Archive for the 'Council' Category

28
Jul
09

highlights: public money used in an attempt to silence mr monkey

'Did the council leader use the public's piggy bank to silence his critics?'

'Did the council leader use the public's piggy bank to silence his critics?'

Mr Monkey’s has been reminiscing about the past year and has decided to re-post some of the year’s highlights for bloggers to enjoy and what better place to start than here?

Mr Monkey can reveal - thanks to a tip off – that South Tyneside Council has spent thousands of pounds of public money on legal advice in an attempt to shut down Mr Monkey’s Blog.

21
Jul
09

mr monkey calls it a day

'Mr Monkey calls it a day so he can go home'

'Mr Monkey calls it a day so he can return home to enjoy his retirement'

It’s been nearly a year since Mr Monkey burst on to the local political scene with the redesigned version of Mr Monkey’s Blog

.. and what a year it’s been.

This chimp had no idea of the effect his blog would have on politicians of all parties and senior council officers or the impact it would have on local politcs.

Mr Monkey quickly built up a following amongst local bloggers and within weeks, Mr Monkey’s Blog established itself as South Tyneside’s premier blog, much to the annoyance of some.

There have been many highlights during the last 12 months but Mr Monkey’s favourites are:-

  • Ending councillor David Potts political career before it started by getting him deselected as the Tory candidate to fight Alistair Darling.
  • Ensuring that the people of Washington East and Houghton knew what a devious and scheming individual Ed Malcom was. This played a major part  in his failure to become their prospective member of Parliament.
  • Exposing council leader Iain Malcolm as an election fraudster.
  • Knowing that Irene Lucas, the Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council could not control, manipulate or stop Mr Monkey and that his blog was the worst thing that happened to her in her local government career.
  • Knowing that every politician feared being exposed on Mr Monkey’s Blog and despite what they said, knowing that everyone of them read it daily.
  • Exposing Ed Malcolm’s long term affair with his ‘granny’, aka councillor Punchion
  • ‘Outing’ Iain Malcolm.
  • Continually thwarting the attempts of senior council officials to stop Mr Monkey’s Blog and reveal the identity of Mr Monkey.
  • Frustrating South Tyneside’s most self opinionated blogger, the Fat Mackem Hobitt.
  • Exposing Papa John Szymanski, editor of the local Malcolm Fanzine, aka the Shields Gazette as a Labour groupie, freeloader and that he sold his soul to Labour for the price of a sausage roll.
  • Knowing that all the pseudonyms Mr Monkey has used will be around for years to come.

After achieving every goal Mr Monkey set himself - in record time - this chimp has decided to give his victims an early birthday present - Mr Monkey is going to call it a day on Thursday 30th July.

Mr Monkey has spent the last couple of months agonising over whether or not to retire and after talking it over with a few wiser chimps, he’s decided to take their advice and return to the jungle to enjoy his retirement and spend more time with his family.

Although Mr Monkey has decided to call it a day, he hasn’t yet made up his mind about whether to leave Mr Monkey’s Blog on the internet for future generations to enjoy or whether to remove it forever - that decision will be made on International Primate Day.

Make sure you stop by on Tuesday 1st September .. when all will be revealed.

27
Jun
09

South Shields Daily Pictures

Today’s South Shields Daily Picture Monkey Clip is dedicated to two of South Tyneside’s most self opinionated fuckwits - the King of Sleaze, aka conservative councillor David Potts and The Fat Mackem Hobbit, aka Graham Rigg.

It seems that these two have much more in common than Mr Monkey thought and this short clip shows what happens when the King of Sleaze demands total obedience from his subjects lackey.

 

But what does councillor Potts do when the council leader, Iain Malcolm summons him to his office?

25
Jun
09

south tyneside council guilty of discrimination

Many of council’s male employees are set to get an early Christmas present after South Tyneside Council was found guilty of discriminating against male employees in low paid jobs .

As a result of yesterday’s landmark ruling more than 12,000 men across the UK won the right to bring equal pay claims against their employers and the bill for these discriminatory practices will run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

In a test case, 300 men working as care assistants, caretakers, drivers and leisure attendants lodged discrimination claims against South Tyneside, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough Borough Councils.

Their claim was based on what they say are discriminatory bonuses paid to male workers in better paid jobs, such as gardeners and refuse collectors.

