Archive for the 'Westminster' Category

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.

20
Jun
09

is the member for jarrow a peckish plonky?

'The memebr for Jarrow thinks the taxpayer should pay for his grocery bill'

'The memebr for Jarrow thinks the taxpayer should pay for his grocery bill'

It seems Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn loves nothing more than a free feed and piss up at the taxpayers expense – maybe it’s a legacy from his days of being a South Tyneside councillor.

According to the Parliamentary expenses published yesterday, Mr Hepburn thinks that the taxpayer should pick up his grocery bill and he sees nothing wrong in claiming around £75 per week for food – last year the greedy bastard managed to fuck the taxpayer to the tune of £3,850 for his food bill alone.

His expenses also show that he claimed £450 for a washing machine and nearly £500 for a digital camera – which by coincidence happened to be bought a couple of weeks before Christmas – Mr Monkey reckons somebody probably got a canny Christmas present.

Mr Monkey also reckons that the taxpayer has been paying for his drinking habit under the guise of petty cash. Examination of Mr Hepburn’s claims reveal that he claimed £250 a month for ‘petty cash’. This is the monthly limit allowed and there’s no requirement to submit receipts.

This chimp can’t help wondering how he managed to claim exactly £250 month after month unless of course he was milking the system to feed his boozing habit – he can often be found on a Sunday afternoon pissed up in the Clock in Hebburn.

Maybe he should take a leaf out of David Miliband’s book and pay some of the money back?

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.

27
May
09

twinkle toes

Mr Monkey popped into his local for a swift one last night and caught a glimpse of Britains Got Talent – seems the whole country is obsessed with reality tv shows.

This chimp couldn’t help noticing that one of last night’s semi finalist – a brother and sister team – looked as though they came straight from the set of Strictly Come Dancing as they performed a high octane ballroom dancing routine.

Mr Monkey mentioned that he thought it was a shame that more people did’nt take up ballroom dancing and to his surprise a number of locals admitted that they were taking lessons and that they’d been on a waiting list for several months before the could join a class.

What Mr Monkey heard next had this chimp falling about in fits of laughter and he almost choked on his beer.

Apparently councillor Ed Malcolm, aka ‘Big’ Ed and his long term slapper lover councillor Olive Punchion, aka Aunt Sally have been taking ballroom dancing lessons for several months and they’re still crap at it.

Mr Monkey reckons councillor Malcolm’s desire to become the belle off the ball may stem from his childhood fascination with dressing up dolls. Either that or he intends to marry Aunt Sally and wants to surprise his guests when the odd ‘happy couple’ perform the first dance.

The thought of Ed and Olive strutting their stuff on their wedding day is enough to give anyone a nightmare.

Imagine Aunt Sally, the 80 year old scarecrow clinging onto ‘Big’ Ed, the 4ft dwarf for all she’s worth? And what about Big Ed hugging Aunt Sally in a motherly embrace for comfort and security, and to stop him falling over - it’s a good job she’s past lactating or he’d be suckling her too.

But don’t worry Ed, whatever happens this chimp will be there to witness your big day, you have little choice but to invite him!

15
May
09

how do you claim £17,393 in expenses and allowances for attending just 12 meeting?

Mr Monkey has been reviewing some of his older posts and came across this one CLICK HERE about the Conservative group leader’s money grabbing antics.

No one can argue that councillor David Potts has an abysmal record when it comes to attending meetings and in the last 12 months he’s attended just 12 meetings out of a possible 71 and has been paid more than £14,000 in allowances and claimed £3393 in expenses.

That’s a massive £17,393 for the year which is equivalent to £1,449 a month, £334 a week or nearly £1,500 a meeting.

Mr Monkey hasn’t been able to work out how this greedy bastard has the nerve to claim £282 in expenses for every meeting he’s attended, unless of course he travelled back from Edinburgh - where he was standing as a Tory candidate – at the taxpayers expense.

13
May
09

tory councillor David Potts £12,000 expense claims

After yesterday’s pronouncements by the Conservative leader David Cameron concerning the dodgy expense claims of some of his colleagues i.e pay back the money or risk being booted out of the party, Mr Monkey can’t help wondering when councillor David Potts, the local Conservative group leader will join the newly formed  alliance of spineless progressives and the outcasts, who apparently want to be known as The Progressive Party and The Association on non Aligned Independent Councillors?

