The recent Express editorial paying a fulsome tribute to Peter Pike and welcoming the apparently imminent proposal that the ex-MP be granted the Freedom of Burnley represents a view that will not be shared by everyone.
Following the controversial circumstances of his election in 1983, Mr Pike’s comfortable 22-year occupation of a very well-paid seat at Westminster, with liberal expenses, did little for the reputation of the town. If one were to seek a single adjective to describe his tenure then “uninspired” would perhaps be the kindest and most generous choice.
Of course there is a kind of inevitability about acceptance of the proposal and it can be assumed the Labour group has already canvassed the support of the other parties. Only an unlikely indication by Mr Pike that he does not feel, on mature reflection, disposed to accept the honour will halt the proceedings.
So I have to accept there is nothing I can do to stop the council’s grossly inappropriate, in my view, conferment of what should be a rare and special distinction on Mr Pike. What I can and will do, in the public interest and for the sake of the town’s integrity, is put the unfortunate business into a rounded context through the extensively circulation of a frank and detailed exposition of why I differ from the editor of the Express on the matter. I will also seek to exercise my right as a member of the public to speak at the council meeting at which the formal conferment is to take place.
Mr Harry Brooks
Barnfield Avenue, Burnley