I actually happen to have (until now) had a high opinion of Rotary. My father was a member for many years and would extoll the virtues of the organisation. He felt businessmen with talent and a biyt of spare cash should work for the benefit of the community. He believed that those of us who are better off have a moral duty to help those at the other end of the scale. He was proud of his membership and believed that his fellow rotaraians were an example how things can be achieved when talented people work together for good causes.
Locally in Mill Hill, the rotary claub have for many years used a retired milk float at Xmas to collect money for charity, dressing the float as Thomas the Tank engine to delight small children. For a few years our family allowed them free parking of the float at our site.
So I have hitherto only had good things to say about Rotary. When they appointed Mr Coleman, I was shocked. I heard about it through twitter. Mr Coleman was convicted of assaulting Helen Michael last year. Not only that, but despite pleading guilty, he has gone on to make statements in the press which show no remorse at all for a violent attack on a small woman. This story made national and local news, so it is clear Rotary knew of the conviction. I believe everyone deserves a second chance in life, but only once they have faced up to what they've done and shown some remorse. Coleman has shown none. By appointing him, Rotary are in effect saying that attacking women is OK.
When I posted my disgust on Twitter, Coleman spat back an insult trying to use the cancer in my body against me. This is not behaviour I associate with the Rotary Club or in line with their own standards and ethics. The role of president is one which sets the tone of the organisation. The President is the figurehead and should provide an inspiration to members. What message does this send. If Coleman had responded to my tweet by saying "I am sorry and I am trying to make amends by working for Charity", then that would have been the end of the matter. Sadly he said
Which shows no remorse at all and shows no compassion at all. Colemans twitter profile says
"Political Consultant and Commentator. Local Government Expert, Some time Politician , Rotarian, Methodist and True Conservative."
His comments cast shame on the Rotary Club. Whilst it pains me to criticise an organisation that does great good, I cannot in all conscience say nothing. By condoning his actions and giving him such a role, Rotary are making themselves a rather toxic organisation. If Coleman really cared about Rotary, he'd have resigned by now. Clearly it is still all about Brian