Oh dear. Things really aren't going too well for Roy Oldham of late. First his Chief Executive resigns (we hear rumours of disagreements and arguments). Then he gets a nasty case of Karma. And then, to cap it all, the wheels start to fall off the gravy train.
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008
2/ Many pension funds in the private world have ceased to pay a final settlement and you might relieve your task as a pensioner somewhere when the market is at bottom in stocks and shares you will be in serious trouble with what your take home pay will be having retired after many years of quality service in most cases - not so in Greater Manchester Pension Fund or in the other Council funds but in this one in particular.
3/ We have, all of us who sit politically in this chamber and are Members, support the bid and that’s thanks to ex-Councillor Meredith I didn’t think he’d get whipped for it but I’m sure the sting has gone out of that now that due to him asking for a recorded vote we have everybody’s name logged in as a supporter of the TIF Bid and that’s what happened.
4/ There is always something creeps up at you in this case when you say another burglary has suddenly come out of the woodwork again, maybe some people have come out of prison and that’s what sometimes happens and hopefully they’ll be back there and our figures will fall again in that level.
5/ Wounding is down by twenty-seven percent and there’s a reduction in youth causing annoyance. That won’t be a level and buttered playing field, there will be areas where it doesn’t go down or indeed rises but that’s looking at an averaging.
6/ Every time somebody sticks one on to say how marvellous Judy is because she’s twenty-one or fifty-one or something they’re costing Judy some money because otherwise the lighting column will corrode.
7/ It will produce a better understanding that the waste products instead of it having to be dumped in a hole in the ground which are getting short in number and are in somebody else’s back yard.
8/ In terms of attractive streets what more than In Bloom can do for you.
9/ It wasn’t floral things like those baskets and planters and they want to get involved themselves and that’s what was happening to Dukinfield one and their enthusiasm I hope will spill off into other areas.
10/ ...this is dynamic and for everybody who will see it they’re going to be extremely pleased with what we’ve done and the more we do this then the more I believe that people begin to understand that you’re in a good place and you don’t break things, you act responsible and you behave yourself and if you let everything slide then I think things go the other way then, if everywhere is just a tip what the hell they just treat it as a tip.
11/ Customer Services, Procurement, Human Resources, Adult Services, all of these play massive parts in our lives, Trading Standards, these are like the forerunners to you becoming ill.
12/ We’re going to look at how we can help our retail shopping and it won’t necessarily be on car parking because the problem with that is if you have no more payment for a certain period of time you’ve got to control it by people which costs you money and they’ve got to check if you’ve been there an hour or two so that you only enjoy that free period of time.
Friday, 28 November 2008
The costs are as follows:
4 x "Children Statues" - £30,000 (£7,500 each)
1 x "Miner" - £7,500
1 x "Guitar Case" - £4,500
Labour and Installation Costs - £1,643.32
Yes you read that right, £43,643.32 of your council tax has been wasted on more tack.
It gets better. Frank is far from partisan in his job: when we heard words of Sean Parker-Perry's resignation we were told that Lynn and Frank were with Sean at the Labour Party Conference this year. And the icing on the cake is that Frank has stood as a Labour Candidate in Mossley in 2007 and was Idu Miah's agent in 2008.
There are laws that civil servants must not earn more than £35,852 per year and be political - this means standing for council or actively being a member of a party (canvassing, leafleting attending meetings etc). With Frank Travis being responsible for Ashton's regeneration we have a good guess that he is on at least £40,000. But we shall never know, as council staff salaries are not to be disclosed to the public under the Data Protection Act.
In other news, it was reported in this weeks Tameside Advertiser that Ashton District Assembly had again spent more money on statues on Lord Sheldon Way. The cost was confirmed in the article itself at £70,000 and received partial funding from the National Lottery.
UPDATE 22/12/08: This has now filtered down to the Tameside Reporter, the councils response makes interesting reading. It goes on to mention that the Lord Sheldon Way statues cost £90,000, but as stated, the Advertiser said they cost £70,000 with Lottery funding. We presume that the statues did cost £90,000 with TMBC paying £70,000 and the Lottery fund paying the remaining £20,000.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Poor James forced himself to take the First TransPennine Express service where he had to stand next to a toilet in Standard Class like most people do. The Tameside Andrex spouted that the experience for James was "claustrophobic and uncomfortable" - Diddums! Luckily for James, there was no red box lost this time.
So after seven years of being an MP, James is waking up to the problems that his constituents have to put up with to travel to work. But it isn't the first time James Purnell has brought up the issue of overcrowded trains and poor service in general at Stalybridge Railway Station. He did a petition in 2002 and again (notice the same picture was used) in 2003. So twice Purnell has appeared in the press to "express his concerns", but what has he actually done to solve the problem? Sod all by the looks of things.
