Let’s get the credits rolling first. Thank you once again John Brace for sharing your video of last night’s Wirral Council’s Standards & Constitutional Committee meeting which proves once again that old adage that the camera never lies even though some of those being filmed do!.
Now if your idea of fun is watching someone picking their teeth, gurning and looking generally befuddled for 40 minutes we recommend you keep your eye on Committee chair Cllr Bill Davies – “standards” don’t even come into it !.
Her Ladyship turned her head away from the screen and cried despairingly : “Oh for goodness sake get that man a toothpick and some lessons in etiquette.What is it with local councillors called Davies ? – they appear to be social disgraces unacquainted with the social graces”
However knowing what we know of standards and conduct issues lurking behind the scenes we were looking forward to a thrilling show.Imagine our disappointment to witness some well rehearsed routines with Cllr Chris Blakeley as the bulldog chewing a wasp and Matron McLaughlin playing the diva – the latter declaring an interest during a discussion about how standards complaints are dealt with or more accurately not dealt with by the Council and flouncing out of the meeting.” That’s the first time I’ve ever known the Matron take an interest in standards ” meowed Her Ladyship.
Meanwhile Super Duper Director Joe “Bless” Blott issued a grovelling apology about his “summary failure” to address a Standards complaint that still hadn’t been resolved after 12 months. We actually have a smidgeon of sympathy for the hapless patsy – as we well know that delays such as this are not always the doing of officers wanting to keep conduct complaints a “live issue” but of councilllors wanting complaints about themselves to be dead and buried !.
However we have no sympathy whatsoever for Surjit “Job for Life” Tour who really does seem to have thrown himself wholeheartedly into his new role as senior Town Hall apologist.
At about 5 minutes in on the video clip Tour proves to be (ef)-fluent in bullshit with talk of “context” and “turning the corner” and how the case being discussed was “a slight blip”.
A slight blip – ?. Well there’s a leading contender for “Understatement of the Year” at the Leaky Awards 2015 – which will be like the Local Government Chronicle Awards without the deals done behind closed doors,the corporate crap and the self-delusion.
The double bind symbiotic relationship that Tour now seems to have with senior Wirral councillors is morbidly fascinating to watch but then it seems to us that a designated parking space and a personalised numberplate must be some compensation for having to live in Wolverhampton!.
Now if we’ve learned anything from recent history at Wirral Council it is that senior councillors will discard their officers like a ciggie butt out the back of Wallasey Town Hall if they don’t do as their told.So we’ll just wait and see how long the strange arrangement lasts if Tour fails to do his bit to ensure that the conduct of certain councillors remains forever hidden from public scrutiny………………….