Sunday, December 30, 2007


THIS is the band 'SIRENZ'* who jumped the queue over other groups at the 2006 Mathew Street Festival.

The Crosby-based six-piece were at the centre of an internal council investigation into the actions of the Harbarrowboy and a second un-named senior council official.

It is alleged that both officials abused their public positions of trust to ensure that SIRENZ appeared at the Festival.

The Harbarrowboy, who was in charge of the 2006 Festival, and the second official are alleged to have used their positions to enable SIRENZ to circumvent the official judging process.

Unlike every other local band which appeared at the Festival that year, SIRENZ were not approved by an independent panel.

They were simply given one of the best slots at the Festival.

It is not clear what relationship - financial, professional or personal - the band have, or had, with either the Harbarrowboy or the un-named official.

Of course their is no suggestion that SIRENZ (dramatic logo above right, eds) paid any money to either official in order to appear at Mathew Street.

Nor is there any suggestion (yet, eds) that the Harbarrowboy stood to benefit in any way from making sure they got the gig.

But since Colin Cover Up has now effectively silenced the probe by paying off the Harbarrowboy with £250,000 of council taxpayers money, it is unlikely that we will ever find the answers to these questions.
NB Our enquiries are continuing....

*Here is some of their publicity blurb from MySpace

About sirenz

Davie Reid - Singer/Songwriter/Synth player, John Reid - Lead Guitar, Joe Swift - Bass, Karl Blower - Rhythm Guitar, Marc Guy - Drums, Keith Merner - Synth Player/Samples/Tech

Sirenz formed in 2005 creating their own material in a rock'n roll, electronic style. In this time realising the band has what it takes to make a career in the industry, the idea to expose their style to a wider audience is exciting and the goal of all members. in 2006, then with countless gigs and experience in studios, recording at their own expense they decided to get in touch with a friend with recording knowledge so that they could record off their own backs. The friend took up second synth player and this element gave the band new horizons and created freedom to uncover new ideas. 2007 now with a fully shaped sound scape, Sirenz future lies in the hands of record companies to take their sound and career into the music industry itself.

Sirenz are 6 young men who live and breathe music. Sirenz incorporate drums, synth, guitar, bass and stunning vocals to produce a sound that is unique in 2007. The music, of a rock/electronic genre, is innovative and creative and has helped the group build a strong fan base in the Northwest which is spreading to Southern areas of the UK. Touring the Merseyside area since 2005, they have performed on numerous occasions at prominent music venues across the area. Publicity has been gained through such appearances and interest in the group continues to grow. Their sound continues to develop and the commitment of the band is highlighted by their experimentation with recording and performing. Spurred on through Sirenz’ dedication to music, the growth of their musical talents and their emotional and life experiences, they will endeavour to be a success.

Monday, December 24, 2007


THE Harbarrowboy has escaped a second internal city council investigation into Mathew Street.

The probe was ordered by chief executive Colin CoverUp just two weeks ago after fresh allegations were made about the running of the Mathew Street Festival - in 2006.

But now that the city council has decided to pay the Harbarrowboy off with £250,000 of council taxpayers money, it is unlikely that the investigation will ever be concluded.

(How convenient, eds)

The probe is likely to be mothballed, hidden in a drawer and covered-up for eternity.

(The city council are, at least, consistent, aren't they? eds)

The investigation by the city council's Internal Audit department had originally centred on the Harbarrowboy's role in promoting a particular local rock band who were suddenly given a prime spot at the 2006 Festival.

It is alleged that Jase abused his position and authority as chief executive of the Culture Company to unfairly ensure that the band were given the gig.

A second senior city council official was also being investigated after he was implicated in bringing pressure to bear on staff to make sure that the band appeared.

It is alleged that both Jason Harborow and the senior official intervened to make sure the band appeared.

The Harbarrowboy's £250,000 deal also now makes it almost certain that the un-named official will escape any disciplinary action.

(How convenient again, eds)

Local bands who appeared at the 2006 Mathew Street Festival had to go through a rigorous vetting procedure by an independent panel of judges.

But it is understood that the band at the centre of the probe had not gone through the same procedure.

They were able to jump the queue of local talent and never appeared in front of the judges - but were suddenly given a prime spot at the Festival.

It is alleged that both the Harbarrowboy and the senior official repeatedly pressured staff to give them a slot on the band's behalf.

Whether there was a financial, personal or professional connection between the band and Jase and the other council official is not clear.

Nor is it clear what the justification was for allowing one band to get around the established procedures.

Rather than getting to the bottom of all this, (as would befit any open, transparent and proper public organisation - which obviously rules out the city council under CoverUp, eds) the city council decided instead to opt for a Christmas pay-off for Jase.

So Colin CoverUp decided to turn a blind eye to any potential wrong-doing (not the for the first time, eds) and give the alleged culprit a big fat cheque instead.

Meanwhile the blog will continue our enquiries into this new cover-up (despite the festive season, eds) and will keep you up-dated on developments and any further details we can discover.

Stay posted.
PS Some may notice that this all bears a remarkable similarity to the original Tony Parrish's legendary expose of the smiling assassin's involvement in fixing bands for the Summer Pops. Regular readers will recall how Hasitall's son Liam's unknown band 'Abe' suddenly found themselves propelled to playing support for Status Quo at the Pops, thanks to the 'close relationship' between Halsall and CMP promoter Chas 'show me the money' Cole. We can confirm that this second investigation DOES NOT concern 'Abe' who predictably disappeared without trace, after their appearance.
PPS This is the 100th post by Liverpool SubCulture. It's our anniversary. So let's celebrate!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Click on the link below to see the Evil Cabal in action this Christmas as they celebrate Jason joining their rotten, corrupt, greedy and lying ranks (who said the season of goodwill was alive? eds)

It takes a while to load, but it's well worth the wait.

With thanks to Liverpool Confidential for the inspiration @ Some elfin around

PS Why not join in the fun and have hours of festive frolics with some of our famous characters?! And see Gossip for the Scrooge who said 'No' to Mathew Street! eds

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


  • FIREMAN BRADLEY and the Storeyteller have cost council taxpayers £250,000 - the amount the ruling Lib Dems today voted to hand to the Harbarrowboy.

    Three Lib Dem Councillors - Marilyn Fielding (the Rottweiller McElhinney's tame poodle, eds), Dave Antrobus, and Bernie Turner (business colleague of Joe Riley snitch Carolyn Hughes, eds) voted to stump up the people's cash to Jase because of the blundering Leader and former Leader's mistakes.

    There were only two councillors - both Labour - who voted against giving the huge pay-off to the £150,000-a-year (plus Performance Related Pay, eds) Harbarrowboy, who:

  • failed over Mathew Street
  • failed over Capital of Culture 2008 and
  • failed the city of Liverpool

But Labour lost the vote 3:2 - and so failure and incompetence was once again again rewarded by the Lib Dem city council.

Expert employment lawyers (not Ken Unworthy then? eds) told the special council committee that the Harbarrowboy had a cast-iron case for constructive dismissal against the city council because of the words and actions of Bradley and Storey.

The legal eagles cited three specific areas where Bradley and Storey had left the city council extremely vulnerable to legal action:

1) Bradley's ludicrously insane email to Colin Cover Up demanding that Harbarrowboy be relieved of his duties for the Mathew Street fiasco (copied to all members of the Lib Dem group and thus instantly leaked by three of them to Labour's gleeful Joe Anderson, eds)

2) Public statements made by both Bradley and Storey - in particular a barely literate and seriously ill-judged article written by Storey, ironically for the Daily Post, which attacked the Harbarrowboy after the discredited Mathew St report.

