Analysis comment

Tories’ plan to take over Liverpool is a crime against democracy – and Starmer’s apparent support for it unforgivable

IF there has been corruption, remove and punish the corrupt, not the city – but police have dropped bail conditions against former mayor. And if there HAS been corruption, the perpetrators are from the same wing of the party as Starmer

Dark day in a proud red city violated and betrayed

Keir Starmer has reached a new low the already Marianas Trench-like trajectory of his leadership of the Labour party today, briefing the media that if the Tory government decides to take over the running of Liverpool, England’s politically reddest city, he will support them. The Tories, not Liverpool.

IF there has been corruption on the city council, the solution is to remove and punish the corrupt, not to punish a whole city and make its democracy nothing more than a sham. But there is doubt whether claims of corruption will ever stick, with news today that the police have dropped their bail conditions against former mayor Joe Anderson.

And if there has been corruption, then it is among the Labour council’s dominant right-wing faction – so Starmer has no place pointing fingers, let alone offering to hold the Tories’ coat while the violate a city that has long been abused by the Tories who hate it for standing up to them.

Starmer’s low and craven betrayal got the response it deserves among genuine figures of the Labour movement:

And Starmer received a political warning he would do well to heed:

If this unfounded coup proceeds and Starmer abets Johnson, there will be mass resignations from the party in what has been Labour’s strongest English city. Liverpool will go the way of Scotland for Labour – and the consequences for the party in the rest of England will be felt for years.

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  1. It is only 20 mins on the train to Liverpool city centre. I’ll be there with my family when the riots start

    1. Dunno what’s taking them so long. The flare went up in Bristol last weekend!

    2. Ordinarily I’d recommend you chose your words with a bit more discretion…Except with stammer’s latest and most evident episode of establishment shithousery, it really has become ‘Us vs Them.’

      So fuck him, and fuck ‘them’. If (and when) it goes off, I know where my finger’ll be pointing. (Take note, you 70%…)

      Greasy, slimy bastard’s more or less declared class war with his latest cnut’s trick. Looks like he may well get the war he didn’t want; or so he claimed he didn’t want, but has acted in a way that will only provoke mass resentment and likely civil disobedience.

      Remind me….Who else was it didn’t want a war, promising not to do this, or go after that, but whose lying, conniving,and avaricious megalomania caused WWII?

      Hmmm…IIRC it was someone else propmoted way beyond their competence, werent it?

    3. Apologies for pushing in near the top of the comments, but I just tried to go on to Craig Murray’s blog and came across the following message:

      Maintenance mode

      Temporary Blog Closure
      March 24, 2021 in Uncategorized by craig

      In view of our understanding that the High Court has found some articles on this blog to be in contempt of court, and in view of the fact that the Crown Office had sought to censor such a large range of articles, this blog has no choice but to go dark from 15.00 today until some time after tomorrow’s court hearing, when it will be specified to us precisely how much of the truth we have to expunge before we can bring the blog back up.

      This is a dark day for the entire team here. We will be looking to appeal this to the Supreme Court and if required (though we very much doubt it will be) to the European Court of Human Rights.

    4. If you get there before the police, you should see a wonderfully peaceful demonstration of disapproval at HMG’s strident suspension of effective local democracy Stay nice, keep smiling..

  2. I have noticed the Establishment have been after taking over Liverpool for a while now. I’ve wondered if it was to do with goods travelling through the port to/from the EU (Ireland) or is it something to do with Ireland being an outpost of Silicon Valley and something to do with the US/UK trade deal. Dunno, but they’re after Liverpool for some reason and it won’t be in Liverpool’s interests.

    1. Liverpool has been a thorn in the side of The Establishment for years, now.

      Thatcher was intent on the ‘managed decline’ of the city – whatever that means to a sane person.

      The people of Liverpool fought, for twenty-seven years, for Justice for Hillsborough – and won.

      Liverpool is a Socialist city.

      There are many cases of Liverpool v The Establishment.

      The difference, this time, is, the Tories have the PLP on their side. Something shameful and never heard of before. It’s an indication of how low The Labour Party has sunk, in less than a year, under Starmer and Evans.

      Their names will join McNicol, Oldknow, Austin, Mann, Woodcock etc and go down in Labour Party history – in infamy – for their treachery.

  3. Robert Jenrick appears to have announced that he has opted for the half way house of Commissioners working with Liverpool City Council whilst holding the sword of Damocles over their heads for a minimum of 3 years.

