Wednesday 26 September 2012

Oh, A Terrible Dilemma!

On the one hand, I can’t stand the culture of ‘taking offence’.

But on the other hand, I can’t think of someone who had it coming more than Cllr David Stephenson:
He said he made the comment because he saw the women smoking outside a council office, and he is very anti-smoking.

*pauses for breath*


It couldn’t happen to a more appropriate person, could it? Someone who has bought into the ‘unperson’ meme for smokers and thinks it’s open season on them, where anything goes, as a result now finds himself in trouble because the fickle public’s attention has shifted and slain police officers are being beatified.

Just beautiful!

So, what was the remark? Well, despite the councillor’s rather bizarre ‘reason’, it had so little to do with smoking that I suspect a better reason for removing him would be because he’s lost what few marbles he ever possessed:
Councillor David Stephenson made a joke about PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes, who died last week in a gun and grenade attack.
He made the comment in front of the wife of a serving police sergeant, who was upset by what he said and told her husband.
Her husband, who lives in Ilkeston and serves with Nottinghamshire police, said Mr Stephenson said: "If you get 100 points for shooting one policewoman and 200 points for shooting two policewomen, how many do you get for shooting a lawyer?"
And in attempting to explain it away, he merely dug himself in deeper:
He said: "It was a tasteless comment or sick joke that someone makes off the cuff, for which I apologise.
"I have always been an enthusiast for banning what I term 'short weapons' which includes pistols and sawn-off shotguns.
They’ve been banned. Do keep up!
"I am totally against the use of guns in any shape or form and no-one should have been exposed to them in the way that those two lady police officers were."
So, you’ve just offended all the farmers and sport shooters and proven yourself to be a completely out of touch cartoon-version of a 'typical' old duffer Tory councillor. Well done!

But well done to Chris Corbett, for taking the sort of decisive action we could only wish for from Call Me Dave:
The officer contacted Derbyshire police federation, MP Jessica Lee and Erewash Borough Council leader Chris Corbett to complain about Mr Stephenson's remarks.
Mr Corbett said: "I was appalled to learn of the words used by Councillor Stephenson to a lady who, unbeknown to him, was the wife of a serving police officer.
"I have taken immediate and severe action by removing him from his post as a lead member of the council and he will no longer serve on the council executive to take effect immediately.
"It is not possible to remove him as a borough councillor as he has been elected to that position by residents in his constituency. However, his name has been removed from the list of approved Conservative candidates and he will not be allowed to stand for re-election (for the party)."
Quite unlike the dithering of Call-Me-Dave and subsequent revelations over the Chief Whip, eh?

H/T: Insp Gadget via Twitter


MTG said...

This is absolutely disgraceful, Julia.

Any politician overtly insulting lawyers, police, bankers and thieves, commits multiple acts of gross professional discourtesy.

Tatty said...

"to a lady who, unbeknown to him, was the wife of a serving police officer.

But what if she hadn't been ? I am not related to any serving police officer... though I am neighbour to young twins who were the bane of the neighbourhood cars with their football until they grew I get to be offended too ?

There seems to be pre-conditions as to who has the right to be offended and who doesn't.

Something is either offensive or it isn't. This was...end of.

Tatty said...

Shoulda been *young police officer twins....

Unknown said...

Everyone has the right to be offended, however, it seems we no longer have the right to offend.

Causing offence should have sweet FA to do with the police/authorities.

Tatty said...

"Causing offence should have sweet FA to do with the police/authorities.

I agree. Once it just came down to manners, respect and a swift smack in the gob for someone who was deliberately and knowingly causing offence.

That's "assault" now, apparently...

Anonymous said...

How is making a crap joke something to do with smoking? The problem with him, is that he is a bloody idiot, no more, no less.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure the police women were 'exposed' to guns, that sort of implies they were shown a cabinet with nice little labels on with their year of manufacture and perhaps a note about their origin, rather than, yer know, getting executed. And with that - away for a nice cup of tea and some lovely fags.

Noggin the Nog said...

He's obviously a prick, but so is the woman for not simply telling him so, running to teacher instead.

Still, it goes without saying that she is a prick. She must be to have married old bill.

Anonymous said...

Noggy old fruit,
Wondered where you'd got to. I understand you had a bad case of the runs recently?

Police officers praised after water rescue in Rossendale
TWO police officers have been praised after wading through sewage to rescue a woman who was trapped in her car during severe flooding in Rossendale.

Response officers PCs Nigel Baxter and Lee Richards were on patrol in Rawtenstall when they were alerted to the incident around 4pm on Tuesday 21 August.

The 72-year-old woman had been driving under a bridge on Stubbins Lane when she became caught in four feet of water. Her car had stalled and she began to panic. The water was up to her waist and she could not move.

The officers waded through the fast flowing water – much of which was sewage - to get to the woman before they removed her from her car and carried her to safety.

PC Richards said: “There had been a torrential downpour in Rossendale Valley and there had been a few areas which had suffered from severe flooding. This was one of the worst hit areas.

“The water was thick and brown and clearly had sewage in it. It was so deep the car had started to float. We waded through and managed to open the door and lift her out of the car. We carried her to safety and she was able to get warm and a cup of tea. She was worried about her car so we went back into the water and managed to push it out.

“She was in quite a state. We were only in the water for a few minutes but she had been sat in it for about 20 minutes before members of the public saw she was in trouble and contacted the police.

“I’ve never done anything quite like this before. I knew it would be difficult and unpleasant but the woman needed our help and I am pleased we were able to take her to safety.”

JuliaM said...

"There seems to be pre-conditions as to who has the right to be offended and who doesn't. "

Spot on!

"Causing offence should have sweet FA to do with the police/authorities."

Indeed it shouldn't, but it's a precondition for the sort of empire building seen in so many public sector areas.

"TWO police officers have been praised after wading through sewage..."

I await their ACPO area guy either taking all the credit or sticking them on for breaching Force H&S policy!

MTG said...


"TWO police officers have been praised after wading through sewage to rescue a woman who was trapped in her car during severe flooding in Rossendale."

Finally a positive for police blogs. I never foresaw advantages to daily immersions in the stuff but here is one benefit to boosting a tolerance of raw sewage. Lovely.