…I don't know about you, but fortunately many of my followers appear to be fit young women who just need a little financial assistance to get to Cambridge, but would doubtless be happy to go canvassing for you when they arrive…
— Peter Lord, Esq. #FBPE (@peter_lord) 10 August 2019
Throwing myself into local community discourse in Cambridge has led to me being connected to some bizarre comments being made by local councillors.
The latest are incomprehensible. One of the lead stories in the Cambridge News today is headlined: Cambridge councillor defends tweeting about ‘fit, young women’.
The councillor in question is Liberal Democrat Cllr Peter Lord, who residents of Trumpington ward elected to represent them on the city council.
Cllr Peter Lord made the comments while, on the face of it, encouraging me to stand for election to the city council. I say “on the face of it” as I while Cllr Peter Lord is an elected representative of the people of Trumpington and therefore someone whose words should carry significant weight, his public statements have been highly unusual and I have treated them with great scepticism [while of course respecting the office of councillor and the decision of the people of Trumpington as to who they want to represent them to the city and the wider world].
Cllr Peter Lord said:
“Naturally, you would also have to do a lot of legwork, meeting constituents on their doorsteps, finding out what their concerns are…
“…I don’t know about you, but fortunately many of my followers appear to be fit young women who just need a little financial assistance to get to Cambridge, but would doubtless be happy to go canvassing for you when they arrive…
When asked to comment on this by the Cambridge News I responded straight away to say:
Cllr Lord’s Twitter feed is bizarre. I’m not sure if you, or I, or indeed his constituents and residents of Cambridge should spend any time trying to make sense of it.
I think his public statements on Twitter do raise questions about the quality of our councillors, and the quality of vetting by the political parties of those who end up standing as party candidates at election time.
Shortly after Liberal Democrat Cllr Lord was elected I drew attention to, and questioned, a statement he made in which he appeared to be suggesting a Labour leaflet was criminal.
Here’s the tweet pic.twitter.com/j3rahf5FKb
— Richard Taylor (@RTaylorUK) May 13, 2019
A few days after I drew attention to that Cllr Lord blocked me on Twitter. He appears to have un-blocked me prior to his recent statements which have ended up in the news. I have had no other interaction with Cllr Lord.
It will be interesting to see if the Liberal Democrats make a comment.
I see the story has now been picked up by ITV news: Lib Dem Councillor gets in hot water over F-word (no, not that one).
I wonder if the media have seen an opportunity to publish some click-bait headlines here and drive traffic to their websites.
I saw the the statements as more merely weird rather than anything of public interest; but then someone representing thousands of people, setting our council tax, and running our city and society making bizarre comments should be news. Hopefully the coverage will inform Trumpington resident’s decision in the next election, they might even inform the local Liberal Democrat’s decision on if to endorse him as one of their candidates again, or not.