Red Ted’s conquerer goes red himself

Only two seats changed hands at byelections on 9 October, and one of them was handed over without a fight. The Liberal Democrats gained St George West ward on Bristol city council from Labour. The Conservatives gained Middle Rasen ward on West Lindsey district council from the Liberal Democrats, after the party failed to nominate a candidate in a confusion over the deadline.

The Conservatives held Knutsford division on both Cheshire county council and Cheshire East shadow unitary council, and also held Holybourne and Froyle ward on East Hampshire district council, Herne Bay division on Kent county council, Mount Joy ward on Isle of Wight council,

The Liberal Democrats held Alexandra ward on Haringey borough council, and Rotherhithe ward of Southwark borough council.

There have been two recent defections to note. On Copeland borough council, Robin Pitt (member for Newtown ward in Millom) has joined the Labour Party 18 months after he was elected as a Conservative. For those with long memories, Cllr Pitt was for six months in 1982 the leader of a minority Conservative administration on Lambeth borough council, interrupting the rule of “Red Ted” Knight briefly after Labour lost its majority in the 1982 council elections. He now says that the Conservative Party is in need of “political viagra”.

On Broxtowe borough council, the councillor for Kimberley ward Mel Crow has resigned from the Liberal Democrat group and will sit as an Independent.

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5 thoughts on “Red Ted’s conquerer goes red himself

  1. Resign and call a by-election

    I was utterly dismayed at Cllr. Robin Pitt’s decision to defect to the Labour Party.

    He seems to live in a virtual world in which the program disc has been changed. In July 2008 I heard him address a full Copeland Borough Council meeting. He passionately attacked the Labour Group, for the finding of the Audit Commission ‘Strategic Report on Housing’, which ranked Copeland with the lowest possible score. He asked why had there not been resignations? Cllr. Pitt had constantly barraged the Labour Group for withholding documents and finding procedural excuses for preventing discussion in full council. In 2007 he demanded that the Labour Leader of the Council, should resign due to the expense of a Group Away Day in a country hotel.

    Now he follows the leader without question.

    Cllr Pitt joined an organisation that he had attacked for incompetence and procedures, which have smatterings of tyranny. His actions defy logic. Most obnoxious is his decision not to allow the people to judge his personal and political credentials as their elected representative. He should stand in his full colours.

    Cllr. Pitt if you have any intellectual and political integrity you will resign and call a by-election. The mandate to govern comes from the people. You believed that once. Let the electorate in New Town Ward decide whether they now want a Labour Councillor.

  2. My comment on Robin Pitt’s propaganda that he published in the May County elections. Incidently despite writing some of the filthiest election leaflets I have ever seen, the Conservative candidate increased his majority from 2 to 675. Millom people told Robin Pitt what they thought of his way of doing politics.

    Resign from Copeland Mr Pitt.

    “In times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”. George Orwell.

    ‘Millom Today’ promoted by the Labour Party’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ on behalf of Robin Pitt contained enough factual inaccuracies to fill a book the size of ‘War and Peace’. I will concentrate on one issue as it pertains to the nuclear debate.

    In the leaflet Robin Pitt states “Opposition MPs have joined forces with Green campaigners to call for the immediate closure of Sellafield putting thousands of jobs at risk (Independent 7th April 2009) Only Labour are totally committed to the concept of the nuclear industry generating jobs for generations”.

    The first misleading inference is that the “Opposition MPs” referred to in the ‘Independent’ article include Conservatives. In fact none of the MPs quoted or referred to in the article were Conservative. The MPs quoted were Michael Meacher (Labour) and the Lib Dem spokesperson for climate change, Simon Hughes”. The word Conservative or Tory does not appear in the entire article, nor are any references made to Conservative MPs by name. Michael Meacher and the Lib Dem spokesperson for climate change, Simon Hughes, are quoted.

