Songs of The Labour Movement : Two Tribes

 adrianjonesprotest
Our interest in the rising tide of Corbynism is, of course, how it impacts on local politics.  And you can say what you like about Jezzamania but it has at least shaken up (or a least slightly stirred) the moribund and complacent cabal at the heart of Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party (CLP).  Frank Field, having decried the Labour leader at every opportunity prior to this year’s general election, has been awfully quiet on the Corbyn front lately hasn’t he?
However where the impact has been most felt has been in the Wallasey CLP.  Ever since Wallasey MP Angela Eagle’s doomed Labour leadership challenge there have been deep divisions within the local CLP…..and it would seem from a leaked email from Cllr Adrian Jones sent to ‘Momentum Comrades’ – which somehow made its way to us – there clearly still are!
We’ll spare you the full text of the email as it’s more Citizen Smith than Councillor Jones. Suffice to say it’s as long-winded and self righteous as his council speeches and sets out his long-standing Corbyn – supporting credentials.

The genesis of all this rift was a bitter CLP meeting on 24th June 2016, when Cllr Bernie Mooney (now Joint Deputy Leader of Wirral Council Labour Group ) was voted out of her position as secretary of Wallasey CLP and replaced by lefty Kathy Miller.  Paul Davies was voted in as co-vice Chair ( Cllr Paul Stuart was the other co-Vice Chair.)

The CLP voted to back Corbyn in his leadership bid.  Eagle got wind of this and was presumably an ‘Angry Bird’!  She hadn’t yet said she was going to run for leader… and didn’t until early July.

Meanwhile the CLP was suspended by the Labour NEC at their London HQ and remains suspended to this day.  Indeed the CLP only realised they’d been suspended when they read it in the Liverpool Echo!

This suspension was done on the ‘strength’ of bogus allegations that were lodged with the press (not the police, where they should have gone – but that presumably would have risked counter charges of wasting police time) saying that some members at the above meeting had engaged in bullying of others, intimidation and ‘homophobic acts’ against Eagle, who was not even present.

Reputedly, it was Cllr Stuart who was the ringleader of 17 people alleging bullying, intimidation and homophobia.  Angela Eagle christened them “whistleblowers”, sullying the name of genuine, good faith whistleblowers everywhere, and whatdyaknow?  the likes of the Liverpool Echo and The Guardian were there, ever eager to fuel the fire.

Throughout all this nothing was heard from Cllr Adrian Jones, the huge “Corbyn fan”, as his hero was pilloried in order to push Eagle’s leadership chances.  And whaddyaknow?  Both Jones’s Mr and Mrs and Cllr Stuart can be seen in the photos attached to this tweet, supporting Eagle.  This was in the run-up to the 2017 election, 9 months after the CLP suspension and #Brickgate.

Ultimately the allegations went nowhere, but the damage inflicted by the media coverage had been done. We understand one CLP member still has a charge hanging over them, whilst those making bogus allegations have been strangely passed over for any disciplinary action.  Is it any wonder the rifts persist and that there are plenty of angry left wingers in Wallasey CLP who feel betrayed?  After being expected to tramp the streets in support of Angela Eagle during the general election campaign , some are suspecting that deals will now be done behind their backs rather than the embedded enemy within faced head on and challenged.

 

Meanwhile, Cllr Paul Stuart who’d nailed his colours to the Eagle mast has,  since Corbyn’s unexpectedly strong performance in the general election,  had a bit of a rethink and now wants the world to know, via the leaked Jones email , that he is supporting Jezza. But the idea that Cllr Stuart would now also be backing Corbyn is outrageous when you can find him on the internet posing for photos outside the smashed window of #Brickgate.  Along with Cllr Stuart , Eagle diehards Cllr Mooney, and Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy were immediately on hand to be interviewed on TV and press suggesting that Corbyn supporters were behind the brick through the shared stairwell window ….which apparently wasn’t Eagle’s constituency office window anyway! You can get a flavour of the furore here 
Moreover, Merseyside plod calmly intoned six months later that the constituency office window was never reported to them as being damaged !  But you wouldn’t know this if you picked up any national or local newspaper because they wouldn’t touch it !  And by that time, the whole sorry circus of MSM dissemblers had left Eagle’s “busy summer of lies” unretracted, and moved onto the next emerging #FakeNews bombshell needing their undivided attention….
Meanwhile only time will tell whether Cllr Stuart proves to be as an effective shape-shifting politico as Cllr Jones,

 

To quote from the latter’s email…

Comrades, “Now is the time” to stop acting like a “Party within a party” – and even like a “Momentum within Momentum”.