3) The 'Perroni Plot' when Bradley and Storey tried to lure former Events boss and Mathew St scapegoat Lee Forde into their continuing schoolboy conspiracy against the Harbarrowboy (nuff said about that, ed)

The legal eagles said that the actions of both leading Lib Dems had made the Harbarrowboy's position as chief exec untenable and had given him a golden opportunity to sue the council for constructive dimissal.

They also warned that unless the council settled with him, Jase could easily bring a hugely embarrassing civil case against Bradley and Storey for harassment, with unlimited damages being awarded!

This explosive and devastating legal opinion will now be used as evidence by Joe Anderson when Bradley and Storey are hauled in front of the Standards Board next year. (Oh fantastic! What a great year 2008 is going to be! eds)

The pair of Lib Dem dunderheads have so far between them personally cost the city council's long-suffering taxpayers well over £1million through their weakness and incompetence.

  • paying off corrupt Sir Diddy Henshaw

  • paying off crap Robbing Archer

  • paying off the Harbarrowboy's side-kick, Chris Green

  • paying off CoC's first Operations Director, Kevin Johnston (who fell foul of the evil cabal, eds) and now

  • paying off Jase

(Can't someone pay them off? eds)

How much more will the Fireman and Storeyteller cost Liverpool in lost opportunity, public esteem and hard cash, before they are removed from office by the Standards Board or the voters? (Hope its the voters first, eds)

Meanwhile Mr Lee Forde - the only one with any integrity and any use - has not received a single penny from the city council.

We hope that the people of Liverpool make the Lib Dems pay for their incompetence, waste and contempt. Failing that, pehaps some public minded lawyer would care to sue the pair of them for wasting and abuse of public money.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

NOMINATIONS are now officially open for The Tonys, 2007.

As all readers of Liverpool subCulture know, these are probably the most eagerly-awaited and celebrated awards in the entire blogosphere.

Self-styled scouse celebrities fight like cat and dog to get a nomination.

Others secretly brief the local media or leak confidential documents.

Some try to bribe the judges (usually unsuccessfully, but it rather depends on the nature of the bribe, eds).
A few, disgracefully, even try to vote more than once.
But then everyone forgets all the rivalries and gets dressed up to the nines for the glittering awards ceremony (which is normally held during 'grab a granny' night at the Grafton).

So please send us your nominations for The Tony's this year.
Awards include:
  • Best Story

  • Worst Cultural cock-up (this one is already heavily over-subscribed, eds)
  • Best performance

  • Most promising newcomer

  • Most outrageous lie

  • Best email

  • Best kept secret
  • Politician of the Year

  • Biggest waste of money

  • Legacy of 2008

  • Top bullshitter

  • Quote of the Year

  • Biggest mistake

  • One to watch

  • Most dynamic duo

  • Official follower of the original Tony Parrish (a special award in honour of our founder and patron, eds)

  • The Rottweiller McElhinney's annual award for Corruption, Theft and Lies (sponsored by BT, eds)

  • Photo of the Year

Any other award suggestions will be considered. Closing date for nominations: Midnight on Wednesday.

(And we will try to get around to revealing the winners by Christmas, eds)

Friday, December 14, 2007

SHOCK EXCLUSIVE: The Leader of Liverpool is a liar - it's official!

THREE cheers for the Liverpool Daily Post for standing up to the Lying Leader of Liverpool city council.

Fireman Bradley tried to threaten and bully the Post into submission over its coverage of the secret meeting with former Events Manager Lee Forde.

Bradley sent two threatening letters to the Post and then had the brass neck to make an offical complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.

At issue was the Post's coverage of the Mathew Street debacle and Bradley's secret rendezvous with Mr Forde.

Bradley hoped that his bullying and threats would silence the Post and make it toe the Lib Dem line.

Then he made his big mistake (not another one?! eds).

Under pressure, and desperate to rally support amongst the Lib Dem faithful, he regaled Wednesday's riveting council meeting with tales of how he was taking on the Post.

He revealed the private and confidential correspondence he had sent to the Post - and in the process tried to junk the paper's entirely fair and accurate coverage of events.

Unsurprisingly (to everyone but Bradley, eds) the Post had no alternative but to respond in kind by going public on the correspondence.

Hence the remarkable and lethal editorial in today's paper which you can read again here: 'The Leader of Liverpool is telling porkies to try and save his scrawny little neck and medicocre political career.'

All that was missing was the headline: SHOCK EXCLUSIVE: The Leader of Liverpool is a Liar - it's official!'

So we have supplied that instead.

Let us recap on the story so far:

Bradley has told three lies (at least, eds) about his meeting with Lee Forde.

Lie No 1. " I never had any meeting with Mr Forde".

Lie No 2. "The meeting was at Mr Forde's instigation".

Lie No 3. "I told Colin Hilton all about it."

Bradley has told a fourth lie, by claiming that he never told Daily Post reporter David Bartlett that he had not met Mr Forde.

In other words, he is now denying the denial. (Phew, this is getting complicated, eds)

Mr Bartlett has a full shorthand note of the interview with Bradley, which as the Post triumphantly points out, is admissable as evidence in any court in the land.

That deals with Lie No 1.

Then Mr Forde's phone bill proves that the initative for the meeting came from Bradley himself.

That deals with Lie No 2.

And Colin 'There can be no more cover-ups' Hilton's letter to Joe Anderson flatly contradicts Bradley's claim to have notified the chief executive of the meeting.

That deals with Lie No 3.


After lie.
After lie.

But it is worse than that, folks.

The Leader of the great city of Liverpool, in order to try and save his own skin, has questioned the integrity of the Daily Post reporter, Mr Bartlett; its editor, Mark Thomas; and the integrity of the newspaper itself.

Now, while it would be perfectly acceptable to question the integrity of the craven Echo, which has wilfully ignored this story, the Daily Post is a wholly different kettle of fish.

And it is disgusting that the foolish fireman is prepared to try and 'do in' an innocent journalist for telling the truth, in exactly the same way as he tried to 'do in Mr Lee 'totally innocent' Forde.

All to save his pathetic political career.

Frankly my dears, it is just not on.

Bradley will be removed as Leader by the Standards Board.

He will also lose his case against the Daily Post at the Press Complaints Commission.

His political career will therefore be at an end.

Meanwhile the lobby fodder in the Lib Dem ranks - with the honourable exceptions of the principled but barmy Jan Clein, the intelligent and principled Stuart Monkcom, and the fully-detached Beatrice Fraenkel who all abstained - have all voted in their unthinking hordes for Bradley's "I am a victim" 'hearts and flowers speech.

So they are all culpable in this disgraceful and disgusting cover-up of Bradley's dishonesty, ineptitude and stupidity.

And they are complicit in his attempts to blame the innocent for his own guilt.

Unbelievably. the Lib Dems were all apparently overcome and moved to tears by Storeyteller's entirely vacuous but passionate defence of 'nothing very much in particular except us Lib Dems are frightfully good chaps and you Labour people are terribly uncouth plebs'.

They are consistent fools, if nothing else.

This now is the truth (and we are being charitable here, eds):

No one doubts that Warren Bradley is an engaging politician.

No one doubts that he loves his family.

No one doubts that he never asked to become Leader.

But that is not the point.

At first, people gave him credit for his refreshing naivety and his endearing reaction of blurting out the first thing that came into his head.

Then that became a habit - like a schoolboy pinching apples.

Then, as things started to go wrong, it turned into a way of life - he found it easier to tell lies than to tell the truth; to cover up and mislead rather than to come clean.

None of that might have mattered, too much.

Until he started telling lies which destroyed innocent people's careers .

