It would be tempting to remark that the rats are leaving the sinking ship. However, I suspect that would be a vile slur on the rodent population. Be that as it may, many others will probably make that comment (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/09/08/sir-trevor-jones-to-stand-down-from-liverpool-council-100252-24632954/ & http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/09/08/convicted-liberal-democrat-councillor-steve-hurst-to-stand-down-100252-24632956/ ).
Wayne's already waved a cheery goodbye to the dubious duo with a couple of pertinent points about their tenure & track record (http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2009/09/councillor-steve-hurst-steps-down-good.html & http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2009/09/trevor-jone-steps-down-good-riddance.html ).
Turning first to the criminal, David Bartlett reports that Hurst will wait until next May before taking his leave. It would have been nice to bid him an immediate exit, but it seems that like many a discredited MP in the Westminster expenses scandal, he is happy to hold on to the bitter (& sour) end. The piece relates:
"The ECHO understands Cllr Hurst became fed up with the press coverage and the fact the issue would not go away."
Clearly the criminal's chutzpah hasn't been diminished by the opprobrium rightly meted out to him.
In attempting to put a veneer of political respectability on one of the most tawdry affairs in Liverpool local government (& that's saying something!), the Lib Dems only succeeded in digging the hole that little bit deeper. Step forward & take a bow, Colin Eldridge. Cllr Eldridge churned out a statement which seems to say everything about the Lib Dems' warped sense of ethics:
"[Hurst] has been an absolutely first class councillor for the people of Wavertree ward and prior to that Church ward.
"For all the people he has helped he will be a loss to the community. I wish him well in his endeavours in future."
Cllr Eldridge's effusive torrent of political effluent may well come back to haunt him, seeing as he is due to stand as the Lib Dem candidate for the Wavertree seat at the next election (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/09/08/liberal-democrat-stakes-it-all-on-race-for-liverpool-wavertree-constituency-92534-24630500/ ).
Turning to the man who was happy to chomp on a cigar while surveying the city's waterfront from a Mersey ferry boat with Michael Heseltine after the Toxteth riots in 1981, David Bartlett's article is terse to the point of Twittering, leading one to suspect that a short five-sentence press release has been, yet again, reheated on Oldham Hall Street & served up to the readers.
Perhaps it's due to Cllr Jones' willingness to resort to the lawyers (or rather a certain prominent Liverpool lawyer) to make his point.
Adding to the civic brain-drain from the Town Hall is Nadia Stewart. Cllr Stewart, representing Croxteth ward, defected from Labour to the Lib Dems at the time of the 2008 local elections, keeping her new friends in power (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/05/turncoat-in-toytown.html ).
The Post's piece on Cllr Eldridge's Westminster ambitions added that "more prominent councillors are expected to announce they are standing down in the coming weeks."
The exodus has begun.
*Photograph of Cllr Bradley & his motley crew of ne'er-do-wells courtesy of the Liverpool Subculture blog.