Regarding the row that's raging over the ‘proposed consultation paper’ on the subject of opening new Grammar Schools; I find it totally amazing that we have our local Labour councillors marching the streets to demonstrate their dogmatic opposition to such a suggestion, whilst up in Westminster the Labour leadership, and other well-heeled politicio's have and many of their families still are, benefiting from either private schooling or attending Grammar schools.

Let’s start with the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn and his Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who were both Grammar School boys.

Then there’s Diane Abbott, Corbyn’s new Shadow Home Secretary, who sent her son to the private City of London School and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry sent two of her three children to a selective school.

There are many more of these Labour naysayers, but let’s look at the newly appointed Baroness Chakrabarti whose son goes to a top private school?

Surely not! I hear Tameside Labour voters say? ..Er… yes, actually. It has just emerged that the Baronesses 13-year-old attends £18,915-a-year Dulwich College in South-East London.

Locally too, this hypocritical anomaly is rife! 

Tameside Labour’s “do as we say, not as we do” approach is quite unpalatable as they stand for yet another photo shoot, morally evading the fact that the current Tameside Mayor, pictured demonstrating with the others, was a pupil at the now abolished Hyde Grammar School.

Personally I have nothing against Grammar School education or indeed private schooling.

If a person wants to save and spend their well earned money on furthering the life chances of their sons and daughters, then nobody has the right to deny them, especially those who have benefited from Grammar school education. It’s nothing but rank hypocrisy. Its classic Labour: do as I say, not as I do.
Hypothetically, can you imagine the outcry if Labour councilors’ told their constituents that they should not shop at Sainsbury’s or Waitrose, they must all go to Liddle and buy own label food, or the liberally inked John Wag Taylor leading a campaign to close down all Tameside’s tattoo parlors?

What people choose to spend their money on is nobody's business but their own.





Coming to a ward near you!
Following the recent news in the media reporting a spate of incidents in which groups of menacing clowns have been seen marauding the boroughs streets; scaring members of the public, I have to say this is not a new phenomenon here in Tameside!

For many years now, Tameside householders have been confronted on the streets and frequently accosted on their doorsteps by groups of ‘clowns’ badgering, gesticulating, spouting scare stories and stuffing political junk mail through unsuspecting and politically apathetic householders letterboxes.

The predominance of Tameside’s ‘clown’ sightings appear to frequently materialise in the vicinity of Ashton Town Hall - at times that just so happen to coincide with ‘full council meetings’ From there, armed with hundreds of propaganda leaflets, they gather their happy band of pro-clown factions around them and travel unswervingly to their mini-fiefdoms, terrorising all who stand in their path, in their single-minded quest to tighten the grip on their miniscule majorities by maintaining the public’s inconsolable fear of suffering the consequences, should they not choose to vote for the red-nosed nemeses.

Next year, as we approach ‘local election time’ you must take great care.

As a general rule, if a malicious looking, Sunday suited group of clowns materialize uninvited out of thin air, wrapping on your doors, do not encourage them. Don’t answer it, don’t wave at the window, don’t make eye contact, and don’t smile at them and, if all that fails because they’ve caught you unaware, whatever you do, DON’T ACCEPT ONE OF THEIR LEAFLETS!
If you do, the Tameside clowns will have the last laugh, again!



At the beginning of the year, in his message to the community our council leader, Kieran Quinn announced 16 pledges for 2016.

Among those promises was a pledge to plant a minimum of 2016 trees to offset Tameside’s carbon emissions and support greater biodiversity! Another was to ‘Get Tameside Growing’ – Where he announced that the council will work with the community to get Tameside growing its own food in window boxes, gardens, community spaces and allotments.

However, at no time did he tell us that to make space to begin this mass cultivation in pursuit of self sufficiency, great swathes of ornamental trees from well established urban landscapes, that had adorned communities for decades, would be wilfully destroyed in what appears to be a re-make of Tobe Hooper's classic horror – The Texas Tameside Chainsaw Massacre.
Local residents were stumped!

When you see this type of vandalism, you have to wonder if the trees in your area will be next.

Now I don’t know if this ‘aggressive pruning’ was carried out by Tameside Council’s tree surgeons or tree-fella's with chain saws. Either way the result is not a pretty sight!  

Perhaps we should seek out another council pledge to protect well established trees, many of which have stood longer than the Labour councillors who are elected to protect them from a similar fate.



Upon visiting Stalybridge earlier today, I noticed something was happening!

Yet another fence had been erected around the old Casablanca’s site and heavy machinery could be seen knocking down what was left of The Millpond pub!

Could this be a sign that the ‘new owners’ had finally started to build, or was it just another photo-op for those who may not have been born when the ‘new owners’ published the last one?

Back in February 2013, Cllr John Taylor - Deputy Leader of Tameside Council, speaking on the redevelopment of the derelict Casablanca’s Health Club, said: "These are great times for Stalybridge. We are finally going to see the end of a building that has spoiled the town centre for almost eight years.”

