April 2009 Archives

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Liverpool's Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle is once again capturing the imagination of parliamentary sketch writers with his "17 millionaires on the Tory frontbench" jibe.

In a debate at Treasury questions Mr Kilfoyle said: "Isn't it entirely consistent with Labour values and principles that those who benefited most over the last 15 years, like the 17 millionaires on the Tory front bench, that they should be the people to pay their fair share now that there is a downturn?"

Quentin Letts in the Mail rips into Mr Kilfoyle: "The veteran Hon Member for Liverpool Walton is Old Labour to the tips of his toes. Not that he often sees them, mind you, being more generously proportioned than the average pork butcher."

I'm told that the resignation of Labour's ethics spokeswoman in Liverpool has divided opinion among the party's ranks.

As mentioned previously Cllr Louise Baldock resigned after remarking on her blog that Lib Dems and Liberals were "opportunistic b******s".

She resigned by "mutual consent" - in other words if she had not resigned the party leadership was ready to cut her adrift.

Political resignations are a funny thing, many say they don't happen half as often as they should. And that if more politicians resigned when they were caught out a bit of faith in politics would be restored.

John Prescott will be in Liverpool on Friday at the start of his Prescott Express tour over the weekend to campaign for the Euro elections.

In this guest video blog for Dale Street Blues he dedicates the campaign to trade union legend Jack Jones who will be burried on May Day.

UPDATE: Prescott has blogged on his visit to liverpool, read it HERE.

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Louise Baldock has resigned from her position as ethics spokeswoman for Labour in Liverpool following last week's events.

As mentioned in a previous post she was given a slap on the wrist by the Standards Board for England for remarking on her blog that Liberal Democrats and Liberals were "opportunistic b******s".

Somewhat fittingly she announced her resignation from her position and also her seat on the local standards committee on her blog:

The dangers of blogging

By David Bartlett on Apr 24, 09 03:33 PM in

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I know I've banged on about politicians and political parties blogging, but there are also dangers inherent in it as has been proved today.

Labour's head of ethics in Liverpool Louise Baldock has escaped punishment for calling Lib Dems and Liberals "opportunistic b******s" on her blog.

Although the Standards Board for England gae her a slap on the wrist and warned her remarks could give a "negative impression" and the comments were "gratuitously offensive".

It also said it was part of the cut and thrust of politics.

Parking for profit

By David Bartlett on Apr 24, 09 03:33 PM in

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Parking in Liverpool has been agitating many people for a while now.

The anger over the council's proposal to extend charges from 6pm to 8pm, is not likely to subside with today's revelation that the council is making £2m a year profit from parking.

The council insists it ploughs the money back into transport schemes.

The proposal to extend the hours of charging (to raise £60,000) is currently the subject of a council inquiry, which had its second sitting this week.

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As a child of the 80s the breaking of trade unions is something I've only ever really read about.

This morning I couldn't help but be fascinated listening to radio reports about the life of legendary former trade unionist Jack Jones who died aged 96.

His friend Tony Benn said: "We were told 'break the unions, keep out, leave everything to the markets' and now we are in the most serious crisis for 60 years. So I think that also makes Jack's death a moment for reflection."

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Fresh evidence of how seriously the Liberal Democrats are taking the campaign to capture the parliamentary seat of Liverpool Wavertree has been mentioned to me.

Yesterday Colin Eldridge, the Lib Dem candidate, was one of around 20 handpicked to be briefed via a conference call by the party's economic guru Vince Cable on the budget.

Apparently this was the first time the party had decided to do this, to make sure candidates in top target seats are kept up to speed by Cable - said to be one of the most trusted politicians in Parliament.

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It's worth taking a couple minutes to read this article which Birkenhead MP Frank Field has written for the Spectator.

Two most interesting points in a detailed piece of economic analysis are his assertion that public spending must be cut and his suggestion that the Conservatives now seem likely to be the next government.

It never ceases to amaze me that Mr Field gets away with saying these things, when other parliamentary colleagues would not have the nerve or would find pressure brought to bear on them for veering from the party line.

Liam Murphy has pretty much covered every angle of controversial library closures in Wirral. Here he guest blogs for Dale Street Blues on the emotive issue:


For the uninitiated, the council was about to close 11 of its 24 libraries, but just under two weeks ago culture minister Andy Burnham ordered an inquiry into the plans - the first such inquiry in 18 years.

The closures were part of a massive review of all cultural facilities in Wirral which aimed to stop it losing money hand-over-fist, and also included transferring various assets such as village halls and suchlike to their local communities to operate and run as they see fit, and transfer of museums and Birkenhead Town Hall.

This latter issue is not addressed below, largely because it is far less controversial - so far - but may be worth a blog entry at a later date.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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