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POLL: Cornwall councillor refuses to resign after saying all disabled children "should be put down"

By RWhitehouse  |  Posted: February 26, 2013

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Councillor Colin Brewer

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A CORNWALL councillor has apologised but refused to resign after telling a disability charity that all disabled children "should be put down".

Collin Brewer, independent councillor Wadebridge East, made the comments to Disability Cornwall at County Hall when the group had an information stand at an event to allow councillors to meet equalities organisations and understand some of the issues they face.

At the event, which took place in October 2011, Mr Brewer approached the stand and was told how the group helps parents of children with special educational needs.

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He 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.

"As far as I was concerned I had a duty to make a formal complaint against Councillor Brewer to seek appropriate justice."

An investigation was launched and the independent standards committee ruled that Mr 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."

Chair of Disability Cornwall Steve Paget, MBE added: "It is of great concern to us that anyone with such beliefs, let alone to vocalise them, could be a representative and elected member of our local authority. For such a serious issue and multiple breach of code of conduct, bringing the council into disrepute, we did expect no less than this councillor's resignation."

When the West Briton contacted Mr Brewer about whether he would resign he initially claimed that he could not recall the incident.

However when prompted he said that he was not aware that there had been calls for his resignation and indicated that he would not stand down.

He said: "I had come to their stall after a long council meeting and I was probably a little bit het up as we had had some difficult debates.

"I could see that they were trying to sell me something so I said something to them which I thought would provoke a reaction. But they turned their backs on me and I walked away – I thought that was the end of the matter until the complaint.

"I used to be a salesman and I said it to provoke them into a discussion – I expected them to parry it and talk to me.

"I didn't mean any offence and didn't want to upset anyone."

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85 comments

  • Caius  |  February 28 2013, 1:13AM

    This is the e-mail I sent Mr Brewer in response to his comments' Mr. Brewer I find your recent comments with regards to young persons with disabilities should be put down, like an injured dog would be, to be completely ignorant, I find your personal views as vile, disgusting & abhorrent. I think you are a weak minded individual, someone not worthy to hold a position of public office. Your comments are completely ignorant of the possibilities disabled people bring into a society such as the one you are currently disparaging. Personally, I think your defective, your mind corrupt & failing, I feel it's time that you be put down. You are obviously socially & intellectually defective, and should have been put down as a child, as you will never amount to anything, you pathetic dung heap. You should probably call your parents and tell them they gave birth to a defective, ignorant ******, that presently believes all disabled kids should be killed, & ask your parents why they didn't kill you when you were a child. In many peoples eyes, you do not deserve to live, by your own views, as your a disabled man, mentally defective in many respects, & by your own views, you should be long dead & forgotten. Do society a favour, and live your beliefs. If disabled people deserve to die, as you say, then eat a bullet, jump off of a tall building, drown yourself, do what you think is a proper way to dispose of disabled children, & submit yourself to that process. Your disabled, mentally defective, and by your own beliefs, you are not worth the life you are presently living, so be a leader and lead by example. Until such time as you remove yourself from society, for being mentally defective, a disability on it's own right, you are not living up to your own beliefs. Either live your beliefs, or shut the phuck up. Your a bigot, a racist and your views are draconian, if you truly believe in such rubbish, then you are late for your own funeral. This e-mail was prepared by a disabled man, someone who was a fire-fighter/medic & have saved over 150 lives & billions of pounds worth of forest & property in the great country of Canada, who believes that if you truly believe in your statements, then your late for your own funeral. Please die quickly, so the rest of society can get back to our happy lives free from ignorant people like yourself who believe people like me don't deserve to live the life we are given. DO EVERYONE A FAVOUR, & DIE. HURRY UP MAN, I'VE GOT TICKETS TO THE THEATRE & I DON'T WANT TO BE LATE. End of E-mail. I do hope he get's the point. If disabled children are to die to save the council money, then this mentally & socially defective individual should be terminated, from council & life in general, to save the council & society the money your paid & the lives you prefer to end.

