Monday, May 03, 2010

Contempt for Democracy: Lib Dem Incumbents Swerve Hustings

UPDATE Mon 20:30: The Crescent Radio debate that Paul Rowen jilted actually occurred during the afternoon and not last evening as stated. The management at Crescent Radio appear to have been put under the impression that Rowen has the power of life and death over them when it comes to renewal, and can er pull the plug on their station. Which ain't quite right. And, we hear, Wera Hobhouse - the LD super-sub - threatened to WALK at half time, such was the animosity towards Rowen. "I am not answerable for Paul Rowen" she said OWTTE. Which is odd as that was the job she had been given to do.

Radio Four's You and Yours this morning included a caller pointing out that Paul Rowen - as Council Leader - sold the town's market for a quid. Not popular. Even the Tories in the Town are now thinking they're better off with Labour! And Crescent Radio's audience has certainly been given a clue as to the respect Rowen has for them.

Now read on ..

John Leech has missed two of the four main hustings/information events in Manchester Withington constituency, and arranged a third on an evening when he was certain Lucy Powell, the Labour challenger could not attend. In fact he has condescended to appear in only one serious debate with a large audience and excellent potential for planted questions, organised heckling and getting away with his rather feeble achievements.

The first event Leech swerved was an RSPB discussion - with similar held all over the country - attended by the four main parties. And given that this was before nominations closed these were the only four known certain candidates. Honest John Leech gave two different reasons for his swerve to two different interest groups who asked.

First, he disingenuously blamed election regulations and Labour. Claiming that the regulations could require him to count part of the cost of the meeting in his election expenses return. Actually not necessary where the known candidates are all invited. And actually sending a Sub to represent him (Wera Hobhouse) would surely mean he should include a notional cost anyway? If it were true. And to this he added the news that his expenses in 2005 had been challenged by Labour and he wanted to be above reproach.

Although his submission was ridiculous and he had clearly overspent I did not officially challenge this myself, I didn't live in the constituency then. I don't know that anyone did. Certainly I can find no sign of any challenge via the Electoral Commission and I don't think I even got a reply when I tried an FoI request for any and all such complaints. I did ridicule his very ridiculous return in letters to local papers.

Second, and far more likely, was Leech's story as given to the Politics Society at the University of Manchester Students Union. Honest John told them, speaking of the same event, that he had sent a sub because he (thinks: had a contempt for democracy and) wanted to stymie any and all opportunities for Lucy Powell to appear on the same platform, giving her equal status. Leech also swerved a Churches Together event without advising the organisers of his absence. Though as none of his cronies were there this did seem a premeditated slight.

What an indictment of Lib Dem blether on being a new broom.

The Rochdale incumbent Paul Rowen, another Libdemologist first termer and sometime two-jobber councillor and MP, has also been swerving. Not sure he's done a single hustings or information meeting. Tonight he was booked to discuss his ideas with Mudasir for the Cons and Danczuk for Labour in a Radio Crescent programme.

This being a station in the immediate area, targeted at muslim families. He failed to show up .. and he too sent Wera. This has been a particular problem for the station. They have fallen in with his demands that they don't give his opponents (much) publicity for years. And now, when everyone and their dog whistles is talking about Rochdale and immigration, he has completely ducked their timely event.

Similarly he missed the Palestine debate at the last Lib Dem conference. Apparently because he'd had a big drink the night and early hours before and was under the weather. And he missed another community events to discuss this situation too. At Castlemere. Wera was there .. but it was his former aide Dave Hennigan (below) who made a scene and tried to participate. He had been banned for disrespecting the community. And Rowen eventually sacked him for being such an embarrassment - though he's still lurking about the scene. Secret agent Hennigan?

Rowen missed that community debate, breaking a promise to the Castlemere Centre and local muslim voluntary organisations because he was en route to Europe on a jolly .. where he failed to speak in the right debate in any case. But likely had a good time, rich food, fine wine, trappist beer, and hale fellow well met all round.

The tweets within this post summarise much of the above. Click to enlarge. Read from bottom up, insofar as it matters. I love twitter. Follow me.


Anonymous said...

Rowen's twitter feed claims he was on the Rory Bremner show last night. Bet that was testing. This idiot has never faced his constituents. He's useless

Chris Paul said...

Indeed he is. Can't say I noticed him on RB show though it wasn't that gripping for much of its length.

Anonymous said...

As the national secretary for the association of chocolate fireguards, I have to take issue with a national newspaper branding Rowen as useless as one of our products.

