English Democrats Party – New Doncaster Mayor Comes a Cropper

Interview transcript from BBC Radio Sheffield , 8th June 2009)

Toby Foster (BBC Radio Sheffield ): Thanks very much for joining us. I said that we didn’t see it coming – did you see it coming? Did you expect to win?

Peter Davies (Mayor of Doncaster): Well, well not really. A great friend of mine told me the night before I was going to get a great shock, and that I would win. I was thinking of saving the deposit at the time.

TF: I can imagine. What was it you think that made people vote for you?

PD: Well we were the only party who gave a distinctive agenda to the electorate. All the others talked waffle. I looked at all the leaflets, I couldn’t make anything of them all, they were all the same.

TF: You did give a distinctive agenda, you’re absolutely right, you made some real points on that. Let’s just have a look – let’s have a look at them shall we? The first one of course I think’s an easy one – you’re going to cut the mayor’s salary.

PD: That’s the first thing this morning

TF: Down to £30,000 a year. Now, some people could look at that Peter and say, well, you get more than that for running a supermarket these days. Surely a council deserves… a bit more respect?

PD: No, the council deserves somebody who’s going to run it properly, and it deserves somebody who’s prepared to give their services partly free, in a sense – at one time all local government councillors did all the free, er, it’s become a gravy train and I’m not prepared to be part of that.

TF: So what about the people who work for you? The deputy mayor, other people in the departments – are you cutting their wages as well?

PD: Er, well, I’ve discussed that with-, well not- not the people in the departments, I can’t- I’ve no control over what they’ve been given, but the deputy mayor and the rest of the cabinet will discuss that at, at the earliest opportunity.

TF: Well, you say you’ve no control over people in the departments, one of the big things on your campaign was that you’re going to cut ‘PC jobs’.

PD: Oh yeah, that’s a different thing altogether, er-

TF: Which jobs are those?

PD: Well, er, I’m going to look into that. Things like Diversity Officers, er, the things that are usually advertised in the Manchester- , well, it’s not the Manchester Guardian now – in the Guardian…

TF: Right, so have-, so, so hang on, so so there are politically…

PD: I mean, I can’t give you a full list at the moment, but I will…

TF: But that’s what you put on your manifesto – you must have had an idea on your manifesto what you were talking about?

PD: Yeah, yeah, all these people who are, sort of, controlling thought processes and this sort of thing, and er, erm… every department is riddled with this sort of nonsense these days.

TF: So currently then, this morning, Doncaster Council is riddled with people who are, who are doing this kind of nonsense, ah… and they’re on notice, are they? People are going to lose their jobs?

PD: Er, very likely.

TF: But we don’t know who they are, yeah? But certainly Diversity Officers…

PD: Obviously I… I’m… well, that sort of thing, yes.

TF: So, the Diversity Officer who’s getting ready for work this morning at Doncaster might as well not bother?

PD: Well, he’s… he’s in employment at the moment…

TF: But he won’t be for long?

PD: …I think, I think we ought to be talking about what we’re going to do sort of, er, now and, er, what I’ve discovered – that might be a more fruitful discussion.

TF: Well, I mean… these are the reasons people voted for you. Very bold points, as you said. Er, you’re going to cut translation services for non-English speakers – that’s a very bold point. It’s more than likely illegal, isn’t it?

PD: I dunno… again, I’ve got to find this out. It’s-

TF: Well it is – let me tell you it is, under the European Court of Human Rights it’s illegal.

PD: -Well, well, well let… we’ll look into this – we’re getting council’s opinion on what I can do and what I can’t do, and that’s…

TF: No, no, you said in your manifesto you would definitely do it.

PD: Yeah, well, I… well, I, er, if, if somebody comes in the way and stops me doing these things, then that is an insult to democracy.

TF: So what was the point of your manifesto? You might as well have said you were going to fly to the moon if you’re just going to say now that you can’t do it.

PD: No, look… I’m going to do my best to do it. If I can’t, I shall tell the electorate why I’ve not been able to do it, and who’s stood in the way of it. The-

TF: Well, the law’s standing in the way of it.

PD: -Just a minute, just a minute. The electorate clearly want me to do that. The law needs changing, then, doesn’t it?

TF: Well, you say the law needs changing-

PD: If we get a new government, then we might get rid of some of this ludicrous legislation, and be able to run our own country again.

TF: Okay, now you’re going to cut the number of councillors from 60 to 20.

PD: That is another difficulty, and the first-

TF: Can’t do it, can you?

