Birkenhead – A Prevalence for Depression

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You won’t be reading this in Wirral View or Wirral Globe and certainly not Wirral Life but research by the Guardian shows the most depressed neighbourhoods in England are all in the north and the Midlands and as you can see above four of the top 15 are in and around Birkenhead.

But then that’s what you get when the local MP invites a ‘stunning lawyer’ who he worked with in the Child Poverty Action Group with the expectation of career advancement via the endless supply of poor/depressed people to Birkenhead.  What a ‘stunning’ legacy they leave behind.

The good news for those hitting the Sertraline and other unprescribed supplements of their own choice to get them through the daily grind of living in Birkenhead is that Frank Field is well and truly on his way out .

With the election of not one but two Green councillors in Birkenhead it has to be the case  that in the words of that great pop philosopher Yazz ,  ‘ The Only Way is Up’…

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The Poverty Tourists

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It had to happen – red-eyed Heidi ‘Pass the Onion’ Allen and Frank ‘Foodbank’ Field join forces to patronise the poor in the provinces. The Guardian report tells us that Heidi ‘crocodile tears’ Allen has ‘absolutely had enough’ and has dragged her tut-tutting friend round the country to see just how perfectly dreadful it is for the underclasses.

“This denotes a new offensive…” says Frankenfield

Doesn’t it just!

Allen and Field may think that the endless anecdotes recounting the often tragic circumstances of other people’s lives is ‘blowing the lid’ off an increasingly desperate situation for many more people. It isn’t. We all know it’s a shitshow out there and we don’t need crass and exploitative politicians making political/personal capital out of it.

The absolute nadir of this brand of poverty tourism can be found on Frank Field’s own website from last year where  Wirral Councillor Julie McManus made the following report :

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Tawdry and mawkish doesn’t come close…and not forgetting  the cheap plug for Feeding Birkenhead ! Even Charles Dickens would have baulked at writing something like this.

Who in this day and age writes portentous, pseudo-religious sentences as ‘And so it was…” !

Thankfully there are people out there who see the poverty tour stunt for the photo opportunity that it is and regardless of affiliations are just getting on with helping people and not waving a placard proclaiming ‘ I AM A GOOD PERSON, I CARE, HONESTLY’ . Our thanks to Fans Supporting Foodbanks. 

 

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Fieldwatch 3: ‘Everyone has their price…’

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We are really,really sorry we started this ‘Fieldwatch’ mullarkey .We promised we’d keep you posted on the media appearances of the political anomaly that is Frank Field. He’s the MP for Birkenhead but he’s not a Labour MP and not an independent MP either. What exactly is he? – all a bit unsatisfactory but as far as we’re concerned Frankenfield has been more than unsatisfactory for many a year.

However the alerts we get at Leaky Towers about Field are absolutely,bloody relentless . Media whore doesn’t come close to describing the media coverage this man craves from predictably, Wirral Globe and Liverpool Echo , inevitably The S*n, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph , The Guardian and surprisingly to Horticulture Week (!) to The Sydney Morning Herald… on and on and on it goes.

We’ll just concentrate on a couple of stories and taking a leaf out of Field’s playbook we admit that we’ve chosen them for our own purposes. If you want further details you’ll have to take us on trust and Google the stories yourself.

First – let us consider Frank and prostitution. He’s certainly got his money worth out of this particular ‘story’. There have been a number of press stories where he claims that women have been forced into walking the mean streets of Birkenhead directly because of the implementation of Universal Credit. It may be false,it may be true but nothing stops a Fieldian anecdote from becoming a press-worthy fact . What’s more surely he’s been well acquainted for a long time with people at Wirral Council getting big money for screwing over the people of Wirral (and sometimes each other)?

Second – and again inevitably – Field gegs in on the ‘Sir’ Philip Green being identified being ‘not a very nice person’ by Lord Hain using – some might say abusing – parliamentary privilege in the House of Lords . Who knew Green could be such a serious baddun’ ? We all bloody did!

