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<b>Wednesday 20 May:</b> Gordon Brown slates Blears, breastfeeding toddler row and the Northern Quarter silenced

Written by . Published on May 20th 2009.


GORDON BROWN has described Salford MP Hazel Blears' expenses revelations as “totally unacceptable behaviour.” Blears has admitted not paying capital gains tax on the profit from selling a flat which was repaired with taxpayers' money. She has since agreed to repay £13,332 on the advice of the Prime Minister.

A POSTER SHOWING A BREASTFEEDING TODDLER has caused a row at a Greater Manchester hospital. The homemade poster features the toddler pretending to breastfeed her doll and carries the slogan: 'It's Normal - children copy their mothers, teenagers do it! Celebrities do it!'. Whilst there have been no officials complaints, one visitor called it 'disgusting' and a healthcare assistant has said it's going too far. Pennine Acute Trust say the aim is to raise awareness among children because many of them may have no knowledge of breastfeeding.

'KEEP IT DOWN' is the message residents of one of Manchester city centre's oldest housing developments are giving to Northern Quarter revellers. 'Love Manchester' signs are to go up in Dorsey Street, off Tib Street, in the Northern Quarter and Hulme Street off Oxford Road. The campaign has been organised by Cityco and asks those enjoying a night out to respect local residents.

THE PARALYMPIC WORLD CUP begins in Manchester today. Over 400 of the world's top Paralympic stars will take part in the competition at a number of venues across the city, with BBC Two broadcasting live from the Aquatics Centre on Monday. Events include wheelchair basketball, swimming, track cycling and athletics.

This 'n' That wisdom*: Boldness has genius, power and magic

*Taken from the free calendar available at This 'n' That, Soap Street, Northern Quarter. Those curry masters are so very, very sagacious. How does this wisdom rate? Confidential rating: 7/10

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

CastlefieldMay 20th 2009.

This is a moral issue, you have to expect your leaders to have some moral fibre, and she clearly has not.The problem with MP's like Blears is they spend time with people from the higher levels of industry and business and are often treated as somewhat of a star and as someone who has acheived an awful lot, whereas in the 'real world' they wouldn't be so far up. Blears began her working life as a solicitor who spent just a year in private practice before becoming a public sector worker and then councillor and MP. Yet she mixes with a lot of people at the highest levels of their profession, she'll see what they have and with an inflated sense of importance, thinks she deserves to be in that financial bracket. Which is where the fiddling will come in and why she had been defending herself over it. There's a lot of fiddling goes on in all industries but MP's choose to take that path, the responsibility is not thrust upon them. So we must be able to expect them not to take advantage of the system, do we really have to make it that water tight? Dodgy doras will always find the loopholes.There is no chance of Labour losing that seat, however there's much more chance that Blears position in the quasi cabinet will force Brown's hand. They may not lose her seat but the high profile nature of her case may mean that more marginal areas could be at threat.I'm not saying the Conservatives are any better in this case although I think the reason behind a lot of their claims is tradition and arrogance, obviosuly no excuse though.What does concern me though is the effort the Labour have been putting into creating exposure articles about opposition MP's to question their moral fibre, well it may just be me but I'd rather an MP have an embarassing sex life than treat my money as their own and dodge taxes I have to pay!

Flic EMay 20th 2009.

I might be being really stupid here, but I can't imagine why children need their awareness of breastfeeding raised..?

AnonymousMay 20th 2009.

Was Hazel Blears allowed to claim for bedding, a water bottle, sunflower seeds and a spinning wheel, in account of her being a gerbil?

M30May 20th 2009.

So sick of the MP's expenses saga. It's this month's Jade Goody. As someone who will be voting for Hazel Blears to become my MP, I personally think she's done nothing wrong except take advantage of a system which was open to her. The amount of money we're talking about in MP's claims is miniscule in comparison to Sir Fred Goodwin's pension pot. Viva la Salford, Viva la Socialism and Viva la Hazel Blears.

AnonymousMay 20th 2009.

to illustrate how ingrained a problem this is in society... "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; and the end of the world is evidently approaching." (Assyrian clay tablet, 2800 B.C.)

johnthebriefMay 20th 2009.

M30, if you want an expenses-free critique of Hazel Blears' qualities as an MP George Monbiot did it better than I ever could in an open letter to her printed in the Guardian. www.guardian.co.uk/…/hazel-blears-george-monbiot… She is devoid of any principle beyond self-aggrandisement and the pursuit of power. Hopefully the people of Salford will see the light at the election, unless her local party does the right thing and deselects her first

James Chapman-KellyMay 20th 2009.

"A breastfeeding toddler"? That's really milking it!

JoMay 20th 2009.

M30, I hope that was a wind-up....

AnonymousMay 20th 2009.

There are plenty of MP's who have done nothing wrong who have been lumped into the same category as those who have abused the system, for those, who genuinely try to perform their duties in an honourable and moral fashion, i feel sorry.The outrage at the rest is warranted, though I do think people were naive to assume this sort of thing wasn't going on... the "gravy train" has been a well coined phrase for a long time. My main gripes here are that a number of MP's have acted in a way which is fraudulent, and for which they should be held accountable. There are also a number of MP's who have been using their expenses as a second income, without taxation. If a businessman were to do the same, HMRC would chase them down like bloodhounds, I would hope, sincerely, that HMRC do the same to these MP's.

CastlefieldMay 20th 2009.

Apologies for the spelling etc, went on a roll!

DescartesMay 20th 2009.

Brown has said that 'anyone that broke the rules will have to stand down' - Blears may have acted like a £9 note (crooked) but she didn't break the rules. I doubt Brown will have the nerve to get rid of her, which is a shame

Jack KrackerMay 20th 2009.

Ever noticed that you never see Hazel Blears and Wee Jimmie Krankie in the same room?

JoMay 20th 2009.

Blears and the rest who have cleverly used their imaginations while claiming their expenses, should be thrown to the lions!

Vote BlearsMay 20th 2009.

Hazel Blears is Innocent

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