‘Rabble’ Leader to stand for election in Saddleworth South

Rabble at Blue Tiffin

An unemployed conspiracy theorist and noted political ‘Jonah’ has put his Oldham Council local elections curse onto the residents of Saddleworth South this year. A ward in which he does not live and with which he has no known connection, whatsoever.

Gary Tarbuck, 47, who moved to Diggle, in the Saddleworth North ward, in 2014, has previously represented the perennially failed and now defunct, Proud of Oldham and Saddleworth (widely known as the POOS) and, last year, stood for the disgraced Oldham Conservative Party in the Royton South ward.  He was defeated on both occasions.

The POOS, whose candidates suffered a straight twenty-one defeats in general and local elections, are now largely re-incarnated as Oldham Borough Independents. Their demise as a political entity was hastened when highlighted as a haven for racists and the far-right in Hope Not Hate‘s annual ‘State of Hate’ report in 2022 (read more here).

Standing under the banner of an unregistered political party, ‘Saddleworth Independents’, the de facto Leader of an unpleasant group of anti-Labour axe-grinders and malcontents, whom self-style as The Rabble (or Raja’s Rabble), will put his own record of annual failure at the polls to the test in a Conservative stronghold, where seats are currently held by their Group Leader on the Council, Cllr Graham Sheldon, Cllr Luke Lancaster and Cllr Max Woodvine. Those three also sit on Saddleworth Parish Council (full list here).

No ideology, policies, budgets or manifesto has been published by the Saddleworth Independents or The Rabble. The latter has only one stated aim, repeated very often, which is to overturn the Labour Party’s majority on Oldham Council. It is claimed they could win as many as thirteen Labour seats between their largely mythical sw’Coalition of Independents’.

The dynamics between Cllr Woodvine and the Rabble’s Leader could be one of the highlights of the election campaign. Tarbuck will be keen to point out the near-permanent foot-in-mouth stupidity of the noisy young Tory (read more here) and the fact that it was the Conservative Home Office that blocked the public inquiry into the Council and police failings over historic child sex abuse.

Meantime, Cllr Woodvine may well point to the ‘dehumanising, racist, misogynistic’ smear campaign in which his former Party colleague and Rabble Leader was central in wards such as Chadderton South, St James and both Royton wards (North and South) in 2022.

Gary Tarbuck’s close friend, Robert Barnes (pictured below with Tarbuck’s arm on his shoulder), was elected in Chadderton entirely as a result of the distribution of The Rabble’s smear leaflets, a fair number of which were delivered by hand by Tarbuck. At the time, Cllr Woodvine, amongst other Saddleworth Conservatives, slammed those involved in that abhorrent campaign as ‘not proper Tories’ (read more here).

Rabble and Tories at pub in Derker

For his part, Cllr Barnes proved to be one of the shortest-lived and worst ever councillors in Oldham’s long and illustrious history. He remains on police bail having been arrested last Autumn. Details of the arrest and allegation against him cannot be disclosed for legal reasons. Barnes denies the allegation.

Tarbuck was amongst a number of other prominent conspiracy theorists in the Borough to subvert the police investigation by claiming Cllr Barnes had been ‘set-up’ because of his activism on child sexual exploitation. Which suffered two fatal setbacks with his own Party blocking loud calls for a public inquiry into the issue in Oldham, and his support of Eleanor Williams in Barrow-in-Furness backfired in the most grotesque way possible when the 22 year old was jailed for eight and a half years over a shocking catalogue of rape, self-inflicted injuries and grooming gang fantasies (read more here).

Robert Barnes was, unsurprisingly, de-selected by the Conservative Party in Chadderton South and he did not re-appear under a new flag in time for the closing of the Oldham Council election candidate nominations on 4th April, 2023. His political career in Oldham, mortally cursed by Gary Tarbuck, looks finished.

Cllr Woodvine, and perhaps Cllrs Lancaster and Sheldon, should also be keen to highlight a stained and unusually thick catalogue of other dubious Tarbuck associations (or they may, of course, regard their political opponent’s challenge as so insignificant, and futile, that it is best ignored):

Montaz Ali Azad (below right) is one of Oldham’s more colourful characters and a sitting councillor for a number of years. As well as being a close friend of Gary Tarbuck he was convicted of election fraud in 2007 alongside Nashir Uddin (brother of Mohib Uddin, Chief Financial Officer of The Rabble). He was also found guilty by the Home Office’s Border Force in 2016 of people trafficking and tax evasion. At the same time, houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) owned and occupied in part by illegal immigrants employed by Cllr Azad were found to be in very poor condition.

Screenshot 2023-04-01 at 16.19.15

In 2018, Cllr Azad committed an election offence when he falsely claimed on a leaflet that he was a still a member of the Labour Party when, in fact, he had been removed over the Home Office scandals. Locals in the Westwood area of Oldham say the findings of the Border Agency were sample charges and he ‘got away’ with more than the scale of the offences of which he was found guilty. The perpetrator would, doubtless, put them to proof over that allegation.

In 2021, Tarbuck and Montaz Ali (as he was then) conspired to propagate a gratuitous racist smear against senior Labour Party politicians when campaigning together in the Coldhurst ward. It spawned an article elsewhere on Neil Wilby Media headlined, ‘Absent of Evidence’ (read in full here). Following publication of that widely read piece those allegations were never repeated again.

The Rabble, and its Leader, sit in moral judgement and complain about the merest alleged impropriety of any other political party or individual member, especially, but not exclusively, Labour. They bang on relentlessly about election fraud, particularly. But are more than content to wrap their arms around a man with Montaz Ali’s track record.