Moving on, James Purnell uses the opportunity before the TIF Referendum to promote his support for a "yes vote" by saying:
"We need billions of pounds to improve these services. We need more carriages and more services. That is why the TIF proposals and the congestion charge are so important"
However, as one reader pointed out in the comments of the article on the Tameside Advertiser website, there are no extra carriages or services promised for Stalybridge Railway Station. If you look at the TIF Map [PDF Link], you will see that there is no mention at all for extra carriages or services at Stalybridge Railway Station, just a Park and Ride - & the land on which it will be built just so happens to be owned by the GMPF!
Friday, 21 November 2008
We've had very little to say up until now about Tameside BNP. This is partly because there seems little point focusing an a relatively insignificant pimple on the arse of Tameside's political scene (albeit a particularly nasty & painful one). This may change in future, but all we'll say for now is that if you thought a Labour-run Tameside Council was bad, can you imagine what the place would be like run by that lot?
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this little mashup we found on Youtube.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
As discussed many times on this blog, the Tameside Council run Greater Manchester Pension Fund (headed by Tameside Council Leader, Roy Oldham) invests in many unethical businesses. We would like to draw your attention to one in particular - British American Tobacco. According to this file [PDF Link], the GMPF hold £9,188,274 of shares in British American Tobacco (BATS) as of 31/03/2008.
We have embedded an hour long BBC documentary above which attacks the tobacco industry and points out that one in particular, the same British American Tobacco, targets children in third world countries or 'emerging markets'. They do this by selling cigarettes individually, rather in packets, so that children can afford them.
We have been told that one councillor complained about the conflicting messages of the government. Whereas the government in this country is pushing people to stop smoking, the GMPF happily invests in the tobacco trade. The councillor made a valid point of asking how secure the shares were if many people in the UK were to stop smoking? Roy Oldham responded that the shares shouldn't be hit because there is "massive demand" in China.
So what a massive dose of karma Roy Oldham gets when he is diagnosed with cancer, when he will happily condone his pension funds investments to sell cancer sticks to children.
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
The address is not going to be held in a separate hall this year, but is to be held in the full council meeting itself. So John Bell and the Conservatives have no excuse to walk out.
For those with high speed broadband and a generous download limit, may wish to watch the address via video streaming. Although you do need Real Player. The streaming starts at 6PM.
Friday, 14 November 2008
It has been trumpeted in the national press today that James Purnell has saved Britain's Post Offices by retaining a £1bn 'Card Account' contract from 2010 to 2015. The key decision was made by himself and the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), Lord Peter Mandelson. Purnell clearly mixes in questionable circles.
However much a "saviour" of the Post Office Purnell may appear to be, in his own constituency of Stalybridge and Hyde, things ain't so rosy. Since becoming an MP in 2001 his constituency has lost 10 post offices with another two not looking so good.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
We have an exclusive that Stalybridge & Hyde Conservatives got to meet applicants on Tuesday night wishing to be the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the seat in the next general election. The prized picked person will have the honour of standing against the Cabinet Secretary of state for Work and Pensions, James Purnell.
The names of the candidates include:
Rob Adlard: Former Manchester City Centre council candidate. Now living in Longdendale.
Kashif Ali: Deputy Chairman of Manchester Conservatives. Was agent to Rob Adlard.
Kamran Ghafoor: Former Oldham MBC Councillor candidate for the Alexandra ward.
Stephen Holland: A councillor for the May Bank ward at Newcastle Borough Council.
Sajjad Hussain: Former LABOUR candidate for Manchester City Council in the Longsight ward!
Whoever is selected does have a good chance of winning if the local election results were anything to go off. At the local elections of 1st May, in the eight wards that constitute Stalybridge & Hyde; four were won by the Conservatives (Hyde Wernerth, Stalybridge/Dukinfield, Stalybridge North, Stalybridge South) three by Labour (Hyde Godley, Hyde Newton, Longdendale) and one by the Mossley Independents. The total number of votes polled by political parties in these eight wards was as follows:
Conservative: 9,225 (39.67%)
Labour: 8,347 (35.89%)
Liberal Democrats: 640 (2.75%)
Green Party: 1,601 (6.88%)
BNP: 1,375 (4.78%)
Independent: 1,113 (5.91%)
UKIP: 952 (4.09%)
If these figures were replicated at a General Election, the current Rt Hon Secretary of State for Works & Pensions would be out on his arse, and James Purnell would no longer have any reason to make token visits to either Stalybridge or Hyde.
*Past General Election Results
*2008 Tameside Council Election Results
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
He announced the news at a recent meeting of the Labour Group, to reports of wild applause and partying into the night.
Councillor Oldham, who is the cruel overseer of the Longdendale ward, has been head of the council since 1066, making him the longest-serving waste of taxpayer's money in British history.
He was awarded a CBE in 2000 for his services to the British Empire, a formation that now exists in name only.
