Saturday, 20 February 2010

Gone Fishing

Thursday, 10 December 2009

MacShane still doesn't get it! Give us our money back!

The new claims by MPs are out today and we can see the details of all the claims made last year and the start of this financial year. This information can be seen by clicking the name of your MP
Kevin Barron, John Healey and Denis MacShane. It should be pointed out here that John Healey is already publishing this information himself on the website Where John has shown the way, Kevin and Denis must follow, Rotherham voters demand nothing less, so please stop mucking about and give us the information, it is our money you have spent!

I thought I would have a look first at MacShane's claims, I was first saddened and then increasingly indignant that amongst the receipts were the following:

20 August 2008 £529:47 On a flat screen TV, HDMI Lead and DAB Radio
24 September 2008 £29:45 Dry cleaning
04 October 2008 £8:25 Dry cleaning
06 October 2008 £12:00 Dry cleaning
20 October 2008 £16:25 Dry cleaning
11 November 2008 £8:25 Dry cleaning
22 November 2008 £8:25 Dry cleaning
08 December 2008 £19:90 Dry cleaning
20 December 2008 £10:50 Dry cleaning
04 February 2009 £16:50 Dry cleaning
14 February 2009 £13;25 Dry cleaning
07 March 2009 £46:98 Dunelm Mills Rotherham (Curtain and Kettle)

As well as the above He also claimed the maximum for his food £400 per month no less.

There is also an interesting set of correspondence in this years file relating to his claim for cleaning. Stupid fool didn't know that after the Speakers statement of 20th May he could no longer do so and he was duly told off for it - naughty boy!

We believe that his salary should cover all of these items, What does he think his £64,000 plus salary is for? He should not have claimed them. Therefore we are demanding the repayment of these claims a total of £627:07. Come on Denis pay up!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ofsted Slams Rotherham in New Report!

Today, December 9th 2009, it has been revealed that Rotherham's Children's Services are judged to be poor by Ofsted. This has happened now only because of the information on the new site Oneplace which went live at 00:01! It is important to remember that this was not news to RMBC. The Rotherham Area Assessment can be seen as a pdf file HERE.

The Council have issued a statement on this assessment which means that along with Doncaster and Haringey, Rotherham is among a group of only nine Councils in the whole country whose Children's Services are in such a sorry state.

At first glance the RMBC Press release inspired confidence that they are on to it, however after more detailed consideration and dissection of the contents, I am left worrying that this is not an occasion for a 'leave it with me' approach favoured by Roger Stone that seems to be being offered here.

This is one of the most serious of failures that could happen to a local authority, after all, is a failing where lives are lost. Rotherham must do at least a reasonable job of protecting the most vulnerable in society, our children.

These children cannot lobby politicians or write to newspapers to complain, they are largely invisible and voiceless. We have a duty to them to give them a voice and to pressure failing services until they deliver for them.

This an issue that must be addressed by all of us, we cannot allow this situation to continue for any longer. Lobby your elected representatives, write to the newspapers, support related charities and most important of all do not forget our duty to these children.

NSPCC Telephone Helpline 0808 8005000
ChildLine Telephone Helpline 0800 1111

Donate to Child's Voice Campaign

New government information site opens

The following press release was issued today and now gives us a powerful new tool to keep local government to account for what they do. Press Release reads;

"Are we being served? For the first time all public services to be held to account in Oneplace

The six independent public service inspectorates¹ today (Wednesday 9 December 2009) launch their first joint judgement, on a new website. It will show how places in England are coping with their local priorities, such as the recession, obesity in schoolchildren, crime and care for the elderly.

The Oneplace website goes live at 00.01 on Wednesday 9 December. It provides assessments of performance on the environment, services provided for children and young people, raising school standards and cutting disparities in health.

In a more streamlined approach auditors and inspectors have come together to publish their findings, making them directly available to the public in everyday language.

Oneplace divides the country into 152 areas, measuring how well local services work together to meet both their own priorities and government indicators on, for example, anti-social behaviour and teenage pregnancy.

The website uses green flags to highlight exceptional performance others can learn from. Red flags signal where problems won't be solved without a fresh approach by the local public services working together.

