After  appraising Cllr Taylor’s weekly message exposing his lack of intellectual honesty,  I was mildly amused to then read Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds’s latest letter to his constituents, regarding the lack of social mobility, and criticized the fact that many Tory Members of Parliament come from privileged backgrounds’ which invariably leads to an ‘easy passage’ to them acquiring power in Government and other influential positions.

He told us, “He, (Boris Johnson) is the 20th Prime Minister who had attended Eton College”. And went on to say that “it demonstrates a tragic failure of social mobility that in millennial Britain, it remains the case that if you’re from the right family, with the right money and you’ve been to the right school, your chances of acquiring further power and wealth are dramatically magnified, even if you are dangerously lacking in the skills and achievements necessary for the posts to which you are appointed.” –  Quelle surprise!

What I can’t understand is why those on the left constantly display a combination of inverse snobbishness and ignorance by advocating that state educated students cannot get in our Top Universities without demanding they lower the bar.

However, his fixation that it’s only those from Tory ‘privileged backgrounds’ that seek to climb up the greasy pole, is clearly not true.

But of course, whilst it is indeed true that many top Government people; ranging from Civil Servants to Special Advisers, did attend ‘fee-paying’ independent schools, many more did not. They were the ones who got their heads down at state schools, studied hard, realised their potential by listening to influential teachers, and backed by ambitious parents or guardians who actively encouraged their children to aspire to reach their full potential.

If Jonathan needs conformation of this, the he need look no further than some of his colleagues sitting on the opposition’s front bench; it might well come as a real ‘eye opener’ to some of his readers just how many fall into the ‘privileged’ few and those who set their sights high, when attending their state schools.

Starting with Jonathan; (who is a qualified Solicitor), he first attended the University of Manchester before moving on to the BPP University Law School, which is a private, ‘for-profit’ provider of professional and academic legal education.

Looking back in recent history; take Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. He first attended a Grammar School (these are schools that the Labour Party are desperate to dispose of!) before attending Jesus College Oxford. Tony Bair; was privately educated at Fettes College then he too graduated to St John’s College Oxford. Jeremy Corbyn, attended the fee-paying Castle House School. John MacDonell, - attended St Joseph’s College, another fee-paying school, then went on to attend the University of London and Brunel University - a public research university located in Uxbridge.

Deputy Labour Leader, Tom Watson attended the University of Hull as did former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Even the arithmetically challenged Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott attended the fee-paying Newnham College before graduating to the University of Cambridge!

Another Labour ‘high -flyer’ Keir Starmer was first educated at Reigate Grammar, before he too graduated to Oxford University.

On the other side of the coin, local MP Andrew Gwynne, like many hard-working MP’s who grace the benches on both sides of parliament, came through the state school educated sector. Andrew was educated locally at Egerton Park Secondary School in Denton, before graduating to the University of Salford.

Contrast his educational background with that of Barry Gardener, who not only attended Corpus Christi College Cambridge, but graduated from there to the fee-paying Harvard University.

So, therefore it is ludicrous to characterise all those exclusive public schools, as those who educate only the rich. This appears to be yet another leftist dogma advancing a wilful mischaracterisation. Their tendency to minimise the public benefit provided by independent schools and institutions like Oxbridge, is often malicious.

Could this be because it so much easier to place the burden on Universities, than to accept that the state education system needs to be totally overhauled? It’s a sorry fact that in some areas of the UK, fewer than one-in-five children currently leave school with decent GCSEs in the core “English Baccalaureate” subjects – English, maths, science, languages and history or geography.

No wonder why people are asking just what is wrong with the educational system in this country? And ask what can be done to fix our educational system; the obvious answer is that we need to return to the concept that to receive a public education is a privilege, and not a right. Give back the disciplinary authority to teachers, give them the backing of the schools Governors and the Senior Management Teams and put an end to teachers and more importantly, other students having to endure disruptive, disrespectful, and dysfunctional kids who hinder progress, on a daily basis. Admittedly, there are special needs students who legitimately need special services – and they should not be deprived. But there are many more kids who have parents and Senior Management administrators who are making excuses for their bad and sometimes dangerous behaviour. Little wonder teachers are leaving the profession in droves!

