Thursday, November 30, 2006


1) Who said: "McElhinney should be banged up in Walton jail"

Was it:

a) Councillor Warren Bradley
b) Councillor Mike Storey
c) Matt Finnegan
d) Mrs McElhinney
e) All of the above

(We have included two pictures of Walton so we can all see what McElhinney is missing, ed)

2) How many times did former chief executive, Sir Diddy announce his early retirement in March 2005, before he changed his mind?

a) Just the once to the Daily Post
b) Twice - both times to the Daily Post
c) Three times - twice to the Daily Post and once to the Liverpool Echo
d) He never announced his early retirement at all, that was all made up by Matt Finnegan, the city council's media chief and poor Sir David has ever since been the victim of a disgraceful smear campaign of public abuse, vile attacks and disgraceful misrepresentation of a fine, upstanding, noble-minded, public servant whose only crime has been to serve the people of Liverpool above and beyond the call of duty (steady on, ed).3) Who pleaded with Matt Finnegan on the day after the media chief was suspended on trumped up charges: '"Please don't tar us all with the same brush"?

a) Sir Diddy
b) The rottweiller, McElhinney
c) The smiling assassin, Halsall (above)
d) Chas Cole
e) Jolly Jack

4) Who said: "I will have to resign if they
are threatening my job"?

a) Sir Diddy
b) Councillor Mike Storey
c) Matt Finnegan
d) The rottweiller
e) The smiling assassin
f) Tony Blair

5) Who is this blonde woman and what is her strange relationship to Dr David McElhinney (aka Dr Death, the Liverpool rottweiller, ed)

6) Name all Dr David's other blonde friends (and state whether they ever joined him at Knowsley on an all expenses paid trip abroad funded by a council contractor) and whether he then moved to Liverpool city council where he fixed them up with a do-nothing, but highly lucrative job. Or not . (It is permissible for you to use a separate sheet of paper to list any of these, ed)

7) Who said: "I told them no good will come of all of this - no-one will win."

a) Colin 'Cover Up' Hilton
b) The smiling assassin, Halsall
c) Rex Makin
d) Saddam Hussain

8) Which famous Liverpool trio ran in the New York marathon?

a) Sue, Grabbit and Runne
b) Kendall, Ball and Harvey
c) Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil (that's the city council's new slogan, ed)
d) McElhinney, Halsall and Cole

9) Who got free tickets from Phil Halsall for concerts at The Summer Pops?

a) Colin 'Cover Up' Hilton
b) The rottweiller McElhinney (for his parents, ed)

c) Sir Diddy and Lady Alison Henshaw
d) Councillor Paul Clark
e) Councillor Mike Storey
f) The woman at the butty shop (true, ed)
g) All of the above

10) Whose son made a 'once in a lifetime' appearance in a Southport-based combo, as the support act to Status Quo at the Summer Pops, for a still undisclosed fee from Chas Cole's CMP?

11) Which Porsche-driving Executive Director slammed the phone down on a journalist who had the disgraceful cheek and temerity to dare to ask him about his son's 'once in a lifetime' appearance at the Summer Pops and whether he had ever officially declared such a personal and pecuniary interest, in accordance with council regulations? (this question has been drafted by the bald eagle, ed)

12) Name the two pop bands in this historic and much loved photograph.

13) How many hits did the liverpoolevilcabal blog get?

a) Not half as many as the number of pounds Henshaw stole from Liverpool.
b) Not half as many as the number of pounds McElhinney stole from Liverpool
c) Dunno - but all 19,531 council workers were logging on as soon as they got home.
d) 102,465 (precisely, ed)
14) Who said: "show me the money."

a) Dick Turpin (well, it is the panto season, ed)
b) Sir Diddy
c) The rottweiller
d) Robbing Archer
e) Chas Cole
f) All of the above

15) What was the venue for the infamous Summ
er Pops media briefing, attended by the Harbarrowboy, Chas Cole and Jon Brown?

