Old Labour – New Labour – Scum Labour in Rotherham’s Stone Age!

When Trambuster coined the title ‘Scum Labour’, to sum up the sorry state of democracy and participation in Rotherham’s Labour Party of today, I thought he may have been a little harsh in his criticism. However after reviewing some of the facts, I am tempted to agree with him.

Remember the ‘Layden’ Days, when Jack Layden, Eric Manns and Friend Cooper ruled the roost, far from idyllic were they?

The days of Keith Billington followed by Mark Edgells, New Labour, were at least optimistic but this ultimately turned out to be no more than a ‘Prague spring’ moment.

Rotherham’s ‘Stone Age’ has returned us to the ‘Old Labour’ Days, with the premium again placed on rigid discipline, but this in the modern era has evolved into ‘Scum Labour’ make no mistake.

A working definition of ‘Scum Labour’ might be ‘Old Labour’ plus extraordinary greed at all levels from parish, Town Hall and both Houses of Parliament, the gravy train was exploited to the full, ‘fill your boots’ was their only maxim by all accounts. Hadn’t got a receipt? Never mind, just make one of your own! Nobody seems to serve the public for nothing any more? Even the Standards Board Members are paid! Who decides how much? The councillors they police! An outrageous example of ignored conflict of interests, I would have thought? Others less charitable, might conclude that the Councillors and co-opted members were in a corrupt embrace! Perhaps? What do readers think?

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Next years crop – badly in need of some weeding or pruning, perhaps?

I thought it might be interesting to take a quick look at sitting councillors on RMBC who would be expecting to be fighting their seats for their party at the local elections next May. Unless their Party tells them otherwise, that is! There are some real lulu’s on this list, for the moment, I will give you the opportunity to examine each of them yourself and maybe the comments might start fingering the real corkers!

Anston and Woodsetts Ward: Darren Jason Louis Hughes – The Conservative Labour Party Candidate – 1704 (520)
Boston Castle Ward: Mahroof Hussain – The Labour Party Candidate – 1545  (641)
Brinsworth and Catcliffe Ward: John Eric Gamble – BNP – 1430  (61)
Dinnington Ward: Simon Tweed – The Labour Party Candidate – 979 – (117)
Hellaby Ward: John Turner  – The Conservative Party Candidate – 1865 (1096)
Holderness Ward: Hilda Landells Jack – The Labour Party Candidate – 1311  (515)
Hoober Ward: Frank Hodgkiss – The Labour Party Candidate – 1322 (465)
Keppel Ward: Sheila Walker – The Labour Party Candidate – 1069 – (184)
Maltby Ward: Will Blair – British National Party – 702 (18)
Rawmarsh Ward: Glyn Whelbourn – The Labour Party Candidate – 1291 (369)
Rother Vale Ward: Jeb Nightingale – The Labour Party Candidate – 1161 (392)
Rotherham East Ward: Maurice Richard Kirk – The Labour Party – 1163 (559)
Rotherham West Ward: Kath Sims – The Labour Party Candidate – 1227  (269)
Silverwood Ward: Ann Russell – The Labour Party Candidate – 1044 (138)
Sitwell Ward: Middleton, Christopher Norman The Conservative Party Candidate 1213
Swinton Ward: Ken Wyatt – The Labour Party Candidate – 1341 (332)
Valley Ward: Simon Currie – The Labour Party Candidate – 982 (171)
Wales Ward: Thomas Anthony Fenoughty – The Conservative Party -1275 (377)
Wath Ward: Alan Gosling – The Labour Party Candidate – 1461 (619)
Wickersley Ward: Martyn Lawton Parker – The Conservative Party – 1355 (100)
Wingfield Ward: Lindsay Johnston – The Labour Party Candidate – 1110 (118)

Undoubtedly the poorest of the three groups of councillors both for Labour and the Tories!

Hidden problems on Anston parish council? Mrs Overall speaks!

