The event was a slightly odd one, and proved the old saying that 'politics makes for strange bedfellows'. Anarchists marched behind Conservatives, who clapped a Socialist Workers Party speaker (prospective Wallasey and Moreton Tory MP Leah Fraser even briefly held a Unite placard, before presumably thinking better of it). Workers who jobs are faced with the axe were present, along with trade unionists and people from smaller socialist parties. Quite a few children also marched.
At the Birkenhead rally, several speeches were made, and everyone condemned Wirral Council's plan to close twelve libraries - Birkenhead Central Library and many local branches - plus two leisure centres (including Guinea Gap Baths, right next to the Town Hall), Pacific Road Theatre and the Wirral Museum at Birkenhead Town Hall. Labour Council leader Steve Foulkes has pledged "better but fewer" services, and has the support of Lib Dems within his coalition.
During the last week, more than two thousand people have attended the Council's sham 'consultation' meetings, and have overwhelmingly shown their hostility to the cuts. The 'Save Wirral's Services' Facebook group has over three thousand members. Many letters have been written to local papers. In the end however, the decision rests with the Wirral Cabinet, when they meet on Thursday, 15th January.
Nationally, the Conservative Party openly wants to "shrink" the public sector, yet for now the local Tories continue to speak left of Wirral Labour and Lib Dems over the proposed cuts. For their part, the trade union leaders did not propose any industrial action yesterday.
Politics only makes for strange bedfellows so long as each person thinks it's in their interests to snuggle up. After the official political process runs its course, we'll see who's in a committed relationship with who.
For videos of the event, visit: http://uk.youtube.com/user/adnauseam81