Denis MacShane – Independent Member For Rotherham – The Mike Britland Connection…..

I suppose getting the worst result for a Labour MP, against a self financed Independent at the May General Election, might even get through to Denis!

As I promised readers, that I would publish the Advertiser letters on this blog, I now do so.

On 14th May 2010 The Advertiser published the first two letters I draw your attention to. Mike Britland’s letter makes an attack on the person of Peter Thirlwall apparently authored by him as a member of Joe public!

The truth, I believe, is much more interesting than that! Read on below.

Peter Thirlwall has evidently ‘trodden on someone’s corns’!!!!

I also reproduce my letter of the same date, thanking our voters and promising to be back next year stronger and more able to take on the forces of inertia that prevent real change from happening.

Peter Thirlwall himself made a response in the next edition of the Advertiser on 21st May 2010.

Time to establish some facts:

Firstly, the results in question

General Election 2010
Rotherham Constituency
Party Votes % Share
Labour 16741 44.5
Tory 6279 16.9
Liberal 5994 15.9
UKIP 2220 5.9
BNP 3906 10.3
Rotherham Independent 2366 6.3

The breakdown for Independent local election candidates in MacShane’s Rotherham Constituency.

Rotherham Constituency Local Elections 2010
Rotherham Independent Candidates by Ward
Ward Votes % Share
Boston Castle 531 9.2
Brinsworth & Catcliffe 594 10.6
Keppel No candidate
Rotherham East No candidate
Rotherham West No candidate
Valley 828 16.8
Wingfield No candidate
Total 1953

Rotherham Independents, you will note above, fought only three Wards out of seven that make up the Rotherham Constituency. Is the ‘MacShane Camp’ seriously suggesting that Peter Thirlwall only received support from the Wards where we had local government candidates?

This part of his argument is at best, seriously flawed at worst, a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the facts?

Research indicates that Independents do much better in local government elections than in General Elections. Why is this? The publicity that Independents can attract at the local level can be considerable compared with the exposure during a General Election where all but mainstream candidates are drowned out by the television campaign.

It was thus across the country, where without a campaigning group to back them, they polled on average a rather meagre couple hundred votes, even Esther Rantzen did poorly. Many Independent Network, Parliamentary Candidates indeed did not get even a hundred votes.

MacShane had promised a similar outcome in Rotherham, but the ‘I will wipe the floor with Thirlwall’ did not materialise. Quite the contrary, in reality, once the electors voice was revealed for what it was, a lacklustre electoral performance by a sitting MP, with only44.4% vote share a meagre 16741 actual votes cast.

This is a disastrous result for MacShane however you put it, a total of 10,111 votes have gone AWOL since 1997! The BNP and UKIP votes were not suppressed! Nothing to boast about there then.

Neither was Peter Thirlwall ‘put to the sword’ metaphorically. Peter Thirlwall’s 2366 votes, a 6.3% vote share, was the truly remarkable outcome in a national context therefore! The best result for Independents in comparable circumstances, anywhere in the country! and he easily saved his deposit of £500!

Denis MacShane is a record breaker and now has the singular distinction, of getting the worst result for a sitting Labour MP against an Independent, in the whole country!

Little wonder his ego was damaged and bruised!

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Mike Sylvester fought Wingfield as a full independent.
He is NOT a Rotherham Independent
Votes % Share
Wingfield 1467 29.2

Below is the aggregated ‘Independent’ votes including Mike Sylvester, who was not part of the Rotherham Independents but shown here to give the lie to the erroneous claims in the letter of 14th May. It should also be noted that the ‘MacShane Camp’ are not very good with calculations, 2 plus 2 making 5 perhaps?

Basis of claim in letter above.
Rotherham Independents 1953
Michael Sylvester 1467
Total 3420

I thought it would be interesting and would complete my analysis if I presented the local election votes for the Labour Party for comparison.

Rotherham Constituency Labour Vote
Cast at local elections May 2010
Boston Castle 2342
Brinsworth & Catcliffe 2610
Keppel 2077
Rotherham East 2199
Rotherham West 2403
Valley 2188
Wingfield 1948
Total 15767
MacShane’s Total 16741
Difference 974

Not sure what they really tell us apart from the fact that Denis received nearly a thousand more votes than the local government candidates did on the same day.

I now turn to the claimed author, Mike Britland.

Who is Mike Britland – The author of the letter of 14th May 2010?

Well, well! Mike Britland does not, after investigation, appear to be an ordinary member of the public, at all!

Certainly no unbiased commentator is Mike, but as I will demonstrate, he is revealed as a professional, Labour Party activist and member of the ‘MacShane Camp’!

