Labour – Goodness me they seem very troubled

It goes without saying that if UKIP were not in the mess that they are the press would be all over Labour’s internal troubles even more than they have been. So Labour must be glad of UKIP continually grabbing the political misery headlines (with the help of a BBC obsessed by UKIP) as it helps keep their troubles under the radar somewhat.

But just look at the facts, they are startling and they show how deeply troubled the Labour Party is despite it having a terrible far right Tory Party Government to hit against.

Here are just some of their troubles in no particular order as it is so difficult to know where to start and how to rank their difficulties.

* Is it me or does their Deputy Leader have difficulties being loyal to their Leader? Because that’s how it looks to me.
* On Brexit, why do Labour feel that their best interests and those of the UK are served by backing our far right Tory Government?
* How do you end up with a political party which has a Leader from the left whilst the vast majority of his MP’s are not of the left?
* How many times do you have to amend the membership of the Shadow Cabinet as Labour MP’s quit or are asked to leave.
* Just how unclear does a political party have to be about its policies? It seems that no sooner does their Leader say something than other MP’s and Shadow Cabinet members are queuing up to make their disagreement known.
* How come Labour seems to have almost forgotten that it’s the Official Opposition to the Tories in Parliament?
* How does an opposition party manage to lose a Parliamentary seat to the Government of the day (Copeland) – such has not happened for many a year.
* Why are Labour MP’s resigning mid-term (Copeland and Stoke so far) in seats held by Labour for generations.
* What on earth were Labour doing in the Stoke by-election trying to look for all the world as though they were a UKIP-lite Party?

And more locally

* How come that noises from within Sefton Central Labour are so openly negative about their chances in the future?
* It may only have been a Town Council by-election in Prescot last Thursday but Labour lost a seat to the Lib Dems by a huge margin. The Lib Dems took 68% of the votes cast with Labour tumbling down to just 28%!
* Why are Labour sources predicting that they will probably lose the Sefton Seat at the next election when the incumbent Labour MP is sat on a huge majority?
* How come Labour activists are openly speaking of their party coming out of the next General Election with 120 seats or less?

I could go on but this list is enough to make any political party wonder if it has a future.

My assessment of Labour is this. They have elected a Leader of the left but hardly a competent one, so the move leftwards has been made far more difficult than it needed to have been. Indeed, with so many Labour MP’s being not of the left (Blairites) a hardly functioning leadership keeps getting shot full of holes; not from Tories, Lib Dem’s or the SNP but from its own disgruntled ranks!

Labour has always prided itself on being both a broad church and having strong internal loyalty. The broad church is now the problem as the left and right wings of Labour’s congregation really can’t stick each other and loyalty well that’s very much a thing of the past. Interestingly, that once fierce loyalty came from the trade union movement that gave birth to the Labour Party and it was based on the fact that if the early trade unionists did not stand together at all costs they would be defeated.

The electorate generally does not like divided political parties so unsurprisingly, other than Labour’s core vote which will vote for it almost no matter what the Party stands for, progressive voters in particular are turning their back on Labour. What’s more Labour’s membership is falling too and the Lib Dem’s (and to a much smaller extent the Greens) are benefiting from that as people join them.

So what does Labour have to do to start to put itself back together? Well that depends on what it wants to be and there’s certainly no agreement there amongst Labour’s MP’s and members. The vast majority of their MP’s want a return to some form of a centrist/Blairite-type Party – just don’t mention the Iraq War or privatisation of parts of the NHS though! The vast majority of Labour’s members on the other hand want it to be an obviously socialist party. I think poor old Ed Miliband did try to bridge the huge gulf by nudging Labour leftwards but it was a hopeless compromise and as we all know the wrong Miliband had won their Leadership race back then and he was going nowhere.

Having been a member of a political party that pressed a huge self-destruct button (labeled Tuition Fees) and which only just survived it I can recall being in the self-dug hole and that almost unstoppable urge to dig it deeper. But the difference with that Liberal suicide attempt and the one that Labour is engaged in is that we Lib Dems stayed remarkably united even during our darkest hours.

Labour may be many things but united it is certainly not!

Labour – Still kicking lumps out of each other whilst backing the Tories Brexit plans

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39325559

The BBC has the story – see its web site via the link above

I don’t know about you but I see Tom Watson as one of Labour’s many problems rather than someone who is trying to unite his Party.

As Deputy Leader he has gone along with Labour backing the Tories over Brexit so I rest my case.

When on earth will Labour realise it is the official opposition in Parliament rather than a Tory lap dog?

Maghull – Former Library & Youth Centre Site – the final bit of the story and the evidence

My previous posting of yesterday refers – see link below

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/11/10/former-maghull-library-site-call-for-community-to-express-a-view-on-the-future-use-of-it-lasted-less-than-one-day/

The former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and old Maghull Library in the heart of Maghull's shopping area.

The former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre and old Maghull Library in the heart of Maghull’s shopping area.

Some of my readers may have been sceptical about my postings on this rather bizarre subject, frankly I was beginning to wonder myself! However, here is the evidence, in the form of a documented official minute from Sefton Council’s Cabinet meeting of last Thursday 5th November:-

70. FORMER MAGHULL LIBRARY AND YOUTH CENTRE, LIVERPOOL ROAD NORTH, MAGHULL

Further to Minute No. 43 of the meeting held on 3 2015, the Cabinet considered the report of the Head of Corporate Support which provided details of the tenders received as a result of the marketing exercise for the sale of the Council’s freehold interest in the former Maghull Library and adjoining Youth Centre, Liverpool Road North, Maghull. The previous decision of the Cabinet had been called-in and was considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services) on 22 October 2015.

The Committee had decided that it should be referred back to Cabinet to enable information to be provided on the following issues:-

1. that the views of local residents were not taken into account
2. the local housing needs were not given adequate consideration particularly bearing in mind the ageing population of Maghull
3. the principle of social value was not taken into account
4. the requirement for a different mix of shopping opportunities on the site
5. the Maghull Neighbourhood Plan was not taken into account
6. the strategic opportunity for the development of the wider site/area, to provide a greater development opportunity, was not considered

The report provided information on the above issues in Paragraph 4.5 of the report.

Decision Made: That:

(1) the additional information set out in Paragraph 4.5 of the report be noted;

(2) subject to the receipt of planning permission, approval be given to disposal of the Council freehold interest in the former Maghull Library and Youth Centre to the highest bidding tenderer detailed in Appendix 1, on the terms set out in the report; and.

(3) the Head of Regulation and Compliance be authorised to prepare the necessary legal documentation on the terms and conditions detailed in the tender documents, by way of a Building Lease followed by Conveyance of the freehold interest, or an appropriate alternative means of Transfer, if required.

Reasons for Decision: Maghull Library relocated to new premises within the Meadows Leisure Centre in Maghull and the existing property was declared surplus to operational requirements. The adjoining Youth Centre had also been closed and declared surplus to requirements. The premises are included in the Council’s Asset Disposal Programme for 2015/16. Disposal would bring the premises into productive use and relieve the Council of an ongoing liability.

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected: The Council could retain the premises and continue to incur the holding costs.

Yes the Labour Cabinet utterly and completely rejected, or should I say ignored, the promised community consultation (promised by Labour Councillors I might add) that had been published in the Aintree & Maghull Champion newspaper the day before the Cabinet met. No ifs, no buts, no doubt!

What silly game is Labour playing here? Promising consultation one day and then voting against it happening the next?