April Fools

CCG

Whilst we’re familiar with the old refrain – ” April fool is past and gone , so you’re the fool for carrying on….”  we felt that the following leak was too significant to be included in our  Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #10 and have instead chosen to post separately, if belatedly , today :

“I’m not in the Labour Party and have no wish to be drawn into their internal rows. However I notice that the final item in the screenshot in your post below refers to  Cllr Phil Davies vowing  “that Wirral council are doing all they can to stop ACS’s in the NHS…..  

DZkRdevWAAEO47h.jpg-large

Some people might say he’s a fool. Others less charitable might say he’s a liar. Some would use stronger language.

He’s opposed to the ‘STP’ (Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships), he’s opposed to the  ACS (Accountable Care System)  , so how does he explain his own Council’s policy to implement both – from 1st April 2018 ?

See the screen shot above from a presentation to staff by Wirral’s  Director of Adult Social Services Graham Hodkinson (who by the way, also from 1st April 2018 , becomes the deputy at Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) , thus committing  Wirral Council into NHS England’s plans to ‘slash, trash and privatise’ the hand that feeds them very well indeed).”

Perhaps Pip can feed this back to the Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) at their next meeting or is he quite happy to continue to make fools of both his Labour colleagues and Wirral’s constituents?

 

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Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #9

Javid letter 354

Mail on Sunday 25/3/18

LOCAL PLANS,WEDDING PLANS – IT’S ALL THE SAME TO THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT (NO F*CKS ARE GIVEN)  

We think it’s fair to say it’s been a bad week for Wirral Council’s planning department. Just to cap it off there was a High Court ruling on the long running Thornton Manor story  A Thornton Huff : Where once again ‘ignorance is bliss’ when it comes to the Green Belt . You won’t be surprised to hear that Mr Justice Kerr ruled that Wirral Council had allowed Thornton Manor to flout planning laws and erect three marquees on the Green Belt by mistakenly making the permission to do so ‘unconditional’. The council only spotted the blunder in March 2017  – SIX YEARS  after permission was granted – like you do. In an unprecedented move Wirral Council apparently “confessed to its error “(!) which prompted the owners of  nearby rival and Mayor’s Ball venue , Thornton Hall Hotel, to make a legal challenge. Press reports say that as Thornton Manor has made wedding bookings up until 2020 that up to 50,000 guests could be affected by the ruling. Mr Justice Kerr stated ” I do not think that the existence of these bookings should override the public interest in the integrity of the planning process”. Little does he know that the public interest and integrity of the planning process seem to be alien concepts to Wirral Council!

We have to say the story reduced Her Ladyship to tears……..tears of laughter that is – as she read that blushing brides had been tempted to hire one of the marquees for their big day with a ‘Say I Do In Choo’ promo, where if they spent £3,950 – which struck us as a bit of a random figure – they would be entitled to a £500 voucher for Jimmy Choo shoes.  Her Ladyship composed herself after her bout of schadenfreude and rather pointedly sniffed : ” I think that prospective brides will find that being Choo-less is the first of many disappointments when it comes to married life “

“DON’T LET THE S*N GO DOWN ON FRANK” PLEADS MATRON

Oo-er Matron! Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin tries to come to the rescue of her adored Frank Field as he came under fire at Friday night’s Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) meeting for continuing to write for The S*n .

The Skwawkbox blog reports that a strongly-worded motion of censure was proposed by Birkenhead CLP’s Prenton branch which stated as follows :

Prenton Branch condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the decision of Frank Field to write for Murdoch’s S*n. This not only flies in the face of Birkenhead public opinion and a Wirral Labour Council boycott, it rides roughshod over the memory of those who died or survived the Hillsborough tragedy and were smeared by that rag. It also causes upset to friends and family of victims and survivors.

One Prenton member has cancelled his membership due to Frank’s involvement in the gutter press. The branch feels that this is a clear case of bringing our Party into disrepute.

We call on Frank, to give a clear, unambiguous, public apology, for the hurt caused and to provide an undertaking not to contribute in any way, in future.

