Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Rochdale Bully Boy: Calls Congestionists Names

David Hennigan has written a letter to the Evening News, and what's more they've printed it.

It's all over the place, like one of those rare Lib Dem policy positions, but essentially is in support of Cllr Roger Jones, Chair of the GMPTA, who has it seems been personally targeted by Tory-backed and Tory-backing pollsters who, wait for it, support congestion. These pollution champions set professional pollster attack dogs asking attack questions in Jones' Salford ward.

Implicit in this letter is harsh criticism of Cllr John Leech MP who has continued to take opportunist pro-con positions on the matter - currently seeming to support more congestion and pollution, certainly failing to provide leadership.

Friend Hennigan concludes:

This will send a clear message to self-interested companies like Peel Holdings that their bullying tactics don’t work, and neither should they. Dave Hennigan, Heaton Chapel

An interesting home address for a localist Libdemologist working in Rochdale and Oldham East and Saddleworth! But no matter. More interesting is renowned bully boy Hennigan's alleged stance against bullying.

Here he is sticking up for a vee sign councillor, and here defending racist dog whistling from another councillor and PPC, and just one more recent occasion, "standing in the middle of the road in the pouring rain having a fit, shouting abuse and generally making an utter fool of himself" embarrassing Rochdale with his own bullying tactics.

He should perhaps lie down in a darkened room and consider his position.


Iain Lindley said...

Care to substantiate your assertion that the pollsters were Tory-backed and Tory-backing? Simply not true in either case.

Chris Paul said...

Why would anyone believe that it is not a Tory plot Iain? Remember green inker Geoffrey Berg, a dyed in the wool Tory activist and sometime candidate, covered here.

Roger's Irlam ward is of course marginal and, barring community independent freaks, the Tories are the closest under party, withing 57 votes in 2006. The Lib Dems - vide the letter, and their voting behaviour - are not out to get this scalp.

I repeat Iain: Why would anyone believe that this is not a nasty Tory plot? Peel and Whitaker have been messing in local politics for a while - as petrol heads mostly - and it is only a wonder that their support for the right has not been more apparent in registered donations.

Iain Lindley said...

First of all, the Labour majority over the second placed Conservative in 2006 was 340, not 57:

JONES Mariska LIB DEM 334

As for your substantive point, Peel and Whittaker are entitled to their opinions but the idea that Peel are "in" with the Conservatives here in Salford is ridiculous.

For one thing, Peel are key partners of Salford City Council - still unfortunately under Labour control - in a number of projects, notably the Reds Stadium Development and mediacity:uk.

Their third major project in Salford is the Salford Forest Park and Worsley Racecourse, something which Peel have fought a very public battle with the local ward Councillors over a number of years. The ward Councillors in question include the Conservative Group Leader, Deputy Leader and Chief Whip.

Campaigning in Irlam and elsewhere comes under the responsibility of the Deputy Chairman (Political) of Salford Conservatives. That would be me. I can assure you that the first I was aware of the Peel polling was when I read it in the paper.

If the polling was done in conjunction with a political party, it certainly wasn't Salford Conservatives. I could not speak for the LibDems or CAP, although the former struggle to even put up a paper candidate in Irlam never mind launch a campaign.

In any case, my understanding is that Peel cannot and do not donate to political parties as they are based in the Isle of Man and are not a permissible donor.

As for Geoffrey Berg, I don't know him personally, but I know he has very little support amongst the Conservative Party in Bury. As I suspect you know very well, he's a maverick and not under the influence of anyone else - to suggest otherwise doesn't reflect very well on you. Nor does making unsubstantiated and untrue allegations about the involvement of Salford Conservatives with Peel Holdings, for that matter.

Chris Paul said...

Oh come on Iain. Berg has been a candidate repeatedly over the last decade. For the conservatives. If he's a maverick then that reflects badly on conservative selection policy.

As for Peel working with local authorities as they find them ... obviously they do. They are capitalists they are not sentimental idealogues.

But this doesn't stop them or their front organisation MART running the kind of sub-political but very party political campaigns which can only benefit Tories and deliberately so.

Very bad USA model that don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

Trafford Centre are Swift Boaters.

Cllr Iain Lindley said...

Oh come on Chris, the Conservative leadership in Bury take the same attitude to Berg as the Manchester Labour leadership do to this blog of yours - and that hasn't stopped you standing for Council under a Labour banner before.

As for Peel, well you seem to be back-tracking already. First it was a Tory plot, now it's got nothing to do with the Conservatives but might benefit them.

Chris Paul said...

Is Berg in THAT much trouble?? Ouch.

I wouldn't believe everything you hear Iain. Especially from the more addled sources.

Leaving aside cheap smears the facts are:

1. MART has the support of the Peel people - in spades.

2. MART claims to be non party political but has a POV which coincides most closely with that of Tory groups in Greater Manchester.

3. Berg is someone who has been a candidate not only in Bury but also in the key seat Manchester City Centre as recently as 2004.

4. Opposition to traffic management and greening one of his three big ideas, another being opposition to the smoking ban.

5. There has been a "non party political" campaign in Irlam and other Salford council seats involving polling of residents and invidiously mentioning sitting Labour councillors by name.

6. This takes the MART line and is therefore congruent with Mr Whittaker (Peel/Trafford Centre) and Conservative (Berg and other OFFICIAL and elected individuals) positions.

7. I haven't said this polling has nothing to do with Peel or with Tories. It certainly supports the MART/Peel/Tory position.

8. The comparison with Swift Boaters is aposite.

Come on Iain. What is your position on reduction of congestion and the means to do this, how does it vary from the consensus, and why?

Do you reject attacks on Councillor Roger Jones and others in such polls?

Can you rise above personal smears and addled gossip and actually address the issues?

Anonymous said...

What about the drunken bully Hennigan?