Field’s press comments haven’t deviated from his own belief that Green is a baddun’ but skirts around the more problematic areas of NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements) where money is exchanged in return for silence, or bullying or allegations of racism. Might we suggest this could have something to do with such matters being a bit too close to home when it comes to his local political allies…

 

Fieldwatch 2 – The Clash of the Messiahs

 

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Frank Field suffers lens envy at the Labour Party Conference

The Labour Party conference held in Liverpool last week cast a Corbyn-shaped shadow over the River Mersey and the neighbouring constituency of Birkenhead and particularly over its former Labour MP Frank Field.It must have been so upsetting for Frankenfield to witness the local front pages singing songs of praise – but not for him.

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However, once again give him his due,  Field did his very best to rain on the parade of the Labour Party faithful who came in adoration of their new messiah, Jezza, but it was very much a case of scattered showers in less exposed places than the usual high profile media deluge.

On the eve of the conference Field had a story published in The  Sunday Times titled ‘The Politics of Faith’ where he wrote :

Writing about the link between my faith and my political activity is among the hardest challenges I have ever been given. I can describe my political activity with ease. Exploring the link between my politics and my faith is where I face a quandary. My questioners often think that these are two separate issues that can be consciously joined together at specific times and on particular issues.

It would appear that, indeed , it must have been one Field’s hardest challenges as he fails spectacularly in explaining how he aligns his political activity with his faith. Though, to be honest, if you can make out what the hell he’s going on about you’re a better man than I, Bungdit Din. It starts off reading like the usual ‘holy man in a wicked world’ schtick that Field has been pedalling for years before degenerating into a messianic mess :

Linked to a sacramental view of the world has been a biblical basis for my utopian politics. The leitmotif running through the Old and into the New Testament is the concept of the Kingdom in this world. The historical Jesus heralds a Kingdom at hand, one that is being sought and built, and a Kingdom that is to be completed at the end of time.

My revolutionary politics are about that commandment to seek and, by seeking, to help to build the Kingdom. However, this has always been a collective effort. We are pilgrims, not Napoleons.

Read full story here

Huh? We couldn’t tell if he was talking about less than popular local litter snitches Kingdom Security , as let’s face it they share something in common – preying on the poor and vulnerable for profit and political point scoring.  However there were a couple of insights we found interesting though  :

I was brought up as a Christian at St Nicholas’, an Anglican church in Chiswick, West London. It had a restrained Catholic worship, but a strong distaste of any excess of church millinery. It also lacked, as I was later to learn from my reading, a sense of a Church Militant (Christians on Earth struggling against sin). It did teach me the Catholic faith.

So Field clearly had a distaste for ‘Militants’ of any kind from an early age and it also helps explain his affinity with the local Labour Catholic mafia that he has helped sustain in power despite their many and varied ‘sins’ over the years.

More God-bothering was to follow in an article in Christian Today – which is a first appearance by that hallowed publication on these pages.

The Church Commissioners, who handle investments for the Church of England, have pulled out of talks around buying the loan book of payday lender Wonga.

Wonga, which specialised in high-cost short-term loans, collapsed last month following a surge in compensation claims and former Labour MP Frank Field suggested the Church should consider involvement in a buyout to ensure its loans do not pass to another high-cost lender.

Read full story  here

Now we confess (something Field’s cronies like to avoid doing) that we’re not as familiar with The Bible as St Frank but we always thought that Jesus ousted the moneylenders from the temple rather than trying to buy them out!

This was a story that was also picked up by ITV . The accompanying article on their website included an artfully crafted photograph of  Field looking as though he has the weight of the world on his shoulders as if it was he himself who had a massive debt to pay off.  But then Field knows that poverty and hardship is always best experienced vicariously and as the basis for a tear-jerking anecdote.

Wonga woe

Woe is me…my favourite gingham shirt hasn’t been ironed.

