Saturday, 30 April 2011

My Election Address!

Click on the picture below to open a larger view

Newcastle win Permiership Title!

Just imagine if the Premiership Title was decided by AV rather than the current unfair system where the team that wins the most games then automatically wins the Title. How biased and unfair is that? Taking today’s placings then the first team eliminated would be West Ham, then Wolverhampton and Wigan. Unlikely that these teams will give their second preferences to the likes of Blackpool, Blackburm or Birmingham. I definitely can’t see West Brom giving anything to the Brummies!

Then Aston Villa would go, unless of course West Brom and Birmingham rallied round and gave them their second preferences, which might keep Aston Villa in the race a bit longer.

Sunderland and Newcastle then next to face elimination but everyone likes the Geordies (or dislike them less than everyone else!) so maybe Newcastle will stay in and Stoke will get the push. At this point, I would think Aston Villa would run out of second choice votes. Getting serious now into the top 10. Can Fullham keep ahead of Bolton and Everton? Unlikely so they go. Newcastle still hanging in there as Everton wouldn’t give their second choices to Liverpool or a London Team!

Liverpool goes next and their second choices are between Newcastle, a Manchester team or a London team. On the basis they vote for who they dislike least it pushes Newcastle further up the ranks and Manchester City are eliminated. Their second choices are Manchester United (never in a Million years!), Chelsea, Arsenal or Newcastle. I think the Geordies would get it again. Arsenal are next to go! Choices are now Chelsea, Manchester United or Newcastle. No contest, the Geordies all the way.

The last three are Newcastle, Manchester United and Chelsea. It’s down to the second choices of the Stamford Bridge Crowd to decide between Manchester United (Who beat them for the last three seasons) or Newcastle, who never beat anyone!

So, the Premiership winners under AV are the Toon Army!

Haway the Lads!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Hartlepool Mail Profile

Need to submit a 200 word profile and a photograph to the Hartlepool Mail today. This was the piece that last year the Labour candidate didn't have time to do! Of course that helped to maintain the illusion that he was the Independent John Marshall! Name recognition works wonders!

Anyway, here goes, 200 Words.......

For eight years I was privileged to be a Councillor for St.Hilda Ward. My priorities were to speak out for the residents, to champion their causes and to inform them what really went on in their civic centre. These will be my aims again after 5th May. Speaking out, challenging and informing is not popular with Harlepool’s political class. In 2010, I lost my seat, to Labour Councillor John Marshall. Afterwards many people admitted to confusion over the name.

I am the only candidate to use his own money to produce ward newsletters; I was the only Councillor questioning the costs of the Tall Ships; almost alone, I voted against Council Tax rises; and, despite what other candidates now claim, I was the ONLY Councillor who stood up against the spiralling wage rises for top officers.

Since my departure, St.Hilda Ward has missed my strong voice. The ward now needs someone like me to defend the interests of St.Hilda and its residents. Don’t fall for Labour, Tory or Independent spin this year. Please give me the privilege of representing your interests again on 5th May. Thank You.

Read my blog at
Follow me on Twitter at

Monday, 18 April 2011

Not voting FOR something is NOT the same as voting AGAINST it

According to a leaflet that came through my door this week it is (apparently) a fact that no Conservative Councillor voted for the Chief Executive's Pay rise. Well that may well be true BUT I suspect that would have been just as accurate to say "it is a FACT that no Conservative Councillor voted AGAINST the Chief Executive's Pay rise"

During my time on the Council I noted a distinct tendency for the Conservative Councillors to vote with their Labour colleagues. If they didn't vote "for" then they often tended to abstain, but never, or very, very, rarely did they have the backbone to vote against. I seem to recall the Lib-Dems mostly did the same. They rarely actively opposed anything by voting against the Labour Whip, they just didn't vote for it.

Year on year increases in Council Tax, unopposed by Conservative Councillors who then tell you they didn't vote FOR it.

Freedom of Hartlepool for Peter Mandelson, unopposed by Conservative Councillors who then tell you they didn't vote FOR it.

I don't think abstaining is what most people want from their councillors! They want people who speak their minds and nail colours to masts. A weak exclamation "I didn't vote for it" is just pathetic you also didn't take the opportunity to vote against it.

Mind you look at the voting record of some of the "independents" on Hartlepool Council and they are hardly good examples of active opposition to the Labour Whip. If you act like a Labour Councillor, talk like a Labour Councillor and vote like a Labour Councillor then have the balls to stand for election as a Labour Councillor. Don't hide behind another party or a claim to be independent!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Hartlepool Tops National Poll

The Chief Executive of Hartlepool Council is the top of the national list of pay rises for Chief Executives.

Now is this a bad thing? Hartlepool being mentioned in the national press? I'm sure the Mayor told everyone how good this is? According to him things like this are at least "putting Hartlepool on the map"

Isn't that what the Mayor says about things which cost a lot of money and are of dubious benefit to the town. It's all worth it because it puts Hartlepool on the Map! What are the hidden, intangible benefits of having a Monkey Mayor, a massively in the red Tall Ships Race and the Chief Executive with the fastest rising salary in the country? I'm sure the Council will tell us soon?