Mrs Overall sent us this, just had to share it with everyone. Thanks Mrs Overall:

ANSTON PARISH COUNCIL
Finance Mtg 8.6.2011
ISt John (ISJ)  –  When C. Thornton asked C.ISJ if as a Trustee of Safe @ Last should he not leave the room when this item was being discussed – ISJ –loudly -Chairman I am sick of these continual personal remarks against me. C Thornton pointed out to him not only had he a personal interest but also prejudicial. Cllr.ISJ did not leave the room.
John Ireland (Chair) Made no reference to whom he was addressing but said “I wish the public would keep quiet.  HEH said – We are having to share an Agenda and are having to ask each other where we are – There were only 3 put out and that is not enough, maybe we could have more next time.  Cllr. Wardle’s partner said maybe you should come back here and share with us, HEH I am sharing with this gentleman – Partner – Well as long as you are alright that’s all that matters isn’t it – HEH quite correct.  VSE – if you had come earlier you would have got one.
During Cllr. Wardles Partner’s interrupting John Ireland did not admonish him once!
The Judging of the GARDENS
ISJ – Pushing for the judging  to take place after 6pm.  ISJ said he wanted to be on the panel. This from a man who at a previous judging asked a parishioner if they got many grapes on their vine, which was in fact a golden hop.  Maybe judging should be left to people, not necessarily Parish Councillors, who have horticultural knowledge.

ALL THIS FROM A QUALITY PARISH COUNCIL!

Finance Meeting 20.6.2011
Cllr.Dalton appointed Chair – Dominic Beck Vice Chair

Parish Council Meeting 20.6.2011
Dobsons Path
HEH raised the condition of this (broken handrail, litter & general detritus from overhanging trees) and asked whose responsibility this was.  ISJ told the Chair as it was a public footpath this would be the Borough. C Burton offered to look into the matter.
Handrail from The Levels to Main Street
HEH pointed out the siting and inappropriate nature of this. The rail is on the “wrong” side, the material is not conducive to a Conservation Area, this being ……….which stands out like a sore thumb and especially when the sun shines on it which makes it over bright and the general appearance is ugly.  ISJ said he had been to view this and thought it was quite good.  Dominic Beck said the aesthetics were not important!!
The Parish Council say they have had no complaints – HEH told them many people had complained locally but felt the Parish Council to be a non-listening council.

Cllr Baker pointed out that this handrail had been originally scheduled for Jackie Fishers Hill and had been installed in the wrong area.
HEH – asked  when a handrail will be installed on Jackie Fishers Hill and asked Cllr Burton to ascertain that this will be green and in sympathy with the area.
Valerie Sheldon Ennis pointed out that in cold and frosty weather this material would cause people’s hands to stick to the metal handrail  and that some form of covering is needed and this to be in sympathy with the area.

Apparently RMBC had said that for this rail to be green the Parish Council would have to pay the difference.  Obviously Anston Parish Council did not wish to do this.  This from a council where the majority voted for us the parishioners to pay for their and their partners Christmas social.

Valerie Sheldon-Ennis – Referred to the bench on The Green – At a previous meeting The Clerk told the meeting it had been painted – She had examined this and found this bench and found it unsatisfactory.   The paint to have flaked off and rust in evidence.  The Clerk to have this looked at.

The wall between The Green & Jackie Fishers Hill.
Is now nearing completion with the small retaining wall left to complete.  This was started October 2010 a matter of 8 months for a wall of ….long & …high.
A member of the public falsely accused Cllr.Thornton of remarks against the contractor.
What is happening about making good the rise over which cars have driven over is not as yet known.
This wall was first damaged c 25 years ago and again c 10 years ago – We have been pressing for the repair all this time.

John Ireland, yet again, saying  Would the public stop talking and yet gain looking towards HEH whilst doing so.  She told him she was not speaking it was someone behind.  J Ireland said he did not know who it was.  HEH told him he always directed his attention towards herself JI said he could not see where he was looking. HEH told him she could and he was as ever looking at her.
It is noticeable when his “friends” come to Parish Council meetings and have their discussions or even verbally attack other members of the public – No mention is made of this! Enough is becoming enough.

Iain St.John – Continually interrupted people whilst speaking although at one point when he had appeared to have concluded a point against myself I came in with a counter point at which he shouted Don’t interrupt I have not finished.
It is noticeable that in the main body of the meeting where the public cannot speak Cllr St.John comes in with back stabbing remarks against anyone who disagrees with him.

