Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Cornwall Council: Collin Brewer Must Be Sacked

It's emerged Cornwall Councillor Collin Brewer has told a Cornish charity for disabled people that "disabled children cost the Council too much money and should be put down." This isn’t an exaggeration of what was said: it’s a direct quote. Mr Brewer shared his views during an event at County Hall intended to raise the profile of disabled groups in the Duchy.
Not surprisingly the charity, Hayle-based Disabled Cornwall, complained about Brewer’s appalling comment and the authority's Standards Committee has now reported its findings. Brewer was ordered to make a formal written apology; his letter of contrition to the charity says: "While I meant no offence by my remarks to you I can see, in retrospect, that they were ill-judged.” He’s refused to resign from the Council.

Brewer claimed in his defence that prior to his outburst he’d had a difficult morning’s council meetings, and said he’d been trying to "provoke a reaction and debate the issue of service costs provision." In other words he hasn’t provided a whole-hearted apology, more a form of sorry-lite accompanied by a haughty attempt at self-justification. "We all make mistakes," Brewer added.

It’s hard to imagine a more repugnant, loathsome act than attacking disabled children. Mr Brewer’s wish to incite a reaction has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, as the media storm around him grows ever more furious. How can such a person continue to represent his community? Brewer shouldn’t have to resign from his Wadebridge seat; Cornwall Council must sack him, without a backward glance.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Gott In Himmel: Pope Quits!

Pope: "Thanks, bye."
After his butler was found guilty of stealing confidential Vatican documents late last year, Benedict XVI has resigned from the position of Roman Catholic Pope. German-born Benedict used his senior post to negotiate a shorter than usual notice period and claimed God had told him to step down, explaining: "I was only following Holy orders.” 

To outsiders, Benedict (not his real name) had been something of a controversial appointment because of his Nazi background. Following a school-leaver's job with the Hitler Youth movement, Benedict’s first high- ranking appointment was Archbishop of Munich, famed as the cradle of Fascism, before his present role in Mussolini’s former country. The Pope will now spend more time with his family.

In the face of growing secularism around the globe, ‘Ratzinger’s Reign’ was notable for upholding the Catholic church’s traditional values. In particular Benedict underlined Catholic teaching on artificial contraception. He took the opportunity to emphasise his beliefs during a trip to Africa, where every effective method is desperately needed to combat the AIDS pandemic. The Pope's suggested solution was abstinence. He's also attacked gay unions, gay adoptions, abortion, and IVF treatment.

Under Benedict too, the Catholic church has failed to surrender to the proper authorities its ranks of paedophile priests. Instead, we're told of the pontiff's sorrow and assured the 'situation' will never be the same again. But of the loathsome culprits there’s no sign; no Catholic custodian of decency has handed over these vile people to be punished by the law.

A mixed result at best for Benedict then. With his departure there’s a chance for Catholicism to step toward the modern world. But Benedict’s successor will be chosen in secret by a group of very old men with no connection to such a world, so we’ll just have to hope for the best. Blind faith indeed.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Chris Huhne: Exit Lane!

The career of Chris Huhne, ex-Liberal Democrat MP, is in ruins. Scorned wife Vicky Pryce has used the legal process to ensure he’s well and truly driven out of office. For ten years global-warming nutter Huhne has lied about his speeding penalty points, and yesterday was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. At the time of the offence Huhne drove a luxury BMW 7-Series – registration H11HNE – but after being appointed Energy Minister hurriedly dumped the vast guzzler for a Prius.

This isn’t the first time Huhnocchio has had truth issues. In May 2011 his agent was overheard telling colleagues his 2010 election campaign had cost £60,000 – £10,000 more than stated. Making a false declaration of election expenses can mean a year’s imprisonment. Huhne evidently had friends on the Electoral Commission though, and the investigation was dropped.

It’s believed Huhne’s lying skills were honed many years ago, as the result of a birthday card sent late. Since he’ll now be ‘off the road’ the Prius will go, but should fetch a good price since it includes a unique feature: it can be driven from any seat. Meanwhile, like some of his ex-colleagues, the shamed politician's preparing for time in a taxpayer-funded second home. Enjoy your stay Mr Huhne, and remember: don’t drop the soap.  

Friday, 1 February 2013

Cornwall Council Triumphs Again!

Laughing in the face of its few detractors, Cornwall Council has achieved new heights of popularity. The Council’s latest carefree initiative sees the launch of a novel benefits form, sent to households all across the Duchy.

Keeping up-to-date with modern trends, within the form the Council asks for information on applicants’ ethnicity. You just find the box which best describes you, and tick it. The final choice provided by the Council is for people whose background is ‘Gipsy / Traveller / Cornish.’

Councillor Alex Folkes is a haven of sense in the lunacy of Cornwall Council’s wider thinking. Of the form, he said: "Some people will suggest it is offensive. And they are right. Not because being likened to a gypsy or traveller is an insult. It isn't. But because the two backgrounds are so entirely different.”

"What Cornwall Council has done in designing this form is to create a 'bucket' category for anyone who doesn't appear to fit into 'normal' definitions.”

The Council was swiftly alerted to its idiotic blunder and has issued an ‘unreserved’ apology, whatever that means. The on-line form will be reworked while a slave at County Hall has been set the task of altering, by hand, all the printed versions.

You may feel anyone in Cornwall Council with half a brain would have an awareness of Cornish identity, culture and heritage. You might also believe some kind of vetting and approval process takes place before the Council issues documents into the public domain. But these are times of austerity, where careful hands are needed at the helm; why waste money on trivial niceties?