I don't imagine many Lib Dems would regard forcing a General Election just at the moment as a terribly good idea. But Cllr Warren Bradley, the leader of the Lib Dem opposition on Liverpool City Council, seems to be among them. He has sent a whiny email to Nick Clegg calling for the coalition Government to be ended.
How many colleagues did he cc? Anyway the email found its way to the Liverpool Echo. After going on at some length at the number of council seats the Lib Dems expect to lose in Liverpool, the email continues:
“This is only down to the policies that our Parliamentarians are pursuing in Coalition Government.
“The position is untenable, Mike Storey having given many decades to the party is extremely vulnerable, and could well fall because of the Parliamentary party.
“Many other long serving Councillors could be defeated not because of their record, but because of your record and the perception of what we as Liberal Democrats now are.
“I only hope on the 6th May, you will meet with Leaders/Groups/ordinary members and seek their views following a set of results, which if mirrored by our canvass returns will place us back 40 years.
“I and many of my colleagues in Liverpool and the North are tired of defending the indefensible, as a party we have to reconsider what and who we are before we disappear into the annuls of history as a
political party who promised so much hope, yet failed because they wanted control and power.
“This is not a moan because I want to be someone, I deeply care about the party I have campaigned for since its inception, as I did for the Liberals before when I was a little boy, as did both my parents and virtually all my family; Liverpool and the North needs and deserves an alternative to Labour, but at present, after knocking on many doors, all I feel is dejection and upset that the Lib Dems, the party the people trusted implicitly have become like the others and deserted their followers.
“I hope you take this in the spirit it is meant, liberal principles have to shine through, we have to be independent and we have to sever ties from the coalition; if we fail to do this, we have only our Parliamentarians to blame.”
The reality is that the Labour-run Council is closing libraries and blaming the Government while at the same time recruiting more bureaucrats on six figure salaries. The number in that pay bracket has more than doubled since 2006 from 11 to 24. Last August they advertised for a new Chief Exec at £197,500 – after giving the old one a £350,000 "retirement package." That was the one who went to stay at the Dorchester for a Human Resources Award ceremony (which Liverpool didn't even win.)
The Council has pompously pulled out of the Big Society Vanguard, in a complaint over seating arrangements at the launch. Phil Redmond said spurning the opportunities was "daft."
Instead of challenging the Council the Lib Dems have joined in blaming the Government. They have failed to offer alternatives to front line service cuts – such as the Council's £115,000 annual subt o the LGA.
Furthermore when the Lib Dems ran the Council they also did a rotten job – not least with the number of empty Council homes. Who do the Lib Dem councillors in Liverpool blame for them losing nine seats (and control of the Council) last year? Or four seats in 2007? Or three seats in 2006? They seem to blame anybody but themselves.
By contrast the Liverpool Conservatives are celebrating the decision to provide an Enterprise Zone. They have welcomed David Cameron to the Conservative Business Forum during one of his freequent visits to the City. The Conservatives have a full slate of candidates for the local elections.