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Putting the Boot in

Larry Neild becomes a Special War-ren Correspondent, reporting from the front line as the Battle for Liverpool smoulders on

Published on May 24th 2008.

Putting the Boot in

BRIGADIER Warren “the Warrior” Bradley, undisputed Commander-in-Chief of the 46 Lib Dem Irregulars is in the wars again.

Readers will recall he survived an attack by the Liverpool Resistance, headed by M. Pier Anderson, by producing Nadia “Trojan Horse” Stewart to give him a wafer thin majority. It enabled the uniformed Brigadier to consolidate his grip on newly named Troytown.

The Brigadier has insisted that the dispatch of the dirty dossier was nothing to do with him. Funny though, that just a couple of days earlier he had requested a copy of the very same report about the Boot wrangle from council mandarins.

Now the newly installed member of the Magic Circle is at the centre of a so-called Dirty Tricks controversy. It seems on the day when Bradley was “fighting” a potential coup within his camp, each of his Irregulars very conveniently received, anonymously, a dossier spelling out the failings in the redevelopment of the Boot Estate in Norris Green - a failure that led to Warren's chief challenger for leadership, Richard Kemp, to do the honourable thing by falling on his sword.

The Brigadier has insisted the dispatch of the dirty dossier was nothing to do with him. Funny though, that just a couple of days earlier he had requested a copy of the very same report about the Boot wrangle from council mandarins. Well if Warren says it was nothing to do with him, then that’s it.

But here's an idea: To prove that fact, and to confirm his assertion that his group (26 voted for him, 20 against in the leadership battle) is united, he could do no better than to appoint Private Kemp as his Batman and Deputy Leader. That will stop the wagging tongues.

I doubt that will happen as The Brigadier has a new enemy to attack at Tuesday’s annual meeting of the City Council .... democracy.

Local decision making has been under attack for some years since most of the power was handed from elected councillors to unelected senior officers. It has made a mockery of council meetings which have, over the past few years, become nothing more than toothless talking shops.

So much so that from this week, ordinary council meetings will be held just three times a year, instead of every six or seven weeks.

There will be an annual budget meeting in the spring to set the Council Tax- the only real chance councillors have to actually putting up their hands to vote.

There will also be the more or less formal annual meeting when the new Lord Mayor will be installed. As Deputy Lord Mayor, Mike Storey will take the ceremonial chain of office in 2009. From this week, he will be out of frontline politics for at least two years.

There was a time when the ordinary folk of Liverpool could, with the Lord Mayor’s permission address the assembled politicians. They could hand in petitions in the hope of drawing attention to a particular causes.

The Town Hall and the city council meetings were effectively our own mini government where those we elected at the ballot boxes, in full gaze of the city, voted. Often the Opposition would call a “card vote’” when the name of each voting councillor was called out. If it was controversial, like the closure of a school or an old folks home, you knew who was for or against.

But even with a toothless city council unable to make real decisions, there has always been a fallback in the form of scrutinising select committees. Guess what: The Lib Dems are going to do to them – slash the number from nine to six, and area committees are being reorganised so there will also be fewer of them.

Within a few years we have witnessed the biggest change in the way we are governed for more than a century: we are no longer governed by our elected councillors, we are now ruled by highly paid officials.

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

Robert MugabeMay 19th 2008.

Not even I would stoop as low as Mike Storey!Watch what you say stanley

Stanley StreetMay 19th 2008.

Mike Storey to be Lord Mayor in 2009!This discredited hooligan and chief incompetent (responsible for C.o.C. cock-ups for the past five years) has already been dismissed for unprofessional conduct but this gang keep giving him jobs! How can this happen? Is he a mate of Robert Mugabe or something?

The TonysMay 19th 2008.

Glad that Larry is catching up with the instantaneous world of the internet - of course he could have given credit where credit is due, to http://liverpoolsubculture.blogspot.com for breaking this story last Thursday. Tho his additional ruminations and speculations are, as always, interesting...

larryMay 19th 2008.

hear, hear!

Lord StreetMay 19th 2008.

Hear hear! Civic pride in Liverpool could be restored to the levels featured in the Daily Post's old photographs!

Vladimir PutinMay 19th 2008.

Who are you calling a twat?

Eleanor RigsbyMay 19th 2008.

It's so very depressing. If anyone says the pathetic wrangling and lack of real leadership doesn't really matter, take a look at the city. Half way through our culture year and it's a building site. What's worse they - the stupid councillors and overpaid officials - say the work is a good sign for Liverpool. Not it's not, the stupid idiots. People want to come here and see our city at its very best, not crammed with traffic cones and building sites. Who do these jumped up people think they are kidding???? The sooner the rubbish Lib Dems get BOOTED out the better.

Thabo MbekiMay 19th 2008.

A time for a bit of quiet diplomacy I think, even with that useless twat Bradley

AnonymousMay 19th 2008.

To the Tonys, whoever you are, now it's your turn to be called Patronising Twats.

Sir Howard WayMay 19th 2008.

If the Council is so hard-up for someone to be Lord Mayor that they have to consider duds and dog-ends like Mike Storey, then why not ask Crown Prince Harpik to try on the chain? He would make a splendid Lord Mayor and ambassador for Liverpool, raising the profile of the office and raising its profile with a blend of dignity, pomp and splendour.I doubt that the dignity-phobic Mike Storey could even comb his hair properly, never mind do anything else.

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