Saturday, 25 January 2014

UKIP candidate apologises for party stance on the disabled

Perhaps one of the better things to come out of the BAPS meeting on Wednesday was a frank admission by the local UKIP candidate that the party had let itself down in regards to the comments of its former member Owen Lister, who stated that disabled children should be guillotined at birth. UKIP candidate Adrian Murray-Leonard was confronted by an incensed disabled rights campaigner, Mr John Sullivan, who angrily asked Mr Murray-Leonard whether he supported the comments of Owen Lister. The Barnet Eye spoke to Mr Murray-Leonard on Thursday and he was bemused by Mr Sullivans comments. As a result of the Barnet Eye blog and conversations with the local party, Mr Murray-Leonard read the full story. He states that he'd never heard of Mr Lister and his comments prior to being approached by Mr Sullivan. I suggested that Mr Murray-Leonard should read the full story and then comment. He has now read the full story and here is his comment

Hi Roger

After reading that Daily Mirror article,it made me feel quite sick to be honest.

I have never heard of Owen Lister nor do i particularly want to know him.I fully understand Mr Sullivan`s anger towards me on Wednesday evening.

UK independence party have now set up a dedicated vetting team to root out the fruitloops of society,i will certainly bring this individual (Lister) to their attention and do my best to have him brought to account,i have no powers to their decisions.

Please send my warmest regards to Mr Sullivan,as you know me better than he does


It can only be a positive thing that the UKIP candidate has made his position on this 100% clear. In private talks with UKIP officials, they agreed that given the fact Mr Sullivan has a disabled daughter, Mr Sullivan was well withing his rights to raise the matter in such a forthright manner. They also agreed that a man who had publicly made such disgusting comments, should never have been given a platform by their party. 

There is however a far more disturbing story, one which both Mr Murray-Leonard and Mr Sullivan have missed. Whilst UKIP have not covered themselves in glory, the original story in the Mirror shows a far more scandalous story  - 
Mr Lister was a member of the Conservative party and a deputy Mayor when he made the comments. The local authority he was serving on took disciplinary action against him and suspended him from the Council. The charge was for bringing the council into disrepute with his comments. The Barnet Eye fully agrees that this was an appropriate punishment for the authority to take. What became clear however is that whilst the Council recognised that Mr Lister was beyond the pale, the Conservative Party did not. One has to ask the question "WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET SLUNG OUT OF THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY". Researching the story of Mr Lister  I found the answer  Mr Lister was later slung out of the Conservative Party. You may ask "what could be worse than suggesting that disabled babies should be guillotined?" Well if you are a Conservative, it appears that joining UKIP is a worse crime. That is the warped world of British politics. Whilst Mr Murray-Leonard of UKIP conceded that if he agreed with Lister, Mr Sullivan would have been within his rights to thump him, let alone tell him off, the Tory Party think that Mr Lister was a valued member until he joined UKIP. So what can we conclude about the Tory party attitude towards the disabled? Well of all the groups in society, the disabled have been hardest hit by the Tory cuts both locally in Barnet and Nationally. Whilst I have no doubt that many Tory members would recoil at the thought of guillotining handicapped babies, they are quite happy to champion cuts, which will ruin the lives of such babies. We hear stories of "care packages" being cut. If a handicapped person needs care and it is cut, we can only conclude that they "dont care".

So what can we conclude from this. Well what I would conclude is this. I am not a Conservative voter. If however I was a Conservative voter and I lived in Barnet and believed the UK would be better off outside of the EU (which I most definately don't), I would defect to UKIP. Whatever his faults, Mr Murray-Leonard at least has the human decency to state unequivicably that the views of Mr Lister are abhorrent. In the Barnet council chamber, Conservative members have voted time and time again for policies which hurt the disabled. They may not be so crass as to call for them to be gullotined, but their policies are extremely cruel and heartless, to a group who has no choice but to suffer them. The one character trait I despise above all others is dishonesty. I admire people who can admit they got it wrong. Mr Murray-Leonard admitted that when he realised the reasons for Mr Sullivans anger, he fully understood it and actually felt Mr Sullivan had probably been more reasonable than the situation warranted. It is almost unheard of for a Politician to admit they deserved a thump, but in this case, it shows a realistic understanding of the situation. Sadly, Mr Murray-Leonard seems to be unique in the world of Barnet politics for acknowledging that parents of disabled children such as Mr Sullivan are not being "unreasonable" or "cranks" when they stand up for their childrens rights.

For the record, I do not agree at all with the majority of UKIP policies. I believe that the only way the UK can remain prosperous and influential is to remain in the EU. I disagree with many UKIP policies on immigration and I find their economic policies to be naive in the extreme. With regards to local policies, I agreed with the fact they weren't invited onto the BAPS panel, as they haven't published any. I suspect that Mr Murray -Leonard is going to cause a lot of trouble in Barnet in the coming months. I suspect that most of it will be for the local Conservatives, because despite all of his faults, he is not afraid to stand above the parapet and take the shots. Given the total anonymity of the local Conservatives and their total cowardice in not turning up for the BAPS meeting, Mr Murray-Leonard is onto a winner. Only the dimmest Tory will fail to realise that Mr Murray-Leonards stunt at BAPS has gained him great publicity and raised his local profile. We can only conclude that he relished the role of the hard done by outsider and that this will do him a lot of good with disgruntled Tory voters.

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