Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chorlton Libdemologists: Oh Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear

Chorlton Hocus Pocus arrives through the LOL letterbox. Here is a PERSONAL review of the dispiriting contents. I am not a candidate or officer of the local Labour Party. I have never been employed by the party. This blog is independent and personal.*

"Tesco Application Delayed"

The leaflet squeals. This concerns a plan to upgrade an existing (appallingly bad) Esso garage shop nearby and replace it with a Tesco Metro. So far there has been two preliminary traffic studies one from the applicant predicting a 4% uplift in traffic. The other from protestors and a "let's get it right" lobby which says 6%. When it is 5% or above there has to be a full independent study. Very reasonably the Council planning committee has adjourned their next consideration of this until Thursday 25 October by when this study will have been carried out.

Leech says that he and his sidekick Ankers are working to "stop Tesco's plans". A different Lib Dem who is late on the scene, but presumably is their next local candidate, is pictured with Leech.

They are I think going to fail and the fact that they have personalised it to Tesco - ownership or operator's name not being a planning issue - is part of that. Leech and co are leeching onto the lifeblood of a campaign with individuals from all parties and none, local shopkeepers are far from unanimous in opposition, local people in the wider area have not been asked for their views, and these local people could see a benefit from a quality late shop and off licence.

Morrisons isn't that good and might improve. There would be significant employment of local people (six tills in the latest drawings, one in the existing) and on the minimum wage or better and with proper terms and conditions and health and safety. Unlike many local shops. Whatever we may think of Tesco they are far more accountable on food miles, environment, staffing and hours, waste and so on than most shop operators. The garage itself could become genuinely 24 hours instead of lying about it and taking two very inconvenient hours out.

Interestingly plans for a garage shop operated by Somerfield alongside an existing McDonalds at another Esso garage location in the constituency - indeed in Cllr Leech MP's own ward - have seen no piggy backing of opposition. And plans for an extended Cooperative Local - also in his constituency and in his ward - ditto. Both these being at accident hotspots. Not Tesco see?

Leech has previously tried to claim credit for stopping a larger Tesco in a neighbouring constituency. And he himself has been seen shopping - in his best Blue Peter Shoes - at ASDA in Hulme, also not in his constituency.

Libdemologists say Tesco are the devil incarnate. McDonalds meanwhile are marvellous. Leech has not only taken hospitality and tickets (later returned after a sustained protest and lots of weaselly excuses) but also conspired in an Early Day Motion on McJobs as part of their marketing effort in which they trade on the idea of McJobs and McOpportunities. Esso are great. ASDA Walmart are the best.

Incidentally didn't Liberals write the books on economic liberalism?

Clearly our Labour councillors and Council are doing what is necessary to ensure that any extension or change to the shop on this site is developed and operated with proper regard to traffic, nuisance and planning law. The existing shop and garage are poor in various regards. If Tesco/Esso cannot make the site pay on these terms they will have to forget it. The Lib Dems are just using the brand "Tesco" in a pejorative sense and jumping on a band waggon. And deliberately mis-managing public expectations. Pathetic.

"Europe Matters in Chorlton"

MEPs Chris Davis and Saj Karim were apparently joined by our heroes Leech and Ankers in a discussion on Europe which the piece says also strayed onto the Congestion Charge and Metrolink (on which incidentally the Lib Dems have a horrendous record of dithering, two-facedness and opportunistic opposition). There is no picture. It says that "hundreds of local people were invited".

You may wish to speculate in comments as to how many, apart from the three overpaid loon representatives and the relatively decent Tory-raised Saj Karim MEP, actually turned up for this meeting. This is becoming a regular formula for describing a Lib Dem meeting with no audience.

Who exactly was invited anyway? Just known Lib Dem supporters? If so, that would of course be a disgusting dereliction of duty and add to the impression that Lib Dem reps only represent their own stalwarts and don't give a flying fig for the rest of us. An impression only assisted by treatment of incoming email and letters from non-supporters, party political livery of an an inconvenient office, and the snarling and cliquey demeanour of the majority of the local Libdemologists.

Let's hope that tax payers in general have not footed the bill for this event. We are certainly paying the salaries of all those performing to an invited audience. We are paying for the putrid livery of an office when 65% of us voted against the bird of fibbery. And we pay for workers and Leech himself who do not treat our concerns equally.

