The Genuine Article : Can you spot the difference between news headlines and political adverts?

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A number of our readers have been in touch with pictures of the Wirral Globe wraparound ‘Advertisement Feature’ promoted by Cllr Ian Lewis on behalf of Wirral Conservative Group which has caused pre-Purdah murder.

We remember having a pop at the Wirral Labour Group for pulling a similar stunt last time the local elections came around. However this particular production really is something else. Real lowest common denominator stuff – right down there with their infamous ‘baseball bats’ leaflet which ruthlessly exploited the fallout from the damning  ‘Independent Review’ of 2012 .

baseball bats

The problem we have is that whilst we acknowledge you’d have to be spectacularly dim to think that the wraparound contained genuine news stories and not exploitative electioneering on the part of the local Conservative Group the fact is a) it appears under the Wirral Globe masthead and b) there are an awful lot of spectacularly dim people out there .

The scaremongering cover star is hasbeen ‘Militant’ bogeyman Derek ‘Deggsy ‘ Hatton. The picture is so old it was taken when he still had a decent head of hair . Whilst this ‘hard left’ trope is not only used as means of highlighting  the power struggle within the local Labour Party it also tacitly supports the established Labour cabal which have wreaked so much havoc in Wirral over recent years!

The inside features  pro- Green Belt , anti-Kingdom Security votecatchers which hitch a ride on the work of local activists and campaigners . Elsewhere it’s a bit thin on the ground policy-wise. A less than detailed 6 point plan features such nebulous aims as ‘ Expose Council Waste’ and ‘Better Council Services’ . Perhaps if the local elections don’t go well as expected the author can take over the running of Wirral Leaks. The local Conservative Group  don’t seem to have learned their lesson from exploiting the  political fallout of the Independent Review . Once they unexpectedly got into power , their main policy initiative was a desperate Council Tax rebate – even that didn’t work and there wasn’t enough spectacularly dim people to keep Cllr Jeff Green in power as Leader of Wirral Council  and the Conservatives were ousted at the next election.

Finally , we’d like to comment on the back page of the ‘Advertisement Feature’  which features the welcome demise of litter enforcement louts Kingdom  Security. We can’t help feeling that there’s been a bit of ‘Leaksification’ when it comes to the hard-hitting picture. Well ,they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

Grave Injustice

Wirral Leaks 2012

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Wirral Globe 2019

Wirral Leaks : Past, Present,Future …

24th November

Thanks for all your kind messages of support which followed our announcement that Wirral Leaks will soon be winding down, but not just yet…

How could we leave you all, especially when the blog has never been so widely read and appreciated ? Moreover we know we’ve said this before and whilst we don’t want to known as making more comebacks than Barbra Streisand we think it’s time to quit whilst we’re at the top of our game.

However we think we owe it to our faithful followers to clarify our position. As we said the catalyst for our decision – but not the cause – was prompted by the Halliday case. Whilst it gives Stewart Halliday more credence and influence than he deserves somehow that case just made us want to recite the last diary entry of Carry On star Kenneth Williams :

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It’s just become so bloody pointless recounting the seemingly endless parade of incompetence,dishonesty, collusion, corruption  and fuckwittery (INSERT OWN PEJORATIVE ADJECTIVE HERE) at Wirral Council and other Wirral institutions… and then to add insult to injury to have the local mainstream media leech off you!

So this is where we’re at…

THE PAST 

Rest assured the Wirral Leaks archive will remain in perpetuity. So when karma strikes aka ‘The Curse of Leaky Towers’ finally catches up with the sociopaths who run the show  we’ll be lying on our sun lounger sipping a cocktail, raising an arched eyebrow and  saying we told you so

THE PRESENT

For now the parade will continue ,especially in the light of the upcoming local elections. Therefore for now we’d like to make a special request to send us election leaflets, councillor sightings and general electioneering particularly as purdah – the publicity restrictions that should be observed by local authorities during the pre-election period – are about to kick in. Please note :

 

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THE FUTURE

Who knows?  All we do know is that we can’t continue with our current output – it does nothing for our our mental health or our blood pressure . What we can promise is that we will continue to provide a platform for what we consider to be independent thought and important causes – which basically means all we have to do is press the ‘publish and be damned ‘ button.

