Greater Manchester Lib Dem PPC defects to Labour

The Manchester Evening News has the story:

A Liberal Democrat candidate for the next General Election has defected to Labour. Paul Moss had already been selected as candidate for Denton and Reddish but has now quit the party.

Mr Moss said: “Nationally the Liberal Democrats are a complete joke. And I have seen how the Lib Dems in Stockport have completely ignored local people and have helped to seriously damage communities like Reddish through their uncaring policies.”

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: “It’s a shame he feels this way. He certainly didn’t express these views when he was trying to become our candidate for the council by-election in Stockport this month. It seems a bizarre decision to join the directionless Labour Party, which is crumbling locally and nationally.”

I don’t think you have to read between too many lines to infer that this is more about personalities than policies.

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  • Iain Roberts 29th Jun '09 - 11:11am

    I know Paul was upset not to be selected as the Lib Dem candidate in either the Stepping Hill by-election or the upcoming Reddish North by-election.

    But if he thought the Lib Dems were a joke and their policies bad for Stockport, he did a truly fantastic job of covering it up when he was doing everything he could to become a Lib Dem councillor.

    I spoke to him at length at one of those selection meetings and never had an inkling.

    A shame to see him go; I’m sure people will draw their own conclusions as to his motives.

  • Matthew Huntbach 29th Jun '09 - 12:56pm

    Again, this indicates a tendency for us to select as PPCs people who say the right things but lack the deeper commitment. Underneath, they are saying what they think needs to be said in order to get personal promotion in our party, rather than because it’s what they truly feel. Was this person the sort of glib extrovert who comes across well in things like PPC approval and selection?

    This is an indication that long-term commitment to the party ought to count for something, as it does suggest someone who’s not just going to jump off and embarrass us simply because s/he gets turned down for something. Also, someone who shows signs of having thought through party policy and doesn’t always agree to it, is probably better long-term than someone who instantly spouts the party line on every issue as if they’ve learnt it in order to pass an exam.

    If my assessment is wrong, someone let me know. But my feeling is that people who switch to other parties through principled reasons generally go through an agonised phase when it’s clear they’re uncomfortable before the switch – I have no problem whatsoever with someone like that. People who are enthusiastic for us one day, next day joining another party and slagging us off, are in general people who’s only real concern is their own ego, they’re best got rid of, and our procedures should be carefully investigated to see what went wrong to allow them to get to be PPCs or whatever in the first place.

  • Alix
    Manchester City or Greater Manchester?

  • Truly bizarre. Interesting comments, Alix, about Labour’s perception in the North. A friend was saying much the same about politics in Hull. Hard to believe from down here in London!

  • Another example of the consequences of standing candidates in unwinnable seats. If candidates were only stood where they could win, not only would this kind of embarrassment be avoided, but it would also yield a powerful slogan, ie ‘If we’re on the ballot we can win’, and prevent more seats being lost (eg Aberdeen Sth, Dorset West, Durham, Guildford) where people unknowingly wasted their votes on the third-placed candidate.

  • @Hugh and who decides where we can win? I am sure that we have won seats over the years that no one thought we’d win

  • Hugh, if we’d followed that tack then we wouldn’t have won by-elections like Dunfermline, Christchurch and Eastleigh. Also, there are usually around 1000 Lib Dem voters in each no-hope seat during a GE and we owe them the right to cast a vote for a Lib Dem candidate.

    Alix’s point about Labour is also valid in a lot of Scotland too – I think the mass turn away from them could be in the SE, with politicos generally assuming it’s the same everywhere.

  • Matthew- I think that’s true but not a Lib Dem thing, there are candidates and MP’s in all parties whose selection amazes me. Shaun Woodward in St Helens South for instance.

  • I know that Paul was very committed to a particular local issue, to which the ruling Lib Dem group did not sympathise and perhaps Labour did. But then as they always said, it’s easier to do this from opposition.

    Clearly a PPC resigning because of this (and other reasons culminating in him being frozen out of the by-election selection) is one thing; defecting another.

    But when you have a party so committed to local issue campaigning with political principle as something of an afterthought too often, perhaps the surprise should be that this does not happen more.

    Consider for example how many former Labour Councillors are on the LD group on the authority in question. Perhaps it is a Liberal Democrat Council in name only; a collective concerned only with localism, and his defection thereafter exclusively on that singular local issue with no wider (national, regional or even Manchester) context whatsoever.

  • I have long been an opponent of the Lib Dem Council decision to close my local swimming baths where I learned to swim, a pleasure to be denied by two young children.
    Executive Councillor Kevin Hogg confirmed to me that he had approved a plan to sell off the site that includes Reddish Library , the community centre and the defunct baths. These are facts.

    The Lib Dems polled less than the BNP in my locality.

