Thursday, August 27, 2009

Self-Righteous Nick Clegg: Start With Rochdale's Stygian Stables?

Many people who have undertaken detailed studies of the allowances claims of one or more Liberal Democrat MPs may find themselves rolling on the floor laughing at the self-righteous primping and posturing of dear old Nick Clegg MP in today's Daily Telegraph.

"Will demand for change continue or will the political establishment succeed in sweeping it under the carpet?" the clown Clegg asks. He should start by asking Paul "Bananas" Rowen MP, Lib Dem MP for the multiply deprived and shoddily run town of Rochdale, and a so-called front bench spokesman, what on earth he is up to, under carpet sweeping wise.

Gravy Train Paul - a bogaciously burgeoning body builder, alas in the manner of Sir Cyril Smith MBE rather than Arnie Schwarzenegger - has been threatening legal action against Labour Prospective MP Simon Danczuk over light-hearted leaflets questioning his allowances in a basic democratic accountability, free speech kind of way.

Albeit with some Labourite flier-writer calling Rowen "bananas" over allowances claims, including, naturally enough ... a 40p banana. And another Labourite flier-designer crystallizing the public mood against most MPs of all parties with the gravy train composite above. Zeitgeist in pen and ink.

Though to be fair GT Paul is more likely to be seen with an Old Sozzled Henn than with a Long Deep Screw On the Beach, or Between the Sheets, or whatever that cocktail he's grasping is supposed to be.

If this is libel The Guardian and The Mirror have each joined the fun by reporting Rowen's absolute lack of legal judgement. As it were. No more slumming around in the New Statesman and the Eye for Rochdale Libdemologists. This is big time bananas this is.

The sections on the leaflets apparently penned by Mr Danczuk seem pretty measured and reasonable, and the ensemble even with witty cartoons and so on more responsible and reasonable than much of Rowen's teams under and over the radar personal attack shenanigans. Character assassinations on priests and deceased community leaders for goodness sake! Attempts to resuscitate lies of decades past! Vicious phone calls and emails or threats thereof!

Meanwhile Gravy Train Paul, or Growin' Rowen perhaps?, whose team has now collectively trousered more than a million pounds in pay and allowances from the taxpayer, seems to be not untypical of at least some of his Lib Dem MP colleagues in the region. Exploiting various little angles and gimmicks on the allowances regime. In fact there's a bit of a pattern emerging, for Lib Dems only.

All these wheezes, GT Paul suggests, "within the rules" as he sees them:

  • Paying a sizeable "consultancy fee" of taxpayers' money to his party's regional office for rather mysterious services to Rochdale constituents;
  • Initially paying office rent to his local party, who had about half the space but bizarrely - in a you-pay-us-to-be-here contrivance - only passed on about half the amount given them that year ... to a Lib Dem owned and controlled company ... that gave 90% of the money back to that local party;
  • Buying an extraordinary giant folding and stuffing machine;
  • Taking a "hoarding" advert at the local football ground which he pretended to have paid for from his own funds ... but he used the supporters' own funds, from the taxpayer, he's hoarding alright;
  • Taking appallingly poor value for money adverts for non-party political surgeries on party political leaflets, paying obscene amounts of taxpayers' money for adverts that simply would not work;
  • Submitting a receipt for £9.99 "TV Services" at a hotel, in the hubbie-of-Jacqui-Smith eyebrow raising category as well as the famous banana, knob of butter, carrier bag and so on;
  • Taking over the employment of one full time and one part time political worker, as defined by the party's own accounts, from the local Lib Dem party, with these people calling themselves election agents year round and being highly party political, not to mention personal;
  • Having an unaccountable and unauditable "Printing Society", some believe as an "off the books" money laundering fund raising mechanism;
  • Awarding a lucrative contract - with tax payers' money - for Web Services to a local publisher whose main publication Rochdale Online is being referred to widely in the town as Rowen Online, such is its editorial and comments/forum bias to their benefactor's cause and against his opponents, though rather hilariously they bit the hand that feeds by suggesting that Rowen's buying ads in political leaflets scheme was unacceptable;
  • Organising a highly lucrative, but annoyingly compulsory and steep, Lib Dem group tithe as leader and PPC, declared to Electoral Commission in 2005 but strangely neglected in that regard ever since;
  • Tithes on "special responsibilities payments" alone - if at the rate asserted by Lib Dems and former Lib Dems - produce well over TWICE the turnover to require annual accounts, but none have been submitted for several years;
  • Being a remunerated Director of a company registered in Uganda whose UK parent became a landlord to a Rochdale MBC Department during Growin' Rowen's tenure and who own a large number of residential, commercial and licenced premises in the area;
  • Presiding over an office milieu where rough-edged corner boys supposedly working for Group, party, constituency or ego in such a way that tax payer accountability is completely missing;
  • Continuing to take councillor cash too for two whole years, though he or someone taking his name in vain claimed it was but one, and failing to provide a promised list of claimed charitable donations;
  • I could go on but that'll do for now.