The evidence:

Pretty conclusive is the fact that Mike Britland has registered Denis MacShane’s new website, http://www.denismacshane.org.uk, in his own name. View details here.

As is this from Denis’s website:

This site is using MelMel WordPress theme created by andrastudio. Promoted by Mike Britland on behalf of Denis MacShane MP,* hosted by one and one Internet Ltd”.

*My emphasis.

Finally for now, he shares the same home address as Labour councillor Barry Kaye, very much a Labour loyalist.

Mike Britland then, is not as presented to Advertiser readers. By omission, he misrepresented himself.

Did he also misrepresent himself as author?

Textual analysis would indicate that this letter was put together by more than one contributor and as we also now know that Mike Britland is a fully paid up member of the ‘MacShane Camp’, perhaps that is not surprising!

The pejorative construction placed on the use of words such as ‘charismatic’, ‘ego’ and ‘allowances’ and the general tone of the letter is deeply personal and may be the crucial clue as to why this was sent for publication.

Additionally, the author clearly harbours resentment at Peter Thirlwall’s high profile in the Advertiser!

The preoccupations that are being exercised here would appear more in tune with those known to be held by Denis MacShane than those of any third person? The spiteful nature clearly indicates that the ‘MacShane Camp’ was deeply upset by MacShane’s result and the magnificent 2366 votes Peter Thirlwall polled, very embarrassing!

I finish with this thought, I started with. It is worth repeating!

Getting the worst result for a Labour MP, against a self financed Independent at the May General Election, might even get through to Denis!

Good Day To Bury Bad News? Cameron Does U Turn on Personal Photographer!

Amongst the general hoopla of the announcement of a royal wedding and the engagement of William to Kate, number10 slipped out a statement that responsibility for paying his personal photographer, Andrew Parsons, and videographer Nicky Woodhouse, would return to the Tory Party from the public payroll.

Quite right, these appointments exposed hubris at the centre of government and trying to get the story of Cameron’s U-Turn out on this ‘good day to bury bad news’ as it was once infamously put, by a former labour press officer, exposes political cowardice as well!

Previous Story:

Hubris, Arrogance and Vanity, Cameron Appoints Personal Photographer!

Independent Member For Rotherham – Denis MacShane – Another Website!

A quick internet search of references to Denis MacShane reveals a new website http://www.denismacshane.org.uk/. This was registered as a domain on 14th September 2010. This domain has been registered in the name of  Mike Britland.

Incidentally, the same Mike Britland,  who had a letter published under his name in the Advertiser of May 14th, just after the May elections, ridiculing Peter Thirlwall’s result** and asking him to stand down from the Council because he was elected as a Labour Party candidate.

I wonder if he is asking Denis to do the same now he is an independent? Although I don’t expect he will, as he is presumably paid by Denis, with our money!

I will do a review in a later post, when I review all our local MPs Web presences.

My! Denis has been busy on the internet!

I wonder if he has stopped his buy up of domain names, we shall see in due course no doubt? He has yet to add http://www.denismacshane.net, http://www.denismacshane.org or perhaps surprisingly http://www.denismacshane.eu to his portfolio of domains, mmmm?

Other Denis MacShane Sites you might be interested in:

Denis on epolitix there was a time when nearly all domains pointed in the direction of this site.

Denis Parliamentary information Confirms his present status as Independent.

http://www.denismacshane.com & http://www.denismacshane.co.uk/ now default to http://www.denismacshane.org.uk/

Additionally:

Denis’s International Blog

Denis’s Re-election Site

Denis’s Twitter Page

Notes:

** Peter Thirlwall in fact had a magnificent result, getting a 6.3% vote share, saving his deposit with ease. The fate of most Independent Candidates in May was a mere few hundred votes at best and over 95% lost their deposits!

Peter was the only Independent Network endorsed candidate, without the benefit of a pre-existing campaigning organisation and plenty of money behind them, to save his deposit!

It is now obvious to me, that the person that was humiliated in May, was Denis MacShane himself!

Getting an employee to send a letter to the Advertiser is a low trick indeed! No more that can be expected of Denis though!

The Letter will be published here as soon as I have found it. Now that it’s authorship is open to question, it’s contents may be very revealing indeed!

Woolas Judgement In Full

Read the Woolas Election Court Judgement in full CLICK HERE

See also:

Labour Uncut

New Statesman; Labour’s neanderthal tendencies by Mehdi Hasan

Guardian Comment is free: The Phil Woolas affair is about the soul of the Labour party by Sunny Hundal

The Staggers – New Statesman Blog. The Labour right strikes back, Posted by Mehdi Hasan

Posted previously:

Woolas – New Parliamentary Statement!

