Can't blame 'em! The Nutty Boys at Rochdale RAW are incandescent that the colourful and ever so interesting parliamentarian "bananas" PR Paul Rowen has been dubbed dullest in the house by one of his own, a Lib Dem parliamentary candidate in the North East, reported in the Telegraph no less.
PR Paul Rowen himself will be pissed too. After his spending so much effort at the pies and gravy, trying to become fit to buckle Sir Cyril Smith MBE's larger than life slip ons. And we're not talking banana skins.
They're saying he's boring, inconsequential, useless, a complete fail for the town of Rochdale? All true! But THE most boring of them all? How very rude. This one doesn't come close. Watch out for the quiet ones they say. And they say right.
PR Paul Rowen MP has looked in the mirror, asked the question and found that both Jim Dobbin MP and Phil Woolas MP - ugly fucklings both - actually beat him on the "fairest of them all" question ... and so, of course, why not, he sent for the digital botox. To be sure he's not pocky and pus-sy of face.
While also pimping the Lib Dems worthy "no to airbrushing campaign", but without the common decency to admit his own mug had been rolled in digital glitter.
What will PR Paul Rowen do now? To prove he's not boring? Actually attend one of the Gaza debates organised by his party or by community leaders in Rochdale? That would be something actually. He missed the one at Lib Dem Spring Conference 09, Harrogate according to his colleagues. Because he was on the Liberal lash the night before. And worse for wear. But that cannot be right.
PR Paul may be a member of the "Beverage Group" of Lib Dem MPs but he's not a complete piss-head? Surely? Not like his long-time agent Dave Hennigan (above), with whom he has recently and un-boringly nay dramatically disassociated himself, officially at least. With talk of "embarrassment". Hennigan - the renowned fall over drunkard - who had sent himself as a substitute to a community Gaza event. Even though he knew that thanks to previous drunken ranting he was persona ultima non grata.
PR Paul's Liberal Democrat admirer made the remarks about PR Paul being so ineffably boring in clandestine "sock puppeting" stylee on Paul Staines aka Guido Fawkes aka Mister GuF's pathetic Tory-supporting swear blog Order-Order. As part of regular insulting behaviour from him in a weakly live commentary on Prime Minister's Questions. And, having been approached ahead of publication for comment, Staines didn't hesitate in attempting a bit of a spoiler. Back on the 16th that was.
Today the story even made David Ottewell's Politics Blog, part of the drowning not waving Manchester Evening News' web presence. I'm loath to name check never mind praise Rowen any more than absolutely necessary. But even LOL cannot tolerate this Lib Dem and Telegraph attack on one of our pet subjects for being the most boring member in the house. It just won't do.
I do think Rowen - superficially - gets the gong as a right boring occasional windbag. But delving deeper I think Rochdale Lib Dem politics could be creating quite a few headlines come the new year. Those Nutty Boys at RAW offer some pointers after all. Far-fetched suggestions of intrigue involving Deputy Dawg Cllr Mo Sharif and Cllr Angela Coric to boot.
These being two of the councillors who inherited what used to be Paul Rowen's troubled Milkstone and Deeplish ward. Both already centre of a certain amount of controversy and in Mo's case historic manipulation. Sharif was bang-to-rights deselected in fact. But Lib Dem party manipulators waded in and fixed it for the highly-articulate-in-letters-to-the-paper ignoramus-in-real-life businessman to hang on to his nice little earner. LOL cannot comment on rumours that bleating Coric could be about to experience the opposite effect.
Rowen's own allowances claims and business interests now, and his operations when a councillor and Lib Dem group leader and indeed PPC are still not sufficiently teased out and scrutinised. Where to start?