Let’s get a grip and not reduce our children’s’ education to the lowest possible denominator.



I see Cllr Taylor was singing the same monotonous tune last week; you know the one, Tax cuts for the rich whilst imposing cuts on the people who can least afford it!

A fine example of Labour’s politics of envy and spite, which history tells us never benefits the poor; it just drags everyone down and they then call it equality!

Please, John, remind us of some of your great achievements, I seem to have forgotten them somehow!

Oh, hang on; wasn’t there the scandal regarding wasting taxpayers' money on their £36,000 virtual town hall.?

And the iPhone application at a cost of £5,731 to the taxpayer – an application that only managed a paltry couple of hundred calls?

 Latterly, the council introduced their controversial 'cashless parking' system in Ashton town centre, which had to be 'suspended' following a backlash from shoppers and traders, who claimed it was killing business! It’s now been scrapped for good – but will have cost the council £28.000 of taxpayers’ money.

That's nearly £70,000 wasted!  Spent on annual maintenance, that could have saved the Stamford Park Conservatory!

There have been many more examples of waste over the last few years. Perhaps our readers could sight a good few of their own?

I feel sure that some of Tameside council’s councillors think that we; the 'little people' are all unsophisticated knuckle draggers, with short memory spans; unable to comprehend anything more advanced than 'Janet & John'… but we're not!

So, I’m sorry to ruin the Cllr Taylor’s narrative by dragging facts of reality into it but, he really should cease his continuing belief in what he sees as our gullibility.



It is hard to see why anyone would indulge in mindless acts of vandalism in our town centres and parks, but in Tameside it appears that one of the most malicious and serial culprits are the bureaucratic council officers, ably abetted by the councillors themselves.

Not content with letting once proud buildings stand empty; flattening Hyde’s Victorian Baths and latterly Hyde’s iconic Grammar School building, they now seem hell bent on demolishing the Victorian Conservatory that once stood proudly, open to the towns folk and visitors in Stamford Park, Stalybridge.

Now you might think that calling our councillors ‘vandals’ is a bit strong but, if you have the time and inclination to look it up, the definition of the word states: Vandalism is a malicious act and may reflect personal ill will, although the perpetrators need not know their victim (that’s us, the taxpayers) to commit vandalism. The recklessness of the act imputes both intent (which they have announced as their intention) and malice.

Because the destruction of public and private property poses a threat to society, modern statutes make vandalism a crime.

To obtain a conviction the prosecution must ordinarily prove that the accused damaged or destroyed some property, (that’s what they have passed in cabinet) that the property did not belong to the accused, (it belongs to the people of Tameside and is only held in trust and maintained by the council) and that the accused acted wilfully (which they have announced in the press) and with malice.

It would be interesting to know; perhaps from one of esteemed solicitor practices, whether a public body that commits ‘vandalism’ may be sued in a civil tort action for damages, so that the damaged property can be repaired or replaced.

The imposing Stamford Park Conservatory, which sits in the Grade-Two listed park, was closed to the public in 2015 over safety fears about its deteriorating state. A fact that in February 2018, whist commenting in the Stalybridge Correspondent, Cllr Welsh, whose ward includes Stamford Park, said he was unaware of! - Nice to see that our elected councillors are on the ball!

Also, ironically, back in January 2011, £1.3 million was spent on the award-winning parks pavilion, which was funded through a Heritage Lottery funded scheme as part of a major multi-million park restoration project. On its completion in March 2014 - Cllr. Lynn Travis Tameside Executive Member for Neighbourhoods said, "We are delighted that the project has received this award for this is a fantastic amenity for the people of Tameside to enjoy. Now the current generations can enjoy Stamford Park in the same way previous generations have."

Well so much for that!

Fast forward to 2019, and after 5 years of neglect, nameless council chiefs say that the parks Conservatory cannot not be allowed to ‘rot any further’ and tough decisions have to be made amid a climate of cuts and shrinking budgets.

