Anti-Corruption Champion

Corruption

One of the useful websites we recommend our readers to check out if they’re interested to find out what their local MP is up to in Parliament is the appropriately titled TheyWorkForYou. This ranks alongside the Freedom of Information  (FOI) website WhatDoTheyKnow as one of our go-to sources.

TheyWorkForYou tells us that Birkenhead MP  Frank Field in particular is rather prolific when it comes to asking questions of government ministers. Which we can all agree is a good thing! However we can recall that it was Frankenfield who once went on Radio Merseyside to make ridiculous claims that certain sections of the Wirral public were inundating Wirral Council with FOI requests in an attempt to bring certain parts of the council to a standstill . This was proven to be statistically and factually incorrect as even Wirral Council admits it does not receive significantly more FOI requests than comparator local authorities . Accordingly it seems to us that Frankenfield thinks that public accountability is not a pursuit to be encouraged in the hoi polloi !

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/frankly-mr-frankie/

However we did raise an eyebrow at a question Field put to Chris Skidmore Parliamentary Under Secretary in the Cabinet Office as to when he plans to appoint an anti-corruption champion.

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2017-06-21.150.h&s=speaker%3A10197#g150.q0

What’s Frankenfield up to? getting the heads up for local council reprobates, sorry ,representatives?  They’d  better get shredding those documents, erasing those tapes and making those pay-offs before the anti-corruption champion comes a callin’ !

 

 

Architecture and Morality

SDA 012

Verity  has been doing a bit research following the viewing of John Brace’s coverage of last week’s Planning Committee meeting. The poor saps who turned up expecting a debate about proposals about Saughall Massie fire station were blindsided by bureaucracy and politely asked to leave by committee chair Cllr Anita Leech (and if ever there was an archetypal Wirral councillor name Anita has got it!)

 

Forgive us for ignoring (for now) the plans to build a fire station on the green belt. We’re more interested in plans to turn Birkenhead ‘s Charing Cross into even more of a vagrant destination than it already is.

The architects behind the latest plan to degrade Birkenhead town centre even further (if that were possible) is SDA Architecture on behalf of their client Dr Ahmed. SDA Architecture have an ignoble history of making such applications. This is even more surprising when you consider that one of their former directors is Cllr Paul ‘ Danceaway’ Doughty.

However Cllr Doughty appears to have to have passed the baton on his son as a conduit  for  landlords who want to turn properties into houses of multiple occupation and maximum profit . These are the current directors of SDA Architecture ( Doughty Jnr  is the one on the left ).
SDA davidsda-barrie-300x300alex-300x300

It comes to something when even Birkenhead MP Frank Field rocks up to object about plans to turn a building on Charing Cross into a ‘dosshouse’. But then Frankenfield and his long -standing acolyte Cllr Jean Stapleton were only gegging in on Birkenhead & Tranmere councillor Pat Cleary’s call in on this particular planning application. It is frightening to think that if he hadn’t council officers under their delegated powers would have approved a 12 bedded hellhole ( but then they don’t have to live there – so why should they care?)

Doughty trio

Happier days when Jean and Frank didn’t have to ask awkward questions about yet another  lamentable Labour councillor who they’ve repeatedly turned a blind eye to.

Criticism was made during the Planning Committee meeting of a previous SDA Architecture application on behalf of Dr Ahmed to convert a former police station on Laird Street

Laird St - 12 bedsits

12 bedsits in this space? – would Cllr Doughty live in one of them? Just sayin’

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/laird-street-police-station-birkenhead-12113869

Frankenfield’s intervention in his lightweight seersucker (not a euphemism) is even more surprising when you consider that Cllr Paul Doughty tried to ingratiate himself with the local political powerbroker by nominating him for an award from the Mormons for upholding ‘family values’ . Once again, you really couldn’t make this shit up!

However what we’d really like to know is exactly what is Cllr Paul ‘Danceaway’ Doughty’s relationship with notorious flytipping facilitator Arthur Morgan?

