With a meeting approving cuts of £65 million and 1,300 redundancies, the leader of the Conservative group on Hull City Council has landed himself in hot water by calling anti-cuts protesters in the public gallery “retards”:
The term is not without previous political controversy. Fiery Democrat operator and Mayor-elect of Chicago Rahm Emanuel was forced to apologise after calling a group of liberal activists “f***ing retarded”. A spokesperson for the White House, where Emanuel was working as Chief of Staff to Barack Obama, said that the executive “remains committed to addressing the concerns and needs of Americans living with disabilities and recognizes that derogatory remarks demean us all”.
Let’s see if Councillor Fareham does the right thing.
UPDATE: The UK’s leading learning disability charity Mencap have told Scrapbook that the remark was “completely unacceptable”:
If that term was used by an elected representative, it is completely unacceptable. It is a difficult and unsettling time for many people with a learning disability at the moment due to local councils cutting services, so this language adds insult to injury. The ignorant use of language contributes to a culture where people with a disability, and their families, continue to be regularly subjected to verbal and physical abuse.