A Blott on the Wirral Political Landscape

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We had one of our wanting to bang our head against the wall moments when we’ve been reading, one year on from our Spot the Blott  and Blott’s Pension Pot stories, that mainstream media are suddenly outraged that last year former Wirral Council  Super Director turned Managing Director of Delivery Joe Blott bagged a cool half a million plus of Wirral council taxpayers money.

The outrage was sparked by Taxpayer’s Alliance annual report of highly paid public servants and this was the headline in the Daily Mail :

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Needless to say the local press also belatedly gegged in on the story although the Liverpool Echo studiously avoided mentioning Blott by name. We were alerted to the fact that Tom Houghton did a bit of shit-stirring and sent his cut and paste job for the Liverpool Echo to the Crimewatch Wirral Facebook  page:

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Of course we know that what lies behind the payment IS A CRIME and  we’d’ve thought an ambitious young journalist or local government basher the Daily Mail would want to investigate the matter further. Curiously neither want to question how a complete nonentity like Blott wheedles and schemes himself into a position where Wirral Council have no choice but to hand over massive wedges of public money.

Needless to say we have no qualms about joining the dots , making the connections and revealing how this truly appalling situation came about especially when ,for us, Blott has become the personification of the modern public servant  – where protecting the powerful takes precedence over protecting the public purse and the public interest…

 

Frank Field : A Statement of Independence

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Frank Field turns to one of his many chosen media outlets (but the one with the biggest circulation and online presence) to announce that the Veteran ex–Labour MP will fight the next election as an Independent

The hagiographic Daily Mail article describes Frankenfield as “…one of the Commons’ most venerable and venerated figures…”  as the MP for Birkenhead declares :

I have decided to fight the seat at the next election against the Labour candidate. I’m sorry it’s come to this.

But then as we know Frankenfield has been fighting against the Labour Party one way or another for many years.

With the Labour candidate for the Birkenhead constituency at the next General Election  yet to be decided it would appear that the current MP for the town has already got his  election bandwagon on the road.

As a well practised political operator (not a compliment), and being close to the action in the House of Commons, is Field anticipating that a General Election is looking increasingly likely to be held before the fixed election term of May 2022, when he will then be nearly 80?…

The ‘Right’ Kind of Labour Politician

Following on from yesterday’s Selection Committee non-event at Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) we’ve been musing on the cock up or conspiracy aspects of the debacle.

Now , we’re not usually prone to reaching for a tin foil hat especially when Her Ladyship tells us that they’re ‘so last season’ but there were some worrying signs prior to the meeting that the political establishment both nationally and locally were gearing up for a spoiler.

Needless to say Frank Field ally The Daily Mail (aka Fail) , an ever willing receptacle for his self serving rhetoric, was ready with a less than complimentary article on Wirral Labour councillor Tony Norbury and leading candidate to succeed Frankenfield as the next Labour Parliamentary candidate…the day before the Selection Committee was due to meet. Well, what a coincidence! However and as you read on here yesterday in our EXCLUSIVE : And the new Parliamentary Labour candidate for Birkenhead is… post things didn’t quite go to plan…or did they (for some interested parties at least)?

The Daily Mail article titled Labour hopeful lining up to take on veteran MP Frank Field ‘is a hard-left bully with links to group that dismissed claims of anti-Semitism against party’ details how Cllr Norbury had been disciplined by the Labour Party for bullying and revisited issues of alleged anti-semitism which we’d previously reported here

Needless to say local Tories and Frank Field fans were on hand to add fuel to the fire with former Tory Council leader Cllr Jeff ‘Yellow’ Green retweeting a link to the  Daily Mail article with a typically cryptic and cowardly comment: ‘Well,well,well..’. 

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Well,well, well indeed! So tell us Cllr Green do you consider Cllr Norbury to be a worse prospect than Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes ? You know the one who considers you ‘kindred’? You know the one who organised a failed smear campaign against you and lied about it in an investigation and then there had to be another investigation because he’d lied during the first one and then continued to lie again in the second one? Or is ‘Foulkesy’ the ‘right’ kind of Labour politician who you can sit alongside on the  Board of Magenta Living , trousering the cheque and pretending to ‘play nice’.

As you can see from further tweets this week in support of Labour councillor Chris Meaden fellow Tory councillors Ian Lewis and Chris Blakeley follow the same path when it comes to Labour politicians . There’s a right sort and a wrong sort .