a) Colin Hilton's office
b) Jason Harbarrowboy's office
c) Chas Cole's office
d) The Racquet Club
e) Starbucks
f) The back of the bike sheds

16) Who said: "Don't let the evil cabal get you down" and to whom?

a) Mike Storey to Matt Finnegan
b) Warren Bradley to Mike Storey
c) Rex Makin to Matt Finnegan
d) Tony Parrish to the people of Liverpool

17) Who was Tony Parrish?

a) Sir Diddy desperately trying to get a sympathy vote
b) Daily Post journalist, Larry Neild (pictured, ed)
c) Francis Rossi from Status Quo
d) That bullshitting Kris Donaldson fella
e) Colin Hilton, trying to ensure that anyone with half a brain seemed infinitely preferable to the evil cabal
f) All of the above

18) Who said: "Whatever happens, we w
on't let you down."

a) Sir Diddy
b) Mike Storey
c) The editor of the Echo
d) Sven Goran Erikson

19) Who is Inspector Clueless? (clue: he's a fat, moronic, pompous Lib Dem councillor who believes in nothing but himself, ed. (Sorry, that doesn't really narrow it down very much, ed)

20) What is this?
TIE-BREAKER: Please supply a suitable caption to this action photograph of the new leader of the council.

The Liverpool subCulture Awards for 2006, featuring the Tony Parrish Award to the 'Hypocrite of the Year'; the 'Blonde of the Year' (sponsored by BT); Quote of the Year; etc, etc, etc.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


FORMER Brookside boss Phil Redmond has been hailed by the Echo as 'the great white hope' for 2008 after being given a seat on the board of the Culture Company.
Multi-millionaire Redmond has ambitions to be the Labour Party's candidate for Liverpool's elected Mayor post 2008.
And he is now being touted by the chattering classes as "the people's choice" for Capital of Culture and the man who, as the Echo rather lamely puts it, will 'bring real culture to real people".
The Echo breathlessly informs us that the man behind Brookside and Hollyoaks has 'already made approaches to cultural icons Bleasdale, Russell and McGough. (Why couldn't anyone else speak to them, then? ed)
We will only record that Redmond is a mate of Sir Diddy's, writes a crap and boring column in the Daily Post and has done very little to discernibly change the stereotype of Liverpool people as 'scallies and slappers'.
Read this excruciating and nebulous quote from the 'man of the people' and groan:
I will be working to find innovative ways to enable anyone who wishes to take part in 2008, young, old or in-betweenies, to have that opportunity. To have a go at something. To try something different. Who knows what we will turn up. And what we will leave behind for the future. 2008 should simply be a starting point.''

We shall see what else he specifically comes up with for all those 'in-betweenies' amongst us.
Much better news is that Radio Merseyside's Roger Phillips is also on Board. (Although the small-minded Echo jealously failed to adequately convey his much more legitimate claims to be a 'voice of the people', ed).
In stark contrast to the Redmond rubbish, Phillips said: "I see my role as being a critical friend - and one who can convey the opinions of the Merseyside public on a wide range of issues. I'm very keen that Liverpool's communities are fully involved in the planning and staging of the celebrations and that involvement continues well beyond 2008.''
Phillips is a sound appointment who, unlike much of the Board, cares about the city and its people. Seems he agreed to take a seat at the table as an olive branch for refusing the poisoned chalice of Cultural Ambassador. Good for him. Let's hope he doesn't get neutered by them.
And as far as re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic is concerned, Liverpool subCulture got six out of the nine casualties correct.
OUT go Sir Diddy's mate Michael Brown (hurrah,ed); Neil Cossons (boss of Tate Britain and a serious blow to Liverpool's hopes of national cultural credibility, ed); David McDonnell, Brenda Smith, Andrew Worthington and Bob Scott, (all of whom we predicted, ed) plus the Community College's Wally Brown (why?) and Pat Loughrey (BBC). Bob Scott's sacking is not remarked by the Echo, sadly. In fact, the Echo have ignored all of those who have been given the push. (Strange news values, ed)
IN are Redmond and Phillips, with Merseytravel's Neil Scales as transport advisor (very imaginative, ed)
STAYING PUT are Loyd Grossman, Louise Ellman MP, Bryan Gray (NWDA), Tom Bloxham (Arts Co), Sue Woodward (Granada) Ruth Gould (Disability Arts) and amazingly, Roy Morris, from the Mersey Partnership. (The politicians will find another way to skin that cat, methinks, ed).
Drummond Bone-head (right) has held on to his chair too, regrettably.
So it remains to be seen what each of their unique and individual contributions will now be to making Liverpool 2008, the life-changing event it should be.
Perhaps our Board members might like to tell us all exactly what areas of cultural activity they will now each be concentrating on, (purely in the interests of transparency and accountability, dontchaknow? ed)
For example, they could each tell us three things they plan to do in the next three months which will make a real difference, couldn't they?
We shall make one other observation about this new line-up: It hardly reflects the city's diverse communities, does it?
We dont want tokenism. But we do think a more determined effort could and should have been made to engage genuine representatives of the city's cultural and artistic communities.
Instead we will still have a lot of middle-class men in suits, sitting around pontificating, not getting their hands dirty - but spending millions of pounds in public money.
So, hardly a radical departure for the Titanic.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


