Monday, 24 December 2012


A very Merry Christmas to one and all, and for a treat, no politics no moans, no groans, just Billy Bragg and Florence and the Machine giving a rare cover version of The Pogues Fairytale of New York.

Of course Billy and Kirsy MacColl were very close and co wrote "New England.

Have a good one.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


The animated cartoon featured in my last blog "Tax the Rich",  got me searching the net a bit deeper for others who have "animated" their political message and created their own narratives to which we all should be listening to and hearing but to which too many just switch off.

The "STORY OF STUFF"  is another little gem coming out from the USA (and there was me giving up on our overseas cousins)

This original video (all 21 minutes) is really worth watching. it was created just before the 2008 crash and went on to inspire a whole series of "Story of" mini movies.

Here is the 2007 original "THE STORY OF STUFF"

This was followed by a whole host of additional material including the two favourites of mine I have copied for you below. The first is a call for change and action, a plea for us, the 99% to get busy and make things happen:

 And if we want any more reason to understand why change is both needed and also unavoidable then the 2011 contribution the "THE STORY OF BROKE" brings us right up to date

I hope you have enjoyed the above, the full story of story of, all 27 videos can be found at  

If you agree with the messages contained in the excellent short videos above then start your own revolution by simply sharing this page on to your friends. The journey towards real change is really that simple to begin.

TAX THE RICH: An animated fairy story

Couldn't resist sharing this little animated story with you:

And remember, "We are the 99%"

With thanks to enlightened Facebook friends....................

Thursday, 13 December 2012


My apologies for the short delay in normal service, (lack of blogs) but a family bereavement and high work load temporarily threw me off course.

So to play catch up and give regular readers an insight into all things politically malignant I thought I would treat you to some short inputs and comments.


Adam Simmonds as Northamptonshire's newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner has certainly not wasted any time in making himself and the Tory Party even less relevant and popular by announcing his appointment of up to 16 staff to help him in his newly elected role!

These include Assistant Commissioners dealing with a whole host of specialist areas, including advisers on Youth, Neighbourhoods and even faith.

But what is extraordinary about his employment rest is that most of the applicants are not applicants at all! They are just self appointed Tory party members. All it seems very eager to join the new Conservative Party managed gravy train. His election agent and the Tories current Political assistant at County Hall are just two among many new "crime" experts who will now be paid from the public purse.

He has though now, after much pressure, announced that some of these 16 posts will only be filled after a proper interview process has taken place. Late but laudable you may think?, until that is you see that he has already announced who will fill the posts before the interviews have even taken place!

Of course whilst making it clear he is quite prepared to spend way beyond the previous £800,000 revenue expenditure for the decommissioned Police Authority to make sure he gets the right staff, he is at the same time telling Police Officers and Staff that he cannot protect their jobs in the forthcoming budget round.

This man is doing more single handily to undermine and destroy the Conservative Party's future local and general election chances than all of the opposition parties in Northamptonshire could muster as a collective effort. (although Binners is a good second option at the moment)

Long may he continue in post!


Whenever I mention the ongoing troubles within the local Labour Party I get the same tired old complaints from over zealous members accusing me of not moving on or blaming the regional Labour Party for all of the Party's ills.

So let me make it very clear, I care little for what happens in the Labour Party's regional office or about who is currently responsible for their steady supply of political own goals, but I do find it astonishing to hear that the Local Party is once again to be suspended.

This means that since my expulsion way back in May 2007 that the local party has been suspended for longer than even my own personal expulsion lasted! I work out that of the 5 years and 7 months since that date, that the party has been under suspension for a total of 5 years and  2 months? But I stand to be corrected.

The latest suspension I am told is because there were so many complaints and counter complaints flying around related to individual Cllrs on the Labour Group of the Borough Council that the region thought it best to just once again pull the plug. In fact from just the small snippets I hear I doubt if there is a member of the Labour group left who currently is not complaining against a fellow comrade or who hasn't had a complaint lodged against them! So much for Fraternity!

Funny though really how the region always ensure that the party is suspended and never up and running when selections for election candidates are on the horizon, so once more their County Council candidates will need to be "appointed" by region rather than selected by local members. Now given that the last two panels of candidates for the County and Borough elections have been hand picked by region who should they blame for the infighting currently ensuing?

Meanwhile some even more disturbing news reaches me about serious criminal investigations in respect of one of their other elected members in Northampton, But in order to allow justice to be done I will of course refrain from revealing all or any of the details, but those inside the party may feel a little aggrieved that they didn't heed the warnings some including myself were giving them at least a year back!


Whilst focusing on the local  Labour Party's current (constant?) woes I must share with you the misgivings many party members are now expressing over the Party's choice for candidate at the next general election in Northampton North.

Now of course myself and Sally Keeble never really got on when we were both in the house , we were chalk and cheese, and I could never get away from the feeling that she felt my election in Northampton South was a distraction to her, she certainly seemed happier after I had gone and seemed to prefer having a Tory next door to shout at rather than a nuisance neighbour.

Another area where we were both miles apart was in respect of Sir Thomas Legg's enquiry into the MP's expenses scandal. I was pleased to receive early on in the enquiry a letter from Sir Thomas  saying

 "having examined the records in the light of my interpretation of the rules and standards in force at the time, I have not identified any payments made to you under the ACA during the review period which I consider call for any repayment or further supporting evidence to be provided by you. Accordingly, my conclusion is that no further action is required from you in this matter"

Not surprising really, as my office staff at the time will confirm that I wouldn't even claim insanity despite having more than enough evidence to boot!

Sally on the other hand you may recall got her self into a spot of difficulty by claiming for a whole host of "improvements" to her second home in Northampton including  according to the Daily Telegraphs expose:

"£5,000.00 worth of repairs to the kitchen of her constituency home in 2005, along with £2,403.00 on new appliances and work surfaces. She later claimed £950.00 for the “essential” replacement of her shower, toilet and washbasin, £3,072.00 for a new boiler and £7,669.00 for new windows., not to mention all those tree works in the garden!"

So concerned was she at the time that her largess may influence the way people voted that she along with many other "embarrassed" MP's made voluntary payments back to Parliament to prevent further criticism of the claims. The payments were made at the height of the furore over MPs’ expenses, as the public vented its anger about the widespread abuse of the system.

However, it has emerged that since then, nearly two dozen current and former MPs had quietly asked for the "repaid" money to be returned to them , after receiving lower than expected demands from the House of Commons authorities to repay any over claimed expenses.

And so it was that our Sally in 2010 after no longer being an MP and perhaps feeling less guilty about all those items she felt she had wrongly claimed for and therefore wanted to pay back,  joined 26 other MP's and former MP's in asking for a refund of their refund!

