Archive for the 'Credit Crunch' Category

24
May
09

monkey clip

This week’s Monkey Clip is dedicated to the greediest bastard on South Tyneside Council.

Labour councillor Ernest Gibson, the Whiteleas sex machine known for his love of everything – as long as it’s free – managed to milk the council’s expenses system and claimed almost £5,000 for travel, hotel accommodation and meals.

Pay careful attention to the thing in the grey suit, he reminds Mr Monkey of council leader Iain Malcolm. The ‘baby’ also reminds this chimp of the new mayor, councillor John Anglin.

23
May
09

miss piggy orders a new set of wheels – paid for by you

'Piggy's wheels'

'Piggy's wheels'

Mr Monkey wonders how many people know that South Tyneside council recently did it’s bit to help the ailing British car industry by buying another Swedish car? A fuckwit Iain Malcolm in the town hall decided that it was time to add another black Volvo to the growing collection of council vehicles.

Apparently Iain Malcolm, aka Miss Piggy didn’t want the new deputy mayor, coun Tom Piggott travelling round the borough on his own, because he couldn’t be sure what he’d say. To avoid any embarrassing Piggott moments, coun Malcolm thought the deputy mayor should always be accompanied?

The council already has one black Volvo which comes complete with a chauffeur and it’s used mainly by the mayor, although Iain Malcolm has been known to use it when he needs a lift to the airport. Mr Monkey has now been told coun Iain Malcolm felt that one wasn’t enough so in these difficult economic times – when people are struggling financially – he  decided the time was right to buy a second one. 

He also thought he’d do his bit to help massage the unemployment figures by recruiting another chauffeur – what good is a car without a driver?

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.

30
Mar
09

Exclusive: Good news for King street .. at last

'Good news for KIng St, Sports Direct will be opening soon'

'Good news for King St, Sports Direct will be opening soon'

EXCLUSIVE: Mr Monkey can exclusively reveal that South Shield’s beleaguered town centre is about to receive a welcome boost.

Newcastle United’s owner Mike Ashley, is set to open a branch of Sports Direct in South Shields.

The news comes at a time when Mr Ashley, the under-fire Newcastle United owner is expanding his business portfolio in an effort to establish his dominance over rival sportswear retailer JJB Sports.

Mr Monkey can confirm that Sports Direct has acquired the former Woolworths site on King Street and is set to open it’s doors to the public in June.

This chimp can also confirm that Sports Direct decision to open a store in South Shields has nothing to do with the council, the council leader or South Tyneside Means Business – just in case the council’s Office of Propaganda were thinking of claiming the credit!

Mr Monkey wonders whether this latest addition to a ‘thriving King Street’ means we’ll be seeing more of our shopaholic invisible MP, David Miliband .. sadly not, Mr Monkey has just learned that Sports Direct doesn’t sell Arsenal tops.

09
Feb
09

GAZETTE: The End Is Nigh

Mr Monkey reckons the newspaper industry has moved towards the end of middle-age, growing increasingly aware of its own mortality.

Like someone nearing retirement, it might well expect to have a couple of decades left before it’s ready to start pushing up the daisies.

However, the reality is many groups haven’t led the healthiest of lifestyles. Instead of investing for the future, they became greedier and greedier in the margins they chased.

It wasn’t so long ago Johnston Press, whose titles include the Shields Gazette and the Sunderland Echo, were the toast of the industry. Thirty per cent profits.

Why aren’t we making that, they chorused in boardrooms up and down the land.

Now look at them; they’re shares are not worth a bag of crisps.

It’s easy to be wise with hindsight but like all newspaper groups, they never really “got” the internet until it started getting to them.

In late middle-age it seems Johnston Press may well be prone to a sudden heart attack.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering how long the banks are going to put up with their debt mountain – which is approaching half a billion pounds – and given they’re falling revenues it won’t be long before they decide it’s time to foreclose.

It must be worrying times for those employed by the Gazette – do yourselves a favour and get out before it’s too late – apparently Papa John Szymanski is already looking.

08
Dec
08

Mr Monkey Acquires A Stake In The Gazette

Mr Monkey has been watching the financial performance of Johnston Press the company that owns The Malcolm Fanzine Shields Gazette closely over the past 6 months. It seems they’ve not been fairing too well of late and thier share price has reached rock bottom.

One of Mr Monkey’s financial advisers has been keeping a close eye on things and for the past two months this chimp has been contemplating buying some of the company’s shares. Mr Monkey thought it would not only make financial sense, but it would also allow a bit of monkey business at the company’s AGM – imagine Papa John’s Szymanski’s face when questions aboutthe Shields Gazette and his relationship with council leader Iain Malcolm are tabled at the AGM?

Mr Monkey can now confirm that one of his holding companies has recently acquired shares in Johnston Press and will now be privy to shareholders information which he will happily share with readers of this blog.

Over the past couple of years Johnston Press has been finding trading conditions difficult and in June there was a rights issue to raise funds to help alleviate the company’s debt burden – at that time shares were valued at 53p – today the value of those shares have fallen to just 9p.

On December 24th 2007 the share price was £2.76 and just under a year later (5th December 2008) they had fallen to 8p.

Mr Monkey reckons times are hard at the Gazette Johnston Press and they’re going to get even harder for Papa John over the coming months.

06
Dec
08

Monkey Clip

This week’s Monkey Clip is dedicated to  Town Hall Fat Cats everywhere. CLICK HERE and enjoy.

 




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