Colin Brewer: A Disgraced Politician

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.

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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.

 

The Knowledge, Presence and Creation of God

Psalm 139 is one of my favourite Psalms. The author, David, writes about the awesome knowledge of God. Not just a worldwide knowledge of everything, but an intimate knowledge of us, His people. It’s an intimate knowledge of us because He is the very One who created us, all of us. We would not be here were it not for the author of life creating us and breathing life in to our being.

David also talks about the awesome presence of God. There is nowhere we can go that God can’t find us, or reach us. Even if we hide under the bed covers in the dark, God knows exactly where we are. I find this fact comforting. That there is always someone who knows where I am; that I’m never lost even when I may feel lost; that my Creator God cares enough to concern Himself with where I am. For a person who doesn’t know and love God, that could be a rather scary thought… That God knows everything about you and where you are at all times!

David also talks about the awesome creation of God. Human beings were the last of creation to be made (see Genesis!). It’s as though we’re the masterpiece of creation, the grand finale perhaps! No single person is ever created by accident. Children who are ‘unplanned’ or ‘surprises’ are planned and created by God. Children who are abandoned at birth or in childhood are wanted and created by God. Those who have a bad experience of an earthy mum or dad were wanted and created by God. Children with disabilities are wanted and created by God too. As I’ve stated many times before in these posts, no one is EVER a ‘mistake’ – how I hate that word in this context. Our two beautiful children, one is developing in a typical manner, the other has Down’s syndrome and will develop perhaps a little slower than his peers, are both created, planned and wanted by us, but ultimately by God. Isn’t that a comfort? It’s almost like they’re on loan from God for us to look after… Children are a blessing.

Sometimes when I’m feeling down, this is one of the Psalms I might read to put things in perspective! The reason I am sharing it today is that I saw a beautiful photo on Facebook… It makes me tear up every time I see it and think about what it actually means. All life is precious. ALL LIFE.
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Psalm 139 (NIV)

1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.