"Friends of Chorlton Green"

The next meeting is on 31st October at 6pm in the Horse and Jockey Pub.

"Are Council Cutting Corners on Tarmac?"

Hilarious! Mr Ankers sadly took a bit of a twatting on this when he stood up in full council and raised the quality of the "Micro Asphalt" treatment meted out to hundreds and hundreds of yards of local pavements in the ward and just across the border. Specifically Vicars Road/Albemarle Road and Egerton Road North - which is at the top of my road.

Turns out these are two of almost 50 locations where this cheap and cheerful method has been used to restore some cohesion and a uniform surface to battered pavements. When the more conventional hot tarmac is used the bill runs into humungous figures for small stretches of pavement.

Clearly it is amusing that weeds and even mushrooms can push their little heads through a pavement within a month of repair. But then again having resurfacing in a particular ward measured in hundreds of yards of pavement instead of dozens may be considered a worthwhile quid pro quo. I have some pictures of the little mushies somewhere.

Interestingly the first bit of pavement and road resurfaced in Whalley Range Ward after the election of Cllr John Grant in 2003 was the bit right outside his own house. Perhaps it is the omission of tarmacing outside his own dwelling - wherever that may be - that is pissing off Cllr Ankers?

Anyway mate: Bonzer use of a precious question at full council! The ONLY complaints city wide out of 50 locations! But, to be fair, ringing an officer may be a better way to proceed than making an idiot of yourself in council?

"Ryebank Fields Campaign Continues"

And Manchester's Labour Council continues to play a blinder in facilitating local people's action to create a village green. This is not a party political campaign - ditto the Tesco, Chorlton Green and others Leech and Co try to appropriate. Hands off our campaigns you blood sucking wotsits!

Meanwhile I will rush along to the singing workshop and concert .... on 13th October, whoops ... but there is a fundraising Night at the Iguana on 7th November where we can no doubt collar our Lib Dem representatives.

"Recycling Improvements"

Apparently Cllr Ankers is responsible for the annual yellow pages recycling facility at Morrisons car park? This was operating for years before ever he started stomping round Chorlton claiming local people are "bastards" for not coming to the door. He is also "pushing for a roll-out of cardboard recycling". Something which was announced in pipeline by our Labour council before he was ever a candidate here, never mind a councillor.

Nothing like pushing for something you know is coming. Or saving a hospital you know isn't threatened in any way.

Small Print, Omission, Marks Out of Ten?

"The Liberal Democrats care for the environment" so their confetti of leaflets is printed on recycled paper like everyone else's - though it looks to be bleached; their printing machine is also recyclable, like everyone else's; and apparently it takes the same electricity as a light bulb to run. The fibs and appropriations are also of course recycled.

What's missing? There is no paid for advertisement from John Leech or the MEPs on this Hocus Pocus. This ruse to use public funds to support party political material was first observed in the case of Chris Huhne MEP who got into a spot of bother for it, using the scam to fund his own campaign to be an MP.

Leech continues to do it, as well as using his parliamentary reports to feature party political materials and promote candidates in target seats. There should be a law against it. In fact there is.

What else is missing? Any politics or alternatives to the sterling work of Manchester Labour whatsoever!

Marks out of ten for this leaflet? 2/10. The bar chart is misdrawn but is actually for the most recent local ward result. And there is no spurious health story or major scaremongering effort.

Local people must surely see through this stuff? However persistently and pestilently it arrives?

* The disclaimer is necessary as the Lib Dems have made a habit of representing what are clearly bloggers' personal views as if they represent statements from or policies of the Labour Party. They are treacherous weasels.


Anonymous said...

Interesting analysis Chris. You don't make enough of the appearance of the young woman pictured three times on the leaflet who is no doubt going to be the locallest most local from round here local campaigner that they can come up with since the last one. She is their candidate for sure. Anyone ever heard of her before she got selected to stand in Chorlton?

Anonymous said...

I certainly never heard of this person, no. Is she related to any of their other mavericks? Where has she popped up from since 2004. And while we know where Glover and Gallagher are what happened to Norman's daughter and Faraz's daddy? How has this one leap frogged them (as Ankers did) in the Chorlton Lib Dem hierachy of fools and fibbers?

Anonymous said...

can you believe ankers ousted normans daughter when he lives on the same street as her!
its worse than when hacking sent selby packing!