Saturday, 4 May 2013

Still the best system

Winston Churchill was a bit of a tinker, in so many ways. But he did point out one obvious truth - that democracy is obviously a terrible system for choosing leaders, until you take more than a cursory glance at all the other systems.

Which is something to keep in mind when you reflect on the good folk of Wadebridge in Cornwall, who've just elected someone who expressed view - as you do, in a joking aside - that disabled children should be 'put down' because they cost the council too much.

The man in question, Colin Brewer, made the remark at an event at Truro Town Hall, addressing it to a member of Disability Cornwall. The incident took place in 2011 but only came to light in a report by Cornwall unitary council's standards committee. Can you believe it? The charity actually complained!

It took Colin Brewer over a year to apologise. His apology took the form of a letter folded into eighths, with a second-class stamp. "I have no intention of resigning," he said, before he was forced to resign. "I don't think I have done anything wrong."And he won in Wadebridge by four votes, standing as an independent and beating the Lib Dem.

Just a rogue result in the back of beyond - Wadebridge, a place I'd never heard of, but which is now winner of my newly-invented award for 'Moronic Boghole of the West Country'? I hope so. But, when seen in the light of the demonisation of the disabled as scroungers by the government and its press pals, maybe it isn't.

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