It is time to grasp that the mainstream (often called the “Left”) has won back the heart and soul of the Labour Party.  I do not know of a single member of the Seacombe Branch who has not fully supported my own declarations for Corbyn on the two websites or who does not support him now.  So why introduce friction where there need be none? Let’s try now to be a single Labour Party in Seacombe Ward.

Some comrades will remember that we also, for a while, held “Songs of the Labour Movement” musical evenings in the Park View Social Club – an opportunity for comrades to perform – or just listen and rub shoulders informally.  But, since then, we have had the difficulty of the Party being suspended so long that many of us don’t even know each other.

Under the circumstances can we suggest that any future CLP sing-a-long  starts off with a rousing rendition of  “Two Tribes” ?

 

 

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Police and Peeves

Noughts 011

Somebody call the fashion police. Anyone for a game of noughts and crosses ?   

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?

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!

 

Fronting For The Lord

fronting

The Scene : Leaky Towers. Her Ladyship is checking out Wirral Leaks correspondence  and alights upon an email from Wirral Council titled ‘Restorative justice – join the conversation’ . Intrigued to find Wirral Council associated with the word ‘justice’ she reads on and turning to His Lordship the following conversation ensues : 

I see Cllr George Davies is fronting again

Are you referring to his comb forward again , dearest?

No , Lordy McLordface I’ve been advised by our butler Eldritch that fronting is an expression that young folks use and means to put on airs , to put up a facade , to act fake or phony or to misrepresent oneself. Eldritch tells me it is the opposite of “keeping it real”

With his penchant for vulgarities and obscenities I can only hope that these are the only expressions that Eldritch has been teaching you . So pray tell me my precious ,why is dear Georgie , er,’fronting’?

Well apparently he’s telling us the Wirral Neighbourhood Justice Scheme is being taken over by a charity called Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) and there’s a launch next week to be held at the Wirral Christian Centre. George has issued a press statement which has obviously been written by some poor council hack who of course manages to squeeze in the obligatory reference to 2020 

Interesting , isn’t redemption the act of buying something back…….like recorded telephone conversations which reveal you’re a racist  co- conspirator in a plot to smear a political opponent in return for public money to settle a groundless legal claim against the Council? . However do they give any examples of this marvellous scheme at work?

Well they cite a case  of a woman  with noisy dogs who posted something upsetting on social media about her neighbour’s noisy kids . Apparently it was all settled amicably over a cup of tea and a chat.

Tell me does Ban Ki-moon know about this ground-breaking talking to each other over a cuppa approach? , it might work wonders in the  Middle East. Are you telling me they couldn’t have found a better example than that ?. Sounds like a Twitterstorm in a teacup rather than my understanding of restorative justice which is about someone who has been grievously wronged seeking an apology and atonement from the person who wronged them. However I have to say ‘Redeeming Our Communities’ sounds a bit pious to me.

You’re not wrong my sweet Lord – although the ROC  website  does say their ‘projects/Centres do not engage in proselytising. Many of the volunteers have a faith but find actions speak louder than words. ROC projects are Christian-led and provide opportunities for Christian volunteers to develop new relationships with local people by demonstrating the love and reality of God in action.’

Oh dearie me – I think we can all tell who’s dead hand and fingerprints are all over this don’t we?  . The faintly sinister moralising Victorian philosophy that salvation from poverty and criminality is via a life of Christian obedience. On Wirral this often means obedience to a group of well -connected hypocritical politicians. For example it has long been believed by some that to help your political career at Wirral Council it helps if you have a particular religious/social/football affiliation. I have to ask myself do these people ever consider whether they are  worthy to be our moral guardians? , or realise that life for some people on Wirral is unremittingly grim  and that anti-social behaviour and criminality is symptomatic of a chronic lack of opportunity which has been exacerbated  by their dishonesty ,incompetence and cronyism?.

Clearly not ! Now do you understand why I said George is fronting ?

Restorative justice – join the conversation

A scheme which brings victims and offenders together to agree appropriate punishment and reparation is set to be re-launched in Wirral this month.

The Wirral Neighbourhood Justice Scheme is being taken over by the national charity, Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) and is being re-launched as a ROC Restore restorative justice at an event in Birkenhead next week.

The scheme has already proved effective in dealing with low level crime, anti-social behaviour and neighbour disputes through a process called restorative justice. Through this process, victims and perpetrators are brought together in a meeting where volunteers use restorative approaches to agree on a course of action for those involved.