The men lodged their claims at the same time as those by women in low-paid jobs who were also claiming that the bonuses were discriminatory. The women succeeded in their claims and were offered financial settlements but the men had not and continued to be paid less both than the better paid men, and also the women.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that the men should have been offered the same back pay as the women.

Mr Justice Underhill, president of the tribunal, said: “The case where men and women do the same job but receive different rates of pay is the paradigm of the kind of situation which the Act was intended to prevent: how would it seem if – unusually, but not impossibly – the roles were reversed and the ‘piggyback’ claimants were not men but women?”

After the ruling, Yvette Genn, a barrister who specialises in equal pay law said: “This is an important decision as it demonstrates that equal pay laws can be applied not only by women who compare themselves with men, but also by men who are comparing themselves with better paid men. Even though women historically have received lower pay than their male counterparts, it is too often forgotten that the law applies equally to men as it does to women.”

Mr Monkey reckons local solicitors will be inundated with claims for equal pay by men who have worked for or are still working for South Tyneside Council – they’ve got nothing to lose especially as any legal fees they incur will have to be picked by the council.

IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A CLAIM IT’S WORTH TALKING TO A SOLICITOR AS WELL AS THE UNION – REMEMBER UNION OFFICIALS ARE VERY FRIENDLY WITH COUNCILLORS AND COUNCIL OFFICERS AND MAY NOT PUT YOUR INTERESTS FIRST.

It seems that the council’s chief executive, Irene Lucas knew the writing was on the wall and is jumping ship before the chickens come home to roost .

07
May
09

pigs set to gather at Iain Malcolm’s trough on saturday

After a hectic few days Mr Monkey is back in the swing of things.

Next Tuesday the people of South Tyneside will know the names of all the councillors that have either been bought off with paid positions and whose silence and obedience has been guaranteed for another year. 

Last year the then newly crowned council leader, Iain Malcolm broke with tradition and made a few more enemies within his own ranks by giving paid positions to a handful of opposition councillors all of whom gladly took anything that was on offer as long as it was paid.

Councillor Iain Malcolm’s motives were two fold – to prevent the opposition from uniting and to exert his dominance over the Jarrow Labour party by rubbing their faces in it- apparently he’s always promised his inner circle that when he grabs power he would put an end to the Jarrow Labour party and shut Jarrow town hall.

Mr Monkey reckons Saturday’s Labour group meeting will be a lively affair as many loyal party members are angry that they have either not been offered a paid position or that they have not been given what they want. This chimp has heard that resentment is growing and that if councillor Malcolm gives any paid positions to opposition councillors this will be seen as a slap in the face by some and will re-open many of the old wounds.

Followers of the local political scene will have noticed that Iain Malcolm’s leadership style has revived the old A and B team split between Jarrow and South Shields and that the infighting began within days of him taking the leadership last May.

The most recent example of this split is the sudden and dramatic departure of senior councillor and cabinet member Tom Hanson who resigned from his lucarative position in the cabinet less than 2 weeks before the new cabinet was announced. CLICK HERE.

'Saturday's gathering of the pigs round Iain Malcolm's trough promises to be a lively affair'

'Saturday's gathering of the pigs round Iain Malcolm's trough promises to be a lively affair'

It seems that once the news leaked out, councillor Malcolm was furious and has ordered an investigation into how this sensitive information got into the public domain. He’s also tried to silence councillor Hanson by threatening to remove him from the Integrated Transport Authority which is a well paid postion and gives him free travel.

Councillor Hanson now refuses to comment on the matter publicly but privately he’s telling everyone that he’s been treated very badly and has been “shit on”. He’s also telling peopel that if councillor Malcolm insists on trying to break up the Jarrow Labour party he will reveal what he knows about councillor Malcolm, his leadership style and what the real agenda in the town hall is.

Mr Monkey can’t wait for Saturday and is looking forward to witnessing Iain Malcolm’s pigletts fighting over who gets what from his trough and it will be interesting to see how many people levae the meeting with a bloody nose.

22
Apr
09

exclusive: Editor of the Gazette desperately tries to silence his critics

Yesterday Mr Monkey revealed that editor of the Shields Gazette and chair of the Northern region of the Society of Editors, John Szymanski had complained to council leader Iain Malcolm about the contents of a newsletter that criticised the Gazette’s less then healthy relationship with the ruling Labour group. CLICK HERE.

