Please leave the dissent at the Town Hall door

By Mr Brocklebank on Jan 24, 13 11:58 AM in

Liverpool_town_hall_conditions_of_entry.jpgIF THERE is one phrase that politicians have worn down to a nub, it's the one about the 'difficult choices' they are constantly faced with having to make.

A word they are less likely to use, however, is 'unpopular', although for the average politician what makes a decision difficult is probably little more than knowing it will prove unpopular with the electorate.

If anything is going to make any administration less than popular, Mr B contends, it's cutting services. But it would seem from recent decisions taken by Liverpool council that the 'sleepless nights' some of them are having may be less about cutting those very essential services, but being seen to be doing so.

For example, measures have been introduced which now require members of the public to submit, presumably where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion, to having their bags searched before entering the town hall (Mr B suspects in case there was a fear a custard pie or two might be thrown).

And as well as banning heckling and shouting (except on the benches themselves, of course), the council forbids placards and banners from being brought into the chamber - a move former Militant stalwart Tony Mulhearn astutely suggested could be in response to the fact that the council records its meetings for its 'e-pravda' Dale Street News.

Perhaps the sign pinned on the railings outside the Town Hall should, for the sake of absolutely clarity, have finished with the dikat of "No opposition!"

THERE was a time when Labour seemed set to completely conquer Merseyside's political scene.

Only earlier this year we saw the borough of Knowsley lose every last opposition member to become 100% red.

And the current make-up of Liverpool council, with 74 of the 90 members drawn from the Labour ranks, makes some fearful that Liverpool could itself one day be a one party state.

The other boroughs, however, seem to be less susceptible to Labour domination, as far as Mr Brocklebank can tell.

And worse than stalemate has to be being forced into the retreat, as was the case in the

Wirral last week when Labour lost the Leasowe and Moreton East seat which it had held.

The seat had to be contested following the sad death of Labour's Ann McCardle late last year, and by-elections in wintry Januarys are relished by no political party.

So perhaps to give a bit of excitement to proceedings, Labour chose Pauline Daniels to defend the seat.

Many in Liverpool will be familiar with her as the inveterate actress most famed for her portrayal of Willy Russell's Shirley Valentine.

Unfortunately, Pauline's election bid was less than award-winning.

Someone with a similar name to the defeated actress (but who was rather more capable of working magic) may have forecast how well Pauline would go down on the Wirral: "They'll like her .. but not a lot!"

5 Comments

Ocean said:

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johnson said:

Maybe this is one place where power does not play a role. I mean these politicians have at least one place where they are just like any other person in the streets. I mean this is definitely for a good cause and I’ll support it for sure. outdoor garden decor

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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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