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/11862308.INTOLERABLE__Businessman_who_helped_create____plague_of_flies____admits_letting_illegal_waste_be_dumped_on_his_land/

Surely it can’t be the same Arthur Morgan who has business interests with Pensions Committee chair Cllr Doughty ?

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09898216/officers

We think we should be told!

Archiecture and Morality

 

 

 

 

Men of Mystery : The Big Reveal Part 2

Speak-NO

Apologies for the delay on this one but there’s been a few glitches on the website this week . As it’s fashionable to do so we blame those pesky Russkies !

All we can say it’s a case of delayed gratification for our readers as we optimistically declare  : So, farewell then, Surjit Tour .

As yes indeed , we’re hoping that it’s the case that Wirral Council’s Head of Law is going back to where he came from. And we don’t mean that in a casual racist way a la  Cllr George Davies.  We mean that we understand that Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer (no laughing at the back) could be returning to Sandwell Council.  Could it be that Tour goes back to Sandwell and leaves the people of Wirral to go to hell in a handcart?

So what positive things can we say about Surjit as a future send off?

Er, not a lot.

Whilst we acknowledge that being Wirral Council’s legal guru is a tough gig we couldn’t imagine anyone less equipped to fulfil the role. Apologies, no actually we can – his chinless predecessor, Bill Norman!

As far as we’re concerned , during his inglorious tenure Tour steered the difficult terrain that being the pinnacle of local government legal probity involves by prioritising political and personal interests over the public interest.

This was a so called public servant who it seemed to us (and to many of our readers and contributors ) to continually thwart Freedom of Information requests,  somehow didn’t know how electoral expenses worked , circumvented due legal process and natural justice at every turn and yet who prostrated himself before people who held him in complete contempt . He was ‘ bloody useless’ according to Deputy Leader of Wirral Council Cllr George Davies (once again – no laughing at the back) . And yet he was prepared to accept a handshake,a feigned apology,  a promotion (and a cheque for hurt feelings?) to carry on as abnormal .

As for Surjit himself  – he must be counting the days before he finally drives his thoroughly vulgar personalised numberplates out of Wirral and back to the West Midlands for the last time.

But not as much as us.

Men of Mystery : The Big Reveal Part 1

The answer to the first part of our ‘ Men of Mystery’ quiz is that it is indeed the most powerful politician on Wirral who uttered those very words to one of his constituents who he was trying to fob off! Fortunately that constituent had the foresight to realise that Frankenfield was bullshitting him and recorded him doing so !

Who’d a thunk it ?

 

Although we need to say for clarification that Frankenfield didn’t initiate criminal proceedings against the Department of Adult Social Services (DASS) as is alleged , as that would have implicated his hapless groupie Matron McLaughlin in a series of desperate cover-ups.

What he did do is pursue bogus allegations of Wirral Council misconduct with Merseyside Police and the Serious Fraud Office (for his own ends) – and even they couldn’t oblige as there was no misconduct to report. Nevertheless he has relentlessly pursued this matter – once again for his own ends and at our expense #Wirralgate.

The rest of the recording is most revealing when it comes to to considerations of public interest. We believe it demonstrates yet again that the MP for Birkenhead will only support his constituents if it is politically opportune.

Stay tuned for further extracts from ‘Frankgate’. A bit like  ‘Wirralgate’ but without the attempted bung!

And finally a message to Frankenfield – we are not seeking favours from you and never will. You’re here to serve us – not the other way round. Just sayin’ !

THIS POST IS DEDICATED TO JEANETTE STEWART .

‘Ask not what the whistleblowers have done for themselves – ask what they have done for Wirral ….’

Nick Warren 017

The ‘whistleblowers’ in this particular case being those curious specimens who seem to be ‘courted and feted’ by the most powerful political figures on Wirral and still don’t seem to be able to cut themselves a lucrative deal . What’s that about?

Nick Warren 017

We say this as an even more curious Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has been brought to or attention.

