Archive for the 'Government' Category

30
Jul
09

highlights: council leader Iain Malcolm rigs ballot to cheat tory Pat Piggott out of victory

council Iain Malcolm

Election fraudster - council leader Iain Malcolm

Mr Monkey would like to take readers back to April 2000.

Councillor Iain Malcolm was up for re-election and it was widely believed that he faced a tough fight against Patricia Piggott, a strong Conservative candidate.  

 

Many people including Iain Malcolm believed that he would lose his seat to the Conservative so he decided to take matters into his own hands and rig the ballot to ensure he won and there was no better way to do this than by manipulating the postal vote – Labour’s recently introduced new election fixing tool. 

Councillor Iain Malcolm ensured that every elderly person in his ward was registered to vote and encouraged them to vote by post. He assured them that there was nothing complicated about the process especially as he and his associates would be on hand to fill the ballot papers in for them and even offered to post them on their behalf.

Councillor Iain Malcolm particularly targeted care homes, sheltered accommodation and OAP bungalows. As a sitting councillor no council employee was going to deny him access so he was free to come and go as he pleased.

 

As the election was nearing its climax, councillor Iain Malcolm was increasingly worried about the reaction on the doorstep and decided that it was time for drastic intervention otherwise he would lose his seat.

 

Around the same time the sitting MP for South Shields, Dr David Clarke was planning to retire at the next general election which was due to be held within the next year or so.

 

The only problem was that councillor Iain Malcolm had been selected to sit on the Parliamentary panel and was likely to be selected to replace Dr Clarke as Labour’s parliamentary candidate at the forthcoming election – something Dr Clarke was desperate to avoid, he even raised the matter with the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

 

Dr Clarke despised everything Iain Malcolm stood for, he didn’t trust him and questioned his integrity. It wasn’t long before Dr Clarke was proved right.

 

Prior to polling day councillor Iain Malcolm instructed all Labour party members in Horsley Hill to go around people’s homes collecting any postal voting envelopes that hadn’t been posted on the pretext of “we’ll post them for you”. But instead of posting them he asked his supporters to hand them over to him.

 

A crucial part of Iain Malcolm’ strategy was to ensure that the postal votes from care homes, sheltered accommodations and OAP bungalows were collected in person. He entrusted this task to an unsuspecting Labour party member called Tom Taylor. He told him to take all the envelopes to his house and that he would come and collect them later.

 

After he had collected them he called Iain Malcolm to tell him that he had finished his task and that they were at his house awaiting collection. Shortly after Iain Malcolm arrived.

 

Tom’s wife Mary, asked Iain Malcolm to step inside the house and when he saw that Tom was as good as his word and had collected a large number of envelopes he sat down and started to sort through them. Then to the total and utter dismay of these life long Labour supporters he started to open the envelopes in their front room and removed the ballot papers. Any votes for Labour were returned to the envelope and resealed for posting and any votes for Pat Piggott, the Conservative candidate were destroyed.

 

In the early hours of May 5th the election result was announced and as people had predicated it was a close run thing. Iain Malcolm was declared the winner with 785 votes with Pat Piggott polling 709 votes, a difference of just 76 votes.

 

Iain Malcolm celebrated his victory by announcing to a handful of associates that he had cheated Pat Piggott out of victory by destroying her votes and said that he’d done what he’d needed to do to ensure that no Tory took his seat.

 

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Part 2 of this disgraceful act of betrayal will follow shortly.

 

UPDATE: Saturday 28th March at 10.35am

Yesterday was a record breaking day for Mr Monkey’s Blog with 4,163 hits being recorded. Bloggers also helped set an all time record for the highest number of hits on a single post.

 

UPDATE DATE: Friday 27th March at 20.55pm
Apparently Mr Monkey’s blog was mentioned at yesterday’s meeting of the full council and by all accounts it caused quite a stir. Some councillors appeared to want a hole to open up and swallow them. Others managed to raise a wry smile but sadly one or two just sat there with a blank expression on their face.

