Peter Dowd will be next MP for Bootle

It kind of shows how poor our electoral system is when I can confidently predict the result of the next General Election in one constituency!

Peter Dowd has won his Party’s selection – the election involving the good people of Bootle is now all but irrelevant.

With Peter becoming an MP and I would add filling the boots of Joe Benton, one of the nicest people in politics, who will lead Sefton Council?

The choice is not obvious and no one really stands out within the Labour Group to fill Peter’s boots. There could be quite a punch up over this as that’s how Labour does its internal politics I hear.

Gender issues in Bootle and beyond – A guest posting from Jen Robertson

Recently Iain Brodie Brown commented on his Birkdale FOCUS (see link below) web site

about the astonishing lack of women being MP or Mayor of Bootle. Jen Robertson a young councillor in Maghull has her say about this:-

I share Iain’s outrage but not necessarily his solution. I don’t want to live in a world where the only way a woman can win is if men step aside. Seems more to me like what’s needed is a new outlook within politics and within society.

I can’t help but notice the one woman that has been Mayor of Bootle is referenced in the list as ‘Mrs’, none of the men were referred to as ‘Mr’, somehow they appear either to have deemed her gender or marital status to be relevant. I think it’s important however to take a step back and realise women are hardly the only discriminated against group. How many of those Mayors were non-Caucasian, or disabled, or gay or transgender? I could go on, but it would be a long list. The problem likely isn’t as simple as them all being men, it’s that they’re all probably the same kind of man. Perhaps, aside from the issues of gender, they were a more diverse group than I have realised but it seems sadly unlikely.

Education I really think is the only way to change any of this and it’s so much harder once people grow up. Our schools need to prioritise teaching the ideals of equality and diversity, and their importance in any society, in a positive and proactive way.

There is no point criticising the past for not conforming to modern standards, it is as they say ‘a foreign country, they do things differently there’, but when we can’t conform to our own standards then we become so much worse than the merely ignorant that have gone before us. Politics on every level needs a more diverse involvement, and, when it gets it, it will benefit politics just as much as it will society.

Labour’s Bootle bust up – You could have put money on this after the comrades ditched Joe Benton MP

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above.

I have commented on this situation before because, as a Liberal, I am able to put political tribalism to one side and say what a good MP Joe Benton is and indeed will be until the next General Election. For Labour to stab him in the back says more about those that did it than Joe whom I have always had a huge amount of respect for.

Now the ferrets are fighting in the sack and let’s face it you really could have put money on this happening.

My previous posting said:-

Labour give Joe Benton MP the boot!

The BBC has the story although their photo of Joe is hardly a present day likeness!

I predicted this while ago as Bootle Labour clearly had the knives out for one of the nicest people in Parliament.


Unlike the disingenuous Labour remarks on his ‘retirement’ I really do wish him well. He is the kind of person who should be an MP and frankly if I lived in Bootle I would be proud to say he was my MP.

You can just see how his replacement could easily be another party political robot controlled by Labour HQ.

Joe Benton MP – The comrades seem to be after one of the nicest men in politics


I was sad to see this Liverpool Echo headline and really do hope that Labour members in the Bootle Constituency are not trying to deselect Joe Benton MP.

I have commented before about Joe who is one of those politicians whom those of us in other political parties can honestly say is a good and decent man doing a good job for his constituents.

I do hope that Joe’s retirement will be a matter that he decides and that he does not become a victim of the ambitions of others.

Are some MP’s costing us too much? – A review of Merseyside’s 15 MP’s expenses


Recently released figures show that Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson is the most expensive of all 15 MPs on Merseyside, claiming more than £190,000 last year in staffing costs for his office together with expenses. This is on top of the salary of £65,700 paid to all MPs.

The figures released by IPSA last week show that, in contrast, Knowsley MP George Howarth cost the least on Merseyside, claiming £60,000 less than Bill Esterson.

Frankly, I am concerned about the high level of expenses and staffing costs that the Labour MP for Sefton Central, Bill Esterson, has been claiming.

Sefton Central’s MP is one of the most expensive in the country and it is the taxpayer that is picking up the tab. I am concerned at the profusion of party political press statements coming out of Bill Esterson’s Office every week. We need some independent assurance that public money is not being used to pay the wages of staff who are engaged on producing Labour Party political propaganda.

Such an independent review is required because it would not only answer this fundamental question but hopefully help Mr. Esterson to reduce his claims upon the public purse at this time of great hardship for many in his constituency.

Looking at the figures for Sefton’s two other MP’s, Bootle’s Joe Benton (surely the nicest man in Parliament) and Southport’s John Pugh, they claim far less than Bill Esterson – in fact between £40,000 and £58,000 a year less.

I would like Bill to get his cost to the tax payer down by, say, £40,000 a year. MP’s are paid a lot of money and it is only right that Mr. Esterson and indeed other MP’s with high expenses claims set an example of prudence rather than high cost.

This is the league table of Merseyside MP’s

1 Bill Esterson Sefton Central CC £190705.75
2 Alison McGovern Wirral South CC £190159.16
3 Luciana Berger Liverpool, Wavertree BC £185185.38
4 Esther McVey Wirral West CC £170928.55
5 Stephen Twigg Liverpool, West Derby BC £170774.11
6 Louise Ellman Liverpool, Riverside BC £163891.71
7 Steve Rotheram Liverpool, Walton BC £160432.83
8 Maria Eagle Garston and Halewood BC £158643.19
9 Angela Eagle Wallasey BC £155950.04
10 Shaun Woodward St Helens South and Whiston BC £154105.36
11 John Pugh Southport BC £149027.46
12 Frank Field Birkenhead BC £137044.23
13 Dave Watts St Helens North BC £136905.06
14 Joe Benton Bootle BC £132248.06
15 George Howarth Knowsley BC £129608.50