Mayor of Borehamwood Clive Butchins accused of making 'silly remarks' on Facebook

Cllr Butchins response to Mr Tepper

Cllr Butchins response to Mr Tepper

First published in News
Last updated
Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Labour’s parliamentary candidate has called for a Conservative councillor to apologise after he was accused of making "spiteful" remarks on a social media site.

Clive Butchins, Mayor of Elstree & Borehamwood, sparked outrage when he told user Justin Tepper to “go and live in a country where there is not a democratic government” on Facebook.

Councillor Richard Butler, who is standing for Hertsmere's MP in the 2015 elections, is now urging him to retract the “rude and uncalled for” comment.

The row began when Mr Tepper posted a comment on popular group Borehamwood not Elstree to express his disgust after Conservative campaign flyers were posted through his door.

He wrote: “You all know where I live and don’t bother reading it, you are wasting paper and money. I have never been, nor will be, a supporter of your party. Spend your money elsewhere.”

But people were left alarmed by Cllr Butchins reply, which read: “It’s just not practical to pick and chose which houses get delivered to.

“No-one is forcing you to read the leaflets but you might learn something if you do. I believe it is a most important part of democracy .

“If you don’t want to participate in the democratic process, you should go and live in a country where there isn’t a democratic government.”

Since then, users have accused him of undermining freedom of speech and making patronising remarks.

Another man who contacted the Borehamwood Times said the rant was “bordering on racist”.

But others feel Mr Tepper’s initial comment was “provocative” and Cllr Butchins was simply venting his own frustration.

However, Cllr Butler said: “It was a rude thing to say, and clearly done out of spite. We are living in a democratic society which is fantastic – but I respect the fact that some don’t agree with our manifesto.

“However, if someone has seen it as racist, or patronising, he should apologise regardless of intention. I know Clive and I know he’s not a racist man, but he should have thought his reply through a bit more.

“It was a silly use of language – you shouldn’t go around telling people to move country.”

Cllr Butchins said the situation had been blown out of proportion but declined to comment any further.

Comments (19)

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1:30pm Mon 28 Apr 14

jgee says...

I got the Labour leaflets through my door yesterday - total waste of money as I've never voted Labour, and never would. But would I take to social media to complain about it - no.

Like any sensible, normal person I just put them where they belong - in the waste paper recycling bin.
I got the Labour leaflets through my door yesterday - total waste of money as I've never voted Labour, and never would. But would I take to social media to complain about it - no. Like any sensible, normal person I just put them where they belong - in the waste paper recycling bin. jgee
  • Score: 22

4:37pm Mon 28 Apr 14

TFEB says...

Seems like Tepper is the idiot here.
Seems like Tepper is the idiot here. TFEB
  • Score: 12

8:03pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Romc66 says...

Depends on wich way you look at it,I think the mayor made a good point.there's only one person who looks silly here,and that's the person posted the original post.tepper
Depends on wich way you look at it,I think the mayor made a good point.there's only one person who looks silly here,and that's the person posted the original post.tepper Romc66
  • Score: 10

8:58pm Mon 28 Apr 14

TFEB says...

This Tepper seems to make a habit of annoying people on line, he hit the headlines here last year when another councillor told him to go and get a life.
This Tepper seems to make a habit of annoying people on line, he hit the headlines here last year when another councillor told him to go and get a life. TFEB
  • Score: 9

2:01am Tue 29 Apr 14

Unsullied says...

On Mr Teppers Facebook page he has a picture of a poster that says
' On the internet you can be anything you want. It's strange that so many people choose to be stupid.'

Advice that Mr Tepper really should heed.
On Mr Teppers Facebook page he has a picture of a poster that says ' On the internet you can be anything you want. It's strange that so many people choose to be stupid.' Advice that Mr Tepper really should heed. Unsullied
  • Score: 12

4:39pm Tue 29 Apr 14

The_Legend says...

Vote UKIP
Vote UKIP The_Legend
  • Score: -3

6:47pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Suzy-Sue says...

As i commented to Mr Tepper on that FB page, which he did take on board, and that was that all councillors get a team of volunteers together to deliver the leaflets per ward and quite frankly these volunteers don't know where any specific person lives, let alone which party they support. For the record there is no mailing list to be removed from. So if people don't want to receive any specific leaflets just put a polite temporary notice on your letterbox advising the deliverer not to post their party's leaflets (as they can't mind read). That way hopefully such a long FB conversation can be avoided.