    Secondly the article relates to one nuclear facility on the Sellafield site, the MOX plant, built to reprocess spent nuclear fuel for reuse in power plants. It does not speak of shutting down Sellafield.’A £1bn Nuclear White Elephant’ covers Michael Meacher’s Opposition to MOX. The Labour MP for Oldham West and former Environment Minister tried, unsuccessfully, to block approval of the MOX plant on the basis that “the waste of tax payers money was unforgivable”. The MOX facility has been beset with financial and technical problems from the outset and has prompted Ed Milliband Climate Secretary to consider putting the plant’s future under review.

    This is a wilful attempt on the part of Robin Pitt to mislead the public, by referring to an article about Labour and Lib Dem MPs calling for the closure of a particular nuclear facility and Labour ministers of considering it, to support his argument that only Labour support nuclear investment.

    New build and the safe disposal of existing waste are separate issues from a plant that has come up for review from Labour’s own ministers. It is perverse to criticise Conservatives in the same breath for opposing the Kirksanton Site, when Jamie Reed’s statement made it clear that Sellafield was the preferred site for new build. Cumbria Councillor Tim Knowles’ letter in the Whitehaven News 30th April reaffirms this position.

    The Conservatives have no intention of shutting down Sellafield. No one in their right mind would propose locking the gates on Sellafield and walking away. Obsolete plants have to be decommissioned and waste dealt with appropriately, by professional experts. This takes years and will continue to provide jobs in West Cumbria. May I remind Robin Pitt that the Labour Government established the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA) to decommission Sellafield.

    It is quite possible for the Conservatives in Copeland, to support nuclear power and new build in West Cumbria without bulldozing through the proposals for a particular site regardless of local opinion. That is what David Cameron means by ‘Localism’. It is appropriate to pay attention to the concerns of people living in close proximity to a particular site.

    Before the ‘thought police’ come banging at my door I conclude by stating this type of misleading scaremongering propaganda is obMOXious.

  3. Below is my letter sent to the Whitehaven News on 22nd October 2009. It was published in slightly shortened edited form, but the main arguments remained.

    Has Councillor Pitt really reached rock bottom this time? He made a false allegation against a Council Officer, working for the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, concerned with ‘Choosing to Change’. This Committe was responding to a report (‘Places Survey’) which showed Labour controlled Copeland Council as one of the worst Council’s in the country for satisfaction with its services. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is a cross party attempt to address the problems.

    Robin Pitt made a wicked false allegation against the officer by accusing him of conspiring with two senior opposition politicians to bring down the leader of Copeland Council. An independent investigation cleared the officer and the councillors.

    Not only is this disgraceful behaviour towards the individuals concerned it is putting the Council into disrepute by affectively sabotaging its attempts, through scrutiny, of addressing the criticism in the report’s findings.

    Before Red Robin is allowed to fathom even greater depths he should be made to resign!

    ******************************************************

    I am writing to demand Robin Pitt’s resignation from Copeland Council. His behaviour towards council officer Neil White is unconscionable.

    If the potential consequences of his false allegations had not been so serious, it would be comical. Imagine a scene in ‘Yes Minister’, a public official being plied with tea and cakes at the country house of two senior members of the opposition in order to bring down the Government. Mr Pitt’s imagination goes from the sublime to the ridiculous.

    When Cllr. Pitt produced obnoxious leaflets in the County election, containing smears of the caliber to make even Damion McBride blush, I thought that was about as low anybody could stoop. Clearly I was mistaken, this latest incident demonstrated the depths he can fathom know no limits.

    Cllr. Pitt does not have to stoop, as these are his political methods. He evades debate in serious matters, like ‘Choosing to Change’ by diverting attention away from the issue and focusing on the destruction of the individuals who are not doing his bidding. It is disgraceful to intentionally ruin a respectable young officer’s career with the ridiculous false allegation of attempting to bring down the Leader of Copeland Council, simultaneously to trying to destroy the reputation of two senior members of the opposition group. I am relieved that the councillors and the officer, a man of integrity, have been exonerated. Mr White can begin his new job with a clean slate.

