Tories problem for 2012 – time to wield the knife as well?

One of the complaints, often levelled by critics of this blog, is that we rarely feature anyone else other than Labour on Rotherham Politics. The simple fact is, we are about holding those in power to account and that would be enough to explain our apparent bias but there is another reason why we have paid the opposition scant attention in the past. They are quite simply, so bad, that even their own members are embarrassed!

This year sees four Tories facing selection/reselection battles of their own:

Anston and Woodsetts Ward: Good candidate required for safe Tory seat? last one walked off and joined Labour, so much for ‘cuddly’ Tories, it would seem?
Boston Castle Ward:
Brinsworth and Catcliffe Ward:
Dinnington Ward:
Hellaby Ward: John Turner  – Con
Holderness Ward:
Hoober Ward:
Keppel Ward:
Maltby Ward:
Rawmarsh Ward:
Rother Vale Ward:
Rotherham East Ward:
Rotherham West Ward:
Silverwood Ward:
Sitwell Ward: Middleton, Christopher Norman Con
Swinton Ward:
Valley Ward:
Wales Ward: Thomas Anthony Fenoughty – Con
Wath Ward:
Wickersley Ward: Martyn Lawton Parker – Con Ward set to go back to Lab.
Wingfield Ward:

Even worse than Labour! At least Labour members do something for their money, instead of ‘taking the money and running’, as the Tories have done for many a year!

Quite simply, the Rotherham Tories are a disgrace, and are taking the mickey out of their electorates even worse than Labour!

Tory Lord Hanningfield Expenses Scandal – Jailed for 9 months!

Disgraced and convicted Lord Hanningfield has been sentenced today for his expenses fraud at Maidstone Crown Court. 9 months for six counts of false accounting involving a total of nearly £14,000.

Amazingly this greedy Lord is going to lodge an appeal, it is rumoured.

He is the sixth parliamentarian to be convicted and sentenced to a prison term. He joins Lord Taylor of Warwick and former Labour MPs David Chaytor, Eric Illsley, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine!

Read previous posts click here.

News from Southwark Crown Court – Lord Taylor gets a year!

At the sentencing hearing this morning at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Justice Saunders said that Lord Taylor had lied to the Court and Jury, under oath.

He is quoted as saying: “The expenses scheme in the House of Lords was based on trust. Peers certified that their claims were accurate. They were not required to provide proof. It was considered that people who achieved a peerage could be relied on to be honest. Making false claims involved a breach of a high degree of trust. The expenses scandal has affected the standing not just of the House of Commons but also the House of Lords.”

Lord Taylor has been sentenced to a year, but will serve three months at most, before being released under the schemes currently operating.

Fresh problems for Wales Tories – candidate accused….

From the Rotherham Advertiser this week:

Village hall trustees call in police

Published date: 29 April 2011 | Published by: Phil Turner

A TORY candidate in next week’s borough council elections is at the centre of a fraud investigation at a village hall.

Trustees of Kiveton Park and Wales Village Hall have called in police after thousands of pounds allegedly went “missing” from the bar while it was run by Wales Parish Council chairman Gill Shaw, who is standing for the Conservative Party in the Wales ward. Read on….

Disaster for the Wales Tories looks likely at next weeks elections in the light of the above story appearing in the Advertiser with just a week to go before polling day.

Dominic Beck, labour’s candidate in Wales Ward, cannot believe his luck and looks well set to take the seat easily, and become the youngest councillor ever on RMBC at just nineteen! When selected, it was fully expected that Dominic would loose, in what was rapidly becoming a safe Tory seat. That is, until all the controversies blew up!

Gill Shaw appears to be saying that she will sue for libel to protect her reputation.

Why are threats of lawyers and litigation considered as the first option rather than the last these days? It usually ends up making them look very foolish later when they realise that repairing reputational damage through the Courts is prohibitively expensive!

If the Advertiser has traduced Gill Shaw’s reputation? I am sure that the truth will out and be featured prominently in the Advertiser in due course, wherever the full truth lies!

Meanwhile, we would be happy to publish any statement given to us by Gill Shaw or the Tory Party which clarifies this major issue!

Published Previously: Wales Ward – Is political skulldugery involved?

Wales Ward – Is political skulldugery involved?

As I understand it, until the recent furore, Wales Ward was looking forward to the local elections, expecting the candidates to be, Dominic Beck for Labour and Gavin Sharp the sitting Tory councillor.

In recent years Wales Ward has developed into something like a private electoral argument between Tories and Labour, everyone else being squeezed out in the rush. The exception was last year when the extra turnout ensured the unexpected victory of Labour. Wales Ward is also represented by Jennifer Whysall for Labour and Thomas Fenoughty for the Tories.

