Sosialetaten i Rotherham, South Yorkshire, har tatt tre barn fra fosterforeldrene av bekymring for hva slags syn disse har på innvandring og multikultur, etter at sosialarbeidere hadde anklaget paret for å tilhøre det som angivelig er et rasistisk parti — United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
Det som kunne ha vært begrenset til en dumhet det ville ha vært på sin plass å beklage overfor fosterforeldre som har hatt ansvaret for et titalls barn, alle med etnisk minoritetsbakgrunn, er i stedet blitt til et stygt eksempel på politisk forfølgelse ved at lokalmyndighetene har stadfestet beslutningen.
Joyce Thacker, strategic director of children and young people’s services at Rotherham metropolitan borough council, said the three children had been placed with the couple as an emergency, and the placement had never been long term.
She told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: «The fact of the matter is I have to look at the children’s cultural and ethnic needs. The children have been in care proceedings before and the judge had previously criticised us for not looking after the children’s cultural and ethnic needs, and we have had to really take that into consideration with the placement that they were in.»
Asked what the specific problem was with the couple being Ukip members, Thacker told BBC Breakfast: «We have to think about the clear statements on ending multiculturalism for example.
«These children are from EU migrant backgrounds and Ukip has very clear statements on ending multiculturalism, not having that going forward, and I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children.»
I UKIP er man naturlig nok oppbrakt. Den gode nyheten er at det reageres også i andre politiske leire:
Speaking in Middlesbrough ahead of Thursday’s by-election, Labour leader Ed Miliband called for an urgent investigation into the case. […]
Former Conservative party chairman David Davis condemned the council’s decision as outrageous and perverse.