18
Jun
09

miliband and hepburn caught with their snouts in the trough

The Pig Sty House of Commons has finally published details of MPs’ expenses claims - more than a year after the High Court ordered their publication and weeks after they were leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

Revelations about their claims have forced some MPs to announce their resignations and yesterday junior Treasury minister, Kitty Ussher became the latest MP to quit the Government following allegations that she avoided paying capital gains tax by “flipping” her second home.

The list of MPs expenses includes printed documents and receipts relating to claims made between 2004/05 and 2007/08 for a series of parliamentary allowances, but it seems they are still a bit coy about telling the public the whole truth - many details have been blanked out or have been left out altogether.

These include claims under the £24,000-a-year Additional Costs Allowance, which reimburses MPs for the cost of having to maintain a second home while serving at Westminster; the £22,000 Incidental Expenses Provision, which pays for running an office; and the £10,400 Communications Allowance, which covers the cost of newsletters and websites to inform constituents about their activities; as well as details of expenditure on stationery and postage.

Many of the expense claims and supporting receipts feature large blacked out areas where it’s not always clear what has been obscured or why.

The list does not include the addresses of MPs’ homes, which means it’s virtually impossible to identify so-called flipping - where MPs switch the designation of their second properties to maximise their claims and avoid paying capital gains tax.

Also blanked out are the details of people and companies to whom payments were made using expenses and correspondence between MPs and the Commons Fees Office have also been removed.

But despite this cover up it seems our local MPs have well and truly had their snouts in the trough, CLICK HERE for details of Jarrow MP, Stephen Hepburn’s expenses and HERE for details South Shields MP, David Miliband’s claims.

28
Apr
09

Iain Malcolm – a man of principle

The borough’s other blogger seems to have ejaculated all over his computer screen at the prospect of South Tyneside’s council leader Iain Malcolm jumping into bed with the Conservatives at their spring conference in Cheltenham.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but those close to this devious twat will know what an opportunistic bastard he is and that he’ll stop at nothing to keep his corrupt hands on the reigns of power, even snuggling up to a Tory or two.

Apparently he was in Cheltenham on behalf of Sovereign Strategy the political lobbying company that he runs and is a shareholder in and despite the shouts of ecstasy from certain quarters, Mr Monkey can’t help wondering whether this “consummate politician” has seen the writing on the wall and has joined the increasing number of Labour politicians who have thrown the towel in - it’s only a matter of time before they return to the political wilderness and warm there arses on the opposition benches.

This chimp reckons his arse fondling licking at the Tory conference had nothing to do with South Tyneside and everything to do with making sure he’s on the right side when it comes to lobbying those with clout .. and Gordon hasn’t got much of that left.

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.

26
Mar
09

exclusive: an investigation into election fraud and ballot rigging in South Tyneside

'Council leader Iain Malcolm and the South Shields Labour party are under investigation for election fraud'

'Council leader Iain Malcolm and the South Shields Labour party are under investigation for election fraud'

About 2 months ago Mr Monkey received some disturbing information about a culture of election fraud within the local Labour party.  

At first Mr Monkey thought that the allegations were being made by a disgruntled political opponent of the ruling Labour group but decided to take investigate the them further, especially as they concerned the leader of the council Iain Malcolm who several months earlier had been implicated in the scandal surrounding a payout of around £8 million pounds to two former employees of Newcastle Airport when he was the chair of the remuneration committee. 

Mr Monkey’s investigation has taken over month to complete. He has interviewed many witnesses including some of those either knowingly involved or unwittingly conned in to doing someone else’s dirty work. Mr Monkey’s investigation left no stone unturned and took him to Newcastle, London, Hull and he spoke to people in Brussels, Strasbourg and Spain.  

Within days of investigating the allegations Mr Monkey realised that they were coming from a source that witnessed the events and that the motivation for exposing the culture of election fraud within the local Labour Party had nothing to with politics but everything to do with a exposing the truth about the shocking way Labour has lied, cheated and fraudulently held on to power in South Tyneside. 

For years Mr Monkey has heard rumours about election fraud, ballot rigging, fraudulent selection meetings and the manipulation of party membership lists by a group of individuals desperate to hang on to power at all costs. 