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Now don’t get us wrong we’re not taking sides here as nobody’s hands seem to be clean in this political shitshow and as you know we have pored over philosophical treatises ,mulled over manifestoes and read the political rhetoric and concluded :

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However to be frank (and not Frank) we’re  beginning to not care if the so called ‘hard-left’ returnees and entryists are hammer and sickle wielding wild-eyed Trots. Anything, ANYTHING that shakes up the moribund puppetshow that passes for political debate on Wirral where it’s all back to the Mayor’s parlour for a handshake , a sly wink and a slap on the back for a part perfectly played in a political pantomime is OK with us…

 

Fieldwatch 4 : ‘Vulgarity is the conduct of other people…’

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The Blott,Pip & Addled Caption Competition – answers to Wirralleaks @gmail.com

Vulgarity is the conduct of other people, just as falsehoods are the truths of other people – Oscar Wilde

We’re really sorry we started this but since we’ve been monitoring the local and national media appearances since Birkenhead’s Labour MP Frank Field became an ‘independent’ we could make Wirral Leaks a wall-to-wall Frankenfield-fest…but ain’t nobody got time for that.

However there are a couple of stories which have caught our attention this week which we think highlight his hypocrisies.

First up we have Field seeing fit to comment on the Daily Mail non- story Fury after Bake Off Sue compares PM to ‘s*** on a shoe’

The story concerns Sue Perkins ,ex Great British Bake Off presenter and leading media figure from the LGBTQXYZ community – we really try and keep up with the latest acronyms but apologies if this is not quite right – and her less than flattering assessment of Brexit in general and Theresa May in particular on a late night TV programme ‘The Last Leg’ on Channel 4 that about half a dozen people accidentally watch after they’ve got in from the pub. In response to the question How do you think Theresa May has handled this week? Do you admire her?’ Perkins replied :

‘In the same way I admire s*** on a shoe in that it endures and no amount of using a twig on it or power-hosing it will remove it, so her ability to cling on is the stuff of legend and I don’t want it near me.’

The Daily Mail reported :

Conservative and Labour politicians reacted with fury to the comments yesterday, including Ministers who demanded an apology from the star.

MP Frank Field said: ‘There is a worrying trend in public life that people are getting more and more obscene and violent in their comments and are being allowed to get away with it. What Sue Perkins said crosses the line. Channel 4 and other broadcasters should not let her on again.’

We’d have thought there were more pressing matters for MPs to comment on at the moment but it does allow us to reiterate a point we’ve made before about powerful politicians. Frankenfield, in particular, seems to be cursed with the delicate sensibility of a Victorian maiden aunt forever being offended by the vulgarity and lack of deference of the ‘others’ towards their ‘superiors’. But then Frankenfield has always had a particularly low threshold about what he considers ‘obscene’ . We must tell you ‘The Mary Whitehouse Story’ one day which concerns a poem the anti-obscenity campaigner once showed Field which described Jesus Christ having sexual intercourse with Mary Magdalene. Apparently he’s never got over it…but we’ll save that one for another time.

However back to the point that we wanted to make. We believe that  Conservative and Labour politicians reacting with ‘fury’ to the Perkins’  ‘shit on a shoe’ comment is all about powerful people wanting to control the language,control the political discourse and ultimately control everything. It’s not only as though freedom of expression doesn’t exist – and some might say it doesn’t- but as an expression of righteous anger goes it’s a far cry from the actions of France’s gilets jaunes!

We’re left wondering whether Perkins first encountered this earthy expression when mixing with Wirral Council reps at the Local Government Chronicle awards in 2015 ?

As we know ,since the picture above was taken Kevin Adderley and Joe Blott have left the Wirral Council ‘shoe’ courtesy of being power-hosed off with vast amounts of public money whilst council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is scraping himself off before he’s kicked to the kerb. Unfortunately the stain they all leave behind will be indelible and forever stink to high heaven.

As far we’re concerned another quote published this week by a different  national newspaper about their making Universal Credit work campaign (to which we not be providing a link) demonstrates the further hypocrisies at play:

Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, also congratulated The S*n on its campaign.

