The corrupt Tory government, currently mired in sleaze over the award of lucrative Covid contracts to their cronies, is now sending in commissioners to Liverpool to clean up the Labour city council’s very own hotbed of sleaze.
And having signally failed to mount any kind of a challenge to the government’s disastrous mishandling of the pandemic and the grotesque festival of greed over which it has presided, Keir Starmer is now merrily unrolling the red carpet for that same Tory government’s gauleiters to go in and clean up Liverpool council’s act.
The latest wave of scandal to engulf local government in Liverpool began in 2019 with the arrests of Nick Kavanagh, the council official in charge of ‘regeneration’, and of the billionaire property developer Elliot Lawless. The arrests were in pursuit of a corruption investigation into building and development contracts in Liverpool. Neither man has yet been prosecuted, but Kavanagh has now been sacked by the council.
Then, last December, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson was arrested on suspicion of bribery and witness intimidation, prompting his suspension from the Labour party.
Another sign of malaise in the Labour council came in February, when Labour North West announced that the contenders to take over the mayoralty in the May elections, an all-woman shortlist, were to be sidelined in favour of an “alternative shortlist of candidates”, presumably one more acceptable to Starmer’s point of view. The three previously nominated candidates were not told before the announcement.
Now comes the bombshell: the Tory government is to send in commissioners to take over from Liverpool’s elected council, and Starmer’s Labour party is going to be cheering them on!
Questioned about this stunning announcement, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for communities, Steve Reed, swore blind that Tory government ministers were not coming in to run Liverpool. “We support the secretary of state’s intention to appoint commissioners, not to run the council, but to advise and support elected representatives in strengthening the council’s systems.
“This is a measured and sensible approach. We would never support a Tory takeover. It’s about the government appointing independent people of the highest professional standing to help the council improve as quickly as possible, and intervening directly only if the council’s elected leaders fail to implement their own recovery plan.” How deeply reassuring. (Crime against democracy, Left Foot Forward, 24 March, 2021)
What do the workers of Liverpool have to gain from either a corrupt Tory government, or a spineless Starmer Labour ‘opposition’, or the corrupt Labour mafia, or women-only shortlists, or Corbynite hold-outs still looking for the ‘democratic’ needle in the imperialist Labour haystack?
Nothing whatever. Labour and the Tories are two sides of the same dud coin; we should at least be grateful to Starmer for demonstrating this so blindingly.