Friday, 17 October 2008


I know that Nicky may well blog about last nights Question Time but I feel I must get a few things off my chest about some things that kept me awake thinking long into the night!
To see Councilor Alan Rigby say that he canvassed for a pal who was standing for the tories (Andrew Wragg) just left me dumbfounded! The man is an independent so what are his true politics? Is he a Tory or BNP? because it sounds to me like he could be either! Then he as the audacity to say that there is no alternatives in this city, well that's no bloody surprise is it when we have countless so called Independents in our city that obviously use independence as a mere label to hide behind, disguising their true beliefs!
Did the Asian guy get an answer to his question of what the future holds for him and his family in Stoke where there are 9 BNP councilors? Talk about politicians not answering a question this bunch managed to skirt around this question for nearly 1o minutes! The most telling contribution to this question came for Councilor Mike Barnes who quite rightly said that he was worried about the future of this city, well so am I because i did not realise that you can hide an awful lot behind just one WORD independent! In Councilor Rigby's case i say this "INDEPENDENT MY ARSE!"
To anyone thinking of standing as a councilor let me ask you this, please in the interest of the future of the city I love! If you are a Tory, stand as a Tory. If you have BNP ideals, then stand for the BNP. If you feel you relate to the Libdems then Stand and be proud of the Libdems! This is why in my opinion the BNP are gaining popularity because they are seen as the only alternative, I have been saying this since this blog began. Beware an Independent because last night taught me that there is no such animal!
To read Jon Woodhouses's Sentinel comment click here:

Read Cllr Rigby's letter to the Sentinel here:


nicky said...


I had to wait until my lunch break to get the time to publish it. You see I disagree with you on Cllr Rigby, I think he's good and I think he described the politics in Stoke-on-Trent really well. But I suppose for me it doesn't really matter whether a person is a tory capitalist or a BNP fascist or a labour leftie or a libdem softie. If I like what they say I don't mind what they are I will just agree with them. And this isn't the first time I've liked what Alan Rigby has to say. I don't know if that therefore makes me a tory or a BNP but quite frankly I'm not that bothered as I'm such a floating voter I don't really feel I need to buy into all the policies of anyone but can pick what makes sense at any time for me. From that particular panel my favourite was the libdem so maybe I'm one of them, but I think comments from the audience tended on the whole to be better than comments from the panel.

Looking at it from Alan Rigby's point of view, or trying to, he can always correct me; if he's a tory he can't really operate as one on the council as he'd have to be gagged by Ibbs and who'd want to be and if he's a BNP I'm guessing he'd be compelled to vote with them as they seem a pretty united lot. So being an independent just allows him to have more freedom of speech.

brooneyes said...

Tony, didn't Alan Rigby say he was canvassing for muslim councillors?

No such thing as society said...

Thanks for blogging this one.

I watched the programme from start to finish, and these are my observations:

1. The tone of many contributions was very negative.
2. Many of the questions and contributions were very parochial.
3. I agree with Tony on the contribution from Independent Councillor Alan Rigby. He basically said what good community councillors the BNP were and that he had no problem with them. Obviously this was a pitch to the BNP for their votes as it's known that Councillor Rigby has ambitions to be the leader of the council.

It would be interesting to hear Craig's views as to whether an Independent/BNP coalition is likely to be formed to run the city in the event that the referendum next week votes for Leader & Cabinet.

Just my thoughts anyway.

brooneyes said...

No such thing as society.

I couldn't possibly comment until after the referendum. The mayoral system and the leader system are completely different, so until we know which set of challenges we have to face, we won't know which personnel will be involved where.
An informal agreement is one thing, a coalition is something no-one wants to see again!

Frank Fuller said...

BNP Leader Alby Walker has publicly stated that the BNP will not work with any group on the council which includes a sex offender (ie. The Conservative/Independent Alliance of which Lee Wanger is a member) and also any group which has someone convicted of animal cruelty (ie. Labour of which Paul Shotton is still a member).

So yes, it certainly does appear that a BNP-City Independent deal is being lined up if we get Leader and Cabinet at the Referendum.

Bob Bagley said...

Tony my mate, you've seen the light and woken up to what has been going on in this city! For too long individuals using the 'Independent' label have used it to hide all manner of sins and got away with it. If we're not careful we may well find ourselves waking up to a BNP council in the near future regardless of whether or not the members declare themselves as BNP.

st george said...

