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Plymouth councillor apologises to rival for internet slur, plymouth.co.uk, 22.3.10

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Plymouth councillor apologises to rival for internet slur, plymouth.co.uk, 22.3.10

Post  Lilemor on Mon 22 Mar 2010, 11:26 am

http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/m-sorry-says-city-councillor/article-1930742-detail/article.html

Plymouth councillor apologises to rival for internet slur
Monday, March 22, 2010, 07:00


A TOP Labour city councillor has made a humiliating apology to a Conservative rival for a slur he published on the internet.

Bill Stevens, above, a councillor for Devonport, wrote an article in which he falsely suggested that city Cabinet member Cllr Steve Ricketts was 'closely linked' to a former Conservative activist who went to a fancy-dress party dressed as missing toddler Madeleine McCann.

He was ordered to apologise publicly by Plymouth City Council's standards committee.


And Cllr Ricketts revealed at the weekend that he has made a formal complaint against Cllr Stevens for a second alleged slur in the council chamber more than a month ago.

Cllr Stevens's article, published on the Plymouth Labour Party website last Spring, was written on the same day that Downing Street adviser Damien McBride sent out emails plotting a smear campaign against the Conservatives nationally. Mr McBride later resigned.

Cllr Stevens yesterday denied that his article was part of a Labour Party campaign to undermine Mr Ricketts. He dismissed the incident as a "spat between councillors".

"I don't think there's any personal targeting, at least not as far as I know." He said he believed that personal attacks for their own sake were a bad thing for politics.

Cllr Stevens's apology follows an all-day hearing of the cross-party standards committee, which has wide-ranging powers to discipline councillors.

In a letter sent to Cllr Ricketts, Cllr Stevens says: "I am writing to formally apologise for failing to treat you with due respect with regard to your position as a Cabinet member and as a councillor on Plymouth City Council."

Cllr Stevens accepts that he was wrong to make innuendos linking Cllr Ricketts to the party activist, who was sacked from the Conservative Party after the incident at a 2008 New Year's Eve party.

Cllr Ricketts said: "I would be surprised if Bill Stevens remains a member of the Labour Party. If I did something like that in the Conservative Party, it would be 'Goodbye Steve Ricketts'.

"I don't think a censured councillor is very good for their prospects in Devonport, a seat they should be hoping to hold on to.

"I've had to report him to standards again for a similar allegation, trying to connect me with something I had nothing to do with. I'm baffled about why he did that.

"The whole thing is very unsavoury. I would have hoped that Labour leader Tudor Evans or the Labour group would have said, 'Hold on, what on Earth are you doing?'."

Cllr Stevens said: "There are many complaints made against councillors; only one has gone to a full hearing so far."

Cllr Stevens was selected last year to be the parliamentary candidate for South East Cornwall, but stood aside in December. Cllr Ricketts said he believed there was "a strong possibility" of a link with the standards committee case, which has been hanging over Cllr Stevens's head for a year.

"Cllr Stevens probably realised there could be some consequences for his party and for his own long-term aspirations," Mr Ricketts said.

But Cllr Stevens stood by his claim that he stood down in South East Cornwall because he did not have the time to fight for that seat as well as his council ward in Devonport.

He said everyone should now "draw a line under the incident and move on", and he questioned the amount of money spent on hearing the complaint.

Cllr Ricketts said: "If somebody does something like this you have to defend yourself and take a stand, but it's a waste of time.

"When I got elected four years ago my intention was to work hard and represent the people in the ward. Now I've had to get embroiled in this. What a waste of time."

And Cllr Ricketts said that resorting to personal attacks showed that the Labour Party had "run out of ideas".

"This attack has backfired because I don't think the electorate are going to look favourably on them for sinking to this level," he said.

Lilemor
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Re: Plymouth councillor apologises to rival for internet slur, plymouth.co.uk, 22.3.10

Post  malena stool on Mon 22 Mar 2010, 11:51 am

These are the: well balanced, well educated, motivated and socially respected adults that represent us in positions of power and trust?

The frenzied cretins and lunatics have most certainly taken over the asylum, but we knew this already from observing Prime Minister's Question Time on TV .... It's not an election this nation needs, it's a revolution.

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Re: Plymouth councillor apologises to rival for internet slur, plymouth.co.uk, 22.3.10

Post  keepingmum on Mon 22 Mar 2010, 2:13 pm

too right!

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KAKISTOCRACY

Post  Guest on Mon 22 Mar 2010, 2:23 pm

I found this word when readng "A tribute to Dr Johnson" - some anniversary I think. It was in a list of words no longer in use and it means:
A form of government whose rulers are the least competent, least qualified or most unprincipled of all citizens.
As Frank Mccourt would say it is a powerful word.
I think it should be reinstated and used often. For me it sums up the present unelected bunch perfectly

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Re: Plymouth councillor apologises to rival for internet slur, plymouth.co.uk, 22.3.10

Post  malena stool on Sun 04 Apr 2010, 1:00 am

lnorton wrote:I found this word when readng "A tribute to Dr Johnson" - some anniversary I think. It was in a list of words no longer in use and it means:
A form of government whose rulers are the least competent, least qualified or most unprincipled of all citizens.
As Frank Mccourt would say it is a powerful word.
I think it should be reinstated and used often. For me it sums up the present unelected bunch perfectly

A good find lnorton, it is reminiscent of the word 'Kack', which we used a lot when we were kids .... meaning shite.

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