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Disabled children "should be put down" ex-councillor Collin Brewer will stand for May elections

By Jo_Wood  |  Posted: April 05, 2013

Collin Brewer

Comments (24)

A councillor who resigned amid public backlash after admitting to saying disabled children should be "put down" will stand for re-election in May.

Collin Brewer, 68, was an elected independent member for Wadebridge East, when made the comments to Disability Cornwall at an information event at County Hall in Truro in 2011.

When told how the group helps parents of children with special educational needs, Mr Brewer responded by saying: "Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down."

Disability Cornwall advice services manager Theresa Court said "I was absolutely horrified anyone would make such a depraved comment, let alone a Cornwall councillor and at a public event."

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An investigation was launched and the independent standards committee ruled that Councillor Brewer should write a letter of apology to the organisation.

His letter read: "I am writing to offer my whole hearted apology for the offence these remarks have clearly caused.

"While I meant no offence by my remarks to you I can see, in retrospect, that they were ill judged and insensitive and should not have been made at all."

Amid the furore Brewer was removed from the Independent group. Group Leader, John Wood, said at the time "I had no hesitation in contacting Collin... and telling him that he was no longer welcome as a member of the Independent group."

He added: "It was not a flippant remark, despite what he is saying now."

More than 2,800 people voted in a poll on thisiscornwall.co.uk with an overwhelming 97 per cent calling for the resignation of the councillor.

Brewer finally stepped down in February this year, when he said he would not rule out standing again if he had the support of his constituents.

Brewer has since submitted nomination papers for the May 2nd elections in Cornwall.

A Facebook page has now been created called 'Stop Collin Brewer from standing for election'.

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  • lfnbd  |  April 07 2013, 12:45AM

    well BettyCustard - it's better to live in "interesting times" than got bored to death. of course, it's a hard life when you have to be aware of the existence of vicious and cruel people and that they are threat to the wealth of society meant as an organism which is not a simply conglomerate of many independent parts that could be put here and there and somewhere else in a completely free will order. i too hope that mr brewer is seen as an irresponsible politician (if they could have ever been really reasonable for a long period of time) but the thing i am afraid of is that there are too many people who aren't just irresponsible but stupid enough to give him a chance and support him. and i saw many disabled (physically and mentally) people who enjoy their lives to the most extend and they can't punished for the things that happened to them being completely independent from their will. it's like blaming the universe for the way it exists.

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  • BettyCustard  |  April 06 2013, 10:40PM

    I think, ifnbd, that, in a roundabout way, we are in agreement. Abhorrent as Mr Brewer's perspective is and as much as I think that his kind of politics has no place in right thinking and decent society, to dictate who can and can't stand for election is to denigrate the basis of our democracy. You are right that Hitler and the Nazis didn't come from nowhere and that their rise was borne of a massive discontent against a backdrop of arguing about who ought to be paying the most contributions (more parallels) with the help of those who found it financially and politically beneficial to implement their agenda. I hope that you are right that people who express such extreme views as Mr Brewer will, figuratively speaking, destroy themselves. In the meantime, I find a glimmer of hope and reassurance in the strong reactions that his opinions have provoked in those who have spoken out against him. We, sadly, live in very 'interesting' times.

  • lfnbd  |  April 06 2013, 9:52PM

    well, if you want to know if there are more people sharing hurtful, unjust and stupid views on society's misery purpose - you'll have to let them be visble and heard. they'll destroy themselves. telling people that the poor and disabled are the source of society's problems would find listeners, news spreaders and followers at every time and in every place. people generally are stupid and they don't want to know that the world is a place different from their points of view. there always is need for a bunch of scapegoats and those who are left powerless are always become the scapegoats. i do not know why the europeans (that includes people of great britain too) chosen to vote for a bunch of sociopaths who have brought the disaster of global crisis. in an old communist way these people are called "the butlers of global capital". but we have gone far from the matter of the comments, i think... well, mister brewer is probably honest in his words and i am glad that he uses straight and brutal language. what frightens me is that there are many people who think just like him and supports that point of view - but in a crowd the ability to think dies fast. i still think, that mr brewer should be allowed to speak his words, to be chosen as a local mp (or what you call these politicians, sorry i am new to united kingdom) - it's the only way to fight his point of view and his supporters. as for hitler and nazis - they didn't come from nowhere. they were supported by reichswehr, junkers, the fabricants even by the government of that so called weimar republic. and they rose on a wave of german discontent on how the great war ended and who had to pay the most contributions. and they were silently supported by british and french (and polish too) governments who saw "the lesser evil" in nazi germany than in soviet russia (which was pretty oppresive state too).

