Sunday, September 30, 2007

THERE'S SOMETHING VERY FISHY ABOUT THIS - COST OF ANOTHER CULTURE COMPANY COCK-UP


THE cost of the Culture Company's doomed Paul McCartney concert at Salthouse Dock will be at least £250,000.

That's the astonishing bill so far for 15 months worth of feasibility studies on the lunatic project.

We under-estimated the true cost in an earlier post - by the summer the preliminary costs had already risen to mpore than £150,000.

When all the final invoices are in, the total bill will be at least a quarter of a million quid.

The Culture Company spent the money on investigating whether the concert could ever happen - before they finally switched it to Anfield after reluctantly accepting that the scheme was bonkers.

They had wanted to drain the dock, stun the fishy inhabitants, put them in a giant tank and then erect 25,000 seats in the dock so that Macca could play on the river front.

Alert readers will remember The Echo and Daily Post praising the Culture Company for switching the gig to Anfield - and not cancelling it at the last minute, a la Mathew Street.

Both papers apparently thought this was triumph of sound management.

Just a pity that wiser heads had not prevailed at the Culture Company or the BBC, 15 months earlier then, isn't it?

If they had, a lot of people's time would not have been wasted. And a lot of money saved for something slightly more practical. (Like more police for Croxteth, for example, eds?)

The Culture Company feasibility study included hiring marine experts to make sure the fishy inhabitants of the dock would be okay, employing divers to take the plunge in the dock to inspect it, and sinking concrete bore holes in the dock basin to try and make sure that it would hold 25,000 seats and a rock stage.

All of this - and more - which involved an army of consultants, went on and on and on, before the plug was finally pulled on the plan.

Now of course, council taxpayers are being left to pick up the tab.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

WANTED 'DEAD OR ALIVE' - THE HARBARROWBOY............ or............. CULTURE COMPANY IN ANOTHER SPIN

The list of professional Scousers and 80's has-beens being lined up for the Culture Company's launch 'ceremony' is growing.

Latest addition to Jase's "team" is Pete 'button yer lip' Burns - unless fate hits him with another plastic surgery disaster.

Brave Pete has promised to turn up on January 12th, whether Dead or Alive.

His loyalty to Liverpool has already got the Harbarrowboy and his Culture Crew spinning right round, baby, right round, like a recor....(oh shut up will ya! eds)

Any suggestion that Pete has been booked because he is still mates with Jayne 'Mersey Tunnel' Casey would be totally without Foundation. (Of course, eds)

We are sure he will be worth every penny of his appearance fee - it may even pay for some extra plastic surgery so that Pete can celebrate 2008 with another new look.

But Christ knows what Burns will do on the night - perhaps a reprise of his legendary appearance with George Galloway on Big Brother?
















Perhaps a sparkling duet with Cilla? That would be a lorra, lorra laughs.

Perhaps he will just do his gobby Scouser "act"?

Whatever Jase decides on, we are sure it will show Liverpool's unique contribution to 21st century culture in the most positive global light.

We now are beginning to fully understand what Redmond meant when he promised the people of Liverpool 'Scouse culture.'

(When are Sinbad and Jimmy Corkhill being announced then? eds)

Friday, September 21, 2007

WORLD EXCLUSIVE NO 2: RINGO IN TOWN TO DRUM UP SUPPORT FOR CULTURE COMPANY

LOVABLE ex-moptop Ringo Starr jets into town next Thursday to help launch 2008.
The little scamp has agreed to join the great and the good - well at least Redmond, the Harbarrowboy and Fireman Bradley - to launch the Cultural programme for next year.
Ringo, who lives in Monte Carlo normally, has a new single coming out with Dave Stewart from Eurythmics and is anxious to give the disc a plug.
The Beatles drummer is also booked to take part in the launch ceremony on January 8th next year when, Surprise Surprise, he will join Cilla Black (you are joking, eds) and Mr Stewart (what's his connection with Liverpool then? eds) in a 'spectacular' sing-song from the roof of St Georges Hall.
(Come to think of it, what's Cilla's connection

