Back in March 2013 a now retired Tory councillor behaved exactly like many expect a Tory to behave and described waitresses in a local cafe as ‘bitches’ who needed a ‘good beating’. Mr Chapman was not asked to resign by the local council or forced to resign for his behaviour. In fact other local right wingers either defended him or stayed silent.

The following is the original with some updating:

A SENIOR councillor has been called to quit after he disparaged the service at a Dorchester coffee shop and suggested the female staff “deserved a good thumping” on a social networking site.

After visiting the Costa Coffee store, Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor Peter Chapman posted on Facebook that he had received “terminally sluggish (and poor) service from the bone idle bitches in Costa Dorchester today, they all need a good beating.”

Mr. Chapman’s Facebook page received the comment and was shared with local media outlets.

Two other council members from Weymouth and Portland added comments to the conversation.

“Costa employees always first class at airports, but then they are all foreign,” observed councilman Robbie Dunster (now deceased).

Christine James, a councilwoman, continued, “Meow. Pete, I never knew you had it in you.

Coun Chapman, a member of the Conservative party and the council’s spokeswoman for finance and assets, confirmed that he had made the comment ‘in fun’.

“That comment was not made in public,” he said, adding that his Facebook status was private. “That is all I am prepared to say on the matter.”

After the discussion, Coun. Chapman’s Facebook account was removed.

Coun. James, a member of the Liberal Democrats at the time (now ‘Independent councillor) and the borough council’s spokesperson for infrastructure and transportation, said she had seen the remark and had written a “sarcastic reply.” Coun. James is the councilwoman for Westham North.

I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to disagree with his opinion, she said.

It was written in a lighthearted manner, even though he could have chosen the incorrect words. “Councillors are people and make mistakes like everyone else,” Coun. James continued.

“The public needs to occasionally look at themselves if they have nothing better to do than worry over a council member stating anything that is not politically proper.”

This Councillor James in 2022/3:

Coun. Dunster (now deceased), a councillor for the Upwey and Broadwey wards and a fellow member of the Conservative party, was unavailable for comment.

“Councillors are solely liable for their acts when acting as a councillor or deferring to council business,” said Councillor Mike Goodman, the head of the Conservative party on the borough council.

A women’s organisation demanded that Coun. Chapman resign as a result of his remarks.

Women’s Action Network Dorset (WAND) independent chair Toni McKee stated: “I believe this is just disgusting, and there is no justification for even making light of something like that.

“I believe he ought to resign.

It is astonishing that someone in a public position would say something like this given how hard we are fighting to eradicate the idea that domestic abuse is acceptable.

Gemma Stephenson, an assistant manager at Costa Dorchester, called the comments disturbing.

“It’s not a kind thing to say, and certainly not something a councillor should be saying,” she declared.

Corporate executives demand remorse

Business leaders in Dorchester have demanded an apology from Coun. Chapman for the remark.

“It is not an acceptable way to behave,” said Phil Gordon of the town’s Business Improvement District. “Hopefully, a full apology will be forthcoming.

“That is not indicative of my experiences at Costa Dorchester,” the speaker said.

The Chamber of Commerce’s president, Alison Moore, said: “That is a completely terrible thing to say and I’m pretty startled. I can understand the aggravation when you are in a line and it’s busy.

“Even if I don’t know the individual, he ought to think about apologising.

If he truly made a mistake, he should consider how he might be able to fix the harm.

It does demonstrate that these profiles are not truly private, and we must exercise caution.

Ten years on and what has changed? Bigots still seeking power and bigots voting for them.

Douglas James

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