 

Mr Monkey can now reveal that the culture of election fraud is much wider than he first thought and was orchestrated at the very top by council leader Iain Malcolm but it didn’t stop there.  

 

Others implicated include; Ed Malcolm, Michael Clare, Rob Dix, Ann Walsh, John Anglin, John Wood, Ed McAtominey, Nancy Maxwell, Mark Walsh and Neil Maxwell – and Mr Monkey suspects that this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

 

The findings of Mr Monkey’s investigation are too long to be included in a single post so he will be posting on this subject over the next week or so – make sure you don’t miss out by visiting Mr Monkey’s Blog frequently.  

 

Part one of Mr Monkey’s investigation will be posted here later this morning.

09
Mar
09

gazette watch

Bloggers will have noticed that the local snooze paper has become the official voice of the borough’s Labour run council and that it’s editor Mr Dumpy, aka Papa John Szymanski has handed over editorial control to his paymaster council leader Iain Malcolm.

This has been a gradual process and at first Papa John paid lip service to his profession by at least appearing to be reporting things from a neutral perspective and even appeared to occasionally challenge the shit churned out by the Minister of Propaganda, Linda Fothergill, aka the council’s Head of Communications.

Miss Piggy, aka councillor Iain Malcolm, quickly realised how easy it was to manipulate Mr Dumpy – all he had to do was make him feel loved, invite him to council functions and make sure the fat bastard could stuff his face with free sausagee rolls – and the Gazette was his to control.

But over the last month Mr Monkey has noticed that Papa John Szymanski appears to have handed over editorial control to the local Labour party and they in turn seem to publish whatever they want with little or no involvement from the paper’s journalists, especially the so called council reporter Paul Myles Kelly.

Mr Monkey thought he’d test this theory by comparing the council’s latest press release about a possible reduction in council rents with Paul Myles Kelly’s article. CLICK HERE.

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

This chimp was astounded by the results and proves beyond doubt that Papa John Szymanski is nothing more than Miss Piggy’s plaything and that the Gazette is just another propaganda tool for the local Labour run council.

Judge for yourself – below is the press release issued by the council

COUNCIL RECONSIDERS RENTS FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Council tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council has already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the Council is now reconsidering that figure following today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175 million to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The Council’s Lead Member Resources, Councillor Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government. Both the Council and the Board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time, and we have been pressing the Government to rethink its position. We are delighted that the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for Council tenants. I have instructed officers to assess the revised position following this afternoon’s announcement with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that Council tenants can benefit. We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

The Council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy. This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As Council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full Council.

Now compare this to the article below that appeared in the The Labour Gazetteer, formerly known as the Shields Gazette. The differences between the 2 articles have been highlighted in red and amount to a change of title, the addition of 8 words and the removal of 2 others.

TENANTS IN LINE FOR RENT CUTS

COUNCIL house tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a major reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council had already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the council is now reconsidering that figure after today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175m to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The council’s lead member for resources, Coun Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government.

“Both the council and the board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time.

“We have been pressing the Government to rethink its position, and we are delighted the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for council tenants.

“I have instructed officers to assess the revised position after this announcement, with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that council tenants can benefit.

“We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”
 
The council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy.
 
This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full council, at a meeting on March 26.
Well done Paul Myles Kelly, another worthwhile piece of investigative journalism worthy of your profession the Gazette.
09
Mar
09

the audit commission gives council top marks for losing £10 million

'Rewarding failure'

'Rewarding failure'

Council leader Iain Malcolm Miss Piggy and the borough’s Dominatrix, Irene Lucas might want to put their celebrations on hold following last week’s announcement by the Audit Commission that South Tyneside Council is rated a 4 star authority.

Mr Monkey has learned that the Audit Commission and it’s inspectors have become a laughing stock after they announced that Cambridge City Council won top marks for sound financial management and value for money – despite investing £9 million in Icelandic banks and a potential loss of £618,000 on Cambridge Folk Festival ticket sales.

The top score of four marks was awarded by the Audit Commission for the council’s use of resources and it was one of the 13 top performers in the country.

