I have been asked by a range of councillors why I think some of the ruling Labour cabal on the Combined Authority have had a Pauline conversion on the road to their meetings at Mann Island. After all, those who, not so long ago, were calling for Joe’s head, now want him preserved in aspic (well, it was good enough for Stalin!).
Their follow-up question is invariably: what is in it for them? Who knows? We can only speculate as to why people who should know better now seek to foist on the rest of us what they, until recently, found intolerable. Why, for example, does Andy Moorhead attribute to Joe, road infrastructure improvements paid for by Knowsley Council? Why does he try to influence the vote of every Knowsley member with a leaflet in his name, but paid for and printed in the Liverpool Labour office?
Why does Phil Davies demean himself by playing the support act to Joe’s attempts to show an interest in the Wirral? He saw close up Joe’s wilful behaviour and threats to walk out, when he was chair of the Combined Authority – why roll over now to give Joe a leg up at every opportunity?
I know that the cynics among you will say that deals have been done –and you will be right. Remember that everyone has their price, but we often deal in different currencies. It is amazing what people will do for a title or a promise, no matter how inconsequential. This is even more the case when a sizeable salary is involved.
Meanwhile, the mayor’s cronies are inviting him to every opportunity where he might meet potential voters and procure their support. I presume that they are aware of the rules governing selections; or is it the case in these brazen times, that they do not give a damn?
That is why councillors are crucial in the run-up to this vital selection. Their considered views can ensure a fair go for all three candidates for the metromayoral nomination. After all, given Mayor Anderson’s past utterances on the subject, there is every chance if he was to succeed, that there is a limited time span for most existing councillors. The shrinkage of Knowsley Council representation is only a beginning.