Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hush, hush, time to be sleeping

Hush, hush dreams come a-creeping.

Regulars may remember that I FOIA'd the Council into admitting that one fat cat, Michael Hainge, who left last year with more than a quarter of a million pounds was actually paid £124,000 of that to buy his silence over how Herefordshire Council is run.

So I followed up by asking which other recent executives, on leaving, were paid £100,000+ in 'Hush Money' agreements. Seems I guessed one wrong, as for the rest, bullseye:

On top of the Hainge hush money, we are talking about at least another half a million pounds here.

I know some of you won't believe it, but I really am speechless at what has gone on here.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Pat Condell: All-British Hero

I'm still a vaguely-practising Catholic, but I think that hardcore atheist Pat Condell is not only one of the bravest, but also one of the most articulate people raising debate in this country today.

See what YOU think:

(Oh, and he's Irish)

Herefordshire Council's ICT Enterprise Architecture Manager and Information Security Monitoring Officer...

...has SPOKEN!

Parental advisory: do not read this crap on an empty stomach.

"Orwell thou shouldst be living at this hour, England hath need of thee"

Armed with the Council's lucid explanation, here's a riddle-me-ree for you:
Here are three blogs. One for a Tory candidate at the last election who ran David Davies' party leadership bid. One for those nice people at the British National Party. And one for the blog you are currently reading.
Kind of similar domain names, eh?
Which two are currently accessible at Herefordshire public libraries and hospitals & which one are you not allowed to read?

Calling a special Town Meeting

A special Town Meeting is the same as a Town Council Meeting, but at this one the voices of ordinary voters in the town count for exactly the same as town councillors, and everyone can vote on any motion proposed.

Here's how easy it is. Depending on what your Town Meeting is being called for, print out something similar to this:

All electors of Leominster are invited to a Town Meeting at the Community Centre, Church Road, at 6pm on July 28th 2011.
The purpose of the Meeting will be for townspeople to discuss their response to the revelations in the Hereford Times about disturbingly high salaries paid to officials of Herefordshire Council."

Now sign the notice and print yr name, then get FIVE other people who live in the town to sign it.
Finally, send/give it to the town clerk - at least seven days before the meeting - and post a photocopy on a noticeboard somewhere in town.

That's it! An official Town Meeting must now take place and the Mayor or Deputy Mayor must chair it impartially.

Let's go to work!

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Times it is a-changing?

Despite rural Herefordshire having the lowest number of council taxpayers in the country, the salaries paid out by our Council make your eyes water. Until recently the very 'establishment' Hereford Times has ignored our anti-corruption campaign; but this week they openly published some of the highest earners in this article.

I'm thinking of starting a petition with other like-minded local folk, along the lines of:

" The Hereford Times has revealed that last year, not including substantial pension contributions, Herefordshire Council paid salaries over £50,000 to 147 employees. 36 of these were paid over £70,000 and 5 were paid between £100,000 and £185,000. The Hereford Times revealed that one employee was paid more than a quarter of a million pounds in total last year, and our Chief Executive was paid more than the Vice President of the USA. We request an urgent, independent inquiry into this disturbing state of affairs."

Thursday, 23 June 2011

What it's all REALLY about...

This week it's four months since the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards accepted my complaint against MP Bill Wiggin for a possible breach of Parliamentary expenses rules.This made Mr Wiggin the only MP ever to be investigated twice by the Commissioner for Standards.

A week later the Commissioner also accepted a supplementary complaint on the same issue from the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics.

Mr Wiggin's five grand "room hire" invoice has now risen to the top of Commissioner Lyon's caseload.

Right, are we all up to speed?
Now watch this blog: my waters feel something a-stirring soon...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Forming a Herefordshire Branch of the KKKK

As regular readers will know, Herefordshire Council has decreed that this blog is more dangerous to local youth than the Ku Klux Klan.

If you can't beat em join em so I have today set up Britain's first Grand Lodge of the KKKK.