Speaking to Tameside Mafia, he said: "I have had this coming for a long time and I have put in place robust arrangements to ensure the Council is run like a Fascist Regime in my abscence under the deputy leader, Councillor Joe Kitchen-Sink. I am fully ready for this operation - I shaved my testicles myself only this morning - and anticipate a speedy recovery, and plan to be back in time for my annual festive cocaine and Jack Daniel's with our high-achieving but low-paid staff before the Christmas break, thank fuck"
Sunday, 9 November 2008
We have been informed by a reader that Tameside Council have facilitated the Royal British Legion in a Tameside Council van outside Ashton Town Hall. No problem you may think, but the curious onlooker immediately spotted poppy boxes labelled with various Labour branches in Ashton (see picture).
Now you may think that there is nothing wrong with political parties or the council raising money for such a worthwhile cause. As our reader pointed out, he feels that the display is a set up to promote the local Labour group. Speaking to Tameside Mafia, Liam Billington said:
"The boxes were clearly labeled with Ashton Labour. People passing the van may think it is the Labour party raising money for the Royal British Legion. I have no issue with any political party raising money for charities, but the council should not be facilitating this
I bet your bottom dollar that in a week or two we will see a letter in the Tameside Advertiser or the Reporter from the Royal British Legion thanking Ashton Labour Party for the money they raised through selling the poppies"
Billington then forwarded his complaint to Robert Landon who is head of Tameside Council's democratic services.
Hat tip: Thanks to Liam Billington sending in the images.
Monday, 3 November 2008
According to commuters on the first class Virgin Pendolino service, Purnell was acting arrogant and showing off walking up and down the train whilst leaving the confidential documents open. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, one passenger said:
"We recognised him straight away and he seemed to be showing off a bit. He kept leaving the box and walking in and out of the carriage talking on his mobile. I think he realised people knew who he was and was playing the big man. His behaviour was unbelievable. He was very arrogant"
Sounds just like our James. Shame then that James has broken the law - the Official Secrets Act, section 8 to be precise - Crown Servants are responsible for safeguarding information. Plus also the Data Protection Act.
James Purnell's spokesperson responded to the articles by saying:
"It was one file from an MP with the attached correspondence and was returned safely within three days. Obviously, James is very sorry for the mistake. He has not broken any rules or guidelines"
Errrrr .... why is James Purnell's spokesperson responding to such a serious issue? We think we know why. Fellow Labour cabinet minister Shaun Woodward threw on a lavish £60,000 party in Marrakesh, Morocco. According to blogger, Guido Fawkes, 20 other members of the Labour party were there. We have our bets that James was there too.
We would like to remind readers that this isn't the first time that James has been careless with peoples personal data. Prior to the local elections in May, he allowed former assistant and endorsed candidate for Hyde Werneth, Claire Francis to ask for constituents National Insurance Numbers for a feedback form. The story was broken by former blogger, Tameside Eye which eventually led to local paper, the Tameside Reporter and then the Telegraph picking it up.
It seems that James Purnell is more than prone to these gaffes even though he has got rid of his office monkey, Councillor Sean Parker-Perry. So cue our latest campaign to get rid of James, every time he fucks up, you will see our new badge "Jim Nice But Dim".
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Purnell recently has been spouting on about "work for dole" reforms and has been praised from all corners apart from his own constituency where in the local press he got into a war of words with an alcoholic *hic*. The interview was done by one of Purnell's local brown nose,
But rest assured if you are unemployed, Purnell does feel your pain (or so he would like you to think). The Independent had this interesting piece:
Whispers in the Commons reach me that minister James Purnell might have resigned had he been a casualty of the recent reshuffle. Still, a P45 would not have caused Purnell too many sleepless nights. In the early 1990s he found himself unemployed and did what any self-respecting young man does – sign up for the dole. "I remember queuing for a good hour, outside the kind of building that gave East German architecture a bad name," he writes in a local paper. Now he is Work and Pensions Secretary, and boasts: "My department employs over 100,000 people and spends more money each year than the entire GDP of Denmark." Perhaps now's not the best time to mention such extravagance?
Now when I go to James Purnell's website to view his biography, where he details his career:
"He was a researcher to Rt. Hon. Tony Blair MP during his time as Shadow Employment Secretary, 1989-92. After graduating, he went to Hydra Associates 1992-94, and then became a Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research 1994-95 on their media and communications project.
He went on to become Head of Corporate Planning at the BBC from 1995-97. He then returned to work for the Prime Minister Tony Blair as Special Adviser on culture, media, sport and the knowledge economy from 1997-2001"
And in 2001 he became MP for Stalybridge and Hyde and the rest, as they say, is history. So back to the point of unemployment, where does the unemployment fall? He says he was working in the early 1990's. Is James Purnell lying about being unemployed?
