Lewes Forum thread

Go on, tell 'em what you think

Lewes Forum New message

is lewes racist?

On 9 Aug 2010 at 4:06pm majestic wrote:
oo-er - I don't know what to think. We are a family with a mixed race son who are thinking of moving to lewes from brighton. But now I read the Times article, followed by the posts on this blog. What should I think? the article did jolt me and scare me off, but perhaps wrongly. I'd like to hear from more non-white people on this forum - what do you think?
On 9 Aug 2010 at 4:13pm Wibble wrote:
Didn't you read the article? There are no non-whites in Lewes, and all the whites are members of the BNP.
Seriously, if you're the sort of person who gives any credence to the Murdoch gutter press, you're beyond help. Why don't you do something outlandish, like get on a bus, come here, go round a few pubs and shops and see what you find?
I've heard of several racist and homophobic assaults in Brighton, but none in Lewes. Make of that what you will.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 4:36pm Plod wrote:
I am 'old bill' in Lewes and think I have only dealt with three racist incidents over the last six years ( and that's not because we never go out of the nick as some of you old grumps on here suggest)
Lewes is far from racist. It is a very pleasant town with many honest, hardworking and open minded people choosing it as home.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 4:41pm majestic wrote:
Wibble's hostile tone is very weird. For your information I have been to Lewes numerous times and that is why we are thinking of moving there.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 4:50pm Toque wrote:
I've lived in Leicester, Warwickshire, Devon, Brighton, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and in two foreign countries. I'd say that Lewes is as liberal and open as anywhere I've lived previously, probably more so. Please don't believe the racialist plonker in the Times.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 4:55pm Southover Man wrote:
Please majestic, as Wibble says, just come to Lewes as find out for yourself. If you want your family to become part of the community, it's a great town. You can't find out about a place by reading it in a newspaper or on the internet. You might have noticed in the Magazine article that not once does the author mention attending, doing or being a part of anything in Lewes. If he was involved in the life of the community he could never have been so readily prejudiced against it. As for more comments from non-whites, it's true it's a predominantly white town (to be expected), but there have been a lot of comments today - there's a chance you've already read comments from people who simply haven't declared their ethnic origins.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 4:55pm Wibble wrote:
Is it any wonder a few people are feeling a tad hostile? One idiot with a massive chip on his shoulder uses a position of influence to write a wholly biased and unrepresentative article, largely because very good schools are not run in the exact way he would wish them to be. Ignore the article.
For what it's worth, I'm white and I moved here from Brighton six years ago, and I'm in no doubt that your child would experience less, if any, racist abuse in Lewes than they would in Brighton. I know of two mixed race kids who live in Brighton but attend Priory and are entirely happy with their experience.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 5:15pm Trevor wrote:
Just had a look at photos of David James Smith and was surprised to discover he's a middle aged white man who makes a comfortable living writing for the right wing, racist, misogynist Murdoch press.
Me thinks the problem is class not race.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 5:23pm Toque wrote:
According to CASA Lewes is more socially cohesive than his beloved Fulham.

And both Brixton and Fulham have high levels of violence against the person.