The Commons authorities therefore quietly and secretly sent her a cheque back for £3,737.74

But now she is standing for election again! So can she tell us, was she in her own eyes right in claiming the money for all of the above on her expenses in the first place? If so, then was she then wrong when she said after the scandal broke that she felt she had duty to pay some of the money back to Parliament?
And if she was right in paying "some" but not all of her claimed expenses back to Parliament in 2009 then why has she then secretly claimed it back since when she is no longer an MP?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Whilst low turnout at the Police Commissioner Elections threatens to disappoint even the most optimistic commentators, the people of St James also have there Parish Poll to attend.

Of the two I have no doubt that the importance of the Parish Poll in which the Tories are attempting to offload responsibility and  service costs down to the local populace as an additional tax is the more important.

For some strange electoral jobsworth  reason, NBC are refusing to allow the polls for the PCC and the Parish Poll in St James to be held in the same building! even though different rooms could be made available.

It makes you wonder if they actually want any one to vote!

Anyhow my advice to the people of St James is outlined in the leaflet below which was delivered over the weekend.

If you know anyone is Jimmies End I would appreciate it if you shared this post via the net or even printed off a copy and gave it to them before Thursday.

Many Thanks



Monday, 12 November 2012


I am sure I am not alone in refusing to buy into the self flagellation,  public trial and corporate punishment of the BBC over their own role in badly reporting the ongoing child abuse stories unfolding almost hourly before our eyes.

Yes we can, if we wish criticise them for not publishing and or revealing earlier and more openly their in house concerns on Jimmy Saville's behaviour over the years. And yes individuals within the BBC may have their own skeletons to hide away in the corporations prop cupboard.

But then after acknowledging what they got wrong ask yourself a few simple questions. Such as, when Jimmy Saville abused young girls on the wards of NHS hospitals was it the BBC who let them in onto ward in the middle of the night? When accusations were made to the Police over his possible paedophile activities was it the BBC that the police referred to over any possible prosecution not the CPS? And were the BBC not Social Services running the Children's Homes where he and others committed their vile acts? And was it the BBC who tied up young boys at the home before then transporting them around the country to large houses where they were abused and used as personal sexual playthings by evil men?

And then we have the more recent accusations related to the Bryn Estyn children's home in North Wales, Newsnight may well be sued by Lord Mcalpine for their role in repeating and reporting the allegations being made against him, even though they didn't name him at the time, but can they be really be guilty of encouraging the trial by internet which had already began to gather pace online prior to their report being aired?

Of course its not the BBC who is responsible for these wicked acts and the current blanket press coverage focusing on their role is both ridiculous and becomes little more than a self lit smokescreen.

We are now in danger of forgetting that this whole story is really about wicked and depraved child abuse, and not about who has accused who of what? This story isn't about the BBC or Lord McAlpine's and his internet accusers, it is about children and young people, going back many decades, who were subject to cruel and depraved sexual abuse.

That abuse centred on (but does not end with) children's homes in north Wales - and specifically the Bryn Estyn home near Wrexham this became news again earlier this month when victim Steve Messham spoke to Newsnight, claiming that the Waterhouse inquiry, released in 2000, had uncovered only a fraction of the abuse. This claim is also backed up by the questions asked by my good friend Tom Watson MP in Parliament.

But it was Steve Messham not the BBC who said McAlpine had abused him, and then withdrew his accusation a week later, saying he had been mistaken after the Police had shown him the wrong photo back in the 90's!

So what the hell is going on here, it was not the BBC it was the Police who had shown Steve Messham the wrong photo So are we not able to question, despite the obvious harm caused to Mr Messham as a result of his abuse, why in all the period of the 1990's to the current day he suggests he has only been shown and or has seen himself only two photos related to the case?

In his own words he says

"After seeing a picture in the past hour of the individual concerned, this [is] not the person I identified by photograph presented to me by the police in the early 1990s, who told me the man in the photograph was Lord McAlpine," 

Lord McAlpine will of course seek his own recompense against those who named him prior to his own statement, and his lawyers I am sure will look very carefully at the role played by the internet in publicly revealing and repeating Steve Messhams accusations, but it is important for all of us I believe to concentrate not an individual accusation, but on the wider issues involved. Only then will we get to the truth  instead of us all indulging in wild speculation as to what individuals and/or the BBC did or didn't do.

I still believe Tom Watson's claim that the abuse at Bryn Estyn Children's Home and others was carried out by a powerful group of Paedophiles which led all the way to the door of Number 10 during the Thatcher years and maybe even before her tenure, and I also believe that the current attacks on the BBC are far more than simply a coincidental sideshow.

Imagine if you will an establishment shook to its foundations by the whole scandal desperate for a quick diversion, in need of having the heat and light shone in a different direction, how could they possibly buy some time and sow confusion in the minds of the public, who could they use as a scapegoat? how could they manage and indeed change the news?

Well, simply by controlling it. If I was Lord Patten I would be more worried by who in high circles is deciding that it is acceptable to hang the BBC out to dry rather than simply castigating Newsnight and Panorama. I would be more worried as a Tory peer about any accusations of insider collusion rather than who will be the next Director General.

Premature publicity around the witch-hunt of dead celebrities and current political figures in absence of the facts is now detracting from what should be the real purpose here,  which is to find out the truth over the child abuse that has gone on in the past and bring all those guilty to justice in the hope that the victims (apart from the 12 who have all died prematurely since) some closure and make sure that such a cover up and collusion can not happen in the future.

The Public must not join the Police and the BBC and become obsessed with their own internal fault lines. They must not forget that by contemplating their own navels that by default they may be helping to conceal evidence that the abuse ever existed.

And they also mustn't be afraid to go to all lengths to get to the truth, even though the establishment will as ever put every obstacle they can find in it's way.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


I have spoken before on this blog of the "crisis of trust" which now prevails in our country as a consequence of a series of recent national events. The global economic crisis is exactly that "global" but only in the UK have we seen a series of "other" events which have then questioned both the authority and the integrity of all of our institutions, and challenged the very way in which we are governed

First the Banks were exposed as not to be trusted as they gambled our money away on the markets and gorged themselves on government handouts whilst the rest of us suffered and continue to do so.

Then we lost what little trust still existed in our politicians as the parliamentary expenses scandal (still unravelling) told us that in the main, (but not all) that they only really represented their own interests.

The media fell next as the ongoing  phone hacking revelations shamed editors, closed titles and led to a expose by public enquiry as to the sordid and corrupt workings of our national press.

But we still had law and order surely? Not so, Hillsborough finally did for the Police as 23 years too late they finally admitted that snr police officers had instructed police officers to lie and alter their statements as to what really occurred on that tragic Saturday afternoon in April 1989.