    Think about that !

    David Wilson is a personal friend and will be an excellent local councillor fighting for the causes I believe in !

    Last point on my personal journey. My 90 year old grandmother is in Trafford General Hospital & after visiting I looked at the pictures on the wall of the 1st NHS hospital and of Nye Bevan and I thought about the fortcoming 12 months in British politics and I knew what side of the debate I am on.

    Did you come into politics to close swimming baths and build on sports/playing fields ( Harcourt Street )

    Believe me it is principle why I have chose this course of action. I believe in localism.

    Cllr Peter Scott also is a founding member of the Manchester & Stockport Canal Society .
    A role he undertakes without pay. Check their website out !

  • Matthew Huntbach 30th Jun '09 - 8:49am

    Paul, thanks for coming back here, it is good that you are prepared to explain your position to former colleagues.

    On the issue of the swimming baths, if you are going to oppose these plans, it seems to me you do need to have alternatives. I assume the baths are being closed and the land sold because there is not enough money to keep them running. So how would you deal with the hole in the budget that would result from keeping them open and not selling the land?

  • “Did you come into politics to close swimming baths and build on sports/playing fields ( Harcourt Street )

    Believe me it is principle why I have chose this course of action. I believe in localism.”

    Depends on the circumstances. Presumably you would be against these in any circumstances ever eg closing an outdated victorian pool in order build a new facility on a school playing field. If not what your talking about is a matter of pragmatism not principle.

    “I looked at the pictures on the wall of the 1st NHS hospital and of Nye Bevan and I thought about the fortcoming 12 months in British politics and I knew what side of the debate I am on.”

    Which “side” is that exactly?

  • Tom Papworth 30th Jun '09 - 5:19pm


    “As a person looking for a cllr, I don’t want someone who just goes on and on about their policies because it’s all they know and they wouldn’t have an inkling what others feel or think or experience..”

    I agree. However, my experience of Lib Dem councillors is quite the opposite. The ones I know are extremely empathetic, good at listening to people and trying their best to help them. The very best are able to do this while at the same time continuing to promote our policies.

    (By that I only mean that sometimes discussing people’s problems is not always conducive to discussing policy unless the councillor is particularly deft).

    “I honestly struggle with the archaic and inept attitude of my local party…”

    Oh, I’d love to know which one you are referring to :0D

    “…people feel something when they join Labour or Tory-they have some sort of support unit..some sort of group thing… We don’t do this at all. It’s like we assume that people should be grateful that they are a PPC…”

    I have to say that is not my experience either. I think the Lib Dems are incredibly tribal – too much so, sometimes. But it does feel like being part of a group. Without being facetious, have you ever been to Conference?

    I am a bit worried about the experience you cite, however. Not all local parties are as good at this sort of thing (I know that we don’t keep grass roots members as engaged as we should) and it may be a failing in your locale.

    On the last point, being a PPC is a privilege and people should be grateful for the honour. But the party should not then treat them as a workhorse or expect them to be a party cipher. That risks burning them out. Treat candidates (or helpers) as workhorses and you risk chewing them up and spitting them out.

  • Alix Mortimer 1st Jul '09 - 11:49am

    I thought it worked like London (don’t kill me!) with Metropolitan boroughs. So Denton is in (I think) Tameside which is a Greater Manchester borough and Reddish is in Stockport, which isn’t. Ergo, you can say either that it’s in Manchester or Cheshire and be correct, but the political mood music of the constituency is surely set by Greater Manchester? Just like Epsom and Ewell is in a Surrey borough but it’s still a Greater London constituency.

    *Assumes tin hat*

  • I love Chris Paul’s comments. If you’re going to spread around unsubstantiated smears – at least get them right first time!

  • With the Lib Dems in Northampton closing the famous balloon festival and putting up the councils services for privatisation they are far to the right of the Tories so it is no wonder Labour is seen as the right party for Paul.

  • Iain Roberts 1st Jul '09 - 1:10pm

    My understanding is that the Reddish baths simply didn’t have the numbers coming through the doors to justify keeping them open; and the Council is investing millions in building sports facilities in Reddish which, it’s hoped, will be more popular and better used than the swimming baths.

  • Iain Roberts 1st Jul '09 - 1:17pm

    …and I should add that Stockport Borough has more than its fair share of swimming pools, including one of only 22 genuine Olympic standard pools in the UK, just three or four miles from Reddish.

    Reddish also homes the North West Regional Basketball centre – a fantastic resource used by thousands.

    I can understand that some people are sore at the closure of the Reddish Baths, but suggesting that Reddish is somehow missing out and not getting sporting facilities is very wide of the mark.

  • Matthew Huntbach 1st Jul '09 - 2:22pm


    That isn’t what as far as they concerned the Libs are about…so it makes sense that this we hate Labour thing is more a southern thing who were never left at all!