  • "What are they up to?" people ask. "Who pays such and such and thingymejig?", "What are they all supposed to be doing anyway?", "Why does no-one much go to his advice sessions? Is he crap?", "Are they really cooking beans on a camp stove in there? Instead of patronising local kebab, pizza, fish and beer businesses?"

    To say that these applications of allowances, provided by the tax-payer, and these other arrangements are "within the rules" seems a bit of a stretch to put it mildly. I'd quote the good book and call them "grey areas" myself. Bananas, possibly.

    But, ho hum. They may be "within the rules".

    But the question is not "within the rules?" anymore anyway. Now the public's sense of right and wrong has been re-calibrated the question for Rowen is quite different. Are these arrangements for tax money acceptable and defensible anyway?

    Point is, Nick Clegg needs to stop spouting plagues on other parties' houses. He needs to roll up his sleeves up and/or divert the River Roch down to Drake Street. To clear the continuous supply of horse or perhaps donkey doings from Growin' Rowen's stinking stables.

    Clegg again raises the prospect of the sort of US-style "Recall Ballot" that would see Rowen out of a job in a flash. LDV also suggests he emphasises the importance of electoral reform for the health of British democracy:
    Frankly, there are far too many MPs, and far too many of them can do what they like because they’re in a safe seat. They know that they could put a blue or red rosette on the back end of a donkey and they’d still win because they only need to gain a minority of the votes in their area.

    There are far too many Lib Dem MPs I'll give you Nick. There are also some RAW nutty slackers in Rochdale and others who might argue that the Lib Dems HAVE actually stuck a yellow rosette on the back end of a donkey and performed just this trick themselves. Eeeyore! Eeeyore!

    STOP PRESS: Though the Red RAW boys are now repeating Lib Dem chit chat that's gathering momentum. Suggesting that those Lib Dems have had enough of the out to grass former demon deputy head-teacher. The Lib Dems may be planning to change donkeys midstream.


    Anonymous said...

    Self-righteous primping and posturing is in the Lib Dems DNA. They stand for nothing except election.

    Rowen is one of the worst. A second rate councillor lining his pockets and doing absolutely nowt for Rochdale.

    Rochdale Rapper said...

    Nick Clegg will have his hands full with the Rochdale bunch.

    That is the problem with bananas. Apparently they give off a gas that encourages everything close to them to go rotten quickly.

    And if Nick Clegg has the bare faced cheek to try to clean up quaint, old fashioned fundraising practices in the Hazzard County of Rochdale, Cyril will no doubt mouth off, off message. he he.

    Hanging, flogging, anti-trade union Liberals unite, you have nothing to lose but your criminal records.

    Chris Paul said...

    Let's imagine that Nick Clegg has already "tackled" Rowen's crew?

    Invited them for the time honoured pants down over my knee when I get home "summary justice" route rather than being dealt with by the proper authorities? As modelled by Cyril Smith? With a gentle sponging down in the bedroom offered for afters?
    This'll hurt me more than it hurts you young Rowen me ladio!