Purnell is touted as the next messiah for the Labour Party, and even though he copied Tory policy, he likes to think he is the one to reform work and pensions. Here's how I see it: the press are (wrongly) claiming that Crash/Flash Gordon Brown has been the savior to the world economy by bailing out banks. If Gordon can save a few banks, surely Purnell can save a few jobs too? Things don't look good at the DWP at all, it was recently revealed that unemployment is expected to rise to 2 million by Christmas. It seems James Purnell isn't working.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
FACT: Tameside MBC meddles with the local press. We at the Mafia have our suspicions for some time, but we have never had any conclusive proof until now, and all thanks to the Hazel Blears run Department for Communities and Local Government which produced a whitepaper earlier this year on "Guidance for local authorities on community cohesion contingency planning and tension monitoring" [Word Doc]. Scroll down to page 40 and you will see this snippet:
"Tameside holds regular meetings with local newspaper editors to gather information and stop sensationalist reporting which might otherwise start or add to rising tensions, e.g. in response to a Kick Racism out of Football campaign, an extremist political group wanted to picket a local football stadium. A local newspaper was going to print the story on its front page – an action that was likely to bring unwanted publicity to the picket and fuel rising community tensions. The intervention of the Community Cohesion Partnership prevented the story from being run and in the event no-one turned out for the picket"
Whilst we stand firmly against the BNP in Tameside, it is worrying that the council acting like a Totalitarian regime by regularly interfering with the so-called "free press" to stop so-called "sensationalist reporting".
Go to the Firestation or the Weatherspoons across from the TMBC Offices on Wellington Road and you may just see Nigel Skinner, editor from the Tameside Reporter supping and dining with Roy Oldham. The same applies for David Porter, editor of the Tameside Advertiser.
We have been tipped off by an ex-employee of Tameside Council that Roy Oldham and his marketing cronies like to use council tax payers money to toy with the press by chosing who is the "nicest" to Roy Oldham. By law, the council do have to advertise notices in at least one local paper and Roy Oldham picks as he pleases.
But wait, there's more...
The Head of PR at Tameside Council is Darrell Beck - a former journalist for the Guardian Media Group owned Tameside Advertiser. Beck can also be regularly seen as one of Roy Oldham's entourage in and out of the council. Roy Oldham isn't thick - he is clearly following the New Labour strategy when they hired Alistair Campbell to head Number 10's spin.
But guess who has filled the shoes of Tameside's political reporting for the Advertiser from Darrell Beck? Adam Derbyshire! The journo who gets his stories from the blogs, spins them and doesn't credit the source.
You won't read about this in the local rags (although it has appeared in Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs) as they have eggs on their face and we can only guess how frustrated the press are for this leak. Will the press respond? Will they heck! Roy Oldham and Co will be allowed to continue business as usual.
UPDATE 06/11/08: We thought we may of forgot something. People new to the blog may like to read this article on Roy Oldham threatening to meet with the editor of the MEN over an article a journalist did which he didn't like. He announced this in a full council meeting.
What we are told is that Sean has been doing the dirty with Claire Francis, as we previously covered. Claire and Sean can be regularly seen together alone in pubs across Hyde.
Further to what we have heard about Sean Parker-Perry's sacking, a Labour councillor told me that "James [Purnell] knows about the affair and he isn't too happy - he doesn't want too much controversy circulating around him". Francis at one point did work in Purnell's office. She now works at Manchester City Council.
Someone told the Mafia a few weeks ago that Sean Parker-Perry has put his house up for sale. We think that this is all in preparation for a rather costly split.
Whilst others are splitting up, we have Sean's father-in-law, Lord Tom "the Baron" Pendry making love. Him and his wife have parted company, but have never divorced as Moira wanted to keep the Lady title. We also have overheard that the serial shagger has been with Samantha Fox and also Mossley's Melanie Sykes when she was working as a barmaid in a local pub. We do take our hats off to you Tom, especially as we here his latest conquest is a 27 year old (!).
Monday, 6 October 2008
Longdendale Councillor, Sean Parker-Perry has once again rushed off to his good friends in the local press this week to defend himself against the claims made by ourselves on this blog and the No Mottram Bypass blog. We didn't speak to the local press and nor did our friends over at NMB, so who did? Sean has clearly shit his pants.
No Mottram Bypass has already covered what was said in the Tameside Advertiser. The local blogosphere knows what has gone on between Councillor Parker-Perry and his boss, James Purnell and his forced "resignation". The official line was supposed to be "family commitments", but someone else had already used that excuse that week. Instead we hear the most bizarre excuse ever that Sean Parker-Perry has resigned from Purnell's office to learn sign language!
In other mad parts of Tameside, Dukinfield Councillor John Taylor has also announced he has learned sign language. Taylor being the councillor who also made false accusations (later dropped) against the now defunct local blogger, Tameside Eye. Coincidence?
In our honest and frank opinion we feel that Sean has fucked up once again over these two points.
1) The Tameside Advertiser says Sean is off to college, where as the Reporter says he is off to University. Conflicting statements are the trademark of a compulsive liar.
Out of interest, we presume Sean Parker-Perry is off to his local college at Tameside to learn British Sign Language. Both courses run in the evening, so why couldn't Sean simply go after work like most folk do?
2) In the Tameside Reporter article, Sean says: "The rumours are nonsense and if the anonymous editor of these blogs would like to meet with me to find out what the truth is I would be more than happy to do so". So Sean wishes to meet with us, and other bloggers. You have to remember that this is the same councillor who made claims to the local police that our and others' articles on him were harassment. Is this proof of his wasting police time?