Cllr George Davies, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Engagement, said: “The restorative justice approach is proven to reduce offenders committing further offences, stop conflict from escalating and reduce the harm caused to victims. It also gives victims of crime or on the receiving end of anti-social behaviour a sense of closure.This works in tandem with existing enforcement processes, helping resolve issues and preventing reoccurrence. We are delighted with how the Neighbourhood Justice Scheme has been running in Wirral and with ROC on board we are confident it will continue playing a vital role in helping the council achieve a couple of its stated aims by 2020 to deal with anti-social behaviour and improve residents’ quality of life.”

More than 40 referrals have been made into the Neighbourhood Justice Scheme in Wirral to date, of which 25 have been successfully resolved.

One of these was a dispute between neighbours, one lady struggling to adjust to the noises of a young family who had recently moved in next door, and the family affected by the noise of her dogs. The Police were brought in when the lady expressed her frustration on social media and made a comment which the couple found extremely distressing.

At the face to face meeting, each side was able to explain their feelings and perceptions about the situation. The lady apologised unconditionally for her social media posting, which was accepted by the couple, who in turn recognised how the changes had affected her and offered to make some adjustments themselves. By the end, both sides felt they understood each other, were happy to reach an agreement and even shared a cup to tea before leaving together quite amicably.

Redeeming Our Communities has been working towards safer, kinder communities in partnership with other agencies and faith groups since 2004. It has a number of different types of social action projects, one of which is the ROC Restore restorative justice project.

This will be the ninth ROC Restore project nationally and will be undertaken in partnership with Safer Wirral and the Police. The opportunity is now being given to join the team of volunteer facilitators by undertaking training on three Saturdays in November and more details will be given at the ROC Conversation event.

The ROC Conversation is to be held on Thursday 13th October 7 – 9pm at the Wirral Christian Centre Woodchurch Road in Birkenhead CH41 2UE. It is open to everyone from the Wirral and will draw together those from the local community, including Police and Fire services, the local Council and churches, to discuss ways of working together for the good of the community.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral, Pat and Elaine Hackett, Chief Superintendent Ian Hassall, as well as Merseyside’s Police & Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, will be among those attending.

Please contact Andy Bell at ROC for further information on 0161 393 4511, or book in on Eventbrite on the following link: roc.uk.com/wirral.

Gross Is The Word

Strong Leader face

“If I pull this face do I look more like a strong leader?”

As the controversy over the candidacy of Wirral Councillor David  Burgess -Joyce to be Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner continues we understand that Council leader Phil “Power Boy Pip” Davies has now chimed in to raise “some important questions” with Jeff Green – leader of  Wirral Council’s Tory group.

http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/14465674.Updated__Wirral_Council_leader_demands_answers_as_storm_rages_over_Tory_police_commissioner_candidate/

There are indeed some important questions that need to be answered about Cllr B -J , not least whether indeed he was or was not sacked for gross misconduct when he worked for the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) ,  but it’s just that we’re not sure that Power Boy Pip is the right person to be asking them !.

In his letter Pip opens up with the truly astonishing line:

I am sure you will agree it’s essential for elected members to uphold the highest ethical standards.

Seriously?

This from a man who listened to the Wirralgate tape in July 2013 which exposed the misconduct of senior Labour councillors and stated ” I can’t defend that”  and yet has spent approaching nearly three years and untold amounts of council taxpayers money doing exactly that!!

Moreover we’ve also been given an insight into how allegations of misconduct are dealt with from a Labour insider :

“It’s prob worth noting that if I did as I was told over this case Labour would not of took it any further and I would not of been suspended. I was given an ultimatum and they were willing to brush over the accusation. I knew 100% I had done nothing so refused the offer with no hesitation.” 
Indeed the so called man with the “strong leader powers” seems averse to the notion of dealing with misconduct altogether. We need to remember he chaired the “disciplinary” hearing that allowed 2 senior social services managers to return to their posts with an unblemished record. Subsequent events showed that this was a grave error of judgement when the same two managers  were  heavily implicated in a series of damning reports exposing bullying, dishonesty , incompetence and financial mismanagement on an industrial scale . This is without the subsequent consideration of the circumstances of how exactly one of them managed to wangle their son a job at the council which was worthy of a gross misconduct charge on its own.
What’s worse ?-  being sacked for misconduct or rewarding people who should have been sacked for misconduct with a cheque for £100,000+ of public money?
Our advice to Power Boy Pip is if he wants to start asking questions about potential misconduct issues “in the interests of openness and transparency ” it’s always best to consider whether you have the moral authority to do so otherwise it looks like gross hypocrisy.

 

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