Iain St.John said to Stuart Thornton “You are a disgrace to the profession of councillor”
Cllr Wardle at one point put out her tongue at someone on the other side of the table.
Continual interrupting C. Thornton and attempting, in my opinion, to belittle this councillor.
Dominic Beck also continually interrupting and voicing his opinions.  He does not seem to consider it necessary to seek the permission of the Chair to speak.

A member of the public commented on The Chair’s failure to keep the meeting on track.

July waiting for the idiot to bring his papers.

ALL THIS FROM A QUALITY PARISH COUNCIL!

Wednesday 3 8.2011
Democracy Anston Parish Council Style.  Each time Cllr Stuart Thornton attempted to speak Cllr Robin Stonebridge proposed “That this councillor not be heard”.  Here we go again Cllr Stonebridge do you not want the people of Anston to know about the secret meetings?  Come on Chairman get a grip don’t evict councillors for pointing out your failure in declaring prejudicial interest.

Quality Parish Council – let the people decide?

New Labour’s Project 99

It wasn’t until I read the report on Ron Windle’s death in the ‘Tiser last Friday that I remembered Project 99. I had no idea they were still so exercised by this last attempt by the Labour Party to ensure proper accountability of elected members. Since then, the Party has gone backwards and we are pretty much back to where we were in Local Government prior to 1997! Out of touch local politicians, paying only lip service to Labour’s constitution! Back to the future, would be an appropriate and simple way of explaining what happened here in Rotherham.

Project 99

Once Tony Blair and his coterie took control of the Labour Party in the wake of the sudden death of John Smith, the then leader. They realised that the Party itself, was one of the biggest obstacles to a return to government.

Labour leaders from Michael Foot through Neil Kinnock and John Smith had tried to reform the party from within with some success at least superficially. Kinnock’s fight to the death with Militant was perhaps the major turning point. John Smith tried the ‘constitutional’ route by changing the way the party organised but this approach was already exposed as a failure that could not ultimately work. Despite this, John Smith managed to ‘modernise’ Clause 4 in 1993, with a little help from John Prescott, which included the abandonment of a socialist perspective in the Constitution of the Labour Party.

The biggest problem facing New Labour once in power? The ‘fiefdoms’ in the North in Labour’s ‘Heartland’ areas! Those in control locally, had their own ‘agendas’ which was frequently at odds with the party centrally. Power in these places resided, then as now, in the hands of the Labour Groups. Populated by time served apparatchiks, often with limited abilities, and in some cases of great age. These Labour Groups were largely out of the control of the party and often corrupt as well. Rotherham would have served as an archetype of this tendency.

When Blair took over the reigns of the party it was so hungry for power the membership would have done almost anything to secure a period back in government. Members would have swallowed anything that was necessary to secure victory at the 1997 General Election. Discipline was enforced, at least for public consumption, all embarrassments kept from the public by means of a very slick public relations operation with Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson heading it up.

Plans were already in train before the 1997 General Election to attempt to remove this obstacle to future electoral success by removing the ‘dead wood’ and replacing them with councillors much more in the new Labour mould than hitherto. The fact is, Labour had successfully ‘airbrushed’ out the unreconstructed nature of the party at grassroots level throughout Labour’s ‘Heartlands’ during the General Election. The strategy they came up with was Project 99 followed by Project 2000. This was an attempt to standardise and set standards of performance for all local councillors by controlling the selection process, giving real power to the members and more importantly challenging the power of the Labour Group.

Project 99 would be universally welcomed by the membership, but most definitely not by the councillors, whose power was being challenged! Rotherham was entirely typical in this respect and a battle for control ensued but complicated in Rotherham by the Deputy Leader Garvin Reed, who fancied himself as some sort of ‘Derek Hatton’ back then to the weak Leader, Jack Layden followed by the less cooperative Keith Billington, who had to clear up the mess left by Garvin, once he was unmasked as a delusional fraudster.