This chimp can now confirm that Mr Szymanski has brought his profession into disrepute by attempting to silence his critics. Unfortunately his actions have made a mockery out of his so called commitment to free-speech and has raised some serious questions about his integrity and judgement as well as his suitability to continue as a editor of the once proud Shields Gazette.

It seems that Mr Szymanski took exception to the following statement published in the spring edition of the Independent newsletter for Westoe: 

WITH ALL OF THIS ACTIVITY why is our local rag not full of accounts of all the questions, discussion and debate raised by the Independent Alliance? It has been suggested that the Gazette has become part of the Malcolm Fanzine Cavalcade. Since Cllr Iain Malcolm stepped out of the shadows and took on the role publicly that he has always had, leader of the Council, the editor of the Gazette is seen more often at the jollies previously mentioned than the Mayor! The Alliance has no need to depend upon the Gazette for reporting its activities, we can do it ourselves. As you know we distribute newsletters four times a year, produce special leaflets for specific issues e.g. Gypsies Green and the disappearing ballot boxes, knock on doors and talk to people throughout the year and hold public meetings. Never the less, it is sad to think that free press is not that free and has been bought for an onion baghee from the buffet! 

 … apparently the truth hurts.

A source close to Iain Malcolm has confirmed that he alerted Mr Szymanski to the article who in turn was so incensed by the critiscim he faced that he contacted the council leader to see if there was anything he could do about it. Councillor Malcolm told him there was nothing he could do officially and that the best course of action would be for him to make a formal complaint to the local Standard’s Board. Councillor Malcolm explained the process in more detail and even told him which sections to quote in his complaint.

Mr Monkey can now reveal that John Szymanski has complained to the Standard’s Board about councillor Jane Branley whose name was on the newsletter and that following a confidential report to a sub committee the matter will now be investigated further.

What councillor Malcolm didn’t tell John Szymanski was that when a complaint is made to the Standard’s Board the person who the complaint is lodged against is told who made the complaint. Poor Mr Szymanski thought he was making an anonymous complaint and that no one would find out about it, least of all councillor Branley and especially his own staff – nothing could be further from the truth.

Mr Szymanski’s desperation to silence his critics and his willingness to please his paymaster has back fired and he has been labelled a hypocrite with no integrity. He’s also become the laughing stock of his profession – but worse is to come.

Mr Monkey will be contacting senior managers staff at Johnston Press in Edinburgh and will be sending hard copies of this post to every member of the Society of Editors and not just in the North East.

Mr Monkey has also learned that a further 20,000 newsletters containing the same article have been distributed in Hebburn South, Whiteleas, Biddick and All Saints, Horsley Hill and Whitburn and Marsden - apparently there’s more to follow.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering how Mr Szymanski is going to explain this latest in a long line of gaffes to his senior managers? 

09
Apr
09

exclusive: council leader iain malcolm reported for ballot rigging .. who knew about it and why was it covered up?

council Iain Malcolm

council Iain Malcolm was reproted to the police for ballot rigging by the town's MP Dr David Clark

A fortnight ago Mr Monkey exclusively published the findings of his in depth investigation into allegations of ballot rigging by South Tyneside’s Labour council leader, councillor Iain Malcolm.

Mr Monkey’s revelations confirmed what a handful of people already knew, and what many others suspected, councillor Iain Malcolm will stop at nothing to cling on to power, including rigging elections in his favour - in this case by deliberately destroying postal votes intended for other candidates. CLICK HERE to read Mr Monkey’s revealtions in full.

On 31st March, Mr Monkey posted a second article in which he revealed the dilemma faced by Tom and Mary Taylor. They’d witnessed councillor Iain Malcolm opening postal vote envelopes and destroying ballot papers intended for the Conservative, Pat Piggott. They agonised for months about whether or not they should tell anyone about what they’d seen before finally telling all.

Mr Monkey also revealed how Iain Malcolm was willing to sign off the local party’s accounts ‘on behalf’ of Tom Taylor (he was the party treasurer) without his knowledge or approval until Geraldine White (a then executive committee member) objected to councillor Malcolm’s proposals and suggested that she should visit Mr Taylor so that he could sign off the accounts in person. CLICK HERE for more details.

