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Clutterbuck Matters

Brightest and Best are the Consanguineous Sons of the Morning?

Maybe some will recall that amusing nonsense concerning one David Clutterbuck the then sitting Conservative Councillor for the Sittingbourne Ward of the Bournemouth Unitary Authority. ‘Papalscope October 2006 too’ reissued a report found in the Daily Telegraph.

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 suspended from two committees on which he sits. But Mr Clutterbuck said yesterday that he decided to resign after being told he was being suspended.
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. The Gay Community are entitled to hold the views they do, 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 a ‘threesome’ consisting of The Gay Community The Liberal Party, and Themselves. I wonder about the current Diversity of the United Kingdom. What are all these ‘Communities’ we have had thrust upon the common consensus. We have Gays, Muslims, Black Community, The Asian Community, etc. One looses count. Possibly I am unwittingly a member of a White Community, if so I, like the majority just try to muddle through life in the best way one can, without pleading special cause. Who was it who said that when one’s time came, one only regretted the things one didn’t do in life, seldom the things one did do. It is a truism. As a Septuagenarian I must share a collective responsibility that our Country finds itself in its current mess. It was of course nothing that I did, more the things that I and others failed to do. More a ‘sin’ of Omission rather than Commission. The most practical thing we can all do is use our vote, even if one spoils it.

I congratulated David Clutterbuck on his stance, seemingly I was not the hundred and first so to do, but way down the then list of both e.mails and telephone calls. He said that ‘it was time to stand up and be counted’ .
Bournemouth Conservative Voters were lucky to have a man of Mr. Clutterbuck character representing their interests. 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 have my vote had I been of his Ward. I have voted Independent in District Council Elections for the last quarter of a century. Such Persons fight their own corner, and are never the Placemen so often fielded by the Political Parties.

May I indulge myself to another quotation. This from the 1954 Harold Macmillan Diary ?
‘ 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.

I have been agog to find out how the 2007 Election treated the good Clutterbuck. One is indebted to the Bournemouth Echo for these results, as the Council Web site has not yet got its act together.

Candidate Party Votes Michael Filer Conservatives 1,447 Anne Filer Conservatives 1,438 David Kelsey Conservatives 1,185 David Clutterbuck Independent 608 Michael Finch Liberal Democrats 309 Joseph Henry Liberal Democrats 294 Roger Eede Green Party 286 Carol Milner Labour 249 Douglas Milner Labour 215 Louise Milner Labour 175 Keith Butt UK Independence Party 156 Roma Butt UK Independence Party 135 Michael Maclaire-Hillier UK Independence Party 129.

UNFORTUNATELY. David Clutterbuck was not re-elected to any of the three seats available, but made it into fourth place coming before nine other hopefuls.

NO SHORTAGES OF CANDIDATES IN BOURNEMOUTH An observer may wonder whether candidates Michael and Anne Filer of East Cliff and Springbourne are related? or
Indeed whether are Carol, Douglas and Louise Milner; or
Keith and Roma Butt. , all seven , Candidates in the above Ward
Or whether either of these coupled Candidates are related? Rod and Elaine Cooper, of Wallisdown and Winton or Nigel and Sue Cowley , of Winton East. TISBURY AND WEST TISBURY PARISH COUNCILS HAVE MUCH TO LEARN FROM BOURNEMOUTH UNITARY AUTHORITY.or is it that the South Coast attracts Political Families? Maybe I am making unwarranted assumptions.

Was it the David Clutterbuck Affair that cost Bournemouth’s Liberal Democrats some twenty three of their seats on the Council, thus forfeiting control to the Conservatives? That is one lesson, I suppose the other is that as Lord Bernard Weatherell said, if you want to get ahead in Politics first join a Political Party, it doesn’t matter which any Party will do. Well I found that out for myself a while back. Bournemouth apart one might wonder how elected Councillors might have fared without Party Backing?
John B. Pope For ‘The Musical cut and paste this would be Hyperlink http://www.cyberhymnal.org/mid/e/p/i/epi phany_thrupp.mid.

contact : John B. Pope