Friends Keith Brookes and Pete Clarkson perfectly encapsulate the mood in Birkenhead on Friday with their opposing views on Frank Field, Labor's veteran parliamentarian who resigned last week and which expresses concern about anti-Semitism in the party. Without a recipe at the Merseyside Collectors Center on the Birkenhead market, viewed by amused customers, Brookes, artist and jewelery box, says he is not surprised by the actions of Field.
"He has always found his own way, so this is similar to throwing away his toys because things did not go the way he liked doing," says the 50-year-old. "There were times in the past where I thought he was actually a conservative – you could not tell the difference with some things he came to about immigration, this is about career politics, not about our local."
However, Clarkson, a 59-year-old who has lived in Birkenhead since 1970, is kinder to Field and believes that his tenure as a local MP was a good one. "You have to give it to him because he cares for his people." Whatever you think of his views, he is a very visible local MP and does what he believes.
"His core supporters will not let him down … There are people who are disillusioned with politics, but he has a great track record at the local level We are happy to have him, and he will get my vote again if he functions as an independent. "
On Friday, Field, a Labor member for 60 years and an MP since 1979, said he was told that he would be expelled from the party in two weeks unless he resigned from the party whip. He said that he would fight against such action in court if necessary. The significance of his resignation has divided opinions among fellow MPs and political commentators, some suggesting that he jumped before he was pushed and others saw it as a wake-up call for the party.
Former Interior Minister David Blunkett claimed Saturday that the dismissal of Field meant that the party was irrelevant unless the situation was used as a "catalyst for seismic change."
In Birkenhead – described by a northern writer as "glamorous, talkative" Liverpool's "ugly sister" – the feeling about Field seems to be somewhere in the middle of the extremes of the current political debate.
Many sympathize with the MP about his decision to stop, even though they do not always agree with him politically. "Many people here do not care much about politics – they hardly survive," says Janet Holmes, owner and teacher of an art gallery. "The quarrel about anti-Semitism is so far from their lives and their problems," she adds. "They only need someone to fight for them, and whether you agree with his views on immigration or not, Frank Field is someone who has always fought for them."
But the arena of local politics has not been friendly to Field in recent months. In July he became the last Labor Member of Parliament to lose a vote of confidence for choosing with the government in the main Brexit votes. And as part of his resignation this week, he blamed a "culture of intolerance, malice and intimidation" at local parties.
For some local people, his resignation is no surprise – a man who has the reputation of being tireless would not accept a no-confidence vote from his reclining local Labor Party. But for others it is a relief: Field anti-immigration actions and what they see as fans of the Brexit for the Conservatives, did not support him anymore.
The MP was one of the four Labor members who voted with the government last month to prevent Great Britain joining a post-EU customs union on the grounds that workers' voters & politicians have a clear instruction gifts to get the land out of the EU & # 39 ;. This led to the confidence vote by his local party.
Back at the jewelery table on the Birkenhead market, Clarkson lists the positive and sometimes controversial campaigns that Field has undertaken over the years in the region. There is universal praise for his work on Feeding Birkenhead – a coalition of churches, food banks, community groups and other organizations that come together to eliminate hunger in Birkenhead – founded by the MP in 2014.
But Clarkson talks about another, more controversial, campaign: "One of the best things he did for me – I live in the North End, which is pretty run-down – is his campaign against the idiots, who are unemployed people who are protected by many but not Frank, he called them out. & # 39;
Holmes, a potter, has done a lot with Field at a local level. The MP has supported a number of its projects, including the Wilfred Owen Story museum where we meet. "Someone told me yesterday that he had left the Labor party and I immediately thought he was asked to leave," she says.
The 61-year-old, like many others in this city on the Wirral Peninsula, has mixed feelings about Field. She describes him as a "passionate man", someone who is not afraid to hold on to his beliefs ", and someone who has always listened to his people and has responded to the problems of the area & # 39 ;.
"Frank seems to be very passionate about the people in Birkenhead and he does his best to listen to what local people say and respond to the problems of the area.
"The thing about feeding the children and emphasizing the problems with universal credit have been very good."
Yet Holmes says she would not vote for him.
"I do not agree with his thoughts about Brexit and immigration," she says. "But I say this because of who I am, I manage to earn a reasonable income and live a comfortable life – many of his constituents do not."