Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Shh! It's a secret!

I think the following is a good eye-opener on how career politicians view voters who ask questions.

In spring 2010 I asked  a couple of my Town Council. Their reply concluded with this bizarre & deliberate insult to me as an 'incomer':You're not from round here

The County Standards Committee ruled that it "lacked objectivity and could be taken offensively":Naughty councillors!

Leominster Town Council responded by declaring me a 'non-person' at secret meetings that the public were banned from.
As some here know, I asked to see the minutes of these meetings under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Mayor and Town Clerk strenuously refused, supported by cllrs from the Labour & Green parties.
Then two weeks ago this email from the Town Clerk:

Cllr Miller
Following advice from the Information Commissioner and instructions from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, in consultation with other Council members, I can now issue you with  the full minutes of the Council meetings held on 6 July 2010 and 17 January 2011.  Please find copies attached.

And here those minutes finally are. Enjoy, they're pretty hilarious!

A Labour of Hate pt 4

September 27th 2011 
Dear Mayor,
On May 10th, one working day after I was declared a winner in an election to Leominster Council, and a fortnight before the Returning Officer declared that I was now a Town Councillor, the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the Council made a complaint that I, as a Town Councillor, had conducted a campaign of harassment and bullying.
You chose to accept this logically absurd allegation.
You appointed yourself as chairman of a Grievance Panel. You contributed to a Report on the allegation which you presented to a Secret Session of Leominster Town Council on July 7th. You chaired this meeting and – according to the minutes I have obtained of that meeting – you debated on the Report and voted to recommend disciplinary action be taken against me on the basis of that Report.
You did all of the above despite having serious prejudicial interest against me, prejudicial interests which our Code of Conduct required you to declare at every step of the course of action you embarked upon.
Those prejudicial interests were as follows:
In November 2009 I and nine other electors convened an Official Town Meeting to discuss revelations about the expenses claims of our local MP. The MP, Bill Wiggin, secretly wrote to all Leominster Town Councillors in a message which several found to be very offensive.
At the December full council Meeting this letter and its offensiveness were raised and the local newspaper the Hereford Journal reported on the discussion.
The Journal reported that your long term partner/common law wife Janet Atkinson said that she had not only received this offensive letter but also “offensive phone calls from Jim Miller”.
As you know, this was entirely untrue. At that time I did not even know who your partner Janet Atkinson was and had never even had a conversation with her let alone made “offensive phone calls”.
After I consulted with my solicitors Ms Atkinson contacted Colin Osborne, editor of the Journal, and beseeched him to print her retraction of the lie she had publicly made about me and her apology. The Journal published this and I was satisfied with the apology.
Your partner/common law wife Ms Atkinson, being a former Mayor of Leominster, must have been upset to have to admit in print that she would make such a false allegation against an entirely innocent elector and I know that she was very angry at having to do so.
It seems natural that you would have shared the upset and anger of your partner in this matter and would have a degree of resentment towards me for requiring the public apology, and that therefore you have a longstanding prejudicial interest against me.
After this year’s May 5th election you had the Town Clerk publish official documents that you had been chosen ‘Mayor Elect’ by the previous sixteen Town Councillors even though nine of them had not been re-elected to the Town Council. As you know I challenged this as a deeply undemocratic procedure and I boycotted your “Mayor Making”, instead handing out leaflets explaining to those attending why this was an affront to due procedure.
Then, at the first full Council Meeting I attended, I stated that I did not recognise you as having been democratically elected as our Town Mayor. This was prominently reported on the front page of the Hereford Journal under the headline “New Councillor Ruffles Feathers”.
There can be little doubt that my picketing of your Mayor Making and the reporting of my refusal to acknowledge you as a legitimate Mayor have been of discomfort to you; I believe they have undermined the legitimacy of your claim to have been chosen as our Mayor via an open or transparent process.  It seems to me that you have a clear and still pressing prejudicial interest against me.
Mr Clark: can you please tell me why, with such strong and personal prejudicial interests against me, you appointed yourself as the Chairman of a Panel investigating allegations against me? Why you did not declare these prejudicial interests before a Report attacking me to the Town Council on July 7th? Why you did not declare these interests before chairing that meeting? And why you did not declare these interests and abstain from any discussion or vote on this Report as our Code of Conduct required you to do?

