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Cameron’s Tourettes mistake


This past week we’ve seen some gaffes from Labour politicians, with Diane Abbott making that “racist” tweet. Which I blogged about here.

A day later we had Ed Miliband in tweeting his tribute to Bob Holness of Blockbusters fame, accidently writing “blackbusters”. It is highly unlikely it was a typ considering how far apart “a” and “o” are on keyboards. It is also unlikely that he was thinking ahead because a) there is no “a” in blockbusters and b) no other letter near enough the “a” key to be considered a typo. I wonder what was on Ed M’s mind at the time. Was he thinking of the black abyss that he seems to be leading the Labour party into?

Today, it was the turn off the Tory party to make a gaffe and in particular it was the turn of the Prime Minister, David Cameron. In an interview with the Telegraph, he compared the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls to someone with Tourettes.

Whatever you think of Diane Abbott’s “racist” tweet, at least we know that the division between black and whites are a lot less than they once were. “Black” is no longer used as a derogatory term my mainstream society. Attitudes towards “black” people are a lot better than they were a generation ago. However, attitudes towards disabled people, with either physical and mental disabilities is still along way from getting to where race relations are at, at this moment.

The Prime Minister who has had a disabled son of his own, chose to use a syndrome which people can’t control, to put down the Shadow Chancellor. I am sorry, but I think this is a lot worse than Diane Abbott’s “race row”. Do we want a PM who thinks people with disabilities are somehow second rate?

What’s worrying is the fact he thought it was appropriate as Prime Minister to put down a member of the opposition using a disability that many people suffer from in this country! After all he is the Prime Minister and should be doing things to help these people and all he seems able to do is to put a whole load more stigma on Tourettes sufferers.

Whilst Cameron has apologised, I don’t think that is enough this time. He has to show that he can ease the burden of stigma on mental health disorders as well as physical disabilities. Cameron has to show that he can ease the burden on carers and make these people’s lives better not worse.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Sue Doughty
    January 8, 2012 at 19:23

    Tourettes is such a damaging disorder. It loses you jobs. It loses you friends. It gets you banned. The public is hugely ignorant about Tourettes. The comments by Cameron were just inexcusable. This seems to be the week for politicians to make off the cuff comments or tweets which should just not be happening. Being a politician is just that, including knowing when to shut up if you are tempted to make some distasteful remark. When government claims to be doing so much more to deal with psychological disorders and illnesses, our own Prime Minister totally undermines these efforts.

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