Spewing News

 

Spew

 

The foulest damage to our political life comes not from the ‘secrets’ which they hide from us ,but from the the little bits of half-truths and disinformation which they do tell us . These are already pre-digested and then a sicked up as little gobbets of authorised spew – E.P.Thompson , British historian

Hot off the press following the report that Wirral Council was looking to publish its own propaganda sheet   http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14558491.Wirral_Council_set_to_defy_Government_rules_by_launching_its_own_monthly_newspaper/ we received a copy of  Wirral Council’s CEO Stressed Eric Robinson ‘s ExecView which tells Council staff the reasoning behind the proposal :

Hello,

When we carried out our major piece of research into what residents think of living in Wirral, we also asked questions about how much they knew about services and events in their communities. There was a very clear response that local people felt they didn’t know enough about what’s happening in their area – and they’d like to know more. This week, we will publish a Cabinet report with a proposal for a new, free, monthly printed publication that will go to every home and business in the borough. 
We will support this with a new website, carrying information which is useful and relevant to residents, and improving our use of social media and other digital channels. If it’s approved, the publication will carry information on public services and community events and activities. It will be produced using existing resources and delivered to homes and businesses once a month, with copies available at locations such as supermarkets, hospitals and transport hubs. I’m very keen we help local residents know more about their area because we know that when people feel informed about where they live, they feel happier about living there. As employees, you and your teams would have a regular opportunity to contribute ideas and stories for the publication. As the vast majority of staff live in Wirral, your expertise and local knowledge will also help ensure we’re including the right things for our communities. 
Of course there is a cost to producing a new printed publication but it will be met from redirecting existing spending on communications and advertising, and offset further through generating income. There will be no extra cost to the council tax payer. Longer term, this will save money compared to what we spend on advertising now. 
Cabinet will discuss the proposals on Monday 27th June. If approved, the first edition will be out in the autumn. The Cabinet report will be published on our website towards the end of the week.

A few observations from us. Firstly it confirms that  “Executive Policy Officer” Martin Liptrotsky is truly the de facto Chief Executive Of Wirral Council . Fourteen months in office and all Stressed Eric can come up with is a newsletter?. I think  we all know who’s pulling the strings here don’t we?. Clearly not satisfied that having licence to print stories in the Liverpool Echo (or more accurately the pisspoor Wirral edition)  Liptrotsky seems to have been heeding the words of dead rock star Jim Morrison that “whoever controls the media ,controls the mind”.

Secondly we note that the survey to which Stressed Eric refers to pointed to the fact that the residents of Wirral didn’t trust the Council. What better way to restore that trust than by pumping residents with “authorised spew” straight through their letterbox every month?.

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/the-c-word/

What’s more we’re not sure what Stressed Eric is doing referring to “our communities” – like every recent CEO before him he doesn’t even live here!

We at Leaky Towers would ordinarily be rejoicing in the news – after all it’ll be more blogfodder for us and endless opportunities for satire  – but we realise that when Eric talks about generating income/saving on communications and advertising that this is worrying for mainstream media outlets and consequently local democracy.

We say this bearing in mind guidance issued in 2011 by Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) which states :

Local authorities should not publish or incur expenditure in commissioning in hard copy or on any website ,newsletters ,newssheets or similar communications which seek to emulate commercial nespapers in style or content .Where local authorities do commission or publish newsletters ,newssheets or similar communications ,they should not issue them more frequently than quarterly ,apart from parish councils which should not issue them more frequently than monthly . Such communications should not include material other than information for the public about the business , services and amenities of the council or other local service providers

We wonder whether local publications such as the Wirral Globe should be concerned about this proposal and if (or rather when) the proposal is approved whether a legal challenge in the form of a Judicial Review  might be in order?

However last word on the matter (for now) goes to Kevin “The Lost Boy”MacCallum the Council’s Senior Manager for Communications & Marketing who makes the confession:

Our Residents’ Survey last year told us very clearly that people in Wirral wanted more information.These findings were a rude awakening for us: they told us the tools we currently use to communicate with residents aren’t powerful enough and aren’t getting the job done.

To which all we can say is don’t be so hard on you and your team Kev!.

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11 thoughts on “Spewing News

  1. Will they print the real view of council workers I don’t think so more bluster and bullshit.
    Opening headline could be an in-depth report into how many council workers are being interviewed for their own jobs on reduced terms and wages.

  2. I see all those years of taking shit from Emma Degg and having to put up with her hissy fits and laugh at her unfunny jokes has paid dividends for Kevin. Nice lad, but no balls. Played the long game well though, so congrats! It was painful watching Kev all those years but he probably knew it was all going to end in tears, so stuck it out. As for the rest of that team, my message to Mr Robinson would be to get rid of the lot of them and use their over-inflated salaries to pay for something useful like Lollipop men and women or a disabled children’s school as the salaries for that team must come in around £500,000 per year including on-costs and pensions.

  3. ” I’m very keen we help local residents know more about their area because we know that when people feel informed about where they live, they feel happier about living there. ” Eric Robinson (who doesn’t live in Wirral).