    Labour and Liverpool Council accept the findings of the report

    1. According to the Liverpool Echo – It is expected that the report will be published in full later today

    2. Stick to bot sentinel Centrist Dad,they might appreciate your propoganda.You are genuinely revelling in the destruction of the Labour party….Sicko..!

      1. Joseph – If there has been any corruption or wrongdoing don’t you think the perpetrators should be held to account?
        What propaganda, is anything that I have written on this page untrue?

      2. There is some corruption in almost every council in the country especially the planning department. You ought to know as you said you used to be a councillor. Bung, bung. 😉

      3. No Einstein it isn’t. Which makes the blocking of anti-corruption candidate Anna Rothery somewhat perplexing.

      4. The way to hold the perpetrators to account is to put Anna Rothery back on the shortlist for the Liverpool mayoral nomination. Since she is utterly innocent of having any connection to the corruption the Labour Right have imposed on the city, Rothery, who is clearly the people’s choice for the nomination, should be elected mayor. There is no justification for turning the city over to a party essentially no one in Liverpool supports. And since the people of Liverpool are utterly innocent of any wrongdoing in this, there is no good reason to punish THEM by putting them under an even more right-wing municipal government which has no agenda other than killing the city with austerity.

      5. kenburch – Oh come on we all know that austerity is imposed by the government, local authorities don’t have an option. All they can do is make the best of a bad job and do their best to counter the Tory narrative that the cuts are being made by their LA. I am struggling to see how she could make any real impact on austerity if that’s what Sunak decides. Surely your not advocating a re-run of the Militant days. That didn’t end well.

      6. SteveH- I don’t want Liverpool run by a Militant-like group, and it’s silly to accuse anyone of wanting that because no group that’s the equivalent of Militant exists anymore- But the policies were good, and Labour should pledge to repeal the ratecapping poilcy, so that local authorities can actual bring in and maintain Labour policies no matter who is in power at Westminster.

        There’s no good reason for Labour ever to have accepted ratecapping, and there was no good reason for Labour to treat the policies of the Left councils as a nuisance and a disgrace- as we’ve seen, no policies to the right of the policies those councils brought in could fairly be called Labour- and certainly not the sort of more-Tory-than-the-Tories policies “Labour” councils in places like Bristol and Manchester have brought in, or that Liverpool Labour finally lowered themselves to after the entire Left-not just Militant, but all socialists- were purged in Liverpool.

        Local election results should make an actual difference in the lives of local voters.

  4. It’s almost like Starmer would prefer to rid himself of Labour supporting constituencies, well left ones that is. To be replaced by the Tory Shires.

    1. It’s exactly like that. Like him loathe him, he is playing a blinder. Labour left are in an existential battle for survival. Please, do not give them a penny of your hard earned money.

  5. According to the Liverpool this is what we have learned so far. It appears that all the Liverpool MPs who have spoken so far support this action by Jenrick

    Commissioners will look after some City Council functions for at least three years
    Mr Jenrick confirmed he is sending commissioners into Liverpool City Council to look after ‘certain and limited’ functions for at least three years.

    ‘Environment of intimidation’
    Describing the breakdown of governance at Liverpool City Council, Mr Jenrick said there was ‘an overall environment of intimidation’.
    He added: “The only way to survive was to do what was requested without asking too many questions.”

    ‘Taxpayers increasingly lost out’
    Mr Jenrick says was a failure of proper process “relating to property management” including compliance with the council’s own standing orders.
    This he said resulted in a “failure to correctly value land and assets, meaning taxpayers increasingly lost out.”

    Liverpool Council elections change
    A number of changes will be made to Liverpool’s council elections.
    There will be whole council elections from 2023 and a reduced number of councillors and single-member wards.

    Functions being transferred include property management
    Executive functions of regeneration, highways and property management are being transferred commissioners, who will be sent to take control of the council’s planning.

    Labour announce a review into Liverpool party
    Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Steve Reed says that the Labour Party will be launching a review into the Liverpool Labour Party.
    He said the party will take action over any wrongdoing

    1. SteveH
      Grateful for this update. If you don’t mind can you explain to me Jenricks proposal of cutting councillors and do you know who will decide where they will stand.
      Finally it’s a bit rich coming from Jenrick about taxpayers money when he himself interfered in Richard Desmonds development to save Desmond £40 million at the detriment of the local council.