Also many people are still trying to decide which party to support and often are trying to make their minds up and so such literature - if read and understood - can help people make up their minds one way or the other.

For the record many more leaflets from all parties will be being delivered over the coming few weeks so be prepared if you are sensitive to what comes through your letter box.... and put up your polite notice on your letterbox.
As i commented to Mr Tepper on that FB page, which he did take on board, and that was that all councillors get a team of volunteers together to deliver the leaflets per ward and quite frankly these volunteers don't know where any specific person lives, let alone which party they support. For the record there is no mailing list to be removed from. So if people don't want to receive any specific leaflets just put a polite temporary notice on your letterbox advising the deliverer not to post their party's leaflets (as they can't mind read). That way hopefully such a long FB conversation can be avoided. Also many people are still trying to decide which party to support and often are trying to make their minds up and so such literature - if read and understood - can help people make up their minds one way or the other. For the record many more leaflets from all parties will be being delivered over the coming few weeks so be prepared if you are sensitive to what comes through your letter box.... and put up your polite notice on your letterbox. Suzy-Sue
  • Score: 7

1:39pm Wed 30 Apr 14

jamesd says...

The issue is not the leaflet but the comments by the Town Mayor. Whether Justin Tepper is right or wrong, Clive Butchins' reply was ill thought and very rash. He should have just said okay, walked away and and noted thevhouse number. He only has himself to blame for engaging!
The issue is not the leaflet but the comments by the Town Mayor. Whether Justin Tepper is right or wrong, Clive Butchins' reply was ill thought and very rash. He should have just said okay, walked away and and noted thevhouse number. He only has himself to blame for engaging! jamesd
  • Score: -3

5:30pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Frank Ward says...

Councillor Richard Butler, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Hertsmere in the absence of making any intelligent or rational contribution to the debate in the forum of national politics which he purports in making a bid to enter, evidently feels compelled to making his début in the hustings by indulging in the latest quarrel among residents within the community regarding the semantics of the English language.
Equally Justin Tepper who demonstrated a previous ultra- sensitivity to the opinion of an other subscriber evidently fails to appreciate the benefits of living in a democratic country where the philosophy of Voltaire almost prevails?
How anybody of sound mind and in complete control of their faculties is able to construe the comments of the Town Mayor as being racist, I would not hesitate to contend is beyond the comprehension of most of us other mortals who make the effort to think rationally before we express our thoughts in public?
Councillor Butler may be struggling to discharge his function as a contender and a participant in the politics Westminster and may equally be content to settle for a local platform of debate on more mundane issues or is he simply beginning to feel the 'heat in the kitchen' as a Parliamentary candidate?
I trust he is aware of the solution?

Frank Ward
Chairman
Hertsmere UKIP
Councillor Richard Butler, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Hertsmere in the absence of making any intelligent or rational contribution to the debate in the forum of national politics which he purports in making a bid to enter, evidently feels compelled to making his début in the hustings by indulging in the latest quarrel among residents within the community regarding the semantics of the English language. Equally Justin Tepper who demonstrated a previous ultra- sensitivity to the opinion of an other subscriber evidently fails to appreciate the benefits of living in a democratic country where the philosophy of Voltaire almost prevails? How anybody of sound mind and in complete control of their faculties is able to construe the comments of the Town Mayor as being racist, I would not hesitate to contend is beyond the comprehension of most of us other mortals who make the effort to think rationally before we express our thoughts in public? Councillor Butler may be struggling to discharge his function as a contender and a participant in the politics Westminster and may equally be content to settle for a local platform of debate on more mundane issues or is he simply beginning to feel the 'heat in the kitchen' as a Parliamentary candidate? I trust he is aware of the solution? Frank Ward Chairman Hertsmere UKIP Frank Ward
  • Score: -4

11:15pm Wed 30 Apr 14

rat 678 says...

Frank Ward should go back to spain. 1st He was a Labour man ,2nd he moved to spain . then come back as ukip does he know what party he wants to be in,
Frank Ward should go back to spain. 1st He was a Labour man ,2nd he moved to spain . then come back as ukip does he know what party he wants to be in, rat 678
  • Score: 4

7:38am Thu 1 May 14

Frank Ward says...