Might we suggest that for many people on Merseyside any association with the tawdry rag following its campaign of hate after the Hillsborough disaster is more worthy of the word ‘obscene’ than a pottymouthed celebrity putdown of the PM.

Frank Field Vox Pop Part 2

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Above are some of the redacted comments that according to Frank Field friend and ally Mail on Sunday have appeared on social media in the wake of his resigning the whip and his comments about bullying,intimidation and anti-semitism in the Labour Party (and particularly the local Labour Party). Whilst undoubtedly it wouldn’t be a pleasant  experience to be on the receiving end of such comments we have to ask ourselves what exactly does he expect when he labels people ‘thugs’ , ‘toerags’ (and worse) and then suddenly discovers that there are people without his power and influence who only have a PC and a pottymouth and aren’t afraid to use it! Is any of the above worse than referring to a council officer “a bloody useless Chink” as Field’s electoral agent once did ? No, it isn’t – because the people making the comments don’t have the power of  Cllr George Davies ,Deputy Leader of Wirral Council, to directly prejudice or influence important political decisions.

What’s more according to former Wirral Labour councillor Louise Reecejones (LRJ) Field himself once advised her that she needed to “harden up ,bullying is part of politics”. Whilst we acknowledge that LRJ is not the most reliable of sources it is something we can well believe her on this one as it is the type of arrogant statement we can imagine him saying. LRJ made the claims in a ‘press release’ to the Daily Telegraph in the knowledge that they were going to publish a story which included damning comments from Field.  In the interest of journalistic balance The Daily Telegraph chose not to print a word of LRJ’s statement in defence. Consequently LRJ has chosen to share it on social media and here it is . Please note : the typos, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are LRJ’s own. 

My press release to the telegraph who are publishing a negative story about me tomorrow thanks to Frank Field.

I am responding to this from Hospital, I have been poorly for over three years and spent most of this year in Hospital, proberly brought on by stress.Mr field and his supporters are fully aware I have been so poorly and not even been active in the party, and yet he continues to behave in this way.

The panel you refer to I am not even going to justify with an answer, because there are no words to describe the lengths people go to to discredit and try to break a person. There is also Franks friend ex Labour Cllr James Crabtree who was convicted after his threats against me following the murder of Jo Cox MP.

Frank field has publicly attempted to discredit me, and the charity I am involved for disabled children and their families, this is minuted in Birkenhead CLP. Frank field gave me advice that I need to harden up, bullying is part of politics, well I said it then and I say it now. Bullying has not place in a civilised society and as an MP I was shocked that was your view.Franks conduct speaks for its self, any MP who writes for the S@@ rag has no place in politics.I wish Frank well for the future and any other Councillor waiting to take the headlines over the coming weeks with resignations from Wirral Labour.

I fully support Jeremy Corbyn and have supported him before he was ever on a leadership ballot paper, he is a proud man with clear values and integrity. This is what our country needs and this is what some members don’t want. I am proud to be a socialist with a kind heart, always putting others first and working hard to make a difference.

Times have changed, Birkenhead CLP and the other three Wirral CLP’s are now pleasant, its an environment that I can now allow my children to attend without the fear of shouting and nastiness.We welcome all new members of all backgrounds abilities and ages for friendly, socialist debate.

Kind regards,Louise Reecejones

The Daily Telegraph‘s sister paper The Sunday Telegraph continued the saga of internal strife within the local Labour Party by including a tale re-told by long- time fawning Field acolyte Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin and a clash of handbags in the street between Labour councillors Angela Davies and Tony Norbury , this classy little incident apparently reduced two Labour Party members to tears – though presumably not McLaughlin, Davies and Norbury who would be well aware of Frank’s dictum that ‘bullying was part of politics’  Read full story here : Ghost of Militant Barges Through Birkenhead

All of which adds to the impression of a local party about to implode. However according to leaked emails we have received none of this should come as any surprise to North West Regional Director of Labour , Anna Hutchinson. The emails were sent to her in July and September 2016 and includes compelling evidence of  allegations of misconduct by Labour politicians including Field, Cllr George Davies, former Labour  leader Cllr Steve Foulkes and current Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil Davies .

We have agreed not to publish the correspondence for the time being but it has been agreed that we can publish the prophetic and telling statements which end both of the emails.

