From The Star Wednesday 17 October 2012:
THE controversial English Defence League march through Rotherham has cost the town’s economy a ‘six figure sum’, an MP has claimed.
Rotherham Labour MP Denis MacShane said traders had closed while the far right group held its demonstration on Saturday - and the lack of ordinary people in the town centre also hit taxi drivers. He told Parliament:
The choice of route meant that Rotherham’s economy lost an amount of six figures or more.Mr MacShane has asked for a meeting with the new Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice to discuss the issue.
I want to explore with the Home Office the consequences of the number of EDL marches that are held, in terms of their economic impact on local economies that are struggling.
I support free speech and the right to assemble but surely there is a responsibility to ensure that happens in such a way that minimises economic loss and hardship to struggling communities like Rotherham?
Pointless and expensive marchExcerpt from a vivid account of the costly EDL marches in Rotherham:
This is the first time that the EDL had done a proper demo in South Yorkshire.The EDL have every right to come to Norwich and march and display themselves of course, but citizens also have every right to protest at the disruption, the destruction and the cost, let alone the message of hate.
The demographics of Rotherham make it the perfect place for them and it just didn’t work. Rotherham is the only place in South Yorkshire to have elected any far-right councillors. It’s one of the few places left in the country where the BNP vote is still reasonably strong and where the party spent money at the last local elections. One candidate got just under 900 votes and the hideous Marlene Guest got over 700. I know the BNP and EDL are separate entities and their leaders are in a bitter dispute at the moment but you would expect some crossover at a local level and that just wasn’t apparent on Saturday.
The EDL are a toxic brand and any hopes of any political success are doomed to failure before they start. It’s the first time I’ve seen the EDL up close and they are utterly vile.
Whose rights are more important?