Those of us who were in Parliament during the passage of the 2nd public enquiry (Lord Justice Stuart-Smith) were also shaken then and now at his inability in 1998 to find the fault lines in Lord Justice Taylor's initial report. A warning then if need that not all public enquiries naturally operate in the public interest.

But it is the news today that the Prime Minister has asked for an investigation into the way claims of child abuse in a Welsh children's home, decades ago were originally examined, which will tip the scales of the British Judiciary too far away from the truth for them seemingly to ever be balanced again.

The investigation, (have we now lost trust in enquiries as well?)  follows almost daily revelations into the sordid and warped affairs of Jimmy Saville and threaten to be, without doubt the most damaging challenge that the wider British establishment has ever faced.

But it was only when my still good friend Tom Watson MP stood up in the House of Commons recently at PMQ's and asked the Prime Minister to comment on allegations of a 1980's Paedophile Ring  stretching all the way back to 10 Downing Street, that people started to really sit up and take notice of a wider cover up of paedophile activity in this country, far wider that Saville and his bosses at the BBC

Tom, asked the Prime Minister to investigate allegations that a  mystery senior Tory named by victims as part of that revelation is it is alleged to be amongst a group of 28 perpetrators that were never identified in public during or after the Lord Waterhouse enquiry which began in 1996 but did not report until the year 2000. Many people believe that powerful establishment figures  at the time prevented the full extent of abuse and the names of senior public figures being made public.

The enquiry looked at allegations of hundreds of cases of child abuse in care homes in former county council areas of Clwyd and Gwynedd between 1974 and 1990. Sir Ronald Waterhouse QC, a retired High Court judge, was appointed to head the inquiry. The inquiry began in January 1997.

More than 80 people, many of whom were care staff or teachers, were named as child abusers in statements to the inquiry. The inquiry was stated to be "the biggest investigation ever held in Britain into allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children who passed through the care system".The tribunal sat for 203 days, heard evidence from more than 650 people, and concluded in 1998.

Its findings were finally published in February 2000, as Lost In Care.The report named and criticised almost 200 people, for either abusing children or failing to offer them sufficient protection. It made 72 recommendations for changes, constituting a massive overhaul of the way in which children in care are dealt with by local councils, social services and the police.

However, it found no evidence for the existence of a paedophile ring extending beyond the care system, as had been rumoured. Why?

On his blog  Tom outlines the serious nature of these allegations when he writes:
"many more ordinary people have contacted me about suspicions they have had of a wider wrongdoing – in some cases so heinous it made me cry.

They have talked of psychopaths marking children with Stanley knifes to show “ownership”. They tell of parties where children were “passed around” the men. They speak of golf course car parks being the scenes for child abuse after an 18 hole round.

And they have named powerful people – some of them household names – who abused children with impunity.

Two former police officers have raised their concerns of cover-ups. Child protection specialists have raised their fears that the network of convicted paedophile Peter Righton, the nexus of the group, was wider than at first thought.

Others have identified a former cabinet minister who regularly abused young boys.

Some have raised mysterious early deaths, disappeared children, suspicious fires, intimidation and threats.
It’s bewildering."
In a letter to the Prime Minister written today, Tom warns David Cameron that his announcement of an "investigation" does not go anywhere near far enough to get to the whole truth when he tells him
"My experience of uncovering massive establishment conspiracies leaves me in no doubt that what you have suggested does not go anything like far enough. Its limited scope may even slow things down, muddy waters, damage trails. What is needed is a much wider, but equally immediate, investigation."

There should be no historic sexual abuse of children which is off limits to this investigation. The police should be supported by a dedicated team of child protection specialists, many of whom have been raising their concerns for years. Your advisers will tell you to be wary of “opening the floodgates”. They are wrong. Their decorous caution is the friend of the paedophile. Narrowing the inquiry equals hiding the truth. That is the reality and it is not what you want.

 A dedicated police unit is essential, investigating the organised abuse of children, wherever it happened – from the seediest backstreets even to Downing Street – without fear or favour of exposing the rich and powerful, or those who covered up for them.

And if it opens a floodgate of misery, then so be it. We will all feel dirtied and sickened – as we should. Victims have an absolute right to the whole truth."
We can only hope that David Cameron is in a listening mood. I have seen a list of those from Tory high circles who it is alleged were involved in such abuse at the time and it is not a simple case of a single rotten apple!

Let us also hope that he starts listening to Steve Messham,  Mr Messham, claimed on BBC2’s Newsnight that he was repeatedly abused by a leading figure from the Thatcher era. The man's identity was not revealed any he denies the claims and it is believed has threatened to sue if he is named.

Mr Messham, one of hundreds of children believed to have been abused, and has requested a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the allegations. So far the PM has only responded to Mr Messham by suggesting he give any new information to the North Wales Police, but Mr Messham tweeted that his claims had not been taken seriously, He wrote: “North Wales Police knew years before the Waterhouse inquiry and Downing Street tell us to go back to them.”

This reveals a another wider, deeper question still remaining, Steve Messham and others are saying that all the evidence they are now giving to the authorities was given to the police way back at the time, and to Watehouse enquiry, so why is it only now that an investigation is being called for? And if there was a cover up, just who was involved?

Simon Regan, (now deceased) the former editor of Scallywag Magazine, is also convinced that the cover up went all the way to the top, writing online in 2000 he said the following:

In the early nineties, in the now defunct Scallywag magazine, which I founded, we interviewed in some depth twelve former inmates at Bryn Estyn who had all been involved in the Wrexham paedophile ring, which the tribunal acknowledges existed. Most of these interviews were extremely harrowing and disturbing, but were gently and sensitively conducted over pub lunches where the victim could relax. We subsequently persuaded ten of them to make sworn affidavits which we proposed to use as back up to half a dozen paedophile stories we later published.

Two of these young men, who had been 14-years-old at the time, swore they had been not only introduced to the paedophile ring operating in the Crest Hotel in Wrexham but had later been escorted on three or four occasions to an address in Pimlico where they were further abused.

We took them separately to Pimlico and asked them to point out the building where this had taken place. They were both positive in their identification. It turned out to be the private flat of a well known, and since highly discredited lobbyist who later went into obscurity in some disgrace because of his involvement with Mohammed al-Fayed and the 'cash for questions' scandal. At the time we ran a story entitled 'Boys for Questions' and named several prominent members of the then Thatcher government. These allegations went to the very top of the Tory party, yet there was a curious and almost ominous lack of writs.

The lobbyist was a notorious 'queen' who specialised in gay parties with a 'political mix' in the Pimlico area - most convenient to the Commons - and which included selected flats in Dolphin Square. The two young men were able to give us very graphic descriptions of just what went on, including acts of buggery, and alleged that they were only two of many from children's homes other than North Wales.

