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.
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.