February 2010 Archives

labourpains.jpgHot on the heels of Peter Kilfoyle's decision to stand down from his Liverpool Walton seat it has emerged that he is publishing a new book next month.

Labour Pains promises a "warts-and-all perspective on the Blair-Brown era".

"This book is intended, above all, to be honest," Kilfoyle has said. "I have no concern for reputations or careers, nor for those who have priced such ephemera beyond those principles upon which they were first selected, and then elected, to represent their constituents, the party, and the country.

The book is being published by Conservative publisher and blogger Iain Dale, who writes about it HERE.

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Liverpool's former Lord Mayor Steve Rotheram is likely to emerge as the local frontrunner to replace Walton MP Peter Kilfoyle.

Cllr Rotheram represents the Fazakerley ward which sits inside the ultra-safe Labour seat, where the party has a majority of almost 16,000.

Had there been an open selection for Liverpool Wavertree he would have been a favourite for that seat.

He can lay claim to an even closer tie with this seat.

So the Socialist Labour Party have met tonight, and have made no decision on whether Ricky Tomlison will be its candidate in Liverpool Wavertree.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on here. I've not been covering the event so I can't really bring you much more, except to say that we still don't know whether Tomlinson will be standing.

The Socialist Labour Party looks set to decide tonight whether actor Ricky Tomlinson will stand in Liverpool Wavertree.

The meeting has been cancelled on a number of occasions, but it looks like it is finally taking place.

"Local SLP members have seen an opportunity to meet tonight, Tuesday evening to discuss the SLP candidate for Liverpool Wavertree, afterwhich they will issue an official statement," a spokesman said.

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The Gordon Brown bullying story shows no sign of dying down just yet.

In today's ECHO there is a brilliant piece by our parliamentary reporter Ian Hernon, who says when it comes to bullying Gordon Brown is just a novice.

He makes the comparison with The Thick of It using the Malcolm Tucker quote: "Relax, he has never hit anyone. Or at least anyone he has hit has never had the b***s to take it to a superior."

Tucker does of course go on to hit Glen (a civil servant) in the face, giving him a bloody nose, in the latest series.

stuartmonkcom.jpgNow that hundreds of Notices to Treat (the prelude to Compulsory Purchase Orders) have just been issued by Merseytravel in respect of Merseytram Line 1 (referred to hereafter as Merseytram) and the construction of a Park & Ride facility at Gillmoss has commenced in order to avoid losing the Planning Permission granted in 2005, the real impact of this ludicrous project is starting to make its presence felt. I am therefore outlining once again my opposition to this scheme which, from its outset, has proved to be one of the most controversial and unnecessary preoccupations this city has ever experienced.

The notion that Liverpool will never qualify as a premier European city unless we have trams running round it, convinces me that the entire concept is driven by considerations of prestige rather than necessity but worse still, very few people understand or appreciate the level of disruption and frustration that a £500M-plus construction scheme will have on their daily lives as they have to come to terms with a 'big dig' the like of which they will have never known previously and which will continue for years if it ever happens.

johncoyne.jpgWhat the Greens have consistently done in the last year is to put forward proposals to get better value out of our local democracy, months ahead of this budget. Proposals we made last October would have saved a huge annual expense of up to £500,000 on local democracy. Savings from all out four yearly elections, clawback of allowances from poorly attending councillors and the relocation of city officers back into the Municipal Buildings would have meant better value from our democracy and more financial resources for front line local services.

Unfortunately, neither the Liberal Democrats nor Labour have been keen to back radical proposals from the Greens, preferring a more "business as usual" approach. This year's budget hasn't done much for Liverpool's long term future.

Twitter is currently alive with the news of Labour holding the Fazakerley by-election in Liverpool.

There had been genuine fears that the BNP might come second, but alas they did worse than in 2008 which is great news.

The campaign got particularly nasty just hours before the polls closed. A mob of about a dozen BNP supporters rocked up outside former Lord Mayor Steve Rotheram's house.

The full story will be in tomorrow's ECHO. Click HERE to read the story.

The Labour party will have open shortlists for both Weaver Vale and Wirral West.

The party is looking for a candidate for Wirral West, which is widely expected to fall to the Conservatives, after Stephen Hesford said he was quitting for "family reasons".

And Weaver Vale is being vacated by Mike Hall, who is standing down for health reasons.

A Labour Party spokesman said: "With the General Election approaching, the NEC agreed unanimously to set up a panel of NEC members that will oversee selections.

"Today the panel resolved that both Weaver Vale and Wirral West will select candidates from an open shortlist."

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Labour's Liverpool Wavertree candidate Luciana Berger has been spotted campaigning in the constituency of foe Peter Kilfoyle MP.

What will "killer" Kilfoyle make of Berger setting foot on his Walton turf to campaign in Liverpool's Fazakerley by-election?

Kilfoyle has hit out at Miss Berger or her defenders on three occasions since her selection last month.

In the latest he responded to Cherie Blair after she appeared to defend Miss Berger by saying that candidates should be chosen on the basis of their "star quality" rather than local roots.

Kilfoyle hit back with: "We can do without such superficiality. Anyway, what is the 'star quality' of someone whose only claim to fame is to resign from the National Union of Students?"

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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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