Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tasteless Jokes Invalidate Elections Apparently

I heard a story on the radio about a Derbyshire councillor who has been sacked for making a joke about the two murdered police women last week.

He sounds like a dick, and I would not vote for him- but there's something very dodgy about the notion that elected representatives can be sacked for doing something completely legal.

Who has the power to overrule the electorate and invalidate the election just like that?


SadButMadLad said...

He's been sacked from the Tory party, but he's still a councilor.

The puritans who don't like off-colour humour have whined that they can't get rid of him from the council due to the pesky electorate who voted him in.

It means that if he wants to stand again he won't have the backing of a political party and will have to stand as an independent.

Macheath said...

It's not quite as bad as it sounds, despite liberal media use of the word 'sacked'. According to the Council Leader:

"I have taken immediate and severe action by removing him from his post as a lead member of the Borough Council and he will no longer serve on the council executive, to take effect immediately.

"It is not possible to remove him as a borough councillor as he has been elected to that position by residents in his constituency. However, his name has been removed from the list of approved Conservative candidates and he will not be allowed to stand for re-election.

BBC News had it at lunchtime; a weak and decidedly tasteless joke* is made in front of a woman who happens to be married to a serving police officer, she tells her husband, he phones the councillor and gets an earful, upon which the couple make a formal complaint.

Frankly, no one comes out of this looking good.


Macheath said...

SBML: sorry; I wasn't ignoring you - yours didn't show up on my screen until after I pressed 'publish'.

Ross said...

Thanks to both of you.

In that case I pretty much agree with the response I guess.

banned said...

So what was the joke?

Macheath said...

Banned, I've read/heard it verbatim and I'm asking myself the same question. In the words of the old playground put-down, it was like a joke only not funny.

The BBC online page was oddly coy about it - presumably to avoid giving further 'offence' - even though the lunchtime news gave it in full, as does the link in my comment:

"If you get 100 points for shooting one policewoman and 200 points for shooting two policewomen, how many do you get for shooting a lawyer?"

I'm guessing, though the context is unclear, that the councillor had probably lunched or dined well but not wisely...

banned said...

Thank you: about as funny as "How many dead policewomen does it take to change a lightbulb?"

Not funny but not sackable either IMHO.