The Labour Councillor who “Likes” IRA Bombings

Posted on February 2, 2012

Councillor Florence Anderson, Sunderland City Councillor, has form for unpleasant behaviour online. Most memorably, whilst Deputy Leader of Sunderland she got in hot water after saying on Facebook that she wants Margaret Thatcher to “BURN IN HELL” (a statement that she stood by on the bizarre logic that “I’m not the deputy leader of the council on Facebook”).

That was pretty distasteful, and typified the way in which some on the Left take their disagreement with people’s ideas to a truly unpleasant level. There are plenty of Facebook Groups planning to party when Thatcher dies, dance on her grave and so on.

But it seems Cllr Anderson has gone a bit further than merely distasteful behaviour, into the downright worrying.

One of the more extreme anti-Thatcher Facebook Groups is called “Margaret Thatcher doesn’t have to be dead before we give her a funeral“. Florence Anderson is a member. Some of its more memorable posts include calling for violence against Baroness Thatcher.

Just being a member is bad enough, but Florence decided to take it one step further. When the admin of the page posted this:

We are appealing to the IRA to find it in their hearts to bomb the next tory conference

Florence Anderson didn’t think “that’s appalling”. She didn’t think “it’s inappropriate for a councillor to be a member of this group”. She didn’t even think “I could get in trouble for being associated with this”.

Oh no, Councillor Florence Anderson, confronted with a post calling for terrorist murder of her political opponents, didn’t do any of those things.

She clicked “Like“.









It’s perhaps worth pointing out at this stage that she chairs the committee charged with ensuring public authorities in Sunderland are fulfilling their duties to fight crime.

What do her constituents think of this? Or the Labour Party, who would come down like a tonne of bricks on any Tory who did anything even approaching this behaviour?

I don’t think Cllr Anderson’s excuse that she’s a different person on Facebook quite cuts it.

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Categories: Exclusives, Opinion, Politics

31 Responses

  1. Andy:

    Why you’d want someone to be killed for having different views to your own is baffling. Labour are the actual “Nasty Party”

    16.02.2012 14:51 Reply

    • yob:

      Labour = scum.

      Pure & simple.

      16.02.2012 16:12 Reply

  2. Chris:

    You seem like a sensible, reasonable man. So be honest – do you *really* care that she “liked” a potentially offensive comment? Or is this a bit of “well the left complained about that, so I’m going to complain about this!” bandwagon jumping?

    More the point, if someone RTs something offensive, would you consider them to be condoning it?

    I think we all know that what Florence did wasn’t a sacking offense. Nor is most of the stupid little tit-for-tat faux outrage you read on Twitter (depressingly, mostly from the left). But I don’t blame you for sticking up for “your side”, so to speak. I admit I do tend to gain more amusement from Tory MPs being caught doing silly things than Labour MPs, but generally I try not to get involved. Mostly because I think stuff like that makes you look like a political sheep.

    16.02.2012 15:20 Reply

    • yob:

      Cock off, big nose.

      16.02.2012 16:12 Reply

    • alan barnes:

      Chris, ha ha ha, yes I also find people who condone the large scale killing of human beings ‘silly’ and don’t see why on earth I shouldn’t continue paying them to do so. After all it’s just a bit of fun. How ridiculous to get so worked up about mass murder. I often said Labour was for the people, especially when vigorously fighting for their right to be blown up.

      17.02.2012 03:10 Reply

    • markwallace:

      Chris, consider for a moment the difference between the words “retweet” and “Like”. What does the latter word mean?

      20.02.2012 17:59 Reply

  3. Geyza:

    Labour are not the nasty party. They are a terrifying and grotesque caricature of the ‘nasty party’.

    16.02.2012 15:40 Reply

  4. Ian:

    with regard to social media. I stand to be corrected but in Pay vs Lancashire probation services makes the point that there is no distinction between the professional and private individual. Added to this Facebook is viewed as making these statements publicly, not privately.

    16.02.2012 15:47 Reply

  5. Ethan:

    I hope something really awful happens to her, such as having sex with Gordon Brown.

    16.02.2012 15:47 Reply

  6. John Moss:

    This could be construed as incitement, which is a crime. That it is incitement to do something to somebody because you disagree with their views would, in a religious or sexual context be classed by the police as a “hate crime”.

    “I was only joking” is not a defence!

    16.02.2012 15:48 Reply

  7. JEB:

    Chris. When will people start to treat all offensive comments as not acceptable? The rise of social websites like Twitter has done nothing but harm to sensible, rational discourse in the UK. Irrelevant of political persuasion we should expect both privately and publically employed individuals to expree their views in ways that are clearly not as offensive as this. It doesn’t take much to moderate your comments – simply ask yourself if you would be happy if the comment you are about to post , if aimed at a member of your family or a close friend, would be gratuitously unpleasant. If the answer is yes show some common decency and pres the delete button, not the send one.
    As for said councillor her previous arguments about her division between her public and private roles is truly pathetic. I simply don’t believe even she thought it would stand up to scrutiny. Her reputation is all the poorer for it.

    16.02.2012 16:08 Reply

  8. Ryan:

    Utter disgrace. This is a question of leadership. Ed Miliband must denounce these appalling comments and expel her immediately.

    16.02.2012 16:29 Reply

  9. Labour Suspend IRA Liking Councillor - Guy Fawkes' blog:

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    16.02.2012 17:07 Reply

  10. Major Plonquer:

    Greetings from Beijing. As a British expat who’s lived in China for the past 20 years or so, I’ve been sitting here wondering where on Earth all the Socialists have gone? Now I know. I hope all you British people enjoy the company of the Socialists as much as we here in China enjoy the company of all your money. Do you think there might be a conection?

