Sometimes the bonds of loyalty can wear very thin. Friendships & alliances can be finite; the fall-out can be messy & unpleasant. I fear such a fate awaits Warren Bradley & his old mate, convicted criminal Steve Hurst (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/08/10/fraud-councillor-referred-to-liverpool-city-solicitor-after-accusation-he-did-not-declare-interest-in-debate-92534-24357925/ ):
"A COUNCILLOR convicted of breaking election law has been referred to city lawyers by Liverpool's Lord Mayor [Mike Storey] over complaints he did not declare an interest in a vote on his political future.
"Labour tabled a motion seeking a debate on whether Liberal Democrat councillor Steve Hurst still had the confidence of Liverpool Council at a meeting last month.
"But it was defeated after Cllr Hurst, who had given his apologies for not attending the meeting, turned up in the council chamber to vote against it, before leaving immediately after to jeers from Labour supporters outside.
"Now, in a move which could strain relations between senior Liberal Democrats, ex-council leader Mike Storey has referred a complaint from Labour leader Joe Anderson to the city solicitor."
The letter from Storey to Anderson is pretty mealy-mouthed. Storey professes his seeming ignorance that Hurst had turned up to vote while not declaring an interest, ie., that he stood to forfeit the £5,675 per annum post on the board of the Merseyside Passenger Transport Authority (MPTA) if the vote went against him. Hurst was given the post by his good mate Bradley after stepping down from his £10,000 per annum post of executive member for corporate services (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/05/tammany-hall-on-dale-street.html ).
What are mates for, eh?
The city's Lib Dems are clearly panic-stricken about the possible electoral backlash against the Warren & Steve double-act. The Post goes on:
"Several Liberal Democrat sources have told the Daily Post they believed there was a 'total lack of judgment on the leader's part' for standing by Cllr Hurst.
"Some fear the electorate will abandon the party over its support of a convicted criminal.
"The party's own local candidacy forms state anyone convicted of an offence under the Representation of the People Act should be barred from standing.
"But it is understood Cllr Hurst plans to try and defend his Wavertree seat again, which would require a change to the local party rules."
One anonymous Lib Dem councillor tells the paper that the subject is seemingly "taboo" in their ranks & frets about the voters' reaction. Reality dawns with at least a few of them, I suppose.
However, that didn't stop the Lib Dem councillors voting en bloc at last month's meeting not to have a debate on Hurst.
Any voters prompted by this tawdry tale to take the matter up with the national party can do so by going to: http://www.libdems.org.uk/contact.html . I'm sure Nick Clegg will be delighted to receive comments & suggestions from the city's council tax payers on this subject.
Politics involves shifting alliances. Nothing is immutable; it may be time for Bradley to ask himself whether sticking with Hurst spells his own downfall. Then again, maybe that time has already come & gone.