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“The writing was almost literally on the wall beyond him” –  pic and caption courtesy The Skwawkbox

A Labour Party member who was present at the meeting told Skwawkbox :

Frank said that he would not be muzzled. He refused to give the requested commitment not to repeat the offence caused and stated that if members didn’t like it, they could deselect him.

He flounced out of the meeting, claiming that he was continuing his surgery at nearby Birkenhead Town Hall. Nobody believed that, as it was nearly 8 pm and his surgery started at 5 pm!

His parting shot was some snide comment about Jeremy Corbyn, but members shouted back at him “thanks for nominating him”, as Field provided the deciding vote, which secured JC’s place on the original ballot!

We remind him of that frequently. If he thought he was being clever at the time, and JC had no chance of winning, look how that turned out.

Read full story here : Labour MP Field censured by Birkenhead CLP for S*n columns

The flouncing , arrogance and snide comments of Frankenfield will be familiar to those who happen to get on the wrong side of the Birkenhead MP . All you have to do is simply not to agree that he is 100% right on EVERYTHING and fail to prostrate yourself in adoration before him and you’re a wild-eyed Trotskyite and/or a mad malcontent. Which brings us round to Matron who gallantly (and unusually) writes in support of her hero in the comments section (Frankenfield had himself had declined to comment to The Skwawkbox) . There’s an interesting spat with local blogger Wirral In It Together. Matron loses – badly (and inevitably). One comment that particularly caught our eye was from Ian Campbell who wrote : “1984 N Wales Euro election Frank FIELDS (sic)  signed a half page in all the 10 constituency newspapers to warn against Ian Campbell the official Labour Candidate LP general Secretary wrote to me to apologise adding Fields has the backing of the Catholic Church and is untouchable.”

This reminded us that we really must get round to that story about Anglican Field’s extensive local connections with the Catholic Church………

ALL WRAPPED UP

You’re telling us that the Wirral Growth Company news emanating from its PR arm Wirral Well Made is absolutely relentless. We understand that this week’s Wirral Globe featured yet another 4 page  wrap around ‘advertising feature’ (costing  £4K +). Why Wirral Council’s ruling Labour administration continues to publish their Wirral View and duplicate spending on exactly the same content in a local newspaper we can only assume is down to arrogance and contempt for council tax payers. Wirral Well Made ‘s Martin Liptrot must be Wirral well made up that having wanting to put the Wirral Globe out of business he now has the financial means to use it as just another Wirral Council media outlet  Indeed Wirral Council now appear to have the local mainstream media all wrapped up. Indeed one reader has kindly sent us an artful representation of what it feels like to be subject to the ongoing media bombardment :

Javid letter 361

And what’s more it would appear that local opposition parties are not able to do anything about it. Whilst we understand the local Conservatives took out their own pre-purdah page in this week’s Wirral Globe (presumably paid for by local Tories and not by local council tax payers) to rerun the usual fare of complaints about consultants, Wirral View , Hoylake Golf Resort , bins and loans it seems to us that despite the high costs these are , politically-speaking , low ticket items :

Javid letter 360

The problem that opposition parties on Wirral now have (and particularly the Tories) is that as a result of their misplaced politesse the big ticket item of institutional corruption involving a small cabal of  Labour councillors has allowed the latter to act with impunity . Consequently this cabal have grown in strength, increased their power and are now acting, somewhat like their mentor and spiritual leader Frankenfield , as though they are “untouchable” . And with a perpetually impotent opposition with few new ideas things can only get worse.

AND FINALLY….

There were a few notable absentees ( including Cllr Louise Reecejones) and the announcement of a couple of retirements at this week’s full Wirral Council meeting. The latter included Cllr John Hale , a former Wirral Council leader from the last century (or was it the century before that?) and outgoing Mayor and former Deputy Leader of  Wirral Council  Cllr Ann ‘Moving Forward’ McLachlan.  Cllr McLachlan always appeared to us to be in a permanent state of denial about the appalling conduct of some of her contemporaries be they Wirral councillors or council officers . Her mantra was always about ‘moving forward’ as if it made all that ‘unpleasantness’ suddenly disappear. Now that Cllr McLachlan is ‘moving forward’ into retirement from politics perhaps she will take time to reflect that sometimes silence is compliance.