Tony, Frank and Bob are right.

The city indepenent group hoover up allsorts of individuals, some more openly racist than the BNP ever are, some Tory's, some claim to be the only socialists in the city.

Thats why Tony is right.
That is why political groups HAVE to be involved in local politics, if only to give an inclination as to the basic beliefs of the candidates.

Tory Cllr John Daniels was previously a City Independent Cllr.
He finally decided to join the party he very obviously agreed with, and has now been voted in as such.

But look at Ind Cllr Brian Wards last leaflets,full of racism. He is as racist as the BNP, but, not honest enough to stand as one.

Ind Cllr John Davis, on the other hand, is clearly not racist, and likes to be seen as a socialist.

All this in one group!!

I have commented on the other Question time blog.

You are obviously not able to see through the local nice, friendly BNP smiles and the way they steer clear of decision making, but play politics with you all, by calling in decisions they know they can not alter, just to lead you all along, like the Longton and Trentham ones.

The Oracle will agree, as he is all seeing...

"or a BNP fascist or a labour leftie or a libdem softie. If I like what they say I don't mind what they are I will just agree with them".

This statement just shows that you have NO principles.

you are arguing on another blog that you have all been mistakenly likened to the BNP.

With comments like Nickys, I am not surprised.

brooneyes said...

Nicky, don't let St Georges peevish comments get to you. There are those of us who find it very refreshing to hear honest answers to questions, not just the snidey mumblings of old duffers.

Shaun Bennett said...

I agree with Nicky that I have always found Alan Rigby to be a very good local councillor-possibly one of the best Tories not to take the party whip at the moment, and quite frankly I can't really blame him.

Cllr Rigby did indeed help to campaign for a Conservative candidate at the last local elections, he attended the breifing of Conservative candidates and activists immediately before the count, and he was wearing a blue Conservative rosette at the count. Remember too that he also used to be part of the Independent-Conservative Group and was elected without Conservative opposition in his ward. As far as I'm concerned, he's a Conservative in all but name.

I agree generally that if you are a Tory, Labour, Lib Dem or BNP, you should stand as such. However, I also have to agree with Nicky that if you have principled objections to the direction of the present Conservative leadership (as many of us do), as well as deep concerns about the leadership of certain persons in the group, then it is extremely difficult to then be able to accept that Conservative whip.

In my view, that doesn't mean that good people like Alan Rigby should be excluded from being able to take part in the betterment of his community. If only there were more men of principle like him.

ian norris said...

I've never met Alan Rigby, but if he canvassed for his mate Wragg what does that prove? Wragg is trying to match Ted Owen for number of groups his been Indy, Labour, Conversative.

But Bob Bagley if Alan Rigby did canvas with Wragg AGAINST the BNP knid of wipes out your Rigby and BNP alliance, He said his mate lost due to the other BNP Cllrs already elected as doing a good job for the ward.

If he is a Tory seem he wont get into bed with them due to the Labour, Lib Dem, Alliance.

I agree stand as you are Tory Lab, Lib Ind. but then dont just join allinace for Cabinent Money.

You'll notice no City Independents on the Alliance.

So question anyone standing will they form an alliance are they under a party/group whip.

ian norris said...

Mike Barnes talked about RIOTS in Stoke.. when were these and talk about being negative (normal Labour comment about Opposition) but that was the most negative comment about Stoke I heard on the Programme.

brooneyes said...

Barnes' comments shouldn't be a surprise to you Ian, he's another raving lefty! We certainly produce them here in the Potteries.

ian norris said...

Brooneye: not surprised but on national TV?

But then after D4S comment on

"Ian, you are playing games with politics and you have no pedigree to support you amateurish forensic analysis of local politics"

D4S want us the residents of stoke to sit back keep quiet and stop cahllegning how they run our city. HUMBUG we ans all the other local forums are here to stay and they should start listening instead of trying to scare us in to silence.

Bob Bagley said...

Ian, could you explain this one to me please.

City Independent Alan Rigby declared himself as a candidate for leader of the council at the last council meeting and is now reaching out to the BNP for support, and yet the City Independents already have a leader Councillor Ann James.