PD: Er, well, we can appeal to their moral consciences-

TF: So you can’t do it, can you?

PD: Look, you keep telling me what I can’t do. I’ll find out what I can’t do, and if I can’t do-

TF: You are finding out now, I’m telling you, Peter, you can’t do it. You’d have thought you’d have thought of this before you started.

PD: This is quite a pointless discussion. Completely pointless.

TF: Why?

PD: Well – I’m sitting here telling you what I want to do, you’re telling me I can’t do it. I’ll find out – not from you, from other people – if I can do it or not.

TF: Why didn’t you look at to see-

PD: That’s where we go. And then we tell the electorate what’s going on.

TF: Why didn’t you look to see if you could do it before you asked people to vote on it?

PD: Because people want this to happen. And it’s time we-

TF: We all want free speech, Peter, but why didn’t you look into it to see if it could happen before you asked 14,000 people to vote on it? You know what’s going to happen – they got upset with the political processes in Doncaster before, they disliked Martin Winter. You’ve come along, you’ve waved this flag, knowing you can’t back any of it up and they’ve voted for you. How are they going to feel when they realise they’ve been hoodwinked?

PD: They’ve not been hoodwinked, I’m a man of my word, and I shall do everything that I can to put this into practice. And that is something that Doncaster ’s not had before.

TF: You’re going to cut the Gay Pride funding.

PD: Yep.

TF: Erm, how much did Doncaster Council fund Gay Pride?

PD: Haven’t got a clue, I haven’t looked into… I haven’t got the details, I… I haven’t even started-

TF: About right, isn’t it? So how much did… how much was it worth to Doncaster ?

PD: How…er, what?

TF: The Gay Pride march. 8,000 people in town for a day.

PD: I don’t know. They can still come. There’s nobody stopping them coming.

TF: So you don’t know what it costs, you don’t know what it earns, but you’re banning it?

PD: I’m saying that… hard-pressed taxpayers money should not be spent on promoting any type of sexuality whether it’s straight or gay.

TF: But for all you-, but for all you know it could be making a fortune for the town – you don’t know, you’ve not even looked at it.

PD: Well, it, er… it may, it may or it may not, I’m telling you what I’m not doing, and again it was on the manifesto, it was quite clear people appeared to like what I was saying.

TF: Yeah, but the stuff on the manifesto we’ve already realised – you can’t do anything about it.

PD: I think it’s time we finished this interview, it’s quite pointless. I’ve… I… It’s really wasted… I wanted to say a few things this morning that might have been-

TF: Tell me what you want to say.

PD: …that people might have wanted to listen to.

TF: Tell me what you want to say.

PD: Well, I wanted to point out that this morning I was going to, er, see that two social workers were returned to the childrens hospital, er, which were taken away some time ago for some unaccountable reason. I was going to say we’re getting rid of Doncaster News at the earliest opportunity, and I also wanted to point out that this very weekend I’ve discovered that Doncaster is twinned with nine separate towns, er, that the Mayor… the ex-Mayor had a car, for what reason I don’t know. It’s quite reasonable that the Civic Mayor has a car, but why the elected Mayor has one, God only knows, er, and it looks to me like a Daily Telegraph moment, where I shall be discovering things every day that, er, can be got rid of.

TF: Okay… none of that really means anything, does it? Let’s have a look at Doncaster News. You’re getting rid of Doncaster News, that’s a, er, flyer… er, paper that goes to every home in the borough isn’t it, to tell them what you’re doing?

PD: Well, it was to distort… er, what Mayor Winter was doing, yes.

TF: So now you’re stopping communication with the people of Doncaster ?

PD: No – communication will be through the Doncaster Free Press, though Radio Sheffield if we can get some sensible interviews-

TF: Heh.

PD: -and, er, the free newspapers.

TF: So the people who work on Doncaster News, then, are they out of work as well?

PD: I don’t know, I don’t… I, I, don’t know what their full… I’ve… I… I’ve not even got… been in the office yet, I’ve… I’ve not even-

TF: This is the problem, isn’t it-

PD: -had the briefing from the Chief Executive-

TF: You actually don’t understand the laws, you don’t understand-

PD: Okay, I’m stopping this interview, it’s a complete waste of time, er, you’re not asking any sensible questions, and er, I really don’t want to continue.

TF: Peter, all I’m asking is how you’re going to deliver on your election manifesto?

>Silence<

TF: Well, I can assure you, that’s going to be one of the easiest he gets.

