The square root of nothing

With one of the country’s most notorious hyper-local political parties due to have its annual members’ conference this weekend, it is an appropriate moment to chart the progress of the Failsworth Independent Party (FIP) since its inception in 2019 and review its achievements.

A couple of weeks ago, the town’s fastest growing, and most discussed, community forum, Failsworth Moan, was asked to assist in the process. A search of minutes of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council meetings was also undertaken, along with scrutiny of the Facebook pages of its three elected councillors, Brian Hobin, Neil Hindle and Mark Wilkinson.

This is the resultant list:

Screenshot 2022-02-25 at 17.34.26

If anyone can assist further in its compilation please submit any FIP achievement, either by the Party as a whole or by their individual councillors, via this website’s contact form (weblink here). The comments can, of course, be used anonymously if contributors wish to preserve their privacy.

Conversely, and by way of balance, if any Failsworth residents feel that FIP has had a negative impact in the locality then those comments would also be welcome under the same terms.

Very shortly after this piece was published this appeared on the ‘Failsworthindependents’ Facebook page:

“The fact that another opposition party are trying to discredit Failsworth Independent Party just proves to us that the Independents, whilst working hard in our community, are now making inroads in council too. We are getting under the skin of the old 3 party system and we are making real challenges. All parties seem scared of the possibility of losing their cushy seats that they have sat in comfort too long in a cosy club as the independent vote increases.

“Does anyone recall any proper challenges by opposition parties before the Independents came along? NO

“Does anyone recall the Tories trying to root out CSE in the Borough before the Independents came along and took up the mantle for our children? NO.

“Does anyone recall the outrage from the Tories about the data breach by the Lib Dem leader? NO

“THE INDEPENDENTS ARE FIGHTING FOR PEOPLE ACROSS THE BOROUGH AND WANT AN ADMINISTRATION THAT WORKS FOR US ALL.

“The status quo has to go. We need change in council and only the Independents can achieve that. So this May search out your independent candidate – Failsworth Independent Party in Failsworth, and any of the others in wards across the Borough – and let’s have councillors who will fight for what’s right.

“Failsworth Independent Party will continue to fight for Failsworth. We will work hard at council for all residents, regardless of anything the administration or the opposition parties think of us, or choose to portray us.

“Apologies for the long read, and thank you for your continued support.
Brian, Mark & Neil
Your Failsworth Independent Party Councillors”

Setting aside the nauseating self-adulation and sententious piety, the statement appears to amount to this:

  1. Another mainstream party, the Conservatives, think we are completely out of our depth and an embarrassment in the Council Chamber..
  2. We think the Labour, LibDem and Tory councillors are all part of a cosy club to which we are not invited.
  3. We are ‘working hard in the community’ but can’t actually say what we’ve either done or achieved (including on this sparsely populated Facebook page).
  4. With our 3 votes we form the only credible Opposition. Even though we admit we are unpopular throughout the Civic Centre.
  5. We are now claiming credit for ‘the fight against CSE’ in Oldham when the reality is we did nothing more than bandwagon Raja Miah’s evidence-free claims, long before 2 of our 3 councillors were even elected, and even he has turned on us now, calling us “Thick as pigshit”.
  6. We made a lot of noise, much of it defamatory and in breach of Standards, about a ‘data breach’ so trivial it was not only risible but brought FIP into disrepute (read more here).
  7. We have no other achievements to stand behind, as a result of spending almost all of our time smearing critics.

This is a developing story, obviously, and will be updated again over the weekend. Not least as FIP are set to announce their intentions in terms of candidacy for the local elections in May, 2022.

Page last updated at 0905hrs on Saturday 26th February, 2022

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© Neil Wilby 2015-2022. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

3 thoughts on “The square root of nothing

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