Keith Newbery: what a fostering fiasco

Joyce Thacker is the hatchet-faced personification of the left-leaning, politically-correct commissars who infest so many of our town halls.

To give the lady her full title, she is Rotherham Borough Council’s Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services – an impressive moniker for a person so manifestly lacking in the commonsense required to cope with such a sensitive role.

She is also responsible for removing three children from the care of experienced, loving foster parents because they had committed the heinous crime of joining the United Kingdom Independence Party.

I trust she will be suitably mortified to learn her crass actions have given UKIP a three per cent lift in the polls. But that is the only good news to emerge from this fiasco, which has seen three siblings split up and two foster parents with seven years of impeccable service, condemned as racists.

UKIP has always been entirely open about its dislike of multi-culturalism in this country. It also believes the open-door policy on immigration from the EU will merely exacerbate this problem – and has come up with a simple solution.

Bring back border controls (which will mean leaving the EU) and invest in policies intended to make Britain a more integrated society. Whether you agree with this approach or not, one thing is clear – it is not racist.

Yet that is the impression political zealots like Ms Thacker are anxious to give, so I would like to ask her and her apparatchiks one simple question. If the foster parents involved in this ghastly imbroglio really harboured racist tendencies, why did they willingly take these Eastern European children into their homes in the first place?

Why did they then lavish upon them so much care and affection that the children are said to be heartbroken at what has happened to them?

As an unashamed Strictly fan, I am delighting in the disintegration of the glitzy shambles formerly known as the X Factor.

Like many people, I suspect, I always record the shows and fast-forward through the adverts and the snivelling back-stories.

This leaves about 20 minutes of watchable television. Just enough to realise there is a wonderful conspiracy abroad to ensure that Chris Maloney (the Fake Shake) wins this year’s event.

He is a cross between Paul O’Grady and Joe Longthorne, and a victory for him would divest the show of its remaining vestiges of street credibility.