I can’t quite believe a month has gone past already! I have mostly been listening (and writing lots of notes!). Learning about learning disability. Learning about charity structure and fundraising (so many more elements to this than I thought!).
I love the way a whole world of information is opening up around me – when I listen to the radio or read the news, so many more stories grab my attention.
You might have heard the news stories about Collin Brewer, an independent member of the Cornish council. A formal investigation was started after he told the Disability News Service he believed there was a good argument for killing some disabled babies with high support needs because of the cost of providing them with services.
Youssef Abidat, who works at Mencap, wrote the following response to Collin Brewer’s comments, as part of Mencap’s call for Collin Brewer’s resignation.
“My name is Youssef. I work for learning disability charity Mencap. I live in London. I am born and bred in England.
I have heard about the comments that Cornwall councillor Collin Brewer said about disabled children being like ‘misshapen’ animals who should be ‘dealt with’ and ‘put down’.
I have a learning disability. I have a brain tumour, I have epilepsy and I am partially blind. I work, I volunteer my time. I’m a father of 2 children. I lost a son to cancer 5 years ago. I cared for him when he was ill. Am I a burden?
People with disabilities didn’t ask to be born this way. We didn’t ask to be treated differently. This is the hand life has dealt us. Who is he to tell us we should be ‘put down’?
It’s not fair, what he said. He hasn’t faced reality. He should think for one minute if he had a disabled child or if he was a carer of a disabled child.
Collin Brewer is a politician.
I would like to know how many people in his area would agree with what he has said.
He cannot say that sort of woggle and get paid for it. We are not a burden; he’s a burden wasting time and money spurting rubbish.
What would he think if he was told that he would be killed off for no apparent reason other than he existed?
What about people who are ill? Are they a burden? Would he put them down?
Children are the future. It doesn’t matter if they have a disability or not. If there are no children, there is no future.”
Mr Brewer resigned earlier in July and a by-election for a replacement is due to be held on 5 September.