So now, Tameside’s executive cabinet has voted for the structure to be knocked down and replaced with a new formal garden. Apparently, this represents the best ‘value for money’ and long-term sustainability, according to the town hall!

Admittedly, the 102year old property is in poor condition with spreading dry rot, and has been shut for some time because of “structural issues” but is demolition really necessary? Afterall, the fact that the conservatory is in such a poor and dangerous condition, is entirely due to the total incompetence of the council, through lack of effecting repairs, as and when they were needed!

Have the people at ‘Tameside’s Brains Trust’ ever considered that leaving any building unoccupied and not maintained for a number of years, that critical damage would be the obvious result? In spite of everything, that was their reasoning behind demolishing the 45year old Town Hall and then splashing out £36m to build the New Town Hall phase of the massive ‘Vision Tameside’ development. Not to mention the ‘unpublished amount’ they will now be paying to furnish it!

This is just another example of Tameside council vandalism where the citizens of our borough have no input and no choice while the council officers pay themselves big salaries and the cost inevitably falls on rate-payers to find more, year on year; this year we saw residents paying at least an extra £59 a year in council tax.

Let’s not forget, the council holds tens of millions in reserve. As well as millions invested in shares in ‘private companies’ This dear reader is not their money. It’s come from our taxes, business rates, licences and parking fines and charges. Even the funding that is grated by central government comes from our taxes!

A petition against the decision has already been signed by hundreds of angry residents. You can see the petition at www.change.org/p/tmbc-save-the-stamford-park-conservatory

More details can be found at www.facebook.com/events/324298981847962.

Originally built in 1907, the conservatory was completely rebuilt and restored to the original Victorian design from 1982, reopening three years later. And a further extensive refurbishment was carried out in 2003. But the report presented to councillors’ states that it currently ‘poses a risk to the safety of anyone entering the building’.

However, restoring it to its former glory was deemed ‘high risk’ as it was likely that costs would rise and work would be ‘complex and costly’. It is estimated that replacing the rotten timbers and repairs to the windows and doors would set the authority back around £119,000. And costs could escalate further if more deterioration is found during building work. Which suggests that the survey to repair and restore the conservatory was not all that thorough!

Interestingly, despite the latest figures, in February 2018, Cllr Welsh said: “We were shown some photographs that revealed significant damage due to wear and tear and told the cost of repairs could be between £80,000-£100,000, which is a considerable sum.” – just goes to show how estimates submitted to council managers shoot up, whilst they dither!

However, what is really alarming is the council statement saying that repairs could not be guaranteed for much longer than five years, and it would not be a ‘long term solution’.

The article goes on to tell us, ‘Officers say demolishing the structure is likely to lead to some ‘initial reputational risk’ but since when did a bad reputation for ineptitude bother the members of Tameside Council?

Emma Varnam, assistant director of operations and neighbourhoods, told the meeting demolition of the replica Victorian conservatory was the council’s favoured option.

“It’s been in poor condition for over four years, we’ve had to have it closed for over four years due to the disrepair and it’s not being safe for the public to enter,” she said. “This option will give us the most appropriate use of this space within this beautiful park and it will be value for money.”

She went on to say, “We will be able to include many different kinds of community groups in the upkeep, and many volunteers in this new form of garden will be able to use this space again.” This translates to: get some unpaid volunteers to do the work we, the council used to do!

She than goes back to brandishing questionable figures.

“Building a replacement would cost in the region of £250,000 to half a million pounds. By contrast, knocking it down will cost a fraction of that at just £11,250!” How can anybody accept that if they have fully investigated the cost of building a new conservatory, and been told by qualified craftsmen that it would cost £250,000, how could they issue the statement that it might cost double, to £500,000?

She added, “Designs of the proposed formal garden show ornamental planting, benches, paths, and pergolas created from the original ironwork within the conservatory. The new garden would cost approximately £39,654.

Heritage Lottery Fund have been consulted and while they are ‘disappointed’ the conservatory is to be lost, they are ‘realistic about the pressures on local authority budgets and have accepted the proposals’, the report adds.

