It’s a ‘No’ to Norbury

Red Card 009

Empty political gestures are no substitute for deeply held beliefs.  

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!…

Fieldwatch 2 – The Clash of the Messiahs

 

About Wirral 021

Frank Field suffers lens envy at the Labour Party Conference

The Labour Party conference held in Liverpool last week cast a Corbyn-shaped shadow over the River Mersey and the neighbouring constituency of Birkenhead and particularly over its former Labour MP Frank Field.It must have been so upsetting for Frankenfield to witness the local front pages singing songs of praise – but not for him.

Jezza etc; 004

However, once again give him his due,  Field did his very best to rain on the parade of the Labour Party faithful who came in adoration of their new messiah, Jezza, but it was very much a case of scattered showers in less exposed places than the usual high profile media deluge.

On the eve of the conference Field had a story published in The  Sunday Times titled ‘The Politics of Faith’ where he wrote :

Writing about the link between my faith and my political activity is among the hardest challenges I have ever been given. I can describe my political activity with ease. Exploring the link between my politics and my faith is where I face a quandary. My questioners often think that these are two separate issues that can be consciously joined together at specific times and on particular issues.

It would appear that, indeed , it must have been one Field’s hardest challenges as he fails spectacularly in explaining how he aligns his political activity with his faith. Though, to be honest, if you can make out what the hell he’s going on about you’re a better man than I, Bungdit Din. It starts off reading like the usual ‘holy man in a wicked world’ schtick that Field has been pedalling for years before degenerating into a messianic mess :

Linked to a sacramental view of the world has been a biblical basis for my utopian politics. The leitmotif running through the Old and into the New Testament is the concept of the Kingdom in this world. The historical Jesus heralds a Kingdom at hand, one that is being sought and built, and a Kingdom that is to be completed at the end of time.

My revolutionary politics are about that commandment to seek and, by seeking, to help to build the Kingdom. However, this has always been a collective effort. We are pilgrims, not Napoleons.

Read full story here

Huh? We couldn’t tell if he was talking about less than popular local litter snitches Kingdom Security , as let’s face it they share something in common – preying on the poor and vulnerable for profit and political point scoring.  However there were a couple of insights we found interesting though  :

I was brought up as a Christian at St Nicholas’, an Anglican church in Chiswick, West London. It had a restrained Catholic worship, but a strong distaste of any excess of church millinery. It also lacked, as I was later to learn from my reading, a sense of a Church Militant (Christians on Earth struggling against sin). It did teach me the Catholic faith.

So Field clearly had a distaste for ‘Militants’ of any kind from an early age and it also helps explain his affinity with the local Labour Catholic mafia that he has helped sustain in power despite their many and varied ‘sins’ over the years.

More God-bothering was to follow in an article in Christian Today – which is a first appearance by that hallowed publication on these pages.

The Church Commissioners, who handle investments for the Church of England, have pulled out of talks around buying the loan book of payday lender Wonga.

Wonga, which specialised in high-cost short-term loans, collapsed last month following a surge in compensation claims and former Labour MP Frank Field suggested the Church should consider involvement in a buyout to ensure its loans do not pass to another high-cost lender.

Read full story  here

Now we confess (something Field’s cronies like to avoid doing) that we’re not as familiar with The Bible as St Frank but we always thought that Jesus ousted the moneylenders from the temple rather than trying to buy them out!

This was a story that was also picked up by ITV . The accompanying article on their website included an artfully crafted photograph of  Field looking as though he has the weight of the world on his shoulders as if it was he himself who had a massive debt to pay off.  But then Field knows that poverty and hardship is always best experienced vicariously and as the basis for a tear-jerking anecdote.

Wonga woe

Woe is me…my favourite gingham shirt hasn’t been ironed.

Next stop was the anti-Corbyn Guardian and a call for an enquiry into the gig economy (hopefully something that Field will be forced to experience first hand for a change)

“The inquiry will, I hope, shine a bright light on the extent to which justice is being evaded in the gig economy,” said Field, who resigned the Labour whip late August. “We will be looking to suggest any immediate changes that are required, both to the law itself as well as its enforcement, to ensure no company is able to evade justice.”  Read full story here

Which is a typically hypocritical Fieldian sentiment  – relentlessly calling for individuals and organisations to be held to account and yet doing everything in his power to ensure that those who slavishly support him evade justice.

Field also tried to geg in and take some credit for the Birkenhead’s House of Fraser Store SAVED headline in the Liverpool Echo  . The decision to keep the store open was made by ‘Sports Direct’ boss Mike Ashley . We doubt very much whether Field writing a letter to Ashley six weeks ago made a blind bit of  difference as clearly the decision was based on renegotiating rents with the landlord. What remains to be seen is how long ‘House of Fraser’ store continues to stay open – it’s not exactly Beattie’s is it? Indeed ‘House of Fraser’ is to ‘Beatties’ what Frank Field is to local politics –  a shadow of its former self and something of a spent force.

