Robin remonstrates – calls us crackpots!

Received this missive of complaint from Robin Symonds, the UNISON official, remonstrating with me. I have published the text of his email together with my response as I thought readers might be interested:


I am becoming increasingly frustrated by your repeated sensoring of my posts. 

I appreciate that Rothpol is your blog and you are at liberty to choose not to publish my posts.  Indeed this is something that you have previously done and, whilst I found it disappointing and frustrating that you appeared to wish to suppress my views, I find your recent practice of editing/sensoring my posts even more distasteful. 

There have been several recent contributions that I have made, which you have sensored by only publishing the first few words then adding a warning that a court case is ongoing.  I do not believe that any of my posts have required sensoring or that they could possibly prejudice ongoing legal proceedings.  It is my belief that you sensor my posts in order to give the impression that I have posted something inflammatory or controversial, when I have not. 

Unless you are able to provide a reasonable explanation for editing nearly every post I have made in the last couple of weeks I will be forced to conclude that you have some sinister reason for doing so.

I appreciate that some of my posts may not fit in with the anti-Labour consensus on your blog but I would have thought you would want a diversity of views and opinions.

A number of people have told me not to bother with your blog as it is full of crackpots.  I have ignored their advice as I would much rather exchange views and contribute to the debate but I’m at a loss to understand what your problem is with me.



My response:


I moderate, I do not censor. You are obviously are not familiar with the legal framework, within which blogs like this one operate.

I try and keep us on the straight and narrow, if you object to that, then please leave your comments elsewhere.

I welcome your comments and I do not censor views, but your comments are frequently simple ‘pointed questions’, not the sharing of your opinions and the reasons for those opinions, are they?

Why are you only active during election periods, and then in support of just one party. That, at a time when your members jobs are going in large numbers?

Believe what you want about those who are active on Rothpol, the record says something different. If you mean that one of those crackpots would be me, then I will wear that accolade with pride.

Take care.


34 thoughts on “Robin remonstrates – calls us crackpots!

  1. “This blog is full of crackpots.” Well there’s room for one more. Don’t deny us the pleasure of your very biased and after what Labour have done to this town, very “unbalanced” views.


  2. Well done rik.
    If it was not for rothpol to shine a light on the corruption goings on of our esteemed council and police. then the grooming would not have been exposed by the times. They failed to alert public and families.

    Where’s their conscience?

    Young people have paid the price and had their childhood robbed. Our MPs failed to act and lift the lid off the coverup.

    They continue to remove many low paid jobs of unison members and families.


    • Is not that the 200 plus RMBC staff redundancies are because of a direct result by this councils failure to deal with CSE, and RMBC have been forced to restructure with the number of managers and also social worker’s increased while making other low paid Council employees redundant. This policy was voted for by the union and ex union Labour group members of which Robin is a full time Trade union officer.


  3. Robin…everyone involved in a blog understands your frustration…we can’t always say what we want to. Try speaking to journalists and ask them about the constraints within which they work and you will hear the same..if not more so, because media lawyers are notoriously cautious.

    As for the anti- Labour bit, well I think you need to do a bit of self contemplation there…

    I am a great believer in the Labour movement, and historically the Labour Party…I am a member.

    So my objectives are basically to agitate to ensure reform of a Labour Group that has over a number of years sheltered crooks (white and Pakistani.)

    One that has been undemocratic, suppressing debate even within the Party. E.g There are many, but how about the failure to debate with members our commitment to the Sheffield Regional Governance thingy.

    I am totally opposed to UKIP, and frequently have a go at them. But equally if you look at the last election results you will see a swing to UKIP in Rotherham that was greater than almost anywhere else in the UK..suggesting that failures in the Labour Party has helped them grow here.

    You know there is always the option to start your own blog. But you won’t and here’s why:

    1. Ricks blog has a solid reputation with journalist nationally and internationally….yours will be a LP propaganda machine and will die. In evidence look at so many political newsletters..look at Labour Group’s web site for example. BORING propaganda.

    2. You won’t have the skills. Sorry but, a spade is a spade.

    3, Despite being one of those lucky people who actually in effect gets paid to be “political” you won’t put the time in.

