It breaks his heart, it really does, you know. When he isn't calling protesters "scum" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcNLz8C5RAw), Joe "Tea & Sympathy" Anderson never tires of telling friends about his sleepless nights over the Tory cuts he's making. Last week saw further developments which, if Cllr Anderson's claim of insomnia is to be taken seriously, will have him reaching for the sleeping pills (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2012/01/06/liverpool-council-to-axe-school-uniform-grants-as-part-of-further-16m-budget-cuts-100252-30071158 & http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-16437885 ).
David Bartlett's piece reported:
"Cutting the school uniform grant means parents on low incomes will no longer receive £20 to help buy a uniform for primary school children or £40 for secondary school pupils.
"Stopping free school milk was included in the list of today's cuts but will no longer be axed."
Not for the first time (&, sadly, not the last), we have, to paraphrase Neil Kinnock, the grotesque chaos of a Labour council (a Labour council!) kicking those it's supposed to represent in the teeth whilst trying to persuade those on the receiving end of such treatment that the Tories have made them do it.
As for the free school milk, it might well be asked what's stopping Joe & his apologetic axemen from going ahead with this measure; in the week when Meryl Streep tried her thespian best to convince us that Thatcher was a truly heroic figure (the Americans have got their Oscars prepared, I'm sure), it would have been fitting to emulate the original Milk Snatcher.
It would be nice if Cllr Anderson realised that Kier Hardie didn't form what became the Labour Party simply to implement Tory cuts. However, it's impossible for an invertebrate to develop a spine.
Lurking around the edges of this civic circus is the Fib Dem group leader, Paula Keaveney. You might think she'd keep schtum out of embarrassment at the role her Westminster colleagues have played in the ConDem coalition, the political fluffers for Cameron, Osborne, et al. Sadly, she hasn't, bleating pathetically:
"Surely something less harmful than removing school uniform grants could have been found instead of this particular saving."
Such Janus-faced hypocrisy is, in its own distorted & twisted way, quite remarkable.