‘Private Pike’ to face court martial?

Private Pike

A rookie Conservative councillor, nicknamed ‘Private Pike’ in Oldham’s civic chamber, who has spent much of the last year denying that he is linked to a notorious Tameside-based conspiracy theorist, has eventually revealed his true colours.

Cllr Dave Arnott, whom, purportedly, represents the Royton North ward since he was narrowly elected in May, 2021, enthusiastically joined in commentary on a lengthy ‘Recusant Nine’ Facebook broadcast hosted by unemployed, Bradford-born, money-grubbing Raja Miah on Sunday 15th January, 2023.

This conduct is entirely inconsistent with Cllr Arnott’s roles as an Oldham councillor, a member of the local Conservative Party and the strict constraints imposed both by Member Standards and the Nolan Principles.

Those denials of the Miah/Oldham Conservatives associations included a visit to the media centre at last year’s Oldham Council election count by Cllr Arnott, reeking of beer and in the company of Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Graham Sheldon, to specifically deny that they were part of a grotesque ‘dehumanising’, ‘racist’, misogynistic’ smear campaign, orchestrated by the same Raja Miah, that saw two perennially failed Conservative candidates miraculously, and very controversially, snatch seats in the 2022 renewals: Robert Barnes and Lewis Quigg.

Cllrs Quigg and Arnott do not get along: The latter, who dresses up publicly as an elf in an attempt to stay relevant amongst locals, describing the former as ‘weird’ and, further, saying he would have nothing at all to do with Lewis Quigg if they weren’t fellow Royton North councillors.

Cllr Barnes, nominated as an election candidate by Cllr Arnott no less, has proved to be an unmitigated disaster as an elected Member and has, according to a fellow Conservative Party councillor, been de-selected in the Chadderton South ward. He has contributed virtually nothing in the council chamber in the past eight months apart from a humiliating public apology he was forced to make over his outrageous behaviour during Full Council meetings in June and July, 2022 (read more here).

Going ‘missing’ for two months has only served to damage the reputation of the usually noisy Robert Barnes even further (read more here). ‘Private Pike’, along with other Oldham Conservatives, consistently refused to reveal their colleague’s whereabouts. When he did eventually re-appear, at Full Council in November, with the Tory whip claimed to have been removed by one of his fellow Tory councillors.

Following his de-selection, Robert Barnes is expected to stand as an independent candidate in either Hollinwood, where he lives, or in his present Chadderton South ward. In either case, backed by Raja Miah and his supporters whom self-style, appositely, as The Rabble or (Raja’s Rabble). Another option is to join his close friends at the Failsworth Independent Party; Cllr Brian Hobin and Party Chair, Kathleen Wilkinson, are also long-term Miah disciples. Kath’s husband, Cllr Mark Wilkinson (who sits as her tame proxy in the civic chamber), owes his Failsworth West seat to a grotesque Miah and Raja’s Rabble smear campaign that ousted former Council Leader, Sean Fielding (read more here).

Which brings us back to ‘Private Pike’, or Cllr Arnott to give him his official handle: One of his closest friends and biggest political allies is another perennially failed wannabe politician, Gary Tarbuck, de facto Leader of The Rabble and one of the busiest on-line stalkers and trolls in that deeply unpleasant group of cultist axe-grinders and malcontents.

Standing for his third different political party in three years, ‘Jimmy’ has been directed by his hero, Raja Miah, that, in this ‘all-out’ election year, the Tarbuck curse must fall on the newly-formed Royton Independent Party (the RIPPERS). Having previously brought his own particular brand of policy-free and far right trope failure to the now defunct Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth Party (widely known as the POOS) and the local Conservative Party. His election agent last year in the Royton South ward was, of course, no less than Dave Arnott.

As the Oldham Tories fall apart, and with much the biggest scandal in recent times yet to be disclosed, publicly, because of legal constraints, Arnott is being strongly wooed by the RIPPERS to join up, formally, with his many friends and associates in Raja’s Rabble. Helped along the way by at least one Saddleworth-based Conservative councillor who says privately: ‘We hope he does join the independents, be glad to see the back of him’.

Another prominent Conservative Party member says: ‘With his links to Raja Miah and The Rabble now in the open, it’s very difficult to see Dave Arnott successfully defending his small majority. We face a tough enough fight as it is with the cost of living crisis and high electricity and gas bills without that sort of nonsense’.

Former Leader of Oldham Conservatives and a past mayor in the Borough, John Hudson, describes Cllr Arnott, along with Cllr Barnes, Quigg and Bethany Sharp as ‘not proper Tories’. A sentiment echoed by present Conservative councillor and Member for Saddleworth South, Cllr Max Woodvine (read more here).

Cllr Arnott, who has been previously requested to comment on the mooted switch from the Conservatives to the RIPPERS, has been offered right to reply to this article. On all the evidence available to Neil Wilby Media, since he became a councillor, he is a notably poor communicator.

Page last updated Monday 30th January, 2023 at 0630hrs

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Picture credits: BBC

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© Neil Wilby 2015-2023. 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 Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

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

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