    In reality Robin you are part of the Labour Party problem…your ideas reflect those of a party that for the first time in god knows how long is getting criticism. Riks web site has provided a small opportunity for ordinary people to actually point out the rubbish who have led Labour Group.

    The reality is you and they can’t cope with criticism.

    Now I of you want to get read, here are a few tips.

    1. Write articles, make an effort rather than simply send in snippets..reasonable copy always gets in.

    2. Do some research, in order to contribute something original to a debate…rather than saying everything Labour is wonderful and UKIP are dreadful…yes I know they ARE dreadful, but we carry banners with slogan to make that point.

    3. Contribute something that people can’t find in the papers or LP newsletters..originality and a new angle helps.

    3. Try either a bit of wit or some self righteous anger and passion in your writing…The “everything being nice at the Town Hall” market is already covered by the Councils PR teams…who outnumber and out spend Rick and his poor little blog.

    Lastly…you see RothPol as being anti Labour . No it isn’t, it is anti establishment, it follows on from a great tradition of British dissenters who for centuries have thumbed their noises at those in power, those whose naturally inclination is to suppress debate and control the message.

    You don’t have to agree with the blog..simply appreciate its existence as part of a movement that seeks to ensure that the truth will out.

    Wuff a socialist (meaning me) can you explain what the current Labour Group is doing to protect working people and your members…..preferable in style that contains wit, truth or passion. Even better, all three.


    • Ditto! I am a Labour Party member too. I can’t see how the local union officials or the local Labour run council are trying to save jobs and protect services. They have also chosen and back candidates who have been deemed unfit for purpose. Although I love the Labour Party as a national movement, I will have nothing to do with the local party who in my view are a national disgrace.


  4. Robin

    Do you believe the Cllrs did not know of the grooming?

    That they never mentioned it to the police?

    Do you support the council and Cllrs in failing the duty of care towards young people?

    Never warning public or families for decades of risks?

    Do you believe the MPs did not know?

    Healey says he did not know the scale and scope like his mate top copper Med Hughes.
    Do you believe this cop out?

    Regardless of scale. Is it not still criminal whether 1, 14, 140 or 1400 victims?


  5. Labour has frankly been weird. Read its aims and objectives and they seem okay I guess. In practice when in many areas Labour get a clear majority on a council they morph into a local monarchy. Sir Jack (what was in the wardrobe?) was a good example of this.
    There is also a need to judge the tree by the fruit that it bears.
    Tell us is there anything to be proud about in the recent past???
    As for cracks are they not where light can shine in as well as out and is it not the establishment that has been damaging and useless and frankly potty?


      • Oh right. If it’s not unusual then how many times have you published an email exchange between you and a poster? Given that this blog has 3,273,187 hits I’m guessing it will be quite a few!


    • Robin , when all of this scandal of little girls, were being robbed of their innocence , childhoods, and subjected to the most inhumane treatment, you wouldn’t want to happen on an adult, never mind kid’s, where was Unison, in protecting their members Childrens right?


  6. Issues here on both sides I think.

    Robin, as others have said, you cannot possibly blame the blog and it’s contributors for being “anti Labour” when all we see is a failing Labour run council. One that still stifles debate and still can’t accept any ideas put forward by non members, no matter how sound those ideas may be. On the subject of censorship, I’ve had posts not published or edited in the past, Rik usually says why. He does have to be careful what he allows to be published on a blog he is legally responsible for. I can accept that, why can’t you?

    Rik, the title of this particular thread is misleading. You accuse Robin of calling us all crackpots, he did no such thing. What he said was ” A number of people have told me not to bother with your blog as it is full of crackpots. I have ignored their advice as I would much rather exchange views and contribute to the debate…”

    That isn’t Robin calling us crackpots, is it? It’s Robin telling us that other people are. Honesty is the best policy, I find.

    Finally, title reads like a Sun newspaper headline. I can’t stand that kind of sensationalistic crap and I know I’m not alone, please stop it, now 🙂


  7. R.Wilde, thanks for your comments. I don’t “blame” contributors for being anti Labour; that is their right. I was merely expressing my view that there is an anti Labour consensus on this blog and that my views don’t fit in with it. Everyone is entitled to their views and “blame” should not be apportioned for holding views.