    Cllr. Pitt appears to be totally lacking in any human compassion or ability to empathise. Has he not considered the distress that he causes to the people he makes false allegations against? It also upsets their families. Sadly Mr White is one of many. I am pleased to hear that Cllr, Pitt has been told to apologise to Cllr. Doug Wilson for a falsehood made in Full Council last March.

    It does not surprise me that Cllr. Pitt refuses to resign. Like most propagandists he comes to believe in his own deceptions. He has been taken in by his own propaganda. Fortunately the people of Millom see through him and I am confident that he will not be re-elected.

    However this act is so despicable his own party should support a vote of no confidence against him now. Surely Elaine Woodburn sees a man like him as an electoral liability? She will not need enemies with a friend like him.

    It is time to restore the trust of the people in politics by ousting people of no integrity from public life.

    I urge all councillors, irrespective of political allegiances to support a vote of no confidence in Cllr. Pitt. Not only should he resign from the Personnel Panel, he should stand down from the Council. For local Government to survive with any credibility it is essential that politics be conducted in a fair and just manner concentrating on the issues and not a desire to destroy people in order to enhance one’s own ambitions. Yet again Cllr. Pitt, it was badly done.

    Perhaps when Cllr. Pitt has retired from politics he could occupy his time writing Copeland’s equivalent of a ‘Whitehall Farce.’

  4. Democracy in Copeland is Dead. RIP. This was demonstrated in Full Council on 8th December. Labour’s endorsement of Robin Pitt behaviour reveals their true colours as promoters of dirty politics.

    It never ceases to amaze me that a few small minds with unlimited ambition can destroy a multitude of intelligent people.

    The guillotining of the debates on the Independent Investigation and on the No Confidence motion in the Chairman of Personnel, marked democracy’s final demise after a long illness. The terminally ill patient was Euthanased, by an abuse of the Standing Order procedure thus, stifling relevant and intelligent debate. The result is death by suffocation in the gagging of the opposition. The Standing Order procedure when utilised correctly is for the avoidance of a situation where the same arguments are repeated time and time again. This justification did not apply, nor was it given as the reason for the motion to block debate. The proposer of the motion stated that it was to ‘stop people wrecking the Council.’ Labour (minus one) forced the motions through, without any legal grounds.

    These Stalinist tactics are yet another example of the Labour Group’s inability to cope with dissent. They seem incapable of conducting an argument. Knowing that they can win on votes rather than through reasoned argument or any moral superiority, they resort to dictatorial methods.

    I was also appalled when Cllr. Norwood was making a passionate and heartfelt speech, seconding Cllr. Moore’s motion of no confidence, that the Labour Executive were in fits of giggles. During the earlier debate, where Cllr. Dixon was prevented from continuing his address with regard to the Independent Investigation, one of the Labour frontbenchers set off a flashing music making Christmas gimmick toy, which appeared (from where I was sitting) to be attached to his tie. The Labour Group managed to trivialise and destroy an extremely serious discussion, reducing it to the level of a school common room prank.

    Cllrs. Norwood and Moore made excellent points about the depths to which politics has sunk. Cllr. Pitt’s defiance of the ninth commandment with regard to bearing false witness in a series of unfounded allegations, has cast a dark shadow over Copeland. This is an issue of morality and not party politics. Refusal to acknowledge this point is symptomatic of the Labour Group’s inherent intellectual dishonesty.

    In my view Labour’s opposition to the vote of no confidence collectively tarnishes them. They share in common Cllr. Pitt’s lack of integrity when it comes to honourable conduct and fair play. The absence of debate on the Independent Investigation leaves the public with very little faith that when the decisions made in private by the Board established to deal with findings of the Places Survey and Choosing to Change, are finally brought before full Council that the debate will be open and transparent.

    Copeland’s Labour Group is beyond farce. It has produced a tragedy, which ends in a stage strewn with the corpses of democracy. How much more do the people of Copeland have to endure?

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