What does Anne James have to say about Rigby undermining her like this? Surely she can't have given her permission for him to go around offering deals to the BNP? And if she didn't give her permission he should be kicked out of your group otherwise you will be confirming that you are basically an undiciplined rabble.

ian norris said...

Bob Bagley: I am commenting on QT, I did not attend Full council or Know Alan Rigby, as an independent he is free to say as he wishes, and as in previous topics it is known any of the 60 cllrs could be nominated as leader.

As has happended in the Past Cllrs leave Party they elected under. Labour Cllrs have in the past jumped ship and moved to socialist party, Lib Dem party Tory paty.. ETC.

If only there could be a LGA Act that if a Cllr left the Group/Party there would be a by-election but this would cost money. Bob I wish we could stop Labour Cllrs etc. leaving and joining other groups but we cant as of yet.

brooneyes said...

Bob Bagley.
Explain this to me Bob.
How can an independent be part of a group? Surely membership of a group makes invalid the claim to independence?

Bob Bagley said...

I agree with you brooneyes, you are either a member of a group or a single individual with no ties to anyone else. The City Independents are hypocrites trying to have it both ways.

I understand the point you are making Ian. It would be more honest for people who have stood as Independents, Peoples Party, Potteries Alliance etc. to stand under no label at all and ask people to elect them as an individual, telling the voters they will decide which party/group to join after they are elected very much like Ted Owen does.

And by the way the only councillor to have so far defected to the BNP in Stoke-on-Trent was a member of the City Independents.

Tony said...

The one thing i learned from QT last night is never to trust the independent councilors!I would even put them below the BNP in the city pecking order. Nicky i too am a "floating voter" but there is no chance of my voye floating to an independent! This reaffirms the leader and cabinet model to me as the best thing for our city, becuase if the city return a party majority at least we will know what we are getting as opposed to and Independent where we could get whatever party they are siding with that particular week!

ian norris said...

Brooneyes: under current council rules any independent would be view as a sole member and not entitled to any committees or chairs, so independents need to either join a group or only entitled to their voice at the full council.

Bob erm NO! complete opposite if they stand as Labour, and then jump to Socialist like Sutton or on the own, or to conservatives Wragg then they should stand for by-election under NEW hat. but this would cost too much if they leave group/party they should no longer take part in council procedure until the next election

ian norris said...

Tony check out all the defectors from the Labour party and Libdems..

ian norris said...

Tony: I thin you should rewatch QT what party was Cllr Rigby siding with he canvassed against BNP, and talked down Tory and Libdem for SIDING with Labour.

So REALLY it does not matter which party you vote for, you will still get the same libdem, Tory, Labour Alliance.. some of you appear to dislike

Bob Bagley said...

Well said Tony, we seem to be finding ourselves on the same wavelength about this one.

In a strange way I've come to develop a certain amount of respect for members of the BNP like Craig, at least they are up front and honest about who they are and what they stand for.

With an Independent you never know what you will end up with, and after your five minutes of fun making a protest at the polling station you are then stuck with them for 4 years.

Tony said...

100% with you, I don't agree with the politics of the BNP but admire people like Mike Coleman, Terry Cope and Craig because they stand up for what they believe in. I don't know Terry or Craig, but I've met Mike on loads of occasions and he's a really nice guy. It's just the uncertaitity you get with the independents. Another thing how can you possibly vote for someone but don't know what they stand for? It's underhand the way that they go about seeking election. As far as i'm concerned NO POLICIES, NO VOTES! As I said in the blog, Independents, my arse!

Tony said...

I'll bow to your superior knowledge on that one matey, you tell me about the defectors!

brooneyes said...

That was an informative phone call
I just received. Apparently, the independents formed a group so they could claim their full moneys.
On the other hand, we have people like Jean Bowers who claim money for chairs and then don't attend the meetings. That is wasted money.
It also turns out that today, the hierachy of Stoke-on-Trent BNP were approached by a group from the council. They want to form a
formal coalition with us!!

Another LibDem has been brought to my attention, only this time it's the "Partygate " animal, Paul
Billington. Paul, you will remember, was caught at home with
three female council employees,
Sharon Dawson, Julie Seddon, and another scouser, Julie Gill, head of finance. Gill is now the only party girl left as the other two have been shuffled out of the picture.
Anyway, enough of slappers, let's get back to Mr Billington. Now it appears that Paul lost his chair when he got caught with his fingers in so many council pies, as it were! Jean Bowers took it before the seat was cold, along with any other paid positions she could grab. Paul was sad, and after a blazing row, left the LibDems for an hour! You will all be glad to know that he has since rejoined, but let's hope he didn't have to invite Jean round to his house to get his place back........

