18th December 2016
We the public don’t get to see the disciplinary records for Wirral’s councillors – or anybody’s councillors for that matter – because sadly they’re highly sensitive and an internal party political matter. But hey, how useful it would be as a democratic check and balance the next time you’re putting your ‘x’ in a box alongside a name on a ballot paper, usually in early May.
If Wirral’s councillors had been hauled over the coals for:
- not paying their council tax
- becoming involved in a criminal campaign to extort £192,000 of public money
…and if the details were made available in the public interest, we could read down the list, check the circumstances and make an informed judgment.
Or could we?
We’re hearing from a well-placed source inside the council that two Labour members are in trouble right now and allegedly have been hauled before a disciplinary committee this week. Their names are Christina Muspratt (Bebington) and Walter Smith (Bebington).
But because a concealing veil has been quickly drawn across and there shall be absolutely no reporting of the matter in accordance with unseen, unpublished ‘open and transparent council’ rules, we’re left to rely upon persons of conscience and insider leaks to cut through the barbed wire and make themselves heard. We’re also left to wonder:
a. what’s the full detail of their offence? and;
b. why was it deserving of disciplinary action? and;
c. why are the Labour Executive desperate to keep it all under wraps?
Luckily this time we have some more details on the ‘offence’. So was it serious stuff like dishonesty, or lying to an investigator, or racism?
No, none of these. It was the ‘heinous crime’ of supporting Green Party councillor Pat Cleary after he was unfairly gagged when trying to carry out the wishes of voters who, as with every other elected councillor, had provided him with a mandate to speak and act on their behalf.
When you gag a councillor, you’re gagging his people.
For this ‘offence’, Muspratt and Smith were allegedly hauled before a disciplinary committee this week – but all beyond public view. So Wirral’s controlling public servants are up to their eyes in shadowy, secretive, mendacious machinations once again.
We wonder whether Muspratt and Smith are Jeremy Corbyn backers, because it’s always interesting to compare the disciplining of junior, relatively powerless councillors with the on the record, foul behaviour of powerful seniors – who seem to think nothing of dobbing their ‘friends’ into the crap with party HQ i.e. the mendacious, power-abusing Wirral Labour Council Executive in league with the mendacious, power-abusing London NEC:
- Councillor Phil Davies, current council leader – lied about the number of BIG fund recipients that went under
– not disciplined
- Councillor George Davies, current deputy leader – allegedly made a racist comment about a senior officer – covertly recorded onto audio tape and heard by several credible witnesses
– not disciplined
- Councillor Steve Foulkes, former council leader and Wirral Mayor – lied to investigator Patricia Thynne during #Wirralgate investigation Part One, necessitating #Wirralgate investigation Part Two, thereby recklessly squandering a large but undeclared amount of public money in a failed attempt to save his own skin
– not disciplined
So there we have it. Even if we did have access to a public record of bad behaviour and disciplinary sanctions received by councillors, it seems that even this would not provide a true picture of the facts on the ground because:
- minor ‘offences’ are blown up out of all proportion in order to bully those involved
- major transgressions are concealed in order to protect the power abusing bullies
- accountability can’t exist let alone survive in a self-induced vacuum
- the senior movers and shakers are not just unequal before the law but stand untainted, untouchable and unreachable by their own internal party disciplinary policies.
We can only conclude that power is still being abused, governance is broken, and people are being routinely gagged or steamrollered beneath the party machine to make way for the same old corruption and malpractice.
All at the award-winning ‘most improved council’, under the Chief Executive Officership of ‘thingy’, whose name escapes us.
This is reasoned conjecture, but it’s possible that the same cack-handed fate awaits Councillor Anita Leech after she bravely stood up to Steve Foulkes’ stomach churning antics at the recent fire station planning committee meeting where a sensible conclusion was reached – kicking the thing out – despite Foulkes’crazed histrionics, and to some extent Blakeley’s party-political bias.
Rather than risk lives, Leech presided over the demise of a dreadful application which should never have seen the light of day and would almost certainly have endangered the lives of Wirral West citizens by increasing the fire crews’ average response times.
We shall wait and see what comes to pass. Or maybe we won’t be allowed to see.
Any public interest dispatches from inside the increasingly paranoid bunker would be very gratefully received here at Wirral In It Together.