I'll take Lewes thanks.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 6:13pm Vox Populi wrote:
I've been pondering a couple of thoughts,
1. Does David Smith run that jewellery shop next to the Abbey National?
2. Has David Smith committed a criminal act under the "Incitement to Racial Hated"? IMO he certainly seems to have distributed inflammatory and racist material to the public and has been inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group (in this case the residents of Lewes), for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 7:12pm Decent Citizen wrote:
With you on that Vox Populi. He has mentioned names,did he have their permission? If you see my post, I am livid. I have lived here many years, as my parents and theirs also did. How dare this person besmirch the name of Lewes for his own ends? I would like to see in the Times, a retraction of his scurrilous piece of Sh*** he has written. What an evil,nasty individual he is. Those poor children having a father like that!
On 9 Aug 2010 at 7:24pm Hoodie Hugger wrote:
"I would like to see in the Times, a retraction of his scurrilous piece of Sh*** he has written."
Totally agree with you, Decent Citizen. We phoned The Times today to invite them to the town to talk to local people, get our side of the story, that sort of thing; they refused, saying that as the article was in the Sunday Times Magazine, it had nothing to do with them. So we tried calling the Sunday Times, and got no answer at their number.
If no retraction is given, I suggest we kick up a s*** storm - BBC South East might run with it.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 7:36pm Pickup the Pieces wrote:
As a teacher of the supposedly poor secondary school, I am incensed at this article and fear for his children when the fall out from it inevitably gets referred to by other children.
I have spent hours SUPPORTING HIS children. Has he not contemplated the negative impact that this article will have on Lewes, his family and friends? And who will be expected to pick up the pieces in school? Yes, I am personally offended. If he doesn't appeciate all the good that this Lewes Secondary School has to offer ALL pupils then he should remove his children immediately. We are a comprehensive school that reflects the local community - that is: we reflect those intellects who go on to great things...those who need extra help...those who are perfectly behaved...those who are anti-social...and I ALWAYS try to treat pupils equally, with care and professionalism that is required in this day and age of teaching. (A difficult task right now!)
I have respect for all the pupils & their families in our school and yes, although we all can do better, I personally feel that this article has driven a wedge between this family and the school now. An issue that I certainly have NEVER considered to be an obstacle in my lessons has now been raised as a potential minefield.
Along with other staff, I teach the pupils about the negative impact of racism; the impact of low aspirations; the emotional stress from unkindness.....but with society openly damning young people and allowing truly judgemental articles such as these, it only serves to undermine anything we do. The biggest problem I have ever had (in many years of teaching) is that of the PARENTS! It is ALWAYS someone elses fault - not theirs!
What your local schools need is SUPPORT from you - not this attitude of blame and complain!
By the way - before you judge the local schools - go and teach there! See how fab the kids are, see what they can achieve, see how animated most of the staff are, see how hard the job is....and above all - think how lucky we are, as a community, to have the opportunities in Lewes that others rarely see. PRIORY SCHOOL & WALLANDS SCHOOL are fantastic institutions that always strive to do better. They allow our children to grow & learn in a safe environment. If you don't like it, then LEAVE!
On 9 Aug 2010 at 7:41pm Decent Citizen wrote:
I cannot tell you how angry this has made me today.I will, and have,been in touch with those you mention. I am looking into the legal side too. I have written on other threads, you may have seen them. He has done our town, his wife, and particularly his children, a terrible disservice. Are his children well behaved? Is this a smoke screen? Nobody will dare say anything? Who knows? Enough of this cr**, If you see my posts, you will see I worked at a school. If a kids naughty it"s naughty,none of this rubbish about colour.Ok rant over. GRRRRRRRRRRRR!
On 9 Aug 2010 at 8:01pm I dont live in lewes... wrote:
Further to Pickup the Piece's post... when you leave please don't slam the door behind you as it disturbs the local ambience that we all enjoy.
Thanxs in advance,
On 9 Aug 2010 at 9:49pm Leaf wrote:
In a word No Lewes is not racist, My family is of dual heritage or mixed race whatever way you want to put it. We have lived in Lewes for many years and can honestly say have never had any problems I cant belive he is talking about the same place its utter nonsense the problem is all in his owm mind. This has really saddend me. He should be ashamed of himself.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 10:02pm Decent Citizen wrote:
Quite so leaf. The man is an absolute monster.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 10:08pm Poppy Cock wrote:
DC's posts sum up my opinion too, thanks DC
On 9 Aug 2010 at 10:08pm Roly Mo wrote:
I sincerely hope that The Times receives plenty of letters on this issue. Leaf, could you possibly email what you have written over to them.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 10:51pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
Lewes should Boycott Murdoch press
On 9 Aug 2010 at 11:01pm MuttsNuts wrote:
David Smith the jeweller is not the same person who wrote this article
On 9 Aug 2010 at 11:01pm Decent Citizen wrote:
Oh I will believe me Brixtonbelle.
On 9 Aug 2010 at 11:07pm MuttsNuts wrote:
Is this David James Smith the England and Portsmouth Goalkeeper? if so I will boycott england.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 12:08am Me wrote:
His face pic is in the above
On 10 Aug 2010 at 12:12am Me wrote:
If link gets taken down I have the pdf file
On 10 Aug 2010 at 10:10am Osmium wrote:
Despite all the hoopla and hype around this story, I am of the opinion that the schools concerned now need to offer all of the available support to the children of the author and to ensure that they receive a quality well rounded education. I am shocked by the response by supposedly a teacher from one of the schools concerned [Pickup the Pieces] to quote 'If you don't like it, then LEAVE! Or 'he doesn't appreciate all the good that this Lewes Secondary School has to offer ALL pupils then he should remove his children immediately'
I am a school Governor and as a governor I would expect differences of opinion to occur form time to time, the fact that a teacher talks of doing things our way or no way vindicates some of the authors points in my opinion. If the author has 'driven a wedge' as the teacher implies, that is also in their heads and should have nothing to do with the teacher. Another quote from Pickup the Pieces says 'but with society openly damning young people and allowing truly judgemental articles such as these, it only serves to undermine anything we do'
no it does not and in a democracy there will always be a difference of opinion.
This teacher may feel they deserve a medal for teaching and I often take my hat off to teachers, but this teacher needs some time for maturity.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 10:42am Leaf wrote:
Yes Roly I will be making my feelings known to the paper. This really has left a bad taste.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 10:45am Down and Out wrote:
Osmium - but would you not agree that it is wholly inappropriate for any parent to use the national press - without anonymity - to criticise their children's school, whilst their children are still there?
I've no idea whether 'Pick Up The Pieces' is genuinely a teacher or not, but if I was in their position I cannot imagine that I would reasonably be able to continue to carry out my work and easily set aside such criticism. For a teacher to put considerable time and care into the development of a child, only to be publicly denounced as a racist is just wrong.
Note that the author did not at any point in his article suggest that his kids may have exhibited challenging behaviour. Consider the possibility that it may be easier for someone in his position to shout 'Racist!' than to address any failings he may have as a parent.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 11:59am Down and Out wrote:
Let me put the last para another way as I didn't make the point in a particularly articulate way: all schoolchildren - mine included - occasionally cross boundaries and need to be reined in by the school. How is it now possible for any of the teachers involved to address discipline in any of the author's children, knowing that they may be written about in such a way?