  • Blackpool gets a green flag for the way the Council, landlords, Job Centre Plus and the voluntary sector have cooperated to cut homelessness.
  • Doctors, nurses and other health professionals worked with the Council and voluntary bodies in the London Borough of Hackney to significantly increase the number of children who live beyond the age of one, recognised by a green flag.
  • In Doncaster, which has a red flag, public services have not been doing enough to keep children safe and healthy or to ensure that they achieve good results in schools.
  • Oneplace red flagged stark differences in the quality of life of poorer inhabitants of the English Riviera, compared to the rest of the population. Public services in Torbay have not done enough to combat above average poverty and poor housing and health.
  • In Kensington and Chelsea, special efforts by teachers, child and mental health professionals, the Council and voluntary bodies closed the gap in school results for children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. It gets a green flag.

Below is a joint statement from the Chief Executives of all six inspectorates:

'Oneplace is for those who pay for local services, those who provide them, and those who depend on them. This is 21st century accountability, based on expert assessments of what services do for people, not how they are organised.

'It paints a picture of places, their agreed local priorities, challenges and their public service performance. The website offers a way of checking the effectiveness of public spending and helps people hold those who provide publicly funded services to account for their decisions.'

The website also publishes the ratings for councils and fire and rescue authorities. It links to the ratings from Ofsted on children's services, which are published today (9 December), and the Care Quality Commission's assessments of adult social care, released last week.

Building on local government's recent track record of improvement, the Audit Commission is publishing assessments of councils on a revised basis, stripping out much of the detail and reflecting today's challenges such as carbon reduction. The new assessments look at how well councils and fire and rescue authorities manage their performance, and make use of the resources available to them. For relevant councils, they take into account reports from Ofsted and CQC on services for children and vulnerable adults. Councils are graded on a four point scale. 1 denotes poor, 2 adequate, 3 denotes performing well and 4 excellent. Overall, local government has maintained its recent improvement and faces an uncertain financial outlook with a good grip on its performance.

The six inspectorates behind Oneplace are joining forces with one of the most recognisable brands in public service information - Directgov. Oneplace will be available through the Directgov website as well as via each inspectorate's site. This innovative agreement will give Oneplace impressive visibility, as Directgov has up to 18 million visits each month."

I have given it a go already and it appears to be quite extensive and detailed, should be very useful give it a go. Click Here

Monday, 7 December 2009

Has Kevin Barron Lost the Plot?

Kevin Barron, or The Rt Hon Kevin Barron MP if you prefer his full title, seems to have altered the Constitution at a stroke of rhetorical flourish he uttered during a Westminster Hall debate on November 12th this year when he made the speech where he said;

"Members of Parliament are sent to the House because our constituents want a representative of the state. That is the whole point of the exercise and why we are sent to Westminster, whether we are in government or opposition, or whatever. We are the state's representative in our constituencies and we should not be frightened of taking decisions on behalf of our constituents, because that is to the general good". (Hansard HC Deb, 12 November 2009, c164WH)

This is a new development in thinking and may go some way of accounting for his conversion from a firebrand acolyte of Arthur Scargill to establishment lackey abandoning principle without conscience, and selling his constituents short.**

What is the role of an MP anyway? Perhaps we should look at Parliament's own documentation and they define it thus on their website;

The Role of an MP
MPs have responsibilities to three main groups: their constituents, Parliament and their political party. One MP is elected to the House of Commons by each of the UK’s 600+ constituencies. MPs’ duties in Parliament include participating in debates and voting on legislation and other matters. They may also be members of committees examining new laws or the work of government departments. Some have a role as a minister in government or a spokesperson in opposition.
MPs can help their constituents by advising on problems (particularly those that arise from the work of government departments), representing the concerns of their constituents in Parliament and acting as a figurehead for the local area.
MPs usually support their party by voting with its leadership in the House of Commons and acting as a representative for the party in their constituency.

It does not say anywhere that MP's represent the State to their constituents and as far as I can tell this is pretty well a unique view among elected politicians and a surprising one coming from a previous ultra left winger and Peoples Champion.

Why would this previously adept, political greasy pole climber, have developed a mindset where he could indulge in this fit of arrogant stupidity?

Does it throw light on previous experiences which has led this MP to think he is a superior being whose opinions matter more than his constituents, if he means this "that is to the general good" he is taking a view point that 'only Kevin Knows best' he has obviously lost the plot and it will be very difficult for anyone to take him seriously on any issue again!

The make up of Rother Valley Constituency changes significantly at the General Election to include areas formerly in Wentworth Constituency that have developed a distinct pattern of voting most unhelpful to labour in Rother Valley.

I have analysed voting patterns in the Local, General and European elections taking into account these boundary changes. The analysis confirms that, electorally, labour are in a hole in Rother Valley with a notional current share of the vote that would mean a conservative win by a majority of over a thousand.