The award focused on strategic financial management, sound governance, effective financial reporting and giving taxpayers value for money.

Council leader Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith said: “The Audit Commission is aware of the financial issues in relation to the Icelandic deposits, which affect many councils, and the Folk Festival tickets. I can’t say to what extent they have been taken into account.”

He added: “I’m very pleased the successful way which we run things in Cambridge has been recognised by the Audit Commission. This endorses the recent survey results that showed that residents in Cambridge rated the city council as providing value for- money services at a higher level than other districts in the county.”

At the recent budget setting meeting, Cllr Lewis Herbert, Labour group leader, likened the Liberal Democrats’ management of council finances to a “road crash” with Cllr Nimmo- Smith at the wheel.

He said the Icelandic investment and Folk Festival losses, after an internet ticket sales company went into liquidation, were “self-inflicted”. He said he was surprised the council still received a four-star rating.

He added: “Losing £9 million in Icelandic investments and over £1 million in interest and the Folk Festival tickets represents a shocking failure of the council’s control systems.”

For the second year running, the finance and value for money element of the inspection gave the county council the top score of four.

Cllr John Reynolds, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “I am delighted that our inspection found that the way we manage our budget and spend council taxpayers’ money is of the highest order. We continue to work within an extremely tight financial climate but this score shows we are among the best councils in the country when it comes to financial management.”

These weaknesses are now most evident. For a Council to be declared “excellent” in the same week that it cuts services and raises taxes, and in the same year that it slashes staff pay, is crazy.

The Council have released a special issue of their staff newsletter to congratulate everyone on the achievement.

At the top of the list of high performing services are the Revenues and Benefits service, who deal with Council Tax payments and the administration of benefits to the needy. They too have received a top 4 star rating and yet a mixture of bad laws, bad government and crazy local decision making has seen many of the staff in that department lose a crushingly large proportion of their salary this year.

There’s nothing about this in the congratulatory press releases issued by the Council, the Audit Commission and the government.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering what South Tyneside is hiding?

25
Feb
09

Tory Totty

'Tory totty'

'Tory totty'

So the worst kept secret in the South Shields Conservative party is out – Karen Allen has been selected as the Tory candidate to challenge ‘numb nuts’ Miliband at the next general election.

Mr Monkey would like to offer his congratulations to Karen for getting the nomination and for stopping The King of Sleaze, aka Tory Boy David Potts from being thrust on the good people of South Shields.

Apparently ‘local’ lass Karen is relishing the prospect of fighting her first election campaign in her home town, but as with most politicians, everything is not what it seems.

Karen is was a local lass until she moved to London in 2001 to study. She never returned to the North East, insteaed she stayed in London and got herself a well paid ‘city’ job with Lloyds of London.

Mr Monkey has no problem with this but don’t con people into thinking your something you’re not; a local lass. If you work in London – and if Mr Monkey’s sucpisions are right – you probably own a house in London, you must live in London.

Mr Monkey reckons she ‘s one of those people who will use her ‘working class’ roots here in South Shields to suit her needs and will keep ramming it down our throats until the election.

But this chimp reckons that since 2001 she spent less and less time in South Shields and now only returns for birthdays, weddings, christenings, funerals and Christmases - until now!

All that is about to change – at least until the general election as she tries to con the people of South Shields into thinking she’s the girl next door. But Mr Monkey reckons her new found love for Shields will be short lived; she’s not going to win the seat and will disappear back to London the day after the election.

At least Karen is set to bring some glamour to the local political scene and it’ll make a pleasant change from looking at all those wizened old ugly bitches in the Labour party.

29
Jan
09

Gaffe of The Week

Twat of the Week, CLICK HERE, South Shields MP and Foreign Secretary David Miliband has picked up yet another Monkey accolade.

This time Mr Monkey has awarded him the dubious title of Gaffe of The Week for his stupid, ill timed and un-researched remarks about South Shields town centre following a rare visit to his constituency; yes he does remember where South Shields is.

Here are just some examples of what our out of touch MP had to say:

“King Street is a lovely shopping area. I come down here quite often to visit the bank and stores”.