This is like the American KKK but operates within the umbrella of the Coalition's 'Big Society'

KKKK stands for the Kuddle Kare Komfort Klan.
It is essentially Mr Cameron's 'hug a hoodie' philosophy but with the excitement of burning crosses, white sheets and froth-nostriled horses to actually lure young thugs into Dave's Big Society concept!

Leominster In Stitches (an offshoot of the WI) are working on the white robes. This is Herefordshire, so rustling a few horses will be child's play. (Memo to self - buy bag carrots Thursday).

But the burning crosses are trickier than y'd think.
Kate is down in That London affording me the opportunity of a trial run. The cross is easily whacked together from two big sticks and some Twisty Tie.

But igniting it with bbq fluid is harder than one might imagine. And the said accelerant, once ignited, spread swiftly to the sweet peas so I could be in trouble when Kate returns.

Still, it reminds me of two great reasons to love the American Deep South in the 1950s: Elvis, and easy access to cheap pitch.


What did I get involved in bleedin' politics for?
If it ain't gobbledyspeak it's the blasphemous work of Mr A. Cronym Esq.

Here is today's correspondence launched regarding the unelected, entirely unregulated Quango Quango Quango National Assn of Local Councils:

Eric Pickles should be visiting these sponging, secretive organisations one by one and simply nutting them. At least: I thought that's what we paid him for?

Just a minute

Second full Town Council last night. During Public Participation a redoubtable retired chap called Ray smilingly asked the one newly-elected Tory cllr:
"Could you tell me your opinion of Mr Bill Wiggin?"
"Why, I support Mr Wiggin 100%" he smiled back.
"Then you sir" said Ray "are morally corrupt"
Do we think those actual words will find their way into the minutes?

Because some words seem to slip down the back of the minute-taker's filing cabinet, such as these - regarding a local quango called Leominster Area Regeneration Company that handles £2.8 million of public funds - which I said at the last council meeting:
"I wrote, as a council taxpayer, to LARC's Chairman Bill Jackson pointing out that he had signed Bill Wiggin's nomination papers at the election vouching for Mr Wiggin's good name. Since Mr Wiggin has subsequently admitted publicly to misappropriating thousands of pounds of public money, I asked Mr Jackson if he wished to publicly distance himself from Mr Wiggin's misappropriation or alternatively to stand down as Chairman of this body handling public funds. Mr Jackson did not even reply which shows the unaccountable arrogance and contempt for council taxpayers of this organisation".
..but which were strangely missing from the minutes presented last night.

Socialist Mayor Eddie Clark tried to pass the minutes anyway until I protested that it is a criminal offence to publish false minutes.
I've no idea if it is, but clearly neither does Red Ed 'cause he withdrew the minutes to be rewritten.

Next item on t'Agenda - last year's Accounts which revealed the Minutes Clerk received a whopping 20% increase in salary!
Maybe Bills Jackson & Wiggin chipped in with a few bob?

Herefordshire Public Services Information Governance Forum

Since the whole country stopped even bothering to laugh at such bureacratic gobbledyspeak about 10 years ago, why on earth are they still using it? Do Council officers inhabit a parallel universe where this stuff hasn't yet been pilloried?

Anyway, here is the correspondence to date on why, during the recent County Council election, you could access blogs by the American Nazi Party at Leominster library but you couldn't access the blog of a candidate for the Leominster seat: meet the ICT Enterprise Architecture Manager and Information Security Monitoring Officer

Saturday, 18 June 2011

I'm more dangerous to Herefordshire's youth than the KKK - and I have that in writing.

Today the Council's explanation for why this Blog is banned in all their public libraries and hospitals came.
You'll see that I'm banned under 'point 8' of the 'public computer access agreement'. This actually states:
"Chat rooms are blocked and online gaming and gambling is not allowed".

I want the chatting, gaming and gambling on this Blog to stop! IMMEDIATELY!

From the explanation it's clear that the Council has stringent software which blocks all political blogs. So this morning I put that to the test.