There was, to my certain knowledge, at least one resignation from the Conservative office in Smith Square once we had published our evidence and named names.

Subsequently, over a rent dispute which is still a matter of litigation, Dr. Julian Lewis, now Conservative MP for New Forest (East) but then deputy head of research at Conservative Central Office in Smith Square, managed to purchase the contents of our offices, which included all our files. It had been alleged that we owed rent, which we disputed, but under a court order the landlords were able to change the locks and seize our assets which included all our files, including those we had made on paedophiles. It was apparently quite legal, but it was most certainly a dirty trick.

All of a sudden very private information, some of it even privileged between ourselves and our lawyer during the John Major libel action, was being published in selected, pro-Conservative sections of the media.

Subsequently, during a court case initiated by Lewis, I was able in my defence to seek discovery of documents and asked to see the seized files. The paedophile papers were missing. This is a very great shame, because Sir Ronald Waterhouse certainly should have been aware of them.

I believe that the secrecy the Establishment wraps around itself easily equals that of the paedophiles. They really do look after each other and quite professionally cover their tracks.

The real trouble about exposing paedophiles is that former victims of child abuse make lousy witnesses. By the very nature of the abuse, when they are rudely shoved out into the wide world (one of the witnesses, Stephen Messham, for example, was released on his sixteenth birthday on Christmas day after two years of abuse, and had to sleep rough on the streets for four and a half months), they are often deeply psychologically disturbed.
The British State, its institutions and those who by their position within it are all responsible for both their actions, and/or omissions including those currently in office and at the time of these heinous crimes face an uncomfortable few weeks ahead.

Our society still in a state of shock from seeing the banks, our Members of Parliament, the media and the police and judiciary already weakened by past revelations, must now try to give reason to the way in which they have been governed and policed and judged. Unless clear and credible answers are forthcoming, the whole fabric of our society and the pillars it is built upon may begin to fall apart.

Paedophiles need exposing, catching and to be incarcerated, and if we uncover evidence that individuals whatever their political persuasion acting independently or collectively with others, covered up the actions of those child abusers and protected them from the law for political reasons thus allowing them to continue their abuse then their actions (those who cover up)  are as heinous if not more so than the child abusers themselves.

What price do we attach to Justice, and what final cost do we apportion to the act of concealment?

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


By now most of you will have heard that the Labour Party's candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Northamptonshire, Lee Barron has been forced to quit the race after it emerged he was arrested during a town centre disturbance 22 years ago.

I do feel sorry for Lee, despite all my troubles with the party I still consider him to be a friend, and the law in this case is truly an ass when it allows for Prime Ministers and Home Secretary's to hold office with aged convictions but disbars others from standing in PCC Elections.

I also have a conviction from when I was 19, and I don't try to hide it, I was at the time arrested for supposedly kicking a drunk in the "lower testicle region" after he had stumbled into me. I did push him off me and over on to the floor, but I did also point out to both the Police and Court at the time that I had 24 stitches in a leg wound following an accident at work (I cut through my leg and muscle with a stanley knife when working on a roof in London) and that I was walking only with the aid of a stick, when this drunken buffoon walked into me driving his knee into my damaged leg, I also pointed out to them to little avail that if I had of kicked the guy, then like the proverbial one legged man in an arse kicking contest, I would have fallen flat on my backside, and if I had meant him any harm, wouldn't I have hit him with my stick rather kicking him with my only good leg? The court was not impressed and still found me guilty of Actual Bodily Harm and fined me £250

But like so many others have said, I know see it as part of who I am,  and as part of me becoming a different person in later life, and despite my own brush with the law I still went on to stand for election and become an MP, and also became a warranted Police Officer.

People should therefore judge Lee and indeed all of us, on who we are now, not what silly things we did as teenagers. And I ask you one question, who is better served to represent the local electorate? people like Lee and myself who got into scrapes as youngsters? or people like Sally Keeble who is Labour's  candidate again for the Parliamentary seat of Northampton North despite having been caught abusing parliamentary rules leading her to "misclaim" expenses to buy new kitchen fixings and beautify her garden in her Northampton Home when she was last in office?

The Tory press also attack Lee for  encouraging union members to break the law during speech he gave at a demonstration in London last year.

During the rally, Lee can be heard saying  “Every time we refuse to cross your picket lines we break the law but we’d rather break the law than break your picket lines any day of the week.”

So let me also be clear on this like him I would rather risk breaking a rotten law before I crossed any picket line, it's called principle, something sadly missing within the current political climate.

However the response to Lee's plight from the Labour Party is as always so predictable and also so  stomach churning, Lee points out in a statement to the local newspaper that they knew all of the above all along and that they supported him and his candidature. And then he talks about hoping he has not let people down and of building his party's position in the future, and the party in the same piece then drop him like a ton of bricks by saying they were "disappointed" to learn from Lee something they presumably already knew and then they suspend him, withdraw their support and organize another local witch-hunt, sorry investigation.

What really puzzles me though is this.  I knew all about this rule 5 months ago when ex Falklands war hero Simon Weston was forced to withdraw his candidature and I first heard rumours that this story might break about 2 months ago and yet no one in the party it seemed deemed it necessary to check the position until after Lee's £5000 deposit had been paid, leaflets had been printed, and the date for withdrawal and replacement candidates had passed!

Speaking of ineligible candidates I was also told at roughly  the same time that candidates with live IVA's (debt repayment arrangements) were also not eligible to stand and yet the Lib Dem's candidates Paul Varnsverry's IVA is listed on the net as in place until Jan 2013?

Of course he could have got himself released from it early in order to stand for election, but in the circumstances I think he should inform us all of his situation or else we might see the field reduced even further!

Back to main story though , expect further internal problems within the Local Labour Party as they all now distance themselves away from a decision and a region intent on destroying any essence of local autonomy at the price of keeping the Labour Party in Northampton permanently off the East Midlands map.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


When a Labour Leader in opposition is booed at a TUC rally (Saturday 20th Oct 2012) for addressing an anti cuts audience with a weak and limp "we will cut less, and we will cut slower" message then you know that the body politic, that is now Labour PLC has completely lost it's way.

You also know that the divide between the people and the party has been widened and deepened, and far more disturbing you start to realise that our democracy has been weakened to the point that those who are governed feel that not only those who are governing them but also those who seek to replace them are both not listening.

You then realise that the British public are starting to wake up to the sobering fact that no one in the mainstream of our political system is offering them an alternative, not just to the cuts, but to how Britain is to be governed and to who will come forward with the courage to take on the vested interests of the entrenched establishment and speak up for the people.

