• Jo Bird

Conservatives refuse to listen to Jewish councillor and my apology

Updated: Mar 6, 2019

Speech at Wirral Council on 04/03/2019

Thank you. It is unfortunate that the Conservative members have chosen to leave thereby depriving their own residents of their voice in this [Council] chamber.

I’d like to address everybody – Mayor, fellow Councillors and residents of Wirral.

I nip out during Christian prayers here partly because I’m Jewish. My great grandparents were refugees from ethnic cleansing and fascism in Europe. My grandfather never knew his cousins because they perished in the Holocaust.

I know from lived experience what racism against Jewish people looks like. It is vile. Just today I received antisemetic hate emails. I was told that “It’s time for Jews to leave the UK”, that I’m “lowlife - go and crawl back under your rock” and that I’m a “Nazi”.

Actually what gives me nightmares these days are political moves to the right and far right. For example, Conservative leaders like Teresa May creating what she herself calls a “hostile environment” for migrants who enrich our country, such as the Windrush generation. We’ve seen just right now, the hostile environment created by Conservatives on the Wirral [who refused to listen to this Jewish Councillor].

It is Labour who have led every piece of anti racist legislation in this country.

As you know from our last Council meeting, this Birdie has a self-deprecating sense of humour. I am sorry for any offence caused by my plays on words - that was not my intention.

As Councillor for Bromborough and New Ferry I welcome the proposed budget and the much needed fund for New Ferry. The fund will to help rebuild lives and livelihoods of people and traders devastated by the gas explosion almost two years ago.

Thank you for all your support.

From 1:31:24 to 1:33:22 on webcast

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