If voting patterns do not radically change then Kevin will be forced into retirement by his own voters and the inactivity of his agent who is apparently blissfully unaware of their current lamentable electoral position after all how could Barron possibly be vulnerable when he got 21,871 votes last time?****

Perhaps this might explain the purchase of a super fast colour printer from public funds, to communicate with his constituents. Evidence of this actually happening appears to be non existent however.

Rumours persist locally that the intention is to print all of the election leaflets for all three Rotherham constituencies. Hope this rumour is untrue as it could get awfully messy. All should become clear in the fullness of time. The GPM Section of Unite are known to be very interested in the use of this printer and of other publicly funded equipment in Rotherham being diverted illegally and used for electoral purposes, because the Labour Party has a long standing commitment that all election materials should be printed in GPM recognised printshops. Quite right too for the 'party of the people' I say!! Lets hope they make a better job of getting this policy enforced here in Rotherham than they have in recent times.

The Conservatives are cock-a-hoop that, for the first time in living history, they have a realistic chance of unseating a labour MP in Rotherham and getting their excellent local candidate and Councillor, Lynda Donaldson elected to SERVE her Rother Valley constituents and represent THEM in Parliament for a change. Now that's a radical idea!

Kevin should step down now and give the Labour Party at least a chance of turning this situation around with a new candidate, certainly not his daughter, Cllr Amy Rushforth (up for re-election in Maltby Ward next year defending a whopping majority of just 106!

Kevin Barron is said to be very keen that she should follow him into Parliament. What an insult to his constituents, the arrogance and sheer pomposity of this man seems to know no bounds he certainly seems to have lost contact with reality in a way that seems to me to disqualify him from further service as an MP, he should stand down now with as much dignity as he can muster before we will be saying, within 6 months, "we're you up for Barron? Ha Ha!.


**Students of Kevin Barron should acquaint themselves with the following;

Marching To The Fault Line - The 1984 Miners' Strike and the Death of Industrial Britain by Francis Beckett and David Henke published by Constable.
The Enemy Within - The Secret War Against the Miners by Seaumas Milne published by Verso.

**** Much more on this soonest, if anyone would like further information on this, email us on or leave a comment including an email address ( It will not be published). If you want a new anonymous email address then we recommend as the easiest and quickest to use to keep your identity private.

STOP PRESS Kevin Barron's Website now live! at - enjoy? It will not take you long! Where is the missing bits such as what has he done for you and an account of how he has spent the money he has had from the public purse, without it we cannot judge him for the way he has used it.

Time to tell us Kevin and Denis! This form of accounting by John Healey should be regarded as a minimum for any Parliamentarian who wishes to be elected/re-elected next year.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

'Two Homes' MacShane Must Go! part 2

The Legg letter details for the Rt Hon. Dr Denis Macshane MP are out. He received his letter whist away on a jolly to Canada to sell his book, sorry, to brief Canadian politicians on anti semitism.

He is the only Rotherham MP to be required to make a repayment, Kevin Barron is in the clear and John Healey has had to supply further documentary evidence of his claims.

Denis MacShane has been required to repay £1,300 for excess claims for cleaning, can't these MPs do this for themselves? - the rest of us have to!

MacShane also has a great deal of 'form' for trying to water down or delay all proposed changes to this corrupt system of MPs expenses, always making sure that it is never publicised, unlike everything else he gets up to, which you can be sure, will be done in a blaze of publicity.

It has now become a matter of public comment that MacShane has done little for his constituents, apart from angering many of them that is. This man simply has done nothing of note for his electorate if his recent leaflet is anything to go by, no substance but plenty of nice pictures. His most conspicuous success therefore may just be in spending your money and in self aggrandisement.

Labour Party members, aware of a catastrophic loss of confidence in them, are privately very concerned about the challenge posed to them by the rise in support for Peter Thirlwall and the Rotherham Independents, as indeed are the Tories who stand to lose even more votes than Labour in some areas, as even their current numerical strength on the Council has not led them to become an effective or credible opposition or even effective scrutineers of Council Business.

That is the backdrop against which the recent leaflet distributed to his constituents should be seen, as an attempt to shore up support for MacShane and Labour for the General and Local Elections to come (Who paid for it?). The fact that MacShane could actually lose Rotherham in the current circumstances is beginning to embolden MacShane's principal critics and hope still remains that he will not be Labour's Candidate next year. A week is a long time in politics, so anything is still possible!