44 comments on “English Democrats Party – New Doncaster Mayor Comes a Cropper

  1. splitter on said:

    ahahaha that is fantastic. it’s given me some new ideas for grilling our local bnp councillor too.

  2. external bulletin on said:

    Brilliant. But, as the fantastically erudite lefties that we are, let’s not forget just how well this “populist” fakery is going down right now. If he plays it right, he will be able to make out that the democratic will of the people is being frustrated at every turn – that the people (for example) wanted the number of councillors cut down and the councillors are refusing to go, etc.

    It’s all good fun, but we’d be wise not to sneer too hard.

    Oh, and I totally support getting rid of these local council free “newspapers”. Shitty propaganda sheets that cost a fortune.

  3. external bulletin on said:

    (I don’t know what erudite means. It just looked like the sort of thing someone would say if they wanted to look cleverer than the people they were talking about)

  4. Mark P on said:

    External bulletin is absolutely right to be wary of sneering.

    Not so long ago the corruption of the ruling Doncaster Labour Grop was exposed by dissident Labour campaigners. For their troubles they were expelled, they stood and won a few council seats. The possibility was clearly there to challenge Labour from the left. Instead a few years later the populist right wins the Mayoral election.

    UKip are loathsome populists. The BNP are loathsome fascists. But that shouldn’t stop the Outside Left considering their very obvious success and comparing it to our very obvious, and collective, failure. In 1997 nobody would have predicted in any seriousness the scale of support UKiP, BNP and the English Democrats would be atrracting 13 years hence. And following one effort after another the Outside Left could hardly have considered how woeful its performance would prove to be in comparison.

    Mark P

  5. I am not sure that peter Davies fits into the narrative of populist right wingers getting a protest vote, there is an element of that, but he is also an example of the long tradition of “ratepayer” revolts of independents winning council seats , and sometimes even control of councils, purely on the basis of cutting spending.

    The EDP’s success here was a combination of the two, and he took the Tory vote on second preferences, they would have known that despite his membership of the EDP, he is a mainstream fairly mainstream right-wing Tory, whose son is Conservative MP for Shipley.

  6. #5 and #8, hang on a minute, nobody is downplaying or underestimating or trivialising the gains of the fascists, that’s all taken as read.
    We are having a laugh at the incompetent buffoon who is the subject of this interview and to be honsest this does a much better job of demolishing the cretinous fascists than any number of people jumping about shouting “Nazi”.

  7. John Wight on said:

    I agree with Eddie. This is both hilarious and enlightening at the same time.

    Richard Seymour is also doing some sterling investigative work on his blog with regard to the BNP right now.

  8. Mark P on said:

    Yes Nick, and I was defending ‘our’ corner if you remember.

    Theres some late converts to electoral work on the outside left, and some old hands too with a track record dating back to Gallagher and Piratin.

    But the point as I keep trying to make is that ours is a collective failure, the defeats we’ve all suffered at the hands of Blairist-Brownite Labour, while the populist and far right – even after the global meltdown and Tory toff expenses scandal – have prospered.

    Mark P

  9. reminds me of the frontrunner of the far-right DVU in 1993s state election in Hamburg/Germany who answered the question by journalists on which committee he intends to sit when elected with something like “there are no committees in Hamburg’s state assembly” (which is wrong) and replied to the question about his profession after a half minute break and some advise by a guy from the party leadership “I receive earnings” (not being able to answer that he owned and ran a small gardening firm)

  10. name goes here on said:

    stupid interview

    i vehemently disagree with the new mayor’s prejudices and bigotry, and i think he ought to be stopped

    however, sacking PR staff and getting rid of propaganda is a very popular idea, mainly because in the blair era of ever-increasing bullshit most people want to see and hear genuine communication from their elected representatives

    and for what it’s worth, if they elect someone to do things, even if they’re not legal, they’re entitled to elect them on that platform

    there’s nothing obliging anyone to stand for election or to elect someone based only on what’s currently possible in the legal framework

    i find your celebration of this interviewer’s questions misguided and ill-thought out

  11. ‘We are having a laugh at the incompetent buffoon who is the subject of this interview and to be honsest this does a much better job of demolishing the cretinous fascists than any number of people jumping about shouting “Nazi’

    So true and exactly the same tactic will work with the BNP too. Expose the wilful ignorance and ineptitude. Write letters, blog, tell stories in pubs or at work. Ridicule is an effective political weapon especially when its based in truth. It strikes directly at credibility. Its no use posing as a ‘Race Warrior’ when everyone knows you can hardly walk and chew gum.

