Frank Field’s Forty Glorious Years

You may have noticed that lately we’ve been prone to a bit of introspection which has often led us to question ourselves and ask – “Is it us?”

Are we too caustic? too mischievous? (© Wirral Globetoo poisonous? too insulting?(© Cllr Steve Foulkes) . As that Fred guy said : Have we been gazing into the abyss for too long?… 

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… And then you lovely people send us stuff and we realise “Nah, it’s not just us, its all gone to shit out there and we are compelled to record the end of times and wonder how did it all get so messed up with the only things we have at our disposal – words and pictures…

Which brings us to this particular item. Which we’ll leave here for you to ponder on for a few moments :

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There’s not much more we need to say other than no wonder our source titled their email to us :

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The email read : Feeding Birkenhead no expense spared lol

Further information that was sent made us question as to whether our source was winding us up.

Wilfred Owen Choir are serenading and receiving goodie bags . Bet you the Cammell Laird bosses were there.

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Along with the ‘Sold Out’ banner this was now getting simply beyond parody – but we’ll give it a go anyway :

Hello , everyone. My name is Si Coffant and I’ll be your host tonight at this glittering occasion. Firstly, I’d like to welcome all you ladies and gentleman and particularly the ‘Right Honourable Gentleman’ himself and star of the show, Mr Frank Field (applause). Tonight at ‘The Lauries’ we’re keeping it classy. After all , ‘Frank is in da house ‘ so it’ll be more House of Commons than House of Commoners . So, sorry they’ll be no ‘Agadoo’, bingo and throwing up behind the bins tonight (laughter). Instead ,ladies and gentlemen ,we’ve got the Wilfred Owen choir who are going to serenade you with some of ‘Our Wilf’s’ greatest hits – ‘Futility ‘, ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, and that catchy little number ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ (applause). So as you tuck into a nice bit of scran please feel free to join in with the choir as they sing about slaughter on the battlefields of Europe . Yes, it’s a bit like Brexit set to music! (laughter) . But seriously ladies and gentlemen – let’s not forget the real reason we’re here tonight. Yes,that’s right – tonight is about all of us who have personally benefitted from ‘Frank Field’s Forty Glorious Years’ as the MP for Birkenhead…Oh and charidee, let’s not forget to mention it’s all about charidee for the starving mites. So raise your glasses and be grateful for the fact that if you didn’t have Frank’s patronage you too could be destitute and cast aside on the mean streets of Birkenhead. Make mine a treble !!!

Our source put it more succinctly but no less sarcastically :

The Lauries is celebrating 40 years of the great Frank Field  lol

His legacy – a starving community

For those with the stomach for it you can read more on the Frank Field’s Birkenhead Community News Facebook page which is promoted and published by Anna McLaughlin, who as we all know is the daughter of dedicated Frank Field fan Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin. Needless to say Matron was there along with fellow ‘Independent’ Cllr Chris Meaden.

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As the poor loves don’t seem get out as much as they used to we wonder if the Wirral council taxpayers are still picking up Matron’s taxi fares or whether they were both chauffeur driven to Feeding Birkenhead’s Fundraising Dinner? After all it was in the name of  charity and they did raise a mighty 3 grand… 

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Matron takes her place at the top table. She’s to the left of Field. But then again who isn’t?

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It’s always best experiencing poverty vicariously. Preferably viewed  through the window sipping a bit of fizz…

 

 

The ‘Casualisation’ of Cammell Laird

SPOILER ALERT for those attending tonight’s Wirral South Constituency Labour Party (CLP)  meeting

We have received a copy of an Emergency Motion about Cammell Laird shipyard which we fully endorse and would like to share especially as we are currently joining the dots on a current investigation involving the shipyard.

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You’d think that the “Turning the tide on Casualisation” campaign would be right up neighbouring MP Frank Field’s street wouldn’t you?  And indeed as part of Field’s relentless media presence he has obviously made sure that Cammell Laird gets a mention. A recent press release can be found on his blog here

Birkenhead’s MP Frank Field is battling to safeguard jobs at Cammell Laird by supporting the yard’s bids for two major shipbuilding orders – one from the Ministry of Defence and the other from Merseytravel…

Frank comments: ‘In the shipbuilding industry, the sure-fire way of being able to safeguard jobs is to keep bidding for and winning major orders. Cammell Laird is a world leader in shipbuilding and I am determined to ensure it has a fighting chance of securing these two orders. The yard’s longstanding technical credibility and expertise, as well as its unique capabilities of driving innovation and upskilling the workforce, go hand in hand with its vital role in supporting small and medium sized businesses across our region.’

