Bad news for those who support the European Convention on Human Rights in Medway, as this week the Tories wilfully ignored it.
Article 10 states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
However, following the decision of Cllr David Carr, newly-appointed cabinet member for community safety, to use his Article 10 rights to impart his opinion on the much-despised traveller communities, Tory council leader Cllr Rodney Chambers instead decided that, in fact, Cllr Carr had no such rights and suspended him from his cabinet duties – less than two weeks into the job.
In an interview with the Medway Messenger shortly after his appointment, Cllr Carr said:
I would have no hesitation in strategising a solution for travellers if travellers were going to be responsible community inhabitants, but that in itself is questionable against their name – ‘travellers’. If they’re going to travel they can hardly become part of the integrated community.
They move on and turn it into a building site. They crap all over the place, they p*ss over the field, they throw rubbish all over the place.
The majority of comments on the linked article are in Cllr Carr’s favour, leading to speculation once again that the Tory council is out of touch with the ordinary, hardworking Medway taxpayers. Instead, Cllr Chambers has chosen to respond by Labour’s party political hijacking of Cllr Carr’s comments by suspending him and holding a review of the incident before deciding whether to reinstate him or replace him so soon after his initial appointment.
Most people who know me will know that I remain broadly supportive of the local Tory council in many areas, although I would of course campaign and vote for UKIP in a local election, but actions such as these lead me to question whether my trust in the Tories on Medway Council is, instead, entirely misplaced.