Whither Wirral Politics?

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‘Disappointed’ Pip #sadface

How are you all feeling after the local election results ? We have to say that even in self-imposed exile we raised a toast or three to Wirral’s voters who seem to have at last woken up and smelt the bullshit!

So here are our thoughts on Thursday’s momentous events. First of all we’d like to say that it seems to us the old guard of all political parties have been wrong-footed by new outlets for political dissemination. Leaflets and flyers and doorstepping just don’t cut it anymore. ‘Advertisement features’ in local newspapers are seen for what they are – expensive and desperate.  We even have to say that the only mis-step of the highly effective Green Party election campaign was the ‘Thank You’ card sent  out to voters on the eve of the election. In the event the sentiment  wasn’t misplaced but it wasn’t very ‘green’. It seems to us that social media is increasingly where it’s at if you want to influence voters – there’s no hiding place anymore for the dissemblers and the disingenuous in political life. The truth is out there if you truly want to find it and as the song goes : ‘ do you want the truth or do you want your sanity?…

Meanwhile the wind of political change blowing across Wirral is not only evidenced by the graphic below which indicates the swing in the local election results since last time but we are also reliably informed that the Green vote share across Wirral was 17%. This is higher than Lib Dems, UKIP and Independents combined and more than double their percentage share last year…

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The fact that now ex- councillor and Wirral Independent Group  stalking horse Chris Meaden failed to secure the Rock Ferry ward is very bad news for another ‘Independent’ Birkenhead MP Frank Field. This was the public vindication of political loyalty over personality.  We understand that Field is repeatedly being told the same thing by the local Labour Party faithful and long standing party members : ” We simply can’t vote for you anymore – you’re not a Labour representative…” .  The inevitable victor in the battle of political ideology was Yvonne Nolan or rather Cllr  Yvonne Nolan who clearly we will be hearing a lot more of if her TV appearance in the wake of her political comeback is anything to go by…

However wasn’t it a shame that the Wirral Independent Group (WIG!) election campaign wasn’t as co-ordinated as their outfits – Oh, the shame!

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The Black and White Minstrel Show  – WIG are the light entertainment of Wirral politics.

Of course this being Wirral there were some sour notes among the sweetness of defeat of   a couple of prominent Labour cabinet members , namely Phill Brightmore and Angie Davies. Brightmore was succeeded as the  councillor for Pensby & Thingwall by Tory poacher turned gamekeeper Mike Collins. This screenshot from Facebook was sent to us in anticipation that Cllr Collins would feature prominently in future Wirral Leaks posts.

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Despite Cllr Collins’ obvious credentials when it comes to satirical opportunities he’ll be hard pressed to challenge long standing Wirral Leaks regular Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes who was sadly was returned to serve another electoral term as a councillor for Claughton. Seemingly Foulkesy is the political equivalent of shit on a shoe and we get the overwhelming urge to scrape the shoe along the proverbial kerb until the noxious waste is finally removed.

And finally – oh, how we hollered with delight to witness Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies on the telly with his best sadface on saying how ‘disappointed’ he was in the local election results. Believe us Pip, we guarantee you’re not as ‘disappointed’ as us in the 7 year misrule that you have inflicted on the people of Wirral whilst you’ve been ‘leader’ of Wirral Council . Tomorrow we will find out who his successor as ‘leader’ of the local Labour Group. Whoever it is will have their work cut out as to where the local Labour Party goes from here, especially  in the light of the fact that they no longer have overall control of Wirral Council and their hegemony of horror has come to an end.

For now all we do know is that when it comes to the future of Wirral politics the old certainties seem to be over…

The Local Election Circus Comes To Wirral

The names in the frames have been announced  for the local elections to be held on Thursday May 2 2019 . So we bring you the Wirral Leaks cut out and keep guide to where we think  the keenest contests will take place and which candidates to watch.

The first match up that caught our eye was the political celebrity death match to be held in the Rock Ferry ward where  ‘Independent’ Cllr Chris Meaden goes head to head with the official Labour candidate and former local Labour Group leader Yvonne Nolan.

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Credit where it’s due at least Cllr Meaden is throwing herself into the ring and is prepared to put herself to an electoral test unlike Councillors Mike Sullivan, Moira McLaughlin and Bill Davies who also fly under the flag of ‘Independent’. It will be interesting to see whether the Rock Ferry electorate vote for ‘personality’ over ‘politics’. Although with Rock Ferry regularly having the lowest voter turn out in the local elections we suspect that the winner of this particular political battle will be the one who best galvanises the local electorate from their political apathy. Good luck with that one.

Elsewhere judging by the resources that the local Labour group are throwing at the Birkenhead & Tranmere and Prenton wards, and the results last time round, it would seem they are anticipating a strong challenge from Green Party candidates Steve Hayes and Chris Cooke respectively.  The former is contesting current Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ ward now that the cowardly lion has bailed out of facing a public vote . The latter is up against Labour Wirral Council Cabinet member for being permanently excited, Cllr Angie Davies, who has been touted as a potential Labour Group leader (no laughing at the back) so this will be a particularly interesting ward to keep an eye on.