However whilst securing shipbuilding orders are indeed one way of securing jobs at Cammell Laird you will note that the main thrust of the Unions campaign is the possible use of non-Unionised(?), cheaper labour accessed via an agency thereby undermining local workers rights ,pay and conditions and the potential cause of future redundancies. Once again you would think this would be meat and potatoes for Field. We’d certainly expect him to be raising questions about who’s behind this mysterious agency  – we certainly have and the information we’ve has opened up some interesting lines of enquiry.

Perhaps it could be both impolitic and impolite for Field to mention such matters when Cammell Laird is a major contributor (along with Wirral Council taxpayers) to Frank Field’s pet project ‘Feeding Birkenhead’ ?

Meanwhile we encourage our readers to support this campaign and sign the petition:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-jobs-at-cammell-lairds

 

The Cupboard is Bare – The truth behind ‘Feeding Birkenhead’

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Concerned Wirral Leaks readers have been in touch asking us whether we know anything about how Birkenhead MP Frank Field ended up with a cast on his arm.As you can see from the above publicity shot taken at a community cafe and citizen’s supermarket in the Pyramids shopping centre. This picture which has been seen all over the shop including what we understand to be Frankenfield’s first of soon to be many appearances in the glossy and vacuous Wirral Life magazine. One of the queries we received from someone who saw the picture asked : “What happened to Onan the Librarian?”

Last month the Tory’s ex- Brexit Czar David Davis presciently poked fun at Frankenfield’s arm prior to a crucial Brexit vote and quipped   ‘Hope it wasn’t the whips’

Which after this week’s Exclusive : Will Frank Field have the Labour Whip withdrawn?  story may not be so far from the truth. This exclusive has since gone national after being picked up by the Huffington Post in their Labour Members Move To Suspend Brexiteer MP Frank Field For Backing Tories post.

Now thanks to correspondence (see below) from another Tory MP, Esther McVey, we can reveal that Frankenfield has broken his arm. We will make no comment on other people’s misfortune. We just wish that the Birkenhead MP would do the same. As you can read he continues to make emotive references to particularly sad cases in his letter – which let’s face it will be totally wasted on McVey ,who as you can also read, is as policy driven as Field is publicity driven. Although ,as we’ve reported before, McVey is herself no stranger to exploiting others plight for political gain. But then again why should we expect political animals to fight their nature?

However back to our picture at the top which shows Frankenfield  and a.n.other. The woman on the left next to the man on the right (!)  is not even credited in the Wirral Life story as this is strictly The Frank Field Show. But is everything as it seems  ? A source writes to tell us that :

Feeding Birkenhead Social Supermarket that is due to open in Birkenhead has been donated £100 thousand pounds from Cammell Laird and also Labour too – complete with the re fit. No argument from me that more Social Supermarkets are opening BUT it is not open to all…  only 100 people who have been “picked” from Magenta housing will be able to shop there for 6 months…

What’s more (and we’re going to bang on about this  ’til we’re red in the face) is Feeding Birkenhead and this enterprise in particular is funded by WIRRAL COUNCIL or should I say WIRRAL COUNCIL TAX PAYERS and Magenta Living to the tune of £80,000.  The minutes of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee from January 2016 read :

Once established, the Task and Finish Group was also requested to consider a request from the Chair for £80,000 of Your Wirral funding to be used as a block grant towards a new Community Shop in the Pyramids Shopping Centre and should this request be agreed to, a formal request from the Committee be made to Magenta Living.At this point Councillor S Foulkes declared a Personal Interest by virtue of his being a Board Member of Magenta Living. Full minutes here:  Your Wirral

I’m sure you can all see how this works and we don’t need to repeat our concerns about the Magenta Living connections. But it all perpetuates the myth that ‘Feeding Birkenhead’  is a Frank Field and the local Labour Party production. Whilst the Birkenhead MP has been the driving force behind the initiative it would not have happened without public money. ‘Your Wirral’describes itself thus :

Your Wirral is a fund administered by Wirral Council and Wirral Partnership Homes (now Magenta Living)  which offers grants of up to £2,500 for community or voluntary groups right across Wirral to fund one-off projects or events.