Email 1 : “You may choose to ignore these allegations but you can’t say you weren’t told …”

Email 2:  “You have a problem with your politicians on Wirral – a real problem”

Now with Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies doing his bit for ‘The Gang’ by asking for an investigation into the local Labour Group. Read more here – Labour Council Leader Demands Bullying Investigation In Wake Of Frank Field Resignation  – We would suggest that knowing what we know Pip needs to be careful what he wishes for…

Frank Field Vox Pop – Part 1

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Credit where it’s due it’s a great headline. Bonus points for ‘vile bile’ and ‘troll army’ . Just a shame the Mail on Sunday story is completely manipulative BS!

We’ve said it before but it bears repeating that we think that Frank Field is a consummate politician. However such is our contempt for politicians it’s a case of we are here to bury him, not to praise him. So at the end of this tumultuous week we thought we’d review the EU butter mountain size media coverage that Field’s resignation of the Labour Whip has engendered. At this moment time ,despite the overwhelming support of the right wing MSM we think he seems to be being comprehensively outmanoeuvred by Corbyn supporters. This is not to say, as the Mail on Sunday would have it, that ‘Field reels from the vile bile of Corbyn’s troll army‘ but by the actions of the Labour Whips Office who have the means to scupper his dastardly by-election plans.

As we know Frankenfield has been taking time to consider his position and gauge ‘the word on the street’ of his Birkenhead constituency and decide whether to stand down as an MP to trigger a by-election. So far the vox populi of the usually politically vacant is far from conclusive.  However what is apparent is that Frank’s snivelling assertion that it’s only the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) who ‘hates’ him is well wide of the mark. The fact that Field is a particularly divisive politician can be seen from the comments section attached to stories in the The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph where hardcore Tories from the Home Counties are fervently defending their pet Labour MP.  Unfortunately for Frank none of these people actually have a vote in his Birkenhead constituency (and no doubt very few would choose to live in Birkenhead or even know where it is) . Elsewhere , and particularly on social media, things are not quite so cosy and rosy. The Mail on Sunday chose to reproduce some of the comments and Field in his self-penned piece in The Sunday Times referenced yet more. We won’t reproduce the comments here as we don’t want to feed into Frank’s feigned victimhood schtick but suffice to say they’re somewhat ‘earthy’ as we know how he likes his polite euphemisms.

Whilst Wirral Leaks views are well known on the subject of the Birkenhead MP it’s true to say that minority of our readers take umbrage at our position on Field.Those who welcome our Wirral Council bashing sometimes baulk at criticism of our favourite poverty tourist. That’s OK – we welcome debate, disagreement and even hostility – we just shrug our shoulders and recall the old adage  ” You can lead a horse to water…”

So we thought we’d turn our attention to some obscure local sources of intelligence and knowing that many of the Labour political cabal are devoted ‘bluenoses’ we were particularly drawn to the comments on an Everton fan website following an enquiry about Field and the following specific references to Cllr George  Davies and Cllr Steve Foulkes. Clearly some people can join the dots to make a vicious circle. Read more here : Everton Forum

All of which we think makes a mockery of the title of the aforementioned piece that The Sunday Times indulged Frankenfield in:

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We all know the local Labour was hijacked years ago by thugs and it was Field who went way beyond looking away but supported and condoned it up until other local party members who weren’t in ‘Frank’s Gang’ decided they’d had enough and consequently in his eyes became the ‘thugs’!

You couldn’t make it up – the only thing is, as Frankenfield has demonstrated this week he just has! –  and what’s more he has an avidly awaiting audience with their own avenging agenda!

 

 

Sir Slippery v St Slimy

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We’ve been sent a series of press clippings which demonstrate that the unseemly row between former BHS boss and yacht -loving Sir Philip Green ( ‘Sir Slippery’) and Birkenhead MP and ocean-going hypocrite Frank Field ( ‘St Slimy’) continues unabated.

Let’s get one thing clear –  no-one’s hands are clean in this long running  debacle even though Sir Slippery may have acted within the law his conduct remains highly questionable. However our issue is mainly with Frankenfield who , as is his wont, is wanting to take the moral high ground in a sleazy tabloid tit-for-tat between the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.

The  long running feud was re-ignited in recent Daily Mirror front page where they christened the tawdry tycoon as ‘Sir Slippery’ and continued over the weekend in the Mail on Sunday and again in Monday’s Daily Mirror which picked up on the exclusive Mail interview. Mail readers must’ve been torn as S*n columnist Field is unsurprisngly their pet Labour MP!