"A classic case of the Emperor's new clothes..." Pete Price, Radio City

"The last thing Liverpool needs is a situation where the party is planned by officials in offices and forced on everybody." Peter Jones, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce

"I have not been approached or commissioned to write anything for 2008," Willy Russel.
"I was asked if I wanted to join a committee. I declined. " Alan Bleasdale.

"No-one has asked me to do anything," Ken Dodd.

"I have been waiting for the phone to ring," Ringo Starr

"I would have liked Tesco to have been involved in some way," Sir Terry Leahy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Dr David McElhinney - also known as Henshaw's rottweiller - is set to be Number One this Christmas.
Top pop pundits like Paul Gambaccini are already forecasting that Dr Death will stop Ricky Tomlinson from reaching Top of the Pops with his own Liverpool Christmas class
ic: "Christmas, my arse"
For a much better special lit
tle ditty has been penned in tribute (shurely some mistake?ed) to the Deadly Doc, called 'The Liverpool Rottweiller'.
Local band The Malcontents (well, one man and his dog, ed) have recorded the toe-tapping tune as a unique Christmas tribute.
The song features all your favourite characters - the rottweiller McElhinney himself; the never to be forgotten Sir Diddy; secret meetings at The Hilton, there is even a special mention for our unlovable new character, Inspector Clueless and a memorable guest appe
arance on trumpet, appropriately enough, from the legendary Tony Parrish.
And joyously, the hard hitting lyrics of the Liverpool Rottweiller even manage to rhyme for exa
mple, 'when we were in power' with 'McElhinney's shower'.
(This sounds absolutely fabulous and a sure-fire classic which is bound to have them rocking in the aisles this festive season, as us trendy hep cats say, ed. Where can I buy a hundred for my family? ed)
Unfortunately, The Liverpool Rottweiller is not on sale anywhere at the moment, because the shops keep on selling out as fast as they can stock their shelves (really? ed).
Yes, but in the interests of Liverpool's famed cultural diversity, Liverpool subCulture will be able to email the song to the millions of people who will be in need of cheering up as they sit in front of their Christmas trees after the Queen's Speech.
Just send us a request to and we will email a copy to you.
And pass it on, it is the catchiest melody imaginable.
And it really will make your festive season go with a swing (pity McElhinney isn't swinging too, ed).
VOTE IN OUR LATEST POLL! see City of the Dead
PS. If we can work out how to post it on the blog so everyone can listen in, we will do so, but emailing it will do for now! ed
PPS. Unfortunately anon, Rapidshare does not work! Any other ideas???