Which leads us to wonder where the £80,000 for the Feeding Birkenhead  Social Supermarket came from? Is it any wonder that the Wirral Council website reads :

Your Wirral was a community grants programme and a joint initiative between Magenta Living and the council. Your Wirral has now ended in Wirral West, Wirral South and Wallasey constituencies. The Wirral-wide programme, for projects that affected two or more constituencies has also ended.

The Birkenhead Your Wirral fund is currently closed for applications.

Your Wirral funding programme

So it would appear to be the case that for any other community or voluntary groups seeking grants on Wirral that unless you’re part of ‘Feeding Birkenhead’ the cupboard is bare – and much like the ‘citizen’s supermarket ‘ public money is for the few and not the many!

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Summer Shorts : Car Boot Curios

 

The people of Wirral might not get too enthused about local politics unless it hits them in the pocket but they do seem to like their car boot sales. Even local politicians have been known to share this enthusiasm for money-making fun . Indeed we understand that husband and wife team Councillors Adrian and Chris Jones set up stall at the Tranmere Rovers car boot sale this morning.

Our local bargain hunting source told us that among the items for sale were a collection of German (?) bier steins and a green rubber gas mask (kinky!). Now we don’t know whether this could signal that the Jones’ are both on the wagon and considering retirement from local politics – after all we’d have thought that a stiff drink and a gas mask would be essential kit for someone to operate as a councillor in Wallasey Town Hall ,where the stench of corruption can sometimes be all pervading.

Coincidentally we were sent the above picture from the same car boot sale (it’s obviously the place to be of a Sunday morning!) As far as we know this wasn’t the vehicle the Jones’ arrived in – as apparently at the back of their pasting table was a monster gas guzzler.

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The curious aspect about this particular vehicle that has been brought to our attention is the signage indicating those who support the Neo Cafe (part of  Frank Field’s  ‘Feeding Birkenhead’ project).

Now before we go any further we’d better say that the wonderful people associated with this project can get very touchy and Wirral Leaks have had a couple of run-ins in the past  – so let’s establish Neo Cafe is definitely ,definitely NOT a foodbank.

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However the issue that was brought to our attention was the list of supporters credited on the side of the van. Whilst particular prominence is given to ‘Cheshire Freemasons’ it was the mention of Wirral Labour Group amongst the list of supporters that aroused the interest of  our source who asked whether ‘support’ included funding from  Labour Group or from Wirral Council (via all party  Birkenhead Constituency Committee and /or ‘Your Wirral’ grant funding ?) We’re sure somebody can clarify – after all we’re sure that ‘Feeding Birkenhead’ initiative wouldn’t want to be thought of as making political capital out of poverty and hunger now would they?

Advent Farewell 7 – Frank Field’s Permanent Bank Holiday

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Message to Birkenhead constituents : Frank Field will always be the Fairy Godfather if you toe the party line and be ever so ‘umble for his celestial support. If not – you’re fucked.

Apparently Frank Field has made a Tory cry. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean he kicked Boris Johnson in the nuts.

Oh no ,the Tory involved was Heidi ‘ Uriah Heep’ Allen, the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire. Who clearly needs to get out of her constituency and the House of Commons more and appreciate what her political party are doing to the rest of the country. Heidi from on high (and mighty) said : 

“I’m humbled by the words from my honourable, good friend from Birkenhead [Field],” she said. “No government is perfect, no benefits system is perfect, no debate, no motion is perfect, but by God we work together and make this better.”

Field intervened to give Allen a chance to compose herself, saying: “I’m just amazed for the first time I’ve been able to report those events publicly without weeping. I’m so affected by them, I’m affected as she is. That’s the debate we’re really having – how do we represent here the desperateness of many of our constituents when many of us feel we can’t offer them hope.Earlier Field said his constituents were being hit by the cumulative impact of reforms under Labour and Conservative governments.On my last surgery Friday, for the first time ever a gentleman rose after we had spoken, I had tried to persuade him not to commit suicide, such was the desperateness that he saw the future for himself, and I realised the hand that shook my hand was wet. He’d been crying. And the hand that shook my hand was the hand that wiped away those tears,” he said. Universal Credit Impact speech

Wirral Globe upped the ante on the sentimentality by additionally quoting from Frankenfield’s poverty travelogue :

