Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mr Toad rides again!

'In the mean time, however, I have been investigating more about what happens in The Council House. I find that the Labour Group offices have spent the amazing sum of over £40,000 on refurbishments including over £7,000 on each on the Labour Leader and Labour Deputy Leader's office. Indeed even the council leader has had a new fan at a cost of £657.'
So wrote John Hemming in January 2005.

As Bob Piper points out, the Tory leader of the City Council - and 'leader' of the Regressive Partnership forged when he did a deal with Cllr Hemming all those months ago in 2004 - has just spent £17,000 on his office (refurbished and recarpeted only three years ago) and a further £560 a month on leasing a brand new Jaguar. Shame he couldn't get a freebie out of Ford, much as he managed to get a free car out of Rover for so long. Still, that trip to Spain to see the launch of the Jaguar diesel (courtesy of the Ford Motor Company, the owners of Jaguar) must have helped when it came to making the sale.

Cllr Hemming has been uncharacteristically silent on this profligacy and on the snide remarks about his Yardley colleague and Deputy Leader, Paul Tilsley, who has seen his car sacrificed to ensure that Whitless gets to be chauffered around in style. Alistair Morton reckons that Paul's been a 'jolly good sport' about losing access to a car. Perhaps Paul even tugged his forelock in deference to Whitless and thanked him kindly for taking away his council transport.

The Tory resurgence means that they are starting to regard the Liberal Democrats as useful idiots who can be relied upon to cast their votes in line with their Tory masters. I suppose the Tories might be half right there.

9 comments:

A soft socialist said...

When are you labour lot going to get rid of this odious coalition that run Birmingham??

Praguetory said...

SS - that's a trifle harsh. As well as having the lowest rise in council tax in any metropolitan area on taking power, the Tories have secured the first stars for housing and social services. Labour membership nationwide is falling and long-standing Labour constituency associations in Birmingham are having to deal with takeovers by opportunist Muslim groupings. Labour's next chance of getting in is when the Tories win nationally.

PoliticalHack said...

PT: Cobblers.

The lowest rise in council tax is coming in with an extra icing of service cuts.

I'm not aware of any CLPs facing takeovers by opportunists - those are problems from the 90s, as far as I know. The Lib Dems have a far greater problem in that regard.

A soft socialist said...

In Manchester we have a low council tax rise but are not cutting key services. Also with good local organisation is should be possible to get rid of the tories/yellow tories and keep a labour Government.

Praguetory said...

SS - It would be a trifle easier for PH and his colleagues if the PLP in Birmingham weren't revolting to various degrees (i.e. Mahmood, Stewart, Simon and Short).

Anonymous said...

presumably Gisela Stuart is revolting because she has the audacity to have defeated dreary Deirdre for the last three elections.

PoliticalHack said...

It is arguable that a number of the MPs are representing the views of their local parties (Short being the exception in that she only represents herself - and has done for a number of years).

I'd also bet on Gisela giving Dreary a kicking when the next election comes around.

Praguetory said...

Would you really bet on it - PH? I'm willing to put a wager on Labour losing Edgbaston next time.

PoliticalHack said...

5 Euros should cover it, PragueTory.