So I thought I would write my own speech for Ed, the one he should have given to the TUC, it is formed around new and old ideas, each formed around the discussions taking place in and around the country mostly outside of Labour Party meetings and including a public meeting held recently in Northampton at the inaugural Ron Todd Lecture,  which I had the privilege to chair.

It was not totally a Labour free zone,  Jon Cruddas MP who stood as a candidate for the Labour Party deputy leadership joined me at the top table, and as the author of the party's policy review, I hope that he picked up one or two ideas. His local Labour Party members didn't get the opportunity to guide him however as only one of them turned up to listen! I guess the rest were probably banned from attending the meeting on the grounds that they may sit next to someone radical!

But for what it is worth these are the sort of things we were discussing and this is what I think Ed should have said to those at Saturdays TUC rally, albeit very truncated;

"Colleagues, Brothers and Sister's

I bring fraternal greetings to all gathered from the Parliamentary Labour Party and the wider workers movement at large.

I join you in expressing a collective opinion as one voice to the current Coalition Government in the strongest and clearest terms that they have cut and slashed our public services far too deeply, far too quickly and in doing so have bought Local Government and Britain to its knees, they have deflated the UK economy, increased public borrowing and put Britain's economic recovery in deep perilous jeopardy.

I say to those listening at home in the country that the Tory Party in government have cynically  used the current economic crisis as an excuse and as a smokescreen to achieve it's long term political ambitions of destroying the Welfare State and shrinking Local Government and the state to the point that the rich can continue to get richer at the direct expense of those who have least and those whose need is most.

I say to the Prime Minister, that he has personally presided over the most blatant and cruel attack on the weakest in our society and in doing so divided Britain for the first time in 40 years on class lines rich against poor, haves against have nots, North against South, and I say to his mini me, deputy Nick Clegg that no prize, not even that of deputy Prime Minister is worth the price paid by him and his party for their collusion and complicity in this brutal assault on the poor in our country.

I today call on them both in the name of common decency to leave office, to put an end to this corrosive coalition government, and to put to the country the choice as to how they want Britain governed in the future and how they want their taxes spent and their money used.

And I announce from this platform that after a vote of the PLP and NEC executive endorsed by a majority of CLP chairs across the country that the first thing a Labour government will do back in office is to table a government emergency bill to immediately scrap the Trident nuclear weapon programme releasing over time over £100 bn back into the UK economy to assist in our economic recovery and in the delivery of our vital services.

For Britain to spend such vast sums on a nuclear weapon system eight times as destructive as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 shows a lack of sanity, and a lack of common sense in a post cold war era.
Such a weapon would be illegal to use and no country on earth, not even the nation responsible for its launch could be able to escape the total devastation that would follow the use of such a destructive device and such a wicked strike.

I therefore also pledge here today that the the scrapping of Tridents replacement at an unnecessary cost of a further £25bn in 2028 is now official Labour Party Policy. I pledge that the 7000 jobs lost by scrapping trident will be replaced with 52,000 new jobs within the construction industry using the annual £4bn set aside for Trident capital spending to build new homes for Britain's young.

I say to this audience that if we are really all in this together then why does the British government stand by and watch blue chip companies like Starbucks, and Ebay, and Amazon and Boots and Barclay's Bank and Vodaphone and KPMG make billions of pounds of profit off of the backs of British workers and from the pockets of British earners without paying their fair share of British taxes?.
So let me be clear, a Labour government will also legislate as a priority to ensure profits earned in Britain are taxed in Britain. If they want our trade, then the tax man gets paid!

I also announce here today an immediate investigation into the introduction by a Labour Government of a new Land Tax to further help fund the Britain's economic revival. Only 5% of Britain's 60 million acres are used up by our population for domestic dwellings, 90% of our population crammed into just 3 million acres of land, another 5% of our land is used by British businesses, and 20%, is unusable for either purpose, as rivers or mountains. Leaving a massive 70% of our land which has then been left in the ownership of just 0.28% of our population.
So why is then the home-owners and business owners are paying £33bn and £20bn respectively in Land tax each year to the exchequer whilst the 0.28% who occupy the majority of our land are paying nothing and receiving an annual rebate of £3.5-5bn a year for simply not working the land they own, or in agricultural policy paybacks! This aid for aristocrats must stop, and Britain's richest landowners should PAY land tax, not be the recipients of government hand outs!
You poor take courage, you rich take care, this earth was made a common treasury for everyone to share!
I offer you this vision, these policies to the British public as a fairer way of reducing Britain's deficit, as a more equitable way of ensuring that wealth in our country is equitably distributed, and a sure way to ensure that tax revenue is put to the use of the many not the few.


That's my vision for a fairer Britain. that's our answer to those who say there is no alternative. let us offer to the people of Britain a real choice, let us show them how Britain can be fairer and more just, let us work for the future of our young people rather than against their interests.

At present we are not all in this together, but together we can build an alternative way forward"

For those interested in Jason Cowleys excellent piece in Septembers New Statesman, you can find it here: For those wanting the facts without the narrative I copy them below:

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Political interference in the judiciary is never welcome, and whilst the House of Commons must always be the "maker" of laws it must always fall to the Courts to determine the innocence or guilt of those in breach of the law.

That is what makes Tory Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's announcement today on the rights of homeowners to defend their own property with aggressive force so unpallatable.

In a pretty transparent attempt to cheer up the right wing of their party and in an orchestrated move to draw attention away from their own failings on the economy and on transport and on health, the right wing of the Government coalition are once again throwing raw steak at the rabid dogs within their fold.

And of course it will all end in tears, political legislation is always poor legislation, rushed through without proper scrutiny it is meant to grab the headlines rather than improve the law. At least the last time a Tory Government tried this on with their 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act only family pets lost their lives, but this time the fatalities will all be human and not all of them Burglars.

To re cap on the existing law, we all have the right to use "reasonable" force to protect our property from intruders, and "reasonable force" is of course  determined in a court of law by a judge and jury. So well does the existing law work that between 1990 and 2005 there were just 11 prosecutions for people tackling intruders in any premises, including only seven involving homes, seven cases in 25 years is hardly a national crisis
So in England and Wales, as stated above anyone can already use "reasonable" force to protect themselves or others, or to carry out an arrest or to prevent crime. Householders are also already protected from prosecution as long as they act "honestly and instinctively" in the heat of the moment.

But under the new Tory Plans the wording will be changed to protect the home owner further from prosecution, in all circumstances unless the violence used against the intruder is deemed to have been "Grossly Disproportionate" it will mean that someone who is confronted by a burglar and has reason to fear for their safety, or the safety of their family, and in the heat of the moment uses force that is reasonable in the circumstances but in the cold light of day seems disproportionate, they will not be guilty of an offence.