 

 

 

 

His Lordship’s Thoughts From Abroad : ‘Post -Truth’

” The way they lied, those days have to be over……”

As we promised we would from time-to-time provide our thoughts from abroad as we adjusted to our new surroundings and tried to make sense of our former life on Wirral.

Now that we lead a Wilde life of ‘cultivated leisure—which, and not labour, is the aim of man—or making beautiful things, or reading beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world with admiration and delight’ we have the time to indulge our passion for the arts and we have been able to see a couple of Oscar -nominated movies which particularly resonated with us.

The first of this movie review double bill is ‘The Post’ which we were drawn to as it tells the story of the Washington Post and the ‘Pentagon Papers’ . The leak of the Pentagon Papers – and as you all know we love a good leak – occurred during the Richard Nixon US presidency. Nixon recklessly embarked on a mega exercise in reputation management – to protect his presidency. In his eyes, the publication of the ‘Pentagon Papers’ would confirm the existence of a conspiracy whose purpose was to delegitimize him and topple the ruling administration .Nixon resolved to fight back with every tool at his disposal, making the fateful decision to break the law to achieve his ends. This led to the ‘Watergate’ which led to his downfall.  The plot should sound familiar to Wirral Leaks readers as from the very first time we broke the story we have likened to Wirralgate to the Watergate  scandal. Read here : Exclusive – Wirralgate!

SPOILER ALERT! –  ‘The Post’ is a dramatisation  of how Katharine Graham the publisher of The Washington Post came to publish the ‘Pentagon Papers’ even though it would be damaging to powerful politicians with whom she had close friendships. This in turn led to ‘Watergate’ – and whilst, yes we know, Wirral Globe or the Liverpool Echo aren’t the Washington Post our thoughts turned to how our local noble and principled press men from the Liverpool Echo and Wirral Globe dealt with the Wirralgate recording which would undoubtedly (and deservedly) bring down the current Wirral Council Labour administration if the contents were ever published.

Whilst we accept that it shouldn’t be the responsibility of the press to hold public authorities to account – there should be systems of public accountability in place to do that. However it would appear there simply isn’t the will or the way, especially when our public institutions seem to be set up to maintain the status quo – no matter how dysfunctional or corrupt .

So under those circumstances,what’s the best we can hope for from the local press? – is it too much to ask that those with the means to expose the biggest scandal in Wirral’s political history , but are unwilling or unable to do so , at least don’t collude with criminality and corruption for their own ends?

It is significant that both local news outlets refused to participate in either of the Thynne ‘Wirralgate’ investigations despite the second investigation report commenting that the Wirralgate recording was potentiality a criminal matter. This can’t be justified on the grounds of protecting sources especially when Liam Murphy ,the former political editor of the Liverpool Echo not only revealed the existence of the Wirralgate recording to then leader of the Wirral Council  group, Jeff Green  , he made his own covert recording and played it to Wirral Council’s head of communications, Emma Degg. And yet now we discover Murphy has secured himself a communications role within the local Labour ‘Inner Ring’ and as for the Wirral Globe – post -truth par excellence (see below) with regular columns from Birkenhead MP Frank Field and advertorial heaven from July 2017 – the date from which they had the ‘Wirralgate’ tape in their possession. So make your own mind up as to who’s interests are being served.

All we know is that it would seem that the days of the ‘W’ word rearing its ugly head in the local press is well and truly over. It is sad to reflect that in the run up to the series of elections held in 2016 Wirral Globe was asking ” Will controversial local issues influence Wirral Voters in Super Thursday ballot?” This included the following observation :

Another highly-controversial issue put on hold is the long-awaited report – believed to have been in studied in secret for many weeks at the town hall – into the co-called “Wirralgate” scandal has yet to be seen by anyone outside the inner circle.

