Whither Wirral Politics?

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‘Disappointed’ Pip #sadface

How are you all feeling after the local election results ? We have to say that even in self-imposed exile we raised a toast or three to Wirral’s voters who seem to have at last woken up and smelt the bullshit!

So here are our thoughts on Thursday’s momentous events. First of all we’d like to say that it seems to us the old guard of all political parties have been wrong-footed by new outlets for political dissemination. Leaflets and flyers and doorstepping just don’t cut it anymore. ‘Advertisement features’ in local newspapers are seen for what they are – expensive and desperate.  We even have to say that the only mis-step of the highly effective Green Party election campaign was the ‘Thank You’ card sent  out to voters on the eve of the election. In the event the sentiment  wasn’t misplaced but it wasn’t very ‘green’. It seems to us that social media is increasingly where it’s at if you want to influence voters – there’s no hiding place anymore for the dissemblers and the disingenuous in political life. The truth is out there if you truly want to find it and as the song goes : ‘ do you want the truth or do you want your sanity?…

Meanwhile the wind of political change blowing across Wirral is not only evidenced by the graphic below which indicates the swing in the local election results since last time but we are also reliably informed that the Green vote share across Wirral was 17%. This is higher than Lib Dems, UKIP and Independents combined and more than double their percentage share last year…

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The fact that now ex- councillor and Wirral Independent Group  stalking horse Chris Meaden failed to secure the Rock Ferry ward is very bad news for another ‘Independent’ Birkenhead MP Frank Field. This was the public vindication of political loyalty over personality.  We understand that Field is repeatedly being told the same thing by the local Labour Party faithful and long standing party members : ” We simply can’t vote for you anymore – you’re not a Labour representative…” .  The inevitable victor in the battle of political ideology was Yvonne Nolan or rather Cllr  Yvonne Nolan who clearly we will be hearing a lot more of if her TV appearance in the wake of her political comeback is anything to go by…

However wasn’t it a shame that the Wirral Independent Group (WIG!) election campaign wasn’t as co-ordinated as their outfits – Oh, the shame!

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The Black and White Minstrel Show  – WIG are the light entertainment of Wirral politics.

Of course this being Wirral there were some sour notes among the sweetness of defeat of   a couple of prominent Labour cabinet members , namely Phill Brightmore and Angie Davies. Brightmore was succeeded as the  councillor for Pensby & Thingwall by Tory poacher turned gamekeeper Mike Collins. This screenshot from Facebook was sent to us in anticipation that Cllr Collins would feature prominently in future Wirral Leaks posts.

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Despite Cllr Collins’ obvious credentials when it comes to satirical opportunities he’ll be hard pressed to challenge long standing Wirral Leaks regular Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes who was sadly was returned to serve another electoral term as a councillor for Claughton. Seemingly Foulkesy is the political equivalent of shit on a shoe and we get the overwhelming urge to scrape the shoe along the proverbial kerb until the noxious waste is finally removed.

And finally – oh, how we hollered with delight to witness Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies on the telly with his best sadface on saying how ‘disappointed’ he was in the local election results. Believe us Pip, we guarantee you’re not as ‘disappointed’ as us in the 7 year misrule that you have inflicted on the people of Wirral whilst you’ve been ‘leader’ of Wirral Council . Tomorrow we will find out who his successor as ‘leader’ of the local Labour Group. Whoever it is will have their work cut out as to where the local Labour Party goes from here, especially  in the light of the fact that they no longer have overall control of Wirral Council and their hegemony of horror has come to an end.

For now all we do know is that when it comes to the future of Wirral politics the old certainties seem to be over…

Pip’s Poisoned Chalice : Who will follow the ‘Leader’ ?

Well, it all seems to be a bit of a death wish  – or should that be witch hunt – situation  with the local Labour Party at the moment isn’t it? The local Tory group must be loving it as it follows their time honoured tradition of identifying the problems of others without having to find solutions of their own .

However the big question, not to mention the big challenge for the person who gets passed this particular poisoned chalice , is who will be the next ‘leader’ of the  local Labour Group at Wirral Council when – thank the Lord – Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies,   pops off to pastures new.

We suppose the big question between suspensions, deselections and ‘retirements’ is whether there will be anyone left to choose from? By rights the obvious choice at the moment would be Cllr George Davies,  especially now that his co-Deputy Leader  Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Nooney has been rumbled by her local Constituency Labour Party .  But surely even the local Labour Party wouldn’t opt  for a racist liar as their leader?  But then again didn’t they once have Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes as their head honcho so we suppose anything is possible!

Historically,  the selection process and outcome was fairly straightforward. Birkenhead MP Frank Field just made his preference known and it was a done deal. The only criteria would be that the Labour leader at Wallasey Town Hall would bend to Frankenfield’s will. Both Foulksey and Pip fitted the bill perfectly.

