As the ConDem cuts proceed grimly & remorselessly across the land, it's heartening to see that the city's leadership is using new technology to rally opposition to the cuts & organise a fightback. Aren't they? Er, scrap that, it seems we were misinformed (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2011/08/06/council-to-explain-budget-cuts-via-joe-tv-100252-29187291/ ).
David Bartlett's piece gives notice of a new TV channel starring Joe "Tea & Sympathy" Anderson as he unveils the city's cuts (just as well it's not on cable, otherwise I'd demand a refund from Virgin Media). Bartlett relates:
" 'Dubbed Joe TV' , the webcast will feature Cllr Anderson giving a presentation to councillors on the city's finances.
"The meeting is on Tuesday [tomorrrow] and the webcast is likely to be made available the following day."
So this pathetic PR stunt, an insult to the people of the city he's supposed to represent, isn't even to be webcast live, but will be online after a 24-hour delay. Now that's what I call instant accountability in the internet age. Joe, alas, thinks it's the bee's knees:
"Cllr Anderson said: 'This is a major step for the council being more open and transparent.
" 'We are giving the people who pay for council services real insight into our budget discussions.' "
Joe, you are "giving the people who pay for council services" the insult of watching you & your Labour colleagues implement Tory cuts; far from bestowing "insight" into your deliberations, you are placing an opaque filter on the lens of local civic life.
In such a surreal stew of Pythonesque proportions, a reminder of what the city already faces, before the cuts really kick in, was admitted by the Oldham Echo the other day (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2011/08/05/liverpool-is-england-s-most-deprived-city-says-new-report-100252-29182869/ ).
Cllr Jane Corbett, Labour representative for Everton ward, is quoted:
" 'The income gap in this country unravelled under the government of Margaret Thatcher.
" 'The present government has shut their eyes to the problems they are creating through their cuts.' "
I'm all for highlighting Thatcher's baleful impact on Merseyside, but thirteen years of New Labour did nothing to change conditions in the Evertons of this world. Additionally, Cllrs Corbett, Anderson et al have elected to shut their eyes, too, rather than show some desperately-required gumption & start justifying their positions.