Musings From The Padded Cell

Fake News Bradford Style

“False, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting.”
Collins English Dictionary.

Fake News – Imran Style

Two years ago the Council’s Publicity Dept – the local rag – published this article featuring one of our MPs commenting on the decison to shift 2,000 HMRC jobs to Leeds – see here.

MP Imran Hussain has called for the Prime Minister to urge HM Revenue and Customs to meet him to talk about the closure of three tax offices in Bradford and Shipley. The closures will mean almost 2,000 jobs will be lost to the area by 2021.

In response, David Cameron said: “I am happy to ask the Financial Secretary to meet with the local MPs. Make sure Job Centre Plus and all the support is there to those people who may potentially be losing their jobs.”

Translated this meant “Where is Shipley? Oh, hard cheese! Northern Powerhouse? That was George’s idea!”

Nobody in their right mind could argue that relocating these jobs from Shipley and Bradford – areas desperate for regeneration – to a full-employment Leeds makes sense economically or socially.

That these are public sector jobs, within the gift of Government, shames all involved. Despite virtually offering a site for free two years ago, still HMRC would not come. How damming a statement of Bradford do you need?

Roll on two years and for Hussain to gain air-time again simply to grandstand and appear as if he can change anything just plays on the stupidity of those who voted for him.

Equally, that the local rag simply publishes this tosh without thinking to question it is laughable. This is a done deal, the building is coming out of the ground, lease agreed; once again Leeds laughs whilst Bradford weeps.

More galling is that this process has been going on for almost a decade – see here – and that our local and national politicians have been proven useless in trying to arrest the gradual centralisation of local HMRC jobs.

So as one city flounders, successive governments do nothing.

And if you need more evidence, this week came an update concerning a “prime” city centre site – see here – where, three years on not a whiff of sand and cement.

Dark days

Remember too that, even by the time Bradford was left with a hole in the ground which would stay there for almost a decade, Leeds was flying, it’s skyline dotted with cranes. Since then the gap is a modern day tale of two cities.

Our local politicians have been proven to be out of their depth in understanding the economic realities. There is simply no spending power walking around Bradford, day or night, barring the local drug dealers.

Not only did it take Bradford ten years to fill the hole again, but during that time Leeds was building the Arena and look what that has done for the top end of Leeds, once the poor relation.

Meanwhile, we still don’t really have any belief that the Odeon scheme will finally go ahead, conditioned as we are to so many schemes that have never left the drawing board.

Lord Mayor Yorkshire – No!!!!!!!!!!!

Hussain, like Hapless Hinchcliffe – this week bleating on about more powers for local authorities God help us – is simply deluding himself and those willing to listen.

It is time that a city of our size, traditions and potential had some decent leadership not the incompetent self-serving bunch we have endured for so long.

Fake News – Pie In The Sky Style

The Council’s PR Dept was in full swing again – see here.

A major investment firm has backed Bradford’s bid to keep around 1,000 tax jobs in the city by buying up offices in a multi-million pound deal. MBU Capital has acquired Centenary Court in Forster Square, currently home to HMRC’s Bradford offices, from CLS Holdings for a price of £14.35 million.

A modest bit of research would find that MBU were established in March 2013 and have a balance sheet which qualifies them as less than “major”.

It is 100% owned by a Mohammed Iqbal who has several other directorships all related to relatively embryonic property companies.

CLS Holdings meanwhile is a well established, highly profitable property company with a balance sheet not far off £1bn and appears to be cashing in its chips as far as Bradford is concerned.

Simple enough stuff to discover but then that would be journalism would it not?

The Perfect Poached Egg

Miss Poached Egg 2017

This week’s contribution comes from young Klaire French who’s hobbies include posing for portraits, the gym and making the perfect poached egg for her man.

“I’ve just got this sorted. Vortex works well for 1 egg on its own but for more just use a large shallow pan, just enough water to cover with. Boil off and break each egg in gently so the white stays calm and near the yolk. Just leave for 3 or 4. Tried all the contraptions etc and you end up with a thick white and tricky to time the yolk. Old fashioned is best.”

One Hundred Years Ago

Police Inspector and Mrs G S Walker…left Idle last week to reside at Great Horton. Inspector Walker had had charge of the Idle and Eccleshill section of the Bradford City Police and he is now at the head of the Great Horton and Wibsey section.

During their seven years’ stay at Idle, both of them have taken a prominent part in many good causes and they won the esteem of all with whom they came in contact.

Could we do with you now Inspector Walker – see here for more from another age.

Boys Will Be Boys

Power Mum rang in a flap last Monday afternoon clearly in need of a favour as she was unusually nice to me.

“Harry’s had an accident!” she shrieked down the phone louder than if she had spilt her prosecco. It was a good job I had not opted for my usual Monday siesta. “Can you pick him up NOW?”

I flew into action; off came the PJs, the Crunchie bar was devoured, my afternoon tea slurped down only to arrive at school and find the little man looking no more dopey than usual. He had banged his head on a goalpost; it would be scant preparation for adult life.

Clearly the rottweiler on the school desk thought so too as we were trapped behind the gates for ten minutes because it was policy I wanted to pull her head through the intercom.

Still, there was a plus side to be had. Power Mum would come home fussing and flapping; best not waste this advantage. Time to teach the lad a few tricks of the old dog.

“Tell her you’re woozy, maybe feeling a bit sick” I advised “Have a night on the sofa being waited on hand and foot!”

In matters of this type, Harry is a quick learner and nodded in conspiratorial manner, a broad grin settling over his face. He scuffed his hair, rubbed his eyes to make them look teary and practised a wounded look; it would be a long night for Power Mum.

Early days learning

Fake News – The Gates Saga

Regulars will have followed this over the last few weeks.

To refresh: Wrose Parish Council has allocated £3,000 to the scheme, which costs £9,000 in total. Shipley Area Committee has allocated up to £3,500 to it, and an application has been made to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office for additional funding. Bradford East was being asked to put up to £3,500 towards the scheme as it is a jointly funded traffic scheme.

However, Councillors voted…not to allocate the money, citing budget restraints…

The vote was five to none but Labour Councillors Hassan Khan, Rizwana Jamil, and Taj Salam all abstained from the vote. Just the kind of public figures we need then? Bet they didn’t abstain from their expenses.

Time for a beer!

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