LEWISHAM: Foul-mouthed mayor tells protestors to 'get real'

News Shopper: Sir Steve Bullock called protestors "f**king idiots" Sir Steve Bullock called protestors "f**king idiots"

CAMPAIGNERS protesting over cuts to their jobs and services were branded “f**king idiots” and told to “get real” by a mayor last night.

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock’s foul-mouthed outburst came after he was heckled by protestors at a Mayor and Cabinet meeting in Lewisham Town Hall.

As Sir Steve began talking about cost-cutting for this year he told the meeting: “I can’t say I’m over the moon about this.”

A woman in the audience shouted out: “Don’t do it then.”

The mayor hit back: “Oh, get real.”

To a further call not to close five libraries, Sir Steve muttered: “F**king idiots.”

He then went on to approve a range of £2.75m cuts for this year, following a slash in government funding, which will be implemented provided they are approved at an overview and scrutiny meeting this month.

A range of deeper cuts, including the closure of five libraries, closing at least one early childhood centre and reducing staff across the council’s departments, are also being considered by council officers for implementation over the next three years.

No decision has yet been made on those and residents will be consulted on the proposals before final plans are considered by the mayor in November.

Councillor Paul Maslin said he hoped residents’ opinions would “bring common sense to bear” on the government’s plans to cut public spending by 25 per cent to wipe out the national deficit.

Earlier, members of the NUT and Right to Work campaign had joined others outside to lobby the meeting, calling for the mayor to scrap the plans and oppose the government’s plans.

Asked about his outburst afterwards, Sir Steve said: “I think I may have left the mic on while I was making an aside.”

He added: “I don’t honestly know what planet they’re living on which is probably why I was quite irritated.

“The idea that somehow we in Lewisham Council decide that we won’t make any cuts while the rest of Britain is having its public services reduced by 25 per cent is nonsense.”

Lewisham NUT secretary Martin Powell-Davies said afterwards: “Perhaps the mayor was rattled that, at very short notice, a lobby of 100 trade unionists and campaigners had made clear that local people aren’t going to accept these cuts.

“Perhaps that outburst shows the pressure that a Labour mayor is under.”

Comments (5)

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3:38pm Thu 15 Jul 10

Erastus says...

Don't worry, campaigners. You get used to being insulted and sworn at after the first three years.
I know I have.
Don't worry, campaigners. You get used to being insulted and sworn at after the first three years. I know I have. Erastus
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Thu 15 Jul 10

DJH says...

I can only assume that the meeting was held during normal working hours on a week day. Therefore why were the 'protestors' not at work? Did they all take the day off? If they do not work, what right have they to moan about cuts when they don't contribute to the pot in the first place!

Still unprofessional of the Mayor to use the language that he did though.
I can only assume that the meeting was held during normal working hours on a week day. Therefore why were the 'protestors' not at work? Did they all take the day off? If they do not work, what right have they to moan about cuts when they don't contribute to the pot in the first place! Still unprofessional of the Mayor to use the language that he did though. DJH
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Thu 15 Jul 10

Jane Bradley says...

DJH wrote:
I can only assume that the meeting was held during normal working hours on a week day. Therefore why were the 'protestors' not at work? Did they all take the day off? If they do not work, what right have they to moan about cuts when they don't contribute to the pot in the first place!

Still unprofessional of the Mayor to use the language that he did though.
It took place last night, like it says in the first line of the article. And why the inverted commas around 'protestors'?
[quote][p][bold]DJH[/bold] wrote: I can only assume that the meeting was held during normal working hours on a week day. Therefore why were the 'protestors' not at work? Did they all take the day off? If they do not work, what right have they to moan about cuts when they don't contribute to the pot in the first place! Still unprofessional of the Mayor to use the language that he did though.[/p][/quote]It took place last night, like it says in the first line of the article. And why the inverted commas around 'protestors'? Jane Bradley
  • Score: 0

5:50am Fri 16 Jul 10

Irwin says...

These cuts are going to happen, in all areas regardless of our wishes.
I must say though I am surprised that five libraries exist in the borough.Are they all used?
These cuts are going to happen, in all areas regardless of our wishes. I must say though I am surprised that five libraries exist in the borough.Are they all used? Irwin
  • Score: 0

10:33am Tue 20 Jul 10

DJH says...

Jane - I'm just surprised that there would be a council meeting in the evening and if it was then that's a nice overtime claim for the staff/councillors/ma
yor. They wouldn't do it for nothing - so no cuts there then! There are protestors and 'protestors'. Protestors who are genuine to a cause and 'protestors' who make it their aim to turn up and be included for the sake of protesting, those who have nothing better to do.

If you do not willingly contribute to the public pot then I don't feel you can protest at all.
Jane - I'm just surprised that there would be a council meeting in the evening and if it was then that's a nice overtime claim for the staff/councillors/ma yor. They wouldn't do it for nothing - so no cuts there then! There are protestors and 'protestors'. Protestors who are genuine to a cause and 'protestors' who make it their aim to turn up and be included for the sake of protesting, those who have nothing better to do. If you do not willingly contribute to the public pot then I don't feel you can protest at all. DJH
  • Score: 0

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