Next stop was the anti-Corbyn Guardian and a call for an enquiry into the gig economy (hopefully something that Field will be forced to experience first hand for a change)

“The inquiry will, I hope, shine a bright light on the extent to which justice is being evaded in the gig economy,” said Field, who resigned the Labour whip late August. “We will be looking to suggest any immediate changes that are required, both to the law itself as well as its enforcement, to ensure no company is able to evade justice.”  Read full story here

Which is a typically hypocritical Fieldian sentiment  – relentlessly calling for individuals and organisations to be held to account and yet doing everything in his power to ensure that those who slavishly support him evade justice.

Field also tried to geg in and take some credit for the Birkenhead’s House of Fraser Store SAVED headline in the Liverpool Echo  . The decision to keep the store open was made by ‘Sports Direct’ boss Mike Ashley . We doubt very much whether Field writing a letter to Ashley six weeks ago made a blind bit of  difference as clearly the decision was based on renegotiating rents with the landlord. What remains to be seen is how long ‘House of Fraser’ store continues to stay open – it’s not exactly Beattie’s is it? Indeed ‘House of Fraser’ is to ‘Beatties’ what Frank Field is to local politics –  a shadow of its former self and something of a spent force.

…and the omnipresent Field media presence doesn’t end there with only today Wirral Globe belatedly covering the EXCLUSIVE : A Clean Sweep for the New Momentum Broom in Birkenhead CLP story under the extraordinary headline Corbyn supporters ‘gain complete control’ of Frank Field’s former Birkenhead Labour Party  which we think pinpoints exactly some of the misconceptions that led to a vote of no confidence in Field by the Birkenhead Constituency Party (CLP) in the first place . It is NOT Field’s ‘Birkenhead Labour Party’ and nor is he automatically entitled to treat Birkenhead as his personal,political  fiefdom…

 

 

 

 

 

Universal Deceit

 

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There was an interesting debate held in the House of Commons this week which to us at Wirral Leaks explains everything you need to know about politics (and especially local politics).

Margaret Greenwood ,Wirral West MP and Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions raised the issue of ‘The Secretary of State’s Handling of Universal Credit’ 

As you know – or at least you should know – is that that the current Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is Tatton MP Esther McVey who,of course was Margaret Greenwood’s predecessor as MP for Wirral West.

So everything was perfectly set for a political catfight. And as we know no catfight is complete without Birkenhead MP Frank Field getting his catty claws out. He didn’t disappoint – well he did, that’s what he always does as far as we’re concerned, but you know what we mean!

Here is our take on the debate but you can read it for yourself  here

Greenwood opens up with :

I beg to move,

That this House
censures the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the right hon. Member for Tatton, for her handling of the roll-out of universal credit and her response to the NAO report, Rolling Out Universal Credit;
notes that the Department for Work and Pensions’ own survey of claimants published on 8 June 2018 showed that 40 per cent of claimants were experiencing financial hardship even nine months into a claim and that 20 per cent of claimants were unable to make a claim online;
further censures the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for not pausing the roll-out of universal credit in the light of this evidence;
and calls on the Government to reduce the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions’ ministerial salary to zero for four weeks.

And goes on to ask :

Will the Secretary of State apologise for the two points she has failed yet to apologise for to the head of the National Audit Office?

McVey then goes on to a) show up Greenwood for the naive political amateur that she is and b) demonstrate the essential modern political prerequisite for an MP – shameless hardfacedness.

The answer is no, they will not be apologising.

As it is about apologies today—and, as I said, I made my apology straight away—let us go back to another apology. I was hoping that the shadow Chancellor would be here today, because I was waiting for years for an apology for the lynching comment against me. Of course, we never got that apology. As the Opposition spokesperson knows all about that campaign in Wirral West, perhaps she would like to apologise on behalf of her party.

McVey completely wrongfoots Greenwood by attacking Labour Party Deputy leader John McDonnell which means the Blessed Margaret can only come up with the feeble response:

The point that the Secretary of State makes had nothing to do with my campaign in Wirral West in 2015.