Garvin was still smarting, as was Roger Stone, from Roger’s ignominious defeat to John Healey, in the selection battle for the vacant Wentworth Parliamentary Seat. This exposed Garvin’s essential weakness, and a period of internecine blood letting and score settling followed, with at least two ‘Stalinist show trials’ of entirely innocent members and one full scale leak enquiry! Cheered on from the sidelines by everyone who had their noses put out of joint by Healey’s success, they went for the only people available to them to take their frustration out on. Disgracefully one MP stuck his knife in personally on one occasion leading the mindless baying for blood! Who was this? Kevin Barron, no surprise there then!

Project 99 certainly stirred things up in Rotherham all right! Now we know just how unhappy the collection of incompetent deadbeats were and still are, thanks to the ‘Tiser! Unfortunately, the fact is Project 99 changed nothing over the long term and local government now presents the same problems Blair had faced before the 1997 General Election. We will have to wait and see whether Ed Miliband is up to the task of proper Party reform. I bet he dodges it in the end?

Top Ten Posts last week – Total 468 page views

A huge thank you to our loyal band of readers and contributors who have stayed with us during the fag end of August. The political season is just about to start after the holidays and we look forward to September with a great deal of optimism.

Home page 176
George Valentine asks some important questions? 71
Don Buxton probes for information 24
Labour Group change the rules, retrospectively. 18
Refounding Labour – Ed Miliband’s project for Labour’s future 15
Do’in the rounds – Political Spin? 14
MacShane bites the hand that fed him? 14
Chris Read finally comes clean! Took him long enough! 13
Top Ten Posts last week – Total 614 page views 8
J’Accuse Gerald Smith 8

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Labour Group change the rules, retrospectively.

I found this little beauty of a story on p44 of “50 Years Ago” in this week’s “Advertiser”, Friday 26 August 2011.

Readers of Rotherham Politics may reflect on just how little has changed in Rotherham during the last 50 years and just how deeply ingrained the junket-fest mentality really is. It appears to me, and no doubt many others in Rotherham, that junket-fest is an essential form of behaviour for the muppets down at Town Hall Towers, as is amply evidenced by the recent disclosure of RMBC Hospitality Registers in Rotherham Politics.

“The Advertiser” 26 August 1961 …

“Members of Rotherham Borough Council decided, at a special council meeting on Thursday, that the Mayor of Rotherham (Alderman W. Wallhead) did nothing wrong in taking the 28 h.p. mayoral car and its chauffeur when he went for a short holiday at Whitley Bay earlier this month. The special Council meeting had been called following reports in national newspapers that Opposition members of the Council were criticising the Mayor for using the Mayoral Car – ET 1 – while on a private holiday. Council members strongly attacked the reports, but praised local newspapers for the manner in which they had dealt with the controversy”.

I wonder just what line the “Members” back then would have taken if the Chief Constable of Rotherham Borough Police had used a police car and police chauffeur on a similar private holiday?

Can you just imagine the loud indignant squeals from those supposedly socialist guardians of the Rotherham civic purse at what they perceived to be someone in a privileged position of authority taking advantage of their professional situation at the expense of hard pressed local ratepayers?

Yours Sincerely,

A Friend of Old Rotherham
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George Valentine asks some important questions?

Plucked from a comment, too good to miss:

A good subject for Rotherham politics would be the questions leader Roger Stone never answers. Lets start with:

Why does the mayor of Rotherham have to be a Labour councillor?
Why does Roger Stone never reply to criticism in the Rotherham Advertiser or on Rotherham Politics?
Why doesn’t he tell us since being leader what he has done for the disabled?
Why doesn’t he tell us why he shut day centres and respite home?
Why doesn’t he tell us why he shut disabled nurses bathing and laundry service?
Why he allows doubly incontinent people to turn their property into a dump it site for sewage with 14 day collection of diarrhoea faeces urine blood and vomit?
Why doesn’t he tell us why he ignores Tory and independent councillors questions in the Town Hall?
Last but not least tell us why he believes he was entitled to an OBE. We would all love to know?
Has any other person got questions unanswered?

George Valentine

Don’t miss George Valentine’s One-Liners, very funny and well worth a visit. Not to be missed!