Yours faithfully

Jim Miller

Why the expenses scandal will never really "go away"

I caught a bit of Ed Milliband today. He's not my political cup of tea but I tend to like him as a bloke.
An old Oxford mate who took the Civil Service route has told me (off the record and all that) that Ed M. is the most decent politician he has worked for in Whitehall.
I don't know if Ed Milliband is definitely honest. I don't know that his expenses claims were morally decent.
Because the one thing that needed to happen - a full, public inquiry led by a judge into all the expenses claims by recent MPs - didn't happen.

My own MP Bill Wiggin, for example, owned a 5-storey house in Fulham, with an eye-watering mortage, when he was elected in 2001. He bought a second home in his constituency outright, then simply designated his Fulham home (which was and still remains his main family home) as his "second home" thus making you and me pay for that mortage to the tune of more than 100 grand and counting.

Lots of them did it. But Mr Wiggin is my MP so I went & looked at what he had done.

Today Ed Milliband promised to strike a "new bargain" with the British people.
I don't think he means it.
Because I don't think he cares about what the Bill Wigginses sitting around him in Parliament have done.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Labour of Hate pt 3

A small snapshot (I have plenty more)of the depths Leominster Labour will sink to to attack me.
Simon Joseph is a local self-proclaimed "socialist". Here is his Facebook page which lists Michael Meacher, Stephen Twigg, Lewisham Labour Party as his friends along with MPs Gisela Stuart, Mandy Richards, Barry Gardiner and the last Labour Mayor of Leominster Richard Westwood.

Below is an extractfrom just a short period on the Facebook page of "What I Heard About Herefordshire Council" on the evening of August 2nd. There was a conversation about how the unions had lost their power & I made the mistake of making an innocuous comment about my dad, when Mr Joseph began claiming to have records of my treatment for mental illness which he was going to publish.
He seems to think he really does have such records and perhaps he somehow has the records of another Jim Miller. But what if it was true & I really had been through the mental health system?
Are there many things more depraved than threatening & taunting such a vulnerable person?

