Monday, 26 January 2009

Sir Ron blasts his own Leader

Sir Ron blasts his own leader This is a headline from this week's Southport Champion and marked 'exclusive' over a story written by their Editor Martin Hovden. Firstly I should say that it is exclusive to the newspaper and I can't find it on their website.

A little background for those who have not been following this saga. The new Tory leadership of Cllrs Porter&Parry on Sefton Council have conducted a rather nasty and foolish campaign against two former Tory Leaders both of whom represent the Dukes Ward in Southport. Their colleague David Pearson -a popular former Mayor-has suffered some collateral damage having been suspended from the group and having his retirement prematurely announced by Cllr Parry. To their credit the Dukes ward members ignored her and reselected David and he was re-elected with a thunderous majority. I should say all three Dukes ward councillors Sir Ron, Les Byrom and David are convinced Conservative. Sir Ron and Les of the Thatcherite mode and David whose role model I suspects harks back to the more inclusive model of Baldwin and Macmillan. These three are amongst the most experienced and competent folk on the Tory benches they may not be ideological bedfellows of mine but I can respect them, they are people of substance.

Sadly Cllrs Porter & Parry have turned on them. The long tale of their appalling conduct toward Cllr Pearson is well document. Things got so bad for Les after a display of really nasty behaviour towards him that he up and left and joined the Labour Party. Les 'opened his heart' to the reporter John Siddle, the story is still here,
We don't have to guess why Les left he has told us:

''I didn't want to get kicked anymore'
A SENIOR Tory’s decision to join Labour was forced by internal wranglings within the local Conservative group, it has been alleged.
In an exclusive interview with the Southport Visiter, the Dukes Ward politician says “petty-mindedness” is dividing the party and insists he has lost affinity for the Tories.
Cllr Byrom, who led Sefton Conservatives for 14 years until 2005, was reported to have left the party after disagreeing with national policy on detaining terror suspects.

But the Ainsdale father-of-two has revealed that his “shabby treatment” by local party bosses over a long period of time was the real reason for his resignation.
He told the Visiter: “If you are in a party blighted by rows and arguments and where you are getting a kicking from the party leaders, you are going to leave. I was not prepared to be kicked any more.”
The suspension of close friend Cllr David Pearson – who had the party whip removed for ‘not maintaining party discipline’ – and the Tories’ involvement in the current leadership crisis engulfing Sefton Council are major factors in Cllr Byrom’s decision to defect.
But it was his removal from Merseyside Fire Authority which was, by his own admission, “the final straw”.

What is significant here is that the man who replaced Les on the Fire Authority has a history of poor attendance. He was to Tory spokeman on Environment and then switched to Performance to shadow me. I speak as I find and frankly in both roles we often didn't find him

Now Sir Ron is rightly getting justifiably annoyed because the Parry-Porter leadership has compiled an attendance record which found its way to the press. The six month period includes a period when Sir Ron was poorly. We all knew he was poorly he was clearly in some discomfort at the Chief Exec retirement function. Was this a smear? I suspect that this was designed to show Sir Ron in a poor light.
The Porter -Parry leadership have previous for such conduct. My colleague Robbie Fenton who was also very unwell last year found her attendance record being bandied around. When confronted Mrs Parry allegedly replied that 'nobody had told her Robbie was ill' This is a case of guilty until proved innocent.
The truth is that the Porter -Parry leadership would benefit greatly from the advice of their senior colleagues from Dukes ward-and the whole body politic would benefit if they listened. It is a matter of profound regret that they have not the grace to do so.
For those wanting further background I have tagged the relevant blogs