Representing the town, the people … or something else ?

Update on Rotherham Borough Councillors representing Maltby :

(from RMBC website)

Councillor Amy Rushforth

Ward : Maltby  Party : Labour

Biography : Councillor Rushforth has been a member of the Council since 2000 and is currently Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning and Culture.

Councillor Will Blair 

Ward: Maltby   Party: British National Party

Biography: Councillor Blair has been a member of the Council since May 2008 and is a member of the Health Select Commission

Councillor Chris Beaumont

Ward: Maltby  Party: Labour

Biography : Councillor Beaumont was elected a Councillor on 5th May, 2011 and is a Senior Adviser for the Cabinet Member for Safeguarding and Developing Learning Opportunities for Children, Vice-Chairman of the Wentworth Valley Area Assembly and a member of the Improving Places and Health Select Commissions.

This seems reasonable enough – 2 Labour and 1 BNP sounds about ok from my knowledge of the views of Maltby electorate.

Apart from not  getting my head and understanding around the new cabinet members titles and responsibilities (yet) there are another couple of things that don’t feel quite right to me.

Why does anyone stand for election as a  Rotherham Borough Councillor when they have never stood for Maltby Town Council ?  Surely if being a councillor is to represent the people, then it’s logical that you would want to represent them at all levels. A sort of ‘working your way outwards’ rather than upwards. Amy Rushforth and Chris Beaumont are both currently serving on MTC and (despite them both being Labour party members) this appears to me that they have the interest of Maltby at heart. Our BNP councillor does and always has donated generously to local causes and events, but apparently doesn’t want to have his say too locally.

Secondly, if you are a member of Maltby Town Council (past chair, in fact) why would you stand for election for a neighbouring ward and not your own ?

 Councillor Jenny Andrews

Ward: Hellaby  Party: Labour

Biography : Councillor Andrews was elected a Councillor on 5th May, 2011 and is an adviser to the Cabinet Member for Culture, Lifestyle, Sport and Tourism and a member of the Improving Places Select Commission and Licensing Board.

One view might be that this was party politics working at it’s fullest (and worst) – or would that just be cynical ?

Have your say about Rotherham Advertiser

Are you tired of   ’lazy journalism’ ? Fed up of reading pieces lifted directly from press releases provided by the subject  in question? Longing for a ‘MacShane free week’ ? Bored of seeing the same old stories from the same old people week after week? Wish you could have your opinion aired more objectively ?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, now is the time to join the Rotherham Advertiser’s Readers Panel !

Rona Biggins, PA to Doug Melloy of the Rotherham Advertiser says :

‘ Thank you for letting me know you are able to attend the meeting on 19 July at Vascos.
I have attached a copy of the questionnaire as requested. We are hoping to attract more members over the next few months, particularly non-readers, occasional readers and some younger people so it would be helpful if you could pass it on to anyone you know would be interested.’

Anyone interested or knows anyone interested, either get in touch here or contact Rona directly at

Garnett Dickinson Publishing Ltd
Brookfields Way
South Yorkshire
S63 5DL

T.+44 (0) 1709 768000 

Hope to see you at the next meeting ...

To Kevin Hall, Editor of Maltby News (defamation of character IS an offence)

Dear Kevin Hall : Editor Maltby News,

I am sure that you will not print this letter in the Maltby News paper as you have made it clear that you do not give your readers the right to reply unless their views fit in with your own and those of a ‘chosen few’.

In fact it appears from the June edition of the paper that you do not print readers’  letters at all. In place of letters or even an editorial comment you have printed a further ‘report’ by Alice Rodgers again castigating Maltby Town Council and ‘reporting’ from Maltby Forum. As you know Maltby Forum is the  group that has repeatedly refused to provide details of it’s membership  and it’s constitution. The only ‘information’ that they have provided has numerous irregularities and is out of date, yet Maltby News continues to  publish pieces from someone who purports to be an official.

Any member of the public reading these things in Maltby News will naturally, assume that what is written is factual, credible and honest.

Much of what is written is none of these.

Over the past 18 months there have been many instances of defamation and libel against me and my friend on the letters pages of the Maltby News paper. One of those responsible continues to send malicious and libellous emails, cc’ing numerous people into them including you, Gareth Dennison and Doug Melloy of The Advertiser,The Worksop and Dinnington Guardian, Maltby Town Council and a selection of MPs and councillors.