The who's who of Directors of the Rochdale Reform Buildings Limited is worth a second squint as well Mr Ottewell. They being landlord at the palatial tardis of a building that is 142/144 Drake Street. Landlords apparently for at very least:
- Rochdale Town Hall Lib Dem Group - secret Santas for the campaign effort
- Rochdale Liberal Democrats - famously craven and corrupt
- MP's "apolitical" Constituency Office - ho ho ho
- The Bright Cobden Trust - not actually registered in any way
- Rochdale Reform Buildings Limited
- One commercial tenant AE Taylor Insurances (Rochdale) Limited
The Lib Dem group of Rochdale Council collect very goodly tithes, based I believe on 10% of basic allowances and 20% of special responsibility allowances. The sum involved there is way way over the amount which should trigger accounts being submitted to the Electoral Commission. As all such groups should do. By law. And the amounts donated by each individual would surely also be notifiable BY NAME if they tried that work round?
And the local Lib Dems as a group - under the guise of "Rochdale Reform Society" - also own something like 70% of the share capital in the landlord company. The former fattest man in parliament Sir Cyril Smith MBE owns half the rest. And the balance is made up of varied Lib Dems in individual capacities. Alan Taylor and his family. The beneficiaries of various estates. At least one former Turner's Asbestos employee remains on the members' list.
The last set of accounts the Lib Dems did produce owned up to parliamentary expenses taking over the wages of one and half political workers and also suggested a real comedy nested renting agreement. Under which most of the six plus tenants sat round the room passing great lumps of cash round until most of it ended up in the Lib Dems' PARTY bucket. According to what was declared they, the party, were the main tenant.
The MP (and presumably others) gave them rather inflated rent payments. The MP's rent alone totaled around twice what they then gave to the landlord! And what's more around 90% of that came back in a donation from the RRBL in a RECORDED donation.
But there have been few recorded donations since that date. The arrangement has surely persisted more or less as before, so LOL cannot see why none of it is declared. Though one little crinkle being that now an "independent" source has valued the rents, ahead of a humungous rent hike once tax payers' money arrived on the scene. By a very strange coincidence the "independent" valuer has exactly the same name as one of the conniving Directors of RRBL.
There are also some racy details of course from allowances old and new that prove that PR Paul Rowen is far from boring when it comes to his taxpayer claims. Receipts including for example at least two for "Television Services £9.95" when he was staying in a Wandsworth Hotel. Sufficient to get Jacqui Smith's hubby all over the red tops and making grovelling apologies. Are the media biased against the Lib Dems or something? Is there something about Rowen's "TV Services £9.95" that aren't as interesting as a Labour equivalent? An actual so-called MP?
Quite a few Qs over that Hotel tenancy as it goes. Widely varying tariffs. Dinner beveages and "mini bar" among submitted receipts. And then again most recently released figures show Rowen picking up quite a lot of daily £25 "per diems" for London food - DURING THE RECESS!
One last little wrinkle to the story of course is that "Inamicus" the Lib Dem sleaze-blogger responsible for actually rather mild comments considering the context was the (very unsuccessful) Lib Dem PPC in Sedgefield when Tony Blair retired. And that his PR Man was none other than Dave Hennigan who took this role on a sabbatical from apparently being PR Paul Rowen's tax-payer funded main political worker.
There will be pictures and more links later. But for now, that's your lot. On the surface PR Paul Rowen MP appears to be the laziest and most useless MP in the history of Rochdale politics, even in the history of all UK politics.
Looks like a Duck. Walks like a Duck. Quacks like a Duck. Is a Duck. Zero, zilch, nada. But 'neath the surface this little fella's rather wicked webbed feet? They are going absolutely 100% bananas. They really are. Ducks and Drakes. Here's an extract from the etymology for that phrase:
Around the same time, the use of 'ducks and drakes' to refer to idly throwing something away or squandering resources came into use. That usage was recorded in James Cooke's Tu Quoque, 1614:
"This royal Caesar doth regard no cash; Has thrown away as much in ducks and drakes As would have bought some 50,000 capons."
The adoption of 'play ducks and drakes' meaning to throw away money seems to have come directly from the throwing of stones in the waterside game.
The meaning now seems to have wandered closer toward the 'unreliable and reckless' and away from the original 'idly squandering'. This may be a simple migration of meaning over time, or it may be due to a confusion between 'playing ducks and drakes' and 'playing fast and loose'.
UPDATE Tue 11:41: Corrected posting time. Also added "Ducks and Drakes" material and name of Insurance Company - AE Taylor - to list of Drake Street tenants.