The irrational comments of rat 678 is an example of the ill-informed attempting unsuccessfully to make an intelligent contribution in a public forum.
I was a member of the Labour Party for 45 years and a Labour Councillor for nearly twenty five years prior to joining UKIP.
Other more prominent members of the Labour Party have also changed sides, just to mention a few:
Lord Dennis Healy former Labour Chancellor was a member of the Communist Party.
Peter Hain MP former Minister in the last Labour Government was a member of the Liberal Party.
Ed. Balls MP currently Shadow Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer was a former member of the Conservative Party.
Closer to home the former Conservative MP for Hertsmere and now Lord Cecil Parkinson was a former member of the Labour Party.
Even closer to home the present Labour County Councillor for Boreham Wood North, County Councillor Leon Reefe was a former member of the Liberal Democrats.
There are many more to numerous to mention.
Incidentally I have never lived or spent longer than three hours on the two occasions I visited Spain.
Frank Ward
Chairman
Herstmere UKIP
The irrational comments of rat 678 is an example of the ill-informed attempting unsuccessfully to make an intelligent contribution in a public forum. I was a member of the Labour Party for 45 years and a Labour Councillor for nearly twenty five years prior to joining UKIP. Other more prominent members of the Labour Party have also changed sides, just to mention a few: Lord Dennis Healy former Labour Chancellor was a member of the Communist Party. Peter Hain MP former Minister in the last Labour Government was a member of the Liberal Party. Ed. Balls MP currently Shadow Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer was a former member of the Conservative Party. Closer to home the former Conservative MP for Hertsmere and now Lord Cecil Parkinson was a former member of the Labour Party. Even closer to home the present Labour County Councillor for Boreham Wood North, County Councillor Leon Reefe was a former member of the Liberal Democrats. There are many more to numerous to mention. Incidentally I have never lived or spent longer than three hours on the two occasions I visited Spain. Frank Ward Chairman Herstmere UKIP Frank Ward
  • Score: -4

10:55am Thu 1 May 14

jgee says...

To be honest - this shouldn't even be a political debate - the only real outrage is that this even made the local news. The author of the original facebook post was being deliberately provocative and got the response that he rightly deserved.

Maybe if he did read the leaflets, he would learn something. I got the leaflet from UKIP through my door last night - and to be honest - I read it - and it made me realise how dangerous they are and how they should never, ever get into power in our country
To be honest - this shouldn't even be a political debate - the only real outrage is that this even made the local news. The author of the original facebook post was being deliberately provocative and got the response that he rightly deserved. Maybe if he did read the leaflets, he would learn something. I got the leaflet from UKIP through my door last night - and to be honest - I read it - and it made me realise how dangerous they are and how they should never, ever get into power in our country jgee
  • Score: 3

2:38pm Thu 1 May 14

Frank Ward says...

Maybe Jgee would care to enlighten the rest of us on why he found the contents of the UKIP election leaflet made him, to quote: ' It made me realise how dangerous they are and how they should never ever get into power in our country.'
The elections on 22nd May are a about local issues which even by a Jgee stretch of the imagination hardly relate to power in taking over the country?
The leaflet refers to the concerns by residents about local contentious matters which the present elected members appear to be ignoring?.
People within the community are angry and resentful that their Councillors who are paid six thousand pounds a year for attending meetings have done nothing about the potholes in the road until local residens staged a
protest.
The leaflet also exposes both the Labour and Conservative Councillors for the Kenilworth Ward who neglected to respond to members of the Arundel Socilal Club who appealed for their help in preventing Hertsmere Borough Council from using a Court of Law to terminate the social and recreational amenities that have enjoyed since 1952.
Equally the local Councillors are unable to guarantee that the Ark Theatre when demolished will be replaced.
Read the leaflet again this is not about power but service to the community.
Frank Ward
Chairman
Hertsmere UKIP ( Also author of the leaflet )

l
Maybe Jgee would care to enlighten the rest of us on why he found the contents of the UKIP election leaflet made him, to quote: ' It made me realise how dangerous they are and how they should never ever get into power in our country.' The elections on 22nd May are a about local issues which even by a Jgee stretch of the imagination hardly relate to power in taking over the country? The leaflet refers to the concerns by residents about local contentious matters which the present elected members appear to be ignoring?. People within the community are angry and resentful that their Councillors who are paid six thousand pounds a year for attending meetings have done nothing about the potholes in the road until local residens staged a protest. The leaflet also exposes both the Labour and Conservative Councillors for the Kenilworth Ward who neglected to respond to members of the Arundel Socilal Club who appealed for their help in preventing Hertsmere Borough Council from using a Court of Law to terminate the social and recreational amenities that have enjoyed since 1952. Equally the local Councillors are unable to guarantee that the Ark Theatre when demolished will be replaced. Read the leaflet again this is not about power but service to the community. Frank Ward Chairman Hertsmere UKIP ( Also author of the leaflet ) l Frank Ward
  • Score: -3

4:27pm Thu 1 May 14

rat 678 says...

