Friday, 16 November 2007

Before Brenda's Star Chamber

Arraigned before the Star chamber we think may be three Councillors. Here we assess their loyalty and the chances of survival. It is hard to discern exactly what David Pearson did wrong but one thing is sure that under no other leader would he have been so brutally kicked out. All our defendants are former leaders of the Tory group and all have demonstrated conspicuously more nouse than the present leadership. That, of course, is part of their problem. They know what is going wrong and to a greater and lesser extent they have made public their concerns. That is far more than David Pearson has done.

I regret that some have argued that Paula and Brenda did not have the bottle to take on the two Grandees who along with David represent Dukes ward. Instead they have picked on their less well connected colleague. This has led to the attack on David as a proxy for the other two.

Cllr Les Byrom former Leader of the Conservative group and Parliamentary candidate in the Wirral by election. He is clever -maybe too clever by half for some of the Tories. He was a victim of a putch which brought Cllr Parry the leadership. He is a big wheel in the Tory group on the LGA and particularly a leading light amongst those concerned with Fire Authorities. He is a long term councillor and as such he has seen the Tories decline from overall control to be the smallest -and still shrinking-party-on Sefton.

Every time Cllr Byrom speaks he makes sure you know how much experience he has and how well informed he is. To be fair he does do his home work and I am convinced that he would not have made the elementary mistakes that Councillor Parry has made and what's more so does his colleagues. Each carefully craft phrase is like a stiletto accurately aimed to illustrate his competence and so expose the present leaders inadequacy.

To his credit he stood up unequivocally for David Pearson in the Visiter today. In the debate-held inappropriately in private-at the last council meeting he clearly outlined his reservations about Cllr Parry's course of action. But like any putched leader he demonstrated his loyalty in public by voting for his successor in the chamber.

Survival rating:

loyalty to Tory Party *****

loyalty to Cameron ***

ability as politican ****

loyalty to Sefton Tory leadership **

Cllr Sir Ron Watson heads the 'hate' list for many in Brenda's New Model Army. When they talk of 'dead wood' or 'things not being properly run in the past' or people who may 'once of been useful but are no longer' they think of him. He has had the audacity to write to the newspapers and in the eyes of her devoted followers his letter was a criticism of Cllr Porter. For anyone else that would be a capital offence, but Cllr Watson clearly is confident that his knighthood and loyal service to the party will protect him. I suspect he is well connected and respected in the higher reaches of the Tories.

Not only does he endure the disapprobation of Brenda's devoted Cllr Parry would appear to consider him with less than sisterly affection. The saga of Sir Ron's expenses to the LGA drags on seemingly without end. It would be interesting to know how much energy and effort she has spent resisting his expenses claims and compare that with the amount of time she spent on her budget proposal before the last council. I guess it would be rather like that other time consuming saga she has concerned herself with; namely the fate of the fish in foyer of Southport Town Hall. These are clearly the type of economic issues she can grasp. No doubt she has been told if she looks after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves. Sadly in Mrs Parry's case they have both got out of control. What is £650 000 amongst friends anyway. Not an attitude I fancy Cllr Sir Ron Watson would take.

Sir Ron is a wily old bird. He has nouse, coherent political convictions and is one of the best speakers on the council. I doubt he concerns himself with the shenanigans of Cllr Parry/Porter half as much as they worry about him. He has been poorly recently and it will be interesting to see how he reacts on his return. Will he have the courage and decency that Cllr Byrom has shown is standing publicly by David Pearson? I suspect he might. I certainly think he will not be happy with their budget planning.

Survival rating

loyalty to Tory party *****

loyalty to Cameron ***

ability as politician ****

loyalty to Sefton Tory Leadership *

The final defendant is Cllr Tom Glover. Like the other two he is a former leader but from a far distant past. He is genuinely well liked although even his friends agree that he has been rocked by the defeat of his two former colleagues in Cambridge Ward. This has had the effect of making him act a tad unpredictably.

It is an open secret that at the 'secret' council meeting he ask some perfectly sensible and pertinent question and was the only Tory who failed to vote for the Parry/Dowd motion. I have not heard his reasoning he was clearly unsure that we did not have enough information to make such a momentous decision. I am equally sure that it would have been his instinct to save £600,000 rather than to spend , spend spend.

He has sought to redeem himself by writing to the press have a go at me . Whether that is enough to assuage the Star Chamber time will tell. I fancy that the electorate will make the decision about his future in May when I expect his to follow the fate of his two erstwhile colleagues.

In common with the other defendants we can with certainty say that if he had been leader this is a fine mess the Tories would have avoided.

Survival rating:

Loyalty to Tory Party*****

Loyalty to Cameron(not applicable)

Ability as politician (taken over his whole time on the council) ****

loyalty to Seton leadership**