comments. Seems to cover all the salient points.
On 11 Aug 2010 at 7:26pm My Bleeding Heart wrote:
That's a great article, jonnyboy.