Saturday, November 11, 2006


MIKE STOREY has blundered again with claims that Sir Paul McCartney is to play a Liverpool gig during Capital of Culture.
The former council leader, not known for his discretion, told a private meeting of Liverpool businesspeople that Macca was being lined-up for the gig with '"friends".
Of course bungling Storey did not apparently realise that his words would be immediately reported in the Liverpool Daily Post and start yet another 'will he, won't he?' hare running about Macca.
The truth is this: The Culture Company are desperate to sign up McCartney for 2008.
He is being offered millions to fill the huge gaping whole left by their premature announcement last Monday about the 'Concert with No Stars (yet)' on the waterfront, in the summer.
Even that Aussie charlatan, Robbing Archer understood that McCartney's presence was fairly essential to the success of the entire Capital of Culture year.
Robbing had some imaginative plans to persuade McCartney to play Liverpool, giving him complete artistic control of a day-long gig or series of concerts throughout the summer.
As artistic 'curator' Macca would have been able to choose who would have appeared on the same stage and which other artists to give a platform to.
McCartney has already made it crystal clear that he wants to give a showcase to young Liverpool talent from LIPA in particular (good for him, ed)
Not unnaturally, Macca also wants to be given the final say about anyone else who is going to try and muscle in on the act.
After all he is a global superstar, and in 2008, Liverpool needs Macca more than Macca needs Liverpool (true, very true, ed).
All of this was being slowly and carefully negotiated by the Harbarrowboy and assorted minions from the Culture Company.
But now that Storey has opened his big fat gob, there are serious concerns that he could spook Sir Paul and put him off the gig. (After all he is not going through the easiest of times at the moment and could do without more hassle.)
No one from the Culture Company is talking about the Macca gig or confirming Storey's indiscretions, because premature publicity could ruin their chances.
Interestingly, despite all the brave words at the launch event last Monday night, Storey clearly felt under pressure to talk up 2008 because it has so far failed to capture the public imagination.
He was anxious to re-assure business that 2008 is still on track - so he revealed the plans for McCartney "like a rabbit out of a hat" as Warren Bradley might say.
Macca's appearance in his home town in 2008 would, of course, go a long way to answering the critics. (As long as the city council doesn't give all its staff first preference for tickets, like McElhinney and Halsall dreamed up last time, ed)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We are seriously underwhelmed.
There are no jaw-dropping shows, no global superstars, no creative sensations which will have them all talking on the Number 79 bus tomorr
ow morning.
Our gobs have very d
efinitely not been smacked despite the hugely expensive 'do' to unveil the 2008 programme for 500 invited guests at St George's Hall.
Instead we were presented with a Capital of Culture, which, as we predicted, draws heavily on Liverpool's existing cultural infrastructure.
Many of the events
heralded as major attractions of 2008 were already planned.
Of course, there are some great highlights from the new programme - Kl
imt at the Tate, le Corbusier at the Cathedral, turning Edge Hill station into an art gallery.
And there are lots more interesting additions to the city's rich cultural offer.
But these are not the contributions of the Culture Com
pany. They are the contributions of the the city's existing creative community.
So what have the Culture Company actually been doing for the last three years? With all that public money?
And when all the
giant balloons are deflated at St George's Hall, the plates of Scouse are left half-eaten and the pints of Cains are downed, what are we left with?
Liverpool's programme for 2008 is safe - it doesn't take any risks and it seeks to neutralise potential artistic dissent.
Good ideas are re-branded and re-presented, so last year's BBC production of The Manchester Passion suddenly becomes The Liverpool Nativity. Hey presto! Regurgitated religion courtesy of Auntie Beeb!
Existing events are re-packaged - Mathew St
reet, Clipper, Simon Rattle, et al.
The programme has been cynically drafted - it promises, for instance, a 'once in a lifetime' concert on the
waterfront, but disgracefully, doesn't then tell us just who is going to appear. (That's because they don't know, ed)
Such cynical disregard for its audience is one of the endemic failings of the Culture Company.
The 08 programme is littered with vague, uncertain stuff like this - Pete Postlethwaite MIGHT appear in King Lear, 'favourite sons and daughters' will appear in the Liverpool Song Book (but no names, no pack drill), a 'major theatrical event' will take place at Liverpoool Cathedral (but not a single detail).

