There has been an interesting exchange in the Wirral Globe letters page over the past couple of weeks. Firstly , we had Wirral Leaks regular Charles Nunn who wrote in to say:
The announcement that the Merseyside Police and crime commissioner, Jane Kennedy, a former Labour MP, has appointed a female Labour councillor – the third such appointment in succession – as her deputy should come as no surprise.
When the Conservative Government announced the new appointments in 2012 it was met with total apathy by the voters but great enthusiasm by the political classes of all parties who hijacked the proceedings.
They saw it as a lucrative post with salaries up to £100,000 a year and probably generous expenses
The opportunities for empire-building and political patronage were no doubt an additional incentive. Many candidates were former MPs, with some resigning their seats in order to stand.
In the first elections in November 2012 the total turn out across the country was a paltry 13%.
In the second in May 2016 only 300,000 voters from the whole of Merseyside were prepared to cast their votes.
Ms Kennedy’s first task after her election with a salary of £85,000 was to appoint a deputy from the Labour Party ranks at a salary of £31,800 for a three-day week.
The latest appointment of yet another Labour councillor would appear to suggest the recruitment net is cast no further than the political party which dominates Merseyside.
The published letter can be found here
This elicited the following response the next week from David Burgess-Joyce , Conservative councillor for Greasby , Frankby and Irby
Your correspondent Charles Nunn (Mailbox, September 27) makes some very interesting comments regarding the police and crime commissioner’s appointment of a new deputy as yet another Labour Party internal placement.
In reality he should not be surprised because in the socialist Republic of Merseyside no alternative voices will be accepted other than those of comrade Rotherham, his acolytes and their Corbynite activists.
Having more than 30 years’ experience in Merseyside Police, including senior roles in the National Crime Squad and Serious Organised Crime Agency, I stood for the post of police and crime commissioner last year. I was runner-up, but because I am so supportive of local policing I decided to apply for this allegedly non-political post of deputy PCC.
Having worked with Jane Kennedy previously I knew we could make a good team in delivering outstanding policing.
Given the “experience” of the successful applicant you will be unsurprised to learn I was not even given the courtesy of an interview, proving yet again Labour’s lack of transparency.
It is good to know 1980s Liverpool is waiting just around the corner!
The published letter can be found here
What Burgess-Joyce , or B-J as we like to call him, fails to mention is the brouhaha that surrounded his hapless candidacy for the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) role. Read the full story here : A Fair Cop
As you can see not only did we raise the question as to why allegations that B-J was ‘sacked’ from his job with the National Crime Agency – now known as Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in 2013 were suddenly reported in the Liverpool Echo a few days before the election in May 2016 , we also pointed out :
Even more interestingly we have Liverpool Council’s Mayor Joe Anderson calling for B-J’s resignation as a Wirral Councillor and surprisingly not Wirral Council leader Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies.
Although this appears to be a rare show of comradely solidarity between Mayor Joe and Power Boy Pip , we think that this was just another case of Pip getting someone else to do his dirty work for him.
As it turned out B-J was not so much a runner-up as a distant second in the PCC election. However, as we’ve commented before about B-J , this most self-regarding and pompous of councillors is now further peeved that he didn’t get the opportunity to be Commissioner Kennedy’s number two.
Whilst we do think that B-J nicked the ‘Socialist Republic of Merseyside’ line from us we do still have concerns that a red hegemony is potentially not a good thing in terms of public accountability. Political patronage and policing policy – what could possibly go wrong? Let’s just hope that local Labour politicians have been behaving themselves – we wouldn’t want Commissioner Kennedy or her Deputy to be politically compromised now would we?