Saturday, April 30, 2011

LibDem Mike Storey in ageist attack against Labour rival

Jake Morrison is a hard-working young man who is standing as the Labour Party candidate for the Liverpool City Council elections in Wavertree ward where I live. I was delighted to sign his nomination form and have already voted for him using my postal vote.

Jake works in the Royal Liverpool Hospital as a Healthcare Assistant; He is also a UNISON union representative there and he dreams of one day being a Paramedic. He has been working since he was 13, he has never been without a job, all through school he was working in one capacity or another, at various shops and stores through the city, learning about good customer service.

He is also a member of Harthill Youth Centre's Management Committee and active in the City and North Liverpool Youth Advisory Group.

Since being selected as the candidate by Wavertree Labour Party members in September he has been working hard in the area. Spending time with Wavertree Neighbourhood Police Team and Liverpool Integrated Play & Youth Service (Harthill Youth Centre). He has spoken to thousands of residents in Wavertree and dealt with a lot of casework - I know this because I have been helping him with it, helping him to understand who to approach to solve residents' problems.

He has taken the time to talk to our local pensioners, being a regular at the bingo where he has sat down with residents to talk about their priorities, and he has been out with the detached youth workers to talk to other young people like him, about their desires for the area and what they would like to see.

He has knocked on at least 4000 doors in Wavertree ward since September talking to people so that he could understand their concerns and familiarise himself with every single street.

Jake became interested in political representation after taking part in a Councillor Shadowing scheme set up by the then LibDem council through Liverpool Youth Service a couple of years ago where he spent time with Councillors Joe Anderson, Marilyn Fielding and Alan Dean. He has been sitting in council select committees and coming to council meetings in the Town Hall for several years now. He has presented local radio shows on KVFM talking about politics and democracy, last year interviewing the then Deputy Lord Mayor Hazel Williams for instance about the nature of her role. He has met hundreds of senior politicians, including the Leader of the Labour Party and impressed everyone with his earnest interest and hard work.

I think it is remarkable that an 18 year old young man is so passionate about community politics, and has taken all this time and effort to understand and engage with the system, the processes, the issues and the people. He has really done his homework!

What an disgrace then that he is being attacked by the LibDems and by rival, Councillor Mike Storey in particular, because they say that at 18 he is too young to be a councillor.

Mike Storey was only 21 when he was elected to the council, 30 something years ago. He must have forgotten this - or at the very least is hoping you have! Irrespective of party politics, we should all celebrate the emergence of a new generation of community representatives, we should be delighted that we have young people who want to get involved in such a healthy way in Liverpool life.

We need hard-working representatives who are as diverse as our population. Young and old, black and white, gay and straight, male and female, religious, not religious, with young families, with grandchildren, with or without disabilities, a voice for every kind of resident.

The latest leaflet says "Labour spin doctors are now panicking that they have picked the wrong candidate". I have no idea what brings them to say this, Jake's campaign has excited members of the Labour Party across Liverpool and there are dozens of them, including cabinet members, coming over to help him every day, taking a few hours out of their own campaigning to support him. We are very proud of Jake indeed! We are very proud that by his remarkable efforts to engage with so many residents and to gain their support, he faces a very real fighting chance of winning this seat for Labour against such high odds.

I realise that Mike Storey and his LibDems are keen to save the seat, a seat that has been held with huge majorities by the LibDems for a long time, but this spiteful and increasingly hysterical attack does them - and the population - a huge disservice. Mike should behave like the elder statesman he purports to be. Former Leader of the Council, former Lord Mayor and now Lord Storey of Childwall (where he lives), he should be above such cheap tactics. And he is a headteacher too, who should be celebrating the achievements of young people and encouraging them to greater things - not decrying and belittling their efforts.

By his actions I believe he has lost the moral high ground and is no longer fit to serve, I look forward to welcoming Liverpool's youngest councillor on May 6th.


Prof Chucklebutty said...

What a very real shame that at this time, Mike Storey, should still choose to stoop to this level, when instead he could have come out of this with some respect. Now that he is Lord Storey, he would have been better to have stepped down from the local seat and concentrate his efforts on representing the city in the Lords, rather than trying to cling on to the wreckage of his party at local ward levels. I have always thought he was barmy but I did think that he would finally see the bigger picture for himself, for the city and the Wavertree ward. Is it not better to have the ward represented by somebody bright, committed, full of enthusiasm, energy…and “maccies” Somebody who can concentrate their time on the people of the ward rather than the distractions of the House of Lords? An opportunity for Storey to elevate himself above the smears, dirty politics, in-fighting and melt-down of the local party and to take whatever principals contributions he can make towards fighting for the interests of the city in the Lords. I am sure that I, and many others could support him in that. It is a chance for him to shine as an elder statesman of Liverpool and to bury the recent sordid past. He could have stepped aside to let one of the experienced Lib Dems who lost their seat last May take up the fight for Wavertree. What is he hanging on for?
Your time is up Mr Storey, I hope you can retain some dignity in defeat.

Jake Morrison is old enough to fight for his country in foreign lands, old enough to vote, old enough to have won the support and admiration of the electorate, fellow councillors and shadow cabinet members and MPs. And Lord Storey is old enough to know better.

Lib Dem member said...

I'd expect this sort of p*ss poor literature to seep through from my party considering who the LD agent for Wavertree ward is. Genuinely surprised at Mike's judgement concerning that individual. I'm reliably informed the literature is being written by Mike's agent, so please expect the really poor, tired old phrases "Labour spin doctors" etc etc. The sort of stuff that utterly lacks imagination and helped Colin Eldridge lose.

Having said that, I obviously hope Mike wins rather than the young lad your backing.

Anonymous said...

Brings back memories this - My age was brought up when a candidate back in the 80s - it was a 21 limit then and i was 22 , Politics were different in the city , the conservatives still had seats and defended them hard.

The ward i was in was a tory/lib battle at the time but i and the local party put in a lot of graft as we didnt want to be used tactically by the Liberals .

It was a very close race between the tories and the libs and the labour vote was holding up well and the Libs knew it - and as sure as eggs are eggs in the last few days of the campaign some voters mentioned to us that the "other " parties had raised my age with them.

It was quite flattering in a way and the important thing was not one person i spoke to at the time ever said it mattered - trust the electorate - theyre not fooled by this stuff.

Good luck to the lad -and if i may borrow the famous Instruction to Harry Truman in the last few days of the 1948 US presidential campaign- " Give em Hell" Jake

pat m said...

if storey is defeated it will be down to steve radfords liberals and their late leaflet blitz in the ward ( increasing their vote by picking up lib dems) .
It wont be down to a paper candidate getting out the steady tribal labour vote.

George Potter said...

Disgusting. Just as bad as the lies and low tactics Labour and the Tories have been adopting in my area.

Louise Baldock said...

Pat M - shurely not Councillor Maloney.

I am not aware that the Liberal Party have indeed had a late leaflet blitz in the ward, certainly nothing has been posted in my street.

But dont let me dampen your fireworks.

If the Steve Radford Party would like to remove a few votes from the incumbent and thus boost the Labour share of the vote, that will be just fine.

But let me just make one thing CRYSTAL CLEAR. Aside from the 2010 election which took place on the same day as the General Election, Labour has never received more than about 500 votes since the ward was created.

Hardly "tribal"!

Jemma said...

Lord Storey is greater than Labourwhatshisface anyday. If you want to list all the great things he's done the past year for wavertree you go ahead and do that, but you cant compare it to 30 odd years of dedication and loyalty to the city. Also Alpha.