Regular readers of this blog will remember this post CLICK HERE

"After claiming nearly £12,000 in expenses he still can't afford a pair of sunglasses"

"After claiming nearly £12,000 in expenses he still can't afford a pair of sunglasses"

about councillor Potts record expense claim in 2005 when he claimed more than £2,251 – most of it was spent on First Class rail travel which just happened to be around the same time he claimed he was studying at Cambridge.

Mr Monkey can now reveal that councillor Potts has gone that extra mile in the last 12 months (2008 – 09) and has set another record by claiming a whooping  £3,393 in travel expenses and subsistence.

Interestingly this claim also coincides with the period that councillor Potts had been selected as the Conservative candidate to challenge Alistair Darling in Edinburgh – that is until Mr Monkey put paid to his political ambitions by revealing the sleazy alcohol fuelled antics of councillor Potts.

This chimp reckons that the people of South Tyneside unwittingly paid for his campaign jollies and will be stunned to learn that the council allowed him to get away with it.

Mr Monkey can also reveal that councillor Potts, who is allegedly in opposition has one of the worst attendance records on South Tyneside council,  but he’s still managed to claim nearly £12,000 in travel and subsistence since his election in late 2004.

This chimp reckons it’s time David Cameron turned his attention to some of his colleagues in local government, especially those who are blatantly ripping off the taxpayer with their exaggerated and probably fraudulent expense claims.

.. and Mr Monkey certainly intends to bring councillor Potts dubious expense claims to his attention.

08
May
09

miliband on a nice little earner

'Even the Parliamentary Authorities thought the Foreign Secretary was taking the piss trying to claim £200 for a buggy'

'Even the Parliamentary Authorities thought the Foreign Secretary was taking the piss trying to claim £200 for a buggy'

The full extent of David Miliband’s cynical manipulation of the parliamentary expenses system is revealed in today’s Telegraph and it seems he’s got a canny knack of spending taxpayers money.

In the past 5 years he has claimed around £30,000 on repairs, decorations and furniture for his South Shields home, that’s nearly always unoccupied.

At one point he got so excited at the prospect of fleecing the taxpayer, he over claimed and had to have his claim cut back.

 

 

Here’s just some examples of what Miliband has claimed:

  • upto £180 every 3 months for gardening
  • £412 for a hand crafted chair, goose down duvet and chenille throw from Marks & Spencer
  • £450 for a Gatsby sofa
  • a washing machine
  • a tumble dryer
  • £9000 for a new kitchen, tiling, new garage roof and garage doors
  • £6000 for for repairs to front driveway and boundary wall
  • upto £200 per month for food

.. and the justification for all this – “David Miliband followed the procedures and rules as laid out by the parliamentary authorities”

Mr Monkey would like to know who makes the rules, that’s right the MP’s – that’s you and your colleagues David.

05
May
09

a sinking ship or wishful thinking?

Message to Graham Rigg and David Potts (I know they’re avid readers of this blog, so they’ll see this)

Over the past few days, Graham Rigg and David Potts have been having a right old time of it while Mr Monkey has been busy moving house.

Rigg, with plenty of time on his hands as an unemployed man whose been a bit of a failure in life (still in an upstairs flat in your mid 50s, Graham? There are crisis loans for things like that…) has thrown some horrific slurs his way.

But let us not forget: with more members than any of the other opposition groups, they’re still the biggest opposition group. They’re THE political success story in this borough’s history.

No political party has came anywhere near achieving their kind of success in modern times in South Tyneside.

The Tories have three councillors, as do the Lib Dems. The Tories havemade NO gains during David Potts tenure as leader, despite Labour disintegrating nationally over the past five years. Surely questions have to be asked about his competence?

The Progressives, once a dominant political force in the borough, have just five councillors and their hanging on by their finger tips. Take Jim Capstick he scrapped through by just three votes at the last elections.

So tell us, which group/party is doing things wrong…

I personally believe that Rigg and Potts hate the Independent Alliance because they don’t believe in democracy. They believe candidates should be vetted by old school parties, given the nod by party chiefs, and then step forward for election. It’s an insiders world, and they want it to stay that way.

Take councillor Ahmed Khan for instance, they don’t believe a member of the public, (A BLASTED OUTSIDER!) unsoiled by previous political roles, should stand and be duly elected. They don’t want to see the local political gentleman’s club fall apart, worse still their cosy little world being exposed for all to see.