There's a "short session" computer in Leominster library that logs you off after 15 mins.
In that time I accessed blogs - not just websites but BLOGS - by the following:
Conservativehome, the Labour Party, the BNP, the Anarchist Federation of Britain, Radical-Islam-blog, CND and the Ku Klux Klan.
Oh and one called "KerryKatonaAndMe/blog".

But not the blog for the elected representative of the Council the library is in...

Friday, 17 June 2011

Quango Quango Quango

Regular readers will know that, since being elected a Cllr, I've been trying to get to see the minutes of a Town Council meeting last year at which I was very probably illegally slandered. The 'Old Guard' Cllrs have understandably panicked and pressurised the Town Clerk to hide them from me.

There is a joke Quango round here called 'Herefordshire Association of Local Councils'. It has no legal status. It is entirely unelected. It has had the same CE (wife of a Tory Council grandee) for more than 10 years.

But apparently this HALC now runs Leo Town Council rather than the representatives democratically elected on May 5th:

Official - It's Illegal

I wrote this week to the Midlands Electoral Commission asking what was the legal position if, as my information currently informs me, my election campaign website was "blocked" - that is, politically censored - by staff under Chief Executive/Returning Officer Chris Bull during last month's County Council election.

The Commission's reply seems fairly unambiguous.

Let's go to work!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Miller V Herefordshire Council, High Court Pt 3

If Kate knew I was contemplating another Electoral Petition - see this letter  - she would %^&* my ^%&!ing %^"*s off.

Luckily she is down in That London for a couple of days. And, being a cultured lass, she has got bored with my "stupid Blog" and seldom checks in here.

Heh heh heh....

Ask a policeman?

The off-fobbing - about whether this blog containing my election manifesto & policies was blocked to voters during May's election on the orders of Herefordshire Council - has begun:

This time, I simply can't be bothered with their refusal to give a straight answer to a straight question.

If the Electoral Commission tell me that the fair or unfair running of an election comes within the jursidiction of the police, I'm going straight to the Organ Grinder.

A letter arrived yesterday from an Inspector at West Mercia police asking to see me about a different matter. Two birds with one stone time...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

When is a Gagging Order not a Gagging Order?

When it's a Gagging 'Clause'.

Much more tomorrow on the context of the disgraceful document below, which will explain to non-Herefordians what it is all about.

But for now, for Herefordians who know EXACTLY what this is about, a first view:

A sinister turn: The Letter

Herefordshire Council's Chief Exec. (and, more pertinently, Returning Officer) Chris Bull will have this letter on his desk tomorrow morning.

If someone's campaigning specifically for highly-paid Council Fat Cats to take a wage cut, and one of those Fat Cats uses Council funds & employees to stop voters seeing what that campaigner has to say, is that legal??

Perhaps we're going to find out...

I've cc'd this letter to the leaders of every political party on Herefordshire Council.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Things take a sinister turn...

Acting on a tip, I confirmed today that Herefordshire Council have blocked access to this blog from all the computer users in libraries across the county.
That's right: my constituents in Leominster North are banned from seeing what their representative is doing on their behalf or from contacting me.

Think that's bad?
What if they were blocking it during last month's election? You can bet your boots they weren't blocking the website of North Herefordshire Conservative Association.

The person ultimately responsible for this is Chris Bull, the Council's £226,700 a year Chief Executive.
He's also the Returning Officer responsible for ensuring last month's election was free & fair.

Can you see where I'm going with this?
Come back on Monday, when The Letter will be written...

Friday, 10 June 2011

Ah, the smell of greasepaint...

All set for tonight's gig "Bill Wiggin: His Part In My Downfall".
I'm assuming this is the first ever performance by a Stand-up Town Councillor so wish me luck.

All props are now assembled:
1 Plastic Tardis (Toys R Us) Check!
1 pair white oven gloves (Dunelm store) Check!
1 tricorn hat (Tricorn Hats R Us ) Check!


Wonder if Bill'll turn up?

