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to go to the press?

(73 Posts)
ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 13:37:33

I have received an email that was sent by a local councillor, complaining about immigration, and specifically 'ragheads'. WIBU to contact the press, as well as making a formal complaint?

quoteunquote Mon 29-Apr-13 14:03:46

Party Headquarters, Private Eye and the Guardian and the local bbc contact number is on the bottom of the local spotlight(what ever the regional news program is called in your area) .

Please do it. take screen shots and send them to the bbc and others.

Of course it's wrong even if he just forwarded it!

It rather depends on whether it was a mistake to send it to the mailing list though - he may have legitimately wanted to fwd an email inciting racial hatred to any number of people for legitimate reasons. If he intentionally passed it on to you (and/or any other member of the public) he needs the sack.

Agree about PE and the Guardian

MadBusLady Mon 29-Apr-13 14:05:54

I have some experience observing local politics and I would be very sceptical about this. It's a much more routinely dirty and vicious business than most people realise. How can you be so sure it's not a hoax?

If he genuinely forwarded something like this then yes, go to the press, he deserves everything he gets. But out of civil manners I would contact him/his party first and make sure he actually did press "forward". Nothing to stop you going to the press afterwards if you're at all dissatisfied with the answer.

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:09:34

I know for sure it was not a hoax. It was sent to a group of similarly positioned people from his account, and expresses in writing sentiments that he commonly expresses in person. It is 100% bona fide, I'm certain of that.

I'm reluctant to sent to his political party. What would that achieve?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:10:43

Sorry, was sent to other councillors, officers and some members of the public.

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:11:02

From personal email account.

mrsden Mon 29-Apr-13 14:11:19

YANBU to go the Guardian, YABU if you go to the Daily Mail.

WMDinthekitchen Mon 29-Apr-13 14:12:21

Reply to the email and say that the terms used are totally unacceptable. Then, report him/her to the leader of the party group in the council to which the councillor belongs, saying that you would like a response within 24 hours and that you will also report the matter using the council's own complaints procedure.

After that you could go to the press but I would first of all think about your motives for doing that (for e.g. if you are involved with another party). Going to the press can backfire spectacularly if an informant has any relevant skeletons in the cupboard (and I am not accusing you of being racist). If the local press is worth its salt it will investigate all circumstances rigorously before printing a story - and that would include your own circumstances. You may be perfectly OK with that but as someone who has considerable experience of the press and politics I would proceed with caution.

MadBusLady Mon 29-Apr-13 14:13:12

Why reluctant? It doesn't limit your future actions in any way, it just gives them a chance to say, "Er, no, he says he didn't send that." But it's true you don't have to - sending it to the press will achieve the same end because the first thing they'll do is send it to his local party.

When I say I'm "sceptical", I mean I know of cases of councillors' emails being hacked (pretty clumsily usually) by opponents in order to send compromising stuff.

Manyofhorror3 Mon 29-Apr-13 14:13:29

Wow! Blow it wide open! That's utterly unacceptable!

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:14:54

I don't think this is big scale politics enough for hacking, surely? And totally not out of character at all. Just the first I've seen it in writing.

MadBusLady Mon 29-Apr-13 14:15:33

My thoughts on going to the press are similar to WMD's. It is not a thing I would do lightly unless I was really sure I had something that (a) was 100% valid/true (b) needed to be out in the public interest and (c) wasn't going to get out otherwise. It is not the no-strings option many people think.

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:15:53

Btw the party must know. The officers who received it have complained.

SolomanDaisy Mon 29-Apr-13 14:16:04

Technically the other councillors and officers should report him to the local standards committee. If it's a councillor from a party known to be racist then the party hq won't be interested, but the main three parties certainly would. They would probably suspend membership and ask him to resign. Are you an officer? Be careful about your own code of conduct if so.

MadBusLady Mon 29-Apr-13 14:16:28

Local politics is vicious precisely because the stakes are so low, as someone or other once said.

SolomanDaisy Mon 29-Apr-13 14:17:46

The local party might need pressure from hq before they act.

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:18:22

I'd rather not say who I am.

How about the police first? Or is that not illegal?

MadBusLady Mon 29-Apr-13 14:19:38

I'm using "hacked" in the silly layman's sense of guessing a password, or used a communal machine to access someone else's official mail etc. Yes, it definitely happens.

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:27:33

I really don't think so

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:27:54

And he hasn't denied sending it either. He has been asked to apologise

fuzzypicklehead Mon 29-Apr-13 14:28:37

What is it that's stopping you, OP?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ANonna Mon 29-Apr-13 14:30:41

What has been mentioned upthread. I don't really want myself to be the subject of any probing. I don't like any kind of limelight.

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Mon 29-Apr-13 14:33:35

Don't send it to his political party- don't allow them to engage any crisis management at all and prepare their spin to make his actions acceptable.

Print screen and tweet on Twitter.
Private eye.
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