Wednesday, 27 May 2015

We need to talk about Warren

Sometime ago the leader of Liverpool City Council was Warren Bradley, a LibDem. He became leader when Mike "Jackanory" Storey had to resign of a breach of the code of conduct. Storey was at best anodyne, a primary school headmaster with all the charisma of a primary school headmaster. When Warren came along, I'd never heard of him, but it was quite clear he was only Storey's proxy.

Both Storey and Bradley achieved very little, the greatest achievement of Storey was securing the Capital of Culture year for Liverpool and that was about it. Very little happened in the city.

After a brief discussion with Bradley, it seems that he thinks of himself as badly done by and regards any mention of his conviction for a rather foolish bit of electoral fraud as abusive. Warren you weren't hard done by, you were just so far out of your league it was painful.

One of his statements that "educated people are seeing through Joe Anderson", would seem to imply, that as he doesn't like the guy, he sees himself as an educated man. Well, while I don't have any facts about his education, if he has one he has always hidden it well. He variously came over as some who hasn't got that much of an idea of what's going on, always slightly bemused or slightly drunk.

Like a lot of LibDems, he suffered from a lack of imagination and drive, whether you agree with Anderson or not, he has got something done, Warren and Co never did, they were obsessed with not annoying anyone, in the end they annoyed a lot of people. People will forgive mistakes, they are less forgiving of inaction. It is equally true that always answering the call "something must be done" with something is just as wrong.

Liverpool Council suffered from a paralysis that it didn't want to be in the same light as Militant, this led it to be non-confrontational and frankly cowardly, Warren is the personification of that. You can see in the local journals the anger that Joe Anderson has raised by simply doing things, some are outraged that he has not doing the things that they want, others are just annoyed that he is doing things at all. All of them are convinced they speak for the people of Liverpool, all of them ignore the fact that in the May election Joe's party increased its seats on the council.

Let get this right Joe is not a smooth political operator he is in fact a bit of a gobshite but so are his most voluble critics. Not least among them Warren. What most of the voices offer is a quick fix, just do what we want, have our  priorities and it will all be ok. What history teaches us is that this is wrong, you cannot have any real, permanent long term effect on society over night, this is a long hard slog where the reasonable ambition is to make things better for your great grandchildren. To believe you can do it quicker is vanity and a dangerous vanity.

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