However we intend that our final salvoes will be special reports which conclude long running investigations into the following matters :

  • Cllr Paul Doughty/Pensions Committee
  • Wirral Council Procurement
  • Wirral Chamber of Commerce
  • Wirralgate

We will be posting requests for your invaluable contributions on these subjects over the next few days. We could use Wirral Council-speak and say it’s all in the name of openness and transparency. We prefer to say it’s about getting all the dirt that’s fit to print out there – for posterity’s sake if nothing else…

Election Selection : Week 1

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Wirral has its own NHS – who knew?

After this week’s call for a snap election we thought we’d set up a weekly report on the local political hustings fun , campaign fails and General Election jiggerypokery. Accordingly we’d like to invite our readers to send in any of their electioneering snippets and general observations on the madness of modern politicking.

The Usual Crap

First off – we’ve been forwarded the Prenton edition of the ‘Brickie to stand for Metro Mayor’ campaign leaflet first reported here : Purdah Palaver

It would seem the local Labour group are riding on the coat-tails of the Metro Mayor election and inserting information about their local wards in the middle of the glossy 4 page propaganda piece . The Prenton edition  (see above) is particularly inept featuring as it does a regurgitated press release about the Liverpool City Region by Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies and the compulsory piece about dog crap – because as we know that’s all the Wirral electorate care about according to former Wirral Council CEO Steve Maddox.

However what is most galling is the gurning features of Cllr Angela ‘CGL’ Davies and Cllr Tony ‘Tight-fit” Norbury holding a ‘Care For the NHS’ placard. The doublethink going on here is mindblowing.  Once again these mindless hypocrites are quite happy to campaign to keep the NHS from ending up in private hands – started by the Labour Party under Tony Blair , lest we forget – but are quite happy for Wirral Council services to be farmed out to the lowest bidder. Of course Cllr Angela Davies cares for the NHS so much because not only does it pay her a good wage but when the service she worked for was outsourced to Change! Grow! Live ! (FFS!) she didn’t much like it and bolted back to the warm bosom of public service. Shame she doesn’t afford that opportunity to Wirral Council employees facing redundancy and/or less favourable employment contracts in the private sector. Just sayin’!

May Day

Tip-top local blogger Wirralinittogether (geddit?) clearly doesn’t need to go to Specsavers as he counted not one, not two but three local at Tory leader Theresa May’s election launch in Bolton .

Tory Voters in Wallasey and beyond. You’re being taken for fools

All we can say the Tory councillors must’ve felt at home in Bolton at their Labour led Council is another one that thinks it can do what the bloody hell it likes with public money! Last year Bolton Council were heavily criticised for giving £300,000 of public money to a private law firm – like you do!

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/14925029.Lawyer_to_report_Asons___300_000_grant_deal_to_national_watchdog/?lp=6

Moonlighting for Margaret ?

These must be trying times for Wirral Council’s renaissance man Martin Liptrotsky. Policy advisor, business guru and political campaigner – is there no beginning to this man’s talents? Having helped Margaret Greenwood win the Wirral West for Labour seat at the the last General Election we have to wonder with Liptrot being appointed to a politically restricted post at Wirral Council who Greenwood is going to get to do her ‘dirty work’ this time round? Now we were no fans of previous Wirral West MP Esther McVey but the Liptrot orchestrated campaign at the last election was perhaps the most vicious and nasty in recent memory. And we’re not talking about the abusive graffiti , we’re talking about “Lord” Prescott’s appearance on West Kirby beach and Labour deputy leader John McDonnell endorsing a comment by a local Labour activist to ‘hang the bitch’ . So much for Labour leader Jezza Corbyn’s call for ‘kinder,gentler politics’ !  Needless to say any reports that Liptrot is moonlighting for Margaret during the latest campaign will be gratefully received!……………..

 

Purdah Palaver

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Apparently we are in ‘Purdah’ – the period prior to an election where public bodies are constrained when it comes to communications in case it adversely interferes with the democratic election process.