And threatened to damage innocent journalists's reputations.

That was when he started to run out of time.

And excuses.

Bradley has behaved disgracefully and arrogantly.

He can't help himself.

He has lied and cheated and mislead.

He has let down himself.

Let down his family.

Let down his party.

Most of all, he has let down Liverpool. And brought the city into disrepute.

It is now time for the foolish Fireman to go.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


FIREMAN Bradley has come out whimpering...

The foolish firefighter is blaming everyone but himself for the Mathew Street debacle, the Lee Forde plot and the repeated lies he has told.

Bradley went cap in hand to the Lib Dem group meeting last night after sending them a humiliating email pleading for their support (does this guy never learn? eds).

And surprise, surprise, guess what he gave as an explanation for this utter shambles?

He blamed a conspiracy against him by the two F's - former city council Events chief Mr Forde and former city council communications director Matt Finigan.

(Clearly Bradley doesn't know the meaning of the words truth and integrity, eds)

Bradley also instructed his flock not to read the Liverpool subculture blog anymore on pain of displinary action!

(An instruction which has obviously been completely ignored, eds)

Bradley again gave another tear-jerking performance about how his family had been upset by all the press coverage (although so far, he has never given a thought for anyone else's family, has he folks? eds)

He also completely forgot to mention that it was he, in fact, who first involved his family in all this by sending poor Pauline off to fetch Storeyteller for the secret rendezvous with Lee Forde.

The fireman has also been rocked by news of the prosecution and looming court appearance of fellow fireman, chief whip and Wavertree ward co-conspirator Steve Hurst for producing an 'anonymous' and disgraceful smear leaflet in the last May elections - see today's Daily Post and previous Liverpool subCulture posts (you read it here first! eds. Actually come to think of it, you only read it here - none of the tree-killing meejaa dared to even cover the story.) Bradley has so far failed to condemn this leaflet or to suspend Hurst, pending the court case.

There is, meanwhile, amongst his Lib Dem colleagues growing speculation that the remaining Wavertree ward councillor Mike Storeyteller - also known as Snow White in this pantomime season - has been the source for much of the information contained in the world-famous Liverpool subCulture blog (aw shucks, eds)

But a good blogger never reveals his sources (which are infinite and varied, eds)

Meanwhile Bradley won't lose any sleep about the de-selection of Beatrice Fraenkel and her replacement by friend (ok, ally, eds) of Inspector Clue-less, Paula Keaveney. Fraenkel should have quit months ago, when we first revealed that she was dabbling with crossing to Labour.

Interestingly the rottweiller McElhinney's poodle, the incredibly gullible and hysterical Marilyn Fielding, has been the only Lib Dem voice to publicly critiscise the Fireman for his 'Perroni and Parakeet' secret session with Lee Forde (obviously her master's voice at work, eds)

However Bradley remains in complete denial, seemingly unaware that he has done anything wrong at all, and believing that he is the victim of a terrible conspiracy. (Talk about the pot calling the kettle, eds). Reflect on your own behaviour Bradley and one day the penny might drop.

But we can also reveal that Bradley's Mathew St/Capital of Culture shambles will bring more sensational shocks very soon, folks.
And that's a promise....

Meanwhile for a further insight into how, under the Fireman's stupid stewardship, the city council will lie, cheat and steal to frame innocent employees read this amazing story about the behaviour, immorality and corrupt corporatism of the city council....

We told you so.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Mathew Street ‘Rescue Plan’ abandoned

Lee Forde returned from holiday abroad on August 4th, 2007 to discover that the Mathew Street Festival had been cancelled two days before.

Councillor Bradley then contacted Mr Ford to ask if, even at this late stage, he could rescue the Festival.

The two men met at Councillor Bradley’s home on Sunday, August 5th.

Mr Forde, who was serving his notice with the city council, told Councillor Bradley that he could make no promises, but that he would try to put together a rescue plan, provided that sufficient resources were made available, he was provided with a copy of the Capita Symonds report which had forced the cancellation and as long as there was sufficient support for Mathew Street continuing.

The following day Catherine Garnell, who worked in chief executive Colin Hilton’s office, sent a copy of the CS report to Mr Forde’s private email address.

Mr Forde met Mr Hilton and Councillor Bradley in Mr Hilton’s office in the Municipal Buildings at 10 am on Tuesday August 7th to discuss how to move a rescue plan forward.

Mr Forde, who was later to be blamed by the city council for the cancellation of Mathew Street, was given the go-ahead and arranged for safety experts to travel to Liverpool from London the next day. The intention was to put together a rescue plan which addressed all the issues which had been raised by CS in their report and then submit a revised scheme for Mathew Street to them on Friday August 10th.

Mr Forde’s deputy Eddy Grant, emailed Councillor Bradley to keep him updated on progress.

From: eddy grant
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 4:39 PM
Subject: CS

We are unable to get hold of anyone at Cpaita Symonds. This is because they are very busy. They may also not wish to speak to anyone except the most senior council officials because of the leak of their report, for whatever reason we need to establish what further support can be given

Can someone
1. Invite them to be independent safety officer- this is the best solution and will work for all sides- if they are unable to be directly involved would they be able to evaluaute the "rescue plan" either in full or against the points that they raise in their report

This could be in two stages

First an evalutation of the methodolgy of the recue plan and team
Second a full evaluation of the plan once written

If they are unable to undertake any of this work we have a samll iceberg but LF (Lee Forde, ed) working on alternative, if we can get them to evaluate the methodology we can get this back on track if Police agree to alternative and reasons CS give is work time as oppossed to safety


As he was meeting with the safety experts from London on Wednesday August 8th, Mr Forde received an email from a city council official who was investigating the cancellation of Mathew Street, informing him that Mr Hilton had now decided not to progress with the rescue plan. No explanation was offered.

>----Original Message---->

Date: 08/08/2007 08:32>
Subj: Laptop


Colin (Hilton, eds) advised me he did ask you to undertake some work, but the proposal will not be taken up, can you therefore bring in your lap toptoday. Any problems please give me a call.

Karen McMurdo

In a subsequent conversation, Councillor Bradley told Mr Forde he was “****ing sick. I can’t believe what has happened.”

Later the same day, a local paper (the Liverpool Echo, eds) carried a story claiming, wrongly, that Mr Forde had been sent home on gardening leave. It is now believed that this story had been leaked on city council instructions in an attempt to try and implicate and smear Mr Forde.

COMING SOON: Part 3 The Battle between the Harbarrowboy and Storeyteller

Friday, November 30, 2007


MATHEW ST scapegoat Lee Forde has blown the whistle on a conspiracy by Fireman Bradley and Storeyteller to oust bungling Culture chief Jason Harbarrowboy.

Forde has compiled an astonishingly detailed and shocking dossier which reveals how:
  • Bradley emailed Forde a day after the Mathew Street report was published

  • After blaming Forde for the Mathew St debacle, a desperate Bradley had the gall to then beg him for a meeting to discuss 'next steps'

  • Bradley disowned his council's own offical Mathew Street report - after supporting it publicly

  • At a secret meeting on Sunday in Bradley's home in Wavertree, the council leader was joined by partner in crime, former council leader Mike Storey.

  • The pair of politicians then begged an astonished Forde to hand over to them confidential documents and emails to help them get rid of the Harbarrowboy!

  • A shocked and horrified Forde decided to expose the pathetic pair for their dishonest, unscrupulous and immoral plotting.

The Forde dossier - which runs to 15 extremely readable and gripping pages - has now been deposited with the Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo, whose heavily censored versions you will be able to read tomorrow (if you can be arsed, eds).