Our products are not useless although the association accepts Mr. Rowen is.

GaelGivet said...

Dear oh dear - accusing John Leech of organising a hustings for a night when he knew Lucy Powell couldn't attend - how desperate!!

Surely it's the organisers not the panellists who decide when these things are going to take place?

The good ship Labour is sinking ever faster and your attempts to stop it are embarrassing.

Rochdale Rapper said...

Paul Rowen was a no-show at Rochdale Crescent Radio.

So much for his strident support of BME issues in Rochdale - he is too busy putting out leaflets praising Mrs Duffy's quaint views on the "immigrant" debate.

Get Real said...

Malcolm Porn-o's withering organ is hilarious. He is even forced to offer public praise for his one young staffer for reporting 3 news stories in one day (uncluding a heavily edited attack on a Parliamentary candidate).
Does anyone know what happened to any of Rochdale Online's other young journalists of yesteryear? Jan and Kirsty? Do they have a story to tell about working for the Munsters at Rochdale Online Towers?

Then there is the small bunch of malcontents talking to one another with any normal visitor who stumbles on the "news" site wondering who these weirdos are.

Funny thing is the Dirty Dozen don't realise their libellous rants have backfired. They just look bitter and desperate. Decent citizens don't like bullies - especially cyber weirdo ones.

Malcolm's public advice on libel and the Human Rights could cost someone a lot of money if they are foolish enough to believe it.

Porn-o is clearly displaying malice and bias. The Crankie 7 are shown up for the dispossesed Militant tankies that ordinary members of the public cross the road to avoid.

Porn-o's dillusions of a local media empire are laugh-out-loud funny. Threats, slurs and tears at bedtime show how the wheels are falling off the media mogul's business model.

No wonder "ignorant" parents feel awkward when the six foot pinstriped 'nude/art fetish' snapper takes photos of children "in public places"

No wonder many local businesses smile but avoid the kind offers of help and promotion from "Rochdale's premier website". But then face threats, smears and weird obsessive anonymous rants via the "Forum" pages. (did he get that name from the 1970's grubby nudge comic).

On seeing the seven grand Bentley park up and a pin striped chap with a dashing ponytail alight, locals in Castleton often ask if that is a "merchant banker".

But the funniest thing is the brilliant way that Dave H wound Malcolm up like a top thinking that those criticising him were closely linked to the Labour candidate for Rochdale.

Hats off to Mr Hennigan - his manipulation of the Rochdale Online posse was pure genius.

Rochdale Online - a clear example of why the 2010 General Election was still not dependent on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Get Real - I trust your reference to porno as a media mogul was said tongue in cheek?

In terms of the former RO reporter, Kirsty, I am sure you will find her behind the bar in the Regal Moon serving the bitter and drunken dirty dozen. RO ruined her career.

Have you seen The Observer today? Paul Rowen blasted by the Patient Council. What for? Scaremongering yet again. Desperate stuff.

Get Real said...

Tongue firmly in cheek (the upper ones Cyril- don't get any ideas you deviant).

Given Malcolm's pervy and political obsessions and the meddling, slurs and veiled cyber threats that those who don't brown nose the ponytailed weirdo receive then Rowen Online could go the same way as Colin Meredith's glossy Rochdale mag and freemason/rotarian/space cadet Dick Catlow's Rochdale & Heywood "Independent" free sheet.

Hilarious. But the joke is on Rochdale. A town whose establishment have shafted it for years. The social events of the great and the good are a cross between Royston Vasey wife swapping party, Red Riding and Shameless.

How come Nick Clegg is telling people not to vote for the "2 old parties" yet the Cyril Spankanistas are gloating about 200 years of Liberalism in Rochdale.

Time for change. Rochdale is a basketcase as a result of the Whigs, Cobden Reformers and Smith/Rowen thuggary and civic corruption.

a real Labour supporter said...

A huge well done to the Militant crazies who call themseleves the "Rochdale 7" manipulated by former Cllr Robin (former social worker) Parker, Malcolm Porno-o and various Lib Dems (John Heyworth, Swarbrick, Dave Heineken and Adam, the Power, Power).

Their libellous slurs and smears to the small band of groupies on Porno-o's withering organ Rowen Online have been seen for the cheap, desperate rantings and weird whispers that they were.

The witch hunt and bullying against anyone who supported Simon Danczuk and the Rochdale Labour Party has come to nought.

Simon is now the town's MP and Surinder Biant is the first Spotland Ward councillor in the history of the borough. Cyril Smith must be seething.

Good bye to bad rubbish.