  12. Stephen Gash on said:

    Toby Foster, typical 5th rate BBC presenter

    Quote: “TF: So you don’t know what it costs, you don’t know what it earns, but you’re banning it?”

    Completely false. The reason we have 3rd rate politicians of the Goedon Brown’s and George galloway’s ilk is because of the 5th rate people infesting our media.

    There is not a single presenter or journalist that can conduct a meaningful interview. Toby Foster is just about at the bottom of the pile.

  13. David Wildgoose on said:

    It’s illegal in France to provide public services in any language other than French. So either it’s illegal under European Law, or it isn’t. Because it cannot be simultaneously both illegal to do something and mandatory to do something.

    And seeing as this is a matter of European Law, how can they enforce a ruling against Doncaster without simultaneously also ruling against the whole of France?

    And yet here we have a journalist claiming to be a lawyer and knowing exactly what is and isn’t illegal under European Law, solely to make a political point. Pathetic.

  14. Stephen Gash on said:

    The English Democrats should issue a press release refuting Foster.

    The BBC has had its day, is institutionally Anglophobic and should be sold off.

  15. I don’t support the English Democrats, but, that interview was obscene.

    It’s easy to do hatchet jobs, it used to be done to the left all the time.
    Arthur Scargill suffered 100′s of interviews like that. It doesn’t negate Peter Davies’s views, it just means the interviewer is good at being insulting, in a clever-dick sort of way.

    Lots of working-class people share the same sort of views, he was trying to express, that local government has become a gravy train. People are sick of managers for this, that and the other. It’s the same in the Health Service.

  16. gash/ wildgoose

    what you are glossing over is that your boy took a hell of a beating.

    he was ill-prepared, and the main point that Foster made landed gloves on him time and time again, that his manifesto made commitments that were beyond his powers.

    Now, have you anything to say about why Nazi white-supremacist, mark Cottrill has been photographed at EDP events?

  17. “Arthur Scargill suffered 100’s of interviews like that” – no he did not! Scargill always knew the facts, while this guy is a complete buffoon.

    Every political figure is held up to scrutiny like this by the media – some cant hack it and will crack. Scargill did not crack.

    Scargill was based upon decent working class left wing principles, not like this shallow right wing populist charlatan.

    I think we should demand the right of recall for unpopular politicians – coz this guy might be really unpopular soon. Politics is very volatile at the moment!

  18. careful now on said:

    But what would left wing councillors do? Implement cuts because they are legally obliged to do so? The interview shows that there is no such thing as local democracy. That the ruling class are becoming just as frustrated as the working class. Though money is a much greater lever than demands for fairness. The sneering here is misplaced though Davies is clearly a demagogue who promised things he can’t deliver the interview shows that the elected representatives are only there to carry out the pre-determined plans of the executive.

    And what are Brown and Mandy doing in the New Labour bunker for their last few months? Planning the public service reforms that will put in place the necessary mechanisms for the enormous spending cuts required in 2011 ready for the Tories to use. No doubt this will consist of `devolved’ local powers shackled by centrally imposed statutory obligations. Local policemen of the central state who can make the cuts a central government wouldn’t dare to make. Davies would do better to work out how he is going to protect his constituents from such ravages instead of pursuing his anti-pc crusade and attacking the vulnerable. What is he going to do about the cuts, carry them out no doubt whilst everybody is distracted by talk of `diversity officers’, but then he is in essence a representative of the ruling class, or at least that section of the population that sucks up to it, not the working class.

  19. The poor man is to be both pitied and chastised. He was out smarted by a half decent journalist, he better sharpen up!

    Of course he may want to cut back this and cut back that but the way to fight back is to organise in the communities and trade unions.

    “Diversity Officers” are easy targets however often they are trying to change policy and procedure to implement changes in lagislation. The Equal Pay Act, Sex Discrimination Act, Disability Discrimation Act, Human Rights Act, Children’s Act etc etc. Whilst much oif this may look like “political correctness gone mad” these changes in laegislation came about to adress inequalities that women, disabled people, children etc etc have had to live with often contributing to discrimination.

    Be careful for what you wish for Mr English Democrat – your world is a dangerous place to be, where even you may not be safe in.

    Hopefully there will be a fight back in Doncaster, if not its quite nice in E£dinburgh if anyone wants to come here – the invitation is not open to racists, reactionaries or fascists.In Scotland the national question does not reflect this nasty nationalisnm, though we cannot be complacent as the BNP did take 2.5% of the European election vote, a worrying fact.