    Before some fourth rate solicitor gets on the case chaps - the above is a joke. Like bananas Rowen.

    But a joke based on a stately pile of affidavits accusing the big member for Rochdale of a massive abuse of trust and of vulnerable young men.

    Apparently covered up by the authorities. An investigation spiked but used to control.

    Thing is about this kind of sexual and/or physical abuse is that it propagates. Violence begat violence begat violence. Cyril was only found out and accused because one of his victims was himself caught abusing. How many generations of this family tree can have been unseen but at it since the 60s?

    Like a fibre of asbestos this stuff lurks and lurks but can carry a vicious burden along with it.

    I know Cyril had a funny turn recently and ended up with the NHS - which didn't stop Rowen attacking it the very same time - but he really should be making a clean breast of all this stuff.

    And if we can help take this weight off his mind we'll be glad to help.

    Rochdale Rapper said...

    If Nick Clogg had been spanking the Rochdale Lib Demmers then would it be defended by Grandee Sir David Steel?

    After all, like the former Leader of the Liberal Party said in 1982 about the published revelations about allegations of sexual abuse by Cyril Smith...

    "all we are talking about is spanking a few bare bottoms".

    Perhaps Fred West and Peter Sutcliffe should had been card carrying Liberal Party members.

    It worked for "Scott-Free not dog killer" Jezzer Thorpe. But The shock was so much for Chief Whip Cyril Smith that he admitted himself into Birch Hill (after spilling the beans to the Daily Mirror about the 'pervert' leader's proclivaties). A stack of 2p coins were seen next to Cyril who had the public phone wheeled next to his bed.

    There should be a sign on the town's boundary:

    "Welcome to Rochdale. Keep hold of your tuppence"

    Get Real said...

    As with Jersey care homes and american abductees, sexual abuse "cold cases" from decades ago will not, and should not go away.

    Things have been brushed under the carpet for too long in Rochdale.

    Time for the cleansing power of fresh air and sunlight.

    Justice must be done.

    Shake N' Vac said...

    So who does Paul Rowen employ with Parliamentary expenses?

    Doesn't this have to decalred under the new rules?

    Dave Hennigan?
    Adam Power?
    John Swarbrick?

    are they full or half MP caseworkers?

    If not then who pays them? Rochdale Lib Dems via Rochdale Council tithes and the profit that Rochdale Reform Buildings Ltd now accrues from rent (from "Rochdale Lib Dems, "Rochdale Lib Dem Printing Society" and Paul Rowen MP?)

    Busy Deputy Mayoress Sue Etchells still works at Drake Steet too.

    Then at Westminster there is listed Alex Webster and Charles Edward Lord.

    Not to mention the various unpaid interns (friends of Cyril or children of Paul Rowen's GP). Even though they are "unpaid" it doesn't stop Paul Rowen dropping them in it when a 40p banana is claimed on HIS parliamentary expenses/allowances.

    Taxpayers' money should be thoroughly accountable. That is the thrust of Nick Clegg's latest pronouncement on the "political establishment sweeping things under the carpet".

    Let's have some clear answsers to simple questions.

    Not AdamPower said...

    Sue Etchells is not Deputy Mayoress.

    The role of mayor and deputy mayor usually rotates between the ruling administration and the political opposition.

    This year is Lib Dem Cllr Rochdale Online Crooner Keith cut-short and Sue Etchells

    nest year the role goes to the opposition - Lib Dem Zulf Ali.

    (the man who had to apologise on behalf of the daft accusations against Ian Duckegg over "suggestions" by persons unknown that Rochdale Council's portfolio holder for schools struggles to read and write).

    Thankfully Cllr Zero Ali didn't write the letter (obviously?!). Somebody called Adam "The Power" has been mentioned as the culprit.

    Obviously something so blatantly political couldn't be done by anyone paid for by Parliamentary expenses?

    Chris Paul said...

    According to Weirdo's website Power works for the group not for bananas himself.

    Chris Paul said...