TOM TAYLOR REVEALS ALL ..

True to her word Mrs White visited Mr and Mrs Taylor to discuss the annual accounts and during the course of the conversation Mrs White mentioned that councillor Iain Malcolm had proposed signing off the party’s accounts in his absence. This angered Mr Taylor who then proceeded to tell her what he and Mrs Taylor had witnessed Iain Malcolm do in their front room and explained in detail how Iaian Malcolm rigged the ballot to ensure the result went his way.

Mrs White, whose loyalty to the party was unflinching and who was “taken in” by Iain Malcolm couldn’t believe what she was hearing but knew that both Tom and Mary Taylor were extremeley honest and she had no reason to question their integrity.

It was now Mrs White’s turn to agonise over what to do next. Should she put loyalty to Iain Malcolm above loyalty to the party? She choose the latter.

SOUTH SHIELDS MP, DR DAVID CLARK TOLD ABOUT IAIN MALCOLM’S ELECTION FRAUD

Mrs White was aware that the then member of Parliament for South Shields, Dr David Clark was hoping to stand down at the 2001 local elections and that he’d been offered a life peerage and a seat in the House of Lords by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The only thing that was stopping him was his contempt for councillor Iain Malcolm who he blamed for splitting the local party into several factions and for the infighting that resulted.

He did’nt trust Iain Malcolm and believed that he was dishonest, had no integrity, was devious and had been corrupted by power.

But what worried him most was that Iain Malcolm was on the Parliamentary Panel and would be the person most likely to succeed him if he was to quit at the 2001 elections – something he was desperate to avoid.

In the meantime Mrs White decided to put the party first and contacted Dr David Clark and told him what she’d been told by Tom and Mary Taylor.

Dr David Clark asked Mrs White to arrange a meeting with Mr and Mrs Taylor as he was keen to hear for himself what they’d seen Iain Malcolm do. He also wanted to know more about the methods he’d used to ‘fix’ the election result. 

A meeting was hastily arranged at which both Mrs White and Dr Clark listened intently to what Tom and Mary Taylor had to say. Tom confirmed that he’d been asked (by Iain Malcolm) to collect completed postal vote envelopes from care homes and sheltered accommodation and that he’d witnessed Iain Malcolm open the envelopes before either destroying or resealing them depending on who the person had voted for.

Dr Clark asked them to keep this matter confidential and reminded them that this highly sensitive was potentially very damaging for the Labour party. He also asked them if they were prepared to make written statements to support what they’d seen. To Tom’s credit and in spite of his illness, he agreed to provide as much information as possible and help in any way he could.

After the meeting Dr Clark and Mrs White discussed the matter at length and agreed a course of action. Dr Clark said he needed to take advise and thought that the party should be investigate the matter. However, he was deeply concerned that both the local and regional Labour party had been infiltrated by supporters of Iain Malcolm and his employer Alan Donnelly, who at that time was a member of the European Parliament and had close links at the highest levels of the Labour party.

Dr Clark felt Iain Malcolm’s antics had major implications for the party especially in view of the party’s support for postal voting. He was also worried about the press getting hold of the information and the damage that this would causes the party, especially with a General Election looming. 

He was concerned that the matter would not be investigated seriously at a regional level and opted to tell senior officials at Millbank House, Labour’s national office in London. 

A senior party official was subsequently asked to initiate an investigation into the matter and within days Iain Malcolm had been removed from the Parliamentary Panel of possible election candidates which put paid to any hopes he had of replacing Dr Clark as the town’s MP. 

Iain Malcolm had played right into the hands of the Labour party’s hierarchy and he was solely responsible for his own deselection. His ballot rigging antics had cleared the way for someone else to be ‘parachuted in’ and it seems that the Prime Minster, Tony Blair just happened to have someone in mind.

POLICE ASKED TO INVESTIGATE

Having taken advise from Labour HQ, Dr Clark and Mrs White contacted the police and arranged to make a formal complaint about the incident. They also agreed to be interviewed and to make written statements.

They were asked to do this separately; Dr Clark attended Jarrow Police station and Mrs White attended South Shields Police station where she was interviewed by a senior police officer called Gallop.

