Letter: The state of near civil war in the local Labour Party

Date published: 15 December 2017

Dear Editor,

As someone born and bred in a Socialist household the sorry state of near civil war in the local Labour Party fills me and many others with near total despair.

We seem to have far too many Labour councillors unable or unwilling to think independently and put the well being of an entire town over their own narrow parochial personal agendas.

This pathetic state of affairs is so obviously dysfunctional that it beggars belief that this council has avoided direct central government intervention for so long.

As to the recent appointment of Allen Brett words fail me.

Before Colin Lambert was deposed as head of Rochdale Council by an 'internal coup', it was well-nigh impossible sometimes to get into Simon Danczuk's office door at one point without rubbing shoulders with a 'cabal' of Farnell, Brett, Emmott, Ali, and assorted other acolytes.

Brett at the time was of course Danczuk’s parliamentary agent, and despite remaining resolutely tight-lipped about Danczuk's attempts to single handedly (no pun intended) reduce his constituency office to little more than a grubby local 'knocking shop', whilst paying his ex-missus to do what could loosely be termed 'work', little, in fact nothing, was said in public.

Let us give Councillor Brett the benefit of the doubt, perhaps like his former boss Richard Farnell, he simply had no idea what was going on around him on an almost daily basis.

Having 'no idea' of what is going on is, I think we can all agree, not a particularly endearing personal trait for the new head of Rochdale Council, given recent history - but I digress slightly.

Maybe he was too busy supping free lattes in the now defunct Danczuk’s Deli? A failed attempt to transform The Walk into a Parisienne Boulevard which disappeared owing the owner rent.

The Danczuk's it seems were as bad at business as they were at being councillors and Members of Parliament.

Perhaps that also explains the apparent ease with which Brett switched from being Danczuk’s agent to being Tony Lloyd's agent - personal loyalty seems to be an inconvenient personal trait for our local politicians.

Brett also failed to raise any questions whatsoever about another Rochdale councillor living in London whilst supposedly a councillor in Rochdale. Paying your landlord in gin without resorting to cash can allegedly circumvent those pesky IPSA finance regulations for Members of Parliament. 

The offence of wilfully telling an untruth or making a misrepresentation under oath is called perjury in the real world, however for some Rochdale councillors it is simply de-constructed down to degrees of 'memory recall' and an 'individuals interpretation of events'. What is clear is that both Councillor Farnell and Councillor Joinson cannot be simultaneously telling the truth whilst under oath. 

Even in Rochdale's murky local government diaspora a councillor who is caught lying under oath in public needs to stand down and resign. Perhaps Councillor Brett can tell us which one will be doing so soon?

'Three-quarters of a million pound' in total for councillors, some of whom have never held a single ward surgery since elected to public office and short of being officially pronounced dead could not do less for their substantial tax payer subsidised handouts.

One glance at Brett’s 'new' cabinet tells those in the know all they need to know (with one or two notable brilliant exceptions); it shows that Danczuk’s buddies are still scratching each other’s backs - feasting high on the hog at local taxpayers’ expense whilst indiscriminately stabbing their opponents in the back left right and centre seems to be de rigour in the higher echelons of Rochdale CLP.

I agree 100% with recent commentators on here that it is high time the Labour party stepped in to investigate what is not too many steps removed from a 'party within a party'.

The threat to Rochdale Constituency Labour Party is not and never has been Momentum, but rather a small unelected rump, who prevent a new generation moving in.

One only has to look at the professionalism and probity of the London-based Knowl View Child Abuse Inquiry and the long overdue public roasting our local incompetents got when exposed to a proper independent investigative process.

The same people who think they are big fish here were exposed as little more than beached whales in a muddy puddle when subjected to questioning by skilled lawyers -political minnows in the big lake that competent politicians swim in outside of the parochial Rochdale bubble.

Across the water Trump promised to 'drain the swamp'.

Here in Rochdale local politics has been reduced to an open sewer. Just bunging up the rotten plumbing with the same old dross will not come remotely close to fixing it.


Name and address supplied

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.