The ‘democratic process’ involved at this particular time is the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority ‘Metro Mayor’ election on Thursday 4th May.  We’ve had our poll cards posted through the letterbox at Leaky Towers and tossed it into the junk mail tray in acknowledgement of the sheer futility of voting in this particular political sideshow. Whilst it will provide cash-strapped Wirral Council Returning Officer Eric Robinson with another bumper payout it will be , as far as we’re concerned , just another stepping stone on the road to political oligarchy. The People’s Socialist Republic of Merseyside –  only not for the people and without the socialism obviously.

However ‘Purdah’ gives Wirral Council the excuse to be even less forthcoming with the public than they usually are. But it’s not all bad news – it means the publication of Wirral View has been suspended.  Which surely is a tacit admission that the truly terrible rag is indeed a political tool and was never intended to address anyone’s ‘information deficit’.

Talking of which – some of you may have had the privilege and honour of having the Labour Party leaflet in support of Labour candidate Steve Rotheram shoved through your letterbox.

As you can see from our above picture it tells you everything you need to know as to why a once great party is now appealing to the lowest common denominator.  Steve’s big selling point apparently is that he is a ‘brickie’ and therefore ‘one of us’. Although he’s not a brickie – he’s an ex-brickie and now very much part of the political elite. The only way being an ex-brickie is a selling point when it comes to being the ‘Metro Mayor’ is if Steve is going to personally help build new homes to meet government housing targets!

Sadly for us it’s a further demonstration that the once great Labour Party (and particularly some elements of the local party ) have become in the words of a memorable phrase we picked up this week ,  ‘the pitiers of the poor’.   Witness the evangelical zeal (and we use the term advisedly ) with which local foodbanks are promoted whilst one of their political leader jets off to Cannes and stays in £407 a night hotels. This one to be precise :

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Of course Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ rationale would be that he’s there to ensure international investors will flock to the insular peninsula to ensure future prosperity of Wirralians forevermore.  However after the many past fruitless excursions around the world have resulted in rotten tomatoes we’d be forgiven for waiting until something actually comes to fruition. And then if it does why do we get the impression that the beneficiaries will be big business and the political / council officer elite setting themselves up nicely for when Wirral Council becomes merely a ‘local commissioning hub’ for the Liverpool City Region?

The Wirralgate Files

The W Files

We’ve had numerous enquiries asking us were the Wirralgate saga is up to because it’s been oh so quiet. So we’ve contacted some trusted and well placed sources to find out where things are at as clearly Wirral Council have absolutely no intention of telling us.

Apparently there are two Wirralgate files held in complete secrecy under lock and key. Firstly and figuratively in the red corner we have the Nick Warren review and in the blue corner we have the Patricia Thynne re-review.

Apparently the latter was to be discussed (behind closed doors) at a meeting of the Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee on Monday , 8th February – no laughing at the back ,yes Wirral Council do have such a committee. Not that they meet very often as you can see from the number of postponements and cancellations which tells us much about how local councillors are concerned about standards and oversight of their own conduct.

http://democracy.wirral.gov.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=684&Year=0

However in a typical Wirral Council move the meeting has been reconvened nearly  2 months later to 31st MARCH !.

Why so ? I hear you all cry.

There can only be one explanation and that is that it has been moved to ensure that the meeting takes place during purdah. The purdah period typically begins six weeks before the scheduled local elections in May. The time period prevents the councillors using their knowledge of Council business that would be advantageous or disadvantageous to any candidates or parties in the forthcoming election. Where actual advantage to candidates is proven in law this amounts to a breach of Section 2 of the Local Government Act 1986.Ironically its breach carries with it the possibility of actions for abuse of power and misconduct in public office which is what the Wirralgate files are all about!!!!.

So what better way to ensure that councillors keep their gobs shut about what they know!.

Fortunately there are no councillors who work at Leaky Towers so Wirral Council need not rely on us keeping our gobs shut. And please Wirral Council spokesperson don’t piously give us that crap about interfering with due process – you wouldn’t know due process if it bit you on your expensively upholstered backside.The fact is that the most senior politicians and officers have been keeping a lid on this scandal since July 2013 simply because they have the money and power to do so.

What they seem to forget is that it is OUR money and the power WE have invested in them to act in accordance with their professional codes of conduct and The Seven Principles of Public Life (aka The Nolan Principles).