There has been much in the media recently of injunctions and privacy laws. The Prime Minister has said the law should be reviewed to “catch up with how people consume media today” and that  it is unfair that newspapers could not name individuals whose identity was being widely circulated on the internet.  But I know from personal experience that views and perspectives that the public take from the media are not always the full story. Newspaper reports are often taken as ‘gospel’ and our local newspapers in particular have a duty to represent all views and rectify false accusations. Once something is written it becomes fact for some people and no amount of further evidence will change their views.

You suggested to me by telephone Kevin Hall, that I should report you to the Press Complaints Commission. Again, as you well know, the majority of UK publications fall under their jurisdiction but Maltby News is not one of them as it does not belong to any of the five publishers’ associations

So there is no course of action that can be taken apart from a civil one, which obviously is beyond the financial means of the general public and myself. The Police are however, investigating the matter and I trust that a positive outcome will be the result of this.

Despite you ignoring my last five letters to you I am not deterred in ensuring that everyone who this situation effects is informed. I am advised to write to yet again to ask for my previous letters to be printed in order to show the public of Maltby that your paper is a reputable source of news and correct information.

It is only by honesty and openness of everyone, including the media that ordinary folk like me can have the truth told.

(Copies of the offending paper can be found at

Lyn Brown another Labour hypocrite!

Labour MP Lyn Brown proudly says this on her website:

“Since her election in 2005, Lyn has campaigned tirelessly for a Living Wage for all”

But puts our a job advert that says this:

“An intelligent and enthusiastic volunteer worker is required to work in a busy, Westminster office.”

To offer employment on a voluntary basis, unpaid therefore, in central London would be disgraceful at any time, but for an active campaigner for a living wage, it amounts to the worst kind of hypocrisy possible, but she is a Labour MP so it must come naturally?

Just when you think the Greenbelt is finally safe – further threats emerge!

One of the first subjects to be examined on Rotherham Politics was the outrageous attack on Rotherham’s green spaces occasioned by the, then, Labour governments policies with unintended and unwelcome consequences. John Healey was the Minister in charge of this policy objective.

When this government was formed last year, the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles a blunt speaking Yorkshire man as it happens, announced that the attack on greenbelt land was over. Most of us then, I am afraid, took our eye off this particular ball.

We should be indebted therefore to the save our greenbelt campaigners and Simon Collett in particular for not doing the same thing! The Rotherham Advertiser brought this story to wider attention of their readers; Housing plans for green belt scaled down, by Gareth Dennison.

While news of any reduction of greenbelt use is to be welcomed, I would rather doubt that even the more limited proposals will be any more acceptable than the ridiculous previous proposals. Definitely time to get off our bums and campaign against these still crazy proposals!

Email Simon here: or phone: 07572113034

Jacob Rees Mogg – New to twitter, is he making a twit of himself?

Jake Rees-Mogg MP

Jake Rees-Mogg MP


De omnibus dubitandum est.

My translation, my Latin is rusty, doubt everything, would be a close approximation.

Definitely a good candidate for any upper class twit of the year competition, don’t you just love this idiot!

Jacob Rees-Mogg bashes blogger into submission!

Posted on April 27, 2011 by rothpol

When Bath University student, Hadleigh Roberts, started a satirical blog entitled the “Rees-Mogg Blogg“, little did he realise that old Etonian, millionaire, Pension Fund Manager and now Tory MP for North East Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg, didn’t have a sense of … Continue reading →

UPDATE!! Even us old cynics at Rotherham Politics fell for this spoof! So believable and very funny especially today’s tweets. Read it while you can at; @jakereesmogg.

Welcome to termite

When I informed readers about the secure email service Hushmail on the RikiLeaks page, that could be used to communicate with us anonymously, little did I expect it to flush out a new blog contributor, termite!

We welcome termite to the rothpol team and wish them at least some enjoyment at blogging! We can’t introduce termite because, presumably, they feel they must keep their identity private but they can be contacted using this secure email address,

Termite says that they are willing to help, anonymously of course, anyone who wants to blow the whistle about Council matters in particular.

The last of the Dinosaurs – Gerald Smith, an appreciation by termite!

For my first posting on Rotherham Politics, I thought I would start with a look at Councillor Gerald Smith, who has been in the news recently on Rotherham Politics and had a letter published in the Rotherham Advertiser last Friday.

Gerald has been a fixture on Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council pretty well since it’s inception in 1974 (Gerald Smith joined RMBC in 1979) and had been active in local politics for a time before that. A genuine product of his age, a veritable dinosaur in the flesh. This man’s antediluvian views have not changed one bit in much of that time, mostly due to the fact that he will not listen to anyone, but himself, never has!