Attention now focuses on what MacShane really means by

"All I want is that there is a fair, transparent and acceptable system that allows MP's to have a base in their constituency and in London and which allows MP's to see their children grow up" and speaks of "natural justice"*.

Is this simply a thinly veiled attempt to justify some of his previous actions in advance of more close scrutiny of his arrangements which would appear to show that he has financed both his London 'base' and his constituency 'base' from the public purse, something the regulations specifically prohibit! It is also a bit rich coming from him to refer to 'openness and transparency' when he has spent so much of his time and energy trying to prevent this from happening! Already the epithet 'Two Homes' MacShane is
reportedly in circulation.

Only full public disclosure of MacShanes claims can now dispel the many questions now being asked and dispel the rumours about this that are currently circulating throughout Rotherham. They are doing so much damage to Labour's prospects for next years elections. The electoral damage will not be confined to MacShane himself but will have an effect on all of Labour's candidates locally and seats will be lost.

*Natural Justice in this context means, that what ever I did in the past I should be forgiven for it 'because it was within the rules at the time'. This threadbare argument would hold water if it were not for the fact that they were so loose that almost anything was within them and neither were they properly policed, it therefore comes down to a judgement whether they stayed within the spirit of them and whether they were greedy or not. Against these measures it is beginning to look as though MacShane has some serious explaining to do!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

MacShane Must Go?

The world is safe again! Denis MacShane is back from his tax payer funded jolly to publicise his latest book on anti-Semitism to Canadian parliamentarians.

He sure has been busy over the last few days as has kept me informed of his synthetic rants in the House of Commons and Westminster Hall debates this week.

No word yet on the contents of his Legg letter, however there is increasing interest in his imaginative way he has interpreted part of the Green Book as far as it applies to arrangements for constituency office costs and the conflict with the principle that the taxpayer doesn't end up subsidising or paying for both the Constituency 'home' and the London 'home'.

The undoubted highlight of the week was his 'Newsnight' appearance on 20 October. He was comprehensively bested by a representative of the English Collective of Prostitutes and by Paxman.

He was challenged on the statistics he had used in speeches in parliament and that underpinned previous and proposed legislation, he couldn't, or wouldn't, say where his statistics came from and wriggled and squirmed finally resorting to the old trick of diversion by changing the subject by quoting figures for rape convictions as though that subject had any relevance to the subject matter under discussion, the trafficking of women in the 'sex industry'. Another issue no doubt, like anti-Semitism, which will preoccupy the thoughts of his constituents and contribute to this odious attention seekers popularity amongst his electorate - NOT!.

In short, he made a complete fool of himself and should think twice before he appears again on 'Newsnight' so pathetically under informed about the subject, that it was embarrassing to watch!

Next year the good people of Rotherham Constituency will again be offered this inveterate self aggrandising, eurocentric, pompous and frankly unsympathetic politician as labour candidate at the General Election.

There are those from within the labour party that are still actively trying to unseat this odious man and to have him replaced with a more suitable candidate for their constituency. Close attention is being paid to his arrangements and claims and there is a fighting chance that, in this political climate, he could be replaced in short order if embarrassment should follow a detailed review. See previous story MP's Expenses - What's on the web.

One thing is quite clear, MacShane must come clean with his electorate and explain the way he has spent their money representing them in parliament, his use of the staff paid for from this money and explain why we have been obliged to pay for both MacShane's London Base and his constituency home, something I understood to be against even the old rules?

There are also people who are wishing to bring about MacShane's downfall by standing a candidate at next years General Election against him. Just such a potential candidate has emerged and is willing to stand. Councillor Peter Thirlwall has confirmed his intention to be a candidate next year. At last, in Peter, the people of Rotherham Constituency could have a candidate worthy of their trust and their vote.

Peter Thirlwall has attracted a great deal of local attention especially in our wonderful weekly, the Rotherham Advertiser. Both in articles and editorialised content, many aspects of this man have been probed and he has not been found wanting. On occasions even interesting 'Yorkshire's National Daily' the Yorkshire Post and Private Eye, the world's best satirical magazine.

Being an all round 'good egg' however is insufficient of itself to really make a difference for the people who vote in the Rotherham Constituency, they will need more, much more from him about what he represents and he will also need to explain his platform for the election and why he offers the best chance for genuine change here in Rotherham and to take a bold step away from the sterile politics of the class based parties that traditionally fight it out here in Rotherham.

