Posted by: westlancashirerecord | April 19, 2018

Fixing The Tory Mess?

Reading the full page advert of the local Labour Party in the Champion today seems almost like reading a declaration of war. Which I suppose it is.  It is even brazen enough to mention the 13 years of Tory mess under the leadership of Our West Lancashire’s “boss” Cllr Adrian Owens and Cllr David Westley, a linking of local political names that might stir recollections best forgotten.

But no mess by Labour, who claim that since 2015 they have been getting on with the job of improving council services and businesses across the borough because, “Under the Tories’ spineless rule West Lancashire was heading for real decline”. To which some might say that decline arrived some time ago.

If this is indicative of the next two weeks then political blood will flow. To refer to “..a Conservative Administration too busy fighting each other and splitting into different factions and parties to bother with the concerns of West Lancashire residents. One Conservative even broke away and set up his own conservative “Our West Lancashire” party as an ego-stroking exercise”. Ouch!

All of which might remind us that some years ago, didn’t we have a West Lancashire First party of seven Labour members who claimed the “dogmatic” and “Stalinist” approach of the Labour Party leadership in West Lancashire left them with no option but to resign? Was that ego-stroking?

Papers reported that “John Fillis the leading rebel and now head of a political association calling itself West Lancashire First, said he recognised that the mass departure would embarrass Mr Blair. But, he said, their decision would be embarrassing at any time. “It just got to the point where we had had enough,” he said.

“As far as we are concerned, politics are not about personalities. They’re about real people. That is where the Labour Party is going wrong. The bureaucracy means that the views and concerns of the actual voters are being taken for granted”. The rebels accused the ruling Labour group of being “in it for themselves”. Such is the disaffection, said Mr Fillis, that more than 200 members have left the local party in the last 12 months.

“It’s mainly the bureaucracy of it all” said Mr Fillis. “We continuously found ourselves at odds with the Labour leadership. This position was compounded by the continuous bullying, harassment, physical intimidation and racism within the West Lancashire Labour Party. We’ve asked the Labour Party to do something about it, but nothing’s been done, not even when we wrote to Tony Blair.”

“Labour’s majority in the council chamber was reduced to one. Mr Fillis and his allies say they are prepared to work with the Conservative opposition if they come up with “good ideas”. Geoff Roberts, leader of the Conservative group, said he and his colleagues would “not be getting into bed” with the rebels. However, he would be “quite happy” to support any proposals on which they agreed.

What was that about a declaration of war? Well people do have long memories! 17 years long! But they might fade behind the great work Labour has done to defeat developers at Parrs Lane, where Labour could send the Aughton Park incumbent back to her home pastures in Halsall The Labour borough development company to start addressing housing problems will resonate with many, while any fight against a privatised utility company with limited investments in poor sewage will be a winner.

“West Lancashire First” or “Our West Lancashire” nor the time between them prove if nothing else that local politics is seldom boring.

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