    The difference between you and I is that, when Rik hasn’t published my posts, he hasn’t said why. His recent practice of sensoring my posts has not, in my opinion, been based upon legal reasons. A recent example being that he allowed a poster to express their opinion as to the motive for a serious crime. I expressed my opinion, which was the opposite, and Rik sensored it due to the ongoing legal proceedings. Now that can’t be right, can it?


    • I’m anti-Labour as I’m a socialist but when I was heavily critical of Shaun Wright et al I had my posts not published.



  8. TBH Robin most of your comments on the blog criticise anyone who speaks against the Labour group, as a socialist and trade unionist I think you are wrong to push UNISON stance on these peoples views. If you support Labour that’s fine but as a trade unionist yourself surely you must look in the mirror and question yourself after what blair did with clause 4 against us? You know yourself the candidates in the labour party are not worthy yet support them. Then we have new candidates standing to eliminate the stigma of the past. But are they really upto it or doing it for other persons or reasons ? Labour knocking on my door this morning.
    Q. morning im here to inform you im standing in local elections in may do you vote?
    A every year
    Q who will you vote for ?
    A its a secret ballot
    her answer ok
    Q have you thought about the EU vote
    A yes out
    Her ok thank you
    if that’s what the labour candidates can offer for the valley ward we are doomed they would not last 2 minutes in a branch meeting as you know robin


    • I don’t agree that most of my comments criticise anyone who speaks against the Labour group. I have criticised the Labour group in the past and most of my comments don’t mention Labour nor do they criticise anyone. However, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. TBH most (if not all) of my recent posts, which have been sensored, are not at all party political. The trouble is you wouldn’t know because they’ve been sensored. Furthermore my comments are certainly not intended to “push UNISON stance”. All of my posts on this blog have been in a personal capacity.


      • Labour have failed in Rotherham why not openly come out and admit it. Stop defending their inadequacies. As you di not comment on the rest of my post you know in a branch meeting they would not last 2 mins fact.


  9. A branch meeting? Labour party, trade union or what? Re Blair and Clause 4, what has that to do with me? I left the Labour party over the scrapping of Clause 4 and only re-joined in 2011. I believe that in Jeremy Corbyn we have a leader who is principled and a socialist.


    • Agreed on clause 4 and Jeremy.

      Most of Cllrs and all MPs sadly backed the other right wing Nu Labour wannabees

      You have not answered above questions over

      Cllrs failing to warn public of risks to kids for years?

      The coverup?

      Council and labour group Incompetence?

      Duty of Care?

      Social cohesion?

      The liklihood of Cllrs or police not informing local MPs who maintain they knew nowt???
      Pigs may fly.


  10. Corbyn; “principled”???? I think not. A “socialist”, no, an outright Communist!! God help Britain of this idiot ever becomes Prime Minister, we would become the laughingstock of the World.


  11. Here’s one for you Robin, see if you can tell us the negative things the Labour run council have done for this town. I’ll try and tell you the positive things. Your list will be bigger. Completely untrustwothy and self serving at best. The Labour Party have done more damage to this town than any other party ever could.


  12. Hello Robyn remember me, the one you constantly call Riks favourite, I didn’t see you at the council meeting where mealy mouthed Councillors were bleating on about the nasty Tory anti trades union law. Taking it in turns to pop up and say how they are members of trade unions, and passing a resolution condemning the bill yet sacking three hundred more workers. You weren’t there to add your voice of dissent to mine on these pathetic proceedings. Whilst on the subject perhaps you could tell us exactly how many jobs has your Union saved at Rotherham? Perhaps you could give me your opinion on the policy being floated by RMBC to get workers in adult social care to become self employed, even offering them under used council buildings through the asset transfer system. The truth is you can not defend the undefensable no matter how many times you might try.
    Dave smith


    • These are the same Cllrs who not only failed our kids and members kids by covering g up the grooming for decades.

      They also outsourced jobs and services during the Blair years.

      Saddled us with crippling Pfi debts for schools and new council buildings for generations.

      They should all be held accountable and bring back surcharges of Cllrs for their incompetence and negligence.


  13. Hi Robin, what is your opinion on Jahangir Akthar? The labour councillor accused of colluding with the racially selective paedophile rape gangs and of raping a child himself? I have noted that you have not commented so far on your constituents sexual violence.






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