Monday, 20 July 2009
Rowengate: Art imitates life
Who would have thought a 40p banana claimed by Paul Rowen MP could have caused so much trouble?
It seems, as they used to say on Dad's Army- "they don't like it up em".
The 40p banana was one of the reasons Rochdale's current MP threatened the Guardian Media Group with legal action over the Rochdale Observer's reporting of his claimed Parliamentary expenses. Who bankrolls Mr Rowen's lame legal threats? Is it ultimately the taxpayer? It is if the cash came from his Parliamentary salary, allowances, expesnses or petty cash?
Or would the cash for Paul Rowen to threaten libel actions come from his second job working for a Ugandan property company- Corinya- A company with very close links to a Rochdale based UK company that rents houses and offices in Rochdale Borough - including an office let to Rochdale Council. Was this sweet little property deal done when Paul Rowen was Leader of Rochdale Council? Top banana.
Chris Paul has some excellent photographs of a protest by young constituents who thought "million pound Paul" and his bunch were bananas.
Rather than see the funny side and engage with his electorate, the stout defender of free speech and liberalism wasted police time by demanding an escort from the Broadfield Hotel Chamber of Commerce "breakfast" meeting.
Food for throught indeed. The banana is mightier that the sword.
For years, Paul Rowen has jumped on bandwagons with protests and campaigns. He swears he wants Parliamentary transparency and open governance. Yet he has a shadowy crew that have groomed many on the internet with lies, smears and innuendo. And it seems much of this crew are paid for out of taxpayer's cash. Parliamentary and Rochdale Council income - salaries, allowances and expenses? Cash into a slush fund paid in by certain local grateful or expectant "businessmen"?
Now the worm has turned. People are starting to question Rochdale Lib Dem tactics and actions. Constituents want Paul Rowen to come clean on his expenses, secondary wages and all the sources of his local party's income.
How does Mr Rowen react? With silence on the key questions. Or threats, spin and smears.
Rochdale Lib Dems love art. When Cyril Smith was in a spot of bother last year and calls were made in Parliament for him to be stripped of his knighthood, a 6 month old news story about a "new portrait" of Cyril was re-hashed to put the former Rochdale MP in a good light.
Cyril Smith is no oil painting and the unresolved issues about his time as a councillor and MP will not go away.
New street art might not be to the old spanker or his successor MP's taste but it makes a point.
A rat, with portcullis bling, grasping a 40p banana - done in the name of "Spanksy".
A homage to Banksy with a name that reflects the unresolved sexual abuse allegations about Cyril Smith and vulnerable young lads in a hostel?
Is the rat grasping the 40p banana on behalf of an unpaid intern?
Does the rat have a tear in his eye? Is is remorse or anger?
Do rats leave sinking ships?
Street banana art. Food for thought indeed.