Monday, April 18, 2011

So Long, It's Been Good To Know You

What links Mike Storey & Nick Clegg today? Well, apart from belonging to the same political party, they'll also be toasting the departure of Warren "War Zones" Bradley from the Fib Dem leadership in Liverpool ( ).
Electoral fraud is a serious charge & it is one Bradley now faces. 
David Bartlett has republished Bradley's resignation statement ( ).
As parting shots go it captures Bradley's gift for self-delusion, self-pity & a tenuous grasp of political reality (not to mention tortuous syntax). He writes that "although I fully intended to stand down this May to persue my fire service career, I will be with immediate effect standing down as the Leader of the City Council Liberal Democrat Group (hooray I hear from some)".
Casting himself as a sacrificial victim (anybody got a cross for him?), Bradley continues:
"Sincere apologies if this issue causes you more electoral problems (I think the national party have already done that -- but I am now the scapegoat!), it is the last thing that I would want. Electioneering was never about me, but the Lib Dems in Liverpool, it is such a pity the same cannot be said for some."
Such venom, such rancour, such bile. Such a shame it had to end like this, eh, Warren?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oldham Echo Links Up With Cameron & Clegg

Expect the Oldham Echo's editorial policy on the ConDem cuts to soften over the coming weeks. Why? Simple. They've jumped into bed with the coalition ( ).
The government's Regional Growth Fund is hailed by its cheerleaders as the catalyst for private sector job creation (you know, those private sector vacancies that will suddenly appear while the public sector shrinks).
Along with the Western Morning News, the Echo will, according to the Press Gazette, "launch competitions inviting small and medium-sized businesses -- particularly those hit hard by the economic downturn -- to apply for grants. They will be run over an 18-month period and each paper will be empowered to allocate between £10,000 and £100,000 from the RGF to distribute to the winners.
"Press Gazette understands that each title will have at least £1m worth of grants to allocate."
Big Al Machray is quoted by Hold the Front Page ( 
"We are delighted to have won government backing for our campaign. We are planning to announce details very shortly."
However, there is a fly in the ointment for Big Al, a bloody big bluebottle actually, as Hold the Front Page's piece continues:
"Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has praised the Echo for the launch of its intiative...
"Mr Clegg said: 'It is absolutely fantastic that the Echo has taken the initiative.' "
Warm words emanating from a source that even Warren "War Zones" Bradley views as toxic are likely to make the minions on Oldham Hall Street (already uneasy about the whole charade) run to the bathroom.
The Regional Growth Fund, trumpeted by Cameron & Clegg as a successful alternative to the Regional Development Agencies, has been greeted with scepticism, if not hostility since its inception last year ( ).
The notion of the Oldham Echo picking winners, as it were, who will suddenly create private sector employment to even ameliorate the fall-out from the public sector jobs cull on Merseyside belongs to the realm of Lewis Carroll. Alas, the farce doesn't end there. According to the Press Gazette, staff at the Echo "will provide 'mentoring, consultancy and business support' for the winning bidders."
So the business which sacked 100 local printers as it moved its printing operation outside Merseyside & which continues to lose readers will mentor & support the lucky winners? Poor bastards.
As one commenter on Hold the Front Page's article remarks, it beggars belief that Trinity Mirror should be chosen for this lunacy.   

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pleasing Their Corporate Constituents

Recommended reading: a piece by Peter Wilby in today's Guardian; it's unarguable in its case & cogently put as he considers the wider issues thrown up by the phone-hacking exploits of Murdoch's empire ( ):
"This affair is just one example of how politicians have lost the authority, the will and the moral compass to control corporate interests. They consider only the most modest proposals to bring banks to heel. They make it laughably easy for multinationals to avoid tax. They stand by as supermarkets drive out small retailers. They introduce 'reforms' to education and health that allow corporations to take over the provision, if not the ownership, of our biggest public services. The corporate sector gets what it wants. Why shouldn't Murdoch? It's business as usual.
"The Labour Party was once the political arm of the organised working-class. All three main parties are now the political arm of the organised corporate class. This is not a peculiarly British phenomenon. Almost every advanced democracy, and particularly the US, struggles to control the corporate sector. It is not just that politicians depend on its donations to finance election campaigns but also that they lack the staying power to withstand corporate pressure."

