Collin Brewer: Re-elected but not welcome.

Dear Collin Brewer

Around 2 months ago a huge mistake you made came to light.

In your role as local councillor you made a hot-headed comment that 'children with disabilities should be put down'. Apparently you were angry. Apparently you were stressed.

Now anyone in public office; teachers, ministers, police officers, councillors and so on should never entertain such notions, let alone say them aloud. My brain wouldn't know how to begin to form such an insult, whatever the circumstances in which it was used.

The world got wind of this leak of your outdated and bigoted thinking and was outraged. Not just the disability community, but any person with an ounce of decency felt emotions ranging from anger to fury to sadness and disappointment.  They rallied on radio shows and internet sites to tell stories of love and positivity about family members with disabilities.

When I say the world, I don't simply mean your world of Wadebridge East. As a local disability writer and campaigner I watched as groups as far away as Australia and America demanded your resignation. Many wanted you formally charged, others wanted to confront you personally.

I personally rolled my eyes in your direction, and thought you a buffoon, a dinosaur and a sad individual who has yet to understand the value of those with disabilities within our lives and communities. I wrote you a carefully considered and balanced letter which I doubt you read, explaining the wonder our daughter Natty, who has Down's Syndrome brings to the entire family and everyone she meets. I pointed out your naiivety at turning a blind eye to public opinion.

I admitted that you were not a Geoffery Clark in my eyes, a man with a manifesto of hatred, but a man wholly unsuited to the office you were clinging stubbornly onto despite a glowing past.

Then you resigned after a hard-hitting interview live on the Laurence Reed show.

The world sighed a sigh of relief.

What you don't realise Collin Brewer is that at that time I and many of those in the media were concerned for your mental wellbeing. We worried how you would cope with your long and fruitful career ending in such a hateful way. We worried about your self-esteem, your mental health and, to be frank, your personal safety. And here is the thing, we actually did much to protect you from the wrath you had created for yourself. We smoothed things over, telling people to forget you if they could not forgive you, to move on and pour their energies into more positive work to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

We held back on interviews and publishing more information about you. We assumed you had slipped quietly away to lick your wounded pride and perhaps redress the hurt you had caused so many by doing some voluntary work or fundraising for Disability Cornwall (to an employee of whom you had made your fateful comment).

But no.

We were all shocked into silence that you decided to stand again for election this May.

The audacity, the arrogance, and again, the ignorance that the world  was watching and waiting.

The results have just been counted and you have won by a whisker, 4 votes if I'm not mistaken. Who these people who voted for you are do not matter. They may have been oblivious to your comments in the first place.

The worlds disability groups will now be joining force.







20 comments:

  1. Puke. There. I said it. Ugh.

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    1. I don't get hot under the collar often Mardra, but my collar is hot!

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  2. Please could the people proud of their votes wear a badge which says i voted for brewer and proud of it!I can then point them out to my son who has a severe learning disability and I can translate into symbols 'danger' .Over 300 people they may even work for the council or in the care industry.Watch your kids folks

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    1. I wondered if some of those who voted may not have known of his comments... and then I got a nasty message here on the blog (which I deleted) and then I understood the kind of person that had voted for him.
      Love to you and your family Beth x

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    2. Hi Hayley thanks!I would love to hear the nasty comments very revealing but I understand may upset some.The culture of fear keeps on growing in Cornwall time for the charities to bite the hand that feeds .

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  3. I can not blame this man now...he should never have said such words but he had removed himself through his resignation but how on earth can you have the morals to vote him back in. Everyone in the world knew what he'd said! Why would you want him to represent you?

    He may be a good man, he may be a hard worker but he said a very bad thing..if he had uttered the same sentence but changed the word for a racist or sexist one instead he would never have had the opportunity to come back in...?

    Im truly baffled what qualities he has that outweighs this hideous

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    1. We are all utterly baffled. I am actually shaking I am so cross.
      Hopefully together we can all pull together to get him out for good.
      The attitudes of the 335 that voted him back in is a question in my mind tonight.
      H x

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  4. Sarah Foster3 May 2013 19:56

    Hayley, I live in Cornwall and I am truely shocked firstly that he had the audacity of reapplying to be a councellor and secondly I'm appalled at the people who voted for him knowing what his views were.

    Sending love and support Sx

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    1. Yes, and having heard what some of the voters said as they went in to support him I felt very dissillusioned. Since then several in our community including our postman have come up to say how angry they are. His tiny 335 supporters are not representative of those in Cornwall. He brings shame on us. (I don't give him beyond Tuesday)

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  5. When things like this happen, you really have to wonder if the world's gone crazy. But then remember, it really is the minority who are so utterly awful. Perhaps Cllr Brewer and his supporters were under the impression that people with disabilities do not have a voice. How wrong can you be? As parents we will fight longer and harder than he could ever imagine to ensure our children never have to tolerate a world with people like him in. We are all with you on this Hayley x

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    1. Thank you Yasmin. I think his very few supprters are not representative of the feeling of those in Cornwall. He will not last long I am certain.

