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MNHQ Racism policy

(338 Posts)
ThePigOfHappiness Tue 31-Dec-13 15:17:03

I was just wondering if you could let us know when the racism policy has been amended? I'm sure following today's discussions on NI that it needs to be looked at.
It's clearly breaking the equality act to discriminate based on nationality as it is racist, yet MNHQ don't acknowledge this?

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:18:32

Oh I have a thread too - I'll ask for mine to be deleted.


ThePigOfHappiness Tue 31-Dec-13 15:24:32

Oh I didn't see any other threads, sorry smile

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:25:52


Pan Tue 31-Dec-13 15:26:39

Here we are as well!
Yes they can be. And often are as we know. That isn't contentious at all.
What I was going to post prior to the zapping was this:

I was looking at it from the EA2010 POV. No, having your race/nation slurred isn't acceptable and it's up to HQ to decide what to do about that on their site. The term racist was being flung around as if the OP's words automatically qualified for that and so this thread should be zapped for that reason. And I was saying it doesn't qualify, ime (of tribunals). Of course as Honey says perhaps it should be zapped for just being thoroughly offensive to lots of MNers.

You'll have a variety of legal opinion on this.

Having said that HQ can develop their own 'policy' outside and more exact than legislation.

Wevet Tue 31-Dec-13 15:27:02

Yes, will be interested in follow-up on this one. I appreciate that it's New Year's Eve, and presumably many MNHQ staff are off, but I was honestly appalled by the way in which the NI thread was dealt with. It suggested to me that Mn is a less enlightened environment than I had, perhaps naively, believed. I will be looking about for some form of reconsideration of MN policies as a result.

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:29:06

To be clear. It's not just the attitude of the OP that I'm offended and upset by. It's the attitude of HQ and some of the dismissive comments made by HQ on the thread.

ThePigOfHappiness Tue 31-Dec-13 15:33:32

My point on the racism policy is the just the sheer inequality of it, which is so paradoxical! How can a policy on racism be unequal?!
IMO when MNHQ was made aware if the discrepancy, it should have been corrected. Not just as a courtesy or because it's in the equality act, but because that's what's right and MN had always been so fair towards everyone ime.
I know the site is UK based and there aren't a lot of Irish posters proportionately, but we still matter! Or I thought we did until we were dismissed so casually (accompanied by an inane P.A. smiley)

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:34:12


ThePigOfHappiness Tue 31-Dec-13 15:34:52

I'm actually really glad I'm not alone in feeling like this, I was beginning to think IWBU (a first for me!)

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:37:10

I'm upset to the point of tears over it.

I've had my nationality just thrown away and told it doesn't matter. That's what it feels like.

I think HQ got it wrong and I think Rowan got the tone wrong at times and I found what she said really really really offensive when she said "ah well" and put grins. Which I know she didn't mean to be offensive but her tone was just so wrong.

Pan Tue 31-Dec-13 15:37:11

yes, from what I saw isni it got really tricky and HQ Rowan was unsure, which she said she was. Being Irish, or 1st gen (me) you prob have a better grasp. I thought Rowan struggled with it, but many people would but she was also honest about that and said they'd look into it. We can't rely as easily as we normally do re definitions when NI and ROI are discussed, and it takes a lot of care and movement-on-feet to not offend when talking about this,imo

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:39:02

But why do you have to "look into it"?

Posters of a particular nationality/ethnic background/country background were telling HQ it was offensive.

But they were then told their nationality/ethnic background/country background wasn't good enough to give them protection under the Equality Act

What about the fact that it's just the right thing to do? Illegal or not?

Pan Tue 31-Dec-13 15:40:46

sorry I'd sped-read the thread and missed the smiles and 'ah well'. I'd also be sure though that HQ would check that and apologise for the unintended offence caused. That would have annoyed me too.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Tue 31-Dec-13 15:40:53

I don't think we can expect to hear anything more today, but will be interested in seeing the response.
I'm really used to people being ignorant about Ireland/N.Ireland, but somehow had far higher expectations of how MNHQ would respond! (On a pedestal, much?! smile

ThePigOfHappiness Tue 31-Dec-13 15:41:41

I agree, MNHQ got it wrong, but they should have backtracked when it was pointed out repeatedly. Toeing the party line resulted in digging a deeper hole.
I know what it's like to fuck up at work, I don't want anyone feeling that, just the situation is unclear for us all. It can only be a beneficial thing to have the policy looked at.

Pan Tue 31-Dec-13 15:44:07

You're right. There is 'protection' under the EA - HQ would have been wrong about that. BUT, the OP and posts I saw didn't qualify as 'racist' in this case only.
And of course you're right again. It's MN's site so they can delete anything that upsets lots of people and perhaps they should have.

I am glad the deletion message reflected the true reason why it was deleted.

But I am still gobsmacked at HQs attitude towards the whole thing. Ok, Rowan probably knows very little about NI and that's fine, but please don't dismiss us out of ignorance. And don't grin at us when we are telling you we are offended.

It wouldn't happen on any other thread. I truly want to know what it is about threads discussing NI that results in this kind of attitude.

Is it actually that opinions held by the OP are actually more widespread than we think?

Pan Tue 31-Dec-13 15:48:51

I'm sure HQ will be having a chat about why a thread was zapped for being inflammatory, but only after 100's of posts and much gnashing of teeth.
Probably quite widespread, but most people have the sense to stay schtum.

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:52:30

I actually feel sick at the attitude of HQ on that thread. Really properly sick. If I go to the mainland that's what people will think of me. That I'm not worth worrying about, that it doesn't matter if I'm offended. Because I am just not quite good enough for protection.

I think the most annoying thing is that, in the grand scheme of mumsnet, that thread was perfectly calm. My thread about midnight shopping was worse ffs.

But its discussing NI so it must be a bunfight.

isnirelandanation Tue 31-Dec-13 15:54:39

Correct wannabe. And then when HQ were challenged that it wasn't really a bunfight, that's when it all came to light. The attitude, I mean.

Wevet Tue 31-Dec-13 15:57:35

I fear it may be so, wannabe. Reluctant though I am to believe it.

I've certainly been on the receiving end of versions of that kind of attitude more often than I can remember since I've lived in England.

I point out that I'm from Munster, and cannot in any way fairly represent either NI nationalist or loyalist points of view, but then it sometimes emerges that the person talking to me has no idea there is a border, and that Ireland and Northern Ireland are not 'much the same thing', and sure aren't we all great fun, anyway, drinking ourselves under the table and keeping pigs in the kitchen and breeding large numbers of lovely John Hinde freckled children, and blowing one another up, all in our lovely brogues?

Pan Tue 31-Dec-13 15:59:01

isni - it wouldn't be that bleak. Growing up in England with a mother from Mayo and a gutteral Glaswegian father in the 60's/70's and an Irish/Scottish name was a bit of a challenge at times.
Though yes, much of NI reporting is as if it's in a foreign country and it doesn't scan with much knowledge in England or Wales.

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