But the full, glorious text of the dossier is now being reproduced here in yet another World Exclusive for the Liverpool subCulture blog.

And, we can reveal, Labour Leader Joe Anderson has already reported Bradley and Storey to the Standards Board and demanded a full-scale investigation into their plot and their shocking behaviour. We believe the Lib Dem pair have shown, in their disgusting treatment of Forde and their attempt to manipulate him for their own ends, that they are unfit to govern the great city of Liverpool.

Lee Forde, on the other hand, has consistently shown tremendous strength of character, a formidable determination to clear his name and admirable honesty, principle and integrity.

The Harbarrowboy of course, may take temporary comfort from Bradley and Storey being shopped trying to do him in. But, rest assured dear readers, the Harbarrowboy's days are well and truly numbered - and will be over very quickly indeed.

Bradley's 'pissed-off' emails to Forde can be found on a separate post on the aptly-named City of the Dead blog.

Liverpool deserves better - why Lee Forde blew the whistle on Bradley and Storey is on your left.

Part 2 of the 15-page report, which includes new email evidence about Mathew Street, will follow shortly (well, we need a glass or two of bubbly first to celebrate, eds)

So pull up a seat, settle down and read, in Lee Forde's own words, how the city of Liverpool's Lib Dem leadership are a couple of lying, cheating, dishonest bastards....

The Background

“Out of the blue on Sunday afternoon (November 18th), I received five separate e-mails from Councillor Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool city council.
The emails, virtually identical, had all been sent on Saturday in the space of three minutes from his private email address. Each of the emails asked for a meeting with me regarding the Mathew Street report which had been published two days earlier.
I was absolutely stunned by this approach from the Leader of the Council - the last time I had seen him was two days before, as he gave numerous interviews to the press, radio and TV in support of the findings of the city council’s report into Mathew Street. I had not expected to ever hear again from someone who had publicly condemned me so unfairly.
I was still extremely angry both about the publication of the council report and the Leader of the Council’s own comments in support of the report, which had questioned both my professionalism and my integrity. I had been blamed for the cancellation of the Festival – even though I was innocent.
Since Friday, I had been attacked by the full weight of the council machine, which had deployed considerable staff and resources to try and trash my reputation.
Its report was a complete whitewash and a disgraceful cover-up of the true circumstances which had lead to the decision by the Culture Company chief executive, Jason Harborow and city council chief executive Colin Hilton to cancel the Mathew Street festival in early August 2007, almost three months after I had submitted my resignation as Events Manager with the city council.
I had done all within my power over a period of almost a year previously to repeatedly notify my superiors in the Culture Company of the problems in staging the Mathew Street festival in 2007, as a result of the loss of the Pier Head and big cuts in funding.
I knew too that Councillor Bradley had been aware of these difficulties and my strenuous attempts to try and save the Festival. This information was noticeably absent from the council report, which had taken almost three months to produce and which had been drastically amended at the Leader of the Council’s insistence.
As a former employee, I was a convenient scapegoat, while the real culprits escaped.
Once my shock and surprise at seeing the emails had subsided on the Sunday afternoon, I agreed to Councillor Bradley’s invitation to meet, although I informed a number of people in advance. I decided that I had nothing to lose from a meeting - I wanted to find out what ‘next steps’ referred to and what his motive was.
I also intended to use the opportunity to press my case for the council’s report to be retracted and for me to be given a public apology.
Through text messages, I arranged with Councillor Bradley to go to his home on Sunday evening.
Ironically, the first and last time I had been to his home was in early August, when he had asked me to put together a rescue plan for the cancelled Mathew Street Festival, while I was serving my notice.” (See later emails)

The Meeting

Date: Sunday 18th November, 2007 - two days after the publication of the city council’s Mathew Street Report.
Venue: Councillor Warren Bradley’s home in Wavertree.
Present: Lee Forde, former Events manager, Liverpool Culture Company; Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool city council; Councillor Mike Storey, Executive Member for Regeneration and Liverpool’s 800th Birthday celebrations.

