The Lord Mayor of Sheffield. Magid Magid, has provoked anger on social media with his Christmas message to the people of Sheffield and the UK.
Magid is a Somali Muslim refugee Green Councillor who famously attempted to ban Donald Trump from Sheffield when he visited the UK. He has also criticised the British Empire and accused the country of being beset by institutional racism.
He has now worn a t-shirt and posted on Facebook that ‘Jesus was a Refugee’, which is biblically incorrect and inaccurate and went on a twitter rant saying:
Donald Trump, the racist misogynist wasteman, is somehow still President.
The far right, more emboldened and barbaric day by day, parade streets throughout the western world breathing in discontent, exhaling bigotry and fostering hatred within our communities.
Immoral arms dealing, sinister geopolitics and despotism fuel bloody wars and conflict – in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Ukraine, Mali, Kashmir and elsewhere – continuing to spell devastation, death and displacement.
Short of a holistic upheaval away from fossil capitalism and destructive industries within the next dozen years, inevitable and unstoppable climate catastrophe will ensue.
And of course – there’s Brexit. We have a brainless government that has bent over backwards gratifying a handful of fanatics, caught in chaos between Theresa turmoil and Boris buffoonery; both should be charged with negligencebfgz towards the working people of this country.
So far, the weather this winter has been tolerably nippy in the UK, for those of us lucky enough to have a roof over our heads and access to central heating. But processing the state of our country and the state of our planet, constantly sends chills down my spine, and I know I’m not alone in that regard. We are often faced with difficult emotions – of anger, fear and dread.
Coming to the end of 2018, however, my time as Lord Mayor of Sheffield has taught me two invaluable lessons: that there is always hope even in the obscurest of places, and that the need for compassion in the way we do politics, and do life, has never been greater.
Inspired by the simple philosophy of ‘doing things differently’, I have attempted to use my platform to celebrate Sheffield and draw awareness to important causes, and to bring people together in a world that’s trying to drive us apart.
The reception – whether that is on social media, walking through the streets of Sheffield, visiting local schools and businesses or attending events around the country and in Europe, has been overwhelmingly positive and empowering. The status quo has left the majority tired, in despair and in want of something new.
The truth is, the political establishment are not representative of our society – they’re out of ideas, out of touch, and out of time.
As Lord Mayor, I’ve always pushed myself to unashamedly speak out against injustices. Standing against racism, hate and intolerance and defending the most powerless and disenfranchised sections of our society.
In each of my monthly campaigns – whether it was banning the racist Donald Trump while the government rolled out the red carpet, challenging Boris Johnson’s overlooked bigotry, demanding Orgreave justice from Sajid Javid, appointing Sheffield’s first poet-laureate, launching a UK-wide Suicide Prevention Charter, defending migrants, calling to action against climate change or making the case for an anti-war Government – I wear my heart on my sleeve, and the writing is on the t-shirt.
The squat, for me, has become a symbol of defiance. It’s up to us to create our own traditions, not conform to standards created by others for themselves and those they wish to maintain power over. We must get off our high horses, widen engagement and make politics fit for the 21st century.
Every single one of us has a circle – some form of platform, some degree of influence. Speaking truth to power, acting according to our capability and opportunity, whatever that may be, is our collective responsibility.
Within the fight for a better world – a world with greater equality and tolerance, there is a niche for every one of us to help make that a reality. An activism fuelled by compassion, in charity, politics or protest.
It’s not easy. I keep a hate-box in the corner of my parlour, filled with the dozens of abusive and hateful letters awaiting me at the Town Hall on a regular basis. And the social media bullying culture leaves me, like many of you, exhausted most nights of the week.
We all need coping mechanisms, to see the hope and feel the compassion, to stop us from going numb. I love a good dessert to keep me going. Some steaming-hot flapjack and custard and I’m raring to go. I always thought it was a reasonable way to pick myself up, though my recent visit to the dentist showed it isn’t without consequence!
Let’s be clear, this past year has shown people have recognised that things cannot stay as they are any longer. From this Christmas, we everyday folk must fill the political elite’s present vacuum of ideas with our progressive plans and principled solutions, for a fairer, more equal society.
The proof is in the sticky toffee pudding.
Change for the better is not only possible, it is probable, when we come together for the sake of our common prosperity. With conviction in our beliefs and committed action, with unity, strength and compassion, we will build a world that truly works for all.
Have a lovely Christmas – and in 2019, don’t be afraid to do things differently, to take a bold stand, and to make your own creative traditions. In that, you’ll find me by your side.
Below are some of the comments from people in response to his statement:
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