Now currently local party members actually get to vote and are apparently being very careful not to upset the  Labour whip who is under the control of the current ruling cabal in case they lose their right to vote in the leadership contest. Well that was Cllr Tony ‘Tight Fit’ Norbury’s feeble excuse as to why he voted for continuing with the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal although he didn’t agree with doing so !

We don’t know whether Cllr Norbury is in the running to be Labour ‘leader’ as we know he wants the ‘top job’ as Labour’s next Parliamentary candidate for Birkenhead. We suppose he’s hedging his bets waiting the result of the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party selection, which as we know had to be rearranged following the last debacle which we covered in this EXCLUSIVE : And the new Parliamentary Labour candidate for Birkenhead is…

What we do know that current Councillors Chris Meaden, Moira McLaughlin and  Mike Sullivan are out of the running as they’re now ‘Independent’ councillors. ‘Independent’ of what we ask ourselves? ‘Reality’ judging by the comments emanating from the ‘Three Stooges’ . “Be careful what you wish for. Our little group could hold the balance of power come May.” Cllr Sullivan is quoted as saying this week. Yes, Mike whatever you say but then we know you’re prone to a bit of the hyperbolics which nevertheless are always good for a laugh. As you can see below Cllrs McLaughlin / Meaden are already on the local campaign trail but then, as today’s Kingdom Security announcement confirms ,everything a local councillor does at the moment is all about electioneering . ‘ A Concerned Resident’ sends us this letter with the attached comment  :

MM:CMHi. This letter is currently being delivered to residents of Rock Ferry, signed by our two ‘independent’ councillors who “think it would be helpful to let people know” what they are up to. Looks like blatant electioneering to me, using taxpayers money to publicise themselves. 

Regards, A Concerned Resident

 

So who does this leave us with in the Labour Group leadership race? Any suggestions? Now that Cllr Jo Bird has been nobbled (for now anyway)  our ante-post tips would be Cllr Phill ‘Two L and Back’ Brightmore and  Cllr Janette ‘Milly Tant’ Williamson (Gawd ‘elp us) but then again there is former leader Yvonne Nolan waiting in the wings hoping to get elected in Rock Ferry . However the way things are going at the moment we advise ‘doing a Norbury’ and hedge your bets ’til the local election results are in and see what we’re, er, left with…

A Day of Protest at Wallasey Town Hall Part 1 : ‘There’s always one…’

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He’s ‘armless really…

As we predicted in Sunday’s  Hoylake Golf Resort : Protest and Protect post the start to the week would be a challenging one for the ruling Labour administration at Wirral Council.

However we couldn’t have predicted that it would start so early with an unexpected surprise at the end of what seems to be the dreariest Wirral Council meeting ever. As you can see from our exclusive footage serial whistleblower Martin Morton makes a return to the scene of many a crime. We are grateful for his son for forwarding the footage , apparently Morton Jnr is at University studying film and is making a video about whistleblowing. Should be essential viewing and if it involves Wirral Council –  x-rated!

 

Of course we just took that the message on Morton’s t-shirt – LORDY, I HOPE THERE ARE TAPES – was addressed directly to us at Wirral Leaks. Is this an example of what is known in modern parlance as ‘meta’? For as we know ‘His Lordship’ has known about Wirralgate since 2013 and knows that there are tapes (as does Mr Morton and many others) and which would (and should have) brought the corrupt ruling Labour administration crashing down a long time ago .

However we appreciate that for many of our readers and the wider public that the origins of the quote on the t-shirt may be somewhat obscure. We’ve done a bit of research and apparently these are the infamous words of former FBI Director James Comey commenting on alleged recorded conversations between him and US President Donald Trump.

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Unfortunately you won’t see the footage on the Wirral Council website or, rather disappointingly on John Brace’s video coverage – although we understand that he wouldn’t want to spoil the enjoyment of the 4 people who have endured the video so far.

Unfortunately there is no sound but we understand that belligerent Cllr Bernie ‘The Bruiser’ Mooney shouts out :

“There’s always one…”  

and you can lip read Mr Morton’s reply :

Yes,there is…

Apparently the cheeky wave from Morton was directed at Wirral Council’s Head of Communications Kev ‘Lost Boy’ MacCallum who was sitting there stony-faced and cross-armed and you can see Cllr Phill ‘Two L and Back’ Brightmore leaving his seat to get a good look at the message on the t-shirt. Meanwhile the three wise monkeys at the back ( Head of Law Philip McCourt, council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and council CEO  Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson appear to be having a jolly good laugh at Morton’s expense )

Watching that sickening section of footage (we advise you watch it on full screen and focus on the three of them) we can’t help thinking that Morton should have pulled this stunt way back in 2013 at the Improvement Board meeting where Power Boy Pip couldn’t even stay in the room when Morton spoke. Now, like a typical coward –  and oh how weakness and cowardice have characterised his political career – Pip feels confident with  a room full of cronies behind him to LOL.

