Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What some Tories really think about disabled people...

Just been sent a copy of a letter of resignation by one of David Cameron's General Election candidates which shows how far the grass-roots Conservative Party needs to change if they are ever to be serious about governing this country.

It's not the kind of letter he would have wished to receive on the first anniversary as Tory Leader

Paul Offer has resigned as Tory candidate in the closely fought Westminster seat of Chester which is currently held by Labour.

He says Cameron's "major challenge is to change the attitudes of some of the people running his (local) Associations."

Mr Offer goes on:

I have witnessed sexist bullying, heard racist comments and been told (by an officer of the local Conservative Association) that he didn't support work that I was doing to help families with disabled children because he thought that 'disabled kids shouldn't be fed from the day they are born'.
Mr Offer's words remind me of the comments about children with special needs made by former Councillor Jim Speechley, when he was in Opposition.

He was objecting to Labour's proposals at the time for more money to be spent on children with special needs. Cllr Speechley said that such children had nothing to offer society.

He was later forced to withdraw his comments and apologise.

While ordinary members of the public would have been appalled by his comments, they didn't do his reputation any harm with his mates on Lincolnshire County Council.

They later selected Jim as their Leader, and even gave him a vote of confidence when he was officially named and shamed as a bully who ran the council in a climate of fear.

Even now, some of them still think he was wrongly jailed for abuse of public office!

It doesn't matter how many times the Tories change their leader, the change that's really needed is much deeper.

7 comments:

Brynley said...

Paul Offer's website contains a number of gems.

He tells Susan Dagnall that his favourie food is chips, beans and HP sauce.

Show off!

He says: "we must learn to stand on our own two feet"

Copyright: M Thatcher, I believe.

He says Labour are embracing politics "without principles, ideas and values"

This little quote will no doubt be hung around his neck if Phil recruits him.

Liz said...

I am not surprised that this man has felt the need to resign as PPC for Chester. There seems little doubt that the caring (and of course false) PR strategy by the leadership is not held by the Conservative Party members who dominate local associations I know. Indeed those who are defecting to the UKIP believe that this strategy will be ditched should the Tories gain power at the next election. Neither am I surprised that the former leader of LCC (Mr Speechley) held outrageous views on those people who are physically challenged. Mr Speechleys testimony at his trial and the evidence of David Bowles clearly indicated what he felt towards those from whom he could not gain politically/personally and those of independent mind that he could not dominate. Democracy is wonderful! I was angry that a political party ruling the Council undermined my trust by continuing to support a leader who was tarnished by the various independent reports. Also that the subsequent leader was determined to carry on in the same manner until he too had to resign.

It will take many years for me to trust LCC. I would love the ruling party to lose control because of their lack of integrity during the Speechley saga. I want an inclusive council were all views are respected and councillors from all political parties are included in decision making bodies. Is this now happening?

Spinky said...

Adam Ricketts is rumoured to be the favourite to be parachuted in by Conservative Central Office

fairdealphil said...

brynley:

chips, beans and HP sauce....?

wasn't that John 'Little Chef' Major...??

liz:

sadly, after a promising start under Martin Hill and his team, my perception is that the Executive have slipped back to some bad old ways of failing to listen to the public, never mind the Opposition.

I've seen very little evidence of any inclusion, although there are now a few places for the Opposition as chairs of some of the Policy Development Groups (not on the Chi8ldrens Services one on which I sit).

That has to be a step forward, although the system of "calling-in" Executive decisions for a re-think has yet to achieve a single change - despite, for example, cross-party support on infant/junior school closures.

This was a knee-jerk policy drawn up on the back of a fag-packet and caused massive unrest for teachers, parents, children and their communities.

Trebling home care charges overnight is yet another example of the present administration refusing to listen to sense.

They still have a "we know what's best for you" attitude and often take decision to "do things" to communities rather than allow communities themselves to get involved in a meaningful way in the decision making process.

fairdealphil said...

spinky:

Ricketts...?

Isn't he a TV soap star...?

Sounds about right...

Don't know him, so that may be unfair to him...of course soap stars could have something to contribute (other than suds).

Geoffrey G Brooking said...

I'll probably get into trouble for saying this but who cares.

Where he says Cameron's "major challenge is to change the attitudes of some of the people running his (local) Associations" I think he has a good point!

fairdealphil said...

geoffrey:

appreciate your honesty and promise not to snitch on you.