So how is that phrase "Grossly Disproportionate" to be determined? Well on Radio 4 this morning when asked this exact question Chris Grayling gave an example that say for instance you had beaten the intruder until they were unconscious, then it would be grossly disproportionate to then stab him to death!The Prime Minister when asked the same question by Sky News, tripped out the identical answer.

Now don't get me wrong, we all have the right to protect our own property but the government's intervention to re word and alter an already established and understood legal threshhold has just got a whole lot murkier and a hell of lot more dangerous.

Critics have already labelled the move as a licence to kill and criminal analysts have expressed concern that in response to the move Burglars are now far more likely to arm themselves when "on the Job" as a means of protecting themselves from over zealous attacks fro vigilantes. Other critics have also pointed out that not every intruder in your house is necessarily a Burglar, a whole range of public officials already have a right to enter your property including of course the police themselves.

Senior lawyers have also warned that the proposals are simply a political gimmick which risks confusing the law for all the wrong reasons.

Michael Turner QC, chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said:

“There’s no concept in British law of allowing someone to use disproportionate force for good reasons. There is absolutely no need to change the law on self-defence as it stands. “This is about making a political headline. It would be an unnecessary piece of legislation which has real potential to be dangerous.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, accused Mr Grayling of showing both ignorance and disrespect for the law. She said: “Terrified householders defending themselves are already protected, so this irresponsible announcement can only be designed to make people afraid or actually encourage vigilante execution.”

But it is the potential for criminal intent that concerns me most about how this new law is to be interpreted. Imagine for instance discovering your loved one was having an affair, now under a Tory Government it would be favourable not to catch them in bed, in flagrante (on the job) instead you can just wait until your partners bit of fluff is in the Kitchen, then come in the back door and bludgeon him/her to your hearts content (to his end if you wish as long as you don't stab him afterwards) break a window from the outsdie to stage a break in and then just inform the Police that "Sorry Guv, I honestly thought he was a burglar"

Likewise the new law could lead to a whole new series of "Home Delivery" attacks and killings, just arrange for the person involved to be at your house, again stage a break i, beat them to a pulp and say once again, "Sorry Guv, I just came home and he was in the house"

The Tories at Conference this week have avoided thus far in using the word "Growth" but let us be clear, with crazy mad cap schemes like this we will undoubtedly see lots of growth. a growth in vigilantism, a growth in weapons being used in burglaries, a growth in the number of defence pleas against attacks at home cases, and of course an inevitable growth in the numbers injured and killed on both sides, home owners and burglars.

Lets just hope it doesn't lead to a growth in votes for a discredited party of the backs of a Daily Mail reading non thinking public. And what will happen next year, heaven forbid if this government are still in power and they need to knee jerk even further to the right? Well how about a bit of Israeli law? legislation there allows home owners to shoot at will at anyone who they reasonably believed to have any criminal intent!

I know I shouldn't put ideas into the heads of the politically insane, but a desperate government can be grossly disproportionate in it's actions

Monday, 8 October 2012


Andrew Mitchell's "Pleb" recent outburst at Police Officers outside Downing Street has been "very damaging" to the Tory Party. So says Defence secretary Philip Hammond today in a further attempt to "draw a line" under the whole affair.

But it wasn't just Mitchell's  "F*cking Pleb" outburst which caused the damage, it was the fact that he lied and lied again over what was actually said and to what extent leading to the point where police officers had to to publish their own witness statements in a national newspaper.

His absence from the Tory Party conference in Birmingham (where his constituency is)  this week on the grounds that being there would be a distraction, is an admission if ever needed that his current position is untenable and his authority as the Government Chief Whip shot to pieces.

Meanwhile Tory  Party chairman and previous Housing Minister Grant Shapps will also be causing a distraction this week after it was revealed that he used a "Nom De Plume" Mr Michael Green to help sell a get rich quick scheme for a company he ran and then passed onto his wife. A probe into Mr Shapps is now focusing on his claims to be a self-help guru called Michael Green on a website called Mr Shapps continued to use the name Michael Green for his business interests throughout the 2005 election campaign and his early years as an opposition MP. ‘Mr Green’ charged clients £183 an hour for advice on how to make money from the web as well as offering tips on how to beat the recession blues, including splashing out on a jet-ski or learning to play the guitar.

A complaint to the ASA alleges that the website misled the public by presenting Michael Green as a genuine businessman with a personal fortune of £17 million, who would share the secrets of his success for a fee.

So what it is with politicians and their "pen'chance" for what Churchill described as 
"terminological inexactitudes" which most of us refer to as "Porkie Pies" and how do our local Cllrs compare with their national counterparts in comparison?

Well in my promised second expos'e of the quality of current Cllrs at NBC I ask you to consider the following tale of business dealings and then decide if this is the calibre of representative we really need at the Guildhall.

A few years ago a businessman based both in Northampton and also the North took a court action out against a large Northern Council supposedly for non payment of asylum seeker rents on properties he managed.

The claim for a large sum of public money was disputed by the Council, not surprisingly at the time as the Council doubted whether or not whether some of the properties had indeed been used for this purpose and also whether or not the asylum seekers said to have stayed there actually existed in the first place.

As part of the hearing a company in Northampton was made aware of their involvement in the action and also informed that their company name had been used as part of the claim and some of their properties involved in the invoices which had been submitted in their name and on their headed note paper. This was news to them, most notably because they had no business or properties in the North.

So they attended the court, to give evidence that they had no involvement whatsoever in the action and didn't now how their name had been used in such a way, and were very surprised to see a well known Northampton businessman in court putting forward the case, at this point the businessmen apparently got quite upset, and asked for an adjournment, immediately afterwards he and his lawyers immediately withdrew the action against the Council and dropped the case.

The businessman then concentrated on bringing an action on the Northampton Company to try to prove that he was as he had expressed to the court a partner of the said Northampton firm and had been working with them all along on the letting of properties in the North.

This case was heard by Leicester Crown Court. The Northampton company had to spend a considerable amount of money proving that papers submitted to the court by the businessman were in fact forgeries, they were in many cases false documents constructed from their headed notepaper a copy of which the businessman was in possession of. The judge during the hearing become increasingly frustrated at the inability of the businessman to offer any concrete evidence of the partnership other than continuous here-say and photocopied documents. A handwriting analyst had also submitted condemning evidence to the court informing them that in their view the signatures on the documents submitted by the businessman had been forged. 

In a last minute attempt to quash the overwhelming evidence against him and change the direction of the case the businessman finally came up with an original document to back up a photocopied already submitted. This he presented to the court. Comically, but with serious consequence the dates on the original submitted and the photocopy produced from it were then seen to not be a match.

The court understandably found in favour of the Northampton Company and the Judge it is said expressed a that view a fraud had been committed and suggested that the Police investigate the matter.