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    1. No, my jaw hot the floor. Time for action now.

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  7. If he admits that he made the statement then one has to ask whether he broke the law. If Cornwall is content to let this stand then Westminster should be asked to investigate. I would expect the election result to be quashed and the runner-up to be installed in his place. Given the weight of opinion perhaps he should do the right thing and save us all the expense of having this dragged through the system.

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  8. If he admits that he made the statement then one has to ask whether he broke the law. If Cornwall is content to let this stand then Westminster should be asked to investigate. I would expect the election result to be quashed and the runner-up to be installed in his place. Given the weight of opinion perhaps he should do the right thing and save us all the expense of having this dragged through the system.

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    1. Absolutely. The Council will hopefull remove him fairly swiftly Mark. Complaints campaign in action.

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  9. Hayley tweeted the link to Cornwall COuncil's complaints page: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=24865

    Even if you don't live in Cornwall, let's all add our weight behind this and make formal complaints. How on earth was he relected after resigning?! How, how, how, how?! I'm still so angry. People like him make this world a bit more scary for our children - if people like him ever got more power, its not worth thinking about... As someone said previously, if he were to have said anything about race, gender, religion or sexual orientation, he would never have stood in the election again; he'd never return to politics. So why are those with disabilities targeted and comments like Brewer's allowed to be gotten away with?!?

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    1. Indeed and the comments some have made about what he said simply being a throw away comment, just shows what regard they hold people with disabilities in.

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  10. I too am utterly stunned at the audacity and ignorance of Collin Brewer. A person like that should never be permitted into a role that is representative of the populace. As many have said if he'd said something related to race, religion, gender etc he would have been kicked out. Cornwall Council needs to show very strongly that this type of thought pattern should never be allowed in the arena of a whole population....he would be better suited to standing up for a minority somewhere. He obviously has a great talent for goading a response, and getting people to sit up and take notice!!! He remains unrepentant and by recent comments that his life has been very difficult since all this came to light, just shows how little he understands the power of the tongue, his should be harnessed. He doesn't even have the decency to hang his head in shame, and to restand for election again is worse than what he did in the first place. The ugly fact that he got back in shows a steady decline in the morality of the human race. BUT when the population rally to bring justice the big organisations need to watch out. I think Downing St is where this should go, to show that in matters of human dignity and value the population will not be silenced nor imprisoned by those who make decisions, regardless of class, race, religion, education, sexuality or ability. Never mind 'the tail wagging the dog' we are the dog handler, the people in power are 'the dog', they are ours to guard us, work for us and be our 'best friend' and like any dog that gets out of control they need disciplining to bring them back to heel!!

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  11. The news that Collin Brewer has made more off-colour remarks about disabled children means this odious misanthrope can no longer cower behind his already-spurious "wind-up" defence.

    For his ill-starred remarks Brewer has also pleaded ill-health due to a series of strokes. So with disabled kiddies out of the way, who next? Anyone diagnosed with heart disease or dementia? The prognoses for mesothelioma sufferers are almost inevitably bleak; should the good taxpayers of Wadebridge East forthwith be relieved of the expense of care for such inconvenient scroungers who anyway are surely doomed? Will this good Christian now volunteer to be put out of his own misery, lest he become an untenable burden on the state? Beaches and public facilities, or Collin Brewer? I know which I'd prefer.

    Clearly serious questions must be asked of those council officers who in the first place approved Brewer's standing for re-election. Perhaps they'd be kind enough to advise us if selective breeding is being actively considered as a future policy for the disabled in Cornwall. Once they've addressed this issue – and, we must hope, denied with some vigour the very idea – I look forward to hearing that this sour eugenicist will be ejected permanently from the council chamber and banned ever from holding public office again.

    Of couse, my view might reasonably be countered by the argument that I'm attempting to stifle free speech. And, provided Brewer's inanities broke no law (although at time of writing I understand a police investigation is underway) there might be some merit in this position. However, irrespective of what's written into the statute book, natural justice must be given voice, and that voice is screaming at Brewer, with perfect justification, to go, quickly, and take with him his acolytes and apologists on Cornwall Council.

    So if the police and all else fail, perhaps the best we can hope is that Brewer goes the way of another pre-Cambian sociopath, the BNP's Nick Griffin, who since his appearance on 'Question Time' has shrivelled away to the status of an insignificant footnote.

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