Readers may remember this centres on allegations of a plot to “smear” a leading councillor by political rivals and has been the subject of TWO costly inquiries by an outside consultant

Full story here : Wirralgate – controversial issues

With Wirral’s politicians gearing up for another round of elections in May we guarantee that the ‘Wirralgate’ issue will not influence local voters as they will not be informed anything about it ! . This, despite there being yet ANOTHER investigation report into issues surrounding the scandal being concealed from public view and which we understand  is now subject to a high court challenge in that there London just before the local elections . Again, don’t expect to read about in the local papers!

Or in the words of  Wirral Globe columnist Peter Grant who wrote as far back as August 2016 :

Literary musings from Mr Shakespeare could come in handy for debates in Wallasey Town Hall, especially after the recent publication of the so-called “Wirralgate” report by Patricia Thynne. If the opposition parties want to complain they could always throw into the chamber pot such verbal attacks as: “Laughing stock”“For goodness sake” and, for the council leader: “The game is up”.Phil Davies could simply reply with: “The world’s mine oyster”.Whistleblowers would ask for “The naked truth” and demand that “The truth will out”.  But here’s my own favourite Bardism while I await any good local news always “With bated breath”.

Full story here : Wirralgate : Granty Goes Shakespeare

As it’s now February 2018 we advise Granty that breath holding whilst awaiting for any news on ‘Wirralgate’ is ill-advised  – as he’s likely to shuffle off  “this mortal coil”! 

After we’d watched the ‘ The Post’ with a mannered Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks being Tom Hanks not only did we assume the film fitted the ‘worthy but dull’ Academy Award category but we were also minded to recall the ‘Word of the Year 2016’ which was ‘post-truth’ an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.  Unfortunately it seems to us the local press operates in this post truth world of politician’s pet projects and pictures of pets. For further reading might we suggest the books ‘Post -Truth : How Bullshit Conquered the World’  by James Ball and ‘Post-Truth : The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back’ by Matthew D’Ancona . The latter investigates how we have got to where we are ,why quiet resignation is not an option and how we can and must fight back.

POST TRUTH

“The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.”

 

Reds Go for Greens

As this leak from the Labour Campaign Forum (LCF) proves the campaigning for the local elections to be held in May has already begun.

The man in charge (no laughing at the back) is LCF Secretary  Cllr Paul Stuart, a man who is a past master at plotting and scheming as certain members of the Wallasey Constituency Labour Party (CLP) can testify.

As you can see the local Labour Party has but one target in May and that is to oust Pat Cleary the incumbent Green councillor in Birkenhead & Tranmere .

The campaign is based on the desperate, lazy and unimaginative # VoteGreenGetBlue . The man they’re relying on to achieve a Birkenhead & Tranmere Labour stranglehold is Paul Jobson (see below). Doesn’t he look peachy keen in his Labour Party fleece with his name on? Bless! Just to reinforce the lowest common denominator aspect Jobson is seen here being promoted on the Frank Field’s Community News Facebook page (run by Anna McLaughlin – daughter of Labour Cllr Moira ‘Matron’ McLaughlin) . No doubt to enable him to trade on the Field brand name. It’s just a shame that Jobson has chosen to promote his credentials by purloining the single -use plastic (SUP) campaign championed by , yes you guessed it ,Cllr Pat Cleary. Oops!

Read all about it here : Cutting Plastic Waste In Wirral

As a source tells us : “The motion, to begin with, was highjacked by the Labour Party in the form of a press release and a story with their friends at the (Liverpool) Echo.”

More a case of #VoteRedGetGreen ! This is reinforced by our final picture as it would seem that Team Foulkes may have misunderstood the Cllr Stuart memo! Oops ! they did it again! #LETSGOGREEN

 

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 Foulkes Green

Advent Farewell 10 – Question Everything

question-everything

As we’ve commented earlier in this Advent adventure we’re lovin’ the emergence of a seemingly increasingly questioning Wirral public. It would seem that Wirral politicians relying on the supine,docile and uninformed seem to be over……and they don’t like it! Witness yesterday’s public meeting organised by Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood about the Hoylake Golf Resort proposals. An increasingly exasperated Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies was told to ‘stop sulking’ by a member of the public when he was repeatedly forced to halt his oft-repeated stream of BS. It’s called public accountability Pip – get used to it and quit with the titty-lip!

