Shame on you Collin Brewer

Shame on you Collin Brewer not shame on Cornwall.
In summary: a Local Councillor in Cornwall said (in the heat of the moment, when knackered and after a stroke that appently affects his temper) that children with disabilities SHOULD BE PUT DOWN.




I took a breath, raised my eyebrows and we all urged him to give up his post. 

Although many were furious, some even baying for blood, we all know people that say things they shouldn't from time to time. Poor bumbling buffoon we thought, so devoid of love and compassion in his life, so unaware of the wonders our children bring to our lives.

But embarrassing uncles saying things they shouldn't at weddings is one thing, a bigot with a microphone in his hand and in the public spotlight, weilding power, albeit in a small constituency in Cornwall is a dangerous thing. 


He and his wife entered a pub for a drink. Those present fell silent and everyone turned their backs. The majority in is town were shunning him.


The fact that he is an Independent candidate (and this is not about politics for a millisecond) means that he is aligned with no particular party and cannot be sacked.

But he did resign (under sufference and a very very hard hitting radio interview with Laurence Reed on BBC Radio Cornwall). 

We collectively breathed a sigh of relief, despite his reluctance to go he had seen sense at last. We could stop worrying about the riots that we feared might ignite, those turning up on his doorstep who were less forgiving than I.

He would surely disappear into the ether and lick his wounded pride...

Or would he?

Apparently 3 cards from wellwishers and a handful of local chums persuaded him to join a disability charity, work with local families to make amends, stand again as Councillor.

Now don't even begin to ask which 'well-we-do-the-same-with-our-cows' constituents voted for him (sadly I am quoting one gentleman) but he got voted in on Friday, winning the Wadebridge East seat by a gnat's whisker of 4 votes. 

There was a recount. There were boos from some present. The disbelief amongst fellow candidates, journalists and media was tangible.

I can't get angry, I have much bigger fish to fry, but I will play my part in seeing this fool removed from office. For he is embarrassing us here in Cornwall, the world convinced his attitude is 'just part of behind-the-times-thinking which we country bumpkins have down here', which is simple not true. 

The community here is Cornwall is nothing short of warm and supportive. Everyone looks out for each other and more importantly accepts each others quirks and differences. Here in Cornwall is truthfully the only place in the UK that no-one ever stares at Natty, then me as if to see how old I am, then back at her to see how 'affected she is by the condition'. 


The public at large are outraged by Brewer's arrogance and smugness upon re-election. He is still stating that he did nothing wrong. Perhaps we could forgive and move on if he said he was wrong and deeply sorry. I spent 10 minutes calming down a very angry postman on Friday, who knocked on the door to tell my husband and I how upset he and his wife are for families like ours, how angry is he that smug Brewer is back in.


Then there was the young window cleaner who told me he 'wanted to deck him'. I couldn't possibly comment on that.


The egg farmer thanked me for all I am doing to get Brewer out, because, it turns out his neice has Down's Syndrome and he said I spoke for the whole of his family, saying what they couldn't put into words for anger. 


And so you see, the entire cross section of Cornwall is pretty fed up with the bad press this guy is bringing us. Not to mention those who say they won't visit because they fear their children being treated badly on holiday here.


And to those who say 'it was only a throw away comment', 'he didn't mean it' you are agreeing that our children are second class citizens, that such comments don't matter because they have a disability, they are assumed not to have a voice. Well these comments do matter, as much as the terrible racist jokes that filled sitcoms in the 70s as I grew up. They were only 'having a laugh' back then too weren't they... 


Already 92% of all babies disgnosed as having Down's Syndrome during pregnancy are terminated by terrified parnets who recieve little or no support in what to expect. Yes Mr Brewer, put down. Do you begin to see why the comments are so real and so painful?

For those who think we campaigning for his removal are sh%t stirring, I guess you have it almost correct. Not stirring, but trying to remove the dirt from our shoes. Freshen up and move on. Sometimes you simply have to make a stand for what is right. When we shine light brighly into dark corners the shadows always become darker, and they usually protest. Read Outshining the Bigots here.


I've written a couple of open letters to Collin, which you can read here and here.


There's an ePetition to sign here.


I discovered the online complaints form for Cornwall County Council. Pop over and tick the first 5 boxes, mention Collin Brewer and his unacceptable comment, which was witnessed by Disability Cornwall and mention where you are from. I'm sure we can lodge more complaint than the 335 votes he received.


There's also a demonstration at County Hall in Truro on Wednesday morning if you want to peacefully show your feelings.

My interview with Pirate FM news is aired on Tuesday.


I've written to everyone I know at Westminster and every journalist I have ever worked with and every disability group I know worldwide.


We'll keep you posted.


Thank you for your support.



I leave you with Natty's thoughts on the matter Mr Brewer:









Downs Side Up is shortlisted in Inspire, Outstanding and Commentary sections of the 
Brilliance in Blogging Awards. You can vote for us here:


NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 COMMENTARY

16 comments:

  1. I live in Australia, and have visited Cornwall. Silly man, silly comment too. And in politics too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, unbelievable but true. Hope you come and visit us again soon.

      Delete
  2. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh. Wish I could be there to cheer you on. As you know, we're fighting our own battle here too with the Robert Ethan Saylor family. Feels like an uphill battle, but...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and that battle so much more unbearable and unbelievable. We are right behind you on that score too. uphill at times, I felt so disillusioned on Friday, but then the optimism came back over the sunny weekend and I feel sure that together we will get there Mardra.

      Delete
  3. I prefer not to swear, I don't think its very lady like and most defiantly not on someone elses blog so I shall just say this man is a beep beep and a beep

    ReplyDelete
  4. you have bought pride where he has bought shame x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very kind. To be honest I have struggled with this subject, and remaining 'humane' in my response.

      Delete
  5. Well it won;t be long before he is dependent on others becuase he has early signs of dementia I'm thinking. He'll then get a taste first hand of being devalued and a so-called burden on society but no doubt he'll end up being cared for by a humane, kind, respectful (poorly paid) caregiver because luckily for him there are many people out there who think all humans have an intrinsic dignity and value.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are right about the dementia and yes, thankfully there are many amazing people who will pick up his pieces.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you are going to quote Mr Brewer at least use the whole quote so people understand the context. He had come out of a heated debate when council discussing further cuts to support in which he is well known in Wadebridge for being totally against. Mr Brewer has always supported our local families and disabled groups. Of which we have many. With over 5 sheltered houses for disabled adults and also home farm trust and a facility for respite and holidays. Perhaps you should trust the judgement of people who actually know the man

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps you should read this dear Anonymous:

      http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/05/colin-brewer-there-is-a-good-argument-for-killing-some-disabled-babies/

      Delete
  8. Dear Anonymous, there is NO context which justifies Brewer's comments. It's like saying we need to show Hitler in a better light - context meant nothing to the millions of Jews in extermination camps!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Regardless of what context he spoke in there is no excuse for making that kind of comment, in a public meeting when you have a prominent role. AS a Mum of a beautiful boy who happens to have Down Syndrome I find his comments and attitude hurtful. The further interview with DNS show that he wasn't speaking in the heat of the moment and the context that he is being perceived in is true - it is nothing short of eugenics.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Cherie. I took the transcript of that interview to No.10 yesterday and we have full support. Have a read around the #BrewerOut blog linky I have set up, for wonderful posts telling the world how fabulous our children are. We will outshine the Brewers, not sink to their level. http://www.downssideup.com/2013/05/lets-pull-together-and-celebrate-our.html

      There's more than one way of skinning a cat. H ( daughter with DS)

      Delete

I love hearing your thoughts.