Emily Thornberry, Politics and Liverpool

Liver Bird

You might well ask, “what has Emily Thornberry got to do with Liverpool?” The answer, mercifully, is very little! However what you can see in Liverpool is the sort of contemptuous attitude that she and people like her have for ‘ordinary’ people. For those who aren’t paying attention ‘ordinary people’ are those that live outside the Whitehall or Town Hall bubble.
Apparently Emily is a rich woman with a number of homes. She chooses to be a Labour MP and to be fair to her she is different from many people in Parliament (of all parties) in that she has at least had a real job. But in many ways she is very like Joe Anderson. Did you hear on Monday on Radio Merseyside or at the Council meeting the previous week? On both occasions he accused me of lying. Totally without foundation. In the council I couldn’t respond. On Radio Merseyside Roger Phillips was urged to cut me off or Joe would hang up.
Emily tweeted the photo not because she thought it funny that every window of the house was covered in flags so that they could not see out them. She tweeted, with a sneer’ because she had made assumptions about the people inside the house. She assumed that they were not her type of person. England flags with a white van – just not our type dear boy!
Well I am as proud of my Country as the white van man Emily holds in contempt. I am as passionate about our city and the people who live here as Joe Anderson. It’s just that I see different solutions than them. I think that their hearts are right but that their politics is wrong.
The first thing that all UK politicians should be aware of because we work inside a democracy is that people have different opinions. People with different opinions are not ‘liars’ and they are not plebs either. Sometimes they might be wrong to hold those opinions or support those policies. Sometimes they might be right. In a democracy unless the views are totally disgusting we all must edge around and work out together what is right so that a consensus can evolve which the majority of the electorate can be satisfied with.
In Liverpool on Monday next week it is possible that we will see the birth of a new none-political, political movement. None-political in that they do not seem to want to be a political party but political in that they want to exert an influence of political parties. They have come together not because they necessarily share the same political viewpoints but because they share the same contempt for the way that politics is conducted in this city.
They seem to have three things in common.
• They don’t like the fact that the city has an elected mayor without it being the people of the city who made that decision.
• They believe that the Council doesn’t own anything but holds our parks and loively buildings ,in trust for the people.
• That politics in Liverpool needs reforming because of a clear lack of a link between governed and governors
If those are indeed their objectives I support them. Our political system in this Country, never mind this City, is broken. I have met several of the groups that are coming together next Monday I could work with them on these three objectives. But there we might part company. Many of the views expressed by some of the members of the Group are clearly contrary to the views that I hold. But I am not contemptuous of them for that but pleased that they have views, will debate and discuss them and are committed to doing things within our City.
I will not be in Liverpool next Monday because at 3.30 tomorrow morning I leave my home for 7 days to travel to China where I will represent the UK at a major international gathering. I would probably not have gone to the meeting anyway because it is a meeting when they themselves will be establishing their territory; deciding what they want to do and getting cracking on their priorities.
My offer is to go and meet and debate with any of their groups or the group as a whole. I am prepared to listen; debate; say where I agree and equally say where I disagree. I will go and try and engage with anyone anywhere who I believe has the interests of the city at heart. I might try and convert them to my viewpoint – they will certainly try and convert me to theirs.
That’s democracy. I believe in it that is why Democrat is half of my Party’s name. I hope that I practice it. If you want to go along and see what is going on the meeting takes place at 8 p.m. at the ENVI club in Fleet Street next Monday 24th November.
If anyone wants a debate on these issue I am definitely free at 3 a.m. tomorrow morning whilst I wait for a taxi!

PS I was just about to publish this blog when up pops a tweet which links to an article about the white van issue from Ed Milliband. It would appear that Mr Milliband, ‘Always respects white van drivers!” Well I don’t! If I find the white van driver who cut me up on the M56 10 days ago I will give him a piece of my mind. You see Mr Milliband there are some revolting people who are white van drivers and some lovely ones. In fact they probably have the same mix of nice and nasty as any other segment of our country. It’s almost as contemptuous to say you like all of them as to assume that they are people you would not like as Ms Thornberry did.

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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