You know how we moan every month about having to pay that council tax bill every month even though deep down we know that people aren’t going to empty our bins just for the fun of it. That’s not what I’m going to talk about today. Instead, I’m going to take the liberty to enlighten people about elected Manchester City Counsillor, Kevin Peel. You can follow #CllrKev (yes, he hashtags his own name) he can be followed on Twitter; @kevpeel.
As can be seen from his own bio, he does, erm, a lot of things. Representative of things and oh, no longer suffer trolls. Aw, good for him. I mean, isn’t that how it works these days? That an elected Counsillor who is paid £16307 basic allowance plus £8176 in special responsibility allowance adding up to a total of £24483 in the fiscal year of 2015/2106 with YOUR tax money, ( Manchester City Council Mermber’s Allowance Scheme, 2016) tweets whatever he wants clearly stating he works for the council and doesn’t feel the need to justify himself in the process? He simply doesn’t give a shit about who he offends and of course, he gets away with it.
Now you’re thinking, oh go on then, give us the dirt, what has this Mr Peel done?! Here are som titbits of some of his most inappropriate behaviour. Just as a soft starter, is it appropriate for the (then, thankfully not anymore) LGBT Labour North West leader to take it opon himself to let diver Tom Daley out of his gay closet, over two months before Tom posted his coming out video?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but how is it a political workers duty to “out people”? That is every single individuals own decision to make, and coming from an openly gay man himself, surely he is aware how sensitive of an issue this can be for some. There are people still out there, in the UK who gets shunned by their families, gay hate crime is certainly still a real thing and certainly homosexuality within sports is an area that should be supported more. #£24483annuly
Then there was the mural. You know the beautiful mural at the side of the Molly House? Cllr Peel found it appropriate to tweet:
As his tweets shocked many; in an article in the Mancunian Matters he claimed he was never invited to talks about this community event and he had received some complaints by a local resident, he walked past himself and thought it DID look like Myra Hindley. He admits he tweeted in a “probably less then tactful way”. He goes on to say; “I wasn’t aware in advance of the project as no one had engaged with local councillors,”. “We would’ve been extremely supportive of this scheme as we have been with similar ones in the Northern Quarter. The final version looks great and I can’t wait to see it unveiled.” “There is a lesson here about the immediacy of Twitter which I will certainly reflect on”. Only problem is, he LIED. There are emails that I have personally seen, it was also in another article in Mancunian Matters, proving he did know. Mhm, OK.
So did he learn from this and change his ways? No, not at all. He changed his Twitter setting to private, so that only people he approves are allowed to see what he tweets and went on to create the City Centre Voice page on Facebook. Yeah, his voice. And maybe, maybe if you agree with him you are allowed to comment. For example;
Most of us are aware the issues of homelessness and begging is very complex and sensitive. We all know it ranges from people who can’t keep up with the responsibility of living in a home, to drug users, to so called professional beggars as well as protesters showing solidarity with societies most vulnerable a’la #occupywallstreet. This sweeping statement obviously offended many people including myself. Peel made a statement on his page to justify his tweet about homeless people. :
I headed to the CCV page to comment, you know, considering the name of the page and his open links to Labour and his job as a Labour elected Counsillor, thinking it was a page for everyone to share ideas and opinions. It was not so. I was blocked from making comments. What he can’t block are reviews of his page so I tried to summarise my feelings in mine. Again, once questioned, he simply refuses to engage.
Not convinced yet he has no place being a representative for you and the best interest for the Manchester we all know and love for all its faults but more so for its brilliance? Well, shit is about to get real. Really real. Because now we are going to talk about Kevin’s like for Momentun Matches; a racist Twitter account that was started as a parody type account against the Manchester and Trafford Momentum page: a branch of the Manchester-based grassroots network arising out of and following the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign.
Here are some screenshots took today (11/8-16) of the sort of tweets Monument Matches enjoy posting. Ask yourself, should a Counsillor who gets paid with your tax money, who has his title proudly displayed, be retweeting racist posts such as this? It makes Britain First supporters seem like teddy bears.
Cllr Peel jokingly responding to Monumentum Matches. A Labour Counsillor CAN’T. BREATH. this tweet is so funny. It’s not funny at all once you realise that this tweet is so offensive, it might even make Nigel Farrage cringe. Manchester and Trafford Momentum were forced to release a statement on the matter which clarifies the seriousness of this tweet even further. This is the statement in full:
MANCHESTER AND TRAFFORD MOMENTUM·MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2016
[Subsequently to this notes original publication it has been amended for clarification 10/8/16]
On the evening of Sat 6 August it came to our attention that Councillor Kevin Peel had retweeted and subsequently deleted a Twitter post that was racist and contemptuous to those who have died at the hands of the police as well as those campaigning for justice in the UK and the US.
