Islington Tribune - by PETER GRUNER Published: 20 April 2007
‘Roadkill’ jibe sparks storm
ISLINGTON Tory Paul Newman should have known that jokes on the internet can backfire.
Mr Newman, 42, maintains he was referring to his colleagues in Mildmay when he contributed what he thought was a witty riposte on a blog by national Tory pundit Iain Dale.
However, Islington Lib Dems seized on the comments.
Mr Newman, who works in insurance and is vice-chairman of Islington North Tories, wrote: “I have to confess that the denizens of Mildmay are almost bestially stupid. There is not a lot you can do with them… they live from roadkill and sleep under newspaper.”
He was, he says, referring not to the residents of the ward, but to his own political colleagues and their inability to deliver documents on time. “I was having a laugh about my colleagues on a political website and the Lib Dems are trying to make something of it,” he said. “You would have thought they would have better things to do trying to run the council.”
Mildmay Lib Dem councillor Rhodri Jamieson-Ball took a different view. “It does not surprise me that the Tories haven’t got any councillors in Islington if they treat voters with this sort of contempt,” he said. “The people of Mildmay are offended by these comments and I call on Mr Newman to apologise to them immediately, and, if he doesn’t, the national Conservative Party should discipline him.”
Councillor Lucy Watt, Lib Dem deputy leader of the council, added: “The Tory Party claim they are no longer the nasty party, but clearly nothing has changed. Senior members like Mr Newman are still making offensive remarks like this. “The last time we heard from him he was arguing that Islington has too much council housing. Now he is insulting ordinary residents.”
This seems like a storm in a tea cup. Remember Lib Dem Jody Dunn and her
"drunk, flanked by an angry dog, or undressed" jibe at the people of
Hartlepool? The Tories are forever bitching about their local
organisations. Iain Dale and others have attacked their Scottish
colleagues for example. I am a Labour member and blogger and from my point
of view Lib Dems are by far and away the ones with the LEAST POLITICS and
the LOWEST OPINION of the voters. Chris Paul