Before your mind races away dear reader, the castration in mind is not the chemical cocktail linked to scurrilous rumours about Cyril Smith post-Cambridge House allegations and police investigations. Goodness knows what had to be taken to cool such spanking ardour. To control a 30 stone bully, the drugs would have had to floor an elephant. It brings a whole new meaning to “vetting” by Special Branch?
Back to Paul Rowen's “castration”, a la Austin Mitchell MP, following the recommendations of Sir Christopher Kelly regarding Parliamentary expenses.
Paul certainly has some balls to go with his bare faced cheek. When the MP expenses scandal broke, Rochdale's current MP said it had “had one of the worst weeks of his political career”. Legal threats were made against the Rochdale Observer. They buckled and printed an apology for an earlier article into Paul Rowen's parliamentary expenses.
"The Rochdale Observer would like to make it clear it has no information that Paul Rowen MP was using parliamentary expenses to fund Liberal Democrat political activities and apologises if any reader got that impression."
A convenient official silence ensued that stiffled facts about Paul Rowen's allowances and expenses. No mention in print of the £4000 donations from Paul's allowances to the North West Lib Dem group for "consultation". No mention of paid adverts going to "Rochdale News" -not a newspaper but a political leaflet printed by the shadowy unincorporated organisation - the Rochdale Liberal Democrat Printing Society. Based at... you guessed it... the Lib Dem HQ and MP office at Drake St.
With the Rochdale Observer gagged, RAW has continued to question the spin and corrupt arguments spun by “Million Pound Paul” and his Drake Street bunch.
By the end of this term Paul Rowen now admits he will receive over a million pounds in Parliamentary salary, allowances and expenses.
He has filled his boots on claiming Communications allowance, second home mortgage interest payments and household items.
All three areas of MP cash that Sir Christopher Kelly was critical of and has recommended scrapping.
No more claims for - Communication Allowance, DVD players and vacuums, mortgage payments for the London apartment.
Following Mitchell's analogy is it fair to suggest that such "savage cuts" could amount to a castration for Paul Rowen?
But, as Jimmy Cricket might say...there's more...
Paul Rowen has failed to account for huge financial black holes in the Rochdale Lib Dem accounts:
How have “agents” and “caseworkers” David Hennigan, Adam Power and John Swarbrick been paid? What do they do for the money? Who is responsible for the “work” they do?
One very late night in May, Paul Rowen posted on the internet that he will reveal where all his Rochdale Council expenses were donated for the time in 2005 when he was both an MP and borough councillor. “Mostly catholic” charities apparently, after tax had been paid apparently. Rochdale's current MP promised to come clean “by the weekend”. 6 months on (25 weekends later) nothing has been disclosed.
Who paid cash to Cyril Smith “Friends of Liberal Democrats” c/o 14 Emma Street? The consolidated ("laundered"?) cash donation was welcomed by Paul Rowen prior to the 2005 general election but he seems rather coy about Cyril's "nod nod, wink wink" letter to 1000 local businessmen asking for Lib Dem donations.
What is the “Cobden – Bright Trust” c/o Drake Street Rochdale? Who are trustees? Who has donated to it?
Is it appropriate to describe the the rent setting exercise for Paul Rowen's constituency office as “independent”. Previously, the office was “gifted” for free (in the 2004 accounts this was an estimated gift of "£600 p.a"). Then the 2005 accounts claimed that it was now paid for by parliamentary allowances. The landlord is Rochdale Reform Buildings Ltd (shareholders include Leader of the Council retired “retail fruiterier”Cllr Alan Taylor and estate agent consultant Keith Crossley). So who was the “independent surveyor” that set the new, huge, MP office rent? ….Mr Keith Crossley.
Paul Rowen certainly has some gonads to shamelessly bully the town's newspaper with legal threats relating to his mysterious streams of income.
Is it time someone had Ugandan discussions about his moonlighting for property company Corinya?
Paul's paid involvement related to East Africa. There is talk of childrens homes and charidees over there. But Corinya has a UK division that rents houses out locally. For RAW the most mysterious investment is Corinya's letting of office space to Rochdale Council.
Was this Corinya deal done when Paul Rowen was Leader of Rochdale Council?
These are stony issues, a touch hairy in places. Perhaps even a tough nut to crack. But given Cyril's firm grip on Rochdale is faltering, will the truth finally come out?