16 October 2014

Mental Health and Language

Yesterday, we sent out the following press release in response to the language used by Liverpool's Mayor on an article published on the Liverpool Echo website.

The Green Party in Liverpool have condemned the insensitive and offensive use of language by Mayor Anderson when he had been challenged in relation to the purchase of the Cunard building by Liverpool City Council.

Yesterday, the Echo reported that the Mayor had said he would:

“send an accountant and a psychiatrist around if any one says its not a good deal" and "if anyone thinks it's a white elephant, they should be certified".

After some strong comments below the article on the Echo website, the original quotes have been removed.

Speaking for the Green Party, Martin Dobson, Parliamentary Candidate for Liverpool Riverside said:

“I’m deeply disappointed by the Mayor’s use of language in relation to mental health. On the 10th October, World Mental Health day amongst other things highlights the need to remove the stigma surrounding mental health.”

“The Mayor’s comments were insensitive and offensive. It is not sufficient for someone to simply ask for them to be removed and for these to be airbrushed from history. The Mayor should apologise.”


Now there are a couple of explanations here. Firstly, it could be that the journalist wildly and inaccurately misquoted the Mayor of our city. Subsequently they had to remove the quotes. I don't feel that is likely but I won't rule it out. If any Labour councillor or member locally wants to make a statement to that effect, I'll add it onto the blog here.

Secondly, the Mayor made these comments, they appeared online and in response to the comments, either the Mayor or Labour's press operation asked for these quotes to be removed, hoping to bury this, at best, insensitive and ignorant use of language.

I haven't got a thirdly, but maybe someone else has. Comments are welcomed.

The story shouldn't be buried. The Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, rightly hauled Lord Freud over the coals yesterday for suggesting that disabled people should be paid less than the minimum wage. He has issued a full and unreserved apology. Surely for consistency, we should expect the Mayor of Liverpool to do the same?

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