“Empty buildings are not only a blight, they are a wasted asset, especially at a time when we have to work so much harder in pursuit of prosperity.’

You may well remember the well staged photo shoot, were the councillor, with MP Jonathan Reynolds and some other bod, they dragged in to balance the composition. This was to announce to the local residents and taxpayers that the new owners, New Charter, had started to redevelop the site and had chosen to use Tameside Council to carry out the demolition work!’

To give them due credit, it started well.

Carefully painted in New Charter’s corporate colours; a ‘temporary’ wooden fence was erected around the site of the once thriving multi-purpose fitness and leisure complex, which had stood derelict since being gutted by fire in 2005; and now, according to ‘honest John’ this was to signal the start of interior demolition work on the site with exterior work (ie Building something) set to begin in the summer. (That was the summer of 2013)

However, and with the benefit of hindsight, we should have ‘smelt a rat’ regarding the future plans for the site, when Sean Stafford, director of development at New Charter explained: “We do have some thoughts and we have had some initial sketches prepared.”

Invariably these days, whenever we hear or read about ‘New Charter’ it’s because they have achieved yet another ‘award or recognition’ from some nebulous trade sector or Local Government Quangos. For instance a couple of months after ‘erecting and painting’ the corporate coloured fence around the demotion site that was ‘Casablanca’s’ - New Charter’s Building Company achieved their first gold medal award that year - having secured consecutive gold awards for the previous five years, demonstrating its key commitment to carrying out all of their repairs and maintenance work to a high standard of safety.

Since then, New Charter Homes has been awarded a top gong for environmental performance. They gained an anti-social behaviour accreditation with flying colours. They scooped a top prize and four other accolades at a regional contact centre awards shindig. One of their young apprentices from Dukinfield was recognised in the Construction Apprentice of the Year category at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Property and Construction Annual Dinner. They swiftly followed that by announcing that New Charter Housing Trust Group had reached number three in 24 Housing’s Top 50 Landlords survey. Next, the Tameside-based housing association reached number 7 in the 2014 Sunday Times Top 100 Best Not-For-Profit Companies To Work For poll, followed by news that Green Charter, the in house grounds maintenance team at New Charter Homes scooped the top prize at a national customer services awards in London.

Not to be outdone, The Tenant Management Team (TMT) of New Charter Homes, who help to improve housing services for others won a regional award for their hard work. Next award on the shelf was when New Charter Homes received further national recognition for the third year running for the way it looks after neighbourhoods and residents in Tameside. This was quickly followed by The Inspire team at New Charter Homes who were crowned overall category winners for Building Stronger Communities at the Responsible Business Awards.

14th August 2014, saw New Charter awarded the national ServiceMark standard, recognising its commitment to customer service. Come November, New Charter won another national award for helping tenants struggling with debt and cuts to welfare benefits.

One significant announcement came in May 2015 when Moody’s, a well respected, internationally recognised credit rating agency assigned an A2 rating to New Charter.  This judgement gave New Charter the opportunity to move forward in the medium term by raising significant additional cash, meaning that it is able to continue developing new homes for rent.

Following more awards and accreditations, New Charter became the first housing association in the country to receive a new national accreditation for the way it lets its homes, and later won a Green Apple Environment Award in the national campaign to find Britain’s greenest companies, councils and communities.

Following an award for Public Relations and communications they next received the CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing) Health & Wellbeing award based on the depth and breadth of work it carries out in relation to the Government’s Health and Wellbeing agenda.

In April 2016, the Inspire team at New Charter Group were recognised again in the Building Stronger Communities category in the 2016 Responsible Business Awards, run by Business in the Community, HRH The Prince of Wales’ Responsible Business Network.

And last, but I’m sure, not for long – earlier this very month (8th August 2016) New Charter Group was awarded the highest standard for the way it looks after and invests in its employees.

A great record of achievement by anyone’s standards!

However, after three and a half years, since their grandiose announcement of revitalising Armentieres Square, we can only hope that this recent flurry of activity results in some form of construction and with a bit of luck, at sometime in the not too distant future, we can all celebrate with New Charter, a special achievement award for actually building something that resembles ‘homes, shops and retail outlets’ in keeping with the urban surroundings of Stalybridge.

Time will tell!



Billy no-mates
Before the referendum, the gathered hoards on the remain side, predicted huge job losses and the break-up of Europe!

Up to writing, 28 (and counting) Labour frontbenchers have thrown their toy’s out of the pram and left Corbyn’s unhappy band. If Corbyn is really determined to keep insisting that his large mandate means he has to stay on, the Labour party is screwed. By the end of the day, I doubt he'll have enough supporters in the parliamentary party to actually form a credible shadow cabinet, let alone hold the government to account.

So it’s looking more likely that the Labour Party will break up before the EU does!