We’re left wondering as to who will have the last laugh?  History tells us it will be Pip and co – but that’s only because other people who had the means to do something about it, have instead, simply allowed it or in some cases through fear or favour , facilitated it. Shame on you all…

 

 

 

 

Golf Gaffe

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We’ve long held that the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is not so much a golf course as a Trojan horse to a housing development on the Green Belt…and we’re not the only ones who think so. A message we received this week rightly questions the Wirral Council ruling administration’s boundless passion for a sport in decline and the gaffe they’ve made in a report which highlights this fact. But then we need to remember that golf is an enthusiasm pursued by some influential people within the Council and the local business community (we’ll let you join the dots) and which inspired this lament about a senior officer who has been “spending months organising a Wallasey golf day for managers to use up their flexi to play with contractor sponsors who generously donate to your day and prizes …”

Hi Wirralleaks,

Why are the Council proposing to spend £millions of public money on building a new Golf Resort (and luxury housing estate) on Green Belt Land in Hoylake when they are proposing to “offoad” municipal courses because golf is in decline??? You couldn’t make this stuff up!

Wirral Council are reviewing their future provision of Municipal Golf Courses.

In a Golf courses Cabinet report to be presented to Cabinet next Monday, Councillor Phillip Brightmore, (cabinet Member of Leisure and Recreation) is recommending the transfer of Arrowe Park and The Warren Municipal Golf Courses to an “alternative specialist golf provider”.

Interestingly the report states “…….with the national trend in golf usage being generally down, (not just for municipal golf courses but also for the majority of private golf clubs)” and “Participation in municipal golf in Wirral is in decline and follows a national trend in that people tend to have less disposable leisure time to spend on playing a five or six hour round of golf. Those people that would have traditionally played golf in the past have migrated to a more ‘time determined’ sport (such as cycling, running,fitness) to fulfil their leisure time demands. Some smaller private member golf clubs are suffering from the same problem and it is noticeable how some ‘community’ based golf clubs have responded to this problem by reducing membership/joining fees and offering ‘pay and play’ packages which compete favourably with our existing municipal fees and charges”.

So, at a time when even the Council acknowledge that golf courses are becoming less and less financially viable – is it really the right decision to invest £millions of public money in a new Golf resort in Hoylake – or will the resort, as many believe, become just a white elephant, ripe for further housing development once the new access road and luxury housing estate has been built?

Best wishes!

Green Gauge Summer

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Another week , another front page shock horror probe about the Green Belt courtesy of Wirral Globe.

Following on from Wirral Council’s CEO Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson coming out from under his desk at Wallasey Town Hall to make a special guest appearance and announce his deep and heartfelt concern about Wirral’s green and pleasant land we now have a ‘leaked document’ which has been sent to the Wirral View , sorry , we mean Wirral Globe.

This ‘leaked document’ – yeah right ! -‘leaked’ from Wallasey Town Hall HQ  with full approval of council leaders and their lackeys by the looks of it- apparently tells us that :

A MAJOR assault will be launched on Wirral’s precious Green Belt land, the Globe can reveal.

In a leaked document seen by this newspaper, acres of protected space have been earmarked to be sold-off to developers in order for the council to meet Government-set housing targets.

The controversial proposals, which target 14 wards across the peninsula, “will fundamentally change the nature of our community.” Full story here : Leaked Document

Note how  councillors Phillip ‘Brightboy’ Brightmore and Angela Davies don’t seem particularly bothered that the document has been leaked with the former commenting that : “Residents will be rightly outraged at these proposals……”

No sorry to have to tell you  Phil , sweetheart , but what residents are pissed off about is being subject to the cynical media manipulation that’s going on here.

Is anyone taken in by this carefully orchestrated bullshit? Shall we gauge this summer by the amount of bogus stories about the alleged threat to Wirral’s Green Belt that clearly emanate from the power elite within Wallasey Town Hall?

Oh and can anyone identify where the Hoylake Golf Resort proposal is on the ‘Green Belt threat map’ – or is that not considered a threat? And if not why not?…

 

Dodo in the Doo-doo ?

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Father Christmas/Cllr Jones : What would you like for Christmas annwyl Ms.Eagle : A united and electable Labour Party  Cllr Jones : Wouldn’t you like a pony instead?

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:

http://labourlist.org/2016/06/over-500-councillors-tell-corbyn-time-to-step-down/

…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?.