with Liverpool? eds)
Ringo and Cilla will introduce a unique segment of the show called:'Professional Scousers Back in Town for the First Time in Fifty Years and Just as Likely to Disappear as Fast as They Arrived". (we made up that last bit, eds)
Ringo's contribution to Liverpool's culture is being touted as one of the highlights of the 2008 Programme. No one is making any similarly grandiose claim's for Cilla's contribution, Surprise, Surprise.
Next Thursday, just for old time's sake, Ringo may even exchange some of that famous madcap Beatle banter with Macca, who will appear in the city via video link to promote his Anfield concert. (Will anyone ask Sir Paul about the stunned fish? eds)
You read it here first...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

REDMOND: THE RAKE'S PROGRESS, OR HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE (NOT). EPISODE ONE - "I WANT 'SCOUSE' CULTURE"


SELF-styled 'man of the people' Phil Redmond is already making a tremendous impact on Capital of Culture.


The multi-millionaire's exhortation to every headbanger in the city to ring the Culture Company with their madcap schemes has already got staff in open revolt.

The procession of nerds, nonentities and ne'er do wells out to try and make a fast buck out of public money, has resembled a lengthy queue of X Factor rejects.

Long-suffering Culture staff, already victims of the Harbarrowboy's regime of chaos, have taken to posing as passers-by to avoid the procession of Culture Company callers who have obviously just escaped from the nearest loony bin.

Staff have also begun to find all sorts of meetings and other wondrous excuses to be out of the office when the phones start ringing off their hooks with nutters at 9am every morning.

Porters have now been positioned to repel any suspicious boarders from the decks of the Titanic.

So, when it might have been wiser to try and win the loyalty of Culture staff, Redmond appears to have quickly alienated them.

And that's not all.

Should any of these idiotic ideas be pursued beyond the back of a fag packet, the creators will quickly find that there is no money left in the cupboard to pay for them.

Unless our multi-millionaire Cultural saviour wants to dip into the £30million he trousered from the sale of Mersey TV to pay for something himself?

If not, the disappointed might end up a bit disgruntled with Redmond too.

And that's not all.

Redmond appears to have alienated Colin 'Cover Up' too by blabbing to the meeja about 'his' plans for 2008, without first agreeing the line with the city council.

Hilton wandered un-noticed into Culture the other day and after about an hour, when he finally managed to attract the attention of a handful of staff, was forced to apologise for Redmond's shock and unaccountable outburst.

In fact, the first that the Culture Company's £75,000-a-year Communications chief, The Invisible Man, Paul 'We'veforgottenhisnameagain', New about it all, was when someone mentioned in passing that TV cameras were filming the unelected Redmond outside the Town Hall.

Hilton promised those staff who were still listening to his mumbling that he would be having a strong word with our new Cultural guru and would be marking his card in future. (Gee, Redmond must have shat himself at that, eds)

And that's not all. (Thought not, eds)

Our hero also appears to have alienated the Labour Party, of which, unaccountably, he is still a member. (Is he trying to buy himself a peerage then soon? eds)
Redmond had the brass neck to appeal to the Labour Party to cease its entirely legitimate questioning and critiscism of the activities of the Harbarrowboys inside The Fun Palace at Millennium House.

He wanted them to stop. To cease. Forthwith.

And thus leave the way entirely clear for him to bravely step into the breach and parade himself as the saviour of our city.

Joe Anderson's response to this remarkable request was suitably short, eloquent and to the point.

And that's not all.

The Lib Dems are similarly up in arms at Redmond's suspicious arrival on the scene of the Culture car crash, thus diverting any chance of favourable publicity next year away from their current leader, Bradley the Fireman (tell me the same old Storey, eds)

And that's not all. (oh get on with it, will ya? eds)

Those in the city who can best be described as 'the chattering classes', 'the great and the good' or ' the usual suspects' are also getting hot under the collar about Redmond.

They are already asking questions about Redmond's connection with Liam Fogarty's campaign for an elected mayor.

Word in the boardrooms is that Redmond has been secretly bankrolling the Mayoral campaign, although we have seen no evidence of this. Yet.

