by Ed Hunter
There are lots of things you can say about Cllr Colin Brewer.
But as it’s been open season on him since he was turned over like a well-grilled burger by Disability News Service, it’s pretty much all been said.
As usual, the screaming moral majority – people who would have wailed just as heartily in support of racism or sexism back in the day, but now pin their unthinking colours to the mast of political correctness – will be forever blind to the irony of comments like ‘I hope he gets disabled himself’, or the multiple online threats to deal this outspoken 68 year old out a summary beating.
Such total mindlessness is depressing, and needs redress.
There’s only one valid, decent response to Colin Brewer.
If he’s going to be such an idiot, he roundly deserves to be mercilessly lampooned and derided for his idiocy.
Even better, you can try and beat him fair and square at the ballot box.
But once you’ve tried and failed, openly and honestly – that’s it.
Whatever Cornwall council may believe, whatever our knock-kneed local councillors may say, whatever political pressure groups and official state bodies may try and bully you into believing, Colin Brewer is a democratically elected councillor.
Pushing him out of his job – even pushing him off comittees as our oh-so-brave council have promised to do – is at best a stain on our civil society, and at worst a dangerous step further towards unchecked authority
Ironically, it’s all a little like the Niemoller poem.
Every git with moralistic delusions in the world has posted the ‘First they came..’ poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller – (about whom the most interesting fact is that he was an ardent Nazi before they indeed ‘came for him’) – on Facebook by now, commonly in defence of some popular, cuddly, get-you-laid-even-quicker-than-sports-or-music cause celebre you don’t have to actually dedicate any thought to endorsing.
But it’s not the cuddly causes that count.
Just as slugs and snails are as crucial to the natural world as cuddly lambs and fluffy little kittens, so ageing, illiberal Colin Brewer is just as crucial – more so, in fact – to the democratic body politic as is, say, young, fun community favourite Andrew Wallis.
It’s typical of the established local media’s cowardice, and poor judgement generally, that they have neither the intellectual confidence or the actual balls to do the right thing and stand up for democracy in the face of this thoroughly ropey pseudo-legal threat to deprive the voters of Wadebridge of the man they openly elected into his post.
The press pandering to ill-informed hysteria about the whole ‘put down the disabled’ shenanigans is almost as shameful as their revolting pro-fascist stance on civil rights (an insane editorial position that’s going to haunt them like the Mail’s support of Hitler.)
So while the rest of the supposedly responsible, official world takes a moral and intellectual holiday, let’s voice what the average man and woman in Cornwall really thinks about this shall we?
Let’s momentarily bridge that ever more yawning gulf between the noise weasly politicians, dickhead celebrities, broken-backed hacks and lazy, unthinking cretins in general make when their mouths flap open before their brains enter gear – and what the hard-working, quick-thinking, long put open Cornish public know.
No matter what the law says (and let’s remember we all have an equal obligation not only to obey but to break the law – think of racial laws in the US or the extremely legal murder of six million Jews) about ‘hate speech’ or inflammatory language and all the rest of that Fabian crap, free men and women have a historic inalienable right to freedom of speech.
If some dodgy new or made-up-on-the-spot law denies it to us, we have a responsibility as citizens to break that dodgy law.
You can’t have moderated or censored free speech – it’s all or nothing.
So freedom of speech certainly does mean Colin Brewer can advocate both euthanasia and abortion. And as an elected councillor, he’s particularly free to say anything he likes about either.
Principles of free speech aside, there’s also a massive practical Achilles Heel in the already weak arguments of the liberal anti-Brewer lynchmob.
Abortion – or euthanasia, in the Brewer context – is commonplace in the UK, and commonplace in cases of disablement.
Doctors regularly offer pregnant mothers the opportunity to abort disabled foetuses.
So – if the holier than thou Facebook brigade feel so strongly about it, why don’t they campaign to stop that?
Try taking on the NHS instead of one gobshite councillor.
Of course few if any mothers who have ever aborted a disabled foetus have ever gone public. It’s a matter of record only because of cases in which the mothers have refused the advice to abort.
Abortion is a remarkably lax and callous area of medical practice, in which elements of the historic pro-abortion crusade hold overwhelming political sway.
Journalists have only recently caught abortion practitioners in the UK talking women into having abortions, regardless of any disability.
But this is never addressed, becuase to debate the ethics of abortion has become tabu.
What passes today for ‘feminism’ and secular liberalism has replaced the contrary bigotry of a vague pro-life Catholicism in schools and hospitals, and it is seen as somehow fascistic to oppose any form of abortion at all.
You don’t have to look outside Cornwall for evidence of this.
Hasty advice to abort from Treliske resulted in the suicide of a Emma Beck, from Helston only a few years ago in a case that was widely publicised.
Were those involved in Emma’s case ever questioned over their zeal to kill of a couple of unborn twins?
Of course not.
We just got the usual pathetic, inadequate conformist-feminist whingeing from the latest and most (inversely) sexist Coroner of the unelected Carlyon dynasty, jolly old ‘Dr’ Emma, about how it’s “clear that a termination can have a profound effect on a woman’s life” (really? we’d never have guessed), and more predictable jobs-for-the-girls balls about ‘counselling’.
Heaven forbid that anyone should challenge an NHS Culture in which a womans choice to abort is seen not as a potentially avoidable personal tragedy, but as a brave and fine blow for womens rights.
Faced with the kind of unthinking pap that passes for debate and decision from the people in the Duchy who actually hold significant power – Colin Brewer’s attempts to blunder into the ongoing medical debate about abortion and disablement seem positively profound.