    Oh, yes, everyone in the south is a Tory because every MP in the south is a Tory?
    Hint – go away and look at how FPTP distorts things.

    Actually, it tends to be LibDems who are in places where it’s a LibDem-Labour contest hate Labour a lot more than LibDems in Tory areas where Labour are a weak third.

    Everything you say is in relation to YOUR personality and experiences…you said something similar with that asian girl who became a Tory..

    Yes, I experience it as a common pattern. Having seen it in several places, I suggest it is the same here. If what I’m just guessing is wrong, someone who knows more, please say.

    As for my own personality and experience, I plead guilty as charged – yes, here and and elsewhere I do rely in my own experience, and what I say is obviously influenced by my own personality. I am not writing a dispassionate academic paper here, just commenting. But I’m not sure what point you’re making – first you accuse me of judging things from my own personality and experience, then you say what we need is more people who’s thinking is based on feelings and experience rather than just going on about policies.

  • Iain Roberts 1st Jul '09 - 4:33pm

    Clearly the Lib Dems must have been doing a terrible job in Reddish North for two of the three Labour councillors in that ward to decide to join the party.

  • Sheila Oliver 1st Jul '09 - 9:01pm

    The LibDems have stitched up North Reddish – closed the baths and transferred assets from it worth £500,000 to the affluent area of Hazel Grove, which has a baths already, decided to put a school on a former toxic waste dump with no – repeat no contamination investigations done over the site of the proposed school, which is directly over the old tip extensively tipped from 1954 to 1974. There were 500 objection letters at planning and two petitions of around 500 names. The Council admits the traffic proposals are inadequate, they are stealing a legally binding 7 acres of public open space for the proposed school. Local people attending full council meetings were treated with absolute contempt by the LibDem Executive Councillor responsible who rudely gestured over his shoulder at “those people”, whilst simultaneously accusing them of planting asbestos on the site.

    The fuly LibDem Executive have refused to condone the calling of the police over 70 times to our gentle, kind, simple town hall protester, dropping his court case last time on the day of the hearing. He is now charged with assault with a sneeze with intent to inflict a council employee with a cold. You really, really couldn’t make it up. The Executive are quite willing to see an innocent man possibly get a prison sentence. Why can’t the Council just deal with his problem which he has been trying to sort out for a decade without success.

    I have been publicly branded a liar by our Council Leader, the LibDem Councillor Goddard, who has quite an interesting hinterland. No evidence has ever been produced of any lies I have told despite asking him for almost a year.

    This is LibDem land and it stinks.

  • Tameside guy in the know 2nd Jul '09 - 10:13am

    Denton and Reddish has no ELECTED Lib Dem Councillors. Audenshaw ward in Tameside used to be their stronghold where they had all three seats. Now Labour has all three… something to do with the hidden past of one of the Councillors there!!!

    Ann Graham in Reddish North defected because ‘no-one took her seriously any more’. Will be interesting to see just how ‘seriously’ the Lib Dems take her too!

    Given the Lib Dems came a poor FOURTH in May 2008 (which were hardly great elections for Labour) in Reddish North – behind Labour, Tories and BNP incidentally AND came an even more disastrous FIFTH in the Euro Elections (Stockport MBC very helpfully counted in wards) behind Labour (who topped the poll), UKIP, Tories and BNP I don’t think the Lib Dems’ have much to crow about in this constituency.


  • Cllr Mark Weldon 2nd Jul '09 - 2:17pm

    If Paul Moss had any misgivings about remaining in the Lib Dems these were not evident just a few days after Cllr Maggie Clay was found by mmyself passed away at home.
    Paul was delivering his election material to my door two days after Maggie’s death extolling his virtues as a candidate. This material gave great weight to his commitment to the Lib Dems.This was before the local members who were in deep shock were even able to think about a by-election. I think this is enough to give an indication that our “loss” is no real gain to Labour.

  • Paul Moss quotes “I have seen how the Lib Dems in Stockport have completely ignored local people….”
    How true Mr Moss, how very true. How nice to see a councillor that understands how people feel about this current council.
    Ignorance is totally bliss at the council , and has been for many ,many years.

    Regarding Mr Moss, a lib-dem spokesman states “It seems a bizarre decision to join the directionless Labour Party…”.

    Well,spokesman for the lib dems,[ notice no name !! ], at least the labour party are at the top of the political pile, which I believe is the right direction to aim for. It is not directionless, they have achieved a lot , lot more than the uncaring lib-dem councillors and M.P’s could ever even dream of achieving.
    Does any one agree.