We note that Wirral Council’s nemesis Martin Morton is still – after all these years – on their case. We also note that Wirral Council have been forced to release parts of what seems to us to be the flimsiest report of all time.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/nick_warren_investigation_report#incoming-985784

Nick Warren 017

Regular readers will know that the Nick Warren report is the means by which Wirral Council (or more specifically the Labour administration) hope to extricate themselves from the most damning scandal in Wirral Council’s history.

Yes, just think about that for a moment.

Nick Warren 017

Whilst friend of Frankenfield , Nick Warren, invites us to consider what these particular whistleblowers have done for Wirral , we’re not allowed to find out what their magnificent achievements exactly are because it would appear that Morton ,in particular, and the people of Wirral in general, are not allowed to know. Apparently we’re just expected to shut up and stump up the shush money!

Nick Warren 017

So based on what we know if Warren is posing the question what these particular whistleblowers have done for Wirral we’d have to answer : ‘ FUCK ALL’ because as far as we’re concerned there is ‘FUCK ALL’ available in his report to base our answer on!

And so it would seem we’re a long way from the JFK ideal of selfless idealism. But then again he was a shady character wasn’t he? And let’s face it he was a politician!

All we can say is that it’s a shame there isn’t a grassy knoll available to blow certain local politician’s brains out – now that’s a ‘Warren Commission’ we could support!

Election Selection : Week 8

Red Braces

Labour groupies Cllr Chris Meaden and Cllr Janette Williamson admire Frankenfield’s red braces and his homage to 1980’s wankers, sorry, bankers and the glory days of Thatcherism. Pic courtesy of Wirral Globe 

We don’t know how you feel but this has seemed to be the longest 8 weeks of our lives. At last we can get back to moaning about the weather and Wirral Council.

Our interest in national politics only extends to how it affects the local political landscape. By which we mean Frank Field  – obvs. For as we know Frankenfield is the de facto political leader on Wirral. Let’s face it –  McGovern , Eagle and Greenwood are mere also-rans in Wirral’s political stakes.

With Merseyside totally in the red  when it comes to local politics – from the Metro Mayor and his cabinet to all council leaders and constituency MPs and the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy there is an unprecedented concentration of  power invested in one party. Whilst that is the democratic right of the people, it scares us to death, not only because it suggests there is no effective opposition but primarily that some of the people who wield power are just so bloody awful.

But it’s not all bad news – with a hung parliament and with fox-hunting enthusiast Theresa May now experiencing what it’s like to be hunted by the ruthless and privileged ( i.e her own party) it would appear that there could be another general election on the horizon (*sighs* all round at Leaky Towers).

This of course would mean another bumper pay day for Wirral Council’s Returning Officer Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson who as we know must be struggling on his £180K + salary which is supplemented by the bumper pay outs amounting to tens of thousands of pounds he receives for declaring the seemingly never ending round of elections.

Hey Eric – any more thoughts on donating your bonus to supporting local charities or foodbanks or the New Ferry explosion fundraising efforts like a former Wirral Council Chief Executive used to do?

No – thought not!

 

Election Special: Leading with the Left

FFvsJC

Southpaw v Glass Jaw

Call us the ‘Imp of the Perverse’ if you must but we were delighted that the Labour Party did much better than predicted in the General Election.

Of course this was mainly because that after Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s continual sniping and undermining of Labour leader Jezza Corbyn and Wallasey MP Angela Eagle’s failed leadership coup against him , both of them now look rather foolish, duplicitous and frankly out of touch with their own Labour Party members (no change there then!)

Election Selection : Week 6

Of course we know that Corbyn was assisted by the calamitous campaign of the Conservatives and he’s getting a bit carried away with himself when he says ” It’s pretty clear who won the election”  . Sorry to have to tell you Jezza it wasn’t you or the Labour Party in terms of votes cast ,seats won or percentage of the overall vote (44% – 41%) and let’s not forget the Conservatives – with the dubious assistance of the Democratic Unionist Party – are still in power.

Nevertheless it was a jolly good show – and after Brexit and Trump yet another two finger salute from the public to political pundits.

