Last week a Rotherham Council social worker took three non indigenous children away from foster parents with racist views, at least that’s what the council said. The foster parents are members of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) which obviously makes them racist, as the social worker explained to the couple “Well, UKIP have got racist policies.”.
This has been widely condemned and on cue politicians and the media have been clambering for the biggest over reaction. Both Labour and Conservative politicians have made a rare attempt to defend the euroskeptics. Nigel Farage, riding high from the eurozone crisis, is suitably outraged and milking the media for all it’s worth. What better way to legitimise your party than other politicians jumping to your defence.
So what is the real issue? There seem to be two questions, firstly was the social worker right? Probably not. Secondly, is UKIP racist? Maybe.
Let’s be perfectly honest, the social worker dropped the ball. Belonging to a mainstream political party is no reason to take a child away from a foster parent. There appears to be no insinuation that the foster parents were racist, only that the party they are members of was. What the social worker really needs is a stern warning and a better grasp of UK politics. Especially at a time where politicians have been arguing for cuts she’s hardly been a shining example of opposition.
This argument has been discussed amongst social workers and there appears to be a divide amongst opinion. On one hand it may be that the social worker was right to take the children away from the foster carers as the children’s culture is important and the social worker felt that the carers could not provide that adequately. However some would argue that it doesn’t really have a great deal to do with the carers level of care. If the children are well cared for it seems stupid to move them away for political views that may not necessarily be the views of the carers.
David Cameron called UKIP a party of closet racists, and it appears this is hampering the prospect of any cooperation between Messieurs Cameron and Farage. If you were a racist who didn’t want to stand out by joining the BNP you would probably join UKIP. That does not make the party racist, even if some of its members turn out to be. In the same vain the Labour Part is not a party of revolutionary communists, the Conservatives not a party of (entirely) Eton schoolboys and the Greens not a party of sandal wearing, pot smoking, unwashed hippies.
In short, show some common sense.