Councillor Kevin Peel saw fit to add the mocking caption “CANT BREATH.” with laughing emoticons to a Twitter post featuring an image of the Nottingham Black Lives Matter protesters, whom the police kettled only a day before and used a sensory deprivation technique of surrounding them with white screens. The original photo was released on a page falsely attributed to the Momentum movement called ‘Momentum Matches’ and was accompanied by a caption that read “LaShawna, 2nd left, is looking for love with Momentum Matches. Must be local to Nott’ham due to her bail conditions”. The fake Twitter account is filled with a number of other photos accompanied by racist, mysognistic, transphobic and homophobic captions designed to deride the Momentum movement supporting the Jeremy Corbyn Labour leadership campaign. Councillor Peel’s “CANT.BREATH” caption was a contemptible reference to the death of Eric Garner who was asphyxiated by a US police officer, and the subsequent campaign by Black Lives Matter activists.
It is shocking that an elected Councillor representing Manchester citizens can trivialise a wrongful death by the state and people campaigning for justice. Simultaneously his post was poking fun at people experiencing police crowd controls that are known to have distressing effects. That the Councillor added his own ‘joke’ to the Tweet can only be considered an endorsement of the fake Momentum Matches Twitter page and its bigoted messages mocking Black people, women, LGBTQ people and Muslim people. We have also seen that amongst the page’s followers or post “likers” are other Manchester Labour Councillors including Beth Knowles, Beth Marshall and Ollie Manco.
Greater Manchester Momentum BAME Caucus condemns the actions of Kevin Peel and the other Councillors engaging with the Momentum Matches Twitter page. Councillor Peel has betrayed our trust and demonstrated that he is not fit to respect, represent and ensure justice for the city’s diverse communities in an unbiased manner. He has breached the ethical standards required of his public post outlined in the Manchester City Council ‘Constitution of the Council’ and the Council’s requirements under the Equality Act.
Due to the gravity of this event we are calling for Councillor Peel’s resignation from his post and that he make a public apology to his constituents, Manchester’s BAME communities and to the UK Black Lives Matter movement. We expect Manchester City Council to immediately suspend Councillor Peel from his duties and launch an investigation. Furthermore we call for an examination into all of the Labour Councillors following the reprehensible Momentum Matches Twitter page and that their actions are subject to scrutiny.
Greater Manchester Momentum BAME Caucus stands in solidarity with all those who have lost loved ones at the hands of the state, the Black Lives Matter movement and comrades striving for equality and human rights for all.”
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people tweet a lot of rubbish. It is all relative and I’m sure there are people out there who find me offensive at times. The difference is that my tweets represent ME. I am not elected and paid for with your tax money. Because Manchester City Council’s failure to force Cllr Peel to remove all his links to the Labour Party in his “private” account makes me wonder if this is what they all support? If someone who represented my company, tweeted racist, bigoted material in my name, I would force this person to remove it. Come to think of it, I would probably remove that person from my employ also.
So what I propose is two things:
1: spread this information far and wide. My suggestions is to use #weneedtotalkaboutkevin adding and tagging any other relevant hashtags or accounts such as #blacklivesmatter and @ManCityCouncil, tag media everywhere. Tag bloggers, campaigners and anyone you think would be appalled by the lack of decency.
2: go and vote in the next local election. Cllr Peel only got 2236 votes in the City Centre Ward in the last local election. You could also try and contact him via his official council details provided (I suggest emailing as they have to be kept as it makes it a public record), however, it most likely won’t get you an answer but rather a block on Twitter and or Facebook.
My friend advised against my final line but I can’t resist. In MY opinion (which I am happy to discuss with anyone should they wish as long as the discussion is kept civil and decent and on issue)
I can see #cllrkev dancing around with hand in his air with no shame whatsoever to “I’m a Trumpster Motherfucker” I. support the mother of all Trumpsters: Donald Trump if he thought it would make him move up in the world (of Trumpsters).
Update on 24/8-16: IF you have a spare second, do sign the protest kits found here: Letter of Complaint and Petition Regarding Kevin Peel and Manchester City Counsillors use of Social Media.