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What’s more it all seems very reminiscent of a case closer to home where again the ‘saintly’ Field took issue issue with another man called Green and used the same tactics and with the same result!

So let’s take a look at some selective quotes from the stories and comment on he worrying similarities .

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Sir Slippery maintains that St Slimy is a man who has a personal vendetta against him. However based on what we know we are more inclined to believe Green ‘s claim that Frankenfield is  mainly ‘interested in publicity for himself ‘

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Significantly  ‘Sir’ Philip Green was cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation by the Insolvency Service  and therefore can continue as a company director and yet Frankenfield continues to pursue and publicly condemn the tycoon. All very similar to his pursuit of former Wirral Council director Dave Green .

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There were inquiries undertaken by the Audit Commission , Wirral Council and investigations instigated by Field undertaken by Serious Fraud Office and Merseyside Police into allegations that EU procurement rules were broken by Dave Green and ‘whistleblowers’ supported by Field suffered detriment as a result of reporting the alleged breach.

 

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This is countered by Sir Slippery’s claim that Field also intimidated/frightened the Pensions Regulator . This must be very familiar to Wirral Council officers at all levels of seniority who have faced the same tactics from the saintly people’s champion. This includes the former Wirral Council CEO Graham Burgess who would not bend to Field’s will when it came to paying off the whistleblowers who he ‘championed’ – mainly because they had the means to incriminate his electoral agent , Cllr George Davies and other political allies , in serious  misconduct . Therefore Burgess had to go – and go he did.

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And yet still Field implores PM Theresa May to strip Sir Slippery of his knighthood much in the same way he wanted Dave Green stripped of his livelihood.  As a fully paid up member of ‘the Establishment’  who never fails to use his contacts  and connections to get what he wants and to crush any opposition to his carefully constructed public persona and to counter criticism of his cronies  Field’s statements below are early contenders for ‘Quote of the Year’ . As ever the hypocrisy is simply breathtaking.  And as for asking the question as to whether May is with ‘the big guy or the little guy’ we think that after this week’s events we all know the answer to that question don’t we?

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For a change we’ll leave the last word to ‘Sir’ Philip Green rather than ‘St’ Frank. Whilst Green keeps it as classy as his ‘hot-felon’ dating daughter we find it hard to disagree with his description of the current incumbents (of all parties) in the House of Commons .Sir Slippery 041

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year Message

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Whilst we collate the votes for the Leaky Awards 2017 we are honoured to publish this ‘New Year Message’ courtesy of long time Wirral Leaks supporter and contributor Dr Robert Smith.

Whilst it is understandable that we are encouraged to accentuate the positive at this time of year with an optimistic cry of ‘New Year, New Me!’ and plans for a gym membership , a new diet , a dry January and a flick through a travel brochure. However we feel it is our role at Leaky Towers to provide a hard dose of reality in advance of the fading of New Year’s resolutions come February.

Dr Smith’s ‘New Year Message’ is a timely reminder that now is not the time to be vulnerable on Wirral. Of course you won’t be reading in the local press that Wirral features in yet another list of shame.  New figures provided by the Care Quality Commission to MP Barbara Keeley, Labour’s social care spokesperson, indicate that Wirral is one of the places named in the country where over half of nursing homes are rated as ‘requiring improvement or inadequate’. For full story read here  (although we advise you won’t find the information in the ‘ Sidebar of Shame’ !)

Perhaps Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin,Chair of the People Overview and Scrutiny Committee , will finally make the connection between poor quality care and allegations of abuse against vulnerable people or as we’ve reported previously it’ll be the usual case of Carry On Matron .

And so from ‘the Matron’ to ‘the Doctor’ :

Happy New Year to all at Wirral Leaks with my best wishes for the future!

Happy New Year also, to all the Wirral Leaks posse, and best wishes to you all.

If you trawl through the extensive catalogue of failings of, and failures in, Wirral Council it is not surprising that little, if anything has changed for the better.

Wirral Council is so deeply trapped by its own stinking morass of corporate incompetence and ineptitude, it should really have been ‘put down’ long ago, not to save the organisation suffering, but to ease the suffering of those it is supposed to serve.

