I first became aware of the comments made by Colin Brewer a couple of months ago, and I was infuriated and very upset. I didn’t blog about it then because I was too upset. Another Geoffrey Clarke? Another bigoted man in a position of power (however small) with more hateful opinions about the most vulnerable in society. Brewer is – was – a local councillor in Cornwall. He publically made comments about children with disabilities, that they cost too much money and should be killed at birth, effectively “put down”. However, he gave some half hearted apology, stepped down under the weight of the nationwide pressure, and we thought that was the last of it. We breathed a sigh of relief and got on with our lives.
I recently heard though, that he is currently standing in the May elections as an independent councillor. I’m not sure if he is for real! This renders his previous apology as useless. False. Worthless. Is he that naive that he thinks people will have forgotten and excused his disgraceful comments? To make it worse, in a follow up interview recently, he made references that farmers put down lambs when they are born with a disability. He doesn’t believe there is a difference between putting down a disabled lamb and a precious child with a disability or additional needs.
Clearly there is no change in his opinions, no remorse or regret. No compassion for HUMAN LIFE. This man is standing for election. A position of power, albeit at ‘local’ level. This is a position elevated in the community. A position of trust. But how is it even possible that he is allowed to stand again? He clearly does not have value for all human life. Who knows what other extreme and hateful views he holds?
Is this the sort of man we want in power? Extreme views and heartless opinions? When the Disability News Service asked Brewer whether there was a good argument for killing some disabled children with high support needs, he answered, “yes, that is why I keep as far away from health in the council as I can.” When a child is born with a disability, Brewer believes that the cost of their support and needs should be weighed up against their right to life.
Life is ALWAYS more precious and more important than money. Every. Single. Time.
Note: Since publishing this blog post, news broke that Brewer won the local election by a mere four votes on 3RD May. Brewer’s comments received nearly 200 complaints to Cornwall council – I was one of the complainants – but the council admitted they did not have the power to ‘sack’ Mr Brewer. The council said his comments were “OUTRAGEOUS AND GROSSLY INSENSITIVE REMARKS”. However they were able to impose heavy sanctions and censorship on him, stating he would not be able to work with any council children’s health group(s), among other sanctions. After much national – and indeed, worldwide – anger, Brewer verbally announced his intention to resign from the council in July 2013. As yet, we have not seen or heard about a formal resignation letter.