Of course it doesn’t and that is exactly the point! – and McVey is now allowed to plough on furrowing her own path rather than digging her own grave. However  no political pantomime is complete without a Wicked Godfather . Enter stage right Birkenhead MP Frank Field:

An apology: I was in the House when somebody repeated that campaign phrase against the Secretary of State. I was stunned by what was said, and I hope that she will forgive me for not getting up immediately to object to it. I apologise for my total failure to respond as a human being when that was said, and I hope that she forgives me if I do not actually recite what was said, because such nastiness and evil is not directed just at her; it is directed at my hon. Friend Ms Eagle, the neighbouring constituency to the one that the Secretary of State fought. What is occurring is a disgrace. How we stop it, I do not know, but we can at least apologise when it occurs. I am grateful that the right hon. Lady raised it today so that my saying that would be in order.

FFS! Frankenfield spare us the melodramatics . However what follows is a case of Esther and Frank sitting in a tree ,K-I-S-S-I-N-G …or perhaps not!

McVey responds :

I know those words are heartfelt, and I accept that apology. It took a long time for people to come forward. I would have liked those on the Opposition Front Bench to have done so, because they represent the Labour party, and I know that such a thing is not at the heart of the Labour party.

We started off with a ding-dong in the Chamber today. I do not necessarily think that we are at our best in Parliament when we have a ding-dong like that. People watching outside do not understand the real reasons why we, on both sides of the House, came into politics. I put this on the record now: let us work cross-party to get universal credit right. Let us work with third sector organisations to get it right. Let us reach out and get it right, because it affects so many millions of people. We are doing our best, and lots more people are in work, but we can do more. Let us do it together.

Meanwhile whilst Wallasey MP Angela Eagle gets completely sidelined in the debate allowing for this following lovey-dovey exchange between McVey and Field :

One last point: Back Benchers can apologise only for our own action or inaction. That is my apology.

In this debate, one wonders what truth is and what facts are. When reading the NAO report, I reached totally different conclusions to the Secretary of State. I thought the message was that the Comptroller and Auditor General was perplexed beyond belief that he could not recommend to go back or to go forward. There was a clear recommendation that we should pause, and I ask the Secretary of State for that pause—not never to resume the roll-out, but to at least to ensure that we are not inflicting unnecessary suffering, horror and hunger on our constituents, which Opposition Members have certainly registered, and which must have been registered by Members on the other side of the House.

Yes, indeed, but I am really anxious to respond to the Secretary of State’s wish that we work together. The building block of working together is to take that key sentence from the NAO report, whatever else it said, about a pause—not to scrap universal credit, but to have a pause—to make sure that in three respects we are not party to inflicting untold misery, horror and hunger on our constituents.

The first is that we do not continue the roll-out until we have universal support. We do not have universal support in the way in which all of us understand the word universal.

Secondly, on real-time information, the experience in my constituency—it must be the experience in other constituencies as well—is that real-time information is neither real nor on time. That is causing the most incredible problems with people’s claims. Might we have a pause until we make sure the Revenue can service the Secretary of State’s Department in a way that we need for a successful continuation of the roll-out of universal credit?

Thirdly, on debt, on which the Secretary of State could decide today, debts of yesteryear are being found and charged to people on universal credit. The repayment of those debts is overwhelming people. I am not saying that people should not pay their debts, but do we not think that feeding one’s children, and ensuring the rent is paid and the heating is on, ought to be at least equal in importance to the repayment of debt? Might I therefore make a plea to the Secretary of State that she looks at the rules—not to scrap the repayment of debt, but the amount that is reclaimed—on debts that most of us will have forgotten?

Photo of Esther McVeyEsther McVey The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Again, I thank the right hon. Gentleman for saying that. I want to reassure him. I have not been in post that long to get to grips with absolutely everything on UC, but debt and how it is repaid is precisely what I am focusing on at the moment.