Mr Frank Ward.
I was told that he was in shenley last week knocking on doors and asking people to sign a election paper so his UKIP rep can stand in shenley.
Frank you and your people will never get into shenley it is a torie seat.
i should know i lost against them twice,
Mr Frank Ward. I was told that he was in shenley last week knocking on doors and asking people to sign a election paper so his UKIP rep can stand in shenley. Frank you and your people will never get into shenley it is a torie seat. i should know i lost against them twice, rat 678
  • Score: 3

10:50pm Thu 1 May 14

Leon Reefe says...

Frank Ward complaining about someone else's "ill-informed ... contribution in a public forum" is taking irony to another level.

I've never been a member of the Liberal Democrats, as well he knows, and Ed Balls was never a member of the Conservative Party. Ed Balls did join the Conservative Association at Oxford whilst a student, and that's not being pedantic, he only joined "because they used to book top-flight political speakers, and only members were allowed to attend their lectures".

Frank Ward trying to take a cheap shot during an election? Popes being catholic and what bears do in woods might surprise us?

It's surely ironic for someone who spends a great deal of time living in their luxury Portuguese villa to represent an anti-european, anti-immagrant political party. Ironic or hypocritical, or both?
Frank Ward complaining about someone else's "ill-informed ... contribution in a public forum" is taking irony to another level. I've never been a member of the Liberal Democrats, as well he knows, and Ed Balls was never a member of the Conservative Party. Ed Balls did join the Conservative Association at Oxford whilst a student, and that's not being pedantic, he only joined "because they used to book top-flight political speakers, and only members were allowed to attend their lectures". Frank Ward trying to take a cheap shot during an election? Popes being catholic and what bears do in woods might surprise us? It's surely ironic for someone who spends a great deal of time living in their luxury Portuguese villa to represent an anti-european, anti-immagrant political party. Ironic or hypocritical, or both? Leon Reefe
  • Score: 3

9:29am Fri 2 May 14

rat 678 says...

WELL SAID LEON..
I will be with labour aLL THE TIME.
WELL SAID LEON.. I will be with labour aLL THE TIME. rat 678
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Fri 2 May 14

Frank Ward says...

I would refer to the comments of rat678: 'Frank you and your people will never get into Shenley it is a torie seat. I should know I lost against them twice.'
This allegedly impregnable Conservative seat was taken by Labour in 1996 by Bill Hogan a resident of Shenley who,despite similar predictions went on to be Mayor of Hertsmere and retained this seat until he chose to step down from politics.
However, I may stand to be corrected regarding the precise date?
Politics is not an exact science and the history of elections both locally and nationally are punctuated with examples of Cavalier politicians and Parties taking for granted the people who supported them in the past only to discover when the votes were counted the pendulum had swung in a totally unpredictable direction.
The final comments by rat678 in his on-line support of the Labour Party and his admission to having stood twice and lost may reveal his dream of liberating this seat for Labour once again?
The problem is the Grand Weaver, Tony Blair who made the Labour Party dreams come true is too busy striding the world stage with potentates and dictators, who at one time would be considered persona-non-grata by the Party, to be concerned about winning seats or casting his spell in either this election and maybe even the one being held next year?
Frank Ward
Chairman
Hertsmere UKIP
I would refer to the comments of rat678: 'Frank you and your people will never get into Shenley it is a torie seat. I should know I lost against them twice.' This allegedly impregnable Conservative seat was taken by Labour in 1996 by Bill Hogan a resident of Shenley who,despite similar predictions went on to be Mayor of Hertsmere and retained this seat until he chose to step down from politics. However, I may stand to be corrected regarding the precise date? Politics is not an exact science and the history of elections both locally and nationally are punctuated with examples of Cavalier politicians and Parties taking for granted the people who supported them in the past only to discover when the votes were counted the pendulum had swung in a totally unpredictable direction. The final comments by rat678 in his on-line support of the Labour Party and his admission to having stood twice and lost may reveal his dream of liberating this seat for Labour once again? The problem is the Grand Weaver, Tony Blair who made the Labour Party dreams come true is too busy striding the world stage with potentates and dictators, who at one time would be considered persona-non-grata by the Party, to be concerned about winning seats or casting his spell in either this election and maybe even the one being held next year? Frank Ward Chairman Hertsmere UKIP Frank Ward
  • Score: 1

4:32pm Sat 3 May 14

Frank Ward says...