    … ‘feel informed’… that is a very interesting choice of words isn’t it? People can feel ‘informed’ with information, misinformation and disinformation…is it possible for everyone to tell the difference? if it was possible ‘Reputation Managers’ would not have a job. And this is the key here. A monthly drip, drip, drip, of ‘wonderful Wirral Council news’ will be delivered to your door, supermarket, transport hub, hospital,…but doesn’t that happen already on almost a daily basis with the local papers and social media, but hang on…what about editorial control? And this is what it is all about.

    Control, total control of information in the public domain. Total control of WBC website and FB pages, WBC Twitter accounts, Leader’s blog, meanwhile reducing exposure in the press and public media. And the timing is important, isn’t it? 2 years until the next local elections so it’s blank cheque time, and just enough lead-time before the elections for the metro-mayor.

    I have a theory about the long game being played out. I don’t think Wirral Council will exist for too much longer…in 2018, will the ‘Giants’ in Wirral (thoughtfully sent by Liverpool’s Joe Anderson to his short-time supporter Phil Davies), be the Trojan Horse from the new Metro-mayor?

  4. Wirral’s reputation managers are following on in the time-honoured tradition of their more prominent counterparts; those who operate on the national and sometimes international level.

    1. Get your ideas out there
    2. Use whatever means necessary
    3. Source an ‘impartial market assessment’ (in this case Ben at Ipsos Mori costing £25,000)
    4. Make sure controlled journalists (in this case all bending to their masters’ will at Trinity Mirror / Liverpool Echo) don’t mention 3. above in their gushing articles. It then follows that public money can’t have changed hands – even though £25k found its way into Ben at Ipsos Mori’s hungry coffers
    5. Make an elaborate, yet bogus case for a ‘demand’. A false yearning for a ‘neutral’ publication, one that is NEEDED by the public, who after all have been struggling, are information-hungry and could not manage without it
    6. Pack its pages full of disguised, self-serving fluff and political propaganda, all dressed up and masquerading as ‘local news items’
    7. Deal with any controversy caused through false reassurance, then ride it all out feigning innocence
    8. Once the fuss has died down, ramp it up, especially around election time
    9. Sit back and rejoice as your approval rating goes through the roof and your abused power becomes consolidated
    10. Congratulate one another on a job well done, completed on the cheap using council tax money and NOT precious party funds

    Did anybody ever notice that prominent experts in PR; the Alastair Campbells and Max Cliffords of this world are either HATED or DOING TIME?

    Which would suggest:

    A. They’re not very good at their jobs
    B. The whole toxic area is an elaborate CON

  5. G’day Lordly

    Just back from John “Tarrantino” Brace’s first tier tribunal thingy.

    “Sir Git” was their and brought a Mr Bean lookalike accountant to make himself look smart.

    Ecca, The Blinking CEO please explain in your first blog in the public interest of openness, honesty and transparency at wirral why you allow “The Shyster” to waste about £10,000.00 in a morning bringing an expensive barista from London and his little helper to defend a few lines of redaction in a copy of minutes that get sent to every man and his dog three or four years ago.

    Not private and confidential just sent out willy nilly.

    I can only presume they are protecting some foul mouthed uncouth elected Member with a capital M who has been shouting his potty mouth off in the style of “Ankles” Davies” “Davies” etc

    Other foul mouthed labor members are available of two genders.

    I could just imagine one of the Wirralgate offenders telling school people exactly what he thought of education, wages, holidays, academy’s etc

    Ooroo

    James

    Leaky you must come next time “The Shyster” is under performing at the expense of the taxpayers which I can assure you will be very soon.

    Luv ya Leaksville XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    My guess they are defending the least hirsute of the Wirralgate three.

  6. We’re rapidly reaching a tipping point where rational words of objection to all Councils up and down the Country are fast becoming a pointless exercise. They don’t care because we don’t matter.
    For my part, from hereon I’m skipping the whole verbal or written expressions that all essentially amount to ‘get stuffed we’ve had enough’ and I’m moving up to a level that should cause the sane and the articulate intelligent members of society a great deal of concern. My irrational change of direction and objection should also bring frightening alarm to any Councillor or Council Officer because I’m going to start pelting them with fruit.
    That’s right. Fruit! There’s nothing worse than being stood on a public platform being pelted with fruit. I’ve yet to find a thread of news on google that says, ‘I’m a public servant and I’ve been pelted with fruit and albeit I didn’t ask for it I rather enjoyed the whole humiliating experience’.
    In fact, the few references I’ve found on Google by public servants who’ve been the recipients of being pelted with fruit have all said, ‘being pelted with fruit, particularly fruit that wasn’t ripe and a little hard for my liking was singularly the most upsetting experience of my life’.
    The facts are public servants, both men and women, both sexes are equally capable of getting fruit thrown at them whilst addressing a throng, simply don’t like it. I wouldn’t bloody like it. You’d be an odd sort of fish if you enjoyed it if my opinions are worth a jot of notice.
    And so, from hereon, I’m going to wheel out my handcart, gain access to meetings to which the public have access to and I’m going to start throwing fruit at them. Mind, only soft fruit. None of your hard stuff and definitely none of your larger varieties of fruit. Mellons for example. You can’t start hurling them about the place because someone could get hurt. I’ve no wish to hurt anyone. This as far as I’m concerned is an exercise in humiliation and not one that’d injure and crack a skull, break a bone or hospitalise any public servant who got hit by me pelting them with a ten pound bag of cooking apples or a tray of Mangos.
    Sensible throwing of soft skinned, ripe, juicy and smallish varieties of fruit is what I advocate and I do not want to be associated with others who’ve also got a handcart and follow an ideology that says it’s just fine and dandy to throw larger sorts of fruit at folk without a thought for the terrible consequences of their actions.
    Responsible throwing of fruit is what I’m about rather than the irresponsible throwing of fruit and anyone who thinks otherwise is a big ninny with no value for the hurt one would feel if they were hit in the gob by a bunch of green bananas or a ten kilo bag of Granny Smiths.
    And that’s all I’ve got to say on the matter!

