Thursday, 31 May 2012

Another councillor in the in the homophobia frame.


Councillor John Worrow says on his facebook wall that:

“The police have informed me that the homophobic voice mail left on my answer phone was made by North Thanet Conservative councillor Ken Gregory. I will be making a full public statement soon.”

With Councillor accusation against Mike Harrison that makes two in a week. I will have athink about this and write some more later. In the meantime please try to keep any comment fairly restrained, it’s my day off and I am using my phone, which I can hardly see to publish with and read comments. 

Video from Thanet Watch.



I have finally reached the point were I have a reasonable sized keyboard and a screen I can see, so I will try and write something that makes some sense here.


I watched the BBC South East News.

Councillor Ken Gregory left a voicemail for Councillor John Worrow that said. “With a bit of luck you’ll get aids.” Homophobic, maybe, vicious and totally unacceptable definitely.

I can’t really understand why after the police traced it to him and he was cautioned he didn’t immediately resign as a councillor.

I think almost as bad as this was the half baked response from the leader of the opposition Councillor Bob Bayford, the nonsense he said about not hearing it properly, followed by the suspend and review position, one wonders what there is to review.

I guess what annoys me is that these people who appear to be just plain stupid are governing Thanet. 

The BBC then went on to imply that Councillor Mike Harrison of “frustrated, dried up bint” fame was another Conservative councillor.


I guess the first question that the Conservative group have to ask themselves is, in resigning from the Conservative group did John Worrow do the only possible thing he could do in the circumstances? 

52 comments:

  1. Where is Mr Worrow's outrage about Cllr Harrsion? No message to Ed Milliband? hypocrisy surely?

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    1. 3.38 you do appreciate that the situation with Mike Harrison is under investigation, with Mike proclaiming his innocence, whereas Ken Gregory has been caught bang to rights and has been cautioned by the police.

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    2. What you mean, Michael, is that Ken Gregory has not tried to wriggle or claim someone else used his phone, but has held his hand up and accepted a police caution. With a decent lawyer and a no comment stance he could have probably got away with this, so is to be given some credit for accepting a fair cop.

      Mike Harrison, and even you in an earlier posting applied the law of probabilty, has chosen not to come clean and is flicking between frapping and hacking. Two very different things and ones that you would be unlikely not to know the difference between if it happened to you.

      You, of course, run true to your usual form in your treament of the opposite sides of the political divide. Ken Gregory even gets photographed, named and shamed to Mike Harrisons brief coverage within a collection of other comments.

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    3. What tripe you utter here Tom. Ken was caught red handed after making an appauling phone call. No lawyer however expensive could have saved him.

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    4. Tom, it was you who said about Sandy Ezekiel recently that he's "innocent until proven guilty", so surely we should also give Mike Harrison the benefit of doubt? I'm sure I don't need to tell you that I think they're BOTH as guilty as Ken though...

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    5. Peter & Anon 4:49, you are both missing the point about the legal differences in the position of these councillors.

      Sandy Ezekiel is facing a trial and, as such, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence until and if proven otherwise. To voice or write assumptions about the outcome is considered prejudicial to the process of law and is illegal.

      Ken Gregory has accepted a police caution for a message he left on another councillor's voicemail. He has not been tried by a court of law nor has he actually been charged with anything. Had he not accepted the caution and said nothing there would have been the chance that the DPP may have decided not to proceed with the expense of a trial, such requiriong the prosecution to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he had made the call, not just which phone it came from.

      Mike Harrison has been accused by another councillor of making homophobic comments about him on his Facebook, but has been reported to the standards scrutinisers rather than the police. Hence it becomes a disciplinary rather than a legal issue.

      One might wonder at the motivation of the Thanet Independent Group Councillors, those offended by these two acts of homophobic abuse, in that in one case they have pursued the matter through the police as criminal whereas, in the other, it is being done through the disciplinary channels applicable to those in public office. Both seem equally offensive yet a different reaction, at least so far. I suppose that is nothing to do with the fact that the Thanet Independent Group have been given chairmanships and allowances by Labour?

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    6. Tom. Cllr Driver has referred the Harrison case to the police

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    7. Good news, but why not the Diversity Champion for I thought this was within his brief. He has been very quiet on the Harrison issue whilst on the other we have even had allegations of right wing homophobic hitmen.

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  2. This has got to stop, otherwise all the Tories will either be waiting to attend court, have been to court and found guilty, changing to another party or just being rude and abnoxious

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    1. Enjoy your moment, friend. At this time the most recent MPs to have rersided at HM's pleasure are all Labour and, according to Cllr Driver, that stalwart of the left, Cllr Harrison has used homophobic language on his Facebook about him. He could be next for the old collar feeling so careful how you crow. What goes around comes around sooner or later.

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  3. Make me feel quite ashamed to be a supporter of the Tory Party

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    1. The chances of you, Anon 4:03, being a member of the Conservative party are about as likely as mine of belonging to the Labour party. Just who do you think you convince with your anonymous little comment. Are we to assume that you would not be ashamed of Mike Harrison if the allegations made against him by Ian Driver are proven. After all, Cllr Driver is so convinced of his homophobic guilt that he demanded his resignation at a council committee meeting.