Photo of Frank FieldFrank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

That is wonderful news, but after the right hon. Lady has considered debt and decided on it there is the business about real-time information. This is not under her control as the information is supplied to her by another Department. It is not real and it is not on time, so perhaps she could look at that as the next item on the list. There is also the crucial business of universal support. I tried to claim, but I could not do it in the time. A lot of us need that support to make sure we can make a claim successfully. If we are going to work cross-party on this, there has to be give on the other side as well as on this side.

So there you have it – Greenwood’s motion gets tossed into the bog and Field and McVey carry on with their love in, with Frankenfield seemingly having no political/ideological differences with McVey about Universal Credit but merely expressing  frustration at the bureaucratic processes associated with its implementation.As far as we’re concerned he was more keen about getting his bitchy digs in about the Labour leadership than ‘the untold misery, horror and hunger’ of Universal Credit . And as for Frankenfield giving way willingly – we’re best saying nothing!

All we will say is that if Field donned a blonde wig and a pair of kitten heels would we be able to tell the difference between him and McVey when it comes to Universal Credit ?

Is it any wonder McVey gets away with it?As this Guardian article puts it  If Esther McVey’s getting away with it, things must be really bad

Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #8

PIP’S PANTO 

Our loyal readers get us and know exactly what – and who – we like (and don’t like). Accordingly the following information was sent to us by a few members  of the Leakerati and was described as an “open goal” by one and came with the message “please, I implore you. Have some fun with this….” from another. So channelling that laid back Sunday vibe here goes : Wirral Council are commissioning a pantomime.

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As you can see we are not making this shit up . Yes, yes we know it’s always panto season at Wirral Council but we’ll leave you to do your own punchlines . Suffice to say this year’s pantomime has been confirmed as ‘Aladdin’. Freud would have a field day with that choice – keeping the genie in the bottle , the rubbing of lamps etc. For future years might we suggest that ‘Sinbad’ would be the obvious choice (think about it) …..then there’s  ‘Pinocchio’ (the audition for the lead would be right down New Brighton prom) or how about old favourites ‘Spinderella’ and  ‘Puss In (Ugg) Boots’? Indeed someone going by the name ‘Dazzler’ suggests to us a bawdy retro look at how car parking charges at country parks are impacting on the local dogging community with a production of ‘Babes In The Wood’. What does Wirral Council Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies think ?

Pip's panto

MIPIM IN THE BUD 

Talking of outmoded sexism (and racism) we’ve been asked how the Wirral Council delegation got on dans notre coin de pays at this week’s MIPIM (‘Le marche international des professionnels de l’immoblier’) event in Cannes. Unlike last year where they were seen flogging themselves all over social media like a Cannes courtesan (see below) it appears that curiously they’ve been keeping a low profile. They even left the latest ‘Wirral Waters ‘announcement to Peel’s Richard Mawdsley . Read more here : Wirral Waters

Despite the fanfare it was merely confirmation to us that what we have here is a private housing project kick-started by public money. Although we did note that all concerned are still including a ‘speculative industrial project’ as part of future plans. Let’s face it ‘speculative’ is the word – and when it comes to ‘Wirral Waters’ it has been all along !

Checking out the #MIPIM tweets and social media posts it would appear that when it came to Wirral it was as usual case of the Wirral minnow and the Liverpool whale (no that’s not a reference to Mayor Joe) as Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Liverpool City Council’s Mayor Joe Anderson took centre stage – although when it comes to the latter we have to ask – who on earth thought that was a good idea?

During our research we couldn’t help notice that there was there was a great deal of national coverage – including The Financial Times and The Guardian – about how sex workers had been banned at this year’s MIPIM event as the sleazy property industry tries to shed its sexist and racist image. As one delegate named Jane said : “What other industry on the face of the earth in 2018 needs to remind businessmen that they can’t bring prostitutes to an industry conference?”

Might we question that whilst the Wirral Council delegation might have felt at home at why did Wirral council tax payers have to pay for this sleazy jamboree?

