Dearie me, no wonder we’re thinking of throwing the towel in . We know when we’re beat when what we’re increasingly being called upon to report on matters that are simply beyond parody – and beyond a joke. Moreover the political hypocrisy on display is playing havoc with our collective gag reflex.
Now we’ve long held our political system (and the institutions which support it) are broken beyond repair .The latest tragi-comic instalment in the Wirral section was acted out – and boy, do we mean acted – at Wallasey Town Hall last night as there was a Tory team flounce out of the Wirral Council Chamber in protest that Labour councillor Jo Bird being allowed to go ahead with a speech despite earlier being suspended – yes, another one – from the Labour Party. Cllr Bird’s suspension followed comments she made last year at a meeting in Manchester where she ‘ jokingly’ referred to ‘Jew Process” (geddit?) when it came to investigations about anti-semitism in the Labour Party and then riffed on the near -sacred Pastor Martin Niemoller Nazi persecution quotation :
It’s a quote that been adopted for various causes over the years – we’ve even used it – but is most closely associated with the Holocaust and it’s always useful to remember that Niemoller later expressed regrets about his own anti-semitism . Apparently Bird didn’t so much adopt as adapt this quote as follows :
“They came for the anti-zionists, and I stood up because I was not a target, I stood up in solidarity. And then they came for the socialists but they couldn’t get us because we were having a party, the Labour Party.”
Cllr Bird then went on to justify her comments at last night’s meeting :
“As you know from our last council meeting, this Birdie has a self-deprecating sense of humour.I am sorry for any offence caused by my plays on words – that was not my intention.”
Listen Jo , here’s a word from the Wirral Leaks wise guys. We know a crap pun when we hear one – let’s face it we’ve made enough of ’em – but really “Jew Process” Jo ? Even speaking as a Jewish woman it seems crass and insensitive and well, just not funny . We have to ask whether all things considered and especially in the current febrile political atmosphere was it worth it for a cheap laugh?
We’ll have a laugh and a joke at most things, especially those people and the institutions that you’re not supposed criticise. Whilst there are very few subjects we would consider off limits when it comes to humour it’s a definite that the Holocaust would be one of them. As for your ‘self-deprecating’ sense of humour Jo, either – a) you’re not as funny as you think you are b) you’re not as funny as doting Cllr Tony Norbury thinks you are or c) you need a new scriptwriter…
However nobody comes out of last night’s debacle with any credit least of all the Tories. They’ve been quite happy to sit on their hands when various witnesses testify that Cllr George Davies calls a former Wirral Council Director of Law A BLOODY USELESS CHINK and even worse tries to organise a smear campaign against their then leader Jeff Green. Cllr Davies has spent the last six years (and lots of public money) ensuring compromised ,corrupt politicians and public officials protect him from any consequences. But then for all his pig ignorant racism and arrogant untouchable corruption (which his party leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies has condoned – for he is a confirmed ear- witness to the notorious ‘Wirralgate’ recording ) for the so-called Tory ‘opposition’ Cllr George Davies is The ‘Right’ Kind of Labour Politician.
All of which makes last night’s petty parade of ‘faux outrage’ (© ex Cllr Matthew Patrick) yet another example of the Tories hypocritical and empty political posturing… and if we hear a whispered and exasperated cry of “Are they still banging on about Wirralgate?” emanating from the Tory benches we can only reply ” Yes, we are . It’s called being consistent,persistent and without contradiction… you really need to try it sometime…”