Sean is more than welcome to send us an email and have his right of reply, but for now we are less inclined to meet such an obnoxious and devious little twat.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Monday, 22 September 2008
Such is the verdict of a focus group headed by American pollster Frank Luntz for last week's Newnsight, which looked at the chances of the likely Labour leadership candidates when Gordon Brown gets the heave-ho.
As you'll see from the above highlights of this feature, the assembled group don't even know who Purnell is, think he looks like a 'boy', are very much turned off by everything that seeps out of his mouth, and then finally decide to dump him first.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Tameside Mafia has its spies everywhere across the Tameside political circuit including one within Tameside Council leader, Roy Oldham's pet project - The Greater Manchester Pension Fund. We have been told that there has been a major cock-up recently when one fund manager decided to sell the "relatively stable" HSBC shares in favour of buying "cheap" HBOS shares.
The GMPF has a very handy page which shows the GMPF Top 20 Holdings for 2007. Those figures were correct at the time of the annual report going out for the end of the financial year. So the price of HBOS shares at the time of the stock market closing on Friday 4th of April were 573p per share. The price of HBOS shares closing in yesterday were at 190p per share. This means that HBOS shares have nosedived by 383p or 66.84% which is nearly two thirds of the original share price. So if we were to take the £100m investment in HBOS from the GMPF and reduce it by 66.84%, that means the GMPF's shares in HBOS have shaved of £66,840,000 from the value taking it to £33,160,000.
Source: Google Finance UK.
So that's yesterday. This morning shares in HBOS took another hammering and went to an all time low of 88p making it look like the next Bradford and Bingley or even worse... Northern Rock. We must add that the price has recovered to 193p as of 13:30 today, but that is only due to a possible take over from Lloyds TSB (LLOY).
Roy Oldham and his fund managers have a lot to answer for. However we hear that for councillors the GMPF panel is an all expenses paid jolly with training sessions regularly held in five star hotels in London and after meetings councillors are treated to a silver service three course meal. You really wouldn't think there was a credit crunch!
Friday, 15 August 2008
It is getting quite heated in Tameside's own blogosphere. Many of you may know of Tameside Eye and his arrest, if you don't it is worth taking a look here.
Apart from Tameside Mafia being on the local police hit list (to find out who's behind this blog), it seems the arresting officer could have a rather dangerous conflict of interest in Sean Parker-Perry's favour. PC Sue Moss is on the Longdendale and Hattersley District Assembly, which funnily enough Sean Parker-Perry chairs. Coincidence?
The recent post made by Billington last week does appear to be a last ditch resort as he has been told to keep quiet on what was said in his interview with the police. However, it appears in this week's Reporter that Sean Parker-Perry and PC Moss are pictured together for a press release for a new police car. Hmmmmm....
We eagerly await to see what happens next.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Anyway, seems like newshound Michael Crick doesn't fancy James' chances much. What a shame. Anyway, someone should tell Crick that Purnell has one very enthusiastic follower who is so enamoured he's willing to change history for his master.
Let's see if he make any difference in this little contest...
Monday, 23 June 2008
Part 2 in our series about the similarities between Longdendale Councillor Sean Parker-Perry and his father-in-law Lord Tom Pendry continues with the fact that their Catholic faith seems to conflict with their extra-marital activities.
Lord Pendry's lover was a well-known (well, at one point) actress - Aimi MacDonald (top right in our picture). Curiously, her wikipedia profile does not mention Pendry, but does reveal that she had other Labour Minister lovers, such as John Stonehouse. It was also rumoured she wasn't politically fussy and was linked to John Major at one point. The thing they all have in common is clearly power - anything else is speculation.
The only place on the internet you will find reference to this affair is here - and just in case it's subsequently taken down, we will carry the relevant excerpt from the article below:
...Later she formed a close bond with former Labour Junior Minister Tom Pendry and the couple were seen at a string of London nightspots. When Mr Pendry split from wife Moira in 1984, he said Miss MacDonald had become his "very close and dear friend"...
Anyway, what's this got to do with Sean? Well, it seems that it is well known in political circles that he's having it off with his fellow Labour Party member, prospective (but as yet failed) Councillor, and well-known James Purnell cheerleader Claire Francis* (bottom right in our picture).
Doing nothing to scotch the rumours, they are frequently seen out in public together.
Like 'the Baron', Sean clearly thinks it's OK to take his pick of the local women-folk behind his wife's back: whilst she's doing her stint as a teacher for the lost souls at the nearby Roman Catholic School in Glossop, Sean's doing the Devil's work (in all its diabolical forms) in Tameside.
Amen to that.
(* - she so loves James that she set up one Facebook group and is an admin for another - the only ones that eulogise him - here and here)
Monday, 2 June 2008
Now there's a thought! Anyhow, some kind soul over at the Times Online blog had a stab at translating James Purnell's lingua franca from the video we posted the other day. So without further ado, here it is:
Sylvain Attal (interviewer): James Purnell, studied in France until he was 14 (Purnell nods when presenter opens with “Spectator suggests you are the man who can save Labour from catastrophe”)
James Purnell: You need to ignore both flattering and critical comment from the press. If you pay too much attention you go crazy.
