The candidate for MP in Darlington has recently begun blocking and deleting comments from anyone who posts on his Facebook page with anything that even vaguely criticises the Conservatives policies. He has banned a number of activists, members of the general public and even a journalist just for asking questions.
This comes after Peter Cuthbertson the Conservative candidate for MP has come under fire during the election campaign for comments he made around the age of 18–20, now 33 Cuthbertson then failed to attend the LGBTQI hustings in the town, the day after The Guardian released his comments:
He praised a “courageous priest jailed in Sweden for preaching against homosexuality” and wrote several blog posts about rape claims, including one arguing against proposals to make men prove they obtained consent before sex and restrictions on bringing up a woman’s sexual history in court.
He wrote in 2002: “New laws proposed by the government to cash in on public sympathy over the Ulrika Jonsson rape case will now require that men accused of date rape prove they ensured the woman in question gave her consent. In other words, any man who cannot prove his innocence will be convicted.
“Worse, defendants will now be restricted in bringing up the woman’s sexual history. Of course, it is relevant how promiscuous a woman is in determining how likely it was she consented.
“Some say — rightly — that it is unfair that the defendant should have his own sexual history kept secret but the victim have hers brought up in court. But this lack of symmetry can best be tackled by examining the sexual history of both defendant and accuser, rather than neither.”
He argued that a “woman of low morals is more likely to consent to sex, and to lie” and concluded that “all the sympathy in the world should be extended to women who have been raped, but men who are falsely accused of this crime are equally the victims here”.
The 33-year-old, a public affairs consultant, who has previously worked for the Taxpayers’ Alliance, is in a tight race to overturn a 3,158 majority held by Labour’s Jenny Chapman in Darlington. The Conservative Commentary blog posts were written when he was a university student 18 to 20 years old.
One of them opines on the problem of “diseased children of diseased morals” in a piece about sexually transmitted disease infection rates among young people.
Cuthbertson wrote: “I can say with absolute certainty that 99% of the girls in question will know exactly how to use various contraceptives. The reason they don’t on the whole seem to bother is the same as the reason they mate like animals in the first place: no one hopes for or demands anything better from them than that they conform to the most base instincts for instant gratification, whatever the morality of their actions and whatever the consequences.”
In a separate plea for more morality in society, he suggested one of the answers was more guns. “The more influence morality has over a man’s conduct, the less need there is for the state to control it. Crime can be reduced by many police, many laws, tougher sentences and more guns,” he wrote.
Cuthbertson’s luke-warm apology “I definitely don’t hold all the same views now” was enough for Theresa May however who has continued her support of the candidate. Now it emerges that Peter has been trying to stop people asking questions about what views he actually does hold now. Through Facebook many people reported being blocked by Peter. Everyone I spoke to were surprised that their comments had been deleted and they had effectively been pushed out of debates, James Doran posted:
“Blocked by Peter Cuthbertson, Darlington Conservative candidate, for correcting his statements about Labour, its policies, and its candidates. I have always been polite and respectful to Peter and I think it is a great shame that he does not wish to debate.
He failed to turn up to the LGBT hustings where his past statements on victims/survivors of horrific crimes could be questioned. He says he has changed his views, but the fact that he has blocked me for asking if the Conservatives will fund our libraries, our hospitals, our security… well. Not much has changed, has it?
Theresa May said the Tories used to be seen as “the Nasty Party”. I fear that not much has changed.”
He added later added:
“If I had used abusive language I could understand but I was being very polite because I know we have to win people over with reason and respect.”
Aly and Alex Hardy, were also both blocked for asking questions about his comments featured in The Guardian. Ian Templeton, Paul Wheeler and Ken Dillon were all also blocked from his page. Mike McTimoney (a Green Party activist), reported that he had been removed from Peter’s Facebook page during the 2015 election. Sam Wood (the author of this) was also blocked by Peter Cuthbertson for asking questions about policy.
Why are you afraid of debate Peter?