|Newman: Toytown oaf
Funnily enough, although some of their schemes have been a bit ideological, mostly it has been just the result of a bunch of utter incompetents left in charge of the sweet-shop and determined to have a good time for themselves and their client-groups. This is not some Momentum-contrived confrontation with central government, Red-Ted style. They've tried to hint it's the fault of Austerity and Covid, but they daren't push this line too much because many other authorities have suffered worse from both causes, as well they know.
Tony Newman is a droll cove but totally autocratic, and has brooked no challenge from anyone, be they politician, public or council officer; nor even gentle enquiry by councillors in his own party. The 'cabinet' model of local government very much facilitates this nonsense (more, I think, than the mayoral model - and much more than the committee model) and he duly packed his cabinet with place(wo)men non-entities, and picked a totally supine and ridiculously over-promoted chief executive who fled earlier this year with a £440,000 (sic) payoff, courtesy of Newman's personal intervention. I won't bore you with a list of the nonsenses this calamitous crew has perpetrated.
What I find really interesting is the generic excuse, which strongly echoes what is coming from Nottingham Council with their own outrage to lament, the financial debacle that was "Robin Hood Energy". What you do is blub a bit (quite literally in the case of one Nottingham woman councillor, live on youtube), say you meant well - the old Tony Blair excuse - AND ... I didn't have the training.
You can see how this goes. In the name of loyalty to the leader, or diversity or whatever it may be, all manner of people find themselves holding Cabinet posts that are wildly beyond their capabilities. But: all have won, and all must have prizes: as we know, literally everyone is equal - provided they've Had the Training. And when their incompetence catches up with them, well, it can't possibly be their fault, or any personal shortcoming, so - if only I'd had the proper training! Simples. A couple of days' "workshop" at the hands of some costly consultant (with lots of plump pastries on the table, and lengthy lunch-breaks), and they'd have been just fine - but somehow, they all missed the class. What else could possibly explain their abject failure?
I look forward to the Liverpool FC 1st Eleven being selected on the same basis, and trying the same excuse upon being thrashed. Meanwhile: will my wheeliebin be emptied next week?