The most prominent Wirralian we could find referenced on social media was Wirral Olympian Chris Boardman who rocked up to speak on behalf of er…..Manchester. Although we suppose we should be grateful that at least it wasn’t the ubiquitous Sam Quek.

One thing we did find out is that the outfit responsible for all those bloody artist’s impressions are called Uniform Architectural Visualisation . Didn’t you just know they’d be called something like that ? This latest one one is for Egerton Village/Square  – about which we expect to hear much more.

Egerton Visualisation

A DIFFERENT WORLD

One of the twitter feeds we checked out for MIPIM news was  @WirralWellMade which is as far as we can make out is the Martin Liptrot-led  PR arm of the Wirral Growth Company .The latest Tweet we looked at goes like this :

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Seriously?

It transpires that this refers to Heswall being named fourth best place to live in North West in a poll published in today’s The Sunday Times. What we are waiting for Marty is an accurate reflection of what it’s really like to live on Wirral. Relentless positivity is all Wirral well made and good but might we suggest that accurate reporting and reflection of reality is even better ? Even The Sunday Times described The Wirral (sic) as “a different world” .

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Ain’t it just! and one we don’t recognise or no longer care to be part of !

…..AND FINALLY

West Wirral

We’ve been sent this screenshot from this week’s West Wirral Constituency meeting. Now either that’s a misplaced seating arrangement or we need to send Wirral Council’s Deputy Chief Executive David Armstrong our best wishes on his/her transitioning as currently this is the least convincing gender reassignment since boxing promoter Frank Maloney decided to become Kellie.

 

 

Advent Farewell 18 – Satan’s Little Helper

Satan's Little Helper

Birkenhead MP Frank Field is frequently presented in the media as some kind of modern day saint. We have frequently begged to differ on his venerable status . Believe us –  he ain’t no saint . He may not be Satan either but referring to him thus allows us to redress the balance somewhat .

More specifically for the purposes of this post it helps us refer to Frankenfield’s electoral agent and folliclely challenged factotum Cllr George Davies as Satan’s Little Helper. Frankenfield’s very own Igor – ever willing to attend to his master’s bidding , no matter how unlawful , unethical or immoral . Give us the dirt we’ll give you the money , you can write it yourself . Make it up – we don’t mind .Just make sure you sign it . 

Marty F IgorGeorge as Igor

Cruel?

Life can be cruel,especially for some people who live in Birkenhead. As Frankenfield wants the world and her husband to know. Here he is in today’s Guardian (which has been sent to us by several readers) wallowing in other people’s poverty and wringing every last crocodile tear from his tawdry handkerchief . Once again doing our  Advent Farewell 7 – Frank Field’s Permanent Bank Holiday   story to death and proving once again to be a supreme sentimentalist who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. If you have the (empty) stomach for it here is the latest instalment Hunger in Wirral: the truth behind the tale that made a Tory MP cry

Read Frankenfield described thus : immaculate in a checked shirt and tank top as he surveyed a scene of organised chaos in a sports hall at the Hive youth centre. Around him, volunteers scurried hither and thither to fill Christmas hampers for Wirral’s most needy.

In parliament, Field, who speaks in the perfect grammar of a patrician, had told the Commons it was the first time he had been able to tell the funeral story without crying himself.

A deity in a tank top? It might be a Guardianista hipster thing but we would have thought that a tank top would have been anathema – even in Birkenhead.

And there’s more :

Had anyone told him in 1979, when he became an MP, that he would be spending the run-up to Christmas packing hampers for constituents who couldn’t even afford toilet paper, he would have disregarded them as mad. “I would have gently had them put in a strait-jacket. I would have taken them to lie down in a dark-filled room.”

Can we have less of Frankenfield’s dark fantasies?  And anyway we’ve heard it all before, everyone gets disregarded as ‘mad’ if they don’t comply with his warped world view. Perhaps next time he’s telling Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies what to do he can ask him if his constituents can’t even afford toilet paper how can they can fucking afford to pay for the Hoylake Golf Resort?

Mental-PowerBoy

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” ?