It must be galling for Frankenfield in particular, to have to say through gritted teeth and prissy pursed lips :  “This is real success for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn”

After all,could it be that only on May 16 Frankenfield became the first Labour politician to call for the party to split after the election following what The S*n  described as an ‘expected election thumping’. Described by this disgraced organ as “the respected Labour grandee” ,they reported that Frankenfield had called for MPs to form the “People’s Labour” bloc in the Commons if Jeremy Corbyn refused to quit in June.

We’ve got news for you Frankenfield, Jezza ain’t goin’ nowhere ( although we can’t say the same about Tory leader Theresa May!)

So tell us Frank – do they serve humble pie in those foodbanks of yours?………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Election Selection : Week 6

xmas-frank

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!

Election Selection : Week 5

Pip - Corbyn rally

Storm the barricades: Power Boy Pip in his ‘The North Face’ windcheater doesn’t know whether to laugh at Cllr Brian Kenny in a hi-viz jacket or cry that he could have been the MP for Wirral West

Corbyn’s Tour of Wirral

As we have previously highlighted, the Wirral West constituency is the only local point of interest for us in the forthcoming General Election as it promises to be a closely contested marginal seat . Hence the presence of Jezza himself yesterday on West Kirby beach in support of current Labour MP, Margaret Greenwood. Let’s face it – in terms of profile it’s an improvement on ‘Lord’ Prescott and Labour Deputy John McDonnell who turned up to do the good cop/bad cop routine last time around.

Nevertheless our sources tell us it was much like the weather –  despite the numbers it was a bit of a damp squib. Organisers couldn’t quite co-ordinate the Corbyn motorcade with The Velvelettes classic  ‘He Was Really Sayin’ Somethin’ booming out on the PA – but full marks (or should that be Marx) for trying.

Corbyn turned up later as the support act for The Libertines at Prenton Park at the ‘Wirral Live’ concerts taking place over the weekend – although we’re not sure it’s exactly ethical that people turning up for a pop concert should be involuntarily treated to a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party. Having said that we couldn’t name a Libertines tune between us here at Leaky Towers. But we suspect that lead singer Pete Doherty would most definitely feel at home round here and would have no doubt provided a boost to the local economy. Just sayin’

Working Hard For Frankenfield

Corbynfield 015

Some of you lucky people have received Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s campaign leaflet published by his political agent Cllr George Davies. We know this as we’ve been forwarded a copy. First thing to say is why did Gorgeous George bother wasting Labour party funds on publishing such a pointless item when we all know that all Frankenfield needs to do to get elected is NOT support a corrupt local regime complicit in the abuse of vulnerable people. Oh………..

The leaflet is most curious as Frankenfield seems to concede that the forthcoming General Election is a foregone conclusion.

He says he’s going to:

  • Push the new government to negotiate a Brexit settlement that makes our country fairer and more prosperous while enabling us to control our own borders ,our own laws and our own taxpayer’ money
  • Build pressure on the new government to protect and strengthen the NHS and social care
  • Encourage the new government to place every household automatically onto the cheapest available tariff for their gas and electricity

So is he saying – the Conservative Party is a shoo-in or that he will be challenging his own party? Modern politics can be so confusing! As far as we’re concerned there appears to be a hare’s breath between all of the political parties after your vote. Not least when you consider Theresa May’s Tory Smorgasbord of policies nicked from left,right and centre.

For example did you know that analysis of party manifestos by Resolution Foundation shows Jeremy Corbyn would go ahead with most of former Tory chancellor George Osborne’s planned benefits cuts. This includes at least a £7bn slash to welfare even if Labour wins power. Apparently three-quarters of the huge package of benefit cuts announced by the former chancellor in 2015 are yet to be implemented, including a major reduction in support given to the low-paid, and limiting payments to families with more than two children. Did Jezza mention any of this during his rousing speeches over the weekend?  Just askin’ .

