Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lib Dem Troughing: Has Paul Rowen Had His Weight in Gold?

Here's one of the few media reports to date indicating that the Lib Dems have the edge in terms of filling party coffers via claims on parliamentary allowances.

From This is Western Morning News. Looks like the strange annual "subscription" to the party office in South West England is substantially lower than the going rate in the North West. The mainstream media have been extraordinarily slow on this one.

But this £2500 or £4000 annual contribution actually pales into insignificance against the tithes paid by elected councillors and MPs. The arithmetic for the Rochdale Lib Dem scheme for example suggests that councillors could be donating around £25,000 from their basic allowances at a rate of 10%, and possibly as much as £50,000 at arate of 20% from special responsibilities payments. And then there is the MP who will surely be paying a tithe too? £6000 if at the lower rate or £12000 at the higher.

Do staff paid from the parliamentary allowances also hand over a slice of their earnings?

There may be a special case where some of these Lib Dem MPs continued to draw local councillor allowances as well as MP salaries but in general there's probably little that can be done to limit what people do with their pay.

We stop footballers using theirs to bet on games I suppose!

The problem with these "voluntary" tithe payments is I suppose fourfold:

  • 1. The donations are not actually voluntary. Councillors have left the Lib Dems in Rochdale rather than continue to pay up. And to turn the Lib Dem analysis on the thing, these tithes are very regressive indeed;
  • 2. The donations ought to be declared to the Electoral Commission and published;
  • 3. The amount of money involved in Rochdale appears to be way over the limit for production of audited accounts; and
  • 4. There is something of the franchise about all this, and a sense of delayed gratification, turning tax pounds into party funds ... in an effort to keep the golden goose laying.

  • Hat tip for TIWMN to Paul in comments on the last post. Mayor weigh in from High Wycombe, Bucks. Not sure what Paul Rowen's weight in gold would be these days ... but I do know he cheerfully admits to having had more than a million pounds out of the system, and counting.


    Daz said...

    Spoof advert done in the spirit of comedy (only it is not funny)...


    do you want to increase your assets?

    do you want to be part of the exciting regeneration of Rochdale and be a civic hero?

    do you want to hide those extra pounds of dirty cash(drug money, tax evasion, extortion?)

    then wash your assets with clean hands at the Freinds of Rochdale Liberal Democrats laundry.

    Dirt removed with a fast spin cycle!!!


    Sir Cyril Smith
    14 Emma Street


    Master David Hennigan
    142a/144 Drake Street

    Recommendations from happy donees on request.

    Daz said...

    that should be "Fiends" not "Freinds" of Rochdale Lib Dems...

    Postal Gold said...

    I popped a lot of votes into an envelope in May 2005 and following the general election things went well for me in Rochdale.

    Now I have a new car and can afford to splash out on free luxuries like fitted carpets and a house extention.

    and the laundry service is so easy. Just one telephone call, a simple signiture and the rest is done for you.

    Thanks Cyril!

    sticky Goldfingers said...

    Portly Paul Rowen weighs about 18 stone

    18 stone is rougly 250 lbs or about 4000 ounces.

    Gold spot price is currenly hovering around the us$1000 mark. (about £600)

    so about 18 stone of Rowen is equivalent to £2,400,000.

    That would take about 2 terms of Paul's porcine Parliamentary troughing.

    Bananrama said...

    Spot price for bananas has been less than 13 cent a pound.

    That means even a fat chap like Paul Rowen is worth about £25 of bananas at market value.

    Fees Office said...

    Claimed expenses for Paul Rowen include a 40p banana.

    if such fruit weighed about 300g then the £25 'value' of Paul Rowen in bananas would end up being a taxpayers bill of over £100.

    (100kg / 300g = 333 bananas x 40p)

    the 400% uplift for some of Paul Rowen's expense claims has a certain ring to it. Was there a 400% increase in his office rent when Paul Rowen started claiming Parliamentary expenses?

    Anonymous said...

    Kevin Maguire is spot on as usual with his insights into the Lib Dems conference in Wednesday's Daily Mirror.

    Points of disorder 1

    A whale beached on Bournemouth sands reminded me of a blubbery Cyril Smith.

    The one-time Rochdale MP is as washed up as the mammal after exposure of his cosiness with the asbestos industry.

    Perhaps the poor creature (the whale not Un-Nice One Cyril, who is very much alive) died of boredom after hearing the debates.

    Or maybe it got stranded while trying to reach the plankton in the hall.

    Either way, the corpse attracted more local interest than the yellow peril who have swapped sandals for hair-shirts.

    Chris Paul said...

    Has Cyril's old pal Kevin been to see Cyril in hospital? "Very much alive" sounds a bit like a rebuttal of the Lib Dem position that Cyril is "very poorly".

    I just hope the man has time to face his critics and those he has harmed (and those they have harmed), own up to any of the many many sins that he can recall, and beg the forgiveness of a town he has personally held back in the dark ages. Which presumably must have suited his fat cat mates?

    Anonymous said...

    Amen to that.

    Anonymous said...

    Mr Paul,

    I think you spend more time blogging about Sir Cyril Smith and the Lib Dems than actually campaigning positively for the Labour Party.

    A very unhealthy obsession indeed.

    You should see someone about it.

    Anonymous said...

    OK Mr Hennigan, good advice.

    The victims of Cambridge House, Knowl View and other historic sexua abuse from those with positions f trust, power or authority in Rochdale should be investigated.

    Justice must be done.

    Anonymous said...

    And justice must be done for the Rochdale Seven!

    Anonymous said...

    And justice must be done for the Rochdale Seven!

    Anonymous said...

    And justice must be done for the Rochdale Seven!

    Anonymous said...

    it has been hasn't it?, it has been hasn't it? It has been hasn't it?

    Chris Paul said...

    Interesting. Hardly spending ANY time blogging about Sir Cyril. The old bastard is ill in hospital and it wouldn't be right. It was Maguire who raised SCS and some contributor who commented on it. This post is about Rowen gaming the allowances system to high heaven. He must be tipped out and stopped from his shameless feeding frenzy.

    Get Real said...

    Hear hear Chris.

    How does Paul Rowen who has worked in the education sector in a position of trust with young people have such amnesia with regards to the serious allegations made about Cyril Smith and sex abuse.

    Suppose its because as a Young Liberal in the 1970's Paul Rowen will have known all about the Cambridge House allegations and sheninghans thereafter.

    Did he make a value decision and work out what would be best for progressing his political career?

    The questionable decisions in furtherance of climbing said greasy, shitty pole to become Leader of Rochdale Council required the same Institutional Amnesia to ignore the serious allegations about abuse at the Rochdale hellhole Knowl View Residential School. How can someone becoming so important as a town councillor keep quiet about the damaged inmates of Knowl View being prostituted as vilnerable rent boys in the Smith Street toilets opposite the Rochdale Council offices?

    Paul Rowen has sold himslef to the electorate of Rochdale as a a man of faith, a former deputy head and a man of much experience in Rochdale politics- yet the silence about Rochdale's awful and sinister past about the known sexual abuse of young lads is disgusting.

    And very telling.