You’re a bit economical with the truth aren’t you David? Why not tell us how many times you’ve visited South Shields in the last 12 months? Whilst you’re at it tell us how many times you’ve been down ‘street’ – as you’re not from Shields and you spend so little time here, that’s King Street.

If Mr Monkey was to take a guess based on your press coverage (you don’t do anything without them hanging on to your coat tails) it seems you’ve made a personal appearance about 6 times in the last 12 months. You’ve never been down ‘street’ unless you count Colmans as being on King Street and you certainly ain’t been seen in many of the town centre shops.

When was you last in the Denmark Centre for example, if you’d have seen all the empty units you on your staged visit you might have been less inclined to make fuckwit comments.

If these stupid comments weren’t enough, ‘Brains’ went on to say,

“I think morale and spirits are high in South Shields, and there’s still a lot of people coming to use the shops, especially on a Friday.”

This just shows how out of touch you are. Either that or your swallowed the council’s spin as presented by the town hall’s number one plonky, Rick O’Farrell.

Come on David a man with your connections should check the information you’rebeing spoon fed, especially when it comes from someone who at best has a dubious background in local and regional government. Just ask your colleagues researchers to tell you about the fuck ups he made whilst working for the Regional Government office and the millions it cost the public purse

Instead of speaking to the managers of Marks and Spencers and Burtons why didn’t you ask some of the shoe shops, cafes, bars, pound shops and card shops what they thought. Why didn’t you ask the market traders or better still why didn’t you some of the ‘many shoppers’ you bumped into – after all wasn’t it a Friday when you cane to town? At least that’s when your Labour party dinner was.

Come on David it’s time you stopped insulting the intelligence of the people of South Tyneside – you might believe your own bullshit but the public have seen right through you and your spin and if you keep making gaffes like this your future almost certainly lies in the House of Lords – but then every cloud has a silver lining especially if you’re in the Labour party!

27
Jan
09

Shame On You – You’re A Disgrace

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.

Yes January 27th is the day when people throughout the world remember the victims of the Nazi Holocaust and of more recent genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq and Palestine.

Numerous ceremonies to remember the victims of these atrocities have taken place up and down the country including here in South Tyneside where each year the Mayor hosts a ceremony on behalf of the people of the borough to make the occasion.

Apparently today’s guests included a select band of children, members of the public, church goers, a few council officers, a handful of councillors and the usual band of Labour party activists - Mr Monkey is still waiting for details of these scrounging bastards but can confirm that Pat Morris and Jack Brown were seen loitering around the buffet table.

The ceremony itself apparently included several readings, recitals, a prayer, and a few words (via letters) from our local MP’s. There was also a flower laying and candle lighting ceremony.

Mr Monkey can confirm that although today’s ceremony was well attended it seems most councillors, executive directors of the council and business leaders couldn’t be bothered to turn up.

According to a source inside the town hall only 11 councillors out of a possible 54 had the decency to make an appearance, these included: councillors Alex Donaldson, John Anglin, Peter Boyack, Jim Foreman, Ahmed Khan, Jane Branley, Joan Meeks, Tom Piggot, Jimmy Sewell, Ernest Gibson and Alan Kerr.

Notable absences included the Chuckle Brothers, aka Ian and Ed Malcolm, Michael Clare, Bill Brady (Lead Member for Equality and Diversity), Tracy Dixon, Joanne Bell, Audrey McMillan, Linda Waggott, Barry Scorer, John McCabe, Jim Perry and Tom Hanson.

The King of Sleaze Tory Boy David Potts and his two stooges Wood and Millburn, all three Liberal Democrats, the two representatives of the We’ve Finally Made Our Mind Up Party Real Independents councillors Lurch and Red Rum Haram and Elsom plus their new lackey Tom Defty were all conspicuous by their absence.

Apparently the Progressives didn’t bother turning up because they still think its 1986.

Mr Monkey reckons that each and every one of you lazy bastards who couldn’t be bothered to turn up should hang your heads in shame – in the words of the King of Sleaze .. “you’re a disgrace”.




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