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Saturday 14 November 2015

Simon Danczuk - A Cautionary Tale

Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk likes to tell his party leadership of his “pro-business” credentials, despite his own less than stellar record in that field, what with now estranged wife Karen’s deli closing suddenly, and a company called Vision 21, of which he was a director, going bust. But one Zelo Street reader has been in touch to paint a less than rosy picture of Danczuk’s attitude to other business people.
I will allow him to tell the story himself: “I first met Simon when we both worked at The Big Issue in the North in the late 90s. We had mutual friends and ran into each other from time to time … I did some work for his new company, Vision 21, in the early days, creating its very first website and over the years regularly bumped into Simon personally and professionally. We weren't great mates or anything, but I certainly considered him a trusted, long-standing acquaintance and was was always happy to run into Simon”.

There was more: “I went self-employed in late 2010 as a PR/communications freelancer and was pleased to be commissioned by Vision 21 to do some website work …  Simon was an MP by this time so wasn't directly running the company day-to-day but was still a Director. The work was one of my first substantial contracts after taking the difficult step into working for myself - so it was a pretty low blow when I found out Vision 21 was bankrupt and I was not going to be paid the £1300 I was owed”.

And what of his pal Simon? “I was pretty shocked to find out via a letter from an Administrator, given that I'd known Simon for so long. There was no 'sorry mate' phone call, no explanation, no regret from anyone. £1300 may not sound like much … but in the financial position I was in at the time it was a great deal. I waited for a while - surely Simon would have seen my name in the list of creditors and get in touch?

So he took the initiative. “In the end I emailed Simon via his Parliamentary address to point out I was pretty pissed off. I didn't get a reply. Around six weeks later I got a garbled message on my voicemail - not from Simon, from someone identifying himself as an assistant. A bored voice let me know that Simon was sorry I was upset but it had nothing to do with him. Clearly the great man had little time for local small businesses”.

He drew a salutary conclusion: “So whenever I hear Simon speaking up for the entrepreneur and for businesses I feel a little bit nauseous … When I hear of the easy money he makes from the likes of the Mail … I remember how I struggled through that first year of self-employment when I effectively wasn't paid for a whole month's work. These days … I’m pretty embarrassed I was ever associated with Simon at all”.

So that is Simon Danczuk’s attitude to the self-employed, the entrepreneurs who he claims so vehemently to support. He gives the impression that he couldn’t care less. Perhaps he just doesn’t want to spend too much time thinking about Vision 21. Why that might be, I suspect, we may be about to find out. Have a nice weekend, Simon.

[This account is reproduced with the kind permission of the man concerned]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From parliamentary records of interests, it is clear that SD was continuing to take significant pay from his company (over £1000 per month if I remember correctly) for a nominal 4 or 5 hours work right up until a few months before it went bust. It seems incredible that he was unaware of the financial position of his own company and did not scale back his own pay accordingly, whilst debts including large amounts to HMRC were building up.