The exact facts surrounding the political row about the UKIP-member foster carers from Rotherham are unclear.
No child, whatever their background, should be fostered by racists. It is the thankless job of social workers to ensure that doesn’t happen; mistakes are bound to be made. In Rotherham, where this week a by-election to replace expenses-fiddling Labour MP Denis MacShane takes place, every politician has declared that a mistake has indeed been made. But how do they know that? Are they childcare professionals with access to the confidential information?
Representatives of the Labour-controlled council aren’t saying much (rightly so if they want to protect the identities of the children).
There is no need to accept the Tory and tabloid demands to scrap guidelines that ensure children should be fostered or adopted where their “cultural and ethnic needs can be met”. There is a debate to be had here, but surely such considerations are valid ones, and made with the long-term welfare of vulnerable children in mind.
No need either to give any credit to UKIP for being, as it proudly claims at the top of its website, non-racist. Their drive to stop immigration and to leave the EU speaks for itself.
However, membership of UKIP is not in itself evidence of an individual’s racism.
There can be no doubt that the media storm accompanying the controversy has been cynically whipped up by the right. In the first place the Telegraph’s original report of the case was provided by UKIP in order to dramatise “political correctness gone mad”, and highlight the fact that the couple concerned are ex-Labour supporters and so on.
The prize for the most ridiculous rant goes to right-wing blog-hack Graeme Archer, who writing on the Daily Telegraph website, advocated Social Service bosses be elected in order that they are “accountable”.
Accountable to who? To children in care? No. To illiterate, bigoted anti-multiculturalists like himself, of course!