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Another anticipated closely fought political battle involving someone else who has been spoken of as a future Labour Group leader will be taking place in the Pensby & Thingwall ward where Cllr Phill ‘Two L and Back’ Brightmore faces Conservative candidate Mike Collins , who we know is a particular favourite of ex Wirral Council control room staff. When Collins stood last time in this ward the final count was very close. So who will take the spoils this time round? The political heavyweight or the actual heavyweight? People of Pensby & Thingwall you decide!

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Astonishingly we find that Cllr Steve ‘Foulkesy’ Foulkes  is actually allowed to stand in the Claughton ward. It is an appalling indictment of the state of Wirral politics and the standard of its politicians. And then again look at his ‘proposer’,  fellow Claughton councillor George Davies. Of course, Davies , as Frank Field’s electoral agent is used to doing the dirty work when it comes to such matters.  Below is a picture from the local elections last time around and what the lucky people of Claughton can look forward to suddenly appearing on the doorstep over the next few weeks – but then knowing what the people of Claughton know about Foulkesy’s antics over the years they get what they deserve

George as Igor

And finally… if the name of the UKIP candidate for the Wallasey ward is to be believed it would appear that Santa Claus is coming to town in time for the local elections but then it must be said we don’t believe in any of them…

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Frank Field : Is he or isn’t he?

Frank's In A Mess

Why isn’t this all going to plan ?!

Is everyone enjoying ‘The Less Than Magnificent Seven’ show as much as us ? The Labour Party splinter group known as the United Kingdom Independent Group (UKIG) are providing us with further validation that following Brexit UK politics is broken and fit only for satire. UKIG? Seriously – you’re going with that? From UKIP to UKIG  – how far we’ve travelled on the road to political disrepute.

However our interest in this particular debacle is piqued by local interest and our favourite MP Frank Field . The eternal question is whether he’ll have the courage of his convictions, grow the requisite genitalia, get off the fence and join UKIG. After all you know what they say – those who sit on the fence are likely to get splinters!

We’ll go out on a limb and suggest that he won’t . As befitting passive aggressive bullies like Frankenfield he’s quite happy to keep paying his Labour party subs , snipe from the sidelines , fail to call a bye-election and let others make an unholy show of themselves.

Whatever his decision Frankenfield will no doubt be very tolerant of people like UKIG founder member Angela Smith who ‘misspeak’ about people having a ‘funny tinge’ – especially when his own electoral agent, Cllr George Davies, has done the same.

Racism

 

Null and Void in New Brighton?

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We had been contacted by Paula Walters the UKIP candidate for the New Brighton ward in this week’s local elections prior to Wirral Globe updating  its original story from 23rd April about Ms Walter’s alleged ‘hate tweeting’ .  Today , a week after the article, Wirral Globe have also issued an apology to Ms Walters – see here
The upshot of all this hoo -ha is that depending on the outcome of the election that Ms Walters may well have to petition to have the  New Brighton election declared null and void (see below).
We won’t comment on Ms Walters’ statement to us other than to say that we fully concur with Ms Walters’ final line :
I was contacted by Liverpool Echo that Christine Spriggs accused me of hate tweeting and would I like to comment. I asked to see the article so that I could respond. They refused but did send the tweets which were from 2015. I responded to each and every one of them which to be fair was a bit like ‘War and Peace’. I was then advised by Tom Houghton from the Echo that he was unable to honour my right to reply and went ahead to publish – on April 22nd see here –  what in my opinion is an unfair,unjust article. The Globe reproduced the article in its entirety but went further in their headline that I am standing down. There has been no sign of an apology for trampling over my reputation (until today –  a week after the original article ) and the Police are now involved, also The Independent Press Standards Organisation. I often attack policies of other parties but would not attack other candidates as a way of point scoring. I find this abhorrent. Feel free to publish my statement
STATEMENT : It has been falsely alleged by Christine Spriggs, The Liverpool Echo and by the Wirral Globe that I have posted ‘hateful’ Tweets. These Tweets have not been reproduced by the paper. I tweeted that Halal slaughter, in which animals are conscious when their throats are cut, should not be allowed in this country. I tweeted that money should be given to those needing cancer treatment, pensioners and the homeless rather than illegal immigrants. I tweeted that illegal immigration jeopardises our security, as ISIS has pledged (again last week) to send jihadists into our societies. I tweeted that people who have multiple wives – a criminal offence in this country – should not be paid extra benefits for them. The Wirral Globe/Echo did not reproduce these Tweets, because they were aware that huge numbers of Wirral voters agree with them, wholeheartedly.
Instead, they have propagated the lie that they were ‘hateful’.  They have additionally now stated that I am standing down as a candidate in the forthcoming election. This is another lie, and an illegal interference with the election, contravening Section 106 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983 I cannot now do anything to change that, so on the Town Hall’s advice I will be petitioning for the election to be declared null and void. I regret the cost and inconvenience this will cause, but if someone lies repeatedly and breaks the law to affect an election, it is the only proper course to take. These people will stop at nothing.
Paula Walters, UKIP candidate for New Brighton

Wirral Leaks Election Selection – 1 week to go

We didn’t know whether the local elections had been cancelled as you’ve all been very quiet and then suddenly our inbox (and your letterbox) has been pounded in the hope of a big finish and/or happy ending (!) and then suddenly we realised it must be the last week of local election campaigning!

