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Out with the old but in with what?

Larry Neild on the big political year in store. It's all change but who will survive?

Published on January 11th 2010.

Out with the old but in with what?

CLEAN out those Anderson Shelters, fill sandbags and buy a tin helmet. Prepare to be invaded by a War of the Words. The Battle for supremacy is under way and we are going to be bombarded with politics over the coming months.

Two years ago, Liverpool was within a whisker of be coming a hung council until Warren ‘Paul Daniels’ Bradley pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the form of Lib Dem convert Nadia Stewart, granddaughter of Labour giant Ken Stewart. Is there any magic left in the box of tricks?

So if you want, or need, to escape the onslaught, become an evacuee (Beirut or Afghanistan seems ok) or hibernate.

Will Flash Gordon save the Labour Party and win a fourth series of episodes, will David pull off a miracle and turn England True Blue?

Closer to home, will Warren Bradley take the Lib Dems into a lucky-for-some 13th year of power at the Town Hall or face defeat at the hands of General Anderson and his Labour Army?

Spin doctors will transform the election campaigns into the equivalent of snake oil advertisments of old, promising quick-cure fixes for all our financial ills.

Yes, 2010 will be a roller coaster year for local and national politics, and while many people will be sick and fed up of a forced diet of electioneering, so much is at stake – pointing to a big turnout at the ballot boxes.

Almost 130 MPs are stepping down on May 6, the supposed date for the big battle, opening the doors of Westminster to an army of rookie politicians.

Out will be almost 80 Labour members, including big-shot names like John Prescott, Hilary Armstrong, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt, Ruth Kelly, Richard Caborn and politically estranged Clare Short.

Locally, we will be losing Jane Kennedy, Claire Curtis-Thomas, Ben Chapman and Eddie O’Hara. Bob Wareing says he’ll stand in West Derby as an Independent Labour against official Labour choice Stephen Twigg. Could that give a glimmer of hope to the Lib Dems who have not had a Parliamentary seat since David Alton stood down.

Around 36 Tories are throwing in the towel, including John Gummer, Michael Howard, Ann Widdecombe, the two Wintertons, Sir Nicholas and Lady Ann. One time Wavertree Tory MP Anthony Steen is also retiring. Seven Lib Dems and three indies are also quitting.

Locally the Lib Dems hope to hang on to power in Liverpool. In 1997 Labour swept to power nationally headed by Tony Blair and a year later the voters of Liverpool dispatched Labour into virtual oblivion with a Lib Dem landslide.If there is a repeat of that scenario will we see a Tory landslide nationally and a Labour landslide at Liverpool Town Hall?

Two years ago, Liverpool was within a whisker of be coming a hung council until Warren ‘Paul Daniels’ Bradley pulled a rabbit out of the hat in the form of Lib Dem convert Nadia Stewart, granddaughter of Labour giant Ken Stewart. Is there any magic left in the box of tricks?

So here’s a chance for us to write the headlines in advance for future editions of the papers?

Then we can judge just how good – or bad – our crystal balls have proved.Here’s my starters:

Labour and Lib Dems form pact to keep Cameron out of No 10

Cameron wins most seats – but remains frozen out of power

All change at Liverpool Town Hall as Anderson takes over

Telly babes Esther McVey and Debi Jones head for the Commons

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

John TitorJanuary 11th 2010.

I think they should all be hung.Liverpool Council will have 41 Lib Dems, 41 Labour, 4Greens, 3 Liberals (steve Radfords group) and one lone Conservative in Woolton.In Parliament the Conservatives will be the largest Party but not have a majority. The balance of power will rest with the Scots and Welsh Nationalists, a mix of celebrities/independants, and 2 green MP's.

FloaterJanuary 11th 2010.

Politics and politicians may well be a load of rubbish. But our lives are controlled by theoir actions and their in-actions. We can ignore them, but they won't go away. The grim reality is democracy and people-power have been stripped from the decision making process both nationally and locally. In Parliament most MPs are back-bench cannon fodder, with the PM acting as a de-facto President. Indeed many MPs complain the first they hear about government plans is when they see it on the telly. Similarly in local government our local councillors have NO power at all. The decisions are made by elite cabinets with the cabinet jobs in the gift of the leader, yet another form of presidential-style governance. Is it any wonder the voters are bewildered. Hand-picked focus groups, etc, are not the answer. What we need is a return to traditional democracy where the people WE elect vote by a show of hands on decisions they take on our behalf. That way we can really hold to account our representatives.What was that old saying..... No taxation without Representation.

VotesForWomenJanuary 11th 2010.

Women of Liverpool. This is our chance to have a say. No use deciding they are all useful so why vote - let's put them on the spot and demand promises in return for our votes.

MikeJanuary 11th 2010.

Hmm. More like Teletubby babe

TourmanJanuary 11th 2010.

The only honest man who ever went into the Houses of Parliament was Guy Fawkes.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2010.

How about this. Let no politicians win in the election so we, the people can run the country, and the city. Whoever wins will screw everyone of us in any case.

Kronstadt1921January 11th 2010.

I think party politics is a load of rubbish but I'd like to see a few more Greens on Liverpool city council. We need more open-minded, radical politicians and fewer medicore elected bureaucrats.

Professor ChucklebuttyJanuary 11th 2010.

The old crystal balls again Larry? I'm not surprised in this weather.

Er yehJanuary 11th 2010.

What sort of promises for our votes? When did that ever work?

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