Following the shameful chant of racism against the Conservative Mayor of Elstree and Boreham Wood Town Council led by the Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Councillor Richard Butler on behalf of Justine Teppet a suspect camp follower, and the hostile response from other on-line subscribers it would be reasonable to assume the Labour Party would exercise some modicum of caution over any future similar diatribe?
However, the local Labour Party would appear to have 'thrown caution to the winds.'
In a letter to the Editor in this week's edition of the paper, Labour Councillor Di. Hoeksma of Cowley Hill Ward has decided to indulge us with her own brand of introvert discrimination.
On receiving a UKIP election leaflet on the EU elections she took exception to the fact all of the candidates standing are white males.
If a politician of another Party or even an on-line subscriber had made a similar comment of objection on receiving an election leaflet where all the candidates were black this would have been condemned immediately as blatant racial discrimination.
Unlike the Labour Party, UKIP select their candidates for both the Westminster and European Parliaments by subjecting them to a thorough process of assessment irrespective of ethnic origins, colour, creed,or religion.
Those members who aspire to become would be candidates are graded A, B or C.
A requires : 85-100% pass mark. B: 65-85%. C: under 65%.
B & C candidates are given extramural training and assistance to achieve their objective.
UKIP have male and female candidates all over the country standing both in local, EU and next year in the Westminster elections who have qualified for this opportunity whether they are black or white without the need to be patronised as advocated by Councillor Hoeksma.
The recent revelation that seven black Labour Councillors have resigned the whip and left the Labour Group on Harrow Borough Council, alleging racism, coupled to a former BNP member now standing as a Labour Councillor in Dagenham speaks volumes.
The UKIP polices at local level are on the rear of the flyers now being distributed and the election leaflets still to be delivered.
Frank Ward
Chairmen
Hertsmere UKIP
Following the shameful chant of racism against the Conservative Mayor of Elstree and Boreham Wood Town Council led by the Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Councillor Richard Butler on behalf of Justine Teppet a suspect camp follower, and the hostile response from other on-line subscribers it would be reasonable to assume the Labour Party would exercise some modicum of caution over any future similar diatribe? However, the local Labour Party would appear to have 'thrown caution to the winds.' In a letter to the Editor in this week's edition of the paper, Labour Councillor Di. Hoeksma of Cowley Hill Ward has decided to indulge us with her own brand of introvert discrimination. On receiving a UKIP election leaflet on the EU elections she took exception to the fact all of the candidates standing are white males. If a politician of another Party or even an on-line subscriber had made a similar comment of objection on receiving an election leaflet where all the candidates were black this would have been condemned immediately as blatant racial discrimination. Unlike the Labour Party, UKIP select their candidates for both the Westminster and European Parliaments by subjecting them to a thorough process of assessment irrespective of ethnic origins, colour, creed,or religion. Those members who aspire to become would be candidates are graded A, B or C. A requires : 85-100% pass mark. B: 65-85%. C: under 65%. B & C candidates are given extramural training and assistance to achieve their objective. UKIP have male and female candidates all over the country standing both in local, EU and next year in the Westminster elections who have qualified for this opportunity whether they are black or white without the need to be patronised as advocated by Councillor Hoeksma. The recent revelation that seven black Labour Councillors have resigned the whip and left the Labour Group on Harrow Borough Council, alleging racism, coupled to a former BNP member now standing as a Labour Councillor in Dagenham speaks volumes. The UKIP polices at local level are on the rear of the flyers now being distributed and the election leaflets still to be delivered. Frank Ward Chairmen Hertsmere UKIP Frank Ward
  • Score: -3

10:33am Tue 20 May 14

david Burcombe says...

I was tempted to say something but as I sit on the fence I might upset somebody
I was tempted to say something but as I sit on the fence I might upset somebody david Burcombe
  • Score: 0

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