      1. BackOfBeyond – At first glance this is the only explanation I can find Page 48

        Remove the power of LCC to seek to change its electoral arrangements under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 and, instead, delegate these powers to the Commissioners to consider and consult upon a proposal to change the LCC electoral cycle to an all-out elections once every 4 years, with a reduced number of Councillors elected on a single member ward basis to be implemented as part of the current boundary review being undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

    2. Liverpool to city council, like so many other Labour councils is run by right wing cliques who’ve been in place for generations.

      1. lundiel – If they are found to be culpable then their political career (or job) will be no more.

      2. lundiel – Thanks for your contribution, what isn’t quite so obvious is that the LW will be able to capitalise on the opportunity. should it present itself.

  6. Self destruct by the leader of the Labour party…Take out the reds in Liverpool and take out the Labour party .Mission very close to accomplished for Sir Keir Rodney Starmer of Oxted Surrey…and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise who funded it.?

    1. Joseph – According to SB
      ” if there has been corruption, then it is among the Labour council’s dominant right-wing faction”
      I’m no fan of Jenrick but you should bear in mind that he could have just taken over the council instead of the Commissioners working alongside councillors to fix the problems.
      Maybe this is an opportunity for a clear out some of the entrenched RW.

  7. Apparently the report has been published –

    Has anyone found a link to the report ?

  8. Perhaps, the expectation that large number of Labour Party members would leave the Labour Party over Starmer’s betrayal of of Liverpool is the very reason for Starmer to support Jenrick’s proposal.
    Labour members from Liverpool shouldn’t leave rather follow the advice of the Black Socialist Group and refuse to help canvassing, delivering etc for any Labour candidate that supports Starmer. Let us defeat Starmer at the ballot box by abstaining in large numbers at the next Local elections next May when Labour candidates aren’t socialist.
    However, if left Labour members leave the Party on large numbers then when Starmer loses the next General Election in 2024, the re-placement would be another right winger for leader.
    However, if we refuse to help in their electoral campaigns, the right wingers within the PLP will most likely lose some of their seats.
    While we need to put our efforts in supporting the few socialist MP that we have keep their seats and not allow a single one of them to lose the seat. In CLP’s under left control to select socialist candidates for vacancies.
    Under these material conditions two things will happen:
    1-The proportion of socialist MPs within the PLP will increase so we can select two candidates for the leadership rather than one.
    2-The membership of the Labour will return a socialist leader and the left would have regained control of LOTO.
    Hence, don’t leave the Labour Party stay and fight.

    1. Who are the Black Socialist Group? Are they a split from BAME or the Labour voice of BLM? It won’t matter soon because all that will count is if one one has a vax passport or not.

  9. IF the Police have come to a deal with our Joe on bail conditions being dropped its more than likely he will have grassed his pals up for a good deal.The guys nearly a pensioner and I am sure that a couple of years in prison wouldn’t have done his health any good.Mind you neither will his misfit pals if they get their hands on him..Maybe a ferry to Ireland?

  10. Is there a Commissioner for Temporary Embarrassment, never mind the f7ck8ng spivs and thieves in the cheap and nasty Tory party

  11. Well, there we have it. A neck and neck race for the worst leader of The Labour Party. It’s between Starmer(who else) and – going back almost one hundred years – Ramsey MacDonald.

    At least, MacDonald got to lead a government, of sorts. Starmer will never get to do that, now, so, I suppose, that must make him the ‘winner’. Yay! Sir Starmer!

    Shameful day! Shameful!. It only pointed up how weak Starmer, actually, is. Couldn’t do the job himself, so had to hang on to Tory coat-tails. I do wonder if there was any kind of collusion.

    The Tories hate Liverpool. We all know that. I’m not sure if Starmer, actually, hates Liverpool, but he was, certainly, at his wit’s end, wondering what to do about it. Who was in the discussion group, ‘What to do about Liverpool.’? I wonder who made the suggestion, ‘I wonder if the Tories…?’

    Ah, well. Roll on May, eh? That should see the end of him. He can take his cabal, his Focus Groups and his Think Tanks with him.

    Now, the only problem is – who takes over?

