Apologies and Apologists

Apologies i have none

There was a very sorry display (or should that be ‘not sorry’ display?) at this week’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee where much of the meeting was spent discussing ” How do we solve a problem like Louise Reecejones (LRJ) ?” .

Apparently at the time of Monday’s meeting LRJ has yet to issue an acceptable apology to the whistleblowers who had made valid complaints about her but were then subject to personal attacks on social media and had to counter allegations intended to damage their careers. Furthermore doubts were raised during this week’s  meeting as to whether LRJ will comply with the requirement  to offer a  grovelling apology for her conduct to all Wirral councillors at full council meeting to be held on December 11 and whether she will actually turn up – something we had already raised as a possibility as you can read here : Standards and Measures

Having said all that it was particularly dispiriting to witness Wirral councillors flailing about and not knowing what to do if LRJ’s BSL signer is required to stick two fingers up to the sanctions imposed on her by the council’s Standards Panel . A rather excitable interim Monitoring Officer Philip McCourt seemed to get a vicarious thrill from reciting instances of appalling conduct of councillors from other areas as if to say ” and you thought you were bad!……”  

At which point Cllr Ron Abbey gormlessly  commented :   ” Just goes to show what’s going on out there . We live in a sheltered world . We’re all too good for our own  good 

Really???

Meanwhile his comedy sidekick Cllr Paul Stuart seems tickled pink by his hilariously insightful comments . They’re the Chuckle Brothers without the chuckles. All of this can be witnessed at between 18- 22 minutes of the John Brace video posted below.

We’d like to ask McCourt where he thinks councillors using racial slurs to describe his predecessor , attempting smear campaigns and trying to use public money to buy the silence of complainants would rank in the scheme of councillor misconduct?  #Wirralgate ……or whether this just confirms his prissy assertion that councillors can currently be ” naughty to a fairly large degree” without it impacting on them being fine upstanding public representatives and pillars of the community.

As far as we’re concerned it’s BY FAR the very worst behaviour ever committed by Wirral councillors . However sadly the days when  councillors could be surcharged for their  misdeeds (Tesco heiress Dame Shirley Porter’s gerrymandering  in Westminster being the most prominent example ) or even referred to inept independent body Standards for England are long gone . Would you believe that despite ex-councillor Jim Crabtree’s conviction earlier this year for his repulsive behaviour (ironically) towards LRJ  that he would still be eligible to stand again as a councillor as he did not receive a custodial sentence of more than 3 months!

It would appear the bar for decent conduct for public servants has now been set so low that is it any wonder that we have the appalling shower of public representatives that we have at Wirral Council?  What’s more when you consider that councillors have been apologists for the most appalling conduct of both favoured senior officers and fellow councillors over recent  years that they now lack any MORAL AUTHORITY when it comes to trying to censure the conduct of  others.

Not that we’re apologists for LRJ but if she’s struggling to cobble together a convincing and sincere apology here’s our humble suggestion :

As a once proud upstanding member of this council I am today detumescent before you. Before I prostrate myself  in abject shame and beg your forgiveness I offer these wholly inadequate yet heartfelt words. I realise I could never hope to meet the high standards set by former Labour councillors such as Harry Smith , with his tact, diplomacy and his use of the English language ,and especially his command of Anglo-Saxon . Nor could I ever hope to attain the high office of  Jim Crabtree .  I realise that his telephone manner left a lot to be desired but in every other respect his behaviour was exemplary – at least by Bidston & St James ward standards anyway.  

As for current Labour councillors there is our supreme leader Phil aka Power Boy Pip who has been a particular inspiration to me when it comes to delegating his powers as I have long admired how he gets other people to do his dirty work. As for his deputies what can I say ? There’s big hitter Bernie and casual racist George. And as for Foulkesy? What can I say other than I am simply unworthy to keep their company.  All that is left for me to say is that I apologise for all the wrongs that the Labour group have inflicted upon Wirral and I accept my role as a scapegoat on their behalf.  

 

 

Low Standards , High Fives

Moral standardsWirral logo

Let’s get the credits rolling first. Thank you once again John Brace for sharing your video of last night’s Wirral Council’s Standards & Constitutional Committee meeting which proves once again that old adage that the camera never lies even though some of those being filmed do!.

Now if your idea of fun is watching someone picking their teeth, gurning and looking generally befuddled for 40 minutes we recommend you keep your eye on Committee chair  Cllr Bill Davies – “standards”  don’t even come into it !.

Her Ladyship turned her head away from the screen and cried despairingly :  “Oh for goodness sake get that man a toothpick and some lessons in etiquette.What is it with local councillors called Davies ? –  they appear to be social disgraces unacquainted with the social graces”

However knowing what we know of standards and conduct issues lurking behind the scenes we were looking forward to a thrilling show.Imagine our disappointment to witness some well rehearsed routines with Cllr Chris Blakeley as the bulldog chewing a wasp and Matron McLaughlin playing the diva  – the latter declaring an interest during a discussion about how standards complaints are dealt with or more accurately not dealt with by the Council and flouncing out of the meeting.” That’s the first time I’ve ever known the Matron take an interest in standards ” meowed Her Ladyship.

Meanwhile Super Duper Director Joe “Bless” Blott issued a grovelling apology about his “summary failure” to address a Standards complaint that still hadn’t been resolved after 12 months. We actually have a smidgeon of sympathy for the hapless patsy – as we well know that delays such as this are not always the doing of officers wanting to keep conduct complaints a “live issue” but of councilllors wanting complaints about themselves to be dead and buried !.

However we have no sympathy whatsoever for Surjit “Job for Life” Tour who really does seem to have thrown himself wholeheartedly into his new role as senior Town Hall apologist.

At about 5 minutes in on the video clip Tour proves to be (ef)-fluent in bullshit with talk of “context” and “turning the corner”  and how the case being discussed was “a slight blip”.

A slight blip – ?. Well there’s a leading contender for “Understatement of the Year” at the Leaky Awards 2015 – which will be like the Local Government Chronicle Awards without the deals done behind closed doors,the corporate crap and the self-delusion.

The double bind symbiotic relationship that Tour now seems to have with senior Wirral councillors is morbidly fascinating to watch but then it seems to us that a designated parking space and a personalised numberplate must be some compensation for having to live in Wolverhampton!.

Now if we’ve learned anything from recent history at Wirral Council it is that senior councillors will discard their officers like a ciggie butt out the back of Wallasey Town Hall if they don’t do as their told.So we’ll just wait and see how long the strange arrangement lasts if Tour fails to do his bit to ensure that the conduct of certain councillors remains forever hidden from public scrutiny………………….