THE UNGRATEFUL HOST
‘Local Authority Gains
‘Big Victory’ In High Court Action’
The Application for a Judicial Review on behalf of the Vince Hines Foundation, a thirty year old pioneering local charity and community organisation was not up held in the Royal Courts of Justice on 16th November 2005.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Vince Hines, said:
“This matter is being presented in person because of necessity. This Supreme Court is not a place at which I have significant experiences in presenting legal arguments in comparison to learned counsels, whose daily tasks in this area are routine and regular occurrences. Although I am not a lawyer, I am propelled to this Honourable and Just Place as a consequence of the Charity’s limited resources, the needs of the many ordinary and disadvantaged members of the community, who are depending on the services of the Charity, a strong sense of justice and an equally strong desire to see fair play in motion.”
Providing witness statements in support of the Charity were Ms Keisha Bembride, Ms Haidara Swaray, Mr Horace Lashley and Dr. K W Spence Lewis. Mr. Kim Bowen gave moral support to the Team.
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF)/Connexions London West Partnerships was represented by two Barrister-at-Law – Ms Roberts from Middle Temple and Mr Jonathan Wraggs, Principal Litigation Officer, employed by the LBHF. Also part of the Team was Ms Angela Morgan, Connexions London West Partnership Strategy Officer, who provided witness statement and Ian Heggs, Principal Adviser, Secondary Strategy 14-19, of the LBHF Education Department. He provided Witness statement, but was not in Court on this occasion. Mr Heggs is Ms Morgan’s Line Manager.
In Court 6, Presiding Judge, Mr. Justice Bennett, while emphasising that there was no evidence of any wrong doings by any member of the Vince Hines Foundation, it was nevertheless judged controversially that the Defendant, the Local Authority, was entitled to see any confidential records of Dr. Hines, the founding Trustee of the Charity and Honorary Chief Executive. In a letter sent by the Criminal Record Bureaux (CRB), an Executive Agency of the Home Office, it was confirmed that Dr. Hines had been CRB checked at an enhanced level, the highest level of checks undertaken by the Agency. There was no evidence to suggest that Dr. Hines had any criminal record which would have precluded him from undertaking the work he is engaged at the Charity. On a matter of principle, Dr. Hines objected to disclosing his private and confidential information to the Defendant, for whom he is not employed or wish to be employed, or being engaged in a regulated position.
Mr. Justice Bennett’s initial judgement would suggest that Dr. Hines in effect had no rights under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Convention of Human Rights,1998, on the matter of individual privacy. Active consideration is being given to lodge an appeal against Mr. Justice Bennett Judgement. A transcript of the judgement is being requested in order to ascertain grounds for appeal. The Court’s decision is likely to have serious implications for government social-economic policies and implementations in the medium and long run. That is, if MA’AT is to govern human thinking.
This decision is a body blow to secular integrationist approach to community development in Britain. Ironically, at this most crucial time, when it is evident that a sort of ‘social and consuming fire’ has been lit across the world. The effects of which are being felt in Europe and Britain in particular.
The Black Self-Help Movement is systematically being unnecessarily challenged by an ungrateful host. The Vince Hines Foundation is hailed by friends and foes alike, as being one of the successful social models of sustained social actions over a thirty year period. Managed by ordinary citizens, actions which are motivated not by theologies, party politics, sexism, militarism; but by vision, diversities and in addition to equal opportunity considerations, within what is considered a democratic, liberal and civilised society.
The attempted destruction of the Black Self-Help Movement is like an attempt to destroy our social ‘eco-system’. If a society, such as Britain, is confessing herself incapable of embracing what the Vince Hines Foundation is offering, this may be a sign of things to come, relating to our wider society.
Racial bias is masked in this matter by the Local Authority/Connexions London West Partnership fronting in Court and elsewhere, a relatively innocent woman of African descendant, Angela Morgan, recently appointed Strategy Manager of the Connexions London West Partnership, based in the Education Department of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Ms Morgan’s birth place is Trinidad, in the Caribbean. She is following instructions for which she is being paid for her and her family’s food, cloth and shelter, as it were.
The Labour Administration in Hammersmith and Fulham must take responsibility. The attack on the Vince Hines Foundation’s work is not new, by the same Administration. In 1999 the Charity was made homeless by the Council, removed from a building it operated for over twenty two years which was given to the Charity for its operations, by the former Grater London Council (GLC), when Ken Livingston [current Mayor of London] was Leader.
Central Government Policy for the Voluntary and Community Sector is perhaps one of the most progressive for many decades. The National Labour Administration seems to have got it right, in this regard. Unfortunately, team managers all across the country had shown themselves to be incapable of embracing diversity and equal opportunity, which are necessary for a harmonious multi-cultural and multi faiths Britain.
This matter with the Vince Hines Foundation had received unprecedented support from members of the local community, over 1500 local residents signed petitions calling on their elected representatives to support the Charity.
The Vince Hines Foundation and its supporters will continue to fight on the side of the poor and disadvantaged. What seems to be happening here is an attempt to take from the local community the very little they have, and replace it with nothing. Anti-social activities among many, particularly the young, multiply. Anti-social orders are on the ascendancy. School discipline continues to deteriorate. So-called ‘yob’ culture is taking roots. Our Criminal Justice System groans under the strains of overloading. The British prison population increases. Citizens are being asked to give up some of their hard won liberties for security considerations. Britain gets poorer. Our population grows older.
The Foundation believes it has a duty to push ahead with its work. Those who have vision, commitment and courage will empathise with the Foundation and other similar groups, be they black, brown, white, secular or faith led. There is only One Universal Truth which recognises itself in all forms.
This matter is not just about voluntary and community organisations receiving or not receiving funding from public or private purse. It’s about fundamental social constructions and directions – underpinned by the proposition – ‘are we to line up together for the common good of the Nation; or are we hanging individually, in opposing social-economic and theological enclaves’. The decision of the Hammersmith and Fulham Council/Connexions London West Partnership and the High Court so far is one which sends wrong signals that would encourage separate individuality among British citizens, at a crucial time when we need harmony, balance, order, Justice and reciprocity.
We hope an appeal hearing will reverse the trend in this matter. The Charity would welcome the offer and impute of voluntary legal support. Individual offer is welcome from members of the public. Any offer can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and please keep on giving your support. Watch this space!
16th November 2005