And if you actually stop for one second to think about it – in their desperate panic to appear saintly by vilifying others, the ‘Get Colin Brewer to resign again again’ brigade are taking an ethical position which is both stupid, and dismissed as such by almost all doctors and medical authorities.
Firstly, they’re supporting a gross intolerance of the basic democratic principle of free speech.
Secondly, they’re denying a free citizen the right to express his view on either abortion or disablement, and stifling healthy open debate.
But thirdly, the ideas they’re promoting to counter Brewer are borne of a totally unthinking, selfish emotionalism, which actually has more in common with extreme pro-life principles than the secular liberal leftist moral majority they claim to represent.
Most have been bleating that no child or foetus no matter how disabled should ever be aborted.
Which boils down to either not telling expectant mothers about disablement in foetuses, or telling them and forcing them to carry the child against their will.
Some liberal ethics.
Abortion and womens rights ethics aside, there’s then the incredible illiberalism involved in an attempt to remove a politician from their popular post.
Asked to explain how it can possibly be politically ‘correct’ for a loud incensed group of people most of whom do not live in Wadebridge, have never met Colin Brewer and will not be affected by his election to depose him from office, Facebookers simply wallow in a euphoric thrill of self-justification, saying the weight of opinion from ‘newspapers, community groups, people on the phone, people in the street, everywhere’ vindicates their dangerous crusade.
But what these sometimes well meaning, sometimes just plain daft people are describing is not a public debate.
Instead it’s the all too common experience of a large community of easily led consumers being drawn into an extremely profitable fit of moral outrage at the behest of cynical and profit-driven media.
Look at this way.
CCN could simply keep baying for Brewers blood and our articles would go astro.
That’s what the local paper will do – because that’s where the money is. But it’s massively socially irresponsible.
Journalism is meant to get at the truth – not stoke hysteria and pander to comments about killing off Brewer.
And once you get the truth about the Brewer story – something which, thanks to the hard work and sound ethics of journalist and writer John Pring of Disability News – everyone can now do, you realise, as do most people in the Duchy, that this second scandal is not a cut and dried case.
John very kindly shared his shorthand transcript of the fateful interview he conducted with Colin Brewer with us, and the truth of the story seems to be this.
Colin Brewer rang Disability News – and it’s hardly presumptious to assume he must have done so in an attempt to clear his name.
In the interview he attempted to again excuse his horrible goad to Theresa – which he’s apologised for already, and resigned over first time around.
Perhaps he naively thought it would be a good bit of PR after his re-election to lay it all to rest by phoning not a pro cynical hack from a national paper but a harmless journalist from ‘Disability News Service’.
If so he underestimated both the anger and hostility of the disabled lobby, and John Pring’s professionalism.
John clearly spoke to Colin Brewer at great length, and like all journalists would have done, with overwhelming charm and politeness, before veering the conversation or letting it lapse into the area the news was – in an ethical debate about abortion and disablement.
This clearly is a debate which Brewer has as childish a grasp of as he does press relations.
So once he was there – back in the place that if properly advised he would never have strayed into again – he was well and truly cornered.
What’s interesting is that he could have lied about his unpopular views, but he didn’t.
So in fact if the interview proves anything, it’s that Brewer retains that key quality which we all like to bemoan is so lacking in our politicians – plain honesty.
The other key point that’s clear from John’s note is this – at no point does Colin Brewer in fact ever say that one life is less valuable than another because of a persons ‘physical form’.
As John acknowledges (although naturally the appalling ‘Huffington Post’ chose not to), Colin Brewer phoned initially to say he believed life was precious, that he supported community treatment of the mentally ill, and harboured his own serious humanist, ethical and religous beliefs.
This makes it all the more ludicrous that since his outspoken interview, the moral majority have started using the word ‘eugenicist’ to describe Brewer, no doubt because this sounds clever and academic.
It’s also particularly irritating to contributors to this forum – as the eugenics angle was one only CCN latched on to – and at no point did we ever claim that Brewer was in fact a Nazi-style eugenicist.
What we explained – accurately, after the first report of the Disability News interview – was that he ‘apparently’ held Nazi-style views and was ‘portrayed’ as a both a eugenicist, and an eco-fascist.
Not – the same thing – at all.
What most people understand, but what they’re not saying, for fear of being branded ‘eugenicists’ by a lynchmob led by dangerous cretins, (who could be challenged and reasoned with by a mature and reflective media, but are instead being goaded by a childish and greedy one) – is this.
That the idea promoted by the media and celebrity cretins that Colin Brewer is a ‘Nazi eugenicist’ is contrived and wrong.
The truth, instead, is this.
This man has been a bloody fool.
He was terribly rude to a political activist, and deliberately said something outrageous and horrible in a reprehensible fit of anger.
He stood down when that political opponent used the media to attack him in response.
He stood up to be counted in a subsequent democratic election.
Partly thanks to his hard work as councillor for decades, and partly through fluke and the silliness of his opposition, he won.
Then he gave an ill-advised interview and displayed reprehensible stupidity.
But at the end of the day – all he did at first was offer a sick insult, and all he did later was get out of his depth in trying to honestly speak his mind.
Our democracy is fragile. We have a crap voting system, innumerable oppressive laws, a press that’s either self-censored or straight propaganda, and a legal establishment the greatest part of which is secret, undemocratic and unashamedly corrupt.
About the only real freedom we have left is that, as small independent communities, we can go out and vote whatever village idiot we so choose into office every four years.
Colin Brewer is that idiot.
And if you say nothing when the powers that be come for your local village idiot – one day there really may be no-one to speak up if they come for you.