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  4. Maybe we should just get rid of the old ones! At least young Will doesn't act like this (& I doubt if his gorgeous girlfriend does either!).

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    1. Don't you mean, yet, Peter. Oh, and stop leering at young totty, you are getting too old for it. Well, at least, to cough to it.

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    2. Not leering, just praising. I've met her several times, a lovely young lady who'll make a great mayoress (& maybe a cllr too).

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    3. Peter, Peter... such comments could well be considered sexist in certain cirles.

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    4. I don't think anyone would consider the word "gorgeous" to be sexist, unlike Tom's term "young totty"...

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    5. You may well believe that but I have seen people dismissed from positions from saying exactly that Peter... Whether you think people would be offended by it is neither here nor there, it only takes one person who is and your whole world can come crashing down around your ears.

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  6. As I said at the start of this affair, the full weight of the law must fall on the perpetrator. So it has, and a sad day for all concerned. Pardon me for one question. Since, according to the WHO, the majority of people afflicted with AIDS are heterosexual, how can hoping someone gets it be homophobic?

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    1. I guess on the ridiculous basis, seemingly applicable in our silly world, that it is homophobic if the person it is directed at considers it to be such. Hence, if Miss Hibert considers my reference to young totty sexist then I must be guilty as charged and duly apologise. Happy now, Peter?

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    2. Shows the depth of Peter's thinking that he would vote for someone of the basis of what they would look like naked

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    3. Surely, Tim, you are not suggesting Peter has had that privilege.

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    4. It might not be strictly homophobic to wish that someone dies from a deadly virus, but this hardly makes it more acceptable.

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    5. No one implied that it was, Peter, but simply asked why it is homophobic. Seems with Worrow that everything is homophobic in his eyes.

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    6. Tim, Tom, do you genuinely think that in this case that Ken Gregory wasn’t suggesting a connection between homosexuality and aids?

      Perhaps you are suggesting that he had so much malice aforethought that he checked the aids statistics before commenting, in order to be politically correct.

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    7. Because the perpetrator was ignorant enough to think that only gays get it.

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  7. what repulsive councillors we have, no wonder thanet is a mess

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  8. Peter. I agree, but this has been sold to us all as homophobia whereas it is really just plain viscious threatening behaviour. After all, he could have said cholera or rabies and the Tiggys would still have spun a homophobic slant on it. If you criticise Cllr Worrow's choice of tie, you will be labelled homophobic. And before the great unwashed descend upon me, Cllr Gregory has been punished and should stand down as a councillor. He is a disgrace and if Cllr Harrison is found to be similarly at fault he too should stand down.

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    1. So should councillors who turn there backs on the parties who supported their campaign and the voters of those parties who put them in office, like Driver and Worrow.

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    2. Tim I think there is no doubt that aids is generally associated with homosexuals and doubt that Ken Gregory intended his vicious message to have homophobic connotations.

      8.33 I think you have to see this post in the context of the position that John Worrow claimed he was put in by some other members of the Conservative group, which now seems to have been proven with out a any doubt.

      This combined with Bob Bayfords “I see no ships” attitude on the BBC, would seem to supports John’s position that the conservative leaderships turned a blind eye, or in this case a deaf ear to homophobia among leading councillors within the Conservative group.

      In the circumstances I think John Worrow’s resignation from the group was the only thing he could possibly have done I would expect that most of the right minded people who voted for him to support his action in resigning.

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    3. Now you are seriously having a laugh, Michael. Get yourself around John Worrow's ward and talk to the right minded people who voted for him. Not only is he extremely unpopular, but he is also not helping any cause he might think he has by ducking out of public meetings. By the way, what did Ian Driver suffer from the Labour party to justify his defection?

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    4. Tom I would say perhaps seriously unpopular up until last nights BBC news, but frankly given the voicemail, which presumably a lot of his constituents listed to and given Bob Bayford’s response I have my doubts.

      In view of the both the homophobia and the attitude of Bob Bayford, who would have been John Worrow’s final recourse to any sort of justice within the Conservative group, both evident in the BBC news item, just what do you think John Worrow should have done other than to resign from the group?

      I genuinely hope that the Conservative group will properly review this situation now and seek to become a viable and useful opposition.

      I really don’t think that the Ian Driver Labour Harrison issue has anything to do with the issue of a shadow cabinet member behaving in this reprehensible way.

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    5. Well you wouldn't would you, Michael. However, let us go back to Worrow's departure from the Tory party. At the time he claimed he was doing so because Bob Bayford had not come out against live animal exports, something apparently dear to his heart at the time. The homophobia accusation came much later when he named Cllr Goodwin, then terminally ill and unable to defend himself, as the culprit of a 'backs to the wall' remark.

      Worrow's real gripe with Bob Bayford is more about not being given the position in the then Conservative administration that his ego warranted. Since then he has embarked on a campaign of Toryphobia which seems to have produced the desired result for him of getting some to react somewhere between viciously and stupidily. I am not excusing that, but you are being rather disingenuous and distorting history to suggest that he left over the homophobia he suffered. That is the story he now presents backed up with his rather silly Thanet Watch video clips directed at David Cameron.