What have they been doing for the last three years?
The programme constantly alludes to events, without giving any specifics, like the once exciting 'Cities on th
e Edge' project, which is now so thin that it has become almost almost invisible.
And it is at times, just a little bit too scally - as thoug
h Liverpool can be defined by the Adelphi and WAGS. (Stop being such a snob, ed)
It's as though the Culture Company's programme has been designed by amused onlookers, who patronise Liverpool people as 'chirpy Scousers' as they plan their next six-figure career move .
Hence the tabloid cliche of plates of Scouse and pints of Cains for guests at St George's.
(If we wanted to reduce Liverpool to the lowest common denominator we could have brought back Jimmy Tarbuck - he would have been a lot cheaper, ed)

The authentic voice of Liverpool people has not been heard.
As the Echo's Joe Riley surprisingly but accurately commented: Culture 2008 will not be a success unless it touches every street in Lverpool.
This programme simply fails to do that.



The Philharmonic's chief exec, Michael Elliott has been brought on board the sinking ship of the Culture Company.
Elliott (known as 'Mick' to counter
the Phil's famed cultural elitism) has been appointed for two days a week as yet another 'Cultural Advisor' following the departure of Robbing Archer.
Elliott's qualifications for this Titanic role are a bit of a puzzle.
First of all he is a bureaucract and has no cultural credentials whatsoever.
Secondly, the '
Phil' has always shown a lofty and arrogant disdain for 2008.
It was alone amongst the city's big cultural institutions in making hardly any contribution to the successful 2008 bid.

And it has been noticeable by its absence from all things Culture Company ever since.
The Phil is famous for always going its own way and
doing its own thing - despite the heavy public subsidy it receives from the city council's taxpayers (a bumper £1.3million last time, ed.)
So if Elliott has been brought on board to try and tackle one of the Culture Company's biggest faults - the lack of consistent, comprehensive and sustainable engagement and involvement of Liverpool people - then he does not have a proud track record at the Phil.
After all, the Phil is hardly famed for serenading shoppers at Tescos, or inviting inner city kids backstage, or sending out string quartets to entertain the crowds at Anfield or Goodison, is it?
That would be mixing with the hoi polloi a bit too much, wouldn't it?
Far nicer to stay safe with its Wirral-based clique of conservative converts.
So our guess is that Elliott has been brought in to try and sort out the Culture Company bureacracy, which under The Chief Executive of Nothing, has signally f
ailed to deliver anything whatsoever.

The official press release says this:

"Michael will work with the Culture Company Chief Executive, Jason Harborow,
(thought the Harbarrowboy was still interim? ed) and the creative team (Robbing's nervous early appointments, ed) to advise on the Culture Company's planning and its relationship with the cultural organisations and practitioners in Liverpool and build on the already close links with the DCMS and Arts Council England. ( I don't understand a word of this either, but neither do they, so we can all remain in total ignorance, ed)

"He will also work closely with the Chief Executive in assessing the artistic and cultural structure required to manage the future development of the 2008 programme, its communication and delivery. "
(gawd help us, ed)

In other words, Elliott has been brought on board at the last minute to try and keep the sinking ship afloat and:

a) to keep an eye on the money
b) to keep an eye on the bureaucracy
c) to keep an eye on The Harbarrowboy

Whether his appointment works, never mind reconciles the various warring factions on the Culture Company Board (of which more later, ed) remains to be seen.

The job should obviously have gone to Lewis Biggs, whose successful Biennial is one of the few cultural events to put the city
on the international map, but he clearly refused to partake of the poisoned chalice.

Other things that should be said about Elliott:

1) Henshaw once memorably dismissed him as a 'lightweight' (that's recommendation enough then, ed)

2)Henshaw also conspired with Elliott and the shadowy Phil Chairman, Roger Lewis, into getting rid of former conductor Gerry Schwarz in the most disgraceful and shameful way. So Elliott is a ruthless hatchet man. (And we shall be watching Lewis in future, ed)

3) No one likes Elliott at the Phil.