SA: You’re around the same age as Blair was when he was elected leader.
JP: I’m avoiding your question! Gordon Brown is the right person to lead the Labour party and to be Prime Minister. The Spectator is getting a bit ahead of itself.
SA: Obviously you couldn’t say otherwise … Blair and Brown are very different
JP: Blair and Brown created New Labour together. I worked for Tony Blair; there are more similarities than differences between then. They’re a partnership – the most successful Labour has ever had. We’d never won twice before. We transformed the left. Brown is coming to power after ten years…
SA: Is Brown a winner? Is it time for a new generation?
JP: No. The economy is the thing. Blair never had a worldwide economic crisis to deal with. How do we respond to what people are telling us?
SA: It’s not just external conditions – it’s doubts about Brown himself.
JP: With every decision you make in a long time in power, there are people who disagree with that decision. There are two advantages to being in power – you can say look what we’ve achieved (in the UK that’s economic and social success) and you can say look what we’re going to do. Labour has the right values for the future.
SA: Blair became unpopular over Iraq. Isn’t that affecting Brown too?
JP: Yes, it’s important but domestic politics is the most relevant. The last election turned on crime, public services, the economy; we won a majority of 60-odd which isn’t bad! No government is ever perfect or problem-free. Up until now we’ve succeeded in convincing people our values are the right ones and we need to continue to do so.
SA: Why no general election? Was it a lack of confidence?
JP: There’s no need to call one in our system. For example, in France, it would be very surprising if a new leader called an election before the end of the term of the government.
SA: It’s a transition then … Cameron , David Miliband – how are such young politicians given so much responsibility in the UK?
JP: We go directly into national politics. You can become an MP as the first thing you do in politics. Whereas in France I get the impression there’s more of a stepping stone process, it takes more time.
SA: Are UK politicians too young?
JP: The criticism is often that they’re too professionalised. I don’t think they’re too young – there’s a mixture of young and sage [wiser – also implies older].
SA: France’s pensions strikes – did you discuss them with your French counterpart?
JP: We discussed how France and the UK can work together. The Franco-German relationship is important but Europe isn’t just about that. We believe in Europe, a strong and effective Europe; talking and working together is how to resolve the differences which are always there.
SA: You’re not in the Euro. Brown is reputed to be sceptical about the Euro…
JP: There are always some countries that are further ahead. We’re cooperating on defence, we’re at the heart of what’s happening on global warming. France and the UK have more in common than we’d sometimes like to recognise. We’re both nuclear powers, we’re both on the UN Security Council, we are big industrialised economies, we have a history of colonialism … when we work together, Europe works better, and when Europe works better that’s better for all of us.
SA: On pensions – can working longer be described as a progressive idea?
JP: Of course. There’s nothing progressive in avoiding tough choices. There’s a debate – one option we don’t want is for pensioners to be poor. So we’re left with only three choices – work longer, save more or pay more [he says jobs but means taxes]. The Independent Commission recommended a bit of all three. So our system is reforming in that direction.
SA: So you’d be closer to Sarkozy than to [François] Hollande?
JP: Our aim is to be progressive. We want a system that gives more money to pensioners, is fiscally responsible, is equal for men and women and is universal. There are many advantages to the generous French system. But in power you have to make tough decisions and that’s what we’re doing.
SA: What about older workers?
JP: There’s a need to change the culture. Until about ten or fifteen years ago, older people worked less; there was a perception they had less to offer. Then some companies really took action so that they had a mixture – like there’s a DIY chain that sees that their older employees can give good advice, they stay in one job for longer. There’s been a change in culture.
SA: Because pensions are less generous?
JP: Yes, maybe. There were some people who simply didn’t have a pension but for most it wasn’t that, it was more that they didn’t want to just stop dead. So they wanted to slow down, work a bit less but keep working maybe two or three days a week.
SA: Are we living in a time when economic efficiency must take priority over social justice? They’re hard to reconcile even if you want to…
JP: The two always go together. Social justice is very important to give people confidence that globalisation doesn’t make them a victim. Social changes give people the confidence to take on economic opportunities and make a success of them. Something we’ve not, as the UK government, been too good at explaining is that we’ve made real social progress, in the last ten years. Our aim has always been to have the economy and social justice go hand in hand.
Saturday, 31 May 2008
An excerpt from the New Statesman Magazine:
An informant whispers that the Work Harder Secretary, James Purnell, was enjoying a break in Los Angeles when the cabinet was ordered on to the airwaves to "Save Gordie" after Crewe. Old Labour hands view his absence as a cunning plan by a minister who fancies his leadership chances. LA is, of course, home of the US movie industry. A former female acquaintance - nudge, nudge - of young James confesses she saw a poster on his bedroom wall of Steve McQueen. Purnell put it there, she giggles, because he thought he resembled the star. Now both have pulled off The Great Escape.