Party politics and organisational survival is all that matters and pervades the ‘Wirral and Merseyside Partnerships’ having created the http://www.lookingafterourselves.con (the Wirral-Wide Web) and its regional counterpart mww.lookingafterourmates.con (the Mersey-Wide Web).

If ‘vulnerable people’ is the Number 1 priority for Wirral Council, then WBC must be one of the greatest local government success stories of recent years, and a result which really eclipses the Local Government Comical Award ‘Most Improved Council in Great Britain – 2015’.

Trawling through the failings of Wirral Council it is impossible to ignore the fact that the Council has been demonstrated to have failed most sectors of Wirral society to a staggering level. With the help of some local MPs, have triumphantly made things a whole lot worse in care services, young people’s services, child-safeguarding, the elderly, employment prospects, innovation, deprivation, life expectancy, access to public buildings and resources, building on green belt, active degeneration previously known as regeneration, child-poverty, need for foodbanks, conduct in public office, public service integrity, leadership, public interest, the list is virtually endless…

Wirral Council now creates groups of vulnerable people, or enlarges those that already exist.

The point ultimately is that Wirral Council has 100% of the Wirral population that can be considered vulnerable, the most recent being Wirral Council Tax payers who, as a group, are vulnerable to continued financial exploitation through significant future Council Tax increases to finance a diminishing range of virtually unrecognisable ‘public services’ whilst funding obscene senior manager salaries and the expenses of  http://www.lookingafterourselves.con members.

It is convenient politically to say that it is ‘all a result of austerity’ and ‘Tory government cuts’. This is only partly true. Wirral Council’s finances have been in freefall since the 1990’s and successive administrations have built up problems for the future…what happened to the over £500,000,000 invested in Birkenhead between 1991 and 2002?

In addition to much other borrowing, why is Wirral Council spending over £8m per annum in interest payment to foreign banks after borrowing £137m before 2008? As a result of this borrowing WBC is in debt to those banks for in excess of £500,000,000 finally repayable by 2075? Mortgaging the kid’s and the kid’s kids futures, meanwhile lending millions of WBC cash to other councils at ‘mate’s rates’ as well as holding large reserves.

Wirral Leaks has made a difference, for the better, for the people of Wirral…

…that can in no way be said of Wirral Council.

 Happy New Year to all.

Advent Farewell 6 – Deja View

There’s an interesting lead letter in the printed edition of this week’s Wirral Globe written by a certain Chris Noble asking for our views on what to do with the Wirral View. You can read the online version here : Your Views?

Mr Noble tells us he wraps his fish and chips in it. How very droll! But dare we suggest that Mr Noble is a bit late to the Christmas Party? We made the following suggestions a year ago in our Things To Do With Wirral View  post where we wrote:

Put out the flags! Strike up the band !  – not that it was delivered to Leaky Towers but we’ve finally got our hands on an actual paper copy of the second issue of the Wirral Council newspaper Wirral View .  

And was it worth the wait we hear you cry ? – “not so much”  we reply ! . Seemingly in an attempt to avert the attention of  Department of Communities and Local Government minister Marcus Jones who takes a dim view of such publications  Wirral Council seem to to have reversed the old Daily Mail ad slogan and made Wirral View – ” A snoozepaper  , not a newspaper” . Dear Lord but it’s dull.

http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2016/news/tax-boost-for-local-press-as-minister-launches-council-paper-crackdown/

The tone is set on the front page  with an exclusive story about road gritters. Now we’re sure the guys in the picture are lovely chaps and they do a wonderful job but it’s a bit of a literal and metaphorical fall back down to earth after the fireworks on the front page of the first issue .  The partly obscured word “SPREADING” (no laughing at the back) seems to a subliminal message as even by issue 2 Wirral View seems to spreading itself too thin ( down to 28 pages from 32 and no advertising!) . Her Ladyship was most disappointed there wasn’t even a follow up recipe to the spicy lentil & tomato soup recipe from the first issue.

Therefore  to avoid that empty feeling for those who feel their information deficit has yet to be filled we’ve come up with five festive fun things to do with your copy of Wirral View.  And so with a cry of  : ” Mummy dearest pass me my superman pyjamas I’m going to the spare room to crank one out for Wirral Leaks ….” here dear reader is the list we cranked out just for you ! : 

  1. RETURN TO SENDER

Buy some extra stamps from the Wirral Scout & Guide Charity Post and return the unwanted gift back .