And we don’t know what superannuated Cllr Gerry Ellis is putting in his Horlicks – but can we have some? We couldn’t have done better than describe the dodgy housing development on the Green Belt masquerading as a ‘golf resort’ as ‘Phil’s Folly’

And apparently there’s more to come as tomorrow’s full Council meeting at Wallasey Town Hall which features more pesky members of the public wanting answers to various questions . We anticipate the BS quotient from Pip & Co will be through the Wallasey Town Hall roof. We’d like suggest that people might be better off making Freedom of Information requests  but let’s face it , they probably wouldn’t be – life’s too short.

We are also breathless with anticipation as to whether Cllr Louise Reecejones actually turns up and offers a grovelling apology to rest of the council chamber and the public gallery for previously failing to make an acceptable apology for conduct unbecoming an elected member as well as being , well  Cllr Louise Reecejones and therefore not  one of the protected Labour Party  cabal. Fortunately there are a number of attendees in the public gallery who’ve promised us some feedback on events as they unfold – so we look forward to reporting all the gory details.

Until then we’ll leave you with the petition organised  by the Hoylake & West Kirby Campaign Group which has forwarded to us. And finally remember – when it comes to Wirral Council – question everything!

A few days ago the petition, below, was delivered to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, signed by 600+ people. The Council will now go through its ‘validation process’ which means excluding any signature which was not accompanied by a full address.

People are still waiting for Margaret Greenwood, the Wirral West MP, to oppose Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s plan to devastate the NW England Greenbelt at Hoylake and West Kirby.

SAVE WIRRAL’S COUNTRYSIDE.
STOP THE HOYLAKE GOLF RESORT.
STOP THE URBANISATION OF WIRRAL’S GREENBELT.
To – PHIL DAVIES, Council Leader, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, Wallasey Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey, Wirral, CH44 8ED.

We are opposed to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s plan to build the exclusive ‘HOYLAKE GOLF RESORT’ on 285 acres of the Birket Valley, which is publicly owned greenbelt land.
The Council’s plan includes: the construction of roads; car parking; a luxury housing estate; a 250 bedroom, exclusive hotel; a spa; and a conference centre. The Hoylake Municipal Golf Course is to be relocated. There are already 17 golf courses in the Wirral Metropolitan Borough. Most Wirral residents do not play golf. Hoylake already has two golf courses, one privately owned and one publicly owned. There is no need for another, private golf course in the Hoylake/West Kirby area.
The Council has failed to act in an open, transparent and fair manner, in connection with the Hoylake Golf Resort project. . A Freedom of Information request (FOI request 827270), of August 2014, revealed that the Council had paid £237,012, of public funds, to consultants, in connection with the Hoylake Golf Resort project.
The Council failed to allow members of the public to participate at an early stage in the planning process, in an effective way, when ALL options were open. There is no evidence that the Council allowed members of the public to propose any alternative plans for the 285 acre area or for the area to remain as it is.
There is no guarantee that the exclusive Hoylake Golf Resort would be an economic success. Golf resorts, all over the world, have gone bankrupt, including several in the USA and one in Northern Ireland. The proposed, private Hoylake Golf Resort would have a detrimental impact on the Hoylake and West Kirby landscape. It would urbanise a rural area.
We, the undersigned, call on Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council to cancel its exclusive ‘Hoylake Golf Resort’ plan. Housing should be built on ‘brown field’ sites, not on valuable, much appreciated, ‘green belt’ land, in the borough.
We believe that the remaining Wirral greenbelt countryside should be protected.
The construction of the Hoylake Golf Resort would not be in the interest of the local community.

NAME SIGNATURE ADDRESS DATE

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Published by: Hoylake and West Kirby Campaign Group.

