MR PENDLE: BNP members shouldn’t be banned from teaching

NEWS that the Government is considering giving schools the power to ban members of the British National Party from becoming teachers is very disturbing to Mr Pendle.

Not because Mr Pendle is a supporter of the BNP - far from it.

It is simply because the BNP is a legitimate political party and as such, its members have the same rights as members of any other.

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Now to be fair to Education Secretary Michael Gove, he did say that the ban would apply to teachers “engaging in extremist activity” - so Mr Pendle presumes the same rules would apply to anyone attempting to indoctrinate pupils into the ideals of the Socialist Workers’ Party, the Communist Party or the Anti-Nazi League as well.

But given that BNP member and teacher Adam Walker was cleared earlier this year of “racial and religious intolerance” by a disciplinary panel of the General Teaching Council - and that his pupils achieved better-than-average exam results - surely his party is right when it says teachers should be judged on what they do in the classroom rather than on their political beliefs.

WHO - if anyone - is responsible for closing the gates at the entrance to Colne Cemetery in the evening?

The question was raised with Mr Pendle the other day after a friend noticed the gates were still open long after the time a notice on the gates says they will be closed - and it is not the first time that this has happened.

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Indeed, Mr Pendle has noticed the gates have been open every time he has made his way home at night for the last few weeks.

The gates are - or rather should - be kept closed at night for obvious reasons. There have been serious incidents of graves being vandalised under the cover of darkness and although the cemetery is accessible at the bottom for anyone who is determined enough to commit such an act, closing off the main gates at the said hour would make it harder for such people to get in at night.

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Someone, somewhere in the inner sanctum at Pendle Council must know whose job it is to close the gates.

Perhaps it is time that an appropriate word was had to ensure the job is done in future.

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And still on the subject of cemeteries, a reader tells Mr Pendle a friend was banned from entering Nelson Cemetery while an Asian heritage family funeral was taking place.

Is there such a rule - and if so, why?

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Or is just the latest in the long line of racist slurs spouted to stir up divisions in the community, to follow the unproven ones of dead bodies being washed in swimming pools and houses being declared as mosques to avoid payment of council tax?