And it’s not only Labour! The problem is that the majority of the political classes, whom, it would seem, prefer to salute the European Union flag, rather than the Union Jack, clearly do not want to leave the EU. That would mean that they would have to resume full responsibility for us and they do not want to.

Now they’re telling us that in the UK, referendums are not legally binding!  - And if there’s a good enough reason, parliament can ignore them! Well let them try it! We voted out, and we want OUT!

They are also trying to muddy the waters by offering all sorts of fudged nonsense. From Associate Membership to a renegotiation of terms and even another referendum (presumably until they get the result they want!)

They set the terms, the rules and the question - It is NOT what we were offered and voted on as well they know. We were offered a straight IN or OUT ! And we chose OUT !!

If the political class cannot deliver on this, then those that cannot accept it must go. They must resign their seats and allow others to take their place. No need for a general election, why should those who would defend British sovereignty risk their seat because they are on the winning side of the argument?

Politicians throughout the country, please listen, the people have spoken; it’s no good trying to change the rules now. Just do what you have been elected to do and put the Great back into Britain.

The time has come for real Statesmen to emerge!



The sad and senseless death of MP Jo Cox, days before the IN/OUT European referendum brought back macabre echo’s from a previous European referendum.
In 2003, the Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was stabbed to death whilst out shopping four days before the Swedish referendum on adopting the Euro.

This tragic event saw both camps suspend their campaigns, with each  promising to take stock of the voracity of their arguments. 
Today, after both sides of the argument agreed to resume their campaigning, albeit taking a more factual and calmer approach, the first words uttered by the so called ‘neutral’ BBC, was to point out how Boris Johnson had once favoured the remaining in the ‘free trade market’ and now leads the ‘brexit’ campaign for the UK to leave.!
Strange though, they missed the opportunity to remind us of other politicos who appear to have had similar Damascus moments. Forty-one years ago, in Britain’s last referendum on Europe, has plenty of similarities with the current bitter and closely-fought debate.
Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson called the referendum on June 5, 1975, as a way of trying to appease the euro sceptic wing of his fractured party, and urged Britons to stay in after securing concessions from Brussels.
This time around, it is Conservative premier David Cameron who is holding a vote to try to heal party splits, and who is campaigning to “Remain” on the basis of a renegotiated EU settlement.
Back then, the left wing of Wilson’s Labour party wanted to leave the Common Market, among them current leader Jeremy Corbyn — who now advocates staying in.
Earlier on April 26 1975, Labour held a special conference on Europe where Michael Foot made the concluding speech, quoting Nye Bevan and the Leave position won by 3.9 million to 1.7 million.
There was also another Labour meeting in Cardiff organised by Neil Kinnock to campaign for a No to Europe vote. He changed his views and later both he and his wife, became European Commissioners!
So, let’s not get sidetracked by pointing fingers at people who change their minds. After all, during the last referendum, the EEC (as it was known then) had six founding members and membership had risen to nine by 1975. Today EU has grown to 28 members, with others knocking on its door.
Back in 1975, Harold Wilson only had to negotiate more favourable terms with those nine countries. Today, the stakes of voting on EU membership are higher than in 1975!
With 28 differing member states, mostly from within the Euro-zone, with Europe engaged in such a complex and changing number of political priorities and directions, any attempted renegotiations for the UK will obviously become a more difficult task for Cameron than Wilson faced forty one years ago.





Regular and casual readers of this blog will have noticed that I haven't been commenting since the back end of February.

There’s been speculation and questions asked about my lack of commentary and disappointment at my general running criticism of the usual group of suspects; but the honest truth is this; - writing about the socialist self-servers who have been the main feature of the blog from the outset, together with Cameron’s U-turns and downright deceit over the IN/OUT referendum, has convinced me that whatever political popinjays spring up, they are only different grades of ‘useful idiots’ who have fallen into the Hegelian Dialectic trap, and bringing this fact to the near brain dead, apathetic great unwashed, is like emanating the futile efforts of Sisyphus, who the gods condemned to spend his life ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, only for it to fall back down under its own weight.

And speaking of rocks; unless you've been living under one, you've probably noticed a lot of scaremongering coming from the vast majority of politicians and those faceless power mad leaders within the EU. 

The amount of total garbage that's we're being threatened with is unbelievable!

That's because they are desperately clinging on to the last vestiges of the power they have. The power we have given them! But now faced with vast movements of refugees and economic migrants, they know as well as you and I do that their plans for a federal state of Europe with one ruling elite in Brussels, is in danger of going tits up. -- It's not if, it's a matter of when. 

I just hope that by the end of next week, we are no longer prisoners of the UK elite and, equally important, the EU! Because I simply could not stand the thought of living in a country where almost every liberty and right we have enjoyed for hundreds of years had been systematically destroyed by unelected, unmovable, faceless bureaucrats’ aided and abetted by our own greasy-pole climbing politicians!

I will blog again when I have something more to say!