“I arrived at Councillor Bradley’s house, slightly later than we had arranged, at about 8.20pm on 18th November. I must have been a bit agitated because I had got lost several times and had to phone him to get directions. I was feeling very nervous – I did not know what to expect, or what I was walking into.
I was greeted at the front door by Councillor Bradley who shook my hand, called me ‘mate’ and ushered me inside. He thanked me for coming and offered me a drink – tea, coffee or a beer. I told him I would feel better with a beer and he fetched me a bottle of Peroni.
When he returned, he told me he had also invited Councillor Storey to attend and asked if I “was alright with that?” I told him I had nothing to hide.
Councillor Bradley explained that his wife Pauline had already gone to fetch Councillor Storey in their car.
At this stage, although outwardly calm, I was confused and completely gob-smacked at the turn of events. I could not fathom Councillor Bradley’s motive for the meeting. Nor did he immediately explain the purpose of the meeting.
While my mind raced, I could not help observe to myself that the Leader of the Council had not yet had the good grace to apologise for his role in the publication of a biased council report which had caused me, my family, my friends and colleagues so much personal upset by trying to damage my professional reputation and integrity.
Councillor Bradley then asked me how I was and mentioned that he had ‘felt sorry’ for me on Friday when, as he was giving interviews to the media at Liverpool Town Hall, he had seen me standing outside.
I had been trying to defend my reputation and integrity to the media after he had helped attack them. Councillor Bradley said he really ‘felt’ for me. This was the closest he ever came to apologising for his conduct and for the council’s report.
Just as Councillor Bradley began to explain how ‘disappointed’ he was with the report’s findings – although he had not expressed this to the media at the time - Councillor Storey arrived.
Councillor Bradley invited Councillor Storey to join us in having a beer and left the room to fetch a bottle. I and other colleagues had been told that the two men had fallen out some months before, but they appeared to be on good terms. While Councillor Bradley was out of the room, Councillor Storey asked me how I was. I told him, with some understatement, that “I have felt better” and how disappointed I had been with the council’s report.
Councillor Bradley returned and explained to Councillor Storey that he had invited me around to discuss the report’s findings, as he was unhappy with them.
Again, I wondered why he had not expressed this unhappiness to the media when he had the opportunity?
Councillor Storey (now in terrified hiding below, eds) volunteered that he had spoken to me recently and understood that I still wanted to be involved in events in Liverpool. I was not sure of the relevance of this observation.
Councillor Storey then observed that it was “ironic” that I had been attacked in the council’s report as “Lee was responsible for transforming Mathew Street from a disorganised event to a national Festival.”
Councillor Bradley immediately agreed and observed that he felt the report identified the wrong people as being responsible for the cancellation of the Festival.
I was very angry. I told him that I felt the council’s report was “full of lies”, fatally flawed and fundamentally wrong. I had been scape-goated even though I had been a loyal servant of the city, had never played any political games and had done everything to the best of my ability.
Councillor Bradley asked me why I thought the event had been cancelled.
I thought this was a bizarre question for the Leader of the Council to suddenly ask - his own council had spent three months investigating what had happened and had just published its findings! To me, it showed he had no confidence in the report and was now effectively dis-owning it. This came too late for me of course - I had been publicly attacked by his council on Friday.
I told him that the Festival had been cancelled because of poor management by senior officers of the Culture Company who had failed to replace me when I had resigned three months earlier. They had never taken Mathew St seriously and didn’t realise the value of the event and how much people in Liverpool felt about it.
I also informed Councillor Bradley that, on at least two previous occasions, Culture Company Operations Director, Chris Green had told me and members of my Events team that he would be pleased if Mathew Street was cancelled as he could use the budget elsewhere.
I told Councillor Bradley that I had been shocked when I first heard Mathew Street had been cancelled. I had not expected it.
I reminded him that at his request in early August, I had tried to put together a rescue plan to get Mathew Street back on track but that the Chief Executive of the city council, Colin Hilton had abruptly refused to allow me to go ahead. I still did not understand why he had done this.
I pointed out the obvious - that far from being responsible for the cancellation of Mathew Street - I was the one who had done all in my power to try and save it.
I told him that I had been placed in ‘an impossible situation’ because of the battle between Culture Company chief exec, Jason Harborow and Councillor Storey over funding.
I was the ‘piggy in the middle’. There had been an attempt to ‘strip the budgets out’ – reduce the funding for Mathew Street - to prevent Councilllor Storey from getting what he wanted.
I also reminded both men that I had been replaced at meetings by Mr Harborow and that the Culture Company Steering Group regularly arranged pre-meetings in order, it seemed to me, to ensure only certain information was passed to Councillor Storey.
I said that during April, while trying to sort out the problems with Mathew St, I had also been producing the major Son et Lumiere event to celebrate Liverpool’s 8ooth birthday. This was a week-long event which Councillors Bradley and Storey had both wanted and which had forced an extremely damaging £100,000 cut in the Mathew St budget. Councillor Bradley asked me how many tickets had been sold for the Son et Lumiere shows. It had been a virtual sell-out - two shows a night for seven days, attracting between 5-6,000 people. Councillor Bradley asked where the proceeds had gone from ticket sales. I was surprised that he apparently did not know the established procedure for Culture Company ticket sales.
I explained that the tickets, which were priced at £2.50 each, had been sold through the 08 Place and Liverpool Direct (LDL). Originally LDL had wanted to charge the Culture Company an administration fee, per ticket, of £2.70. In other words, the cost of admin would have been higher than the ticket price itself.
The Culture Company had therefore agreed that LDL could take all the proceeds from ticket sales as their admin fee. Both Councillor Bradley and Councillor Storey appeared genuinely shocked. I was astonished that they appeared so out of touch and ignorant of what was going on.
Councillor Bradley then asked me if I had any information that would prove senior people in the Culture Company were involved in events leading up to the cancellation of Mathew Street.
He said: “Is there anything you can get us, to get rid of Harborow? To get him out? He must have been involved in it - although the report exonerates him.”
Councillor Bradley also asked if I could access Mr Harborow’s leave records – I assumed that he believed Mr Harborow was taking more holidays than he was entitled to.
I told Councillor Bradley that I had given a huge amount of information - in the form of emails and other documents - to the council’s inquiry, which had been ignored.
I had compiled a dossier as part of my claim for constructive dismissal which was now with my legal advisor. It would come out in public when a hearing took place.
I explained that I was also currently in negotiations with the council, through ACAS. If an out of court settlement was reached, the documents might be made available. I was non-committal about this – I needed to think it through – but told them I would consult my solicitor.
As I sat in Councillor Bradley’s living room sipping my beer, I remember being completely astonished that, two days after the council had tried to destroy my own reputation, the Leader of the Council and the former Leader of the Council were now trying to involve me in a conspiracy to remove the chief executive of the Culture Company.
I was shocked that such underhand dealings could go on. It seemed to be political skulduggery of the worst kind. I have never been involved in anything remotely like this at all before. Something was clearly seriously wrong and I felt extremely uncomfortable. I felt as though my integrity was being compromised and that undue pressure for information was now being placed upon me by people who had already once tried to destroy my reputation.
I did not have an axe to grind with anyone – I had resigned because I did not believe that Mathew Street could be delivered safely for the allocated budget and that the public were being put at risk. Now I was being drawn into something else - a conspiracy. I felt I was being used to try and get rid of someone and that there was a good chance that, if their plan ever went wrong, I would again be hung out to dry as the perpetrator. Neither Councillor Bradley nor Storey had been truthful and honest with me before – after Mathew St was cancelled, Councillor Bradley told me he was going to ensure that the council report would not blame me. He had not kept that promise, even though I had tried to rescue Mathew St.
On reflection now, I believe they must have both thought I was a complete ‘sucker’ and soft touch and that they could drag me into their conspiracy to get rid of Jason Harborow.
But at the time, I was a bit bewildered, totally confused and had extremely mixed emotions - I must have been in a state of profound shock.
Councillor Bradley then questioned me about a number of matters concerning Mr Harborow and Mathew Street and also asked what I knew about a company called Solutions and if Jason Harborow was involved with them.
I told him that Mr Harborow had told me that ‘Solutions’ – a merchandising company - were friends of his and that he had worked with them in the past.
I told the councillors that Solutions were now a preferred supplier to the city council. This meant that we had to use their services, even if we could get the same or similar goods cheaper from elsewhere – there was a general understanding about this within the Culture Company.
Councillor Storey remarked: “It’s just like Liverpool Direct.” I understood him to mean by this that he thought it was a corrupt or suspect arrangement, although I personally do not know of any evidence for this.
I finally agreed that I would look and see if I had any other documentation about Mr Harborow. I left the meeting after almost two hours and we tentatively agreed to meet again.
The following morning, Monday 19th November, I telephoned Councillor Bradley and informed him that I had consulted legal advice and was unable to release any documents to anyone unless and until my case was satisfactorily settled.
I the undersigned, Lee Forde, declare this to be a true and faithful account of my meeting on Sunday November 18th, 2007 with Liverpool Council leader Cllr Warren Bradley and Regeneration leader Cllr Mike Storey.

Lee Forde

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


CITY council leader Warren Bradley, birthday boy Mike Storey, chief executive Colin Hilton and Culture boss Jason Harborow all knew about the problems with Mathew Street at least SIX MONTHS before it was cancelled.

That is clear from a confidential email which, for some strange reason, was not included in the council's controversial and officially tampered-with report.

The email, written on February 28th, is by Culture Company Operations Director Chris Green to the Harbarrowboy.

It concerns the fateful meeting on February 21st when Green met with Fireman Bradley, Story-teller and CoverUp to update all three on Mathew Street.

Green explains to Harbarrowboy that the cost of the new outdoor event Storey wanted - Son et Lumiere - had risen to £160,000 and that the budget for Mathew Street would need to be cut by £100,000, as a result.

Green then tells the Harbarrowboy:
"Given that the closure of the Pier Head had already introduced logistical problems for operating Mathew Street at the same scale as previous years..."

So Harbarrow was obviously in the loop and knew that there were problems with staging Mathew Street again this year.
Green then outlines a re-vamped proposal for Mathew Street,which has been cut by £100,000.

Green says:

"This idea was presented to Warren Bradley, Colin Hilton and Mike Storey on 21 Feb and was not accepted. Warren and Mike felt strongly that we needed to find a way to run Mathew Street on Saturday and Sunday as well as Monday/Tuesday."

In other words, both Bradley and Storey were adamant that, despite the budget being cut by £100,000, Mathew Street should not be reduced from four days to a two day festival, as Green had proposed.

Fireman Bradley of course told the world that the first he knew of any problems with Mathew Street was when Hilton phoned him on holiday in July.

Not true Fireman.

Both CoverUp and the Fireman were at the same meeting in February when the problems were raised and proposals for reducing Mathew Street were put forward.

But according to Green's email, both the Fireman and Story-teller insisted that the Festival should go ahead as they wanted, despite them having cut the budget.

The email - which is reproduced in full below, demonstrates that both Bradley, Storey and Hilton too, have repeatedy and outrageously lied about their knowledge and involvement in the Mathew Street debacle.

The Harbarrowboy responds by promising Green that he will raise the issue at EMT - the city council's Executive Management Team which is chaired by Hilton, who reports to Bradley.

