Not having paid much attention to local politics recently I just had a quick read of the letter that Cllr Ian Driver has sent, to the Gazette and I have to say, what's wrong with councillors admitting they've made a mistake.
According to Cllr. Ian Driver, Cllr Mike Harrison "described a woman who complained about being called love as a “frustrated dried up bint”, I believe there is any interpretation of the word that isn't derogatory.
I don't think Councillors should dig themselves a deeper hole by trying to explain such language, and I hope that Cllr Mike Harrison is referred to a standards board.
Anyhow here's Ian's letter in full.
Like Councillor Julie Marson I am shocked and angered by the remarks published by Labour Councillor Mike Harrison’s on his “Newington Blogspot”. Although many readers will be offended, I believe it’s in the public interest to record the fact that Harrison described a woman who complained about being called love as a “frustrated dried up bint”. This is perhaps one of the most extreme examples of misogyny I have ever read.
The Labour Party is based upon a long and proud tradition of decency and respect for others including leading the fight for women’s equality. For Harrison to publish such derogatory and offensive anti-women remarks is, in my opinion, incompatible with party membership and brings Labour into disrepute. I will be contacting the Party and demanding a full investigation. I will also be complaining to Thanet Council’s Standards Committee.
In my opinion there is no place in public life for someone who expresses such reactionary and disrespectful views.
What worries me most of all about this sad episode is however Labour Leader Clive Hart and Thanet Labour Party’s apparent lack of concern over Harrison’s appalling comments.
It’s been over two week since you published Cllr Mason’s complaint about Harrison’s blog. In that time Thanet Labour Party have failed to disassociate themselves from Harrison’s sickening comments.
They have not apologised for any offence he may have caused, nor does it appear they are planning to take any disciplinary action against Harrison, even though he has clearly broken party rules.
Worst of all, at the time of writing this letter, Thanet Labour Party’s blog site is still carrying a prominent hyperlink to Harrison’s offensive article! What does all this say about Thanet Labour’s concern for women?
Your readers may wish to note that less than one year ago Harrison and Thanet Labour Party quite rightly demanded the resignation of Tory council election candidate Payam Tamiz for making outrageous sexist comments on Facebook about the women of Thanet. But now they appear to be turning a blind eye when one of their own members does precisely the same thing. Is this because they don’t want to take any action against Harrison because it might risk their control of the Council? In my book that’s called hypocrisy.
I am so outraged by Harrisons action that I have set up a Facebook page “Thanet Says Stand Down Harrison” which will allow local people to have their say about this appalling behaviour.
Councillor Ian Driver