So the ever delusional James Purnell fancies himself as Steve McQueen eh? Well in true photoshop fashion, we have done the movie poster of the Great Escape to include Purnell. Enjoy!
In other rumours, Liberal Conspiracy says that James Purnell is planning his own great escape by exiting his constituency of Stalybridge and Hyde as he has been "sniffing around safe Labour seats". It's no good having a Prime Minister who isn't even elected now is it? An insider within Tameside Tories tells me that there are people within their group taunting Tameside Labour with their local election results because if you was to compile all the local wards together in Stalybridge and Hyde, the Conservatives took 9,225 votes versus Labour's 8,347 votes. This would obviously mean no James Purnell and a Conservative MP for the first time since 1937 in what is considered to be a "Labour heartland".
Rumours are rife at Westminster that James Purnell is preparing a coup to stab Gordon Brown in the back with a leadership challenge. Purnell has been touted as a possible leadership candidate for some time. In fact, in Tameside it has been murmured for a while, with a commenter on another blog named "Tameside VIP" (which is believed to be one of Purnell's assistants) to tip people off back in January:
"James has been invited to a very important conference where future leaders are decided. James will be attending this years conference in Ireland where his credentials will be discussed and the likely result will be that he is pencilled in as a future party leader and eventually prime minister. Place your bets folks while the odds are good. This is not a wind up."
But just before the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, the Spectator tipped James Purnell as "Labour's best hope" and ever since the disastrous results of the said by-election the media have gone into a frenzy over Purnell launching a leadership challenge to Gordon Brown as the true heir to Blair. I would even say that Purnell has been raking in more column inches than his closest rival, David Miliband.
All signs pointing to Purnell preparing himself to be the next PM. Purnell has now hired the help of Tony Blair's former speechwriter, Phil Collins. And on Guido Fawkes, it has been revealed that Collins recently wrote an article in a Labour house rag - Progress - slagging off Gordon Brown. Brown is said to be furious over Purnell's deception and has ordered Purnell to sack Collins.
And lets not forget Purnell practising his media handling with French TV. We think it was Purnell dipping his toe in the water in preparation of what is yet to come.
I personally think that Purnell would be a disaster as a PM. All he has done throughout his career as an MP is be a 'yes man' to reach the top of the ministerial ladder. The problem is with yes men is that when they do get to the top they have no one to say yes to, and that is where Purnell will crack. Purnell is undoubtedly Blair Mk 2, he does have the same charm and charisma as Blair, but we have yet to see Purnell handle a crisis. He has, however, managed to dodge bullets from the national press over matters which would be enough to finish any respectful "ahem" MP.
We couldn't care less whether Purnell would be good or not as a PM, in fact we would LOVE Purnell to be Prime Minister as it will be great to see this twerp fall from a very great height after losing the next general election.
Sunday, 25 May 2008
Following on from our posting of the Purnell interview in English, on France Vingt-Quatre, here's another interview, but this time in French. Unfortunately, we don't speak French, so we would greatly appreciate a translation from any readers with a little time on their hands.
I wonder if there's any subtle, or less subtle, differences in this version...
Saturday, 24 May 2008
In the above video, James Purnell is selling himself to viewers of France Vingt-Quatre, the French equivalent of the BBC's News 24. He's billed as the possible and likely next Prime Minister of the UK by them, and does his best to live up to it. If you manage to watch all of it, you'll be stiff as a post with utter boredom.
The Guardian today has Purnell at 6/1-on to be the next Labour leader. Although Purnell does his best to scotch the rumours here, you don't really accept an invitation to appear on a major news channel and not expect to get asked this question, the devious little twerp...
Friday, 23 May 2008
Tameside Mafia has learned that Tameside Councillors are to get an increase to their basic allowance of 2.51%.
The basic salary for councillors in 2007/2008 was £10,942 - however, a council mole has exclusively told Tameside Mafia that this basic pay will be rising by a further £275 to £11,217. It was rumoured that hard pressed councillors within the Labour party were asking for an increase of £1,000, but our glorious leader put the kibosh on it because of the national situation within government - it just wouldn't be right, would it?
But lets take a look at this magical 2.51% figure. This year has been the year of public sector strikes over low pay increases. Earlier this year Gordon Brown announced that public sector workers would only be getting a below inflation 2% pay increase (i.e. a pay cut). We have seen strikes from teachers who have been offered 2.45% from the government, but they are still fighting to bring that up to 4.1%. The police have also been fighting against the government who offered a 1.9% increase. The police are also considering strike action - a first since 1919.
Now lets bring things back home again. This year Tameside Council decided to increase council tax by 2.42%, but yet councillors get an increase of 2.51% - It seems to me that the figures just don't add up. So once again, Tameside Council delivers a massive slap in the face to the citizens it serves. And where is the opposition on increased pay to councillors who are so against increased spending at the council? Nowhere to be seen as John Bell, who is leader of Tameside Tories, is too busy paying for the new Jaguar he bought straight after winning the 2007 election.
