Considering how gleefully the local press reported that the first attempt by the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party to elect a successor to Frank Field ended in an embarrassing lock out at Birkenhead Town Hall you’d have thought they’d be happy to report that Mick Whitley eventually got the gig. But no – they’ve got stories to tell about how Frankenfield is saving Birkenhead from the ravages of a corrupt political regime (take your pick as to whether that’s a Labour controlled council or a Tory controlled government). Whilst we’re on the subject of Field’s alleged saving of the increasingly depressing House of Fraser store in Birkenhead can someone explain his preference for Mike Ashley over Sir Philip Green? Answers on a postcard. Mark your entries with the word ‘HYPOCRISY’…
However if you think Whitley has it bad trying to gain some leverage with the local press spare a thought for the runner up in the parliamentary candidacy race. Poor Cllr Tony Norbury – who received 116 votes compared to Whitley’s 224 – is having a torrid time of late. Not that we’re particularly sympathetic. Norbury always seemed to be spectacularly naive as to how local politics works. At the end of the day he just didn’t have the right connections – be that with the press ,unions or self-serving politicians . Moreover can we just say that political posturing with placards is no substitute for a deeply held belief in tackling racism, especially within the local Labour leadership (i.e. Cllr George Davies).
Apparently Norbury’s week got even worse as not only is he not off to Westminster – can you imagine? – he’s also off the local panel list and therefore cannot run as a councillor in May 2020!
They say bad luck comes in threes so we can only hope and pray that his Buxton bolthole wasn’t flooded during the recent Biblical downpour!…
We called it correctly (again) as Mick Whitley has beat allcomers including Cllr Tony Norbury to become Birkenhead’s Labour candidate at the next General Election.
With friends in high places and support of powerful unions Whitley was a shoo-in.
Although the Whitley v Field battle to win the hearts,minds and votes of Birkonians started yesterday with Frankenfield’s little spoiler (more on that later) we guarantee that this one will run and run…
Our health correspondent Dr Love provides us with a commentary on recent events concerned with the proposed closure of two local walk in centres and the role of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Cllr Christine Jones. It really makes you wonder whether they’ve ‘got a thing going on’…
Councillor Christine Jones is the joint chair of Wirral’s Joint Strategic Commissioning Board.
She acquiesced when their recent meeting was turned into – for the most important item on the agenda – a meeting of the CCG Board. ‘Legal’ because Council and NHS budgets aren’t ‘pooled’ for the related purpose, but a smack in the gob for councillors. (And see the John Brace reference below.)
The CCG agreed unanimously to close two walk-in centres.
Cllr Jones forgets to say that ANY closures had been opposed unanimously the previous week by a joint meeting of Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester Councils attended by Labour and Tory councillors.
She repeats the argument that people were ‘confused’ about existing services. NO reasonable evidence has ever been presented for this.
She accepts that there will be improvements in NHS111 (now rechristened variously ‘Ask Alexa’ and ‘Fuck off and die’).
She accepts that axed services will allegedly be covered by extra GP appointments, ignores the 100,000 missing NHS doctors and nurses, and accepts the CCG’s clear statement that this appointment system won’t necessarily be with a GP but with various assistants (less skilled, lower paid).
She fails to follow her own Council’s and her Party’s policies to oppose any closures.
She forgets that her party’s policy (nationally and locally) is to oppose the whole ‘sustainability and transformation partnership’ edifice, of which the CCG and its cut and pasted plans are part.
Her colleague who follows her is also worth listening to – for different reasons.
Here’s the video of the meeting with Cllr Jones’ comments from 31 minutes in. https://wirral.public-i.tv/…/webcast_interactive/429803
But the most jaw-dropping feature of this sorry episode is that last month she wrote to a local campaigner and said, “The community consultation the CCG delivered on the urgent care review proposals showed unequivocally strong opposition to any closure of walk in centres. I stand by the wishes of Wirral residents and council and will oppose any closure of services”.
Campaigners expect councillors (especially from the ‘people’s party’) to have a grasp of the ideology behind the rapid dismantling and demoralisation of the NHS. Our little local difficulty is simply a tiny part of the ambitions of those who would beg a trade deal from Trump and leave any bits which they haven’t already plundered to the slavering jaws of United Health of Minneapolis (the previous employer of NHSE boss Simon Stevens and with huge existing NHS contracts including via its Optum system).
