Guest post by Rich Harris

  • Hey, below is a copy Copy of the letter I sent to David Cameron, ref Colin Brewer’s idiocy. I'll let you know if he or his office reply. Feel free to share, is do it myself but I'm not particularly bloggy. And well done for what you do.

    Mr Cameron

    I truly hope that this mail finds its way through your staff for your attention; I believe this will be of both a personal and political interest to you.

    You may be aware of it, but if not, the issue I wish to inform you of is the disgusting comment by the Cornwall councillor Colin Brewer. In February he was forced to resign from his post after remarking that disabled children “should be put down at birth” some 18 months previous, as they "cost the council too much money". He eventually apologised, suggesting that the comments were meant to 'provoke discussion".

    Yet last month, he saw fit to re-iterate and justify those comments, with the additional view that “when they [farmers] have a misshapen lamb, they smash its head against the wall; BANG”, and saw no distinction between the two. He explained that his view was because of public funds being taken away from such vital and widely used local amenities as public toilets and coastal paths, and being diverted to the lifelong care of the disabled.

    I’d like to think I’d be moved to write to you had his comments not had a personal resonance with me, but they do. My son has moderate-to-severe learning difficulties as a result of Microcephaly, West’s Syndrome and associated brain damage. He’ll never achieve financial independence, and so in Mr Brewer’s view will be a distracting drain for funds that could be better used elsewhere for the rest of his life. Indeed, I’m sure Alfie’s care is expensive, and for that I’m extremely grateful. However, whilst Alfie will never be able to directly contribute to the public purse, his bravery is certainly a motivation for his family, giving us strengbbth to strive, get better jobs, earn more money, and pay more taxes. Sure, we’re still in debt to society, but the way Alfie’s cheery demeanour, love for life, and infectious smile enhance so many people’s lives, I’m sure that in many ways society is in fact in debt to him. His teacher at school referred to him as ‘instant sunshine’ – that means more to me than if he’d graduated with honours.

    I’m not sure whether it’s appropriate for you to get involved, but my absolute belief is that public office has no place for a man such extreme discriminatory views. I imagine if he had said that black children should be put down at birth he’d be out of office by now, and this level of discriminatory bigotry is equally deplorable.

    For the aforementioned personal reasons, and as a contingency for this communication not reaching you, I intend have forwarded this letter to a number of your listed email addresses, and the No10 Twitter account. Should it not reach you, I’d like the comments to receive as much publicity as is possible so that the public can see what this man has said, so have also copied in The Disability News Service. Ultimately I hope that your influence and input should be sufficient to remove Mr Brewer from a position for which he is blatantly unsuitable.

    You’re obviously a busy man, but I’m aware of the challenges that your family have faced, and am sure your disgust will be as high as mine, and of the thousands of people that have read what was said. Thank you for reading; your response and/or subsequent action is awaited with interest by many.

    Kind regards,

    Here is the reply that came back from Downing Street


  1. Hi Hayley. Very good post. I am interested to see what they responded, but I cannot read from the scan you attached... could you perhaps attach better scan? Thanks.
    Kasia, Antoni's mum

  2. The guest post and pic were sent in by Rich Harris, but the letter essentially said they would pass his letter on to the Department for Communities and Local Government.


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