It’s strange and disturbing how Wirral, more accurately Wallasey, has been the focus of local and national media attention for a whole week. There are swarms of unknown, meddling metropolitan journalists walking up and down the promenade, microphone in hand … yet not so much as a murmur has arisen from the televisual backdrop of Wallasey Town Hall, slap bang in the middle of it all.
So in the absence of a press release or some sort of official statement on Wirral.gov.uk’s so-called ‘news’ page, we’re left wondering … who do members support?
Are they backing Jezza Corbyn ? Or do they favour Our Ange? And if it’s the latter – because word on the street is at least three quarters of Labour members do back Ange? then what’s keeping them? . You’d think they’d be proud to sing their support from the rooftops for a local lass made mediocre – recently and memorably described as “the lesser of two Eagles” – or failing that to go negative and further undermine the democratically-elected Labour leader.
After all, 600+ Labour councillors from up and down the country have already done that, going onto the record to say Corbyn needs to go:
…and as they don’t state in their letter who should replace Jezza, they must be desperate for anybody, so we’ll assume the Wallasey MP fits the bill as ‘anybody’, despite, or maybe because of her consistent right wing voting record.
The only Wirral councillors brave or stupid enough to add their names to this list are:
- Matron Moira McLaughlin, Rock Ferry’s answer to Nurse Ratched
- Denise Roberts (See Wirral Leaks passim for her dubious manoeuverings)
- Phillip “Brightboy” Brightmore
Labour party members in Wallasey however are overwhelmingly supporting Corbyn, and nominated him for leader and Angela Eagle for deputy last summer. That position stands to this day. Awkward. So perhaps most Labour councillors will be clocking Angela Eagle’s movements and thinking, hmmm, how will all this affect me if and when she stands, and should I wait ‘til then to decide whether to jump off the fence?
We understand that on June 30 ‘somebody’ (not announcing who they were) was ringing around Labour party members in Wallasey asking who they’ll be supporting. And while this was underway, Angela Eagle announced she’d be delaying her decision to stand for the leadership.
Fascinating from our perspective but we wonder who could have been behind these anonymous, underhand soundings? If it was Eagle’s office, Jezza’s approval rating means it certainly wouldn’t have gone as planned! .
As we know to our cost, Wirral is not your average grey and tedious borough, there simply to collect your bins and switch off your street lights. It’s colourful bordering on the mindbendingly psychedelic. There’s a long history of back-stabbing, or even in yer face front-stabbing that’s gone on ever since London-born Frank Field landed in Birkenhead way back in the late 70s. Even before he’d packed away his parachute, he was busy sharpening his knife and hitting the ground running. There was competition for candidacy at the next election, but voting rules were mangled left, right and centre to suit Frank. A legal challenge was forming, but the local Constituency Labour Party found itself suspended, with a ‘militant’ label firmly attached to the popular people’s candidate at the time. All done to facilitate a Frankenfield victory. 37 years later, Birkenhead (or Beirut, as Frank likes to call it) is still licking its wounds.
Our Ange was a more recent arrival in 1992, but similar antics unfolded when it came to choosing a suitable election candidate. There were more individual suspensions, another CLP suspension and when her successful candidacy was announced, a shroud of secrecy quickly descended over the internal workings of how such an unpredictable result had been arrived at in what was supposed to be a ‘democratic election’. Once again, the ‘Wirral Way’ had come to the fore, Ange’s career was set into motion, and here she is now, on the very brink of the leadership. However it remains to be seen whether she will she be flying as high as an eagle or will she be as dead as a dodo ?.
We at Leaky Towers think the people of Wirral deserve a public statement NOW from Town Hall ditherers or they awaiting instructions from their very own chosen ‘leader’ as Frankenfield does his usual act of setting off the hares , sitting back and watching the hounds tear his chosen quarry to shreds?.