We have further, but not complete, information about individual Scrutiny Panels, District Assemblies and Cabinet positions etc - all will be getting an increase of above 2.51%. This will be the one to watch out for. Tameside Mafia will have this document in due course and will be revealing its contents online, including all the movers & shakers and, of course, Roy Oldham's salary.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
According to the Telegraph, James Purnell was stacking shelves in Tesco this weekend, along with Tamsin Dunwoody, the Labour candidate for the forthcoming Crewe and Nantwich By -election. The Mirror says it was from orders from the Labour party, in an attempt to make it look as if cabinet ministers are "in touch" with the public.
Now lets delve into Purnell's past which shows just how much he is "in touch" with his own constituency of Stalybridge and Hyde. We all know that Purnell comes from a wealthy family and was raised in the South of France, and that later in life he attended the Royal Grammar School in Guildford (which currently costs £3752 per term or just a snip at over £15k a year - more than most people would earn in Stalybridge and Hyde). Purnell then went on to Oxford University to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol College. We could also go on about the "mansion" in London which Purnell claimed was his primary household, and which he thereby dodged paying £20,000 of Capital Gains Tax.
As the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Purnell now gets a bigger say in the budget over tax and benefits which brings us on to the much talked about 10p income tax debate. On last week's BBC Question Time Purnell said he supported scrapping the lower rate, saying that it was only a "temporary measure" and "tax credits are the way forward". This contradicts the views of the Labour councillors in Tameside who blamed the 10p income tax issue for their poor performance in the local elections this year.
After the local elections on May 1st, it was projected that James Purnell would have lost his seat if it had been a General Election. Better get practising stacking those shelves boyo!
UPDATE: We have just found a video from the by-election which shows James Purnell in Tesco with Tamsin Dunwoody:
He comes across as a cheesy store manager don't you think?
Monday, 5 May 2008
Following the election results last week, it was reported that if the results were repeated at a General Election, the Tameside Mafia's latest recruit & Stalybridge and Hyde MP James Purnell, would have lost his seat.
That being the case, we'd better do our best to get to work to ensure that the blogosphere knows all about James' little exploits, both in Tameside and prior to his arrival in the North, so we can be sure that there's plenty to read about him by 2010.
For impatient types, here goes: he was sued for libel by a fellow Labour Party member Liz Davies following accusations of her inciting violence (later settled out of Court); he was given an easy ride on BBC's Newsnight because he was riding a producer at the time; he colluded in faking photos for a press shot at Tameside Hospital (no link needed there surely); he told House of Commons authorities one thing about his financial affairs and the Inland Revenue something else (again, no link needed).
...locally, we have the aforementioned Tameside Hospital photos; his backing for Active Longdendale, and then attempts to remove it from the internet; and the 'local home' he has. Well, we'll have more about the latter in due course.
For now, we're sure James is anxious about how the next 2 years will go, but we're very excited.
Thursday, 1 May 2008
Perhaps one of the most prominent members of the Tameside Mafia is Sean Parker-Perry, and today he is standing for election in the Longdendale Ward.
Local blogs No Mottram Bypass & Active Longdendale (a parody and expose of Sean's own Active Longdendale blog) have recently been publishing a series of articles on this most interesting of Councillors:
Questioning the motives and necessity of the touted 'environmental clean-up' group Active Longdendale
Revealing the previous role of Stalybridge and Hyde MP James Purnell in Active Longdendale, and the removal of material linking him to it from his website
Revealing Sean's dabblings on the internet and general shit-stirring from his computer in Purnell's office
Noting his failure (up until last week) to campaign on the Bypass issue
Looking at the funds raised - but not noticeably spent - by Active Longdendale
Sean may well win tonight - Longdendale is a very 'safe' seat indeed - but the evidence accumulated by these blogs has surely strained the relationship between Sean and his employer Purnell. By removing information about Sean's pet project from his website, Purnell has begun to distance himself from Sean. It will be interesting to see just how long Sean can last, even if he is elected for another term later tonight.
(Thanks to No Mottram Bypass for use of the image above)
By the end of tonight, or at least by tomorrow, we'll know the full extent of the changes to the local political makeup, this being local election day.
If you want to know how things are panning out, your best bet is to follow Tameside blog Tameside Eye's Twitter feed. It'll be regularly updated through the evening.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
It's not that well-known, but Longdendale Councillor Sean Parker-Perry is very fond of the internet. So much so, that he takes a keen interest in what's been written about him, his fellow Councillors, his employer James Purnell, the Longdendale Bypass, Swallows Wood and his father-in-law, Tom Pendry.
How do we know? Well, it seems that there's a weblog which chronicles all of the (known) edits that he has made. All in all, it's a fascinating piece of detective work.
The latest series of edits show how Sean is attempting to enhance the reputation of Tom Pendry.
Well be keeping an eye on this to see what happens.