Four go in search of big ideas – A new radical book

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/four-go-in-search-of-big-ideas.html

1983 General Election campaigning in Southport with a young Iain Brodie Browne and the Shirley Williams.

My good friend Iain a local Lib Dem Sefton Councillor is one of the names behind this great new book. I’ve just had my copy delivered to me* – looking forward to a good read. You can read all about this radical way forward on Iain Brodie Brown’s web site ‘Birkdale Focus using the link above.

Former BBC and Liverpool Daily Post reporter/political commentator/writer Nick Hancock debating with Iain Brodie-Browne.

* I ordered my copy directly from the Social Liberal Forum web site – see link below:-

socialliberalforum.nationbuilder.com/big_ideas_buy

Realignment of the left

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/realighnment-of-left.html

It’s no surprise that Cllr. Iain Brodie Browne is making and commenting on the case for realignment of the left. British politics is in a terrible mess and we are facing Tory (UKIP Lite) rule for many years to come. That should be a prospect to worry any progressive.

Have a read of Iain’s thinking and indeed that of other progressives, including the late great Jo Grimond, via the link above to Iain’s Birkdale Focus blog site.

If Labour can address its tribalistic approach to British politics there may be a chance for progressives to win a fight with our selfish, privileged, divisive Tory rulers. If it can’t then it’s probably going to be Tory rule for a long, long time indeed.

Iain’s reference to Neil Kinnock is interesting as I recall that he started off as very much a left wing MP who was anti-Europe. But he seemed to travel ever towards the right of his party. He also ended up working for the EU. BTW what on earth is it which makes some left wingers anti-EU? Makes no sense to me as surely socialism is supposed to be international. Maybe it’s that strand of socialism which is narrow inward looking and nationalistic?

‘Northern Powerhouse’ progress: Slower than the Southport to Manchester train?

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/northern-powerhouse-progress-slower.html

The Story is on the Birkdale Focus Blog site – see link above

As someone who has always been at best sceptical of the Northern Powerhouse concept/project I find myself at one with Lauren Keith who has written a posting on this subject for the Birkdale Focus blog site. It is worth a read.

I commented quite some time ago about a Labour Party friend of mine re- christening it the ‘Northern Poorhouse’ and a more apt name I have yet to come across. Sadly, I get the impression though that northern Labour leaders seem to have been taken in by it. Without really significant investment it is and will remain nothing more Tory than window dressing.

Iain Brodie Brown is new Mayor of Sefton Borough

I was delighted to see that Sefton Council had elected Iain as its new Mayor this week, not least because Iain is a friend of mine. I wanted to write up a personal tribute so here it is at the start of his mayoral year.

Iain with one of his daughters and grandchildren. Photo credit OTS news

Iain with one of his daughters and grandchildren. Photo credit OTS news

You meet all kinds of folks in politics as you do in life generally but Iain is one of those people who sticks out as being firm in terms of his guiding principles.

A Liberal through to his very core he is also well read in political and social history as readers of his occasional blog site – Birkdale FOCUS – will know .

During my time as Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Sefton Council and my 7 years as Leader of the Council (2004 – 2011) Iain was always there backing me along with David Tattersall, David Rimmer, Sue McGuire, Andrew Blackburn, Roy Connell and many others. I valued them all but Iain’s incisive political brain and his knowledge of political history both locally and nationally was always important to me.

When I stepped down as Group Leader Iain took up that role and I tried my best to support him until I came off the Council. Of course this was in very changed circumstances as Lib Dem fortunes were on a downward trend except in Lib Dem strongholds such as Southport. Reneging on Tuition Fees for example had hit the Party hard so Iain had a much more difficult political climate to operate in. But he did it with this usual confidence often being the most well informed councillor in council chamber debates.

Iain is also a long time campaigner for improvements for those facing mental health difficulties setting up his own company to provide care in this often neglected area of health provision. It is no surprise therefore that Iain will be promoting mental care issues during his mayoral year.

A fundamentally decent man whom I am sure will be a credit to the Borough of Sefton, I hope he and his lovely family have a great year.

UKIP folk counted votes in Sefton’s Birkdale ward?!

This has to go down as one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard about happening at an election count!

Iain Brodie Browne has the story on his Birkdale Focus site:-

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/blog-post.html

I bet Sefton’s Returning Officer will be more than a little embarrassed.

Elected Mayor of Liverpool – More on those payments for no work

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/the-disgraceful-saga-that-saw-liverpool.html

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/sefton-labour-leader-blockslib-dem-bid.html

For those who would like to see more detail about this matter than the Liverpool Echo has published so far, a visit to Iain Brodie Browne’s Birkdale Focus web site is worth a bit of your time. Use the two links above to gain more detail:-

The situation seems to be one of Sefton Council Officers agreeing to the deal but then soon after the School in question, Chesterfield High, converted itself into an Academy and they found the deal unacceptable so terminated it.

There are clearly some big issues here about the use of public money, why the deal was signed off by Council Officers in the first place and whether any of the money can or should be claimed back by the School.

But the bottom line is why on earth did anyone think that spending public money like this was going to be seen to be acceptable to the public?

A subject that a determined local investigative journalist could do with getting to the bottom off and in doing so turn Sefton Council inside out.