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  • BettyCustard  |  April 06 2013, 9:10PM

    It is a dilemma ifnbd. The joy of living in a democracy and a free country means that each member is entitled to voice their opinion, however flawed and abhorrent that opinion may be to most people. But where does voicing an opinion become bullying and incitement of hatred? Would we listen to the rhetoric of 1930s Germany and think that Heir Hitler was simply exercising his freedom of speech given the devastating consequences of those who adopted his viewpoint and implemented his agenda? You may think this an extreme example but look closely and there are many parallels; did he not advocate that those with disabilities were euthanased too? The parallels run wider; look at the'divide and conquer' politics that abounds nationally of late. The poor and disabled are responsible for all of societies ills according to Westminster; they caused the banking crisis, economic collapse, they scrounge off of 'hard working folk', they murder people - look at Mick Philpot, he is representative of people who have children and claim benefits, isn't he? Well that is what Westminster would have us believe. The boundary is blurred and oppression is never a good thing but common consensus dictates that what this councillor said is deeply offensive to most right thinking people and the fact that he uttered this opinion demonstrates at best, a dangerous lack of awareness, at worst a terrifying outlook which, if pursued to its conclusion, doesn't bear thinking about. So whilst I applaud the concept of freedom of speech and thank my lucky stars that I live in a country where it is accepted, I am also grateful that public pressure means that people who express such extremist views are held responsible for the opinions they express.

  • lfnbd  |  April 06 2013, 3:48PM

    i think that mr brewer should be present in public life of cornwall. i do not share his point of view on disabled children but he was speaking for himself and many others who are just too hypocrite to say what they think. it's always a test for democracy as a system where every political option and every point of view on many things is present in the public debate. repressing people for their opinions (because they are so rude and harmful to others) is pointless, because it would have never ever remove these opinions but just would create the martyrs of the repression of freedom of speech - and made their points of view attractive to others (even those who disagree with) in a way of helping the opressed. i hope mr brewer is not mentally disabled and fully conscious about his opinion and it's consequences - and if not he should be put down too as the disabled and fully worthless member of the society. sorry, for my terrible english.

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  • BettyCustard  |  April 06 2013, 8:39AM

    @nick113, I was highlighting, in an ironic tone, the increasingly vitriolic rhetoric which comes from Westminster of late and is directed towards the poor and disabled. Mr Cameron is very much involved in this. Only yesterday he was backing Mr Osborne for equating Mick Philpot with all benefit claimants and he certainly didn't distinguish between those on disability benefits. He and his cronies are abolishing DLA, subjecting disabled people to torturous 'medicals' at the hands of ATOS - so perhaps it is he, along with IDS, Osborne and co, who is being a little uncharitable, given that you would expect a greater degree of empathy from someone who has had first-hand insight into such issues. This councillor's comments were despicable and ignorant but the point I was attempting to make, is that he is verbalising an extreme and grotesque version of a trend that is prevailing at the moment, one of hatred towards the poor and disabled. I hope that clarifies things.

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  • nick113  |  April 06 2013, 6:39AM

    @BettyCustard. Given that the Camerons had a disabled child who died when around 6 years old, your comment is rather uncharitable, isn't it?

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  • BettyCustard  |  April 05 2013, 11:25PM

    With such an outlook, I'm surprised that Mr Brewer has in the relatively lowly realms of local politics; by all accounts, he would be well placed in the current cabinet next to Messrs Osborne and Cameron.

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  • nick113  |  April 05 2013, 10:44PM

    @soylent. I note that you live some distance from Cornwall; Scotland apparently. It's jolly good of you to trawl the local newspapers of Britain looking for stupid councillors to condemn, not forgetting anyone who you suspect might possibly share their views. Must keep you jolly busy.

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  • nickthompson  |  April 05 2013, 10:34PM

    Just in case anyone forgets that we are all in this together Between 2002 and 2009, 60 investment bankers shared average bonuses totalling £170million every year – or just under £3million a year each over the period, according to the latest reports. Perhaps it will be one of these people who (according to the estate agents) are among the many people enquiring about an underground parking SPACE which is up for sale at Westminster at an asking price of £275,000.

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      Is Collin Brewer right to stand again for Cornwall Council, after suggesting disabled children should be put down?