  20. What on earth has it to do with Sheffield, let them sort their own city out. People in Doncaster are sick pf PC nonsense and spending our money on pointless marches. We cant afford them

    If people want to live in this country they should learn to speak English, it is another waste of money tranlating documents into so many languages. Do you think their countries would do hat for us? Of cours=e not and quite right too.

  21. Workers are sick of racist and homophobic bigots claiming to speak on their behalf. The only reason Davies got elected was because the mainstream parties are so corrupt. It’s great that this interviewer exposed this bigot for the liar that he is. He bleats on about local democracy but wants to ban gays and anyone who is not white from the council. What a hypocrite! His plan to shut down the local paper so that his greedy mates can manipulate funding for their own benefit without any interference is akin to how MPs tried to hide their expenses fraud. Glad he’s been exposed as a hypocrite and a self-serving liar.

    The left in Doncaster would do well to capitalise on this interview and build alliances with those who Davies attacks to bring him down at the next election, if not sooner.

  22. Terry B on said:

    For the record the ‘workers of Doncaster’ are sick of what’s masqueraded as the ‘the left’ here. If the left means deceit, corruption, and grossly untalented mis-management and incompetence, then we’ve had enough. Those people who bandy ‘fascist’ at any right of centre party like the EDP, need to wake up to their own stultifying ideological blindness. I take it that UKIP, the Conservatives, and pressure groups like TPA, CEP etc are all equally ‘fascist’ by your definition then? And I always thought that fascism was the collusion with big corporations, the destruction of local democracy, electoral deceit and gerrymandering, monitoring of personal space etc. This sounds like New Labour to me. How does putting local people first and not spending money on social engineering make the EDP fascist exactly? Get over yourselves PLEASE. The era of ‘third way’/postmodern leftism (call it what you will) is over! The real reactionaries and the hypocrites are those people who continue to flog the idea that the people are too stupid to have a say. They are the fascists. The people have wanted radical change to this dysmal borough council for years and now theres a real chance things will change. Peter Davies may be naive, but he deserves a chance to ‘discover the spirit’ most decent people have been keen to exorcise. Exposing the dogmatic, amoral, failed idiocracy which has possessed the traditional left will be a good start . .

  23. barbara on said:

    I have lived in France for 16 years and now speak reasonable French. Trust me, offers of a translation service when you fall foul of French bureaucracy, if they exist, are certainly not offered. “Speak French, you live here” is the comment.
    I suggest you all get a grip before its too late….All welcome in UK but not on any terms.

  24. It goes to show that Mr Davies is not the run of the mill political person,, no pre training for the media, no training in how to avoid questions from a idiot. A true non POLITICAL person. Just an ordinary bloke who has the right ideas, who has the electorate behind him. THAT IS HIS KEY TO OPEN THOSE DOORS to let fresh air into the running of a Local council. Good luck to him, if he manages to do just one of his manifesto promises he will have done well. But look out all you clones of Mandy pre 97.Idols of Bliar and not forgetting,”I’m geting on with the job” bankrupting the Country what’s his name?.Iron fist Brown. Things are going to change for the better once this lot of Yokels and useless nobodies are kicked out of Westminster. Then we may have back a country that I served Our King, then Our Queen for nearly 6 years for.

  25. Harris on said:

    Peter Davies is a decent ordinary Yorkshireman trying to put some sanity back into local government. Like all socialists, the clever-dick lefties making fun of him here clearly still believe someone else owes them a living. Get this: the world is changing – we can’t afford socialism; the Gordon Brownturn experiment has all but bankrupted the country. Get a bloody job all of you and stop talking Trotskyist shite.

  26. little black sister on said:

    #36: People have the right to live in Britain regardless of whether they speak English. English speakers do not have a monopoly upon the right to occupy this particular patch of land.

    Drawing upon an example of French narrow-mindedness hardly makes your case more convincing.

  27. Harris on said:

    LBS says “English speakers do not have a monopoly upon the right to occupy this particular patch of land.”

    Try that argument in Nigeria. Or anywhere else for that matter.

  28. dog face on said:

    32, is your very scary indeed comment to the link in 31? How on earth is that scary? As a gay man I have to agree with the mayor blokey. Surely its more offensive to have ones sexuality branded as needing support or state help? A LOT of homophobia is now fueled by this promotion of “gay.”