Political abuse – It’s common in our fractured society and caused by our extreme politicians

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45938754

That politicians call each other by such vile language (who are in the same political party!) says a lot about the current state of our politics. But hey Labour politicians have been calling each other similar and worse than what Teresa May is called by her own tribe for a long time now.

The lies told about Brexit are at the heart of most of our political discord these days and the fact that our two major parties have gone off towards political extremes. Once a party goes to extremes it finds its lovers and its haters both within and outside that political movement. There’s is no room for people of moderate views in either the Tory or Labour Party of 2018, indeed the ruling sects of the two parties want the moderates out and they hate those moderates as much if not more than opposition politicians.

It always seems worse when women are at the sharp end of party political abuse because generally they are far less likely to throw out such abuse at others. In Teresa’s case her party is now of the far right and UKIP-type people are the dominant and uncompromising voice. She however was once an EU Remainer and despite that fact that she’s now trying to sell herself as a Brexiteer the real Brexiteers don’t trust her as far as they can throw her. They are mainly the rich and powerful and they see her as weak; trouble is most folks see Teresa as weak too! Her ‘peace in our time’ approach is not buying them off and it never will do.

Whether it be Momentum/Militant or UKIP/Fascist they deal in utterly uncompromising politics and when people get in their way, who are not of their sect, then the outcome can hardly be a surprise no matter how distasteful it may be.

What’s going on within the Labour Party – The Merseyside Bellwether

Yes of course Momentum is tightening its grip but on Merseyside, as it’s doing across the Labour Party, but they are known as Militant to Scousers. But let’s look beyond the headlines, the questions being are Momentum becoming more Militant or are Militant gaining Momentum?

It seems as though some on Merseyside are now looking back at the 1980’s with very rose tinted spectacles on. It was not a good time for Liverpool but Militant made it worse with their political posturing and false hope. Yes it was some 30 years ago so many who want to celebrate the return of the far left will not have had any experience of that era. Indeed, their knowledge of it will have come from those who do remember it or those who were a part of it.

Well it seems things are starting to repeat themselves as more moderate Labour councillors start to walk away, defect or suffer deselection in Liverpool. Here’s a recent Liverpool Echo story on the matter:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/sitting-liverpool-labour-councillors-out-15241026

I also understand that some Labour MP’s on Merseyside may not be all that comfortable, especially those with longer memories. By the way don’t get too carried away with Frank Field MP resigning the Labour Whip. His case is more of a unique nature because of his support for Brexit, which seems to go beyond that of even the Labour Leadership in Westminster and that takes some doing.

A good starting point for anyone wishing to get their heads around Liverpool City Council or the Labour Party on Merseyside is to visit the blog site of former Labour MP for Walton Constituency Peter Kilfoyle. If you remember he was Neil Kinnock’s man in Liverpool when Militant were being driven out of the Labour Party.

The Lib Dem Group Leader on Liverpool City Council, Cllr. Richard Kemp, is another blogger on the local political scene who lived through the Militant era, in his case as a Liverpool City Councillor. Both of these men have the scars and knowledge of how Liverpool, from the management of public services perspective, simply fell apart at the seams under Militant. Neither have rose tinted spectacles I might add.

So is Liverpool really slipping back towards the political mismanagement of the 1980’s? At face value it seems to be doing just that. Labour in the City is already riven with splits of both a political and personal nature. That you will oft hear of a Labour faction calling another Labour faction ‘a gang of Tories’ or words that effect says it all does it not?

From a wider perspective my feeling is that Liverpool has always been a tough place to govern and that everyone who has tried to do it has eventually ended up with burnt fingers. Maybe this is not unusual for a large city council? In my years as Leader of neighbouring Sefton Council (and these coincided with good years for the City of Liverpool) you often got the impression that the City Council was pretty much on the edge and that power struggles within it were always about to erupt. But despite this underlying instability within the City Council it still wanted to be the boss on Merseyside and it got very frustrated with the surrounding Borough’s that were often less than keen on whatever its latest initiative was.

That Merseyside politics has traditionally been seen as dysfunctional by governments of all colours over the past 30 to 40 years is a given but to me the City Council and its inability to be at peace with itself, let alone with it’s family of local government neighbours in the now called ‘City Region’ is at the heart of these difficulties.

My guess is that Liverpool City will always be a political melting pot which attracts those with both radical (I use that word in its widest terms not just in the Liberal sense) and off the usual scale views. It will also pull in those who want power because they feel that their vision for the City is the right one whether it sends the City to hell in a hand cart or not and it’s the Labour Party that they usually subscribe to.