…and the omnipresent Field media presence doesn’t end there with only today Wirral Globe belatedly covering the EXCLUSIVE : A Clean Sweep for the New Momentum Broom in Birkenhead CLP story under the extraordinary headline Corbyn supporters ‘gain complete control’ of Frank Field’s former Birkenhead Labour Party  which we think pinpoints exactly some of the misconceptions that led to a vote of no confidence in Field by the Birkenhead Constituency Party (CLP) in the first place . It is NOT Field’s ‘Birkenhead Labour Party’ and nor is he automatically entitled to treat Birkenhead as his personal,political  fiefdom…

 

 

 

 

 

Fieldwatch

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Frank Field and Tory Party donor David Ross are described as ‘controlling members’ of new free school – you don’t say! Pic courtesy of Schools Week

As we highlighted in our Bye, Bye, By Election! Hello, Brooklynhead Boulevard! article Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s political activities are somewhat curtailed at the moment. However we also predicted that this wouldn’t prevent Field seeking further publicity in pursuing his own political and personal agendas.

Therefore we are instigating a series of posts titled ‘Fieldwatch’ where we identify some of the MSM stories featuring Frankenfield during his self imposed political sabbatical which we find particularly interesting.

First up is this scary development ,one which surprisingly  (or perhaps ,unsurprisingly) has not appeared in the local MSM, and which was announced in Schools Week under the headline Labour MP joins millionaire Tory donor to open new free school  

Veteran Labour politician Frank Field and high-profile Tory donor David Ross have been granted permission to jointly open a free school with a view to taking control of some existing schools later this year.

The Frank Field Education Trust is the brainchild of the MP for Birkenhead, and Ross, the millionaire founder of Carphone Warehouse, who chairs the New Schools Network.

Initially called The Cathedral Academies Trust, Field’s chain was approved as an academy sponsor in 2016, but changed its name in April to acknowledge that “most people referred to it as Frank Field’s Trust”.

Frank’s long-term commitment to resolving social inequality remains a key focus, and the aims of the trust transcend any political interests

Documents show the government has cleared the trust to open the Liverpool Free School, though it is not known where and when the school will start accepting pupils.

The chain has also expressed its desire to take control of a number of existing “outstanding” schools later this academic year.

The news follows Field’s decision on August 30 to resign from the Labour Party whip, meaning he is no longer required to vote with the party in Parliament. He quit in protest over Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of Labour’s ongoing antisemitism crisis.

Although this is quite possibly one of the most frightening things we’ve ever read we did guffaw at the lines about the aims of the trust transcending any political interests – yeah right ! – and of course most people would refer to the academy sponsor as ‘Frank Field’s Trust ‘ because ultimately it would appear to be an ideologically driven vanity project.

Could it be that the local MSM who are in thrall to Field have been reluctant to cover this story as it is reminiscent as of an embarrassing episode from July 2009. As Field wrote on his blog at the time he was as an enthusiastic supporter of plans to establish a ‘Birkenhead Boys’ Academy’

I was in Birkenhead Park at a press conference with David Hughes. David is a local boy who has made good, big time.

He is the sponsor of the new Academy that will replace two of Birkenhead’s schools.

David is very clear that the new Academy will produce an education which is technically based and prepares young people for highly paid skilled jobs.

He is also fanatical about the school being sports-based and being open for business for the local area for sixteen hours a day, 52 weeks of the year.

We will now have our work cut out in getting all the plans in place so the Academy opens next summer. A spanking new school needs to be built.

Read full blog post here : Academy is opportunity to address needs of young people

Unfortunately plans came unstuck a month later when the following information about the lead sponsor of the Birkenhead Boys Academy was revealed by the Times Educational Supplement (TES) :

A businessman who failed to pay a fine of more than  £1 million has been appointed as the lead sponsor of a new academy in the Wirral, raising further concerns over England’s academies programme.

David Hughes, who has been named as the main backer of Birkenhead Boys’ Academy in the Wirral, was involved in a price-fixing scandal when he ran the Allsports chain of sport shops.

Mr Hughes’s company was fined £1.35 million in 2003 by the Office of Fair Trading for participating in a cartel that agreed to sell replica football shirts at set prices.

Following an appeal by the company, the fine was increased to £1.42 million because of Mr Hughes’s failure to co-operate with the original investigation.

Allsports did not pay the fine and two years later the company fell into administration. Mr Hughes, a multimillionaire, also ran a property business, which went into administration this year. The entrepreneur was named as the lead sponsor for one of two new academies planned for Birkenhead last month.