Perhaps Jase forgot to raise it?

Or perhaps Hilton was hiding under his desk with cotton wool stuffed into his ears?

Perhaps CoverUp had a severe attack of laryngitis and could not speak to Bradley about it for six months?

Perhaps someone could ask for the minutes of the EMT?

You may also find it strange, dear readers, that this email exchange is not included in the official report?

Why do you think it has not been included?

Perhaps the Gang of Four are suggesting that Green, who has since quit of course, is really the liar and that his email is a complete fabrication?

But what motive would he have to lie?

He wrote his email six months ago.

It is a contemporaneous account of what happened - as opposed to the convenenient memory loss apparently suffered now by Bradley, Storey, Hilton and Harbarrow.

This is the truth:

All four of them knew about the problems at least six months before Mathew Street was cancelled.

All four of them knew that the budget cuts had compounded the problems.

All four of them have repeatedly and consistently lied about their knowledge and involvement.

All four of them - because they are disgraceful , dishonourable and sickening cowards - have sought to blame Lee Forde for what went wrong.

Lee Forde is the one who has told the truth.

Lee Forde is the only man who has acted honourably.

And Lee Forde is the one who is now being scapegoated by these bastards.

Here is the email: Judge for yourselves.

-----Original Message-----

From: Harborow, Jason
Sent: 02 March 2007 00:06
To: Green, Chris
Cc: Forde, Lee

I will raise at EMT

Jason Harborow
Chief Executive
Liverpool Culture Company
PO Box 2008
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street
L2 2DH
Tel: + 44 (0) 151 233 5441
Fax: + 44 (0) 151 233 6333

----- Original Message -----
From: Green, Chris
To: Harborow, Jason
Cc: Forde, Lee
Sent: Wed Feb 28 11:31:01 2007


I've reviewed the overall events budget and the operational options with Lee and the following is a statement of where we stand.

Do you want this to be put to the Strategic Steering group this week?

In the planning for 'one off' events for 2007 in the second half of lastyear we started to look at the feasibility of a major public event duringthe week commencing 23 April. The steering group agreed that we should progress the idea of a week long 'Son et Lumiere' event, the initial cost for which was estimated at c £70k. This was not in the year's budgets.

A more accurate costing has since produced a budget need for £160k.

This wasreported to the Mike Storey and he asked us to try to find a way of re-allocating budgets so that we could pay for this event and an increase in the budgets for the Pageant and Squares activity on 28th August.

Following the budget review at the Culture Co Awayday on 14th Feb all of the Events Budgets for 2007 had been reviewed and where possible savings made.
However, the only substantial budgets where significant savings were feasible were:

Mathew St Festival £500k
August 28th Fireworks £375k
Police Costs £250k

Given that the closure of the Pier Head had already introduced logistical problems for operating Mathew Street at the same scale as previous years, it was provisionally agreed that for 2007 Mathew St Festival could consist of five stages in and around the City Centre on Monday 27th August, with two ofthose stages being retained for the 'party' on Tuesday 28th August.

This would produce an estimated saving of £100k, which together with smaller scale savings fro some other event budgets would fund the 'Son et Lumiere'event.

This idea was presented to Warren Bradley, Colin Hilton and Mike Storey on 21 Feb and was not accepted.

Warren and Mike felt strongly that we needed to find a way to run Mathew Street on Saturday and Sunday as well asMonday/Tuesday.

Lee and I believe that if Mathew St is to remain in the City Centre there are only two realistic options and with both of these options there will still be a significant number of other agencies required to approve this before we go ahead.

Option 1
Two stages on Mann Island/the Strand for Saturday Sunday and Monday,increasing to five with the addition of Derby Square, Dale St and Williamson Square for Monday and the retention of the Derby and Williamson Square stages for Tuesday.
The main logistical issue here is the closing of the Strand for three days,which the police have already intimated will be objected to - not least byGrosvenor.
This would not produce any cost saving on the budget of £500k.

Option 2
A stage on St George's Plateau for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday,with additional stages on the Strand and Derby Square for the Monday; DerbySquare to be retained for the Tuesday as well.
The main logistical issue with this option is that the capacity of St George's Plateau would be limited and it may require the closure of Lime Street at some times - this was objected to by Merseytravel last year.
This is unlikely to produce any saving on the budget of £500k.

We have looked at a third option where we operate MSF through indoor venues across the City on Saturday and Sunday and have the five stages as per Option 1 for the Monday, reducing to two on Tuesday 28th August.

However, this would require significant increase in admin effort to organise and ticket the events in venues and we do not believe the capacities exist in venues.

All bar venues already operate at full capacity and programme activity.

In terms of the major venues the only exception last year I think were the Royal Court and RLPO who in themselves would not produce enough capacity to deal with the expected crowds.

We have not been able to identify an option which would allow the festival to operate for 3 days and produce the saving needed to cover the costs of the Son et Lumiere event.
The only option therefore appears to be to reduce the budget for fireworks on the 28th August. However, this would undoubtedly create a serious PR issue if we were not seen to undertake a decent display.

Chris Green
Operations Director
Liverpool Culture Company
PO Box 2008
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street
L2 2DH
Tel: +44 (0) 151 233 1106
Fax: +44 (0) 151 233 6333
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7841 295 254

Liverpool - European Capital of Culture 2008

Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail. Thank you

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Our picture shows the Four Tops - a defiant Lee Forde, a supportive Matt Finnegan, an astonished David Bartlett (DPost) and a world-weary Larry Neild (DPost/Radio City Talk) outside the Town Hall after the city council's sensational cover-up.

A ticket to the Mathew Street Festival 2008 for the best picture caption...

Friday, November 16, 2007


And so it came to pass....

Congratulations firstly to Lee Forde for a brave and principled stand in the great traditions of David versus Goliath.

The shocked and angry expression on the face of Fireman Bradley today, as the media clustered around the city's former Events chief, was truly a delight to behold.

For some obscure reason, the Fireman and his accomplices, Story-teller and Cover Up, seemed to have forgotten that Lee Forde is a true son of the city.

Ie: he will take no shit from anyone.

These three powerful men resorted to secrecy, smears and lies to try and trash the reputation of one of the city's decent public servants.

They failed.

Mr Forde's reputation is today intact - because he employed weapons of truth, honesty and courage to defend himself.

A guilty man does not stand outside Liverpool Town Hall inviting the media to interrogate him.

A guilty man acts like Warren Bradley, hiding in the Town Hall and hurriedly scuttling away from the scene of his crimes.

(Or a guilty man swings in his hammock, munching ice creams and murmuring 'manana', eds)

Storey-teller, who has a streak of cowardice a foot wide running down the entire length of his missing spine, was, of course, nowhere to be seen at today's festivities.

Even though it was his £100,000 cut in the budget which prompted the entire Mathew Street debacle in the first place. Disgraceful.

Colin CoverUp, meekly cowering behind his desk in the MO like a third rate bureaucrat, was protesting that the Mathew Street Inquiry Report was "the Leader's report, not the city councils." What a weasel.

In a sense, however, CoverUp is correct. The inquiry report was not an official city council report at all.

In terms of the extraordinarily inappropriate language used, its juvenile sniping tone, disgraceful manipulation of the facts and wholsesale misrepresentation of the evidence, it owed more to a dog-eared airport paperback, than an official report on behalf of Merseyside's biggest public body.

Of course, the report had been delayed for three months partly to allow Fireman Bradley and the Storyteller to hire hands from the PR world to re-write and spin it.


It was an exercise in wholesale character assassination and scapegoating the like of which we have never seen in Liverpool before.