The Conservatives in Rotherham in last Fridays (16th October 2009) Advertiser even paid Peter Thirlwall and his group of Independents the compliment of attacking them in the letters pages. Who was the author of the letter? Only the Conservative Group Leader himself! Cllr John Gilding, they must be worried! Bets are being taken on Rotherham Constituency being the only one in the country where the Conservative vote fell!

Things are getting interesting again - More soonest.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Labour Party Conference - A Review

If you have taken more than a passing interest in Labour's Conference you cannot help but notice the very poor attendance at most sessions. The exception to this was the Leaders speech, packed to the rafters with party apparatchiks apparently brought in specially for the occasion.

Despite claims to the contrary, the party membership has not been lower in numerical terms, nor as demoralised. They do not appear to have the stomach for the election battle to come despite much talk of fighting by the Leadership.

Labour supporters in 'heartland' areas are despairing at this year's turn of events and the leadership do not seem to have accepted the lessons of the recent controversy over allowances.

There are many MPs who should be standing down at the next election, who aren't, including perhaps at least one of our local representatives?
The recent scandal has damaged the credibility of all MPs and with estate agents being now more trusted figures in society, things could hardly be worse for them.

Locally, up to press, the response from Kevin Barron and Denis MacShane has been inadequate and their use of public money shrouded in mystery. By comparison John Healey, has been the epitome of openness and should be congratulated for this. Full analysis will follow when I have completed it, see previous story HERE.

The realities of the economic crisis and the effect on future public spending also do not seem to have percolated as far as the spending ministers who have promised business as usual should they be re-elected.

The scale of the problem is enormous, it is estimated that every man, woman and child will end up with an equivalent debt of £25,000 before things improve in the public finances. I don't know about anyone else but I am very angry that my children and grandchildren will carry this burden for years, no doubt damaging their future and blighting society in ways that are yet to become clear.
Nobody asked me if this would be OK, it isn't! Like many thousands of people I would have said no to this millstone around everyone's necks to save the Banks, Insurance Companies and other financial institutions from their own management's greed and hubris.

All organisations in the public sector are now furiously working on options for funding to drop by as much as 20%, reversing all the gains in the last 12 years. This will be disastrous for front line services such as the police, already in challenging times, dealing with the fallout of society's obvious ills every Friday and Saturday night in most communities up and down the land, because of freer licensing laws and low alcohol prices. The NHS is also stretched dealing with the human cost of our society's present unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

Gordon Brown gave his speech amid much expectation from the faithful gathered seemingly to worship at his feet. The fact that this was the best Leaders speech for a while doesn't mean that the content was of the same quality. The red meat was mostly cobbled together, recycled previously announced policies or like the proposals to help young mothers by putting them in semi-supervised and supportive accommodation. There are around 18,000 per year all told, which makes his proposal very expensive indeed! Surprise, surprise by late evening when ordinary folk have gone to bed, the proposal was qualified by stating that 500 places only will be available! Just one thirty sixth of the total or under 3% per year, big deal! Even if you believed for a minute that it might work, Brown's proposals are totally inadequate to the task.

Harriet Harman, in her inimitable style, attacked a web site for its subject matter, reviews of prostitutes. As the site is based in California, the UK government cannot do anything about it, so she proudly announced that she had asked the governor of California to shut the site down.
Not even the 'Governator', Arnie Schwarzenegger
will be able to do anything either, because free speech is protected under the American Constitution. The web site PunterNet,(Caution advised) has published a vigorous defence of it's activities and basically thumbs its nose at her. Read their open letter to Harman HERE. She is left looking foolish and ineffectual, quite typical of her as she has form for this kind of empty publicity stunt.

Probably the most significant speech was delivered by the real L
eader of Labour, resurrected from the political grave to save the party from its self once again. Lord Peter Mandelson* gave a truly inspirational speech. Those that were there were eating out of the palm of his hand. Labour has learnt to love the 'Prince of Darkness'. He injected hope, a rare quality that Labour has run out of. For a moment you want to believe him, but in the end he failed to convince by the time the sun set on his words.

The Sun created much annoyance by coming out for the Tories (but only in England, the Scottish Sun has not changed their allegiance to Labour). Brother Woodley even dramatically tore up a copy on the platform. He was rewarded with much applause and excitement at this, but behind the scenes the leadership regard this change as a major blow. We will see?

