The background behind Labour's leaflets in Yardley
The thing that most irritates me about Labour's leaflets is the rubbish about subsistence. As I made clear on this blog earlier I stopped claiming subsistence in April 2009 - as my contribution to reducing the deficit. However, the local Labour MPs did not stop claiming subsistence. Furthermore Jess Phillips has not been obvious in her absence from the annual council dinner. So we are paying for her dinner, we are paying for Roger Godsiff and Liam Byrne's dinner, but I am paying for my dinner myself.
Her second main attack is on me being a successful businessman. For some reason she believes that 67,000 is an ordinary wage that keeps people in touch. I think Eamonn Flynn understands this issue better with his Dave Nellist style approach. A 67,000 income is not an ordinary income. Jess Phillips, in any event, declares three jobs from which she earns money, the Sandwell Job, The Job as Longbridge Councillor and the Job with Jack Dromey. She has not yet explained what that job is.
I am not just more cost effective than any other Birmingham MP. I also subsidise my office from my own resources. For example I pay for a specialist benefits advisor and have taken legal action to force the council to clean up the streets.
There are interesting other questions as to how misleading her leaflets are.
There is a very nice picture of Kingstanding resident Avril Child on the Labour newspaper. The newspaper is headed "People need someone who will deliver here". The question, of course, is where "here" is. Avril Child clearly appears to be indirectly criticising her Local MP in the quote which says "do everything you can when others can't or won't. However, her local MP was Jack Dromey. I wonder if this was something that Jess Phillips was doing as part of her third job for Jack Dromey.
Here is the page in the leaflet.
The same confusion as to where Yardley actually is appears in another of Jess's leaflets.
This is a nice photo of a street party in Westfield Road.
There is a Westfield Road in Acocks Green and the leaflet does not make it clear where Westfield Road is. It happens to be, however, that this is Westfield Road in Kings Heath.
Still it looks a nice street party from 2010.
(Update 4/4/15) - additional image
The same approach is used in the newspaper. Note the phrases "working for you where you live" (used twice) (Its in Kings Heath), "Working hard to improve the local area" (ie Kings Heath), "I know that improving our local area matters as much." (The photo is of a party in Kings Heath).
Presented with that argument Labour Cllr John O Shea tried to claim that the leaflet specifically stated that not all of the photos were in Yardley. Sadly for Labour he was wrong as well.
Interestingly the street party was funded by a grant of £530 from the Lib Dem Controlled ward committee in Moseley and Kings Heath. Labour have now scrapped the budget so such events could not be funded in the future (end of update)
. Still it looks a nice street party from 2010.
Talking about 2010. Here is a photograph of some gates that were erected in 2010. Jess Phillips, of course, was not on the scene in Yardley in 2010.
Here is a photograph of Cllr Phillips in front of some gates.
The caption is "sorting out gates to keep people safe." Interestingly it is in front of a plot of land which belongs to a local resident who is unhappy that she is trying to get gates erected on the other end of his land that he does not want. It was also the site of some damage done to plants on the land again without his permission which may have damaged hedgehog habitats. Labour have claimed in their leaflets to have been doing this sort of thing. The police are currently trying to find out who was responsible. I believe Labour have denied attacking the hedgehogs.
Otherwise Labour's leaflets are ordinarily misleading in the way that is normally seen. For example they campaign against "privatising the NHS" when they actually started outsourcing/privatisation and they are not proposing to stop it.
Similarly they complain about cuts when they plan on making more cuts. It is unclear whether Jess Phillips wants to align herself with the Syriza style faction of the Labour party who wish to oppose all cuts. To be fair Eamonn Flynn or the Greens fall into that category.
Additionally as is made clear here
tax (including indirect tax) has gone up on the top decile by expenditure, but down in other deciles. More tax on the wealthy not less tax.
On the question of "spending power per dwelling" in Birmingham for 15-16 that is £2,549.03 and in Solihull it is £1,862.08. Birmingham has 37% more per dwelling than Solihull. Birmingham gets £1,850.40 from central government and £608.63 from council tax. Solihull gets £929.22 from central government and £932.86 from council tax. Although central funding has gone down by around £250 for Birmingham and £100 for solihull, the funding for health and social care, council tax freeze and new homes has gone up. That leaves a net movement of -141.15 and 5.48. There is an issue where I have agreed common ground with the council leadership which is that authorities which are more dependent on central government finance are affected moreso by austerity. The LGA, however, needs to agree a common position on this. Div.
I must admit, however, that I am surprised that the Labour party now believe that Kings Heath and Kingstanding are in Yardley. Or perhaps they don't and are intentionally trying to mislead the voters in Yardley.