Labour Mutiny Over Woolas. MPs Turn on Harman at PLP!

Another One Bites The Dust!

Woolas – New Parliamentary Statement!

Press statement that has just been released from the Commons authorities:

“After the decision by the election court concerning Phil Woolas, the member for Oldham East and Saddleworth, the Speaker of the House of Commons reported the court’s decision to the House in a statement on Monday. A candidate reported by an election court as personally guilty of an illegal practice is required to vacate their seat in the House of Commons as from the date of the court’s decision (Friday 5 November). “As the seat is now vacant, a by-election will be held once the House of Commons has passed a motion for the issue of a writ.

“The Speaker can neither initiate nor block the motion to move a writ for a by-election. He has no say in when a member moves a writ for the by-election. This is usually done by a member of the party which has previously held the seat. Once the House agrees to a motion for the issue of a writ, the Speaker is required to carry out the House’s decision and to issue his warrant for the by-election. He has no discretion about this. A by-election must be held within 19 working days of the issue of the writ.”

It would appear I was right in a previous posting when I cast doubt on whether there were any potentially successful legal routes open to Phil Woolas.

This appears to confirm it. Lets see who moves the writ first?

Potential replacement Labour Candidates are reportedly already active in the Oldham East & Saddleworth Constituency, circling like vultures already, it would seem?

Previous posts:

Another One Bites The Dust!

Labour Mutiny Over Woolas. MPs Turn on Harman at PLP!

Keep an Eye on Them! UK Citizens Online Democracy – Information at your fingertips.

UK Citizens Online Democracy runs the MySociety collection of democracy and accountability websites, providing a range of simple tools to enable the proper exercise of citizens rights to information and to scrutinise the work of public representatives.

Their most popular website is theyworkforyou.com, the easy way to keep tabs on Parliamentarians. Signing up is easy and the daily email messages about your Member of Parliament very useful in keeping tabs on what issues that are exercising them.

Contacting your MP couldn’t be easier with the website writetothem.com. If you have never written to a politician before, this is the easy way to do it.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests can appear to be difficult to make, now it couldn’t be easier with the website whatdotheyknow.com. Useful to check if your question has been previously asked as well as making your own. Local FOI requests can be viewed by clicking on the highlighted links below.

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.

The website fixmystreet.com allows the easy reporting of local issues.

A new innovation is hearfromyourmp.com sign up to indicate you want to hear from them.

Denis MacShane Independent MP for Rotherham Still Pretending to be a Labour Member? Is he being cold shouldered?

Denis MacShane, now an Independent Member of Parliament for Rotherham, since the Labour Party suspended him from the Party on, I think, 14th October.

Denis MacShane

MacShane however seems to be completely unfazed by this and can often be seen still lurking on the Labour benches as if nothing had happened! No sign of support from them though, he only seems to enter the chamber when there is plenty of room on said benches, he has appeared a little lonely of late.

‘Doughnutting’, is a parliamentary term to refer to the practice of surrounding someone they wish to support, for the benefit of the television cameras and their rather narrow shots in parliamentary coverage. These tight shots are to con the public into thinking there are more MPs present than there actually are.

Cows in a field will not graze too close to cow pats, this is known as the ‘zone of repugnance’, or perhaps in parliamentary language ‘reverse-doughnutting’.

Denis seems to be benefiting from a distinct reluctance by his colleagues to sit close to him. Also he seems to exit the chamber just as soon as he has made his contribution.

Perhaps now is the time for Denis to exhibit a little humility for a change and to stop acting as though nothing has happened. He is, after all, still under investigation by the parliamentary authorities and in addition by the police!

If he carries on in a similar vein, he will leave himself open to the accusation that he is not taking the investigations seriously and it just reinforces most peoples views as to his arrogance!

Supreme Court Judgement – David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine. No Parliamentary Privilege! Crown Court Looms!

The Supreme Court has today announced it’s ruling on the application by Former Bury North MP David Chaytor, 61, of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, ex-Scunthorpe MP Elliot Morley, 58, of Winterton, North Lincolnshire and Jim Devine, 57, of Bathgate, West Lothian, formerly MP for Livingston, That the expenses system was part of the proceedings of parliament and therefore covered by parliamentary privilege.

Piggies, thanks to Guido Fawkes.

The Court has ruled that parliamentary privilege does not apply in these cases and have removed the last legal obstacle to their Crown Court trials.

The three are on unconditional bail and due to face separate trials to take place at Southwark Crown Court. Chaytor, Devine and Morley deny these charges.