Quite why Labour courted this newspaper (I use the term ironically) and abased themselves to the American/Australian, Rupert Murdoch and his son in the first place, is beyond me, as this particular newspaper seems to be incompatible with Labour's core values. But then that is politics for you! Prostitution, perhaps, is a more honourable profession by comparison with politics.

Cameron, it would appear, has no qualms about this and has been relentlessly schmoozing this pair for months and now it has paid off for them. I wouldn't want to be in hock to them myself I must say!

There was little for the left to celebrate after the dawning of the reality that it was too late to replace Gordon Brown as Leader, so much for the plotters! Mandelson appears to have convinced MPs that keeping quiet and away from the cameras is a pretty good idea right now. It must have worked, Denis MacShane was no where to be seen, or was he still away on a free jolly somewhere warm? We should be told!

*Baron Mandelson of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the county of Durham.
First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, President of the Board of Trade, Lord President of the Council to give him his majestic full title.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi Update

Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi has published his defence case for the appeal that never was, online.

It can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Previous story HERE.

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Lib Dems Speech

Nick Clegg spoke to this year's Liberal Democrat Conference today, read it HERE.

This pep talk to Lib Dem delegates at this year's conference, is a softening up exercise to get them to vote for unpalatable policies that they have been opposed to for years.

Sugar-coating the bitter pill will not change the fact that, in a war over cuts, the Lib Dems cannot win and will result in a similar confusion in the public's mind as to what they stand for, as labour is now experiencing.

Clegg's main speech will come at the end of conference, let's hope he doesn't make the same mistake as previous leader, David Steel, when he told his party to "go back to your constituencies and prepare for government", some hope!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Brown's speech, TUC 2009 - a wasted opportunity?

Gordon Brown has today spoken for the first time of cuts to come. This speech is the first salvo in, what will be, the longest election campaign this country has ever seen. All major pronouncements from now on should be analysed against that backdrop.

I am not surprised at Brown's lack of support nationally when I can't bear to watch him on television any more, He just doesn't convey that he is in touch with public sentiment. Opinion research published recently indicates that almost any other labour leader would have a better chance than this dour, unappealing Scot.

The brothers and sisters were far from impressed with him, applause was polite rather than enthusiastic.

Read the text of the speech HERE and weep.

Yorkshire labour MP Barry Sheerman has spoken of his concerns for the future and last night 'gave Gordon Brown two weeks to save his premiership', serious stuff indeed!
Read the Yorkshire Post article HERE.

We can expect much more of this as we move towards the labour party conference, revolution will be in the air by then!

If Gordon Brown loves the labour party as much as he claims then even he should be able to see the game is up for him! If he has the stature claimed for him by his supporters the he must step aside gracefully and quickly!

Update John Cruddas gave this speech at this years Compass conference, not good reading for Brown loyalists as John may yet manage to get a serious challenge going that will force Brown out.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

MP's Expenses - What's on the web!

First post on the sorry saga of the expenses row here in Rotherham.

This is when the internet comes into it's own, the links below take you to the main sources of information.

The Rt Hon. Kevin Barron MP. Parliament, Daily Telegraph. Does not have web site, and has provided no extra information. Why not? We have paid through the nose for it!

The Rt Hon. John Healey MP. Parliament, Daily Telegraph. From his own site HERE and HERE

The Rt Hon. Dr Denis MacShane MP. Parliament, Daily Telegraph. Own site on epolitixs, devoid of any extra useful information.

They make interesting reading! Have fun!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Maltby Academy! Who wants it? Sign the Petition!

If you are concerned that these proposals are not all they seem and want to protest at them, please sign the online petition on the No10 website. It just takes a moment, click HERE.

More info to follow.

You might also want to look at this site, the proposed Maltby Academy, which appears to present the academy as a done deal! It is jointly run by
RMBC and U-Explore. Funny, I can't seem to find any links to it from the RMBC site, are they not proud of it? Or, is this just another example of bogus consultation?

Friday, 4 September 2009

Rally For Common Sense - Rotherham Town Centre 10th Oct. Be There!

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council ruling Labour Group has form for treating opposition to their views with contemptuous arrogance and derision.

In recent times opposition to the ending of 'Meals on Wheels' and the Bramley traffic scheme as well as the closure of the Laundry Service was handled by those who made the decisions in the most dismissive of fashions.

It it time for us to make them listen!

Peter Thirlwall, the Independent (but socialist) Councillor for Wickersley Ward has issued an invitation, to all Rotherham people to join together on the 10th of October, at Rotherham Town Centre, to tell this Council that it is time that they listened for a change.