PS: Naturally, the show ends with a song. Anyone wanting to join in I'd better give you a clue in advance in the shape of verse 2:

"Take a tip from Bill Wiggin
Those are gold mines he's been diggin'
'Cause every single pence is
On expenses:
Bill can pick a pocket or two!

You've got to pick a pocket or two, boys..."

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Bill Wiggin: His Part In My Downfall

Nearly finished the script for my one-man show this Friday!
If anyone's wondering whether to come and what it's all about here is page one of the script:

This one-hour programme will contain exactly 13 obscene words, each of which is absolutely essential to the artistic integrity of the piece.

And there will be a song at the end!

Oh yeah: it's at The Chequers, Etnam St, Leo at 8pm Friday. Be there or be watching Gardeners World (which I would meself Monty being back on it...)

How tiresomely predictable(pt 2)

Settling down at 9 last night to watch the conclusion of "Case Histories". Twas a hot night, the curtains open.
In our gate bowls Cllr Peter McCaull, 4-times Mayor about 72. He is holding the hand of a girl who looks about 19: they're usually Lithuanian.

Here's the incoherent drivel he pushed through my letter box.

It would be simply hilarious (which it is!) if it were not that this is their whole life (9 o'clock FFS) and if it were not that corruption and intimidation are the default settings for politicians in Herefordshire.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

How tiresomely predictable they are

The latest attempt by the Bill Wiggin Fan Club - aka the Town Council - to intimidate me.
 Last week I went to the council offices and asked the Town Clerk to let me see the minutes of two meetings. I have this unalloyed right under the council's Constitution.
 She refused to let me see them. You see, these were two meetings where they excluded the press and public so that they could defame me behind closed doors. But they forgot that the minutes continued to be taken.''
 No wonder the Town Clerk didn't want me to see them! Nor did Eddie Clark or Peter McCaull who were at the two meetings!
 So they have concocted this absurd allegation that by asking to see the minutes I was harrassing the Town Clerk. Absolutely no details whatsoever about the 'grievances', of course.
 It would be disgraceful if it were not so pathetic: here is the 'Grievance Procedure' under which they are 'charging me'.

Section 1 clause 1 of this doc.states immediately that this procedure applies only to council employees.
Umm, Messrs McCaull, Clarke & Ferrari, you may not understand how democracy works but I'll help you out: I ain't a council employee, I'm an elected representative.
Straight in the bin, I think!
 Just like their puppetmaster Bill Wiggin: both thoroughly rotten and stupid.

PS: @ the Penguin: you've been at this blogging game way ahead of me , so I'll take that tip as hard earned knowledge!
@Boadacia Had some further utter cr*p pushed through my door by the council tonight. Will scan & publish it tomorrow. As you say: this is the best way to ridicule these jumped-up would be Mussolinis!

Thursday, 2 June 2011


If you've been following the 'Michael Hainge' thread running through this blog, you'll know that recently the Council's Legal Dept admitted to me that the £123,000 extra paid last year to this departing employee (he got £250,000 in total) included  a "confidentiality" or gagging clause.

But in this correspondence in February, national transparency campaigner Paul Cardin is assured that inserting such clauses is not Council policy and the Council has no recollection of implementing any gagging agreements

It looks as if someone high up "advised" the Council's Information Officer to tell a straight falsehood in an official Freedom Of Information response.
That's pretty heavy, isn't it?

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Herefordshire Council a tougher job than running the UN!

Herefordshire is the least populated County in England, hence has the lowest number of council tax payers. Nonetheless, last year our Council Chief Exec was paid £226,700 in total.

Someone has written to the local paper pointing out that this is more than the Vice-President of the US.

Intrigued, I did a few other comparisons. Mr Bull's salary is:

£100,718 more than the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court
£152,949 more than the President of Russia
£69,598 more than the Secretary General of the United Nations
£34,885 more than the Chancellor of Germany
£102,969 more than the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve
£202,248 more than the President of India