Every councillor is now claiming they didn't support the wage rise! Is there an election coming any any chance?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

How a bank bailout package works

It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The hotel owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the €100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the €100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub.

The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit.

The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note.

The hotel proprietor then places the €100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money and leaves town.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the bailout package works.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Hurworth Burn TS28 - Look it up

Well the local election campaign hasn't even really started and the mud is already being slung. The half truths, lies and misdirection have started. "Steve Allison doesn't even live in the ward. He's really from Darlington you know!" So what are the half truths, lies and misdirection in that statement

The half truth is the first part. I don't live in the ward. I haven't had my permanent home address in the ward since I got married in 1990. I did have my permanent home there for most of my life prior to getting married and have retained my business address in the ward since I first became self employed in 1986. So I am in the ward most days of the week. Both my parents live in the ward, which is another reason that I am there fairly regularly, and until they passed on, all my grandparents were residents of St.Hilda Ward. So there is the half truth.

The lies and misdirection are relating to me living in Darlington. This is not true. It is a LIE. If I was charitable I would say the misdirection is just ignorance of local geography. However, as this is politics then it is probably a deliberate error.

My home address is in Hurworth Burn. This has a TS28 post code and an 01429 telephone dial code. According to my Sat-Nav it is 8 miles from the Borough Hall and as I drive it almost every day I know it takes about 15 minutes maximum. Hurworth near Darlington has a DL2 post code and an 01325 telephone dial code. Hurworth is 30 miles from the Borough Hall.

So there is the LIE and the MISDIRECTION. I do not and never have lived in Darlington. Since the Grand Central Train Service started running through Hartlepool to Kings Cross I don't even go to Darlington to catch a train any more! I suspect the people spreading these half truths, lies and misdirection are fully aware of the real truth but then politics is a dirty game to some people and they don't care how low they go!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

What you see and what you get!

The 2011 elections are now upon us. In the 2010 local elections the Labour Party stood a candidate with the same name as a long time Independent Councillor from the same ward. Labour of course denies any confusion was caused! However I think most people accept there was enough muddying of the waters to allow Labour to sneak back the seat.

There was no doubt much rejoicing in the Labour Party (and the Tories and the Lib-Dems) at my removal from the Council Chamber and I also heard there were quite a few Council Officers who were also openly delighted at my departure.

So, what a difference a year makes! The Independent Councillor, who’s name was used last time by Labour, now appears as the Proposer for the Conservative Candidate. So maybe he's not quite so independent as he's been making out all these years? Another former Independent Councillor for the ward has decide against a fourth attempt to get the seat back and instead is supporting the Labour Candidate as his proposer. There is no Liberal Democrat but one of the two independent candidates is a former councilor, for a different ward in the town, where he was, guess what, a Liberal Democrat. The St.Hilda Liberal Democrat Candidate last time is this time standing in another ward. Strange that his principles let him do that, especially as he was keen last time to point out my home address isn't in St.Hilda Ward!

There has long been a question mark in my mind over the true allegiances of some “independent” councilors. In St.Hilda ward this year there are some true colours being shown and some former colours being quietly painted over. Red, blue and orange are all there under the “Independent” flag.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Over the top lads!

I completed my nomination form yesterday so it looks like my name will be on the ballot paper for St.Hilda Ward on 5th May.

Hartlepool politics of course are a perfect illustration of what is wrong with our system. I always thought in politics you were supposed to question and test the other side's proposals, look for weaknesses and ways to improve their ideas or suggest alternatives that would lead to what you would see as a better result for the town and its residents. This testing and probing was meant to produce better decisions and avoid knee jerk reactions and the domination of political dogma over practical and realistic, workable decisions.

In Hartlepool however the political culture is to see any attempt at a contribution from the other side as a personal attack. Never mind what they suggest, just belittle their motives for suggesting it, cast aspersions on their mental capacity for thinking anything different, insult their integrity and of course accuse them of being negative and committing the ultimate sin in Hartlepool Politics "talking the town down"

Just look at how the Mayor reacts to anyone who dares to question him these days. He doesn't deal with the points made, he just goes red in the fact and unleashes a torrent of sarcasm and bile at the individual who dares to suggest there may be an alternative way of doing something.

The same for Brash and his minions.

Classic inferiority complex behaviour! The mistake they are making is thinking inflexibility and refusal to discuss alternatives are signs of leadership and decisiveness. Yes leaders need to be decisive but they also need to be adaptable, flexible and ready to innovate.

The Mayor and the Council in Hartlepool are like the Imperial General Staff during the trench war of the 1914-18 war. They are unable to see any alternatives other than going over the top again and again and again. Unfortunately anyone suggesting this might not be the best tactics is guaranteed a place in the first wave in the next big push. The Mayor and Council have no real new ideas or radical thinking but they will make sure no-one who does is ever allowed to come forward and challenge them.