No police investigation took place as the businessman immediately afterwards had incredibly appealed against the courts findings prolonging the case, with little hope of success The appeal was as expected subsequently dismissed. 

In addition to his dealings in court and despite being a businessman of supposedly considerable income and wealth an application for Housing Benefit was also submitted to Northampton Borough Council during this period. But having been elected to the Council the Housing Benefit Application at the businessman's family home seems to have been "withdrawn" or "not processed"

Does the above sound like a fit and proper person to hold office as an elected Labour councillor?

I have not named the individual and as always offer to them the opportunity to contact me to correct anything above that they feel is not accurate, but my concern here and also above at what is happening at national level in the Tory Party is that I believe we should expect a higher level of integrity and business practise from those who then go on to stand for election? 

And shouldn't those elected to office also consider what effect their past dodgy business practises (when revealed) will have on the overall standing of politicians and other party colleagues that may be affected by the "all tarred with the same brush" mentality.

We deserve far better from our national and local politicians, and it was George Orwell who told us that "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" So long live the revolution


Thursday, 13 September 2012


Eminating from the party political school of what was probably the worst of New Labours spinning years, you would expect me to be suspiciously cynical of too many "Good News" Council stories appearing in the local press, and so when the Chronicle Echo headlined on its website earlier this week not once, but twice with


Northampton in Bloom St James
And so it was, in what I am told is typical Tony Clarke fashion, that I adopted the mantra that a cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin. You see for some time now  I have questioned just exactly what Britain in Bloom was really all about and wondering who it was who was judging who? Was it simply a vanity prize? or a true reflection of effort and input to celebrate all things floral in the world of Local Government.

My findings are not meant to embarrass anyone, nor to belittle the efforts of so many wonderful volunteers like George Howard of the Castle Environment Group, in fact Georges role becomes particularly important to the story.

But as far as the Council are concerned the real headlines are far from rosy and are very different from those above and could be chosen from the following options:




Any of the above will suffice, you see dig down under the rose beds, shine some sun light upon the shadier corners of the Local Government garden, and weed out the manure from the bullsh*t and you will find the whole horticultural beauty pageant is really nothing more than organic table dressing.

Northampton in Bloom Thorplands
Britain in Bloom dishes out thousands of awards each year across the regions in fact even within the East Midlands Region alone they extend themselves to presenting around 150 awards a year, and this is not hard for them to do as:

A) Every paid entrant is guaranteed an award and

B) So innovative are they with the categories that you can have a whole one all for yourself if you wish!

There is Small Village, Village and Large Village, Small Town, Town and Large Town, Small City, City and Large City, Coastal Resort (watch out for global warming) Urban Community, the "It's your Neighbourhood" category, and the "Most Improved Entrant" award heads up a further 10 such "discretionary" awards to be shared out amongst all entrants. Northampton this year for some reason was placed in the "City" category (cities with populations of between 100,000 and 200,00) Northampton's population is of course 210,000 which would have pitted us against much stiffer competition from Derby, Leicester, Nottingham etc.

Last year we were up against, and came second to the giants of Loughborough who it seemed competed elsewhere this year leaving us in 2012 as the lone entrant in the City category and thus bringing  us a Silver (Gilt) Medal.

Silver! you ask. why not Gold after all we were the only runner! Well it seems that BIB in a kindly  attempt to make sure everyone's a winner only really judges you against a scoreboard ranging from 0 (for doing absolutely nothing at all) up to 200

These 200 points are then spread across three areas A, Horticultural achievement B Horticultural Practice and C Green Spaces And this is where it gets complicated 0-99 points gets you a Certificate of Achievement Award, 100-119 points a Bronze Medal, 120 - 169 points a Silver or Silver Gilt medal and 170- 200 points the Big bold Gold.

Back then to George down at Spring Boroughs, it seems that any Community involvement scores highly on the score board meaning that NBC's scores for the last two years have been favourably weighted due to the sterling efforts of George and others like him. Georges work this year even earned him a special "Judges Award" for his efforts.

Northampton in Bloom Ethel Street
So I conclude that a probable third placed Bronze Medal for NBC is then turned into a second place Silver Medal by the efforts of community groups and volunteers, which then as the only entrant in the category enables Northampton Borough Council to become  the"Category Winners" and go forward to the National award ceremony to receive even further plaudits.

EVERYONE'S IS INDEED A WINNER, they all cry, but none more it seems than those sent to represent the Council at the Annual awards. Obviously Britain in Bloom are very aware of the tight fiscal and economic climate that all Councils are now operating within and choose the venues of their award ceremonies very carefully indeed.

Last year they all gathered at the 5 star St Andrews Hotel overlooking the Old Course at the Royal and Ancient club and this year they are all off to Guernsey!

What a wonderful story, and so close to the florally scented press releases shooting forth from the budding press officers at the Guildhall.

 Bouquet's all round

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


What sort of democratic society do we live in where it takes 23 years for the bereaved families of 96 innocent men, women and children to have to fight for the truth that their loved ones died unnecessarily, and that those responsible for upholding the law, lied and broke the law to cover up their own crimes?

164 police statements altered, evidence that the police purposely tried to denigrate the names of the victims and to push the blame away from themselves, a society exposed whereby judges and courts can approve inquests which falsely stated that lives could not have been saved, where those able to save life were prevented from doing so? where evidence showing that people were still living, still breathing was altered to suit the need for authority to bend the truth, where governments are able to say we are sorry but insist that they knew nothing at the time?

What would it have taken for the Prime Minister of the day to insist on seeing all the records from the Police? on asking to see the written AND typed statements from Police Officers?

Do they really think we will believe that they knew nothing and could do nothing to find out the truth from a chief constable who couldn't even secure the crime scene to protect the evidence?

Bereaved parent Trevor Hicks said if he could be granted one wish before he died it would be to find out what was really said between Margaret Thatcher and police chiefs when she visited the Leppings Lane terrace the day after the disaster. 

Because someone in high places had already told him that Thatcher had decided it was imperative that the police were exonerated. That the consequences for a force she treated almost as her private army, would be immense if (as Lord Justice Taylor’s report later demanded) they took the rap for 96 deaths in their care. 

And so the cover-up began with her press adviser Bernard Ingham briefing the media that the disaster had been caused by a “tanked-up mob”. 

Three days later the Thatcher-supporting Sun’s infamous front-page about fans urinating on the dead and stealing from their pockets appeared after collusion between the Police Federation and a Tory MP. The story went round the world that drunken fans killed their own. And the truth was buried. 

Until now that is........................

An apology is always welcome but it doesn't change the need for the old inquests to be quashed and new inquests demanded and for those responsible to now be arrested and charged for their crimes and for the government of the day to also be questioned further as to who actually knew what when, and as a result helped out with the cover up.

