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July 07, 2008

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Helen

There's the much-trumpeted two scholarships to Rugby: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1546603/From-the-mean-streets-to-Rugby.html

It'd be interesting to hear how they're getting on.

Fred

She should not stand up for people who fakes CVs.

Dave Hill

Thanks Helen, that's useful. I'd forgotten them.

pastyface

Here is a man who has literally saved lives

what bothers me is the emotive language. Its almost a threat. The next teenage death in London will be the fault of all those behind this witch hunt of a decent man

Wireman

There seems to be some disconnect between the Telegraph's characterisation of EYLA:

..."an intensive after-school programme for bright but potentially disruptive black boys"...

...and Melanie's dystopian and Dickensian horror stories:

..."They had fought, bullied, smashed up their schools and set fire to them, barricaded teachers into the classrooms and been in accelerating trouble with the law"...

That doesn't sound like "potentially" disruptive to me.

JimmyB

A quick thought about the complaints that the Church didn't act any earlier to make the Ray Lewis allegations public. What were they supposed to do? Ray Lewis was no longer preaching in the CofE, because he'd been barred from doing so, so they'd taken the action they needed on that. In doing so, they had both protected themselves and imposed what I'm sure they see as an appropriate punishment. It was low-key, and it didn't include any kind of public humiliation of Lewis, which seems fair enough, and entirely the Church's own business anyway.

Subsequently, Lewis ran a successful youth organisation, apparently perfectly well. He was courted by prominent politicians, particularly (not exclusively) from the Conservative Party. He appeared on platforms with them. A significant part of his appeal to the Conservative Party was that he was not a Conservative politician. At what point in all this was the Church supposed to write to David Cameron, or IDS, or the Daily Telegraph, or whoever, and say "This guy's a bit dodgy"? Why should they have done this? How, indeed, could they have justified doing this? He had no official position within the Conservative Party or local government. Frankly, for the Church to have written to (say) David Cameron with information about Lewis' past, information of a kind which the Church does not routinely make public or bandy about, at any time before the mayoral election, would have been deeply inappropriate. Why would they send the Conservatives a bad job reference about a person who wasn't (so far as they knew) applying for a job with them in the first place?

To put it another way, I don't think the Church was either obliged or even entitled to tell the Conservatives of their concerns about Ray Lewis until he'd been offered a job by them. And since the Conservatives never asked the Church for a reference when they were considering him for a job, it's hardly the Church's fault that they didn't let the Conservatives of their concerns until after the job had been taken. The fact that this is embarrassing for the Conservatives doesn't reflect badly on the Church for not telling them earlier. It reflects badly on the Conservatives for not asking the Church earlier. The Church may have contributed to making the Conservative Party and Boris Johnson look incompetent, but that really isn't the Church's fault.

David Boothroyd

JimmyB, you're right and there's another issue that would have been concerning the Church. If a Church official was to tip the Conservatives or the Mayor off that Ray Lewis had been suspended from his Ministry and then spell out the allegations which caused it, Lewis would have a cause for a slander action in which the Church would have the burden of proving the allegations true. If what the Church said resulted in Lewis not getting the job, then the damages for loss of earnings might be huge.

The Bristol Blogger

There's also a class disconnect between the Telegraph's account:

"Charles lives in Forest Gate with his Nigerian parents, his sister and a brother. His mother is a social worker and his father is a nurse."

And Phillip's account:

"These were the toughest boys in the neighbourhood."

The former are part of an emergent aspirational middle class. The latter are stranded in an increasingly abandoned working class.

Who is attending EYPA? Aspirational black middle class kids doing what the white middle classes have always done to get ahead (and good luck to them by the way) or black working class kids with multiple problems?

And why are Phillips et all conflating the two?

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