The story starts with the announcement by the Labour party of their selection of Dominic Beck, an 18 year old student, as their standard bearer. This immediately caused problems for Rotherham Labour Group, when the Advertiser printed his refreshingly truthful and honest observations on the ongoing expenses scandal! This resulted in him receiving ‘advice’ from those not quite so fresh and inexperienced.

Ward voters were, I understand, not much impressed with Labour’s choice and were very likely planning not to turn out to vote in the usual numbers. Labour had a problem therefore.

Rule No 2.5 part F of the political dirty tricks rule book reads: ‘If you are in trouble, play the opponent, not the ball’

The story now focusses upon Gavin Sharp, the sitting Tory Councillor. His attendance has been pretty abysmal, since being elected 4 years ago and he started to come under pressure. He acted on 17th March promptly resigning his seat. If he thought this would make the story go away and avoid further embarrassment he was wrong. His resignation, unfortunately, only fuelled the fire.

Last Friday, the story exploded on to the front page of the Advertiser under the headline, £1,179 AN HOUR! the online story, £46,000 bill for ‘missing’ councillor. This rather public humiliation will have been most unwelcome to him, as he is a Bank Manager and Magistrate.

Surprisingly for such a local matter, the Tax Payers Alliance were amongst those giving him a good kicking, in the shape of Emma Boon.

Unsurprisingly, Jane Austen speaking on behalf of Rotherham Labour Group, milked the issue to extract the maximum political capital. I think she could have made a much better job of it, unsubtle she isn’t.

Most surprising of all was the way his own side put the boot in! Tony Mannion, aka ‘the Sitwell Polecat’, clearly displeased at the negative publicity this issue has generated, perhaps unwisely, failed to engage brain before opening mouth!

The one thing about this sorry turn of events that must not be forgotten in all this, is the Tories total incompetence to manage and control their own members. Had he not spontaneously resigned, He would have been their candidate, no replacement had been selected to replace him!

Where does this leave Wales Ward? The Tories have selected a new candidate, Gill Shaw, Chairman of Wales Parish Council and is pledged to better attendance than Gavin Sharp.

Dominic Beck

Dominic Beck, the Labour Candidate now just 19 years old, is surely going to be significant liability on the doorstep. Dominic claims to be a full time student and a full time employee simultaneously. It is difficult to see how Dominic could find the time between his studies and work to serve as a councillor. The issue of his youthfulness and distinct lack of experience will not go away! The Labour party are clearly taking the mickey out of the Wales Ward voters, but I am sure they have figured that one out for themselves.

This sorry tale of incompetence and inaction by the Rotherham Tory Group is only to be expected when you take a quick look at their membership on Rotherham MBC. They don’t look to me like they will be an effective opposition any time soon. Their age profile, not helped by the defection of Darren Hughes to Labour assisted by intolerance inside the local Tory party, makes this a major priority. The public relations performance of Rotherham Tory Group needs radical improvement, a piece of free advice – keep Tony Mannion away from anyone with a note book!

Expenses Scandal Latest News – Ex-Tory MEP told to repay staggering £345,289!

The news has surfaced today of more ‘unfinished business’ on the expenses scandal front. This time, Ex-Tory MEP and Ex-MP, Den Dover, no spring chicken at 72, has been ordered to repay the eye-watering sum of £345,289!

This is bad enough but the original repayment demanded of him was the much more considerable sum of £538,000! This sum has been reduced as a result of his appeal whose judgement has been revealed today.

Where there’s a trough, the greedy politicians will shove their greedy noses in it! Just think about it, it could have been worse, he could have had a parliamentary credit card as well!

Den Dover previously represented the North West of England in Brussels and was the former Tory MP for Chorley.

Expenses Scandal – Two Tories in the news!

Tory Peer Lord Hanningfield, 70, is in the news today because of his pre-trial hearing at Southwark Crown Court. He has been charged under his real name of Paul White, with six counts of false accounting relating to claims made between March 2006 and May 2009.

Lord Hanningfield was formerly the Leader of Essex County Council having stood down and he is suspended from the Tory party and the Lords Whip. His trial is set for May.

Not unsurprisingly, another Tory, an MP this time and a Government whip no less, Bill Wiggin is in difficulties over at least one claim, the money finding it’s way to the local Tory party! He has been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards over claims of around £5,000 paid to his constituency Tory Party. He says it was for one thing on the claim but his local Tory party apparently have a quite different understanding?