    Weirdo? Did I write that? I meant Wera but my fingers must have slipped. QWERTY wise the "i" getting in there is very hard to explain. Sorry Wera!

    Anonymous said...

    On Wera's Facebook page she refers to the Council "being in a coma". Can this be because Councillor Greg Couzens is so busy primping and grooming - not to mention salivating over Porno's 'glamour' models (they come all the way from Hastings apparently)- that he's still trying to work out what to do with Rochdale's town centre?

    Anonymous said...

    Phone Paul Rowen's office, Chris. Adam Power usually answers

    Anonymous said...

    Just tried. Couldn't hear what the guy who answered was saying for all the blubbing, screaming and gnashing of teeth in the background.

    unzipped banana said...

    With all this upset at Drake Street they shouldn't worry about the brown stain in their trollies...

    as they are on te gravy train it will only be bisto

    Anonymous said...

    I cannot understand the defending silence of man of peace Phillip Gilligan about the serious accusations of sexual abuse in Rochdale.

    Instead the University of Bradford social work expert and publisher of articles about sex abuse in the asian community keeps quiet about Cyril Smith in the Castlemere area in the 1960's. The serious claims of sexual abuse against velnerble young lads at Cambridge House by the then Cllr Cyril Smith needs to be investigated.

    And then justice is needed for the poor victims of Knowl View Special School that Cyril took such a keen interest in.

    But instead Mr Gilligan stays on his little island writing emails and letters to the Ob on themes well timed with Rochdale Lib Dem agendas.

    A hotline to Dave Hennigan?

    Chris Paul said...

    Surely this Gilligan is a trot? Surely he cannot be impressed with Rowen apparently sleeping in after a night on the beer instead of taking part in the Lib Dem Gaza debate?

    On the Knowl View matter I still haven't had any sort of answer to any of my FoIA requests to RMBA.

    Is someone spiking these requests? Need to get the Information Commissioner involved I think.

    Were any staff put on gardening leave? How many and for how long? One source even told me that there were people who know too much on gardening leave almost TWO DECADES after the place was burnt and shut.

    Can that be true? Using Council Tax money to buy silence? According to the allegations, made by insiders as it goes, but untested. Not for the want of trying.

    They won't even tell me who was on the relevant committees, boards, trustees, management committees and the like.

    Rochdale Rapper said...

    Pam Horton. But she took many of her secrets to the grave.

    Cyril gave her a most bizarre homily when she died last Novemeber. Weird phrases such as "We shared many confidences"..."Her word was always her bond"...a "good friend right up until her death"..."She was a very straight person who said what she thought and her word could be trusted. If she gave you her word she would stick by it."

    Those naughty RAW boys and girls blogged about it last year:

    Peace Off said...

    Gilligan is an old tanky who works with Rowen because of the old adage "mine enemy's enemy...

    The calls and emails between Lib Dem HQ and Rochdale Peace Group is well known about and widely circulated. Dave Hennigan brags about having them "in his pocket". They co-ordinate "media strategy" with letters to the Ob as and when things get (increasingly)sticky for Paul Rowen. It is so obvious to be amusing.

    Chris Paul said...

    Pam Horton? This a person put on gerdening leave re Knowl View? I don't think this is the one my friends are hinting at actually.

    Rochdale Rapper said...

    No Pam Horton was leader of the Tories on Rochdale Council in the 1980's. She retired to the South Coast and died in November last year.

    A very good friend of Cyril Smith.
    Cyril is a reactionary old twat who switched parties just to gain power. He never joined the Tories because they have a snowballs chance in hell.

    That didn't stop Cyril helping his Tory mates out in all sorts of ways. Including some prominent East Lancashire Freemasons.

    Favours for sailors?

    Don Kiddick said...

    In true pantomine style pisspoor Paul has to look behind him.

    Oily Greg Couzens has left his millionaire's hairdressing lair in a Rochdale back passage off Yorkshire Street to grasp power.

    Oily? Is that why some call Cllr Couzens a slick operator?

    But anyone who calls Cyril Smith a mad pervert can't be all bad.