We understand that our first citizen had the luxury of sunning himself in Greece during the summer holidays where we imagine he re-acquainted himself with Plato’s “The Republic” – concerned as it is with truth and justice. This contemplation led us to reflect on the philosophical musings of Foulkesy himself – the inspirational leader/hardfaced schemer (depending on your standpoint. )
We’d particularly like to thank Verity for raiding the Leaky Towers archives enabling us to identify our top ten quotes from/about the Wirral wideboy, sorry, wiseguy:
1) On the Libraries Closure Debacle :
Who can forget the time when protestors angry at the closure of local libraries crammed themselves into the Civic Hall to hear Foulkesy explain why the shocking measures were necessary. Barracked loudly and taking plenty of personal abuse he nevertheless managed to bring his usual gravitas to the situation. He said: “If I was to be hit by a bus tomorrow (cheers from the gallery) there would still be the budget issues and problems for this council. People can speculate as much as they want but the fact is, the savings we wanted to make to reinvest elsewhere were not being realised and we had to consider the budget”
The fact that the closure proposals were later deemed to be unlawful by the Charteris Inquiry passes him by – as unfortunately did the bus.
2) On Becoming Mayor :
“It’s a great honour, with immense responsibility. I know I may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but I will work really hard to unite the borough. I’ve always only ever done my best for the borough and as mayor, this will be no exception. In this job I will continue to do my best for the borough.As I said in my speech, we are only a few wage packets away, or a very serious accident away, from being in a situation of crisis. There, but by the grace of God go I, ……..”
As Eldritch said: “Where is that ****ing bus?…..”
3) On Vote of No Confidence (following the publication of Independent Review report ) :
“I did some inner reflection and thought about my position – but Cllr Green made it easy for me. Clearly, mistakes have been made. What could I have done and what should I have done? These are questions that repeatedly go through my mind. I accept the criticisms made in the report. It is now time to work together with all parties and move forward.”
We have some ideas what you could have and should have done…. just go! and never darken the pages of the Wirral News again ! – We would have even have given you the bus fare ( we wouldn’t want you being accused of fare-dodging). In fact we would have doubled the fare so you could take your bezzy with you…. on a slowboat to China. Or perhaps not……judging by his comments your bezzy doesn’t seem too keen!
4) On being ousted as Leader of The Council :
“I am, by modern day standards, an old-fashioned politician. I believe that the good of the Wirral, and the good of the council, come first and political ambitions come second. I find it impossible to subscribe to the notions crossing the Atlantic that constant negative publicity either wins votes or makes the opposition voters stay home and fail to vote. These notions are increasingly popular with the Conservative party locally and, I believe, have led to the kind of poisonous politics we are seeing now which I believe are damaging to all politicians, and to the people we are elected to serve.The real danger is that constant negative publicity about Wirral, generated for political ends, will make potential investors stay away.”
Where to start with this one? – old -fashioned politician? We think you mean neanderthal. And “poisonous politics” Foulksey? – who are you kidding ? There’s a toxic crew which has set the political tone on Wirral for a quarter of a century ! Exhibit A : Cllr Harry Smith. The man who would put the offensive in a charm offensive…..Oh and by the way what will make potential investors stay away Foulkesy is your bezzy badmouthing them …capisce?
5) On the manipulation of whistleblowers :
Elaborating on his ludicrous and insulting comments he made at a previous Audit and Risk Management Committee Foulkesy shares his personal insight with Patricia Thynne for her pisspoor “Wirralgate” report :
” Some years later,Cllr Foulkes became a member of the Audit and Risk management committee. In that role he was seeking to amend the formal policy for the Council on the treatment of whistleblowers .He says he was anxious to introduce a clear prohibition against the political manipulation of whistleblowers .At the time some whistleblowers seemed to be feted and courted by some councillors whilst others were ignored.It occurred to him that the use of whistleblowers by politicians for political ends might itself constitute harm or damage that would support their claim (for) compensation from the Council.He thought that the document he had seen would provide good evidence to support his case about preventing this happening in the future.”
The hypocrisy on display here is simply breathtaking – it is our honest opinion that Foulkesy and his bezzy ( supported by Power Boy Pip and led by Frankenfield) have undoubtedly used whistleblowers for “political ends” .
We also believe the document in question was acquired to smear Clr.Jefferson Green because of the grief that Foulkesy was still getting because of the Independent Review ( aka the AKA Report) – a desperate and deeply misguided tit for tat achieved by…….. the manipulation of whistleblowers!