So, after stepping reluctantly into the limelight to introduce Macca at Anfield, Redmond will then presumably wait for a delighted and grateful populace to carry him shoulder high to the Town Hall.

In fact, at the moment, the only people who appear to approve of Redmond is our local meeja.

The Echo in particular has been wedged so far up his arse that it has almost disappeared from view (no such luck, eds)

One journalist has been heard to speculate that the Echo's abandonment of any pretence at neutrality, impartiality or investigation may lead to an official complaint by the NUJ to the Press Complaints Commission.

The Echo's tame and uncritical subservience to the drawling Deputy Dawg, who appears to think he has just wondered on to the set of a third-rate soap opera, is apparently justified as being "in the city's best interests".

Which, interestingly, is also how they justified their silence over the criminal activities of Henshaw and the evil cabal.

In 2002 Phil and Alexis Redmond sold part of their Mersey TV stake for £30m to private equity group LDC in a management buyout. In 2005 LDC and the Redmonds sold out to London-based rival All3Media in a deal reported to total between £35m and £45m.

Monday, September 17, 2007

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: CULTURE COMPANY LET OFF THE HOOK FOR MACCA COCK-UP

THE Culture Company were let off the hook by the Post/Echo today for abandoning their lunatic plan for a Paul McCartney concert at Salthouse Dock.

Neither paper asked the obvious question: how much has this little detour to fantasy island cost the council taxpayers of Liverpool?

We are reliably informed that more than £60,000 has already been spent on feasibility studies, 'scoping exercises', the hiring of marine experts, health and safety and all kinds of bureaucratic nonsense commissioned by the expensive consultants brought in from the BBC, led by Lorna Dickenson.

The result of this ill-conceived fishing expedition?

A complete waste of time and money.

And no-one at the Culture Company will have to pay, of course.

Interestingly, this insane plan to drain the Salthouse dock, biff the unsuspecting fish on the head and then transport them safely to a giant tank, all so that Macca could play Mull of Kintyre, was the brainchild of Kris 'bullshitter' Donaldson.
He is the Aussie/Californian appointed by Henshaw and Storey as the Culture Company's £150,000-a-year Marketing Director, (now on £198,000 with his Performance Pelated Pay! eds).

His chief claim to fame was launching the '08 logo three years ago (with an army of consultants, eds).

Since then Donaldson has done nothing tangible - except repeatedly hire extremely expensive consultants at the slightest whim to do his job for him.

His latest singularly unimaginative scheme is to 'wrap' all the city's ugliest buildings in scenes from the '08 programme to hide Liverpool's urban dereliction from visitors.

Manchester did this a bit for the Commonwealth Games - but Donaldson has pinched the idea and gone typically OTT.

He is so full of bullshit that only those impressionable few who are mesmerised by his transatlantic drawl and whitened teeth could fail to spot his utter lack of judgement.

It is a quality also displayed in barrow loads by the Harbarrowboy of course, in cancelling the Mathew Street festival.

So the DPost headline this morning should have read: 'Macca concert moved after CoC dock bungle'.

Instead the Post treated the people of Liverpool to the most nauseating and mealy-mouthed cover-up of yet another Culture cock-up.

Unforgiveably poor journalism.

Later aided and abetted by the compliant Echo (no change there, then eds)

Perhaps the explanation for the Post letting CoC off the hook lies in the disgraceful Lib Dem attacks on its journalists for being 'pro-Labour' (the Libs are obviously panicking and have tried to put the frighteners on the Post, eds. Looks like it might have worked.)

Perhaps the Post felt sorry for Bradley after yet another failure to deliver.

Perhaps the Post didn't want Macca to get the message that he is dealing with a bunch of half-wits.

Or perhaps the Post just don't care what happens to the public's money.

Certainly they are failing to hold the Culture Company properly to account for yet another cock-up.

The truth is, of course, that contrary to the incredibly tedious Daily Post editorial today about a 'timely decision', the Culture Company did NOT come clean about the cancellation of the dock.

It had already leaked out (literally, eds) after our world exclusive.