On Friday, Feeding Birkenhead – which is the most brilliant but ought to be unnecessary organisation – reported a family coming in of husband, wife and young child.The child was crying with hunger. The family was fed.The father said it had been a lucky week for him because neighbours had taken pity and invited him to a funeral so they could finish off the food after the other funeral guests had been fed.When the little boy was shown a shelf where toys were, but also on that shelf were lunch packs, he chose the lunch pack. Frank goes on sentimental journey via Wirral Globe

Bleedin’ hell  , pass the sickbag Alice. Frank puts Charles Dickens at his most mawkish to shame with that particular speech. Remember this is the man who uses the term ‘starving mites’  in the 21st century and takes no responsibility for the fact that his greatest political achievement in 38 years as an MP is ‘ Feeding Birkenhead’. A Wirral Council ring-fence funded evangelical ,ego trip.

We can’t help thinking he’s using his downtrodden constituent as a Dickensian plot device or a political prop in the vein of Little Nell  (The Old Curiosity Shop) , Pip (  No, not that one, the one from Great Expectations) and particularly Tiny Tim ( A  Christmas Carol) . It’s like a Victorian melodrama – pious ,patriarchal, sanctimonious ,self indulgent, self righteous and utterly vomitous.

The right response to his constituent’s predicament is not political points -scoring and sentimentality . It is ANGER. However we’ll leave the last word on the subject to our old friend Oscar Wilde :

From De Profundis:

A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism. 

All That Glitters

All that glitters

On returning from nos vacances en France we wanted to burst into a heart-warming rendition of  ” Hello, hello

It’s good to be back, it’s good to be back, Hello, hello, hello……”

But then we remembered the associations and connotations and thought better of it. Lord knows Gary Glitter, Rolf Harris , Stuart Hall , Jonathan King and Jimmy Savile have sullied our childhood memories enough .  Abusers of power protected by their status and/or powerful institutions allowing abuse to continue for far longer than it should have. And despite the eternal cry of ‘lessons have been learned’ we fear that it is a scenario that remains prevalent throughout many of our institutions.

However talking of the ‘Leader of the Gang’ we note that on our return our inbox was stuffed with comments about local MP  Frank Field playing the first two hands of his tried and tested three card trick. Firstly we have his anti-social behaviour schtick (see below).  Initially, when we read Frankenfield was complaining about “toe-rags dragging our town through the gutter” ,   we thought he was finally calling out certain corrupt councillors but then realised he has a twisted symbiotic relationship with those very same councillors and so it soon became clear to us he was back to bashing Birkenhead’s bad boys . The line that really got us though was  : “The thugs act as though they can get away with whatever they want, knowing they will face no consequences…..” . Those of us who know better clearly think Field has had an irony by-pass.  The expression those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones (at bus shelters) comes to mind. Whilst there is no excuse for anti-social and criminal behaviour why should Frankenfield expect any better from the poor and the powerless when some of the most powerful politicians on Wirral appear to get away with whatever they want ,knowing they too will face no consequences – mainly because they are protected by him!

Secondly we were asked to catch up on  the equally familiar but slightly more entertaining story of Frankenfield continuing  to play handbags with  “Sir” Philip Green  Empty Threats   

“Sir” Philip would be well advised not to hold his breath waiting for an apology from Frankenfield as the latter is used to saying what he likes about people he doesn’t like.

Now all we need  is a news story about how many ‘starving mites’ he’s personally saved from malnutrition during the school holidays with ringfenced Wirral Council money and we’ll have a Frankenfield full house.

However we have to say we particularly interested in his Toe Rags  article  for the Wirral Globe as Field describing some parts of his constituency as being in the ‘gutter’ would appear to  to undermine the gallant attempt of Wirral Council’s chief shit-glitterer Martin Liptrot (sky) to sell the peninsula under the banner of Wirral Well Made

This picture postcard PR job shrieks ‘amateur hour’ especially when the website heralding  ‘A new vision for Wirral’  ( yes folks, yet another ‘vision’) originally included a text box with Latin – the standard filling used by printers to work spaces out. Although this has since been corrected it would seem to be the usual story from our well paid public servants . Not so much ‘Wirral Well Made’ as ‘Wirral Cobbled Together’ .

Indeed with the Council giving the green light to build on the green belt, continuing recycle bin and flytipping fury and further news of Asif Hamid’s massive empire building ( more of which later) it seems to us that having returned to Leaky Towers it’s a case of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose……..