Well Mr Monkey has news for Rigg, Potts and the ruling elite; there are more ‘councillor Khan’s’ on the way.

The Independents are still the official opposition group on the council. The Progressives also vote alongside them. They’re still close. They are a force to be reckoned with.

If you want confirmation of this go to the next council meeting on 12th May. You’re certain to see the Independent Alliance doing the job they were elected to do – oppose the ruling party. On the other hand you’ll see the Tories happily accepting a few tit-bits (PAID OF COURSE), handed out by Labour in a desperate attempt to buy their loyalty for the next 12 months.

Despite what Rigg says, since when have political groups standing in tinpot local elections had to have extensive manifestos and policies?

If so, point me in the direction of the weighty manifestos put forward by local councillors at the last election…You can’t – you’re talking bullshit. They put out double-sided A5 leaflets outlining how they’d improved their wards – they didn’t put out 20-year plans for tourism and business in the town.

At local level it’s about sound money, sound running of the council, competence, honesty and integrity. With a leader and deputy leader who’ve been big business successes themselves, I trust them to do just that.

Why aren’t they that forthcoming about what they “would” do? Probably because there’s no chance of them forming an executive to run the council for two or three years. So why live in fantasy land when they can tell the public what they’ll OPPOSE. When they’re close to seeing the opposition make it into power, they’ll tell the public what they’ll do. If the public like it, they’ll keep on voting. If they don’t, watch them lose their seats.

Just one question, Curly – do you ever get in touch with people you’re about to slur to ask for their take on your inaccurate claims?

Thought not.

Graham Rigg – sniggered at by Labour bosses, loathed by Independents, tolerated reluctantly by Tories.

'Amateur, photographer, amateur blogger, failed politician and general all round misfit desperate to be loved’

'Amateur, photographer, amateur blogger, failed politician and general all round misfit desperate to be loved’

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.

15
Apr
09

so what is the gazette waiting for?

Mr Monkey’s investigations have revealed far more about council leader Iain Malcolm and the local Labour party than than this chimp ever imagined.

It seems that after year’s of watching the corrupt and devious practices of Iain Malcolm and his stooges, there’s literally dozens of people who are now prepared to reveal what really went on behind closed doors and the Malcolm’s kitchen table.

Apparently the inner circle made up of a handful of power hungry individuals led by the Malcolm brothers did anything and everything to get their hands on the reigns of power.

Over the next few weeks Mr Monkey will be revealing some of the shocking and frankly despiclable methods these gangsters politicians and their stooges used to get their own way. Nothing or no one was sacred, even their own loved ones.

Iain Malcolm’s ballot rigging antics are now in the public domain and judging by the comments made on this site it would seem that some of you have taken matters into your own hands and have contacted the police asking for a full investigation. Others have contacted the Standards Board, the Electoral Commission and the Conservative Party.

Mr Monkey has also been told that pressure is building on the local media to expose the shameful antics of council leader Iain Malcolm, but for some reason they seem reluctant to publish the biggest local political story in years.

So what are you waiting for Mr Szymanski? 

Mr Monkey has been told that internet start, ST Central have already stolen a march on the Gazette and are apparently in possession of some pretty incriminating documents.

It appears that they did not know what to do with the story and given the political implicationsof the subsequent cover up at the highest levels of the Labour party and perhaps government they contacted the BBC. Apparently their other company Jag Productions has strong links with the BBC as they produce TVprogrammes for them, including investigative news programmes and documentaries.

Mr Monkey has also been told they’ve now passed the documents onto the police and asked them to carry out an investigation into the matter – in effect they have made a formal complaint about election fraud.

Mr Monkey reckons in this instance the local media should be working together rather than competing against each other. This story has huge public interest value and surely the local media should be leading from the front instead waiting to pick up the scraps others leave behind.

Mr Monkey also thinks it time for the public to up the anti by contacting the local press themselves instead of leaving comments here about what should or shouldn’t happen. Why not contact the editor of the Gazette yourself and tell him how you feel?

You can e mail him at john.szymanski@northeast-press.co.uk or ring him on 0191 427 4800. If you prefer pop into the Gazette office on Chapter Row and ask to speak to John Szymanski or the paper’s political reporter Paul Myles Kelly.




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