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/20/labour-manifesto-keep-planned-tory-benefit-cuts-resolution-foundation?CMP=share_btn_tw

Finally – we just need to reiterate our apolitical credentials. We do not intend to exert any political influence over our readers. All we ask is that you question everything, especially when ongoing political campaigns seem to confirm the old adage that politics is showbiz for ugly people!

 

Election Selection : Week 3

frank-and-corbyn

Frank’n’Jezza do the foodbank fandango

Fleetfooted Frank 

When it comes to the question of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ,our very own Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Birkenhead ,Frank Field, have danced around each other with all the deftness , if not the grace, of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Firstly it should be remembered that Frankfield nominated Jezza for the Labour leadership to encourage ‘debate’ within the Labour Party , when Corbyn cruised to victory he immediately started backtracking and backstabbing  Jezza – regularly briefing the press about Corbyn’s supposed shortcomings including agreeing with J.K.Rowling, the dreary and self righteous writer of tedious children’s tales, that Corbyn was an electoral liability. There appeared to be a slight rapprochement when last year Frankenfield invited Jezza to one of his ideologically dodgy ‘feed the poor’ projects just after the latter had seen off a leadership challenge . Frankenfield was even recently named in an article in the Daily Telegraph (aka Torygraph) as one of Corbyn’s staunchest supporters alongside John McDonnell and Diane Abbott. Huh? – we must have missed that!

The Urge to Purge

Now in his latest media interview published this week Field acts the drama queen again –  clutching his chest and saying that it’s a ‘tragedy’ that Corbyn can’t sell vote winning policies. We’re wondering whether Field is referring to same policies which he described last year as ‘serious claptrap’!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-36629342/corbyn-has-serious-claptrap-problem

There is a particularly interesting revelation in the interview that ‘left-wingers’ (presumably Corbynistas within the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party) had been preparing an attempt to remove him as Labour candidate for the next General Election – just as Militant tried 30 years ago. Sadly, this latest threat to his personal fiefdom of Birkenhead vanished when Theresa May called a snap election and all sitting Labour MPs were automatically reselected. “I have been imposed by Jeremy,” he joked. “I have had this indignity of the leader imposing me on the party.” 

Oh, Frank you’re such a wag!

Frankenfield, 74, also said the prospect of retirement filled him with dread: “I would collapse soon, it would be over. I hope to hit the wall running, that’s the aim.”

Talk about amateur dramatics! – makes us want to pass Frankenfield some metaphorical rollerskates so he can hit the wall much quicker and with greater force.

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/politics/frank-field-tragedy-corbyn-cant-sell-vote-winning-policies/

Angela’s Activists

Talking of amateur , Wallasey MP Angela Eagle has proved herself to be a rank amateur when it comes to political guile , especially when compared to Frankenfield. We hear from a Labour insider that Wallasey Constituency Labour Party activists have flown the Eagle’s nest to assist Margaret Greenwood’s campaign in  Wirral  West.

Now we don’t know whether this is a result Ange’s attempted leadership coup against Jezza which might have upset the Corbynistas within Wallasey CLP or it was the Brickgate episode or the false allegations of homophobia made against party activists . Alternatively  it could be Labour party activists have made a pragmatic decision to campaign in what will be the only closely contested election on Wirral.

As surely they must know that  Tony Caldeira – a distant runner up in this week’s Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor election to Steve ‘The Brickie’ Rotheram-  will find much richer pickings ( pun intended) in the West Wirral constituency.

Rising Wood

Gillian Wood’s ascendency to councillor for Claughton, where she stand alongside Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr George Davies, elicited some comments about her involvement in the Wallasey CLP shenanigans

Gilly Keeps Bad Company in Claughton

We can’t confirm any of these allegations , mainly as the people who made the allegations have never been identified . However  we have been reliably informed that her partner, James Laing, stood for Labour in a safe Tory seat of Eddisbury in the last General Election. Her son Tom Laing is also active in Wirral Young Labour.  So with Gilly’s electoral victory could we be looking at a rising political dynasty on Wirral?………….