Justice for the 96 came a large step closer today, but it will only be fully achieved when all those responsible for these appalling crimes are bought to justice themselves including those in the Police force and those in the press and government who conspired with them to cover the whole affair up.

My heartfelt thoughts go to the families of the bereaved today, when the truth came out I shed a tear, but all the tears shed today will be bitter without any action being taken to correct the 23 years of collusion by those who were charged with protecting us and telling us the truth and who should now be charged for their criminal acts and negligence.


Monday, 10 September 2012


So, no news, emails or interventions from within the Local Labour Party about cleaning up their own act or accepting that they still have work to do to become the sort of party you would like to join on a local basis. Of the three "issues" I raised in an earlier post I have laid one of them to one side on the request of an individual involved as they themselves attempt to seek their own justice, so more of that perhaps at a later date, so instead lets us start with the tale below, which I shall entitle:

'The events below and in other posts are as told to me by people (plural) concerned about the issues outlined therein and the lack of any disciplinary action seemingly taken either within the Borough Council Labour Group or at any higher level. It is for others to judge the culpability of those involved and the probability of success of any disciplinary action and also for the Labour Party to act should it wish to do so .If any person involved identifies themselves and wishes me to consider altering or removing any provable errors in the post then I will be happy to do so if they contact me.
I ask just one simple question, why is it that some party members seem to be excluded and expelled for what are very minor misdemeanour's and after long winded investigations and disciplinary hearings whilst others seem to be blessed with no action being taken for what would be in most people opinion much more serious offences?"

Funding and grants for local charities and organisations are becoming harder and harder to source as Local Authorities and national funders both clamp down on funding streams and replace long term community financing with short term political handouts often disguised as "Empowerment Funds" or "Community Chests"

Imagine then the delight of a chair of a local organisation when they received an e-mail from a local Labour Borough Cllr informing them that their organisation had had an application approved by the Borough Council for the sum £15,000 for funding to provide training and community events withiin their area, all they now had to do to receive the money was to sign on the dotted line.

Well initial delight turned very quickly into troubled uneasiness when the chair of the organisation realised that they had never actually submitted an application to the Council in the first place and didn't need the training or events proposed! What's more it seemed that these same "Training and Community" events were to be provided by a company run by? You guessed it the same Labour Cllr who had submitted the application and informed them of the windfall themselves!

Being 100% above board and not interested in anything remotely dodgy the Chair immediately called a meeting of the organisations executive committee and laid out to them all what had happened, the committee were outraged, how had someone been allowed to make an application for funding out on their behalf, and in their name without their knowledge or authority? How had this Labour Cllr decided what their organisation needed when applying for monies? And how was it that the Labour Cllr responsible for submitting the application to the same Council they served on would also be benefiting from the payment of the grant by providing services through their own company?

The last straw for the committee was that the chair of their organisation was also a Labour Cllr on the same Authority and they wanted no blame or stain being placed on his reputation by the independent actions of another Cllr without his knowledge. The executive therefore asked that the police and the council be informed of their concerns, and as a matter of courtesy the Labour Group were also informed. The police having I am told spoken to the local authority decided on this occasion to take no further action, they were willing to accept that as a new Cllr the individual involved was probably not as aware of the rules and laws surrounding grant funding as they should have been, and as a consequence they would be given the benefit of doubt in the belief that they were attempting to serve the community irrespective of any potential private gain.

The issue caused some understandable friction between the two Cllrs concerned and should have led to the Cllr responsible for self submitting the grant on behalf of an other organisation without their consent or even knowledge being dealt with internally by the party and told to be much more careful in future.

And yet less than two months later this same Labour Cllr submitted another grant application on behalf of another charity group for a daytime event in their ward, this time the organisation were aware of the application being made and of the Cllrs role in assisting them with it. The problem this time though is that the application was submitted to a local funder with little to no real information purporting to the organisation (details of officers, membership, accounts, costings of the event etc) and was submitted under an address which belonged to a completely different organisation (a local church) who had no idea that their address was being used to support the funding bid! The Cllr then attracted further funding for the event from their fellow Borough and County Cllrs through their empowerment funds (supposedly with the same poor level of detail).

And then what happened? Well AN event took place, but not the one mentioned in the funding requests, it was at least on the same day, but took place in the evening rather than the applied for "Daytime" family based activities mentioned in the application and instead of providing support for the local resident community the event was a UK wide "Nation Day" event which has been a part of the calender for many years where members of a local ethnic community invite their friends and family from across the Country to come together to party late into the night, a great and colourful event it always is, I know because I have attended on more than one occasion over the years, and have thoroughly enjoyed it but it has never needed funding before as the Community members themselves bring their own food and provide their own entertainment. So just what was promised regarding the funding that was given and what exactly was it spent on?

A third application from the same Cllr to a funding body on behalf of another third party came to my attention this week which it seems also (unsurprisingly) has not met the criteria level for providing the relevant information regarding either the organisation or the costing and provision of the services requested to be provided through the funding, surprise surprise.

Over the years Labour Councils and groups across the UK have been embarrassed more than once over funding bids which were not all they were made out to be, individual Cllrs have found themselves in very hot water after being found to personally benefit from grants they themselves had a hand in acquiring.

So I wonder what our local Labour Group has to say about the above?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012


If visits to this site and comments therein are anything to go by, then my last post seems to have awakened and stirred some interest in the internal disciplinary procedures of the Borough Council Labour Group. As well as the published comments I have also had a fair few people (including on the group!) who have approached me and said "it's about time something was said and something was done". I have also had opposition members crowing, but that was before I reminded them that I know just as much about thier misgivings and skeletons. The Labour Party in my opinion can only benefit in the long term from being open and upfront in dealing with its issues and inaction is its only real enemy. I have also been double checking with the people involved if they are happy with the posts I have prepared ready to publish, and so the order of publication will tie in with approval given, as I have indicated these are not my opinions, they are not really my issues, they all belong to people within the Labour Party who have been affected by the actions of others and then see no action being taken and ending up feeling as if the party is more concerned with protecting itself and covering up it ills to protect its own image rather than dealing properly with complaints from its own members.

And so to be fair to all  I have posted these two short paragraphs as an update for you ( the blogs readers) and also as a last chance for exec on the Borough Labour Group to work for the good of the party rather than against it. The group exec know my email address and can contact me very easily, and if they contact me to inform me that any of the issues I have raised in my last post are now subject to proper investigation by the group, or want to sit down with me to discuss the matters further then I will postpone publication to allow an investigation to proceed. Either option is fine by me, I am not against anyone, I am for justice being done and trust being re-established. Without that, the only option left is for people is to feel that have got some closure from at least their problems being publicly acknowledged. Over to you.................



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Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.


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