The Professor Has A Scoop

The Professor has the first draft of Warren "War Zones" Bradley's "we're all doomed & it's your f***in' fault" email to Nick Clegg: ).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Warren's Worried, Very Worried

An email sent from Warren "War Zones" Bradley to Nick Clegg has been leaked to the BBC ( ). It urges him to pull out of the ConDem coalition.
It's a far cry from last May when Bradley was waxing lyrical about the protection the Fib Dems would accord the city, despite all the evidence to the contrary ( ): "[Bradley] said Liverpool should not expect savage cuts from the Tories like it suffered in the 1980s. And he added: '(Deputy Prime Minister) Nick Clegg has given me assurances that will not happen.
" 'Social justice that Liberal Democrats believe in will be a golden vein that runs through the coalition government.' "
Looks like that "golden vein" has well & truly run dry for Warren, as he contemplates the once unthinkable notion of Labour gains at the Fib Dems' expense in areas like Childwall.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

An Unfortunate Discovery

Not before time, Liverpool Discovers have apologised for their unsubstantiated claim that Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech was penned at the Adelphi ( ).
The, erm, brains behind the organisation now sheepishly admit they were taken in by our famous Scouse wit. However, I can provide Liverpool Discovers with this astonishing revelation about local history: Liverpool people have always been keen to hoodwink gullible souls from further afield who'll swallow any old crap.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Treating Hearsay & Rumour As Fact

Picture the scene: Liverpool in the early 60s. Crowds flock to the Cavern, Anfield & Goodison regularly attract 50,000 fans through their turnstiles & the planners assure inner city residents that moving to the new towns of Kirkby & Skelmersdale will be the answer to their housing woes. Meanwhile, in a room at the Adelphi Hotel Martin Luther King sits down to compose his memorable "I have a dream" speech ( ).
Still with me? No, I haven't been on the Ossie Whites at Yates' Wine Bar, but I suspect a few characters in the city council, particularly those in the tourism department, may well have been. How else to account for the bizarre claim that Dr King penned his most famous address at the Adelphi ( ): "The allegation has been made in a guide to a major art event entitled 'Liverpool Discovers', commissioned by amongst others, the city council. "A map in the guide shows how more than 20 locations where famous people were born along with places associated with celebrities and events in their lives.
"The guide proclaims: 'Martin Luther King visited his supporters in Liverpool three times, and the first draft of his famous
"I have a dream" speech is alleged to be written on Adelphi Hotel headed notepaper.' "
Note that word, "alleged". Here we have a jaw-dropping case of slack, lazy assumptions being tarted-up as historical fact. Forget the fact that no evidence has been produced to justify the claim.
The Telegraph report quotes the city council's defence, which is, by twists & turns, contradictory, defensive & puerile: "All of the facts we had came from a public consultation where we asked people to submit what they knew about Liverpool.
"They are not official; they are just things about Liverpool that many people may not know.
"As you will appreciate it is sometimes difficult to prove historical facts, and we have run the map by local historians to best verify what appeared.
"Although biographers such as those associated with Martin Luther King may not be aware of such a fact, with all due respect to them, that in itself does not prove it to be untrue.
"Many cities reference stories about their history that cannot be absolutely proven -- and in this case the word 'alleged' informs the reader that the fact is not set in stone."
So this "fact" concerning Dr King came from "a public consultation", did it? And I presume that describing this "fact" as "not official" is another way of admitting that it's complete bollocks, particularly when the local historians approached by the idiots who dreamt up this story have no knowledge of the claim & no evidence for its veracity. Moreover, the phrase, "to best verify what appeared" is code for "We know this claim is crap but we'll run with it anyway". There's also an obnoxious arrogance displayed towards biographers of Dr King; "with all due respect", the city council should issue an apology to them.
Liverpool has many links with America. Those links have been historically verified & the requisite evidence duly provided down the years. This claim is as bizarre as it is self-servingly squalid & it should be withdrawn immediately.