News reaches LOL of a bunch of bananas interfering with an MP's already intermittent peace of mind in Rochdale today. PR Paul Rowen MP was proceeding in a westerly direction towards the Broadfield Hotel. Going west, geddit? Ready to spin some dodgy yarn to the worshipful brothers of the area's Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Only to find the aforesaid bunch of bananas protesting about his slippery, nay "bananas", approach to his parliamentary pay and allowances.
Neglecting expenses for his European activity and trips, and those two years of double claiming as a councillor AND a member of parliament PR Paul Rowen MP is easily going to exceed a million pounds of tax payers' money.
In the form of his salary. The salaries of his various politically active henchmen. His some would say rather excessive accommodation. The flat of the land! Once he gave up his hotel suite. The office rent paid, via the local Lib Dems or nay, to some more local Lib Dems. Who have some history of donating money, money that was ours once, back to party funds.
And then there are his non political but also non reasonably priced advertisements. Paid for by the tax payer. And placed in an exceedingly low response medium. Lib Dem political leaflets no less. Ridiculously poor value for money! Perhaps that's not the point for PR Paul?
And then there is the annual tithe, apparently paid by many Lib Dem MPs, I've not quite checked them all yet, to Lib Dem regional offices. To do goodness knows what with. PR Paul Rowen MP has said it's for consultancy services, training, IT support and the like. So if we assume he's an honest man that must be right.
And of course there is the ridiculously over-specified envelope stuffing machine that Rowen has used to send unstamped junk mail to poor constituents on or around their 18th birthdays. Bought with our money.
And not to mention the fat web solutions contract to PR Paul Rowen's tame local web publishers at Rochdale Online. Semi-mucky photographer - with letters behind his name - the main beneficiary of our money. What's that if not Rowen influencing his press coverage? Using our money. If that is within the rules should it be?
Rowen's whole allowances scheme is bananas. These routine gimmicks to feed money from tax payers to party coffers are we must presume entirely and absolutely "within the rules". Though there is such a pattern that perhaps there could be a national conspiracy to max the take "within the rules" for local Lib Dem parties? That would not surprise me.
The question for PR Paul Rowen MP is not of course whether things were "within the rules". He and his evil henchmen must answer: "how does it look?"
And to this bunch of bananas it apparently doesn't look good. They are bananas over something and nothing really. Among the "comedy items" in PR Paul's submitted receipts were a 40p banana, a knob of butter, various beverages, and what looks like an adult film enjoyed at his hotel. "TV services" is what it says. He's a consenting adult, he can watch what he likes: but how does it look?
It's probably pretty hard to dress up as an adult film or a knob of butter though! So bananas it was. Back at the Broadfield PR Paul tried to slip in round the back. But the way was barred. He eventually escaped the crazy fruits and got in. At which point the bananas headed off to a prime piece of Lib Dem real estate. The sweaty muppet's Drake Street lair. Eliciting a rather hysterical response from tax payer salaried Dave Henn.
Henn's had a skinful of bananas today it seems. He tried to stop the protest on the "private", albeit paid for by the taxpayer, Rochdale Lib Dem party headquarters' curtilege. With any number of illiberal and disgraceful arguments. with the odd "Live Long and Prosper" and "Victory" hand signal chucked in by the former Tory-boy.
Never one to make the right call when the chips (and cheeseburgers) are down PR Paul Rowen MP escalated matters by 'phoning the police with some cock and bull story about being under physical threat at the earlier freemason's meeting..
A phalanx of PCSOs duly escorted PR Paul Rowen MP from the premises. And, pictured below, one of them wondered if his international comrades wouldn't get more job satisfaction when the Ayatollah called them in - on dirt bikes and mopeds - to disperse protestors there for calling their credibility into doubt.
PR Paul Rowen MP though. Thanks to the Imperial Guard. Safe from the rampaging yellow fruits. What a waste of scarce police resources! If the police are not throwing him and his boys - Henn and the rest - in a cell for some misdemeanour or other they should leave him to fend for himself. They're coming to take him away, hey hey!