  • The lib/dems in Stockport are terrible. The leader was a Labour councillor when it suited him, so too was david White. They have not got a clue about the area of Reddish North. I understand Anne Graham may have gone over to the “dark side” but the people didn’t elect a lib/dem. The lib/dems have closed this section of the town, turning it into a polluted car park in the name of “Quality Bus Corridors” what is quality about buses ground to a halt?

  • Biscit seems to have a better take on things. The lib/dems in Stockport are a timebomb. Sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost.

  • Lib Dem letdown 3rd Jul '09 - 3:02pm

    Well there we have it, Lib Dems can’t even field a candidate in the Denton North East by-election and pick a real loser for Reddish North. Great stuff. No wonder Paul Moss ditched the party.

  • Foregone Conclusion 3rd Jul '09 - 4:14pm

    So, according to the many, many people that appear to hate Stockport Council and have somehow stumbled onto Lib Dem Voice (which ain’t exactly a pillar of the internet), the Council is involved in wilfully poisoning working-class children and pressuring vulnerable women into suicide. I don’t know how well or badly the council’s run in Stockport, but I wouldn’t believe that of my worst enemies.

  • FC:
    As they have made a net gain of 1 seat in the last three sets of elections (2006-8) they must be very good at covering it up. It just shows how effective the help Common Purpose and Bilderberg give is in practice.

    Unless your suggesting that not everything I read on the internet is true.

  • Stockport’s Lib Dem 4* Council has adopted 0845 Call centres for most of it’s services. You just cannot get hold of anyone. Nobody signs letters personally. It is always “Council Tax team” etc. They should take a leaf out of this womans book and stop robbing the residents. Oh, and just try logging a complaint. That is a story in itself.

    Euro-MP’s Campaign Against Premium Phone Rip-Off

    11.45.06pm BST (GMT +0100) Mon 13th Aug 2007
    Liz Lynne MEP

    West Midlands MEP Liz Lynne has again spoken out against commercial phone numbers such as 0845 and 0870 which are lucrative for businesses but costing their customers a packet.

    West Midlands MEP Liz Lynne has again spoken out against commercial phone numbers such as 0845 and 0870 which are lucrative for businesses but costing their customers a packet.

    Having taken up the issue on behalf of constituents in the past, and fallen foul of the numbers herself, Liz has had enough and is launching a campaign against their ongoing high prices and lack of transparency regarding pricing.

    Liz said: “The biggest insult for customers is that so many of these numbers are helplines for products they have already paid for, such as BT Broadband Internet, that customers haven’t managed to get working properly.”

    “These numbers ought to be free of charge, yet many businesses continue to prey on the fact that most people think these numbers all cost the same as a regular call or are free.”

    “Now that excessive mobile roaming charges have been addressed, we must tackle premium commercial numbers. A BT peak-time national call typically costs 3p per minute but 0845 numbers can cost up to 5p and 0870 up to 10p. Businesses often take a cut of this extra cost and are reluctant to give customers non-premium alternatives.”

  • Leading Denton and Reddish Lib Dem joins Labour

    Another top local Liberal Democrat, Karen Wright, has formally joined the Denton and Reddish Constituency Labour Party today.

    Karen, who represented the Audenshaw Ward on Tameside Council for over a decade has now chosen to become Labour’s newest recruit. As well as having been the Lib Dem Leader on Tameside Council, she has also held several senior posts in the Liberal Democrats, including Constituency Party Chair and Parliamentary Agent for Denton and Reddish.

    She is now the second high profile politician in a week to leave the failing Denton and Reddish Liberal Democrat party. First it was Paul Moss – their prospective parliamentary candidate – who tore up his Lib Dem membership, and now Karen Wright has chosen to do the same!
    Karen Wright said: “I have been thinking about joining the Labour Party in Denton and Reddish for quite a while. I know how hard they work in our communities throughout Tameside and Stockport.”

    “The timing of my move was always going to be difficult. Whilst I’ve always believed in positive campaigning and have no interest in slating my old party, it has become obvious to me that the Lib Dems in Denton and Reddish have become disorganised and are now showing little sign of understanding what local people need.”

    “The choice in Reddish North is simple; Labour’s David Wilson, or a Tory who would support savage public service cuts and a Lib Dem standing on a record of ignoring the will of the community. The other parties will use this election to peddle their programme of isolationism, extremism, hate and division.”

  • The people of Reddish have spoken in the By Election, Over 50% voted Labour in its fight for local amentities.The Lib Dems polled less than the Tories & UKIP finishing fourth .
    I hope they listen and reverse the plans by Executive Councillor Hogg for closing the existing Library & selling the site off and engage with our new Councollor David Wilson to improve the library/baths & community centre site which was originally a gift from the people of Stockport to gain Reddish tax revenues in 1907.
    Adswood library was closed . I will continue to fight to save Reddish Library . My children cannot go swimming locally . I am damned if we lose the library as well.

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