 

 

Election Selection : Week 6

xmas-frank

Understandably, considering this week’s atrocities in Manchester , politics and the general election in particular has been put firmly in its place. That place being a self-serving sideshow – most usually played out in the gutter.

Et Tu, Frankie?

Talking of which we note this week that Birkenhead MP Frank Field took some time out from writing for his usual safe havens  ( The S*n, The Daily Mail) to get a letter printed on enemy territory in The Grauniad  (aka The Guardian).

https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/21/how-might-labour-get-a-fair-hearing-for-its-popular-policies

Note how Frankenfield stabs the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn  , ever so politely, in the back:

‘In the event of a defeat on 8 June, Jeremy’s manifesto must be the point from which a new PLP alone chooses a parliamentary leader who is able to build trust and legitimacy with the electorate. For the new parliamentary leader not to start from here, and to revert to Blairism, would miss the point of just how much Jeremy has changed centre-left politics. The test which must be passed in the new parliament is to combine a popular programme with a leader who possesses prime ministerial qualities.’

So basically, having apparently already conceded defeat , the bitter and twisted poverty tourist says he likes Jezza’s policies but he thinks his main failing is that he lacks the gravitas of his late heroine, Margaret Thatcher . With the narrowing gap in the opinion polls we’re left wondering whether Frankenfield has made a very rare political mis-step or is he just being spectacularly disloyal and duplicitous as usual?

Manifesto Fun

Quite rightly ,one of last week’s commentators took us to task about  whether we’d actually read each political parties manifestos for the forthcoming general election. To which we could only reply – ain’t nobody got time for that!

So following on from our commentary about the Resolution Foundation’s analysis of the manifestos of the two major political parties and the similarity between their welfare policies we move on to expert opinion on the manifesto pledges dealing with finance and crime ( is there a difference we hear you cry !).

Financial think tank, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) , tells us that neither the Conservative or Labour Party party’s general election manifestos sets out an honest set of choices :

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/26/conservative-labour-tax-spending-plans-ifs-general-election-manifesto

And so it would appear that you pays your money and you’re stuffed either way you vote!

Meanwhile the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies published their assessment of the key manifesto pledges by the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.

With the appalling events which took place in Manchester this week their analysis takes on greater significance. Interestingly they reject the notion that , given the lack of strong evidence that more police cut crime, a policy to increase police numbers is not desirable. This points to a broader challenge, as Will McMahon argues in a comment piece on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies website in May 2017

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/sites/crimeandjustice.org.uk/files/UKJPR%20Focus%2C%20Assessing%20the%20Manifestos%2C%20May%202017.pdf

 The resourcing of mental health workers and social workers to manage demand presently met by police officers should be a high priority. This would necessarily mean an overall shift in government budgets away from policing and towards the training and employment of social work and mental health professionals. This approach could lead to a radically downsized and less publicly visible police force, shorn of its social work responsibilities and instead, focusing on the estimated 16 per cent of incoming calls to command and control centres that are actually about law-breaking.

As we’ve said before – the information is out there to make your electoral choice. All we ask is that you make it an informed one!

King Midas In Reverse

SOPPIP

So how’s that “Improvement Journey” going for you Supreme Leader Pip ?
It would seem that having hoodwinked Joycie and the Local Government Association lackeys who presided over the toothless Improvement Board with a pie chart,an action plan and a donation to the LGA fighting fund ( fighting for the right to sustain the self serving status quo) it would appear that its very much back to business unusual at Wirral Council.

However it would appear that  Power Boy Pip and Comrade Burgesski , surely the most calamitous double act since Sodom & Gomorrah, carry on oblivious to reality and in today’s Guardian’s “Public Leaders Network” ( a platform whereby Council leaders nominate themselves to talk propagandist bollocks – and not as they’d like it to appear, a news item in the actual newspaper)  they provide a Stalinist rewriting of history that is a masterclass in revisionist bullshit. The deeply troubling events which led to their respective appointments fails to get a mention. As her Ladyship said : ” I suspect that only the Dulux sheepdog has witnessed more gloss” – SEE HERE

Meanwhile back in the real world the “excessive secrecy” ,”corrosive culture” and “bureaucratic machinations” appear to be back with a vengeance. Below are a selection of quotes from ongoing cases which make it seem like the optimistically titled “Independent Review – Refresh & Renew” never happened (which of course if you listen to Pip & Burgesski  it never did).
 