Gerald Smith’s abilities and power is ebbing away as his supporters fade away or increasingly fall victim to the grim reaper. The complexion of Labour Group is slowly changing, with new members, not quite so tolerant or imbued with the Leninist attitude to rigid control and the use of patronage to bring about total adherence to discipline. So called working class democracy in action, with the, ‘do as you’re told or else mentality,’ often referred to as ‘democratic centralism,’ that still pervades labour politics in Rotherham Borough.

Never one to have doubts about his actions, Gerald has become a boor, a bully and infallible, if his letter is anything to go by! His ignorance and basic stupidity are clear for readers to see for themselves, as is his over bearing arrogance that, if ever it belonged in Rotherham, should now belong in the past!

Gerald Smith is a bully, so it does not surprise anyone, least of all me, that there are members of Aston cum Aughton Parish Council that will not speak at main meetings, because the get their heads bitten off if they do! Gerald Smith pours his contempt and derision upon anyone who does, even obliquely ask a question, the first time they try it! Been on the receiving end from time to time, so I know, only too well, what it’s like having this bombastic idiot in your face. I am sure that there are others that could, on Smith’s definition of silence, be so labelled.

On the rest of Councillor Smith’s assertions, I cannot comment other than to say his attitude throughout his letter would seem to form prima facie evidence, of a serious breach of  his and the Parish Clerk’s, codes of conduct! I do hope that a complaint is lodged at Parish and Borough level.

The final paragraph which describes what is called an imprint, incorrectly as an ‘indent,’ goes on to state that to use; published and printed by Holderness Lab Party at 4 Brook Close, Aston was entirely legal! Does this stupid man not know, even the basics, of the legal niceties of imprints on leaflets distributed during election campaign periods? Clearly a fool, this man states categorically that his version is “sufficient and legal” when it is anything but! I won’t bore blog readers with the arcane details but I would refer him to Labour’s own Legal Handbook, that discusses it in detail and a quick read of it indicates that it is seriously deficient in a number of respects! Perhaps Martin, Tim or Maggs, would like to show him his errors? Like to be a fly on the wall of that discussion as Smith is never wrong!

Gerald Smith and Tim Mumford have a long and intertwined past which almost encompasses the entire history of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, since Tim Mumford has been with RMBC since ’74 and Smith joined the Council on 4th May 1979! They have had an interesting time and I am sure some of their exploits would feature prominently in any memoirs of Tim Mumford, should they ever be written. If Tim needs a ghost writer for this project, I would be happy to oblige!

So there you have it! One of the last of the dinosaurs, from a bygone age, on Rotherham Council. Beginning to become an embarrassing joke at Council and Cabinet and would it not for the control by the Council by another more powerful dinosaur in the shape of Roger Stone, he surely should have been retired, years ago! Smith’s, Diplodocus! To Stone’s, Tyrannosaurus! I shouldn’t wonder!

Arrogant, ignorant and stupid in good measure, this foolish man is also a bully and a boor with his fingers in so many ‘pies’ I doubt that he could count them all! Always right and if he wants, can make Black appear White,  North appear South and East appear West!  Gerald Smith has a great deal of form as a control freak and is contemptuous of dissent from his views even from party colleagues, so Independents have no chance.

Pickles on bloggers from ConservativeHome

“New technology – particularly social media – means new opportunities to scrutinise councils; while the growing interest in citizen journalism and blogging means more people wanting to hold their council to account. It’s important that we keep pace with these new developments. So it’s disappointing that some council officers seem stuck in the analogue age: with some banning videoing, tweeting or live blogging.”

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. From ConservativeHome.

Open council meetings to bloggers, urges Eric Pickles

Geert Wilders – acquitted of hate speech charges!

“I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

Voltaire’s famous quotation still has applicability in the here and now. The case of Geert Wilders is a perfect example of this in action.

Geert Wilders is a Dutch right wing politician, with a history of criticism of Islam amongst a number of concerns to the Dutch voters. His complaints principally centre on changes that muslim immigration has brought about to Dutch society. Unfortunately he is getting worrying level of support.

Free speech must be defended! All political systems, religious belief systems, scientific viewpoints and everything else should be subject to critical challenge or the result will be tyranny of one sort or another. Religious tyranny being the worst of all.

I have never understood why an omnipotent higher power would have any need for man made laws on blasphemy. I would have thought that He/She or it could take care of themselves without our rather puny laws! Omniscience would, no doubt, trump anything we could do!