Fireman Bradley leapt into action with his trusty hose when the phone rang bringing reports of another Culture Company firestorm.

So he ate all his recent words about the 'fantastic' dock scheme and instead started to whitter on about the great concert being suddenly lined-up at Anfield.

And the Post swallowed the bait.

Hook, line and sinker.

PS Perhaps the Post can at least ask how much all this has cost so far? And they could also investigate the rather unorthodox tendering procedure adopted in the first place to appoint Lorna Dickenson and crowd to work on this concert.

PPS Even Larry Neild's excellent column today is of little consolation.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: McCARTNEY TO PLAY ANFIELD - Macca 1, Harbarrowboy 0


PAUL MCCARTNEY is to play at Anfield during Capital of Culture, 2008.
And the ludicrous scheme to stun fish and drain Salthouse Dock for a concert has finally been abandoned (More on this in subsequent posts....)

The McCartney gig - which is the answer to the Harbarrowboy's prayers - will be announced on September 27th.

(Unless the fact that we have just announced this world exclusive forces some of the papers to suddenly wake up, or that bloke whose name we always forget who is the Culture Company's highly paid Communications Supremo gets his arse into gear quite unexpectedly, eds)
Macca had been due to travel to Liverpool for the special announcement in two weeks time - but now has a prior engagement and sadly won't be attending. Jase will be bitterly disappointed - he was hoping to bathe in Macca's reflected glory.
Incredibly, some terribly po-faced cultural bores were also opposed to the McCartney gig being announced on the 27th, because it would take attention away from the rest of the cultural programme for 2008 which will be revealed at the same time.
But then they are labouring under the misapprehension that the second rate fare they have cobbled together matters more than the city's most famous son turning up in 2008.
Originally it had been hoped that McCartney would headline the ludicrous Liverpool Sound concert at the Salthouse Dock.
But, as we exclusively predicted ages ago, the Culture Company have now been forced to admit that their plan to dredge the dock and stun all the fishy inhabitants, is a non- starter.
It would have cost £6.5million to get the fish out safely and biff them over the head safely before transporting them to a giant tank.
So now attention will switch to Anfield. We doubt, however, that McCartney's arrival will suddenly undo all the damage caused by the incompetence of the Culture Company.
Or help save the necks of the rapidly disappearing Lib Dems...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

THE GREAT WHITE HOPE(LESS)


And so the Great White Hope comes riding to the rescue.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Step forward the lugubrious Phil Redmond, self-styled man of the people, multi-millionaire and purveyor of ubiquitous Scouse stereotypes.

Some have greatness thrust upon them, Redmond has thrust his greatness upon us (oooeeer missus, eds)

Redmond is now, apparently, hailed the saviour of Capital of Culture, determined to stop the rot, end the nonsense and finally connect Culture with the people it is meant to serve.

He has been appointed to lead Capital of Culture into the sunlit uplands of 2008, after the second Night of the Long Knives at the Culture Company Board.

First they were 24.

Now they are just six.

We hesitate to say 'we told you so'.

Oh alright then, we don't hesitate at all.

WE TOLD YOU SO!

The Culture Board was a washed-out and washed-up collection of Henshaw's tame yes men and women, who were neither use nor ornament to the great city of Liverpool.

Like the powerless Lib Dems, who sat wringing their hands in despair on the sidelines, the Culture Board betrayed the city of Liverpool and its people.

How so?
They fiddled about while the city burned with indignation.

And Redmond is just as culpable as the rest of a Board which all sat silently on their hands while the Harbarrowboy fucked over Liverpool, good style.

Not one of them raised a voice in complaint (except the principled Joe Anderson of course, eds)

Not one of them dared to have the courage to say enough is enough.

Not one of them tried to stop the Culture Co bollocksing up the city's big chance.

They stayed schtum and silent, when they should have been shouting from the rooftops.

They are all - including Mr Phil Redmond - complicit in this comprehensive failure.

Will we get an apology?

Will we buggery.

And now we are asked to pin our hopes and put our faith in the silent one?

The man who earned his fortune on the backs of Liverpool people by caricaturing the city with ugly Scouse stereotypes?