More for you as it comes to me...

nita said...

I was under the impression that Independent meant, not belonging to or having any view of any other political party.

Rumour is going round, that if the people vote for Leader and Cabinet, the Independents, and BNP group together, hence they could have a majority, then the Leader comes from this group.

How I see it is, it is policitally wrong for these two to join forces. BNP are BNP and Independent are Independent.

We want individual parties in the City, so the people can decide on individual policies.

Keep it that way!

Bob Bagley said...

The trouble is Nita that the council is so fragmented at the moment that no single party or group has a majority of the seats, hence the reason for alliances and coalitions. And with no less than seven different parties/groups on the council alongside defections it's hard to keep up.

Brooneyes, do tell more. The only coalition I can imagine is between the BNP and Independents as Albie Walker has already ruled out working with other groups due to them having paedophiles or animal abusers.

ian norris said...

Nita thats correct, and yes they are rumors and dirty trick by labour.

there is one aliance for fatc as it exists already .

Labour will do as much spin as possible.

and brooneye read city constition or just ring legal depart why indy need to form group.

nicky said...

St george,

I look at it a different way

"or a BNP fascist or a labour leftie or a libdem softie. If I like what they say I don't mind what they are I will just agree with them".

OK I was being slightly flippant with the fascist, leftie, softie labels, but I don't think it shows I've got no principles, I think it shows my principles are very much my own. I don't need to buy in to everything from any one party or attach myself wholly to any of them. I have my own views. I also think it shows less prejudice if I'll listen to what anyone has to say and decide for myself.

I can't see that a comment I make naming a whole bunch of parties can liken all the bloggers to the BNP. That issue had more to do with some rather unnecessary spat between schools. I'm on the periphery of that really as Trentham is my family's priority. However I am particularly supportive of Longton as I think they are currently getting the worst treatment in this reorgnisation and I do genuinely believe that every child matters, even if the government don't act on their own slogan.

I presume as you left the tories off my quote you are a tory and think I should be too. Well maybe I am at least in part. I tend to agree a lot with Shaun for example. I'm also aware that a fair number of city independents are ex-tories or current tory voters, that's fine by me. But if I do have tory tendencies, which I haven't really decided as yet, it won't stop me agreeing with other people if I want to.


Well I was ok with being the only one to support Alan Rigby, but nevertheless it is still good that there is more than just me.


You're mellowing a bit my man, "developing a respect for the BNP".

ian norris said...

Nicky : I'm no x-tory and not sure many other City Inpendents are X-labour maybe?

I stood as feed of attending committes where it was obvious Labour cllrs had not even opened reports yetr alone read or researched the informatiom

Bob Bagley said...

Sorry Ian but it's no dirty trick by Labour, from what I understand it's the BNP themselves who have said that Independent Councillor Alan Rigby has approached them for support or offered some kind of deal.

ian norris said...

Bob : I've had few birds fly in and explain what is actually happening.

Alan Rigby has Spoke to ALL groups asking if he was Leader would they support him in forming a multi group cabinent, hardly the spin your trying to put on it.

Just as in 2001 the Independents appraoched all groups to fomr a Cabinent but Labour REFUSED, looks like Alan is just continuing trying to get THE BEST cabinet from those elected.

Tony said...

Ian and Bob,
Just read your latest post and now i am worried! So basically if Rigby gets his way then this city get the same old, same old? Meredith in a different skirt? So it's possible that Mr Rigby could be in charge of this city and still we the population of this city would still have no idea of what the mans stands for? OUTRAGEOUS!

Frank Fuller said...

Ian Norris, I live in the Tunstall area and have voted Independent a time or two.

But there is no way I will even consider voting Independent again whilst that convicted paedophile Lee Wanger is still here. I know you used to be an Independent councillor for Tunstall. If you are true to the the principle of Independents you will come back and stand against Mr. Wanger and help the people of Tunstall to finally be rid of him. And it is appalling if there are Independent councillors trying to make deals with the BNP.

Bob Bagley said...

