Posts in Guest Blog
In just over two years, Jake Morrison has gone from being Liverpool Labour's poster boy to their punching bag. He's been forsaken by the party he once loved and by a Leader who has personally praised his work.
You don't come across many young men like Jake in politics. He is a talented, energetic and passionate individual. In his twenty-six months as a city councillor, he has achieved a great deal more than some of his (now former) colleagues accomplished over their entire careers.
I suggest that if it wasn't for sterling efforts of The Oliver King Foundation (of which he's part) and their public defibrillator campaign wouldn't be receiving the attention it deserves. From establishing local residents' associations to taking a lead in national campaigns, Jake has achieved political success in a very short period of time.
I'll be honest; I really thought we were going to do it. There I said it! The internal polling was looking good, Labour had selected a controversial candidate which had split the Party and our membership was growing beyond all had hoped for. Things were coming together nicely!
As we all know though, it didn't work out for us. A mixture of over confidence in our ranks, poor message discipline and a Labour Party that just would not accept defeat all helped elect Luciana Berger as Wavertree's MP.
So, can Jake Morrison do it? Colin Eldridge didn't after building up a massive record of action in the Constituency an almost bigger name recognition. In my view, it's a mission too much for Liverpool's youngest but most media friendly Councillor.
Last week Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne MP made a speech to the think tank IPPR North putting full employment back at the heart of Labour's narrative on the economy and welfare.
The past few years - and the past six months in particular - it's sometimes felt like the progressive left has defined itself in reaction to what we're against - the benefits cap, bedroom tax, workfare.
We've perhaps been quicker to say what we're against and slower to set out a concrete alternative.
There is quite a bit of talk of late, suggesting that Labour Party leadership should conduct behind-the-scenes talks with the Liberal Democrats about the possibility of having a coalition Government with them post-2015.
Frankly - I think a coalition between the Labour Party and the Lib Dems would be a travesty.
Another five year coalition may keep the media and political heavyweights excited, but the public do not have faith or trust in politicians as it is.
Monday marks the 24 anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans lost their lives.
Below is a poem written by survivor John Holmes:
The North West has felt the impact of slashed Government funding settlements more harshly than anywhere. Forty thousand jobs have so far been lost in the public sector in our region, according to the GMB.
Behind each job lost, is a cut in a public service often serving the most vulnerable in our society.
And this year the Coalition want more cuts, even though the International Monetary Fund - no friend of working people - has told George Osborne that the cuts have gone too far, too fast, too deep.
Because austerity isn't working.
I agree that Hope Street is one of Liverpool's Great Streets.
There are a range of architectural styles in the vicinity from the Philharmonic Hall designed by Herbert Rouse in what's called the streamline moderne style of stripped back Art Deco while the Philharmonic Dining Rooms opposite were designed by Walter Thomas in 1898 for Cain's brewery in the exuberant free style.
Then you have the two catherdrals, the Hope Street hotel and extension designed by ourselves, numerous Georgian terraces and the emerging, modern Everyman theatre, so it's a point of agreement that there is a rich variety of building types.
Hope Street along with The Strand, Water Street, Castle Street and St George's
Plateau is one of Liverpool's Great Streets.
Bookended and complemented by our two Cathedrals, its eighteenth and nineteenth century buildings together with the twentieth century Philharmonic Hall provide a stunning iconic streetscape.
Despite having a wide range of architectural styles and finishes, the majority of its buildings sit comfortably alongside one another, their diversity enhancing and enriching the locality.
The Mayor and Liverpool Vision agree that new development on Hope Street should sensitively complement existing usage.
The Christmas and New Year period will see huge demands placed on A&E departments across the UK as staff get to grips with an influx of alcohol and accident related admissions resulting from the cold weather.
Much has been written about the success of independent candidates in elections, which saw independents poll over 1.2m votes in the Police & Crime Commissioner elections, 12 independents becoming Police Commissioners and an independent beating Labour to become Bristol's first elected Mayor.
Some of the success of independents is no doubt down to the fact that these were elections being held on a cold, dark Thursday in November, the role of Police Commissioner was one few really understood or a post that people wanted to keep somehow above politics.
But if the results do mark a new departure in citizen-based politics, is this actually good for democracy?