Advent Farewell 3 – Wirral Needs

Wirral Needs

We think the fact that we have faced criticism from both ends of the political spectrum stands as testimony that we have always tried to be avowedly apolitical. For clarification we hold the political classes (with a few honourable exceptions) in complete contempt. However we have found ourselves regularly criticising the ruling Labour administration at Wirral Council  because a) they’re in power b) they abuse that power and c) some Labour councillors are either not up to the job or in some cases , simply corrupt.

It is not that we are anti-Labour per se it’s just that we’ve long maintained that we deserve so much better from them as councillors and MPs. With the local media more or less sewn up – adding further to the argument their own publication Wirral View is surplus to requirements and an expensive luxury – and local political opposition being, at best ineffective and at worst, collusive, we have always maintained that the only way the local Labour cabal would change their ways was when their own supporters started holding them to account.

As we can see from the recent reinstatement of the Wallasey CLP there is an increasingly interesting battle for the soul of the Labour Party on Wirral . However what Wirral needs is more politically engaged people of all political persuasions and we have to say in the seven years that Wirral Leaks has been a minor irritant there does appear to be an increase in public awareness of what goes on in Wallasey Town Hall . No doubt this has been prompted by a continuing series of damning reports involving Wirral Council after which we’re inevitably told ‘lessons have been learned’  – which inevitably it hasn’t and which ourselves  us and other excellent local blogs continue to point out. We are also encouraged by the increase in campaign groups that are challenging the political status quo.

One such campaign is Wirral Needs ,which although may be too closely politically aligned for us to maintain our neutrality, it is fair to say we broadly support the campaign to prevent the continuing dismantling of public services.  However we don’t think it’s just about serving the needs of the wealthy – it’s also about serving the needs of the political classes locally and nationally and fuelled by self interest and nepotism.

From the Wirral Needs campaign:

Please continue mobilising for our protests against public-sector cuts and privatisation:

      5pm Monday 11th December, Wallasey Town Hall, for the Full Council meeting at 6pm – the WIRRAL NEEDS petition is on the agenda; support our speaker, and

      9am Monday 18th December, Wallasey Town Hall, for the Cabinet meeting at 10am – we expect all the proposed cuts 2018/19.

 This weekend, every Labour Member of the Council will receive copies of the attached letter, joint position statement and leaflet in advance of the Labour Group meeting on Monday 4th  

The letter is published here :

To each Member of the Labour Group, Wirral Council

SERVE HUMAN NEED NOT GREED: STOP CUTS & PRIVATISATION

A petition of Wirral people has been submitted for the Council meeting on 11th December.  It calls on our Labour-controlled Council to start seriously fighting cuts to, and privatisation of, our much-needed public services.  That means no longer doing the Tories’ dirty work, and ending secretive decision-making.

It means working with unions to protect and build all the services we need on the Wirral for safe, useful work and fulfilling lives.  It means getting out of the Town Hall and helping to lead a mass public campaign against Tory austerity, greed, hypocrisy and cruelty to working and marginalised people.

The petition will be supported by a demonstration of protest by local people, including many Labour Party members – a protest against a Labour Council, which has been serving the needs of the wealthy and not the needs of workers, dependents and vulnerable people.

We are asking you to support the people of Wirral.

Whether the Labour old guard finally realise that there are people out there who want  Wirral politicians to finally change for the better or whether they’ll resort to the time-honoured tradition of  denial, carrying on as abnormal and claiming conspiracies against them – be it from the left or the right – only the ‘Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’ will know!………….

‘Hub’ Hubris – The ‘Defend Our NHS’ fight back opens the party season

Hunt

As the  party season arrives here is our first notification from our good friends Defend Our NHS (DONHS) Wirral that they’re organising  ‘a bit of a do’ .

Of course all we can do is sarcasm and satire so we doff our caps to those out there who actually give a damn and go out there and do something about it. They’ve also listed other dates that should interest you if you care about the future of the NHS – including a Clinical Commissioning Group meeting to be held tomorrow (see below).