    • G’day Lordy and Bobby

      When I realised soon after my whistle blowing on Wirral “Funny” Bizz to AdderleyDadderleyDooLally and his “obedient servant” “The Chamber Potty” on 5 July 2011 I would say to my fellow whistle blower “Highbrow” we must smash a window in the clown hall to get any action.

      Despite “Highbrow” having all the irrefutable evidence in the world for all to see and him saying to me that his “FRIEND” Adrian Jones was on the case after meeting with him, “The Pretend Friend”, and his scum bag of a missus bilong him “Nurse Rat” a disgrace to her vocation, “lets close another nursing home or special school for a few quid in allowances Aids”.

      Friends eh Bobby, never believe a politician.

      Five years on Bobster and we still have no justice so can you do us a favour and smash a window in the clown hall with a mushy banana or more appropriately a squishy ugli fruit.

      Ooroo

      James

  7. Bobby 47 has struggled with the fact that I have been unable to help with medical advice regarding Wirral Leaks’ Lord, Lady, and contributors’ health issues. I am still unable to assist medically, and it is a burden of guilt that weighs heavily, but I do see a role for myself here as an encouraging voice saying “You’ve done it Bobby 47! You have seen the future, and the future is airborne soft fruit…or possibly orange (that is so last millennium)!”.

    I have to say that I am quite taken with Bobby 47’s healthy option for lodging objections against Councillors. Not only would it increase his level of exercise and energy expended in accumulating a fruit arsenal, but integrating the concept of 5-a-day would offer a great many healthy options.
    As Bobby says, if serious injury is not the intention, then maybe the prospects of a cauliflower ear, or artichoking the target of these missiles, may eliminate the use of certain vegetables. This would be due to their density only being matched by that of the intended targets.

    There are not only health benefits in Bobby 47’s approach, but also significant economic impact, exceeded only by the satisfying impact of a direct hit on target. Local farmers’ markets, and those selling from allotments will increase income and may then be eligible for grants. There will be added-value in the soon-to-be burgeoning dry-cleaning sector, and probably a significant increase in the sale of large tissues and safety glasses. Low cost job creation.

    If Bobby 47 can spark life into the dejected electorate by promoting these health, economic and community benefits, then My Objection Personally Delivered By Over-ripe Fruit (MOPDBOF) should replace every existing council complaints procedure, and will certainly be simpler and used to greater effect.

    I wonder if there is a sliding-scale, or fruit-pie chart of impact-assessed soft fruit objection-based-projectiles with regard to accuracy, range, inflight distortion, ricochet resistance, seed fallout, impact-spread, and potential for collateral damage. Maybe trajectory and type of meeting will be influential in the choice of fruit-based objection delivery system?

    This is definitely a winner as utilising bio-degradable ordnance is a ‘green’ initiative. It will have an almost zero carbon footprint and transporting the ‘armoury’ (with the launch vehicle – you) will not turn anyone’s head. At least not until the launch at the intended target, or their close neighbours!.

    Using Bobby 47’s method of confirmation on Google, I could find no mention of stop-and-search revealing anyone armed with a fully-loaded punnet of strawberries, no record of peaches being seized by the authorities, or even bandoliers of ripe bananas being auctioned on Ebay. (Maybe this is because they are banned in the US like Kinder eggs, but more likely that they might come back at you as they are shaped a bit like a boomerang – and after all, that would only draw attention to you).

    Anyway, I’m off to trawl the neighbourhood for over-ripe fruit, and start strawberry field trials. If it was more vegetable-based we could introduce a community programme called Swede Dating, but until then it’s a case of Hurl Your Plums.

    • Attendance at committee
      Meetings by the public would mushroom. What fun as members of the public greeted each fruity lie with a salvo of over-ripe bananas, or every garbled sentence with a mortar battery of worm ridden apples. Officers with gobs ajar with fermenting fruit juices and, for visiting lga members ,greengages, something a little special eh.
      Vendors with barrows of rotting fruit outside the Town Hall at 6pm and crowds jostling to load up with fruity projectiles..that’s engagement for you.
      No management speak not greeted by a wave of tomahawk tomatoes ( they are fruit ) , a shock and awe of Apple plectic
      dimensions
      And 20/20 Vision? no way Hose with plum juice washing round the lenses

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