An award-winning charity boss who has helped thousands of disadvantaged youngsters has been sacked after criticising the far-Left political agenda of the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Nick Buckley was dismissed by the trustees of Mancunian Way, a ground-breaking charity he founded nine years ago, after an online mob accused him of ‘inappropriate’ and ‘insensitive’ views and demanded his removal.
Mr Buckley, who was awarded an MBE six months ago for his work with vulnerable youngsters across Manchester, warned of the ‘neo-Marxist’ policies of Black Lives Matter UK – which include tearing down capitalism and abolishing the police – and said they risked dividing communities.
But his 570-word blog sparked uproar among campaigners who branded him a racist and launched an online petition demanding that he be sacked. The 52-year-old was dismissed within days.
Nick Buckley who has helped thousands of disadvantaged youngsters has been sacked after criticising the far-Left political agenda of the Black Lives Matter campaign
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, he said the charity’s trustees had been put in a ‘terrible situation’ by the pressure on social media to axe him, adding: ‘That’s why the mob wins. They make people take a step backwards and once you take one step backwards, they know you’ll take another.’
Mr Buckley worked for Manchester City Council for seven years before setting up Mancunian Way in 2011. Its projects include helping youngsters in inner city areas to secure jobs and spot the signs that they are being groomed by criminal gangs.
Those helped by Mancunian Way include thousands of black, Asian and minority ethnic youngsters.
Mr Buckley wrote his blog after protests organised by Black Lives Matter UK following the killing of George Floyd by police in the US. BLM UK has received donations of more than £1 million, yet the identity of many of its leaders is unknown and it promotes a far-Left policy agenda.
Writing on Medium.com on June 6 – the day protesters clashed with mounted police in Central London – Mr Buckley said its slogan ‘is far too simple but is perfect for our modern age of social media and the willingness of social justice warriors to take up another cause.’
Mr Buckley worked for Manchester City Council for seven years before setting up Mancunian Way in 2011
He added: ‘What is happening in the UK over the last few days has very little to do with the horrendous incident in the USA. It is better described as part “new fashion craze” and part “an opportunity for anarchy”.
‘Do you know who Black Lives Matter are? Do you know what this self-proscribed political movement wants? According to their website, they want to end white supremacy, disrupt the Western prescribed nuclear family and dismantle the patriarchal practice. These are fancy words, what do they mean?
‘They are exactly what post-modern, neo-Marxists use when they call for the destruction of Western democracy and our way of life.’
Referring to Mr Floyd’s previous criminal convictions, he provocatively questioned why the demonstrations were focused on the ‘unlawful death of a career criminal’ in the US rather than UK issues including knife crime, female genital mutilation, honour killings and a lack of house-building.
The response was immediate and furious. Writing on Mr Buckley’s LinkedIn page, Reece Williams, a poet who works for a mental health charity in Manchester, said: ‘Please know that we will be doing everything in our power to have you removed from your position. Expect us.’
A few days later, an online petition calling for Mr Buckley’s removal was posted on Change.org by Karlet Manning, who also works for a mental health charity. The petition, with 464 supporters, claimed his views ‘undermine the Black Lives Matter movement whilst working in a diverse community’ and were ‘inappropriate, insensitive and have since been deleted’.
On June 13, the row exploded on Twitter when the petition and Mr Buckley’s comments began to be tweeted by Left-wing campaigners and anonymous accounts. Two days later, Mr Buckley received an email from the charity’s trustees informing him their relationship with him was ‘terminated’. A red flag and the word ‘victory’ was later posted on the Change.org petition page.
Mr Buckley said he stands by what he wrote, although he accepts he could have better conveyed some of his arguments. He said he had declined an offer from his trustees to issue an apology for the blog.
A protest approaches Trafalgar Square during a march in support of the black LGBTQ+ community
‘That’s the coward’s way and I’m not a coward,’ he said. ‘If I had the guts to say what I said, then I need the guts to stand up and continue to say what I said.’ He holds no ill-feeling towards the trustees. ‘They are lovely people but they weren’t ready for a fight.
‘They found themselves in a terrible situation not of their making – pressure online.
‘Did I think it was controversial? Well, I knew it was going to upset some people because everything you put on social media upsets somebody. But it is not racist. I am not a racist.’
He maintains that the rhetoric of BLM UK risks harming black lives and stoking division. ‘We have informed a whole generation of young black boys and men that the country is racist, everything is against them and they are lucky if the police don’t kill them,’ he said.
Last night, a spokesman for Mancunian Way said: ‘We can confirm that the contract between Nick Buckley and Mancunian Way has been terminated.
‘We are as committed as ever to changing lives and improving communities in Manchester.’