Forked Tongues & Fernbank Farm

Carolyn Thomson a member of the Fernbank Farm campaign group contacted Wirral Leaks to ask: “Speaking as a member of fernbank farm, we have had no word from the council about their proposed site of where they will re home us, they have gone quiet again , are they ignoring us yet again. Although they have said that they will find us somewhere the equivalent or better I suspect that they won’t find us anywhere at all and we shall be stableless, after our dealings with them I find it hard to trust anything they say, we have heard nothing from them since the court case in February. Does anyone know what’s going on?”

Led Up Hill and Down Lyndale

Parent Governor Emma Leadbetter commenting on the consultation process about Wirral Council being “minded” to close Lyndale School :
“We have sat and read the consultation document – it’s all about funding and capital.We think it’s quite misleading.The openness and transparency we were promised has been taken away from the parents…”  See HERE

Field of “In Your Dreams”

Ingleborough Road memorial field campaigners complain about the failure of the Council to publish a secret report despite a tribunal ruling telling them they should do so in accordance with Freedom Of Information Act. A spokesman for the Birkenhead Institute Old Boys’ group said :“There is no justification for the council to drag its heels, especially when it has given previous assurances to the Information Commissioner that it will improve its performance in dealing with Freedom of Information inquiries.SEE HERE

James Of A Thousand Days (& Counting)

James Griffiths reminds us that it is over a thousand days since he and Nigel Hobro whistleblew to the Council about exactly what we may never know – as we are still awaiting the publication of the reports investigating their myriad concerns about the Council’s financial arrangements with outside bodies staffed with insiders:

“Is that the DCLG Report into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods Reports that Phil the Dill is sitting on?.No it is the Grant Thornton Report they are still grovelling to the DCLG (Department of Communities & Local Government).We know we have lessons to learn blah! blah! blah! to quote the next Mayor. I’d like a dollar for every time he has said that at the Fudgit and Risk It Committee Meetings….”

On a lighter note Mr.Hobro informs us that some of the funny money involved was spent on “Parrot Studies & Behaviour” (no you really couldn’t make this shit up). Could this be for the Council power elite to learn how to “parrot” the well known phrases – “No case to answer” , ” Moving Forward” and “Lessons Have Been Learned” ?

In consideration of all the above might we suggest that if Power Boy Pip truly wants to improve Wirral Council he needs to take a leaf out of Tranmere Rovers book and act swiftly and decisively at the first suggestion of misconduct and if proven start sacking some people.

Readers will recall our Curse of Pip article where Pip and Ronnie Moore met up at a PR event at Wallasey Town Hall  – SEE HERE   where we reported on Rover’s boss’s suspension.

Now considering some of the shady shenanigans that have gone on with Wirral Council staff and Councillors Moore must feel hard done by that he’s lost the managers job at Prenton Park for admitting to betting irregularities .

If he worked for the Council no doubt it would have been no case to answer ,a biq cheque and an untarnished reputation. Of course the ultimate test of Pip’s glorious new regime is how he intends to handle the Wirralgate affair before the shit really hits the fan.

Having already not acted swiftly and decisively when he first heard the tapes we presume it will be a case of back to what Wirral Council knows best – cover up,delay and,denial (see above)…….

And so in Honour of Power Boy Pip, and to herald a new dawn we give you a possible suggestion for the  “Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Chairpersons Theme Song”

“He’s not the man to hold your trust
Everything he touches turns to dust
In his hands
Nothing he can do is right
He’d even like to sleep at night
But he can’t …..”