Members of Friends 2 Friends at Speakers' Corner
Members of Friends 2 Friends at Speakers’ Corner

A group for local people with learning disabilities say they are “upset and dismayed” by a social media post from Lichfield’s MP.

Michael Fabricant used the word “Remonger” on Twitter after a fellow user used the phrase to describe people who supported remain in the Brexit debate.

The Conservative MP told Lichfield Live he had never heard the term before after he was criticised by the parent of a woman with Down’s syndrome criticising him for using a “slur” with links to a derogatory term for people with disabilities.

“I didn’t use the expression – someone else did in relation to Brexit.  I commented I had never heard it before.”

Michael Fabricant MP

But the Friends 2 Friends group – which supports people in Lichfield with learning difficulties – has now called on Mr Fabricant to remove the post and apologise.

In a statement, they said:

“All of us are upset and dismayed at Michael Fabricant’s tweet about ‘remongers’.

“While we accept his claim he was unaware of the term, we would like the post removed and an apology.”

Friends 2 Friends spokesperson

Members also took to Speakers’ Corner to make their point.

“The group had a discussion about bullying and verbal abuse directed at people with learning difficulties.

“Some members talked about their own experiences of this and as ever spoke with clarity and empathy.”

Friends 2 Friends spokesperson

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20 Comments

  1. I’m not sure why you put “upset” in inverted commas in your headline. It is completely understandable that any decent person would be upset by Fabricant’s comments.
    The language we use tells others who we are. Fabricant has ‘form’ when it comes to making intemperate & entirely inappropriate comments about a female constituent, a distinguished female journalist, the Mayor of London and others. When called out, he often claims not to have understood the abusive language he used or amplified.
    Fabricant is an MP, a generously-salaried public official who represents the people of Lichfield & Burntwood in Parliament. He brings shame on all of us with his abusive language. We deserve better.

  2. Cathy – we put it in quotation marks because it is a direct quote from the group. It’s standard practice and allows readers to understand that the quote is from an individual or group.

  3. This dreadful man needs to be removed as our MP, this is not a first offence, he has a track history of sexist and racist comments on social media. he is unworthy to represent the people of Lichfield

  4. Great article (and headline!) and a brilliant response to the MP’s crass attitude.
    The group’s reply is more considered, eloquent, empathetic and coherent than the MP manages himself most of the time.

    (Ross – I guess you are right, you cannot please all the people all – or any – of the time. They do get “upset” at the strangest things sometimes while completely missing the wider picture!)

  5. Our differences are what make us unique and special. Whatever makes you different should be celebrated and applauded, not used against you in a spiteful or abusive way. #bekind #mentalhealth #dotherightthing #love #friendship

  6. So any response now from any of our local Tories? Are they still too busy with their lives to speak up? Anything? Hello, any of you out there?

  7. I hope the Friends 2 Friends group get the apology they have asked for and truly deserve.
    I continue to have hope that the local Cllrs will publicly distance themselves from this ignorant slur. They know this is a disgrace.
    All of us in Lichfield and Burntwood are shamed by the MPs social media posts. He needs to work for all of his actual constituents and not his Twitter followers.

  8. Well done to Friends 2 Friends for speaking out. You have done nothing to deserve this type of abuse, and it is NEVER acceptable for people to suffer in this way because of a disability. You deserve everyone’s respect. I hope you keep on enjoying one another’s support, and please be reassured that the overwhelming majority of people totally agree with you. I hope that you receive an apology from Mr Fabricant.

  9. Oh dear, if this is considered a slur against a disabled group a lot of already existing derogatory words are going to have to be avoided from the English dictionary. Warmonger, fishmonger,scaremonger,ironmonger, rumourmonger, scandalmonger and many more. Some people can sure be easily offended!

  10. Then maybe you should have stated ‘upset and dismayed’ in your headline?
    ‘Dismayed’ is, after all, a stronger word and conveys more powerfully the shock that many of us felt on seeing Fabricant’s comment.

  11. @Enjoy your life. Yeah, Fabricant used that facile response too. Are you seriously suggesting that Fabricant went to the effort of tweeting that he liked the word “Remonger” because it sounded a bit like “Ironmonger”?

    You are either horribly naïve, or as unpleasant as Fabricant himself.

  12. Cathy Wood – why are you making the focus of your comment a disagreement on editorial style? Are you a Tory in disguise? Are you trying to divert attention from the shameful actions of the man you probably voted for by putting up a pedantic smokescreen?

  13. @ Enjoy your life. Don’t be mislead by the similarity in spelling with “ironmonger”, etc., where the pronunciation and meaning would be totally different. The word Fabricant liked was created as a deliberate insult, as he well knew. People are quite rightly offended, and still waiting for an apology.

  14. Hey @Enjoy Your Life, I’m aware of the Latin verb which ‘monger’ derives from, thank you. So the etymology for iron monger, warmonger, costermonger, etc, is clear.
    Also clear, is your abusive, disgraceful use of ‘monger’ in Modern English slang where the etymology is from ‘mongol’ a nasty, abusive slang word against certain people which I haven’t heard since the playground in the 1980’s and you know what you’re doing and you know abusive it is.
    So stop gaslighting and admit it, you’re a dinosaur of the modern age who finds amusement and pleasure in other people’s discomfort.
    And quite frankly it’s people with your views who are still living in a 1980’s playground. So go away now, a nasty, bitter, juvenile attitude you have.

  15. Kitty, I am 32 years old and have a daughter with Downs syndrome. I commented because I’m tired of people looking for the negative in everything dragging people down. Please, just live your life.

  16. I‘d still like to understand what informed the editorial decision to use ‘upset’ rather than ‘upset and dismayed’ or ‘dismayed’ in your headline.

  17. @Live Your Life…all the very best to your daughter.

    Now go on your way and live your life, you know what you’re doing.

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