      Anyway, you and I are not going to agree on this, but let us just see where all John Worrow's supporters in Birchington are come the 2015 election, if he even has the guts to stand there again. By then he will have probably jumped ship again and joined your Labour party to stand in Mike Harrison's ward.

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. If now doesn't reinforce the fact that people need to watch what they say on line then I don't know what would!

      You know that the UK is pretty much the worlds Libel Tourist hotspot right? You know that our laws regarding Libel, Slander, Malice are pretty much built to favour the person bringing the claim right? You know that every post you make on a web forum tends to include your IP address and lawyers love IP addresses?

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    2. Sorry 11.48 you can’t accuse named councillors of fraud here.

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  10. The most concerning thing about this whole debacle is that a councillor could be so stupid as to leave a voicemail message with content such as this and not expect anything to happen with it.

    Homophobic ? No, I don't get that
    Unpleasant ? Yes
    Stupid ? Definitely

    I just don't understand how a councillor can be so stupid - actually, scrub that, I can !!

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  11. I really think that if readers need to understand John Worrow better then they need to take a long hard look at his recovered web archive at www.tigabout.blogspot.com and draw their own conclusions. Michael, is, I'm sorry to say, rather wide of the mark in his own analysis and Tom Clarke is pretty much spot on if it's the facts people are searching for.

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    1. Simon, it might help the Thanet tories shift their "nasty" image if you actually condemned Ken's actions instead of being "lost for words" and pointing out Worrow's faults.

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    2. Perhaps I should add that I like Ken (much more than I do John Worrow), but what he has done is entirely unexcusable and he should step down as a cllr immediately.

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    3. Simon, up until I saw the BBC news item my view of the situation was of a very few rather silly old men of around seventy or more, making some rather unfortunate comments about, backs to the wall, shirt lifters and so on. I have some of these among my family and friends and for the most part I assume that their sexuality was highly repressed when they were younger combined with the fact that as they take a specific interest in homosexual activity I assume they are for the most part repressed homosexuals or bisexuals.

      Yes I chuckle at their rather silly innuendo, partly because I am a man and have a rather dirty mind and partly to cover my laughing at them, which in the circumstances would be a bit unkind.

      I had also assumed that the senior members of the Conservative group had this situation well under control and that John Worrow was making rather too much fuss about these silly old men.

      Then I heard on TV the voicemail left by a shadow cabinet member, wishing a fatal progressive sexually transmitted disease on John Worrow, this was bad enough.

      Then the leader of the Conservative group turning his deaf ear to it, well that was the final straw.

      I am hoping for a revised and thorough press release from the Conservative group explaining how they intend to deal with these two individuals and the situation the group now finds itself in.

      Perhaps you would like to make clear as to whether or not you agree with what the leader of your group had to say on the BBC about this issue.

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    4. Michael, I responded to this comment and although it was there for a time, it has since gone walk about. Anyway I also watched the BBC report and I am at a loss to arrive at your conclusions. Quite what else Bob Bayford was supposed to say at this stage is beyond me and you conveniently again ignore the same programme's coverage of the Mike Harrison indiscretions, not for the first time, or the general disquiet amongst councillors on all sides about the happenings with TDC. It is the latter that should concern you most if you want good governance.

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    5. No chance there Michael, Simon can't even bring himself to criticise Ken's actions!

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  12. I rather think the level of condemnation through the media says it all Peter!

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    1. But not by his Tory colleagues it seems...

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  13. good god they immediately suspended him what more can they do - they can't remove him completely but hhave done what they can for now. Bayford said that it was clearly unacceptable. I should think it's obvious it's a horrible thing to do. Where is Worrow's condemnation of Harrison? Where is Clive Hart's suspension of Harrison - after both ignored the sexist comments earlier in the year too. Worrow is loving every moment of this. Has everyone forgotten the 'ugly pig monster' comment about a Minnis Bay lady too made by the phantom TIG web agent.

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    1. I agree entirely! Gregory, Harrison, Ezekiel and Worrow (to name just 4) should all go, or at the very least stand down as cllrs until their names are cleared!

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  14. As I've pointed out elsewhere, if these people (Gregory, Harrison, Ezekiel, Worrow, Watt-Ruffell, Driver & all the others) were minimum wage cleaners at Bannatyne's or cashiers at Tesco they would IMMEDIATELY be suspended as soon as they were even accused of their (alledged) behavior, yet cllrs that are voted for and paid by YOU AND I have far more tolerant rules! Something is seriously wrong with the system.

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    1. What is wrong, Peter, is that the electorate, who put them there and pay the taxes that pay their allowances, have no say between elections. The people should be able to demand that, elected representatives who commit offences, under perform by not attending meetings regularly or change sides from that they presented themselves as, have to stand down. Those that are accused of criminal offences or unacceptable behaviour in public office should be suspended until convicted or cleared.

      That might improve standards all round and encourage people to treat their appointments and the electorate with more respect.

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    2. For once we're 100% in agreement Tom.

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