Read full story here : Sponsor has £1m in unpaid fines

 

Even his close political allies at Wirral Council weren’t prepared to indulge Frankenfield’s fantasies after this particularly spectacular failure of due diligence, which is just as well as the thought of a ‘spanking new school’ endorsed by the Birkenhead MP  doesn’t bear thinking about. We just hope Field has done his background checks on another sports retailer who he hopes to court and fete. As was reported last week Field is currently wanting to meet with Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley and negotiate for the House of Fraser store in moribund Birkenhead Precinct to remain open. Read here 

Mr Ashley is most certainly a colourful character about whom it was alleged that at a business management meeting he drank 12 pints with vodka chasers and vomited into a pub fireplace. So that promises to be an interesting meeting! More significantly Ashley has  been repeatedly severely criticised over his business, employment and financial practices . Read here and here

Isn’t it curious how selective Field is in his public criticism of certain businessmen? Compare and contrast above with his repeated (if justified) criticism of ‘Sir’ Philip Green. Can you imagine the feigned outrage if anyone suggested that there was even a whiff of  anti- you-know-what involved?

All we will say is that with the Labour Party Conference coming up in Liverpool next week and Jeremy Corbyn addressing the faithful at the Pier Head over the weekend that Field is going to have to go some with his MSM mates if he’s to upstage his potential political nemesis.

 

 

Get Out of Town – The Death of Birkenhead Part 2

House of Fraser

” Bloody useless……” – Cllr George Davies

We we’re going to call this post the ‘House of Failure’. However it’s not the fault of their employees that they’ve been made redundant by Chinese-owned high street retailer House of Fraser.

Read here : House of Fraser closures

However we did give everyone the heads up on this one four months ago in a post titled Get Out of Town – The Death of Birkenhead when we wrote :

Whilst there have long been rumours that House of Fraser is on the way out  -and let’s face it since the demise of Beattie’s it has rapidly gone downhill – it staggers on , but for how long?  As far as we’re concerned that would be the final nail in the coffin and then all Birkenhead will be fit for is a set for a remake of  ‘Dawn of the Living Dead’ – the zombie movie set in a shopping mall.

So the demise of what was once the Birkonian shoplifter’s destination of choice should come as no surprise what should also come as no surprise is the same desperate politicians and parasitic consultants running round suddenly saying we need:

” A PLAN”

Read here : Plan

To which we can only say is WTAF have you been doing with our money and our mandate all these years?

Time to shout it loud and shout it clear : THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING!

We’re afraid to say it’s time to put Birkenhead town centre out of it’s misery – misery caused by the political parasites who wouldn’t shop there even if they had a discount PICK-A-PLAN SHOP.

To be continued…..

Get Out of Town – The Death of Birkenhead

M &S

The future of retail in Birkenhead. Harsh maybe – but we guarantee more accurate than any Wirral Council approved artist’s impression.  

So farewell then to the Marks & Spencer store in Birkenhead after a long and continuous presence in the town.  It may be only one store – but it is hugely symbolic of the state of Birkenhead town centre – and do we mean state !

It’s certainly a fist in the face to Birkenhead First isn’t it? Proving to the Wirral Chamber of Commerce backed initiative ,which aims to make Birkenhead an attractive and vibrant retail and leisure destination, that there’s more needed than litter picks and pop-ups when it comes to the cut-throat world of commerce.

Whilst there have long been rumours that House of Fraser is on the way out  -and let’s face it since the demise of Beattie’s it has rapidly gone downhill – it staggers on , but for how long?  As far as we’re concerned that would be the final nail in the coffin and then all Birkenhead will be fit for is a set for a remake of  ‘Dawn of the Living Dead’ – the zombie movie set in a shopping mall.

As for Birkenhead MP Frank Field “demanding” a meeting with M&S chiefs – that’s the trouble with him , he’s so used to “demanding” and getting his own way with Wirral councillors that when the harsh reality of the business world hits he’s suddenly out of his depth and left wallowing in the poverty of his constituents , all prissy pursed lips and a put upon expression.

Council leader Cllr Phil  ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies is even more delusional and in peak Pollyanna mode is quoted in the Liverpool Echo as saying :

Good public transport links , £2 all-day parking and plans to re-invigorate the market are positive signs , and the business community ,residents and shoppers are keen to see to see Birkenhead invested in and improved”

But even Pip must know that a headline such as ” Make no mistake … M&S Birkenhead closure is a disaster”  in the usually compliant Liverpool Echo means that this is not a good news story.

It’s not a question of running down Birkenhead – it’s already run down or to use Presidential language  – it’s a shithole! Time for Pip, Frankenfield and co to wake up and smell the weed wafting down Grange Road.

So spare us the artists’ impressions for fantasy schemes that will never happen , the deceptive , expensive and manipulative wraparound advertising features in Wirral Globe, the press releases about the billions of pounds about to come Birkenhead’s way soon, honest, the cheque’s in the post etc; etc;

If all Wirral Council’s ‘transformers’ can come up with is plans for more car parking charges and a drive-in Maccy D’s whilst transforming their bank balance at our expense and jetting off to Cannes to hawk the tawdry wares that Birkenhead has to ‘offer’ then surely Marksy’s departure is the beginning of the end for the town.

And so we say to the young people of Birkenhead – get an education and GET OUT OF TOWN! Leave the dereliction to the derelicts and those who have been derelict in their duty for decades.