  1. Selflessness
  2. Integrity
  3. Objectivity
  4. Accountability
  5. Openness
  6. Honesty
  7. Leadership

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-7-principles-of-public-life/the-7-principles-of-public-life–2

So far Wirral Council we score you zero out of seven. Although let’s face it they probably think the Nolan Principles mean they need to be in the mood for dancing!.

As for the bogus Nick Warren review – Lord knows where that is up to (or more accurately he doesn’t know because if he did he would tell you!).

https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/time-and-trouble/

For all we know “The Complainers” could have been boxed off by now and the golden opportunity to finally rid Wirral Council of the poison that has made it into such a sick organisation has been exchanged for 30 pieces of silver (or however much Frankenfield has negotiated on their behalf) .

As far as we’re concerned somebody needs to send for Jessica Fletcher as it looks like it’s going to be murder this purdah!.

AngelaLansbury

 

Purdah Most Foul

Smile for the CAMRA (geddit?). The peerless,the fearless and the beerless (that's St.Frank obviously).

Smile for the CAMRA (geddit?). The peerless,the fearless and the beerless (that’s St.Frank obviously).

Wirral Council has just issued a “Statement of Persons Nominated” for the local elections to be held on 22nd May and therefore it was Verity’s task to wade through the nominations looking for any interesting developments.

Whilst there was wry amusement to be had that Rock Ferry Green Party candidate Karl Cumings was proposed by the appropriately named Ivy Woods a more interesting revelation was the absence of Cllr Simon Mountney’s nomination for the Saughall Massie ward.

Of course we all know Cllr.Mountney for being the Councillor who put his reputation on the line to valiantly support whistleblower Martin Morton (indeed we understand that he had to face some opposition within his own party for his stance let alone from the opposition benches.)

Now we don’t know Cllr.Mountney’s reason for withdrawing from the Town Hall cesspit but we’d like to wish him well in his future endeavours and if he’d like to give us the lowdown on what went on behind the scenes we can be contacted at wirralleaks@gmail.com

And so we now find ourselves in the middle of Purdah –  the pre-election period  between an announced election and the final election results. Purdah in local government ends at the annual meeting of the council in the new municipal year. For local elections, the activities of local authorities in the pre-election period are governed by the Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity, which is issued as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1986 which read :

Elections, referendums and petitions

41. The period between the notice of an election and the election itself should preclude proactive publicity in all its forms of candidates and other politicians involved directly in the election. Publicity should not deal with controversial issues or report views, proposals or recommendations in such a way that identifies them with individual members or groups of members. However, it is acceptable for the authority to respond in appropriate circumstances to events and legitimate service enquiries provided that their answers are factual and not party political. Members holding key political or civic positions should be able to comment in an emergency or where there is a genuine need for a member level response to an important event outside the authority’s control. Proactive events arranged in this period should not involve members likely to be standing for election

So all and all this is an interesting time on the local political scene as we note @frankfieldteam suddenly return to Twitter after a 10 month hiatus.In other words an eager to please intern gets to tweet on behalf of St.Frank during Purdah .

However we note the following tweet posted on April 3rd  by @frankfieldteam which rather gives the game away has since been deleted:

“Pleased to announce we are reopening our Twitter account. Much more to follow over the coming days and weeks…”

So over the “coming days and weeks” we can expect more opportunistic and cynical pics from a local MP who makes Esther McVague appear to be a rank amateur when it comes to “realpolitik”.

Of course those who follow local politics (and unfortunately for democracy there appears to be very few on Wirral ) something similar happened at the last local elections when St.Frank’s bezzy Cllr.Jean Stapleton was under threat in the local elections from Pat Cleary from the Green Party.

And so it would appear that this time that Brian Kenny will be the fortunate beneficiary of “The Frank Field Effect”.

Finally we’d like to draw your attention (geddit?) to the fact that Purdah  comes from the Persian word “pardeh” meaning “curtains”, referring to the status of women hidden from the world of men.

 

All we can say is that we wish it was “curtains” for some prominent local politicians who are not facing re-election this time round and not the likes of Councillor Mountney……..