Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Ridley - the Inconvenient truth
I wouldn’t normally publish correspondence, but in the comments of the Respect Blog, Neil Williams wrote the following in response to my Earlier post about Yvonne Ridley.
Neil wrote: “That’s twice you have posted that item: Reference and evidence please (or was in in the latest NF news). I give you 24hours to back up your claim or we can all know this is just black propaganda.”
I was shocked that Neil seemed to be accusing me of links with the fascist National Front, and also of manufacturing black propaganda against a left organisation. These are the sort of smears and libels that Stalinist groups use to demonise political opponents. However I now understand that Neil mistook my blogger name "AN" for anonymous, and no harm or disrespect was intended by Neil.
However, having been publicly challenged for evidence in this way I feel I have no alternative but to publish the correspondence with both Yvonne Ridley and Ron Mckay to vindicate myself. neither Yvonne's nor Ron's e-mail can be considered private, so no breach of confidence is involved: Yvonne's e-mail was written to the editor of the web-site without any indication that it was not for publication, and Ron McKay's letter was officially issued from the Respect office.
Firstly on sources: the question that Yvonne sends her daughter, Daisy, to a private school is in the public domain. Thomas Crosbie Media (Ireland) in 2001 reported that Daisy went to a boarding school in Windemere, this was also reported by the BBC (North East) in 2001 and of course Harpers and Queens reported that it was a private school.- this was repeated in the Guardian on 24th Feb 2004, and the article is reposted on the Daawah communities webpage.
The Socialist Unity network received an e-mail from Yvonne Ridley dated 19th July 2004, which has the following extract: "Frankly I am sick and tired of this sort of pompous invective from men who have no idea about the struggles of working, single mums or single mums caught in a child care void who would love to work.I work to pay my daughter's school fees so I can work. Perhaps Andy Newman would prefer it if I quit my job, lived off the state and then Daisy could check in to the nearest school while I sit and do nothing but dream. I'm not sure if I have the time to write an article or a rebuttal - unless of course you care to offer me a professional fee ... after all, I am a working mum and have next term's school fees to consider. Yvonne Ridley”
I did approach the respect press office for comment back in 2004, and only received the following unhelpful reply direct to me from George Galloway’s business partner, Ron McKay. “You are one sad, small-minded, hypocritical fuck. Oh, and learn to spell. Particularly the name of the person you're trying to turn over. Fraternally, Ron McKay”