Thursday, 10 September 2009

Caribbean Food Not 'Diverse' Enough?

According to the Daily Telegraph Islington Council have decided to close a Caribbean cafe on the basis it "only appeals to a specific group of young people." 

Council leader Terry Stacy said: "It's vital we make sure what's offered is bang up-to-date and reflects the diversity this borough is famous for. The views of users and non-users were fully taken into account in coming to a decision."

This blog, in the last couple of days, has been accused of falsely stating that we are not told how to live our lives, yet is this not an example of just that - ie, someone deciding what choice of food can be made available to us?

Coupled with which, on their website, Islington Council state:
"Islington Council has a proud history in celebrating diversity and challenging discrimination in all its forms. The council is committed to ‘Dignity for All’ for our staff, residents and service users alike, regardless of age, gender, disability, faith, race or sexuality. We are keen on promoting these values amongst our partner agencies and in the wider community." (my emphasis)


"It is important to have an understanding about the human consequences of discrimination. Ignorance, prejudice and discrimination of any kind, tarnishes the quality of life of the men, women and children affected."

"Rather than pigeon-holing people according to one aspect of their person, what fundamentally matters is that we are whole men and women, each with our own needs and aspirations."
It also states, on a separate page entitled 'The Law': 

"The Human Rights Act 1998: This came into force in 2000. This incorporates the 18 articles of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. Article 14 is particularly relevant as it relates to the right and freedom not to be discriminated against on the grounds of race, ethnicity, belief, sexuality and a range of other categories."

If the cafe has 'seen better days', this may well be a reference to a need for updating of facilities, in which case as it is a council-run youth centre is not the council responsible for arranging this?

In any event it seems an odd decision if Islington Council truly 'has a proud history in celebrating diversity', 'are keen to promote these values in the wider community' and do not wish to have 'discrimination of any kind, [which] tarnishes the quality of life.'


Dick Puddlecote said...

This smacks more of healthism, or a desire to close an undesirable food outlet (eg. looks shabby) than anything else.

It's the old scramble around and think up an excuse thing.

There was another Caribbean takeaway closed down in London a while ago because it was too close to a school and wasn't healthy enough. They got a lot of stick from the press - reckon this council have shat themselves and made up a fairy story instead?

Anonymous said...

The Telegraph story is WRONG. The cafe is closing because the building it's located in (a youth centre) is closing for a refurb. It's nothing to do with the food, diverse or otherwise.

The Telegraph were too lazy to check their facts.

Witterings From Witney said...


I did make the caveat......

Two other points - if what you say is true, why did not the council make it plain in their statement - on the other hand, it is the Telegraph and to expect them not to just 'cut & paste' is asking rather too much!