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2. PARTY BUNTING

Make your own party bunting – or better still your own party political bunting by personalising it with pictures of your favourite local politicians !

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   3. CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

Do as Wirral View suggest and recycle card and paper from around your home! Forget health and safety regulations (or should that be elf and safety !- geddit?) and craft your own crackers from an empty loo roll. Add some glitter to bring a bit of sparkle to your mundane existence!

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4. PARTY HATS

What better accessory to go with the wacky Christmas jumper than a Wirral View party hat ! You can surprise everyone  at the Wirral Council office party by showing what a funster you really are under that dour exterior . But remember ! – no photocopying your bottom or subsidising your festivities by raiding the petty cash tin!- or Internal Audit will be after you. Oops! no sorry they missed that particular party trick didn’t they?

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5.  HAVE YOURSELF A VINTAGE CHRISTMAS

After a trip to the local foodbank to pick up a slightly dented tin of Spam for Christmas dinner why not go the whole hog and get  into the austerity spirit of rationing and make do and mend. Relive those post-war , pre-Izal days of yore and get all nostalgic about outside lavs and using strips of old newspaper for loo roll!

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Election Selection : Week 6

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Understandably, considering this week’s atrocities in Manchester , politics and the general election in particular has been put firmly in its place. That place being a self-serving sideshow – most usually played out in the gutter.

Et Tu, Frankie?

Talking of which we note this week that Birkenhead MP Frank Field took some time out from writing for his usual safe havens  ( The S*n, The Daily Mail) to get a letter printed on enemy territory in The Grauniad  (aka The Guardian).

https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/21/how-might-labour-get-a-fair-hearing-for-its-popular-policies

Note how Frankenfield stabs the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn  , ever so politely, in the back:

‘In the event of a defeat on 8 June, Jeremy’s manifesto must be the point from which a new PLP alone chooses a parliamentary leader who is able to build trust and legitimacy with the electorate. For the new parliamentary leader not to start from here, and to revert to Blairism, would miss the point of just how much Jeremy has changed centre-left politics. The test which must be passed in the new parliament is to combine a popular programme with a leader who possesses prime ministerial qualities.’

So basically, having apparently already conceded defeat , the bitter and twisted poverty tourist says he likes Jezza’s policies but he thinks his main failing is that he lacks the gravitas of his late heroine, Margaret Thatcher . With the narrowing gap in the opinion polls we’re left wondering whether Frankenfield has made a very rare political mis-step or is he just being spectacularly disloyal and duplicitous as usual?

Manifesto Fun

Quite rightly ,one of last week’s commentators took us to task about  whether we’d actually read each political parties manifestos for the forthcoming general election. To which we could only reply – ain’t nobody got time for that!

So following on from our commentary about the Resolution Foundation’s analysis of the manifestos of the two major political parties and the similarity between their welfare policies we move on to expert opinion on the manifesto pledges dealing with finance and crime ( is there a difference we hear you cry !).

Financial think tank, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) , tells us that neither the Conservative or Labour Party party’s general election manifestos sets out an honest set of choices :

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/26/conservative-labour-tax-spending-plans-ifs-general-election-manifesto

And so it would appear that you pays your money and you’re stuffed either way you vote!

Meanwhile the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies published their assessment of the key manifesto pledges by the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

With the appalling events which took place in Manchester this week their analysis takes on greater significance. Interestingly they reject the notion that , given the lack of strong evidence that more police cut crime, a policy to increase police numbers is not desirable. This points to a broader challenge, as Will McMahon argues in a comment piece on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies website in May 2017

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/sites/crimeandjustice.org.uk/files/UKJPR%20Focus%2C%20Assessing%20the%20Manifestos%2C%20May%202017.pdf

 The resourcing of mental health workers and social workers to manage demand presently met by police officers should be a high priority. This would necessarily mean an overall shift in government budgets away from policing and towards the training and employment of social work and mental health professionals. This approach could lead to a radically downsized and less publicly visible police force, shorn of its social work responsibilities and instead, focusing on the estimated 16 per cent of incoming calls to command and control centres that are actually about law-breaking.

As we’ve said before – the information is out there to make your electoral choice. All we ask is that you make it an informed one!