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".
Saturday, 31 May 2008
An excerpt from the New Statesman Magazine:
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.