This is the snarling face of the modern Labour party, mates with Michael Meacher and all, at least here in Herefordshire:
Jim Miller: My old man once ran for leadership of the TGWU, then the largest free world Union. He came 4th, not bad since he was the Communist candidate!
Simon Joseph:  Are you in a Union Jim? Or are you one of those middle class trade unionists who like the idea but spend their subs on good whisky? You're not working class, and you don;t speak for the working class. You're a failed comedy write with a history of mental illness. You're not the only one with a search engine, matey boy.
Jim Miller: Dear Simon Joseph, "with a history of mental illness" is entirely malicious, untrue defamation and I ask that you apologise here in the forum where you made your defamation within 24 hours.
Jack Townsend: I saw Philippa Roberts speak a few times in the hustings for the General Election and thought her by far the best candidate. Only a matter of time before she gets to Parliament I thought. Now she seems to have plummeted to the extent that she surrounds herself with spokespeople like Simon Joseph, who come across as small minded, cowardly and malicious Tory apologists. WTF happened?
What I Heard About Herefordshire Council: I think the two points are connected. "Do what you have to do" is as true in the Labour Party as it is in the Conservative Party.
Jim Miller I think it's only fair to give Phillipa the chance to defend her reputation: http://www.yourconvenience.co.uk/PRobertsAug2.pdf
Simon Joseph: I look forward to your letter Jim. You'll be sending the police round I expect. You do look silly when you deny things we can plainly see to be true. Better hope no one has any of your files from institutions you may have "visited". Duh duh DUH! Hey this is getting exciting peeps!
Simon Joseph:  Spokesperson for Phillipa Roberts? The lass who stood in Hereford? Another Parish Councillor (Christ who isn't?) Never met her. Try again LOL Of coiurse the truth is the hardest thing for you to beleive, I'm Independent. Real Indepenedent, not Jim Miller Independent. He's abused that word, allthough in a literal sense I suppose he is, he speaks only for himself. I voted for Jim Miller when I thought he was a voice of the Leominster people. I regret that now. And I aim to put it right.
Simon Joseph Oh Jim will it have a oolice postmark? Or from your solicitor? I want to frame it see, shame if it got recycled. See, you think I'm stupid enough to make falce accusations, but I'm not. You are, obviously, but most people are not you not "like" you. Have a little think about what I might have to make me say that. But send the letter anyway, I look forward to having a giggle.
Fi Edwards: My daughter has suffered from depression since a teenager, and has been diagnosed as having a mental illness. The prejudice of employers, peers even some members of my own family has been quite a shock and difficult to accept. Whether Mr Miller has a 'history of mental illness' or not is of no interest to me and I wish him well whatever. As for Simon Joseph, to use mental illness as an insult, a taunt and a threat is unforgiveable and shows you up to be without sensitivity, intelligence or values.
Jim Miller @Fi: there seems to be growing awareness that people with mental illness are being discriminated against, especially in the employment sphere, in ways that would not be acceptable on gender or race or physical disability reasons. As I say, I've no history of mental illness myself but if I did I hope I'd have the courage to be open about it as this is one of our society's taboos that needs to be addressed.
CĂ­ara Monahan @Simon, you might want to check your privacy settings. at the moment anyone can read your page and see your friends list/conversations with NHLP!
Glen Simmons Disappointed you told him. It was quite illuminating to read about how much he misses London and how Leominster is full of yokels and inbreds. The guy is even uglier on the inside.
Simon Joseph Yay! Keep biting guys this is hillarious. It's Jim who's suffering. You never shut about his madness do you? LOL I'm Bill Wiggin in disguise you know. No wait, I'm Ed Milliband! No, father christmas. It's so exciting PMSL You lto are brilliant. Village idiots one and all. And most of you don't even live in Lemmer! So many secretive profiles with so much to hide. Funny Farm United.
Sheila Meek: Simon is suggesting he has access to Mr Miller's records from 'mental institutions' which of course is impossible as patient confidentiality would be paramount (plus of course Mr Miller has made it clear he has never had a mental illness). If Simon obtained such records he would have done so illegally. To threaten someone in this way is inexcusable. Imagine if Simon threatened someone in this way who genuinely did have a mental illness, then the consequences could be tragic, and Simon would be facing serious charges.

Monday, 19 September 2011

A Labour of Hate pt 2

The letter below, sent today, shows how Labour in the Shire Counties are quite happy to intimidate people on behalf of the Tory Grandees.
Eddie Clark is the supposedly socialist Mayor of Leominster. He and his wife have run the main union in the county, Unision, for years. But at the drop of a hat he calls in proven Wiggin boys to do a number on me at taxpayers' expense.
The letter is self-explanatory. But it's worth knowing that the following Labour councillors voted to approve Ferrari's Tory hatchet job when it was presented to them:
Philippa Roberts (official Labour candidate for Hereford at the last General Election!); Mollie Cook; Emma Pardoe; Charlotte Barnet.
Dear Mayor,
In May, one day after I was elected to the council and two weeks before I was enrolled as a Town Councillor, the Clerk and Deputy clerk made a complaint that I as a Town Councillor had embarked upon a campaign of harassment.
For your own reasons you decided to accept this logically absurd allegation and set up a Committee to “investigate” it. You invited Benson Ferrari to sit on that committee.
In September 2009 the front page of the local newspaper prominently reported that Benson Ferrari had made a complaint of harassment against me to West Mercia Police:
Leominster Journal Sept 16 2009
The police found absolutely no basis for Mr Ferrari’s complaint which was therefore false and malicious.
Why did you invite someone you knew to have made a false and malicious complaint of harassment against me to “investigate” a new complaint of harassment against me which might well be false and malicious?
Why did you fail in your duty to ensure that any investigatory committee you set up was fair and impartial?