Ian - My Labour party acquaintence has told me that Joy Garner has said that she has had no approach whatsoever from Alan Rigby. And given the animosity with which Mr. Ribgy split from the Conservatives it's hardly likely that he approched them for support. That leaves the Lib Dems, who I think would also be unlikely to support Rigby, Kent Baggaley and his Potteries Alliance who can just about fill a phone box, and the few assorted ragbags. So that really narrows it down doesn't it.

It your leader Anne James had any backbone she would publicly rule out any possibility of a BNP/Independent Alliance and ensure that Rigby is thrown out of your group for his unacceptable behaviour. However, I'm sure that her silence on this issue will be deafening.

ian norris said...

Tony: you could say you have no idea what most of the 60 cllrs who could be leader stand for, so maybe you Should Vote NO and go for Elected Mayor so you know all about who plans to be leader.

I know he seconded the motion for SERCO review at full council, which Labour Cllrs voted against.

Hopefully if what Bob said these Labour Cllrs went against Labour Group so won't be nominated again to stand.

Those that votes against being Elected Mayor, Lord Mayor, Councillors B. Ali, Z. Ali, Barnes, J. Bell, Bowers, Brian, Clarke, M. Davis, Edwards, Garner, Gratton, Ibbs, Iqbal, Irving, Knapper, Lyth, Matloob, Najmi, Pervez, Powell-Becket, Reynolds, Shotton, Tolley and Wanger.

Frank: why dont you stand?

Bob: maybe Cllr Rigby doesnt want Cllr Garner on Cabinet? I said all groups not all leaders.

Bob Bagley said...

So Ian I take it that your colleague Councillor Anne James will have the strength to publicly rule out a BNP/Independent Alliance and ensure that Rigby is thrown out of your group for his courting of the BNP?

By the way Joy Garner confirmed this morning that there had been no approach from Rigby to her or anyone else in the Labour party.

ian norris said...

Bob: if by any chance the public vote yes to Leader, the chance that the leader will be independent is low. It will most likly be a member of the Existing lib/tory/lab alliance.

Yes situation where Labour wont support the motion from Scrutiny "that Trentham school should be removed from closure list" just because it was recommended by a Elected BNP Cllr is the most Undemocratic situation at the Council at the moment.

Bob Bagley said...

Ian my friend there is an old saying, if you lay down with dogs you will get up with fleas.

You, Councillor Rigby, Councillor James and others associated with the City Independents would be wise to remember it.

ian norris said...

will Labour Cllrs or the Labour Group be supporting. the recommendation from teh Scrutiny Committee in regards Trentham and the petition handed in.

Bob Bagley said...

How would I know about that Ian, I'm not a Labour councillor and you won't find my name on a list of Labour members.

Tell you what why don't you go and make yourself a cup of coffee, pick you the phone and give your mate Ann James a call to see if she will go with my suggestion of publicly ruling out a BNP-Independent coalition and getting Rigby thrown out of your group for courting the BNP. If she will then you've got me bang to rights, I'll have to withdraw my statements and apologise for all the things I've said about the City Independents. If not then this one will run and run. People who know me will tell you that I won't be gagged and I'm determined to speak out against the BNP and those who share their views whenever I come across such individuals, and Alan Rigby and perhaps others in your group seem to fit into this category.

I'm also big enough to admit it when I've got it wrong, so Tony and Longton friends please accept my sincere apologies for me having suggested a few weeks back that you were somehow BNP sympathisers, I now know that this is certainly not the case.

So what about it Ian, why not give it a go, you've got nothing to lose? I can't be any fairer that that!

ian norris said...

Bob: I'm sure you find Alan Rigby public condendemed and detested what the BNP stand for national.

No independent-BNP alliance is on the cards, so there is nothing to denounce. As far as i can gather Cllr rigby has spoken to Cllrs from all groups to gauge if they would work with him if he was to put his name forward as Leader.

You seem to be very friendly with Cllr Garner who sits on the EMB so she could advise you which way they would go, you seem to be certain ALL Labour Group are against SERCO yet vote in favour.

Anonymous said...

Alan Rigby is a racist buffoon

ian norris said...

Anon: if you have evidence of Racist comments or actions then you should report these to the standards board immediately

ian norris said...

Bob: yep Labour Cllrs have been contacted, but for their own reasons etc.. no names. looks like few rebels labour camp