Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's all kicked off, and in some places it is kicking off, in Liverpool

Labour launched its vision for Liverpool, 2008 today.

I will load the text up here over the weekend.

We had a manifesto launch at the Devonshire House Hotel, joined by no less a person than Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and three local MPs (all women, all four!)

Councillor Joe Anderson launched our 8 pledges for 08 (actually there are about 25 pledges but they are in 8 broad themes). I am really proud of the manifesto, although this being the policy convenor lark is a lot more involved and intense than I could have imagined.

We celebrated our new candidates, our retiring councillors and four party stalwarts who have given over 200 years service to the Labour Party between them. It was very moving actually, I had a tear in my eye more than once. No, I did, really.

Everyone is absolutely committed to working hard, campaigning hard, engaging residents, talking to people and more importantly, listening to them; to getting our message and our candidates out in the community(lots of young faces, lots of women as well as many of our long-standing and senior councillors are standing this year.)

Liam hopes to put his nomination papers in tomorrow, on the first possible day at the first possible hour, that is how keen this particular young man is to stand up and be counted.

Elsewhere it has been a busy day. We had a public meeting in the Alex on Farnworth Street, next to the Boaler Street rehab and respite centre, to discuss the campaign to keep the centre open. It was a really good turnout, people are so angry about the closures and the loss of valued staff with specialist skills too. Another 300 petition signatures arrived in the post today. Local residents at the meeting pledged to sign up 1000 in the next week too, which will push our total up even higher. I have not had chance to count them all yet but would think we are already at something like 3000.

The Echo is now receiving postcards every day too, from local residents who want to see the two centres kept open. I think they have had about 300 so far - so they will have to start taking notice soon, and not just put out the kind of one-sided biaised stuff like they did in yesterday's paper. Otherwise I can see an Echo boycott on the cards, right across the city, from ordinary residents who feel gagged.

And the other news today from the LibDem "bag of ferrets" in Liverpool is that hot on the heels of the three deselections comes the resignation of Councillor Paul Clein, the Executive Member for Children's Services (Education, essentially).

He has not resigned his seat, nor from the party but from his portfolio. As far as I could work out he was saying that he is happy with the LibDems as a party but not happy with the leadership of this particular LibDem party here in Liverpool. He accuses them of putting personal power ahead of policy or principle.

To quote his email to the LibDem group "In my view the Liberal Democrat group on Liverpool City Council exists to deliver Liberal Democrat policies and Liberal Democrat principles. It does not and should not exist having as its main purpose merely to maintain a small, increasingly illiberal clique in positions of power, positions whose main focus seems to have become obsessive revenge. That must change or our group will soon become increasingly politically irrelevant."

He particularly criticises the LibDem leader of Liverpool and the former leader, for the way they punish those who challenge them - citing two of the deselections in particular.

Another astonishing revelation today was contained in an email from deselected Councillor Firth, in his email to his LibDem colleagues, where he repeats for their benefit an email that he received from Councillor Warren Bradley, now leader of Liverpool City Council, back in 2002.

It says "You have just confirmed to me that you are a complete and utter t---, and you have never lived in the real world, get a life and you might just realise that that rosy little cup that you drink out of will eventually crack, this is when all the people will see what I saw a long time ago. How you can represent people from this City or anywhere else is a joke and I am absolutely convinced that your little gravy train will come to an abrupt halt as you hit the buffers of life, and see what life actually brings once you raise your head above the parapit".

And that, dear reader, is the way our great and glorious leader writes to his own colleagues!

Dear me, no wonder Councillor Paul Clein felt it incumbent upon himself to resign his position today, on the basis that by staying in the cabinet some people might think he was offering "tacit approval of this disgraceful episode."

I had wondered how those LibDems with a history in the Liberal Party would be taking all the illiberalism their group were demonstrating, and now I know - they don't like it! Good for him for taking a principled stand.

I hardly dare to open the paper each morning, for more shock revelations. Will there be anyone left standing when the dust settles?


steve faragher said...

The electronic peregrine falcons are coming home to roost, melt down or what.....

Anonymous said...

(Scouseboy)I was around (front line) during the militant times, and they never insulted their "comrades" in this way!!! This current crop of Fib Dems make militant look like nursery school!!!

Tori Blare said...

Will the last Lib Dem out turn off the lights?