The police agreed to carry out an investigation into the matter and Mr Monkey can confirm that councillor Iain Malcolm was subsequently arrested and interviewed under caution.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

About the same time, senior officials within the Labour party decided that they could not risk details of the incident or the subsequent investigation being made public as they felt it would harm their election prospects, especially in South Shields were the Prime Minister’s chosen candidate was about to contest the seat.

Without warning the police contacted both Dr Clark and Mrs White and advised them that no further action would be taken because the complaint had been made outside of the permitted time frame. They were dismayed by this sudden and unexpected decision and whilst they didn’t understand it, they accepted it.

Tom Taylor discussed the matter with Mrs White and expressed his concerns. He felt the party was deliberately attempting to cover the whole affair and in his opinion Iain Malcolm had got away with election fraud. Mrs White in turn sought advise from Millbank House and Dr Clark and was assured that the investigation was ongoing although the General Election would now take priority.

A full investigation was promised after the election but this never materialised.

Mr Monkey has carried out some additional research and can confirm that there is a time limit of 12 months in relation to election matters if complaints are brought under the Representation of the Peoples Act. But this complaint was about a crimes involving fraud and the interception and interference of mail and therefore should have been treated differently.

There are numerous examples of people being charged with crimes committed decades ago - CLICK HERE for details of the latest example.

TONY BLAIR EARMARKS SOUTH SHIELDS AS A SAFE SEAT FOR RISING STAR DAVID ‘BRAINS’ MILIBAND

Meanwhile in Downing Street, Prime Minister Tony Blair had recently hosted a garden party and had pulled one of his senior advisers and head of his Policy Unit to one side and asked him join him in Parliament. He told him that a General Election was imminent and that he’d earmarked a traditionally safe Labour seat for him in a place called South Shields. Apparently he also mentioned that there some issues within the local party that needed sorting out. He assured him that he’d have the help of the sitting MP, Dr David Clark and a handful of reliable party members.

This rising star was none other than David Miliband, affectionately known in Labour party circles as ‘brains’ and now the Foreign Secretary and member of Parliament for South Shields.

WHAT HAPPENED TO DR DAVID CLARK?

Sources close to Dr Clark have confirmed that he intended to stand down at the 2001 general elections but publicly he continued to deny it – that was until Iain Malcolm had been removed from the Parliamentary Panel and before the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair announced the date of the General Election.

Within days of the election announcement, Dr Clark confirmed that he would after all be standing down. This effectively allowed Labour’s National Executive Committee to ‘parachute in’ Tony Blair’s chosen candidate and rising star, David Miliband.

Shortly after Labour won the 2001 general election, Dr Clark was given a life peerage and became Baron Clark of Windemere. He was also made chairman of the Forestry Commission and he quickly disappeared off the local political scene.

WHAT NEXT?

This murky affair raises a number of serious issues and brings into question the integrity and honesty of the council leader, councillor Iain Malcolm.

In the 2000 local elections he cheated his way into office and surely from that moment on the public has a right to question the validity of his position - once a cheat always a cheat .

It’s time for him to stand aside whilst this matter is investigated and he should actively be encouraging the appropriate authorities to dig deep in an effort to clear his name – if you’ve got nothing to hide councillor Malcolm what are you afraid of?

If like Mr Monkey, you are appalled by this shameful act of betrayal contact the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police and ask him to investigate the matter on the grounds of public interest. At the same time you might also like to ask for an explanation as to why the original police investigation was hastily brought to an end.

The local media has a major role to play in exposing the fraud that is councillor Iain Malcolm for the benefit of the people of South Tyneside.

For months the Shields Gazette has been cynically manipulated by councillor Iain Malcolm and his minions in the press office. It’s time for the editor to make a stand on behalf of the people. Its time for the Shields Gazette to give this matter the priority it deserves and for the whole editorial team to put it’s weight behind the growing calls for a full and open investigation into this despicable act of betrayal by the borough’s most senior local political figure.

A MESSAGE TO COUNCILLOR IAIN MALCOLM

If you think things can’t get any worse, think again - Mr Monkey will shortly be publishing details of some of your other exploits including how you used a dead man’s details to join him up as a party member and how you and a handful of people illegally deselected numerous candidates by fixing the selection ballot results.




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