Another convicted criminal in the Tarbuck portfolio is Khazir Rehman (better known as ‘Kaiser’ and pictured under the first ‘B’ in the Rabble group photograph at the top of this page). In August 2021, he was found guilty at Wigan Magistrates’ Court of harassing a nationally known health campaigner and, at the time, a Council Cabinet Member (now retired from that post to take up the role of Deputy Mayor). Amongst a range of other sanctions, he was sentenced the following month to twelve weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

More recently Kaiser was ordered by the High Court in London. to pay a sitting Oldham Labour councillor, and former Mayor, £197,500 in costs and damages after being found by a very senior judge to have harassed and defamed Cllr Riaz Ahmad, who has also sat as a magistrate and school governor. for many years of impeccable public service. Raja Miah was a co-defendant in that claim (and is still subject to a Penal Order that derived from it) but compromised the action against him with a public apology, removal of offending social media posts and a contribution to Oldham Food Bank in the claimant’s name. The grotesque allegation, entirely without evidence and admitted to be untrue by Rehman during the course of proceedings, was that the claimant was a child sex offender.

Miah apology to Riaz Ahmad

Raja Miah, along with Rehman, falsely and grotesquely accusing an adored father, grandfather, councillor (and counsellor), sitting magistrate, school and college governor, chartered accountant – and described time and again at a valediction during a recent Full Council meeting as a ‘legend’, ‘a pillar of the community’ and ‘an exemplary character’ – of child abuse, presents Tarbuck with an awkward conundrum: He recently posited on Facebook that those making such false accusations should face criminal sanctions. There will, doubtless, be reminders of that blunder, time and again, in the coming weeks and months.

On the subject of child abuse, a very prominent Rabbler, and all round troll along with a family member, neither of whom, very obviously, can be named for legal reasons, was accused of assaulting a child in his care. It is not known if he was prosecuted, but he was removed from the approved fostering list. They know who they are, and it is not at all unreasonable to believe that others in that group do too.

Another very close friend of Tarbuck and described by him, and numerous members of The Rabble, as a ‘legend’, is the Borough most persistent, obnoxious and self-admitted public nuisance, Warren Bates. He has a list of demeanours as long as the average arm, which include an election criminal offence in 2021 (read more here). The Rabble selected him to be their election candidate in the Chadderton South, with which he has no past or present association. His chances of success are approximately the same as those of Gary Tarbuck: Zero.

The criminal associations of Gary Tarbuck and The Rabble do not end with Montaz Ali and Kaiser Rehman, who stood on the same Conservative Party election slate last year,  by any means. Or the alignment with a significant number of thugs and perverts that form their on-line praetorian guard. A prime example being one of Oldham’s riot-starters in 2001 and convicted football hooligan, Stephen Walsh. One of the very worst, and relentless, on-line liars, stalkers and trolls in the darkest corners of the Borough’s internet, obsessed, it seems, with protecting the Recusant Nine and Rabble narrative and, bizarrely, the sex and private lives of others.

The regular stalking mate of Walsh, and another prominent Rabbler, is Garry Dunkerley, another unreformed criminal, horrendous liar and troll. Who also happens to be the town’s most notorious burglar whose notoriety derives from robbing vulnerable old ladies, up to 100 years old, in the dead of night (read more at ‘Far Right Criminals’ here).

‘Bottle thrower’ and regular criminal, Gary Leese, is also under the wing of The Rabble and Tarbuck. They were all part of disgraceful public disorder scenes in Oldham Civic Centre last Summer (read more here).

The ‘protests’ were over an alleged ‘cover-up’ of child sexual exploitation (CSE) by Labour Party politicians, an entire police force, safeguarding partners, senior paid council officers and the press, in return for Asian block votes. Raja Miah, Bates, Walsh and Dunkerley (on left in white t-shirt) were amongst the Rabblers whom received Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction warning letters (read more here).

Barnes Dunkerley on feet shouting in council chamber

A grotesque and far-fetched allegation that persists to this day: Gary Tarbuck is absolutely central to that narrative, although, strangely enough, it does not appear on his 2023 policy and mandate-free election leaflet. Perhaps voters, and those who oppose him in this year’s elections, will ask Tarbuck why the evidence supposedly underpinning the claim, a Raja Miah ‘dossier’, (which, in reality, is nothing of the sort) has remained hidden for the past four years? To aid that process, a link to a brutal destruction of their CSE ‘cover-up’ claims, headlined ‘Get The Vote Angry’, is provided here.

Neil Wilby, the author of this article and ‘Get The White Vote Angry’, says:

“If the Conservative Party stranglehold is to be broken in Saddleworth South then it is much the most likely to be Parish councillor, Helen Bishop, who wins voters’ heart and minds. Having fought elections in the ward previously as a well respected, hard-working independent, she stands under the Liberal Democrat flag this year. The Lib Dems hold all three seats in the neighbouring Saddleworth West and Lees ward”.

“This election, where Gary Tarbuck has to emerge from his behind the block social media sniping, also provides an opportunity for the good people of Saddleworth, and the wider Oldham Borough, to learn and understand what a malign influence he, and the Rabble he leads, exert – and the grim collection of allies upon whom he relies to fight a phoney war”.

“An offer to debate the matters raised in this article, publicly, between myself, Tarbuck and others has yet to draw a response”.

NW tweet offering Tarbuck debate

This exclusive is plainly a story with more to come: Follow Neil Wilby on Twitter (here) and Neil Wilby Media on Facebook (here) for updates.

Page last updated Monday 10th April, 2023 at 1040hrs

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Published by Neil Wilby

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

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