We would also add that Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 27th November is a date for the diary for anyone interested in bloody ‘hubs’ and more specifically ‘integrated commissioning hubs’. Sorry scrub that – as you can see all the interesting stuff that affects YOUR life and health will be discussed behind closed doors. Because that’s how Wirral Council roll (over all of us).

STP Hub

Dear friends of the NHS,

First the good news: we’re having a Christmas Party! We wanted to celebrate all we’ve done in the past year and give everyone a much -needed chance to relax from campaigning and to make and renew acquaintances with fellow NHS defenders.

It will be in central Birkenhead on the evening of Friday 8th December. There will be hot and cold food available. If we are to go ahead and make final arrangements, we need to know who is coming AND if you want food. (Food – something like chilli/curry with a vegetarian option – will be available at a cost of up to £10; it could be less if we have enough people. Any extra money will be used for printing leaflets and room hire.)

Only people who reply by 27th November to say they are coming will be sent the final details and ticket arrangements. Email now!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

But now the bad news – and we’re afraid there’s little else.

You will know that our campaigning this year has concentrated on Wirral Council. We wanted them to do a simple thing: to make good on the agreed policy to oppose the so-called ‘sustainability and transformation plan/partnership’ (STP).

They agreed this in December 2016 – yet it took the leader of the Council, Phil Davies, eight months to send off the letter to Jeremy Hunt.

We’ve been lobbying and briefing councillors and pointing out the wickedness of the STP and its associated ‘accountable care organisation/system’.

Only last month councillors agreed that, “This Council will, therefore, remain opposed to changes and savings which place the achievements of our NHS at risk.

The STP would involve £1bn CUTS for the Cheshire and Merseyside area.

The reduced budget will have to pay for social care AS WELL AS our NHS services.

Meanwhile the party to which most Wirral councillors belong has adopted a policy of complete reinstatement of the NHS.

So imagine our surprise when we discovered the following…

21 11 2017 - DONHS picture (1)

Guess who’s advising Wirral on this? Yes, Private Eye’s old friends, global auditing company Price Waterhouse Cooper– PwC (known in the trade as ‘profits without conscience’). 

On Wirral we have already seen how quickly cuts can be implemented. Eastham Walk-In centre was closed within days with no consultation with the public. We have already been warned about the “really big cuts to come” and everyone has evidence of long delays for appointments, staff shortages, service cuts and rationing.

Thanks to a fantastic community campaign the Eastham centre is to be re-opened. But will this be at the expense of A&E at Arrowe Park?

To compound the misery Wirral clinical commissioning group have secretly agreed to talk to Wirral partners (including the Council) and potentially to send a letter to NHSE requesting Wirral CCG join something called the ‘Capped Expenditure Programme’. If you want to know why this is terrifying read this from the BMA:

Have YOU been consulted on any of this? Does any of it meet the NHS mission of ‘no decision about me without me’?

We are simply flabbergasted – but we will fight back, and we urge you to do the same.

                        …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

What can we do if the NHS is to have a happy Christmas?

Join us and fight to reverse NHS cuts & privatisation

      Oppose the STP and ACS

      Insist that your councillors and MPs do the same

      Fight for the full restoration of an effective NHS

      Ensure that the Eastham NHS Walk-In Centre is re-opened without damage to other services (for example NO cuts to Arrowe Park A&E)

       Achieve an emergency £20m increase for Wirral NHS funding

      Come to the CCG ‘consultation’ meeting in Mayer Hall, Bebington from 6.30pm WEDNESDAY 22nd NOVEMBER

      Protest at the Wirral cabinet meeting, Wallasey town hall, 9am MONDAY 27TH NOVEMBER

      Protest at the Wirral council meeting, Wallasey town hall, 5pm MONDAY 11TH DECEMBER

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ALL Wirral councillors have been asked these three simple questions:

  1. Do you support our campaign to stop the STP/ACS and oppose the further near £1 billion cuts? YES/NO
  2. Do you support the reinstatement of our NHS? YES/NO
  3. Will you tell Wirral voters what your responses are in any forthcoming communication? YES/NO

The replies we’ve received so far are very interesting.