It had cost £10,000 a year to heat the conservatory as its boilers required oil fuel, and a further £2,000 has been spent in recent years repairing vandalism.

The Council’s website continues to inform us that Stamford Park attracts thousands of visitors every year, and is registered under the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953.

Well it won’t for much longer!

Councillors voted to approve the demolition of the conservatory, which will take place from September 2, lasting four weeks, and landscaping and planting will run until the end of the year.

It’s like the once popular Tameside theatre that now stands derelect in Ashton – For years it was running fine, then it closed and the council told us contracts could not be sorted – some 12 months later it need 5million spent on it ?

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?



Yet another crazy idea is currently being explored by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Marxist side-kick John McDonnell, and that is to introduce a 4-day working week!

It was reported by Bloomberg that this investigative report, is being researched by economic historian, Robert Skidelsky, a biographer of John Maynard Keynes, and could, if it is shown that fewer hours would give a boost to 'staff productiveness', may well end up as official Labour party policy.

This follows earlier announcements by the dynamic duo about re-nationalising the country’s rail, energy and water industries, changing the remit of the Bank of England to include a productivity target, and introducing a universal basic income.

However, this policy, should it ever be accepted, would, I suggest, instil mass panic and considerable outrage among many public sector staff, as many would need to up their game and increase their current 3-day working activities, for the same pay...!



As Labour splits in half over the reinstatement of suspended MP Chris’ Williamson, and the letter which emerged demanding his further expulsion; a letter which has now been signed by well over 100 Labour MP’s; what I found most surprising was not the 120-odd names who have signed it - but the missing names of those who hadn’t.

Over the past few years, the likes of Angela Rayner and Jonathan Reynolds have presented themselves as allies of the Jewish community and called for the rooting out of antisemitism wherever it presents itself.

However, along with fellow shadow front benchers like Andrew Gwynn, they now seem to be amongst those Labour MP’s missing from the list of signatories.

As a constituent, one needs to ask whether they are in support of the decision to allow Mr Williamson back into the party or not - or could it be that they are so concerned about their climb up the greasy pole that they are unable to disagree with their leader on this vital issue?



I am totally astounded that so many MP’s still think taking “No Deal” off the table in the Brexit negotiation with the EU is a good idea, and that further delay in the whole sorry debacle is helpful.
The other day as well as a number of Conservative MP’s who voted with the opposition on this blatant attempt to hijack parliament, in order to secure legislation to ask the government to seek another delay to our exit, I noticed that the usual suspects; Andrew Gwynne, Angela Rayner and Jonathan Reynolds all voted to take ‘No Deal’ off the table, which once again exposes the treachery within them and their party in ignoring the clear and overwhelming wishes of their Tameside constituents, and further underlines their determination to deny the restoration of sovereignty and independence to the UK.

It would appear that their clear intention is to remain under the control of the unelected bureaucrats in the EU; these Labour MP's would be happy to see Westminster reduced to the authority of a local council.

… And we all know how beneficial that would be!




Judging by last night’s pitiful performance by the 5 ‘candidates’ who are running to become the 77th Prime Minister of this Great Nation, it would seem that politics has now been reduced to little more than a crass, banal game show. The political class obviously know no bounds when it comes to displaying their inadequacies. We might as well give the keys to number 10, to the emerging winner of Love Island!

The biased policies of the supposedly ‘neutral’ BBC was also there writ-large for all to see, and it has now been confirmed that the BBC catastrophically failed in its editorial duties by giving air time to a questionable ‘member of the public!’ whose controversial  tweets on anti-Semitism were apparently deleted before the show aired.

The whole sorry programme was amateurish in its set up and was chaired so badly that viewers learned very little from these 5 ‘useful idiots’ as there was no serious discussion of the major issues facing the country or their plans to galvanise the electorate and make this country prosper.

All the candidates were continually interrupted, especially Boris Johnson who had little time to offer his comments because of the constant interruptions by the presenter which contrasted significantly with the amount of time they allowed to Rory Stewart; who spoke much but said very little!