    1. George – I do wish you could all make your minds up is Liverpool a hotbed of socialist lefties or is it controlled by the council’s dominant right-wing faction
      Have you read the 50 page report yet?
      I’ve yet to hear anyone from Labour (national and local) challenge its findings

      1. There is nothing in the report that could possibly justify denying the people of Liverpool any say in how their city is run for the next three years. The report doesn’t justify the removal of Rothery from the shortlist- there was nothing wrong with her pointing out that some of her opponents in the mayoral race were under investigation-everyone in the room already knew that anyway- and there is no good reason for Keir to support turning the city over to the Tories rather than just getting out of the way and accepting Rothery as mayoral candidate, since she is innocent of any form of corruption.

      2. kenburch – If you’d read the report then you would have appreciated that isn’t what is happening.

      3. Putting the city under Hedrick’s control for three years can ONLY mean the people of Liverpool will have no say in their future. There is no good reason for Starmer to support abolishing municipal democracy in Liverpool for three years. He has no reason to be THIS obsessed with purging Corbyn supporters- they aren’t the enemy, for god’s sakes, and there’s nobody who’d consider voting Labour but only if no one to the left of Gordon Brown is part of it.

      4. kenburch – Obviously ignorence is bliss as far as you’re concerned. You could try doing something really novel and read the f’ ing report,

      5. There is no contradiction between right-wing control of the Liverpool Labour Party- a control that only exists because of decades of stitch-ups from above which are designed solely to prevent anything like the policies Militant brought in, policies which did the people of the city nothing but good and which remained popular until Kinnock decided his pointless hatred of the unjustly labeled “loony left” councils- none of which were loony and all of which were popular with those who elected and re-elected them- and the assertion that Liverpool is a left-wing city in terms of political feeling. It’s not the Left’s fault that the local Labour party is controlled by right-wing crooks, and the fact that it is does not mean the voters in Liverpool actually WANT their Labour council to be right-wing and corrupt(as all right-wing Labour councils always are, of course).

        Whatever you can say about Militant- and their inner workings weren’t to my liking- they are still fondly remembered in Liverpool as the first decent, non-corrupt local government that city ever had. There are still people, decades later who will proudly tell you that they live in “Militant homes”- housing that was ONLY built because Liverpool Labour was socialist instead of “moderate”.

        Kinnock should have done PPB’s explaining and defending what the Left councils did to those who didn’t live in the cities they ran- he should have made that a strength rather than treating it as a threat.

        Every city where Kinnock purged the Left ended up with a Labour council that no longer stood for anything, that placidly obeyed the rate-capping laws, that gave up on creating a socialist or even humane future for their cities, that gave up doing anything beyond administering austerity with a human skin mask.

        Purges did nothing but damage then- they’re doing nothing but damage now. People who want Labour to purge leftists would never vote Labour- no matter how many leftists were purged.

      6. kenburch – First of all if ‘the left’ were in the majority they would control the CLP and the selection of Councillors and secondly what has the above got to do with the problems outlined in the report (have you read it yet?).

      7. The issue isn’t the findings…we all know Liverpool Council is a disaster. But the way to remedy its problems is not to suspend local democracy- we have no good reason to think the Tories will ever restore local government in Liverpool-but to simply require the existing Labour councillors to stand down at this election and be replaced by others nominated by an open, democratic process. There is no hope of a decent, progressive, positive future for Liverpool if the city is going to be ruled from Westminister by clueless, arrogant reactionaries for the next three years, and there is no reason for anyone who isn’t a Tory to defend that decision. Democracy simply ends in Liverpool if this decision stands- there won’t even be any good reason for anybody there to vote in parliamentary elections.

        As to what councils can and cannot do, there is an easy solution- if Labour ever gets into power again, it needs to repeal the ratecapping bill and let councils govern cities on their own terms and with the actual ability to make a difference. If ratecapping is kept in place, why even bother having local elections at all? Why reduce local elections to simply being about each party trying to “get its turn” to administer an unchangeable status quo?

  12. People are actually surprised? The Neolabour Party are Neoliberal edging on Neoconservative thanks to Blair and Starmer. The Tories are Neoliberals and Neoconservatives. Starmer is a Tory Parasite, he and The Neolabour Party MPs proved that on many occasions! Pure Thatcherite Tory! I can’t help but wonder how much of that decision had to do with his Sayanim Duties, it’s going to be interesting watching this little sideshow unfold!

      1. There’s nothing in it that makes putting Liverpool under the personal control of a Tory cabinet minister a defensible option. The problem was the corruption of the Labour Right…it’s absurd to act as if the entire local party, including left-wing activists who oppose the Labour establishment in the city deserves punishment.