And note that all Wirral MPs have been asked to pledge allegiance to the NHS at https://weownit.org.uk/nhstakeback Guess how many have?

IF OUR COUNCILLORS AND MPs FAIL TO JOIN US IN DEFENDING THE NHS WE HAVE A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.

SOME OF THEM WON’T LIKE IT.

                        ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………                        Reminder:

  1. Reply now and tell us how many tickets you want for the Christmas party.
  2. Put those meeting dates in your diary and join us.
  3. Share this email and the information as widely as you can. And finally:
  4. We have been campaigning locally to defend our NHS for almost seven years. We need some new blood in the team who will DO things. If you are as determined as us to make this a happy NHS Christmas get in touch.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………                        Best wishes on behalf of Defend Our NHS

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The Skwawking Canary Comes Home To Roost

 

SAINT-FRANK

Yes ,we know it’s not a canary but then Frank’s no saint!

There are alternative sources out there for the politically curious beyond the usual newspaper columns, press releases and soundbites.

Indeed we’ve been inundated with contacts providing links to a couple of left -leaning blogs The Canary and Skwawkbox and telling us that they’re singing our song.

And so it would seem there’s only so much backstabbing of the Labour Party leader that Corbynistas are prepared to tolerate from Birkenhead MP Frank Field.

Firstly, The Canary rustles Frank Field’s feathers by challenging him on his reprehensible stand on paying disabled people less than the National Living Wage (NLW). Apparently this is because their work has “an economic value below the legal minimum wage”. He says his idea is to help employers “to take on low-productivity disabled workers”. Field, in his typical high handed manner ,dismisses criticism of his standpoint as “absurd” . Might we suggest as a point of comparison he checks out the “economic value” of some of the charlatans on six figure salaries running Wirral Council?

Linda Burnip from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) believes that Field does not understand why his comments have upset disabled people. She told The Canary:

For anyone in this day and age to hold those views, and especially someone in Frank Field’s position, is abominable. It is exactly the same sort of thinking as the Nazi ‘useless eaters’ rhetoric.

John McArdle from campaign group Black Triangle also criticised Field :

The right to equal treatment and equality are human rights. Human rights are not privileges. That’s why they are called rights. I suggest Mr Field goes back to the drawing board. His comments are a disgrace and he should now apologise. Furthermore, if the Labour Party wishes to prove that it has truly changed its tune, it will need to demonstrate that the New Labour old guard are no longer calling the shots and put the voices of disabled people first.

The last time we looked, Mr Field was not a spokesperson for disabled people.

Read the full article here : Sack Field

However talking of the ‘old guard’ Field and his cabal will be facing a much more serious and pressing challenge much closer to home at tonight’s Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP) AGM to be held at The Lauries.

Skwawkbox reports a local activist as saying  that :  “The cabal of right-wing, clapped-out councillors needs a shakeup. We now have a record membership – they just need to turn up, in numbers, and make change happen!”

This is like a line from our back pages as is the ‘slate’ for a member driven Birkenhead CLP  which includes the following commitments . These are the ones that stood out for us but the full list can be found here: Birkenhead CLP AGM

  •  A member driven CLP run from the bottom up ,not a top-down Cabal .
  •  A more competent CLP ; where meetings are properly organised, and managed  for the benefit of ALL members ,not just the needs of a few Councillors or the MP
  • Honesty,integrity and openness;where decisions are democratically arrived at, and nobody is bullied, disenfranchised or discriminated against by those with agendas or vested interests
  • A more visible , and active CLP ; that campaign’s on multiple fronts (locally and nationally) not just to preserve the careers of elected members ! we will be more visible and active than ever – in our Community and beyond

Ouch!

But then we’ve always maintained that it was only a long established small cabal who were responsible for bringing the local Labour Party into such disrepute. Furthermore we always said that it would be party members who would finally call time on this abuse of power.  We shall be following tonight’s developments with interest in anticipation of ,not so much a coup d’état , as a coup de grâce – for everyone’s sake it really is time to put the old guard out of their (and our)  misery.

PuppetMaster

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 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?………….