Neither Bradley, Storey, Hilton or the Harbarrowboy (laughing all the way to the bank in his Spanish hacienda, eds) were to blame for Mathew Street. It was all little Lee Forde's fault.

So outside Liverpool Town Hall today, it was, literally, David versus Goliath.

When is the great city of Liverpool ever going to have a civic leadership which is prepared to step forward and take responsibility for its actions?

With this gutless shower of Lib Dems? Never.

And now a word or two about our friends in the media....

(Here we go, eds)

The cancellation of Mathew Street was one of the worst public relations disasters - and most costly blunders - experienced by Liverpool for a generation.

But it was also the visible culmination of a catalogue of mismanagement, incompetence and stupidity from the Culture Company.

This organisation has been a shambles for the city ever since Sir Diddy hatched its misbegotten birth.

Nothing new here for the papers, then.

We simply ask of the media, especially our friends at the craven Echo: "Why did you not focus on the little man, the David battling the city council Goliath with all its huge resources, power and corruption?

"Why did you lazily and meekly reproduce the discredited conclusions of an obviously tampered report -and not give equal space to the accused?

"Why are you so far up yourselves, that you cannot see what is being done in the name, unbelievably, of local democracy in your own city?"


What was news today was the truly shocking spectacle of Liverpool's current political and managerial leadership openly and cynically trying to shift the blame for Mathew Street onto the innocent.

These men have no shame. No conscience. No integrity.

Morally bankrupt. Emotionally vacant. Politically inept.

And, we vow, you won't escape that easily....

Monday, November 12, 2007


FORMER city council leader Mike Storey is threatening legal action to prevent the secret Mathew Street report being published.

Storey-teller has told the city council he will sue if they make the report available.


Because it is Storey who has been fingered by the report for giving the go-ahead for £150,000 to be cut from the Mathew Street budget.

The finger is also pointing at him for being present at a meeting with the Harbarrowboy when he was told the event would have to be cancelled.

Labour Leader Joe Anderson has already established that as far back as last November, Storey was warning that the Mathew Street Festival might need to be moved from the city centre to Sefton Park.

He was the least surprised person in the city when the Harbarrowboy gave Mathew Street the chop.

The secret report is amazingly now in the hands of an incredibly expensive top QC at Fireman Bradley's insistence.

It apparently makes it clear that Storey is ultimately responsible for cancelling Mathew Street.

So now the great Cover-up by Colin has become crystal clear (shome mistake, shurely? eds)

Chief executive Hilton has been protecting the Lib Dems from another monumental political disaster.

If the report is published it will immediately become clear that Storey-teller is heavily implicated in the Mathew Street debacle.

Storey would have to resign both as the city's regeneration boss and 700th Birthday Boy.

It would be a second political humiliation from which he could never recover.

And he would probably have to also go as a city councillor (Sir Diddy must be loving this, eds)

His resignation would be a hammer blow to the Fireman's credibility - Bradley has given constant preferment to Storey, who has always been his political mentor.

And it would be another astonishing political defeat for the deflated Lib Dems.

To misquote the immortal Oscar Wilde, losing Storey once may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose him a second time looks like carelessness....

Thursday, November 08, 2007


LIVERPOOL 'Phil' boss Mick Elliott has trousered an extra £60,000 for spending two days a week with the Culture Company.

Astonishingly, Elliott is supposed to have been building a legacy for 2008!

But evidence of the "lasting legacy" which has been developed by energetic Elliott, chief executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic , has so far proved extremely difficult to find.

He is known instead for popping into the Fun Palace now and again, sitting dumbly in a few meetings and failing to make any creative contribution to proceedings.

So negligible has been been his impact, that one senior Culture Company official was recently overheard to ask in all seriousness "who is that grey man sitting in the corner who never says anything?"

Culture watchers have been astonished to learn that for his miserable and increasingly obscure 'efforts', Elliott has been rewarded with 60 grand of council taxpayer's money.

Fireman Bradley then gave him direct responsibility for ensuring there was a legacy post 2008.

Council taxpayers already heavily subsidise the Phil of course - and Elliott's rumoured £200,000-a-year salary - to the tune of more than £1.3million every year.
So an extra £60,000 in Elliott's back pocket for not doing very much is neither here nor there really.

Just a drop in the ocean.

Meanwhile, the Culture Company has long since stopped talking about the 14,000 new jobs for Liverpool that were promised from 2008.

Nor does it mention the £1 billion worth of extra investment that it used to confidently forecast would be attracted to Liverpool.

Nor, especially after the Mathew Street debacle, does the Culture Company brag anymore about the millions of extra tourists who will supposedly be attracted to Liverpool by the 'best ever' Capital of Culture.

Indeed, the only eye-watering numbers that the Culture Company is now associated with is the millions of pounds in salaries which have been paid out like confetti to fat cats, failed PR agencies and cashing-in consultants.

Not to mention the tens of millions of pounds which have been wasted by the Harbarrowboy and Donald Bullshitter's mismanagement and incompetence.

Can any readers - or Mr Elliott's friends or supporters - please explain exactly what he has been doing to build a lasting legacy for Liverpool which has earned him such a princely sum?

We will be delighted to make the blog available for any further revelations....

Monday, November 05, 2007


Correction to e-blast information‏
From: 08 Ambassadors (

Sent: 05 November 2007 14:47:18
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Ambassadors,

Please note that the date for the Garden Party featured in yesterday's e-blast is incorrect. The correct date for this event is Saturday November 3, 2pm to 7pm.
We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.
For further information please visit

Kind regards


Friday, November 02, 2007


The following is an amazingly funny interview with the Harbarrowboy in the city council's magazine, Council People. The ironies are delicious. So make yourself a brew, pull up a chair and enjoy. Our comments, are of course, in red....

Driving ambition
Council People may have met Jason Harborow out on the road on the 08 bus but his own ambitions - for the city and for himself - are more sky-high than just getting from A to B.
The Liverpool Culture Company chief tells us why this city is on a roll and how after a great 2008, 2009 and beyond will be just fine too! (Doesn't make sense, but let that pass)