      2. kenburch – They are not acting against the Labour Party you numpty the supervision and guidance is of the council and the Commissioners will not include Tory minister.
        Please have the courtesy to find out what your are talking about before wasting my time with your ill informed rubbish.

  13. Just been pointed out on twitter that Tories and coalition imposed a 58% budget cut on Liverpool during austerity. So who’s more corrupt? And who wants to continue austerity to “pay for Covid?”

    1. lundiel – I suspect that some of ‘red wall’ that switched to vote Tory did so because they had cottoned on that constituencies with Tory MPs got more money than those with Labour MPs

  14. I arrived in Liverpool in 1976 into a militant environment & politically active in my Riverside Ward. Cllr Anderson was always an aggressive ‘tub of lard’, seeking to claim any successes for himself & nobody else. Selling Calderstones Park for housing development & having planning applications approved on a prime site for the football team he supports in Liverpool City Centre is another example of his operations, causing pollution & traffic chaos every other Saturday on the ‘Dock Road’, despite opposition from local residents. A fist shaking, finger pointing nasty piece of work..
    PS my wife is Evertonian.

  15. Leaving aside the hypocrisy of the selective pick and choose application of the “principle” of dealing with corruption – which, given the Government’s blatant corruption over procurement should see the UN come into the UK on the same basis as the Government are going into Liverpool – there exists the problem of the precedent now having being set.

    The way which this Government and it’s grovelling excuse for an opposition operate there is every reason to anticipate other centres of opposition will be targeted. Which then leads to the obvious question of what is the point of campaigning for candidates in local elections? The whole point is to provide an effective alternative. When the existence of any effective alternative at any level will result in that alternative being targeted by the Government and supported by what is fast becoming a Party of Uriah Heep’s the notion that we should be focusing on walking into that situation by wasting time with a LA Campaigning is not just an anachronism it’s a dereliction of duty.

  16. The question is have you actually read it SteveH?

    Seriously, you, along with what is alleged to be the “Official Opposition”, are hanging your hats on a report which wouldn’t normally pass muster in a Year Nine essay assignment. Full of he said, she said, but no standard due process principles applied in terms of the who is making the allegations because they are whistle-blowers.

    No overt bullying, simply vague assertions to readers of ‘it was made clear’ etc. etc. The standard of evidence bar is not just low it’s buried deep underground. This is a farce of a report considering the consequences.

    The fact that this is being sold not just by the Government but also the Labour Party and people such as yourself citing it as some kind of unarguable and unchallengeable oracle goes a long way to explaining the State of the Country at present. The coalescence of both the Official monopoly left and right in the Labour Party – as well the Greens, Lib-Dems and SNP – around a total rejection of the notion of any kind of standard of due process principles, from objective based evidence and inquiry through to innocent until proven guilty and even the right to a defence in favour of allegation being sufficient to equate to automatic guilt matches the approach of a Government throwing it’s Henry VIII powers around a Beserker.

    Taken together with all the other amateurish approach to doing the business which infests every level of the LP – from throwing elections and selectively gerrymandering discipline and grievance processes through to consistently putting volunteers legal rights at risk – along with the general happy aquiescence and often vehement defence that this is and should be an acceptable norm, is indicative of a wider absence of any kind of professional standards and process principles.

    Seriously, SteveH, no sane person, never mind an electorate, would trust anyone, any organisation or institution who operates in his way to mash the tea never mind run the Country or a Local Authority. Unfortunately, this problem is not limited to the LP. It’s endemic everywhere you look. Little wonder that other Parties are springing up daily. As the SNP, another example of an organisation being taken over by unprof, inexperienced careerist chancers, are about to find out.

    The current divide across the Country, both within and without most existing political party choices, is not between left/right, radical/progressive – traditional conservative (both small and large C). It’s between those who operate on the basis of objective reality – the reality based community – under consistently applied standards and principles and the mob who operate on the basis of whatever convenient reality exists in their heads at any one time.

    1. Dave – You are of course entitled to your opinion even is, as you say, everyone else disagrees with you.

    2. Very well said, Dave. Or put another way, the current divide is between Authoritarian and Libertarian.

      1. timfrom – If they are then that gives us all an insight into their sad immaturity,I don’t really care, I simply wanted to make it clear that I am not Steve Hall.

      2. Please just ignore the above at 7:54pm it ended up in completely the wrong place.

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