So tell us again Foulkesy – how exactly did you acquire that document you refer to?….And was it a good idea to hand it over to a local journalist in the vicinity of 4 (!) whistleblowers ? – Especially when those whistleblowers are all keen followers of this blog and have been a tootin’ and a whistlin’ to us about the incident ever since. Listen guys we don’t know what the document says – if we did we’d tell you!.We think you should ask a certain council manager as we undersatnd she read it whilst having a fag during the Council meeting adjournment on July 15th 2013. Might we suggest a large cheque may have clouded her recollections?
6) On “Foulkesworld” :
“Foulkesworld” was a short-lived Twitter account (oh how we miss it – written as it was by a clearly disgruntled Labour insider) which prompted this response:
“The account has clearly been set up by someone who has not got the best regard for myself.I briefly had a look at it but dismissed it very quickly.But if we find that it has a political motivation behind it, it just shows how pathetic they are. People can be reassured that it has nothing to do with Labour but it raises issues that people can seemingly get away with things like this and face no retribution.”
People getting away with “things” and facing “no retribution” ?. Anyone in mind ? – you? ,your bezzy?, any number of Council officers who’ve had pay offs to shut up and go away ? – or indeed for “hurting their feelings” ? . I think we should be told……
7) On the Martin Morton whistleblowing case:
Morton writes in response to a particularly bonkers Foulkes pronouncement : “The paragraph on the Globe website, which had me heading for the beta-blockers, read: “Cllr Foulkes said the affair had proved that anyone within the council with a complaint – ‘or a whistleblower, as the term has been used in this case’ – would have their grievances properly investigated and acted upon.”
Morton commented at the time that this quote “.. reinforced the experience repeated over the last few years of living in a parallel universe where wrong is right, bad is good and lies are truth.Had I not taken my serious concerns to the Audit Commission this matter would have been buried as deep as nuclear waste – proof positive of the catastrophic failure of Wirral Council to address my concerns.”
Foulkesy has persistently shown that he doesn’t understand the differences between “complaints” and “whistleblowing” and “grievances”. Wirral Council has 3 separate policies – he should check them out sometime. And anyway we thought the whole point of this case was that the Council hadn’t investigated and acted upon the whistleblowing allegations and Morton took them to wherever he needed to – the Audit Commission,the Care Quality Commission , the police , the press …. shame it seems that only the press were interested!.
8) On Tory Social Care cuts proposals :
“WAKE up Jeff! What’s happening in Wirral’s Care Services is not only scandalous and outrageous.It is also unnecessary and financially stupid. A staggering £13m has been taken out of Wirral’s Social Care Budget and the majority of that £13m is actually being taken out of the very services that have been used to keep overall costs down.
What was “scandalous” and “outrageous” were the things happening in Wirral’s Care Services that were covered up and those who were protected – in this case council officers and not vulnerable people. Talking of which….
9) On the retirement of social services director Kevin “Windy” Miller: (channeling John Prescott fused with Edward Lear)
“I find the attempt to make political capital in an election period out of the personal decision of an individual to take early retirement extremely distasteful and unethical. Kevin Miller, an excellent officer of the Council who will be very much missed, has made no public statement about the reasons for his decision, which was neither sudden nor unplanned for.Even if he had made any such statement, it should have remained confidential to councillors because the law protects the privacy of the individual on contract matters. It is certainly not for others to put totally speculative words or reasons in his mouth for their own political gain.Even though his motive may partly have been to protect the Director from wild accusations from the more unscrupulous members of his own party, this letter is still totally outside the boundaries of acceptable political behaviour and compromises the recognised role of a Scrutiny Committee.”
What is “distasteful” and “unethical” is the public defence of a subsequently discredited Director by his bezzy Matron McLaughlin and Foulkesy – a man who oversaw the most dysfunctional department during the Council’s most shameful period of recent history and yet he was seemingly worthy of such a public outpouring of support. It seems a shame that Miller didn’t reward this loyalty and tell Foulkesy or Matron about the multi-million pound toxic debts built up mainly on his watch or the unlawful charging or the abuse of vulnerable people by rogue social care providers.
10) On being haunted by the past:
“Strange how your past haunts you, isn’t it ?.I was just remembering how overawed I was as a child by a visit to the Mayor’s Parlour in Birkenhead Town Hall. Then there I was in that same room again, this time having lunch with the Duke of Kent. Part of me was Cllr Steve Foulkes, Leader of Wirral Council, playing host to a royal visitor; part of me was still a scruffy little lad from Upper Brassey Street, wondering if my mum and dad would clout me for telling tales if I said I had had my dinner with a Duke….”
Which begs the question – are you still telling tales and if so can we form an orderly queue to give you a clout round the ear Foulkesy? Anyway we suspect that your past will indeed be coming back to haunt you and very, very soon…..