If you are interested in helping with the organisation of this event please get in touch with Peter.
Contact details as on RMBC Website or by email to

Revolting Rotherham - Web now part of Rotherham Political Campaigns

The web is now being used by protest groups in Rotherham to keep residents informed and get them involved in practical campaigning to change minds in the Town Hall.

The Town Hall has proved impervious to all previous attempts to change politicians minds. On earlier occasions, most notably recently, when a 6,000 signature petition was dismissed out of hand by Roger Stone (RMBC Leader) because "anyone can get signatures on a petition"!

The latest cause for concern by Rotherham residents is the Council's Consultation on the Local Development Framework Core Strategy, a rather anodyne title for a document that contains the bombshell that it is proposed to build 24,500 new houses on largely Greenbelt land!

This consultation commenced without fanfare in May, it was little known about and by the time anyone realised the implications, the consultation period was due to close on Aug 7th, during the peak holiday time. Pressure caused the period to be lengthened to the end of August to allow time for responses. Still in the holiday period, locals have made strenuous efforts and a significant number of objections are now in.

The Rotherham Advertiser has also played it's part, acting as a voice for local opinion and an organ of sensible debate through it's vibrant and very well supported letters pages, frequently publishing three pages or more of letters. This means it is now the only place where open debate flourishes in Rotherham and they should be congratulated not pilloried by self-aggrandising politicians who believe they are always right like Iain St John in his intemperate and illogically argued missive of last week, available HERE if you haven't seen it yet.

Residents across Rotherham are angry and dismayed at the Council's proposals to build an enormous number of houses, largely on greenbelt land.

The full extent of the Council's proposals (View them HERE) is only now becoming clear, the sheer number of houses is incredible over 24,000 of them! The knock-on effects on communities all round Rotherham will be significant. Very few of Rotherham's residents will remain unaffected, should these developments take place.

Make no mistake, every person who lives in the Rotherham Borough has a stake in this!
Do not protest at the problems when they happen, it will be too late! Get involved now!

Action groups have already formed, or are in the process of forming, that cover some of the areas most affected, they intend to link up in order to fight these proposals as effectively as possible. Click HERE to access their web sites

It is now clear that this is everyone's problem!
It is obvious that this issue requires the collective voice of us all. We must not let this happen!

Rotherham Borough Labour Councillors are used to getting their own way - this time it must be different! We can't let them destroy what we hold most dear, the breathing places that Rotherham needs now and for our children and grandchildren!

Wave of protest grips Rotherham following email!

Rotherham residents are quite literally in a state of open revolt on almost all fronts after being insulted and ignored when trying to influence council decision making, surely a fundamental democratic right? (Details to follow)

The public having been referred to variously as riff-raff, rabble, stupid and short sighted when opposition to council decisions develops.

The Rotherham Advertiser has stepped into the fray (Councillor's rant sparks war of words) after being attacked in an email for bias and lack of rigour when reporting on council matters by Iain St John (RMBC Labour Councillor for Anston & Woodsetts Ward). Read the full text HERE. Read Peter Thirwall's reply HERE.

Doug Melloy, the Advertiser's editor, gave a wonderfully robust defence of the newspapers political stance, reporting and of the publication of letters from readers.

St John's egregious and unwarranted attack is an alarming demonstration of hubris. In his view the voters are always wrong when they wish to influence council decisions. The underlying message here illuminates the sad fact that Labour Councillors in Rotherham no longer seek to represent those who put them there.

The Rotherham Labour Group is a self-serving elite only interested in themselves.
Their organisation would be one that Stalin would have admired.
Their discipline and cohesiveness is described by some commentators as owing more to Freemasonry than to Socialism.
They are virtually devoid of real accountability even by the few Labour Party members left.
The Labour Party in Rotherham now have so few members that they can't even give us any decent candidates. Those we get are largely time-served apparatchiks with little or no ability and with the quota system it pays to be female, no brain necessary!

It is now time for Rotherham folk to stand up and be counted! We all deserve better than this!
We want councillors who will listen to us and represent our concerns properly, rather than giving craven loyalty to a party that has so badly let us down!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Al-Megrahi - a very British dilemma?

Watching this issue develop over the last weeks has had the feeling of watching a car crash in slow motion.

Recent events are just the culmination of a long-term process started by Blair, approved of by Bush and continued by Brown. The Prime Minister has been conspicuously silent on this matter up to press. Colonel Gaddaffi has thanked Gordon Brown personally for the release of Al-Megrahi.