For you where did the road to the Culture Company start? (ditto)
I left school at 16 and went on a Youth Training Scheme and began working as a lifeguard in a sports centre, so right from the start I have always worked in sport and leisure. I came to this part of the world to work for Wirral Borough Council and settled here. To be given a chance to be involved with what I consider to be my home city (despite the fact that I have a wooly back accent and wouldn't know one end of the city from another) was an opportunity too good to be missed.
I love work and I love what I am involved in now. (especially the huge dosh and the freebies)
Tell us about your school days. Were you a swot or a skiver?!
Neither really! (I was just a hairy-arsed blagger) I was good at sports and got through school being the best rugby player and the best sprinter and that enabled me to get round teachers in a way that I might otherwise not have been able to! I loved school and threw myself into school life in a big way. (Then I got excluded for trying to sell the other kids bikes at break-time)
I'm one of those sad parents who tells their children their school days are the best days of their lives! [Jason has a six-year old daughter as well as two stepchildren]. (although the Culture Company has been like a bloody kids playground ever since I was put in charge)
What's it like working in Liverpool?
Very challenging. Everyone knows everyone, (except we don't know who that Tony Parrish fella is) everybody's got an opinion on everything. These are all things that can conspire against you if you don't approach them in a positive way but if you do, it can also be your greatest strength. (and I can always fuck off to Spain with the proceeds anyway)
All eyes are on the Culture Company. How do you cope with some of the press coverage?
There's no other local organisation that has the scrutiny the Culture Company has. (This is me talking utter bollocks of course, but she is still writing it all down - we have got away with absolute murder. No one knows where all the money has gone. Lets keep it that way).That does come with its pressures and there are times when we feel that the criticism is not as fair as it could be but I have to keep the team motivated and keep them well informed so they don't find out things through the papers. (I am taking the piss here - staff get the mushroom treatment from me)
Generally, the media is very kind to us (especially since we have bought off the Echo, Post, Radio City and Murkeyside) and we have always got to take it on the chin. You're always going to have a mixture of good and bad and it's a question of being able to deal with it, of being mature. (So when things like Mathew Street happen, I won't go running away from the TV cameras like an overgrown schoolboy and then hide away in Spain counting my loot and pretending I have done nothing wrong.)
What has been the highlight since you've joined the Culture Company?
The way in which the perception of Liverpool has clearly changed. When I used to go down to London in 2004 you still used to hear all the old stereotypical jokes and comments whereas now we are looked upon as a serious operator, a grown-up city and are asked for advice and guidance. (I am really taking the piss now. We have, of course set back Liverpool's image for decades because of our mishandling and incompetence. No-one listens to us in Whitehall or Westminster. We have spent a fortune on personal PR for me and my mates in the Culture Company and it still hasn't worked. And we have betrayed the city and thrown away its best chance in a generation. But I am laughing all the way to the bank, suckers!)
Come 1 January 2009, what will Liverpool be left with, other than a sore head?!
08's main legacy will be confidence. (Did I really say that? And they have put it in the paper too! Gullible fools!) We need to be proud of what we have here and get used to talking it up like other cities which have undergone a big change like Manchester.
Also, I don't think we really understand yet the impact the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool will have. (Chas will get very rich from it and will look after his mates)
You're now heading up the Culture, Media and Sport portfolio, what excites you about that?
I am lucky really, I've got the fun portfolio! (and £150 grand a year with 10 per cent Performance Related bonus every year. Its fookin fantastic. And I don't have to do a dickey bird except cock things up! The fireman and his fools have fallen for me getting a job with the council hook, line and sinker!) It's very high profile in that everything we do is public-facing. Coming up, we've got the new 50-metre pool opening and the refurbishment of Central Library. But our main job when 2009 arrives is that we don't slip into the situation where there's not as much happening as before. (This is meaningless gibberish, but she is writing down every fucking word I say, I can't believe it!! I hope she doesn't ask how many jobs will have been created, how many lives have been changed for the better, or how many deprived communites in Liverpool have been given new hope and investment. Because its a big, fat zero - unlike my bank balance. Bloody hell, what a great life I've got. Pass me a raspberry ripple, someone.)
Any ambitions left?
To get my pilot's licence. (And to fly away from here as fast as possible)
Where do you see yourself in 10 years' time?
Happy! And spending more time with my family. (Chillin' in the hacienda)


WHILE we're on the subject of hits....

There were almost 5,000 hits on Liverpool subCulture last month - the highest monthly total for 2007.

Exactly 4,775 hits were recorded during October, the highest number on record (geddit?eds).

Visitors included the Audit Commission (regulars, eds), the BBC, unholy Trinity Mirror (virtually full-time on line, eds), JMU, Knowsley, The Mersey Partnership (loyal readers, eds), LIPA, FACT and the usual suspects - Liverpool Direct, the Palace of Westminster, various PR companies in Liverpool and London and other interesting passers-by.

Sir Diddy has been logging on regularly from Hawarden Golf Club - one of his favourite clubs -and the smiling assassin Hasitall is a regular reader out in Formby.

Of course we have also had the same visitor, but with different IP addresses, from sunny Spain (hiya Jase! - You don't have to keep on moving to internet cafes, unless the Rottweiller is after you! eds).

But there have also been visitors to our little Liverpool on-line community from the Netherlands, USA and South America (buenos dias senors and senoritas, eds)

On a daily basis, about 200 people log into Liverpool subCulture regularly - but on Tuesday, for example, 308 logged on to read all about the trio's exciting trip to MTV in Munich.

In total, Liverpool subCulture has had 38,400 hits in its short but eventful life, Gossip has had 18,166 rumour-mongers and City of the Dead has had 17,640 serious-minded devotees of the machinations of Liverpool's local government scene. Henshaw and the evil cabal has chalked up a creditable and extremely devoted anti-cabalist audience of 13, 047.

And we love you all !!!!!!! (toss of hair, blowing of kisses, fluttering of eyelashes, eds)

Monday, October 29, 2007


A UNIQUE trio will be making a special guest appearance at the MTV music awards in Munich later this week.

Fireman Bradley, Donald Bullshitter and Colin CoverUp will all be jetting off to Germany at council taxpayer's expense.

They will be getting on down with the kids and listening to the likes of ace rapper Snoop Dogg, who is hosting Europe's biggest music show, the MTV awards ceremony.

The Liverpool trio will be paying special attention no doubt as Snoop "will bring some unique ‘DoggyStyle’ as he guides us all through the night’s awards," according to the MTV web site.

Amongst the stars appearing at the Munich Olympiahalle will be the Foo Fighters and Mika (a Donald Bullshitter favourite, eds) with awards presented by Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean and Michael Stipe amongst others.

Bradley, Bullshitter and CoverUp will no doubt spare a thought amidst all the showbiz glamour and excitement for poor old Jase the Harbarrowboy, who has been left forlorn and forgotten at his Spanish hacienda.

Sad Jase was one of the main movers behind bringing the MTV show to Liverpool next year (he was going to do his George Formby act, eds)

What the precise role of the Fireman, Bullshitter and Coverup is in Munich, or how much it will cost the city's council taxpayers is anyone's guess.

But no doubt they will enjoy their brief spell away from the cares of the council's £22million budget crisis.

Any suggestion that they are to get star billing in Munich as Liverpool's very own 'trio of toss-pots' is without any substance.

Astonishly, however, one Liverpool figure will be noticeably missing from the all-star Liverpool line-up as they are being wined, dined and tucked up overnight in a five star hotel.

Step forward Gordon Ross, the Culture Company's very own Music Co-ordinator.

Mr Ross, who has spent an awful long time planning the MTV awards in Liverpool next year, was due to travel to Germany to see the show at first hand.

That would of course, have been a perfectly legitimate business trip, because as Music co-ordinator he would have helped ensure that Liverpool was the perfect host for the MTV music show in 2008.

(Editor's interjection: It would have been even better of course, if the Culture Company had this year also sponsored a musically-talented Liverpool teenager to experience the thrill of their lives in Munich as a reward for being one of our good young citizens. But, of course, none of the Culture Company crackpots had the whit to think of anything as creative, inventive or deserving as that.)

But instead Mr Ross was surprisingly informed that his services would no longer be required at the MTV awards and that Donald Bullshitter would be accompanying the Fireman and CoverUp instead.

Mr Ross, who has a mere PHd in music, will instead be left minding the shop at the Fun Palace - still, never mind, he will be able to watch the show on his telly.

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried, could you?

Some further questions for readers to consider...

  • Does anyone who is alive out there think this disgraceful nonsense is now getting just a little bit beyond a joke?

  • What possible justification is there for chief bureaucrat CoverUp's attendance at a pop music show?

  • Why has the Bullshitter, infamous for his karaoke performances, shoved the only musically qualified member of the Culture Company's staff out of the way?

  • Does the Fireman hold the people of Liverpool in absolute and total contempt?

  • How much is all this costing council taxpayers?
  • Will any member of the Mersey meeja try to hold any of these bastards to public account?

  • And most astonishing of all, why hasn't the great grey hope Redmundo blagged a place on the junket for himself, where he could preen his huge ego?

  • Or is he washing his hair on Thursday?

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

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