So I wouldn't hold your breath for any great changes in direction as the Culture Company ship goes steaming towards the 2008 iceberg.

Monday, November 06, 2006



PANIC has gripped the Culture Company as it fast approaches its very own 'D' Day - November 6th.
That's when The Harbarrowboy will be revealing to an unsuspecting world exactly what is happening in 2008.
A great big posh do has been organised at St George's Hall for Monday night when the great and the good will be invited to congratulate all concerned on how fantastic everything is and pat themselves o
n the back.
But in the run up to 'D' Day (short for Debacle, ed) the Culture Company are running around like headless chickens in ever decreasing circles trying to get things sorted out.
Everything else has taken a back seat as every chief cook and bottle washer is enlisted in the glorious pursuit of making 'Jase' look good.
Of course if he cocks up and fails to impress the world, then the vultures will start circling big time. His neck is on the line.
So you can imagine the tears, tantrums and foot-stampings going on in the Pleasuredome at Millennium House as we speak.
So what great announcements can we expect from the Harbarrowboy on November 6th?
Will McCartney make it as part of the 2008 line-up? (Not if Heather takes him to the cleaners, ed)
Will U2 appear? (What have they got to do with Liverpool? ed)
Will Ma
donna be a material girl?
Will Alan Bleasdale be commissioned to premiere a new play?
Will there be a mini World Cup contest between Everton and Liverpool and Europe's greatest teams?
Will we see Madame Butterfly staged on the Mersey?
Will Cirque de Soleil's spectacular Beatles production be lured from Las Vegas (why didn't we get it first anyway? ed)
And so on and so forth.
All these questions and more will finally be answered on Monday night.
Some things of course, are certain.
The Culture Company will stick their logo on everything that is happening anyway and try to pretend it is one of their own 'once-in-a-lifetime' events.
And there will be a massive re-packaging exercise (more smoke and mirrors, ed)
So look forward to 'the biggest and best ever' Mathew Street festival (already happening, ed)
A world class Clipper race (already happening, ed)
A towering T
all Ships festival (ditto, ed)
What will be left of Robbing Archer's plans is anyone's guess. Probably nothing.
But watch as The Harbarrowboy tries to take the credit for all the existing cultural events which are already being organised by the city's existing cultural institutions and partners.
And examine closely just how many world class 'firsts' are coming to Liverpool the year after next.

No doubt there will be some welcome additions to the cultural programme for 2008.
Not even the
Culture Company could have failed to deliver anything new.
It will be interes
ting to see precisely what added value they will be bringing to Liverpool in 2008 after the millions of pounds of public money spent so far.
Whether th
e 08 programme will live up to its constant spin as the best ever European Capital of Culture remains to be seen.
And we doubt whether there will be anything of substance to ensure that 2008 changes Liverpool for good and has a real impact on the lives of Liverpool people.
Nor, we forecast, will there be a comprehensive, rigorous and sustainable programme of community involvement an
d engagement.
But there will b
e lots of fireworks, balloons and razzamatazz for the great and the good at St George's Hall on Monday. So that's alright then...

Friday, November 03, 2006


HERE'S an update on traffic to the Liverpool subCulture web blog since we began.
And its a lot more fun than the Big Dig!
(We are only doing this because we know some sad individuals are interested in this kind of thing...)

The main blog page has had 1,499 hits so far (652 yesterday).
The second most popular part of the blog is City of the Dead (quelle surprise, ed) which has had 563 hits, closely followed by Gossip with 421.
Postcards, Reviews and TP's Fringe have had just over 100 hits each so far.
So almost 3,000 hits in all - not bad after just a few days.
We are also told on very good authority, that some other blogs - Henshaw and the Evil Cabal for instance - have seen a corresponding jump in their viewing figures.
Looks like we've got an active little community going, doesn't it?

How the council use Ripa to spy on you....

Random Photos