    16.02.2012 17:09 Reply

  11. 8 Ace - £1.49:

    Ed for PM!

    What are we talking about?

    16.02.2012 17:10 Reply

  12. Cllr Miles Windsor:

    She’s just been suspended. Good work Mark. Cllrs need to be held accountable (famous last words perhaps) and she was a very long way beyond the pale.

    16.02.2012 17:12 Reply

  13. Reed:

    I noticed on her FaceBook page that, in her list of likes, the page that follows “I’ll Dance On Thatcher’s Grave, Even If She’s Buried At SEA!!!” is……

    “Stop Violence Against Women”.

    They don’t do irony, do they. Or decency.

    16.02.2012 22:32 Reply

  14. Labour Councillor suspended after blogger highlights online behaviour | Digital Politico:

    […] of Labour Councillor in Sunderland Florence Anderson, after highlighting her vile online behaviour in a blogpost. Wallace detailed a serious of vile comments made be Anderson on Facebook, including […]

    17.02.2012 11:33 Reply

  15. Gossip Tory- Labour Councillor Likes IRA Bombing:

    […] in yet another scandal. Northern Labour Chief Florence Anderson has caused complete outrage after ‘liking’ a comment which read “We are appealing to the IRA to find it in their hearts to bomb the next tory […]

    17.02.2012 13:07 Reply

  16. Ethan:

    If the law can get all arsey about some bloke tweeting about blowing up an airport, then it smacks of selective prosecution that they don’t do this old trout (and all the other saddo’s in the group) for incitement to commit a terrorist act. Same damn thing.

    17.02.2012 15:58 Reply

  17. Pete:

    Presumably the Police would have to investigate if somebody reported it. Did anyone?

    17.02.2012 16:37 Reply

  18. Jeremy Poynton:

    This is incitement to terrorism. Why has she not been arrested?

    18.02.2012 15:58 Reply

  19. Graver Digger:

    Watch out it looks like the northern loony left is after you!/groups/252296788183947/

    18.02.2012 20:51 Reply

  20. Malice In Sunderland:

    Who was it who said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” ?*

    Not that the counseller actually said anything, mind you, just clicked the like button – as did a lot of other people. Are they being hounded in the local media too ? I suspect not.

    The other interesting point, which doesn’t seem to be getting mentioned, is that although this is being treated as breaking news, the original comment was posted in JULY 2010. I dont know if there’s an official cut-off point when “news” becomes “history”, but an event over 18-months old must be pushing the limit. And the Sunderland Echo put it on the front page !

    What I’m wondering is who has the time and inclination at the Echo to trawl through years of posts looking for anything to discredit a certain councellor. Or was the infomation supplied by an outside agency ? One with a blue tint, perhaps ?

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to know ?

    *It was Voltaire said it, by the way.

    18.02.2012 22:10 Reply

    • markwallace:

      “I dont know if there’s an official cut-off point when “news” becomes “history”” – I think it’s safe to say that when someone still stands by their actions, Malice, it’s worth reporting.

      20.02.2012 18:04 Reply

      • Malice In Sunderland:

        And the other 20+ people who pressed “like” – where can I find your exposes of them ? I’m sure their and I’m sure their actions must have been just as “disgraceful”.

        I’m also sure you wouldn’t ignore them too, just because they may not be a Labour councellors.

        And since Cllr Anderson has made no comment, even in the local press, how do we know she still stands by her actions ?

        24.02.2012 21:27 Reply

        • markwallace:

          “And since Cllr Anderson has made no comment, even in the local press, how do we know she still stands by her actions ?”

          Err, through the statement she posted online, which has been distributed online and to the media (eg here

          Here it is in full:
          “Thanks to everyone who has posted here to-day. I cannot believe that a casual ‘like’ on an anti-Tory post (I do many of them) made on the 25th July 2010 which, in all honesty, I could not even remember, can now be used with such vehemence against me. All my life and my 40 years in the Labour Party have been spent striving for socialism, peace, justice and equality. I have opposed War and violence of thought or deed – I have never advocated bombings or assassinations – my ‘crime’ has been to click a ‘Like’ button on something ‘tongue in cheek’ and this witch-hunt and harrassment is the result. As ever, ‘self-confessed socialist’ and Newcastle United supporter is attached to me by certain newspapers – yes these ‘charges’ I admit but ‘terrorism’ no.”

          28.02.2012 18:22 Reply

  21. Ashley:

    I’m with Jeremy, perhaps we should follow it up with the police to find out why she hasn’t been arrested

    19.02.2012 06:03 Reply

  22. wrongsaying>wrongdoing? « Neill Harvey-Smith says:

    […] Councillor is alleged to have clicked the ‘like’ button on Facebook next to a group calling for the IRA to bomb the Conservative Party Conference. There […]

    23.02.2012 09:01 Reply

  23. Duncan:

    You ridiculous people. Were you among those calling for Jeremy Clarkson’s head for saying he’d shoot strikers in front of their families? I guess not, because you can accept that “incitement to murder” was not serious. And Jeremy Clarkson hasn’t given years of service and hard work to the BBC – just makes a few crap programmes.

    Get a sense of humour and perspective.

    29.02.2012 23:55 Reply

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    12.09.2012 14:45 Reply

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