Congratulations to Paul Rowen - "Parliamentary Campaigner of the year". Apparently.
(Thankfully an internet term and nothing to do with Cyril Smith's past deviant activity).
Until RAW's exposee today, type the words "Paul Rowen" and "Parliamentary Campaigner of the year" in the Google search engine and... only one entry appeared! His own website (paid for by us taxpayers).
A Googlewhack is a rare thing.
It is not like PR Paul to hide his light under a bushel?
So how did Rochdale's current MP get such a presigious award that nobody else in the world seems to know about?
"For services to light rail".
As many an angry local communter is now thankful for Paul's services to light rail - lets dig a little further.
The Metrolink extention to Rochdale is causing havoc and will do for another 3 years.
Ask people in Rochdale if they wanted it and the answer is a resounding NO.
Apparently Northern Rail could have renewed the entire Oldham Loop with new track and stations for TENS OF MILLIONS of pounds LESS than Metrolink and without the same chaos of a total loss of line service.
But Metrolink was never a transport project- it is a "regeneration aspiration" and whenever these "visions" appear you can bet there are property speculators aplenty ready to make huge profits.
Are property speculators going to benefit from Metrolink in Rochdale?
Only time will tell?
PR Paul has been on several 'light rail' gravy trains- he was an ideal chair of the parliamentary Light Rail group. Apparently he is also "regular columnist" on moving matters, such as industry backed magazine Tranways and Urban Transit. Paul is so regular that the magazine's website doesn't mention him as a contributor.
Shurely Paul doesn't have his contributions on transport issues ghostwritten?
PR Paul also featured on another mystery publication "Transport Matters" whose classy tagline was "if it moves, it matters". The semi-derelict website seems to have moved away from transport into the heady realms of public relations.
"Let us write your success story!" ...the website gushes... "Looking to increase your presence in the public eye?"..."our experienced team of communications professionals is dedicated to strengthening your company's brand. We provide creative solutions to your advertising and marketing challenges, increasing your company's presence in the public eye".
The weblink to their client list is a mystery:
"Over the years, TransportMatters.co.uk has had the privilege of working with a wide range of successful clients. Here is the complete list:
and many more"
So who is "Transport matters"? Is it a publication that is pally with Paul Rowen and his tireless work "campaigning" for overhyped transport projects, dinners and trips abroad researching train-trams? What about PR Paul's possible involvement with property speculators?
Media website How Do has the answer.
Step forward Alan Salter - former transport correspondent to the Manchester Evening News. Based in Littleborough, a town within PR Paul's constituency.
How Do mentions Mr Salter's agency's other activities...
"now secured further project work from the GMPTE...and property developer In Partnership".