I was thrown whilst listening to Roger Phillips’ interview with Mayor Anderson yesterday. Roger actually challenged Joe, who was obviously surprised at his inquisitor’s impertinence. After all, hizzoner does not expect the fourth estate to question him.
It is one of the most striking features of the current political scene – the inability or the unwillingness of our fearless fact-finders in the media to bring attention to the way in which Liverpool is being run. Whilst lies are told, money is being frittered away and commitments regularly broken, there is a Trappist silence around those who would have you believe that they are an essential pillar of local democracy.
For example, there is a manifesto published by “TeamJoe” which is a mishmash of existing projects, vague promises and political platitudes. I lost count of the number of “demands” which Joe is to make of the Tory government if he gets the job. Fat chance! These “demands” appear to be the basis of his wish list of gimmicks intended to lure Labour members into voting for him.
Any journalist worth his or her salt, would make a demand of Joe that he explains where the money is coming from for his claimed initiatives. They should also pin down from where he believes his powers will come enabling him to order around central government. Finally, they might ask him about his claimed partnership with Manchester. Does that include Andy Burnham if he is elected there, given Mayor Anderson’s repeated abuse of the man ?
No – they will not do it. One has to believe that the local great and good – including the chiefs of the ‘Echo’ and the radio stations – are determined to extend the baleful influence of a compliant (for their purposes) Mayor Anderson across the LCR. That might suit business, but it has virtually nothing to do with democratic accountability.