The sight, today, of Scottish politicians wringing their hands in apparent anger and anguish, during the recall session today of the Scottish Parliament. That they were engaging in the worst form political opportunism, to be seen in recent times, was not an edifying sight to say the least!

If Iain Gray (Leader of Labour in Scotland) rather than Kenny MacAsKill
(Scottish Justice Secretary) had to take the decision it would, I am confident, been the same.

The fact that the Scottish Nationalist Party is in power in Scotland and is getting the blame and taking all the flak is perceived by every other political party as playing to their advantage, even Nick Clegg (Leader of the Liberal Democrats) has had his pennyworth of condemnation.

Gordon Brown (Prime Minister of UK) meanwhile in typical fashion is nowhere to be seen, just like Macavity the cat. He did, however, have the time to congratulate our victorious Ashes winning Cricket Team yesterday! Does Brown not watch television or read newspapers when on holiday? MacShane too, perhaps untypically, seems to be silent. Can't he find a TV camera to talk to? He must be slipping!

Everyone who has studied this case with an open mind comes to the same inescapable conclusion, that Al-Megrahi had nothing whatsoever to do with this terrible atrocity. When Tam Dalyell and Teddy Taylor agree on something the likelihood is, that they are right! Neither believe Al-Megrahi to be culpable in any way at all. Nor, for that matter, does Dr Jim Swire. See also this review on DeepBlackLies.

I don't know about anybody else, but I believe, that locking up the wrong person to satisfy the victims families understandable desire for retributive justice, has nothing do do with giving them that justice.

The whole world has been lied to from the first. The problem with this situation is that the evidence that would have been presented to the Scottish Appeal Court will now,
not be tested in a Court and therefore no one will ever even look for the guilty.

What will never be known now, will be the truth! That is the real scandal here!

The Lockerbie families, rightly in my view, demand justice, but this is just the thing they have never had.

It is time for a formal Inquiry to establish all the verifiable facts. Then perhaps the authorities will dedicate themselves to catching and punishing the real guilty men!

Lockerbie families deserve nothing less!

Stop Press 25 Aug 2009 Gordon Brown has finally surfaced saying that "he was repulsed by the welcome home" he however had nothing to say about the release? Why not? Does he not have an opinion or is he hiding something?

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Charlie Whelan Unite Update

Since the publication of the story 'Now there is turmoil in the UKs largest union, Unite!' things have moved on a pace.

The grievances raised by the staff who worked in the political department of Unite the trades union, he heads, have been settled at last.

Evidence was cited involving Whelan's behaviour as being 'totally at odds with the policies of the union' and 'totally against the principles established under dignity at work procedures' as well as presiding over 'a real culture of fear and a climate of bullying' in the department.

Whelan himself seems to have moved to settle other scores. He has instructed the top peoples solicitors, Carter Ruck, to pursue a libel action against Frazer Nelson of the Spectator Magazine.

What has he taken offence at? Frazer Nelson made a reference to the above complaints in a Spectator blog.

Now Carter Ruck are claiming, 'distress and embarrassment' when Whelan was accused of having a bullying manner. This case will be followed by many, probably because it might make legal history if Whelan succeeds in this legal adventure, but then I recall that Lord Jeffrey Archer once won a libel action, so anything is possible I suppose?

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Expenses for MPs, top Tory on 'Planet Zog'

Senior Tory Grandee, Sir Patrick Cormack, Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire, has called for MPs pay to be doubled in return for loosing their second homes allowances. This would mean a rise from £64,766 to more than £130,000! MPs not currently eligible for these allowances would disproportionally benefit!

He has been criticised by Labour as 'out of touch' and by Lib Dem, Ed Davey, Foreign Affairs spokesman is quoted as having described him as 'living on Planet Zog'

Alan Duncan, Tory MP for Rutland & Melton and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, has also embarrassed the Tory Party for being secretly filmed by a campaigner complaining that they were 'having to exist on rations'. Watch the video HERE

Even the New Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt. Hon John Bercow MP (previously Tory MP for Buckingham) doesn't yet get it! He has just ordered an expensive refurbishment of his apartments in the Palace of Westminster!

In view of the recent disclosure by Baroness Royall, slipped out while in recess, in response to a written question by Viscount Tenby (Read it HERE), it is about 2 thirds way down) that the total cost of running Parliament now stands at £500 million a year and rising! you would have thought that enough was already being spent on them. This profligate bunch of Parliamentarians need to economise before the people will ever trust them again.