Search the Site
Create a Site
Read the News
Whats On

Papalscope October 2006

Make me the Hundred and First

I am sure I was not the only one to see this report by Simon de Bruxelles in the Times Oct 7 2006. My acknowledgement to the publisher for presuming to reissue it.

'Gay animals' councillor quits
By Simon de Bruxelles
A CONSERVATIVE councillor has paid the price for joking that a modern Noah would be forced to find room for gay animals on his Ark. David Clutterbuck, who made the comment in an e-mail, was suspended from two key committees, then resigned from the Tory party, saying that he would stand in future as an independent.

Mr Clutterbuck, 72, was told that his comment was unacceptable and had offended Bournemouth's large gay community. The joke was made in response to a tongue-in-cheek e-mail about all the bureaucratic problems that Noah would encounter if he were building the Ark in 2006.The e-mail said that he would have to ‘obtain planning permission, abide by building regulations, carry out an environmental impact study, install a fire sprinkler system and seek advice from the RSPCA’ .
In his reply Mr Clutterbuck said: "I imagine now it would be illegal to only have animals of the opposite sex!"
His comment was then sent to all the members of the Liberal Democrat-run Bournemouth Borough Council, which had been on the e-mail's original mailing list. They demanded that Mr Clutterbuck apologise and that he undertake compulsory equality training. However, it was Mr Clutterbuck's own Conservative group that took action against him yesterday.
Stephen MacLoughlin, the leader of the council's Tory group, said: "In the light of derogatory comments made by Councillor Clutterbuck regarding gay people, we have taken immediate action. His statements have caused offence, particularly in Bournemouth's gay community. They are contrary to the council's equality and diversity policies.
"His comments are unacceptable, especially from someone who deals with personnel and community issues. I hope he thinks seriously about the offence he has caused, and that he will act appropriately."
Mr MacLoughlin said that Mr Clutterbuck had been sus- pended from two committees on which he sits. But Mr Clutterbuck said yesterday that he decided to resign after being told he was being suspended.
Mr Clutterbuck, who has been a councillor for 19 years, said: "I stand by my comments and I haven't done anything wrong. I am not homophobic and sent the e-mail as a joke." He claimed to have received more than 100 messages of support, many from gay people. From John B. Pope If the detail of this report is correct. The reaction of the Conservative Group on the Bournemouth Council well illustrates why so many Conservative Voters have left the Party. So far as I read it David Clutterbuck’s alleged remarks were both witty and amusing. I for one applaud such a humorous contribution to the Public Debate. Bournemouth Conservative Voters were lucky to have a man of Mr. Clutterbuck character representing their interest. Such is the trouble with the Conservative Party. They do not want Councillors at any level who exhibit qualities of originality or leadership. Why will the Party not realise that the recurring crises at the top of the Party, stem from the inadequacies in the management of local branches. Councillor Clutterbuck would still have my vote Were I living in his ward, for I have voted Independent in Council Elections for the last quarter of a century. I have a further quote . Harold Macmillan’s Diaries 1954. ‘ The Whips want safe men, as they always have done in every Party. But they don’t make the future leaders of a Party. I reminded Winston again that it took Hitler to make him PM, and me an under-secretary. The Tory Party would do neither.’ The Gay Community are entitled to their views, so too the Liberal Party. This incident makes one wonder what the Conservative Party stands for, and whether its leadership is fit for purpose. If this nonsense is anything to go by, seemingly the Bournemouth Branch favours three in a bed.

Graphic version of this page