GREEN SHOOTS

You poor ,poor people – it’s a case ‘Hobson’s Choice’ for most of you and if you’re living in Birkenhead & Tranmere ward you’re really unlucky – it’s a case of ‘Jobson’s Choice’!

Talking of which – here’s an interesting factoid :

Green Shoots

Just sayin’

SMEAR CAMPAIGN 

We’re a broad church here at Wirral Leaks and we’re always happy to redress the political balance if people approach us with tales of political hypocrisy . Here’s one we received this week from Kipper Central titled  Local UKIP Candidate in Smear Campaign

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Here we find ‘Labour Rose’  Cllr Christine Spriggs apparently involved in a smear campaign :

Paula Walters, the UKIP candidate for the New Brighton ward on Wirral council, is being targeted in a politically motivated smear campaign. The Liverpool Echo, owned by the overtly left-wing Trinity Mirror group which owns the Mirror stable of newspapers amoung (sic) others, has teamed up with local Labour councillor Christine Spriggs to try and force Ms Walters to stand down.

A smear campaign with racist allegations?  Perhaps Cllr Spriggs needs to check the conduct of her Labour colleagues Cllr George Davies and Cllr Steve Foulkes before she starts throwing stones in glass houses!

Just sayin’

ASTERISK OF HOPE 

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Talking of which many of our readers have been in touch asking permission to use Wirral Leaks content in their election campaigning only to find the object of their objections wasn’t standing . Most prominently – and once again for all the wrong reasons  – was Cllr Steve Foulkes aka ‘Foulkesy’ . Someone had done some research and sent us this picture of the 2015 election result and claiming that the asterisk meant ‘retiring councillor’ . We don’t want to dash their hopes but we think Foulkesy is here to stay . How else is this piece of poliical detritus meant to feel important? And what’s more the good folk of Claughton seem to enjoy the spectacle of fisticuffs with the missus!

Just sayin’

Mayor Balls

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So have you all voted yet in the bore-fest that is the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor election?

We studied the Mayoral election booklet that was sent to Leaky Towers before we decided where to place our X ( or X X – as we lucky people get to choose a second candidate!) We’re still not sure what the Liverpool City Region ‘Metro’ Mayor is for , although we read that he – because let’s face it it will be Steve the Brickie – will have a range of powers including strategic housing and planning ,transport and highways, business growth, energy and environment, finance and European funding.  He’ll be a busy boy then – although doing what exactly we’re not quite sure. I suppose we should be thankful that this election didn’t take place 20 years ago as our very own Frank Field said he’d fancy his chances. Can you imagine Frankenfield meddling in everything left, right and centre? Frightening! But anyway back to the current eight candidates and their policies/pledges/pleas/promises – call them what you will…………………… http://liverpoolcityregionelects.org/media/1006/mayoral-booklet.pdf

We’re trying to be objective here but what struck us reading them all is that Steve ‘Brickie’ Rotheram’s pages are decidedly short on any actual concrete plans. Plenty of soundbites and platitudes  and needless to say ‘the vision thing’-  “ My vision is for a region that is ambitious ,fair,green,connected and together”, ” I will stand up for every community and ensure every voice is listened to”  etc; etc;  Yes , Steve , but how?

All of the other candidates set out exactly what they want to do and how they want to do it . Even though one candidate Paul Breen doesn’t appear in the booklet at least we can tell from his handle Get The Coppers Off The Jury what he wants to achieve !

Roger Bannister ( Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – TUSC) may not be the same man who was the first to run the mile in under 4 minutes but he does set out 5 key aims.  Tony Caldeira (the Conservative Party) sets out a 6 point ‘Tony’s Plan for the City Region’ .

Similarly Tom Crone (Green Party)) has a 5 point plan as does Tabitha Morton ( Women’s Equality Party) who has the same number of ‘priorities’. Carl Cashman has 4 parts to his ‘vision’ whilst Paula Walters (UKIP) must have double vision as there are 8 parts to her particular ‘vision’ for the City region.

Shame that none of the visions ,plans ,priorities will come to fruition as we know that with six boroughs in the City region and all of them Labour-controlled that Steve the Brickie is a shoo-in . This might explain his ‘can’t be arsed’ entry prepared by his agent , head of North West Labour executive, Anna Hutchinson. We are however treated to a full page picture of Steve the Brickie wistfully gazing into the middle distance wearing a ’96’ badge , campaigning wristbands and stroking a puppy ( we made the bit about the puppy up – but you get our drift).

So having considered all the information on offer we’ve decided to vote for Tabitha Morton from the Women’s Equality Party. With a name like that she seems to be ‘one of us! one of us! one of us!’ to purloin Steve the Brickie’s rather cultish election tagline. Talking of cults wouldn’t it also be good to shake up the tired old male -dominated City Region political scene? Go Tabitha!

 

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