    |   5
  • wajy111  |  February 27 2013, 11:08PM

    Maybe he will donate some of his perks from the last 2 years to a disabled charity of his choice or maybe not. The standards committee should hang their heads in shame and read the Discrimination Charter and reflect on their decision and see what shame it has bought on Cornwall.

    |   4
  • Gypsy  |  February 27 2013, 5:55PM

    I don't think he should be MADE to resign, but if he really did say that comment with that intention in all seriousness then he should be fired and prosecuted.

    |   10
  • herindoors  |  February 27 2013, 4:27PM

    So we turn full circle and we are back in the Third Reich are we? You will be forever remembered by an awful lot of people for that remark, how can you hold your head up in public again ........

    |   16
  • cvsk12_  |  February 27 2013, 2:48PM

    SteveH2010, I agree with you entirely. I joined a group for the chronically ill, and that group is comprised of primarily British, Irish, Welsh and other Euro Countries, I have been shocked to the core to discover the propaganda programme so vigilantly and subtly offered to the general public has actually been accepted as if people have been replaced by sheeple. There are countless true stores of families rejecting their own, telling them the illnesses ''are in their heads'', due to the lack of biophysical research but the emphasis by a certain psychiatrist to ''prove'' it's ''in their heads'' and numerous times a chill has gone thru me at the comments ''abled'' people have made to group members. We all have to be vigilant: as far as I am concerned, the truly disabled are actually many of the people able-bodied but disabled to the point they cannot think for themselves, true fodder for doing what Hitler himself managed.

    |   4
  • cvsk12_  |  February 27 2013, 2:38PM

    I also wondered why if this occurred in 2011 it is only now coming to light. At first thought must have come to the attention of the facebook member who brought it to our attention had just read it late. Now, to discover it really is coming to light this late makes the matter even more intolerable. It's almost as if he's been protected, for whatever reasons. Yet,the comment is/was and always will be too threatening, regardless if it his memory failing or not: there are still too many of us who recall or have studied the "Aryan" views of Hitler, there is no recourse but removal from office. Reminds me a bit of that sick comedian who was making jokes about Down's Syndrome...zero tolerance. Really, it appears we all have to be very vigilant. :(

    |   16
  • SteveH2010  |  February 27 2013, 2:36PM

    I heard many comments of this nature from members of the public when the new coalition government sought suggestions on how to save taxpayers money. People were jealous that disabled people with severe mobility problems were eligible for Motability vehicles and other services, which they as able bodied people were not. As a disabled man I found this offensive but it was suggested to me that I should develop a thicker skin! Cllr Brewer's comments are reprehensible but seem to be held by the wider public too. When using public transport in recent years I've been told by strangers, to my face, that I shouldn't be using public transport to commute to work - because we are supposedly all on benefits. I have been told, as a taxpayer, that people like me are a burden on society/hard working families. When I was born abortion of people like me was illegal. The problem is that many non-disabled do not seem to see disabled people as fellow humans like themselves. We are the abstract "other", and as Adorno reminded us, it is much easier to disregard the needs of people dislike oneself. One might have hoped that in a country where most people describe themselves as Christian, that dehumanising other people created by God would be seen as evil and something to be challenged. Sadly too many Christians are too focussed on their own emotional feelings and rights to challenge eliminationist rhetoric/policies, etc. In Nazi Germany the mass killing of disabled people (in the T4 Programme) and later Jews, was able to carry on as long as it did (the T4 programme lasted until 1942) because most Christians chose to be silent.

    |   31
  • theparcel  |  February 27 2013, 2:25PM

    Is this duly elected official suitable to represent the needs and requirements of the community!

    |   12
  • First Impressions  |  February 27 2013, 1:36PM

    I think he should be put down....NOW!

    |   16
  • goldenoldy  |  February 27 2013, 1:29PM

    If the Nazi's doctrine had been around before Hitler he would have been put down, as he was lacking in the testicular dept. Shame!could have saved a lot of grief. Lots of condemnation for Mr. Brewer and calls for head-on plate, anybody got any good things to say about him? like his past work and performance, is he such a bad egg? or maybe a bit misguided in his humor.Lets hear from you.

    |   -13

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