As you are well aware, in April last year I took Mr Ferrari as a named respondent to the High Court. Two judges ruled that he was unlawfully sitting on Leominster Town Council and they summarily expelled him from his position:
High Court ruling.
 I have little doubt that this was a humiliating experience for Mr Ferrari. He clearly has a great personal prejudicial interest against me.

The following month Mr Ferrari signed the nomination papers of Bill Wiggin at the General Election:
Returning Officer's acceptance of proposers

 As you are well aware, at that time I had made a serious complaint of wrongdoing against Mr Wiggin to parliament. My complaint was upheld and Mr Wiggin forced to pay the money back. A second complaint of mine against Mr Wiggin for potential fraud is currently being investigated by parliament as you are well aware. It is clear that the signatory to Mr Wiggin’s parliamentary candidature would have a great political prejudicial interest against me.

Mayor – why did you allow someone with great personal and political prejudicial interests against me to sit on a panel investigating serious allegations against me?
Why did you allow such a prejudiced person to compile a report about me and why did you yourself present that report to the Town Council at a secret meeting?
Finally, why did you allow Town Council to debate and vote on a report against me which had been compiled with someone who was so evidently not impartial, not unbiased and not disinterested?

Why, Mayor, have you so singularly failed in your duty in this matter?

Yours faithfully

Jim Miller

Sunday, 18 September 2011

My first & last "Council Report"

After all the harassment by local police I promised my partner we'd be out of Leominster by the beginning of October, which is fair enough.

Bizarrely, the only official thing I was ever asked to do by Leominster Council was to prepare a report with Felicity Norman, the leader of Herefordshire 's Green Party, on local democracy called "Listening To Leominster".
Here it is.

Will be presented at my last Leo Town Council tomorrow.
(Hope no-one looks too closely at the signatures at the end...)

Monday, 12 September 2011

"I have nothing to declare but a prejudicial interest"

... and for most Herefordshire Councillors that means "Oh, nothing then!".

On July 7th a secret meeting of Town Council - held when they knew I was on hols in Scotland - voted to pass a complaint to the Standards Committee made against me by the Clerk and Deputy Clerk one day after I was elected (and when I was not even officially a councillor!)
I've heard nothing more about it - perhaps the Standards people were so embarrassed at its patent mendacity that they lost it down the back of a filing cabinet.

Regulars will know that the Mayor, in order to get the whole thing done before I got back to defend myself, forged Cllr Benson Ferrari's signature on the Report.

But surely the other three authors of this damning expose of my atrocious misdemeanours were entirely neutral unbiased sleuths?

Well, they all three got a few questions from me today.

And I've asked the Town Clerk to place the following questions on the Agenda for next Monday's full Council Meeting:
"Why have members of Council who serve on the Personnel Committee not declared serious prejudicial interests before sitting on an investigatory sub-committee?
And why did three members of Council present a Report to Council on July 7th without declaring serious prejudicial interests in the matters contained within that Report?"

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A Labour of hate

Since I was a naive innocent two years ago I've worked out a lot about how this dirty politics game works. But one thing still really baffles me.

Why is it the local Labour party who really, really hate what I'm trying to do in Herefordshire?

Yes, the local Tories constantly try to stop me - I'm trying to have their boss Bill Wiggin held to serious account after all. But with the Labour crew there isn't even any rationality...

I discovered that after two full Council meetings, the Town Clerk and Deputy Clerk repaired to a local pub for a chat with Bill W's close friends and Tory grandees  cllrs Roger Hunt and Brigadier Jones - so I brought this to the Council's attention and asked if it was ok under local govt rules.

At another of the secret meetings which they so dearly love every Labour cllr voted to refer this to the Standards Board as evidence of my "bullying and harassment".

One of those cllrs was Philippa Roberts who was the official Labour Hereford candidate at last year's General Election.

So it seems official Labour policy round here that if you ask perfectly legitimate questions about how senior Tories interact with the machinery of govt, it's bullying!