Why are the owners of the Holiday Inn in Cromwell Road using a little known and poorly regarded lobbying company to beat locals into submission?
Former cigarette salesman, Sir Pooter Cockell, the disastrous ex-leader of the Council is the clue.
Pooter managed to garner so many sinecures that his income shot up to nearly £140,000 a year.
He also became the subject of massive national media interest for his gigantic expense claims.
Anyway, the gravy train finally hit the buffers and Pooter was left without the wherewithal to further indulge himself at our expense.
Then he found a berth at Cratus.....who now are working to crush resident opposition to the Holiday Inn development.
Beguiled by Pooter’s stories of his powerful contacts the owners made him chairman and a shareholder.
So why would the Chinese developers appoint Pooter?
The Dame, dressed as an elderly tea lady, was able to attend the presentation pitch to Queensgate Investments and here’s the inside track....
“ Mr Yeung, my name is Sir Merrick Cockell and I stand between your success and failure.
Appoint my company and you acquire influence of such potency that residents’ objections will be steamrollered and your Hong Kong family will reap the hundred of millions they so richly deserve.
I am proud to say that the current leadership of the Council are all ‘creatures’ of mine-except Cllr Taylor-Smith who is much brighter and richer than me.
Under my patronage and influence each one has prospered.
The leader, Cllr Campbell, owes all to me.
Cllr Pascal, who is particularly hopeless is now a member of the Executive Team.
Thanks to me Will and his wife collect £90k a year!
Cllr Hargreaves, too, owes his preferment to me.
When Cllr Weale lost her job she came to me for a shoulder to cry on and a juicy allowance.
As for the senior planning officers....no names; no pack drill but I think I can claim that some credit for Mr. Stallwood’s promotion.
So, no one knows the inner workings of this Council better than me.
Our fees of half a million, plus a success 'kicker' may seem expensive but are mere bagatelle compared to what we can offer.
I rest my case.....”