Should Liverpool end up is some politically dark places again under Labour then the reality is that few will be surprised. Oh and one last point, on becoming leader of Sefton Council I was asked by a senior officer, somewhat tongue in cheek obviously, ‘what’s your most important task as leader of the council?’ I thought about it but before I could answer I was advised it was to keep Sefton out of the Rotten Boroughs column of Private Eye. As a reader of Private Eye I wonder whether the leading lights on Liverpool City Council have in recent times been advised the very opposite to me?

Oh and as a PS, here’s another Liverpool Echo article. The state of the Labour Party must be a factor is this ‘walk away’ too don’t you think:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/leader-wirral-council-makes-surprise-15289031

Militant Liverpool – An insight into the the game being played out all those years ago

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-militant-council-collapse-fears-8358943

rsz_220px-militant

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above – which takes us back to those dark days when Liverpool City Council had pressed the self-destruct button. Oh how that era damaged the City and gave it an image that has taken a long time to shake off.

Liverpool – The Militant Era

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29953611

The BBC has the story although it reads a bit rose tinted spectacles to me. Of course it ended up with both Militant and indeed the Labour Party losing control of Liverpool City Council to the Lib Dems for many years as Liverpool folk realised that this Militant era had done a huge amount of damage to the image and economy of Liverpool. Indeed, just the mention of Militant and most people across the UK and possibly beyond will sadly still think of Liverpool for all the wrong reasons.

It seems a long time ago now, but it is only 30 years. Liverpool has changed hugely since then with the 2008 Capital Culture year marking a complete break with its unfortunate and ill-conceived flirtation with Militant policies of the 1980’s.

Just now and again you still hear the odd Labour councillor/voice in Merseyside harking back to what they still think was a good time for Liverpool, but of course it was a desperate time that all but killed the City off.

What is it with Bootle Labour’s control freaks?

Since Bootle Labour Party took control of Sefton Council (backed up by seemingly powerless Labour members from elsewhere in the Borough) their need to control just about everything has become more and more evident, indeed it seems to go to ludicrous extremes.

Take last Thursday’s Sefton Council meeting. There were 3 motions about health issues; all 3 should have gone through with all-party support but one was picked over and lambasted by Labour simply because it was from a Southport non-Labour councillor, or so it seems.

The motion all the fuss was about concerned dementia and had been put forward by Cllr. Pat Keith but at one point in the debate a Labour member called it ‘bogus’ and I rose to ask that this unfortunate remark be taken back and apologised for – sadly it was not! Frankly, there was no need for this Labour ‘big brother’ carry-on and it did make them look rather silly.

Contrast that with two other motions put forward by a Labour member on health issues (breast feeding and maternity care) where we opposition Lib Dems tried to support the thrust of Cllr. Killen’s motions without shouting her down simply because she is not of our political colour.

What’s more a further motion on the agenda, the text of which had been written by the charity Action Aid, was amended by Labour to include some child-like addition congratulating the Labour Party. I ask you………………..

Their Leader often talks about us all working together on Sefton Council yet Bootle Labour’s actions create exactly the opposite environment. Of course we Liberals and Social Democrats with the Lib Dems can get along with the Social Democrats within the Labour Party but we see very little of social democracy from Bootle Labour who run Sefton Council. It’s all old fashioned municipal socialism, old Labour barons and a hint now and again of what sounds like Militant rhetoric popping out in debate. They seem me to to be the kind of target that Labour Leaders like Neil Kinnock once had in their sights

You have to see the Bootle Labour Party in full flow to believe it all at times.

Sefton’s Labour Leader barracked by anti-cuts campaigners

One thing the Labour party can’t be accused of these days is being Socialist, the speeches of Shadow Cabinet members Ed Balls and Rachel Reeves prove that. Labour is openly talking about bigger and deeper welfare cuts if Labour gets re-elected and them sticking to Coalition spending limits etc.

Yet on Council’s such as Sefton the Labour members, or at least a significant number of them, are Socialists and they say they stand for a very different set of values to those the Labour Party very clearly now stands for. The obvious question is how can Labour move forward with such fundamentally opposing views within it? But also, why do true Socialists who are Labour members want to get their party elected when it is openly saying it will do what they abhor?

The Sefton budget meeting last Thursday saw all this in the raw as the Council’s Labour Leader was barracked by Socialists in the public gallery, who have left or maybe were never in the Labour Party and cries of ‘Tories’ were heard ringing out as Peter Dowd proposed the Labour Budget.

I know that Labour is said to be a broad church but frankly how can Labour politicians who propose bigger and deeper welfare cuts sit side by side in the same Party as those who still espouse the the testaments of Militant? Answers on a post card…………………….