BTW the other joint chair (and chair of CCG) Dr Paula Cowan is a key part of the whole unedifying process. She has form in forcing through cuts https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/fertility-treatment-cut-back-part-12583527
So is it the ‘aristocratic embrace’ that subverts Cllr Jones? Or is it just lovely to sit next to the NHS’s own Emily Maitlis?
She’s going to feel rather conflicted when her council colleagues refer the decision back to the Secretary of State for Health especially now that the whole process has been exposed by local video man John Brace https://johnbrace.com/is-the-decision-to-close-2-walk-in-centres-at-moreton-and-new-ferry-last-week-unlawful/?fbclid=IwAR3fGmjIDxS7NSjvNft2xoyqmX38vmOUERnSCo9tQP4U9P-5qIepFTQXrqw
The meeting video also shows Cllr Tony Norbury saying what a blow this is to the people of Birkenhead. Perhaps he’s failed to notice that elements within Birkenhead Labour – as well as Frank N Field and the local GP who runs an excellent ‘saved’ walk-in centre – are jubilant because ‘their’ Globe-splashed campaign had such a victory.
Yours, Dr Love
We can’t take any credit for this latest revealing insight into the warped mindset of Wirral politicians but we are more than pleased to publish it.
Now we have no problem with prospective parliamentary candidate Cllr Tony Norbury buying a property in Buxton nestled as it is in newly-Labour controlled High Peak Borough Council but please, please, please we don’t want him to give us that bleeding heart socialist rhetoric whilst he’s at it.
Oh, and as far as we’re concerned his spelling (Yavonne Nolan???) , having the handwriting of a 7 year old and a preference for “PVC Wood Look Alike (sic) Double Glazing” would be reason enough to exclude him from high public office forever…
In the 1st picture you can see Cllr Tony Norbury’s declaration on Wirral Council’s website. He states he owns NO property in Birkenhead or anywhere within the boundaries of Wirral Council. He states that he only RENTS a property in Birkenhead.
The 2nd picture is from his Facebook page, Tony for Birkenhead. He has been out with his ‘comrades’ campaigning for Yvonne Nolan in Rock Ferry and talks about pursuing socialist policies that will “keep OUR wealth in Birkenhead”. Whilst he calls on keeping “our wealth in Birkenhead” he doesn’t appear to think that applies to him.
Picture 3 shows 50 West Road in Buxton, Derbyshire, which according to Rightmove was bought in July 2015 for £135,000. The link shows a planning application made to High Peak Council by a Mr Tony Norbury (with the same mobile contact number Cllr Tony Norbury lists on Wirral Council’s website) submitted in March 2018.
Tony has decided not to invest in the ward he represents as a Labour councillor, not to invest in the parliamentary constituency he wants to represent as a Labour MP, not even within the Labour controlled Liverpool City Region…
We’ve been asked do we have any news on the much delayed process to find the successor to Frank Field as the local Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Birkenhead.
As we revealed in our exclusive in February the last attempt, whether cock up or conspiracy, ended in farce. Now over 4 months later things don’t appear to be any closer to a resolution. A local political insider tells us :
Not so much paperless as clueless! Not so much paper trail as trial by paper!
Let’s just hope somebody has confiscated Norbury’s red crayons and put a spell check on his PC – after all we’re sure after his eloquent tweeting exploits the Birkenhead CLP after wouldn’t want to be ‘depraved’ (sic) of his submission to be the next Labour candidate for the Birkenhead ‘Constituancy’ (sic)…
The contest to be the next Labour Group leader on Wirral Council and fill the blank void of nothingness soon to be left by current Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is proving to be such a fast moving story that our tip off that Cllr Paul Stuart was in line for the top job has already passed its sell by date. Sources tell us :
That’s not us making that declaration that’s the man who hopes to be the Labour candidate at the next General Election.
Cllr Tony ‘ Thick as Mince’ Norbury took to Twitter on April 2nd to share this absolutely priceless tweet. Our initial response to which was : ” Only 55% of Birkonians are living in a place of depravity?”
Perhaps Cllr Norbury has been on the campaign trail in Conway Street/Argyle Street of a Saturday night where ‘depravity’ would certainly be an apt description, otherwise we can only assume that Norbury failed to recall the word ‘deprivation’. However as malapropisms go this has to be one of the most unintentionally hilarious ones we’ve come across.
Might we also suggest that if Norbury wants to take over the mantle of Frank Field and continue to indulge in the poverty porn so beloved of the current incumbent as the MP for Birkenhead he also needs to know that the town he desperately longs to represent is a ‘constituency’…
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 :
Hi. 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.
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…
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…”