Elliot Morley’s trial is due to commence on November 22, 2010. At Southwark Crown Court.

Elliot Morley is accused of ‘falsely claiming a furnishing allowance’ after claiming more than £30,000 expenses for a mortgage he had already paid.

He claimed £16,000 at £800 a month in mortgage interest between March 2006 and November 2007.

A second charge alleges that between April 2004 and February 2006 Morley made a further false mortgage interest claim.

Again he is accused of claiming £800 a month, a total overpayment of £14,428.67.

David Chaytor’s, trial is due to commence on December 6, 2010. At Southwark Crown Court.

David Chaytor faces  three counts of false accounting.

The first charge alleges that, in May 2006, he dishonestly claimed £1,950 for IT services by using false invoices.

The second charge alleges that, between September 2005 and September 2006, he dishonestly claimed £12,925, for renting a property in Regency Street, London, when he was in fact the owner of the property.

The third charge alleges that, between September 2007 and January 2008, the MP dishonestly claimed £5,425 for renting a property in Bury from his mother.

Jim Devine’s trial is due to commence on , 2 February 2011. At Southwark Crown Court.

Jim Devine is accused of falsely claiming expenses in March 2009 after submitting two misleading invoices for printing services worth £5,505.

Also charged with dishonestly claiming allowances for repair, insurance or security between July 2008 and May 2009 by submitting false invoices for services, cleaning and maintenance of £3,240.

I repeat the above statement, that all three involved deny the charges.

Guido Fawkes has reported that there have been reporting restrictions imposed without the public having been aware of them. We only know now, because they have been lifted. This lifting of reporting restrictions was vigorously opposed by all three ex-parliamentarians, but they lost on this issue.

This raises questions as to whether there are similar reporting restrictions being used in the other cases of Labour’s unfinished dirty business. Eric Illsley,  has started the judicial process and Denis MacShane has been referred to the police for investigation. There has been a dearth of information coming out into the public realm at the moment, I wonder why?

See also:

Disgraced Parliamentarians, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield, to face Trial! – case not privileged! Appeal Court gives judgement.

Labour Mutiny Over Woolas. MPs Turn on Harman at PLP!

Reports of last nights Parliamentary Labour Party describe it as ‘mutinous’ after MPs launched vitriolic attacks directed at Harriet Harman, Labour’s Deputy Leader.

Harriet Harman on BBC's Andrew Marr Show

Parliamentary Labour Members are furious at Harman for her statement that it was, “not part of Labour’s politics for somebody to be telling lies to get themselves elected”.

When calling for her to resign, I am forced to conclude that they were perfectly happy for lies to be deployed come election time! Are they on a parallel universe? Do they believe that the laws that they make don’t apply to them?

Labour MPs still don’t understand the gulf of trust opening up between them and the electorate. They are acting in the most arrogant of fashions. A little humility would be most appreciated at this time. I note none of these cowardly, disgraceful and arrogant Members has gone on the record! That speaks volumes in itself. Reports indicate that George Howarth, Stephen McCabe and David Watts were among them however. No surprise there then! Denis MacShane was absent as he is currently suspended but Kevin Barron apparently put up a bit of a defence of Harriet, well done on this occasion Kevin! Nothing yet on Wentworth & Dearne MP, John Healey’s views on the matter.

Harriet Harman spoke for all of us, when she repudiated what Woolas had been proved to have done. She should be congratulated, not denigrated by members of her own side! Shame on them!

Jack Dromey

Jack Dromey, the MP for Birmingham Erdington and Harriet Harman’s husband, said on the BBC’s Daily Politics show today,

“I think Ed Miliband and Harriet have done absolutely the right thing, It is no part of our politics to tell lies, to fan prejudice to win votes. What happened was wrong.”

“I’ve always believed in what I’ve called standing on the moral high ground. How we conduct ourselves is of the highest importance.”

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Jack Dromey is obviously more plugged in to public sentiment that most of his colleagues who simply do not understand how bad it looks to the public, according to a YouGov poll published today. The people have little sympathy for Woolas. Only 7% in fact, with 71% agreeing with the courts decision!

It is also becoming apparent that the legal position is, to say the least, complicated! There may be no judicial avenues open to him after all, which will make yesterdays Speakers ruling that, as far as Parliament was concerned, the matter was Sub Judice look ill-advised and perhaps premature.

The Speaker’s wife’s recent twittering might also not be particularly helpful either. There are no real precedents to this Constitutionally difficult situation and I would have thought it might have been better for her to have refrained from her tweets.

Posted previously:

Another One Bites The Dust!