I would seriously question whether it is even possible for those poor kids to continue at any school in Lewes from now on, such is the position that their father has created for them and their teachers.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 1:18pm Lewes Lawyer wrote:
Following down and outs post, if he does remove his kids from the school, it will no doubt be used as an example of moving them because of racist attiudes arther than his own narrowminded reverse prejudice.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 2:16pm louie wrote:
Man should be taken to the city wallls and strung up. Time to cleanse this town of him and many others. It is always outsiders who think they should interfer. Go find your own hole and mind your own business. You are not wanted here
On 10 Aug 2010 at 2:19pm Osmium wrote:
Osmium - but would you not agree that it is wholly inappropriate for any parent to use the national press - without anonymity - to criticise their children's school, whilst their children are still there?
I agree with you down and out and I understand the fury that must be occurring amongst some at the school, they are only human. Personally if I had any gripes with said school, I would not plaster it in the national press. If the parent is a gobby nuisance, why should the kids suffer?
the point I am making is that the schools as professionals must rise above this, and work towards ensuring that all of the kids are getting an outstanding education
On 10 Aug 2010 at 2:39pm Helen Price wrote:
I have written a detailed but succinct email to the editor of the Sunday Times magazine. I will keep this blog informed of the response. I too was disappointed, saddened and angry by this article and believe it was nowhere near objective enough and certainly Mr Smith was making himself part of the problem not the solution. Watch this space.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 3:31pm Ps209 wrote:
louie and trevor you seem to be an example of the narrow minded backward thinking undertow the plauges lewes.
On 10 Aug 2010 at 6:24pm An Earthling wrote:
the exaggerated responses to David Smith's excellent article really help to underpin his argument. I wonder whether some the correspondents in this forum have actually read what the guy has said about his family's experience of living amongst all you 'lovely' & 'liberally' minded people.
On 12 Aug 2010 at 12:10am Dickie wrote:
Does anyone have a pdf of the article?
On 12 Aug 2010 at 7:23pm Chuck wrote:
Earthling, I am pretty sure we have all read it. Forgetting the subject matter, it was one of the most badly written articles I have ever read, more worthy of The Sun than The Sunday Times. Sorry Earthling/David, must try harder, D-.
On 21 Aug 2010 at 7:54pm politicallyincorrect wrote:
Majestic, i think this idiot who wrote the column is one of those unfortunate individuals who goes through life trying to find fault with everything due to his own insecurities about... well everything. If you believe the ramblings of this poltically correct douche bag and cant make your own mind up of your own accord then please stay in Brighton, however if you actually want to go to Lewes then get on the train for the day, walk around and see for yourself what a nice, normal town it is.
On 5 Sep 2010 at 9:12am Earlgreylady wrote:
We are a family with mixed race children living in Lewes and attending Wallands school. People keep asking us what we think about it. From our experience, it's rubbish.
On 17 Sep 2010 at 3:15am Fraser wrote:
Just like any other town, the press or individual can often stigmatize, using fear words! Love those group think words! Murdocks pin cushions would love to devide a peaceful populace of any town or city; you can choose not to listen to the non poetic voice of money.

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