The PR Guru

July 21, 2010

Tory politician calls us the ‘lazy Stoke underclass’

When will politicians learn how to use Twitter? When will they realise their tweets go worldwide? It’s not a chat with a few mates in the pub, you can’t just say whatever you like and expect no backlash.

The latest Twitter gaffe has come from Conservative councillor Ashley Howells, who has slammed the people of Stoke, tweeting “not in the junk food fuelled calorie intake of the lazy stoke underclass! Look at obesity. Work slim down stop whinging” in response to another tweet about David Cameron’s “Big Society” announcement the other day.

Now Ash is clearly not the brightest spark, as he sits on Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, and area which suffers from the same problems as Stoke and little more than a stone’s throw away from the people he is insulting.

But he should probably keep his opinions to himself.

All he’s done is show how Conservative councillors from rural areas (he represents Loggerheads and Whitmore on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border) view working class voters, and has done nothing to improve his party’s chances of electoral success in the city.

It’s not just an affliction the Tories suffer with though. Remember the gaffe by Stuart MacLennan, Labour candidate for the Moray constituency in Scotland, during the general election campaign? He was sacked for calling his elderly fellow train passengers ‘coffin dodgers’, commenting on his preference for a ‘slave grown, chemically enhanced banana’ over his Fair Trade one, and saying something altogether more offensive about David Cameron (which can’t be repeated on a family blog, but I’m sure a lot of people agree with).

Should people of such limited intelligence be allowed to run for positions of power?

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