Wavertree hopeful Luciana Berger didn't know who Bill Shankly was

By David Bartlett on Jan 29, 10 08:44 AM in

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Today we find ourselves having a laugh with Labour's Wavertree hopeful Luciaina Berger about her lack of local knowledge.

Earlier this week Peter Kilfoyle criticised her for not having enough local knowledge, so the ECHO decided to put her to the test.

The result, she doesn't know who Bill Shankly is or who performed Ferry Across the Mersey.

On hearing who the Anfield legend was she said: "You can't ask a girl a football question."

Then afterwards: "I'm not new to the city. I've been coming here for the past decade through all different jobs.

"I first came here as a student. I've done a lot of work with student unions in the North West."

I suspect most will find this amusing more than anything. But on a serious level, does it matter?

That Miss Berger does not know who Shankly is not likely to be a deal breaker when people come to vote.

But writing in the Daily Post Labour party sympathiser Phil Redmond makes the following point:

When existing MP Jane Kennedy stands down at the election, her replacement as Parliamentary candidate is dashing, perhaps crawling, up the M6 and, apparently, forsaking aspirations to become a councillor in Camden. There's modern politics in action for you...

So, the region is stacked with rising stars. Seats not only in the House, but in No 10. Excellent news. Except, what do they really know of Old Swan, Tuebrook or Clock Face?

Some may say that this does not matter, it is about ability and talent but they are overlooking that politics, like football, is, at its heart, tribal. A sense of place and belonging is important, if only through an understanding of shared values indicated by, say, regional accents, like that of the current MP for Wavertree. But for the motorway MPs, living in one place, working in another and representing somewhere else, where is the tribal focus? Where is the real understanding of life gained through mixing casually, sometimes unintentionally, with the majority who never bothered to vote, as much as seeing the small minorities that visit surgeries, join delegations or selection committees?

It's been and interesting first week for Miss Berger as the candidate for Wavertree. On the bright side for her, I suspect things will get a little easier from here on in.

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David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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