The man who gives professional Scousers a bad name?

The man who thinks that speaking up for Liverpool means saying nothing?
You must be out of your tiny mind.
We have no confidence in Redmond. We never have had any confidence in him.

He has done fuck all in the last two years and deserves to be fucked off like the rest of them. He has proved our point.

And we particularly lack any confidence in the new Redmond regime, when Deputy Dawg is the Fireman Bradley who demonstrates his powerlessness with each passing second that the Harbarrowboy survives.

The Redmond regime will make the right noises (with the right accent - carefully preserved by a strict diet of honey and roses, eds).

But he will not bring the enduring change for the better that Liverpool needs.


Nor will he seriously consult the staff at the Culture Company who have been working hard to leave a tangible legacy, despite the handicap of the Harbarrowboy's mis-management.

Oh no, instead he will dream up a few typically tabloid schemes to buy off the limp Echo - and then suddenly proclaim 2008 a great success.

Some will be fooled by the fireworks. But we won't. We have had years of Lib Dem spin that everything in the garden is rosy. We know what's what.

Take a trip to Speke, matey. Or Croccy. Or anywhere in north Liverpool.

See if you can spot a rosy garden there.

And who ever gave Redmond the authority to lead the people's Capital of Culture, anyway?

The people certainly did not.

No-one consulted US.

No-one elected him.

No-one can fire him.

And who will hold him to account for 2008?
Deputy Dawg?

Give us a break.

Self-appointed, self-interested, self-selecting.

Self-serving.

Nothing ever changes.

PS While the knife was being wielded on the Culture Company, the Harbarrowboy is away in Spain putting the finishing touches to his retirement home. He will be gone with a huge pay-off inside the next month with some spin about his job being done.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

TODAY'S INSPIRATIONAL HEADLINES FROM THE LIVERPOOL ECHO ABOUT CRIME, DEATH, MURDER, DRUGS - NOW EXACTLY WHO IS GIVING THE CITY A BAD NAME?

Visitors robbed in visit to Walton prisonA VISITOR to Walton jail had her car stolen after someone took her keys from a secure locker.more

It should have been Rhys Jones' first day at schoolTWO months ago Rhys Jones was kicking a football around Broad Square primary school playground.more

‘Dog was on top of Ellie . . it wouldn’t let her go’A WOMAN allowed a powerful and dangerous dog into her house where it mauled her five-year-old grand-daughter to death.more

Man cleared of murdering teenager Liam SmithA MAN has been acquitted of murdering Liverpool teenager Liam Smith.more

Please find my Ryan’s killerTHE mother of a Liverpool man gunned down in the street today made a heartfelt plea to catch his killer.more

Jane Tomlinson’s marathon fight for life finally endsCHARITY crusader Jane Tomlinson has lost her long battle against cancer, it was announced today.more

City had a birthday to rememberLIVERPOOL celebrated its 800th birthday in style with hundreds of street parties across the city.more (THIS IS THE ECHO TRYING TO SELL THEIR PICTURES OF THE PARTIES....EDS)

Police evict man from ‘crack den’EVICTEDmore

So - obviously nothing positive happening in Liverpool again, today?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

LEE BREAKS HIS SILENCE, THE FIREMAN PLANS TO QUIT, THE HARBARROWBOY TAKES A SIESTA AND COVER UP KEEPS ON TAKING THE MONEY....


CONGRATULATIONS (as Sir Cliff once sang) to Liverpool Confidential for its exclusive story on Lee Forde taking the city council to an industrial tribunal for constructive dismissal.

HERE IT IS if you have been asleep. (and very well done Angie)

Congratulations too to Mr Forde, for whom we have been rooting these last few disastrous weeks.

Good on you mate.

Colin Cover Up from the city council, the Harbarrowboy, and, we daresay, The Fireman, have all conspired to try and shove the blame for the Mathew Street debacle onto your innocent shoulders.

This is the kind of disgusting and disgraceful behaviour we have come to expect from these cowardly bastards.

We will repeat again:

‘if any one of the gang of three had an ounce of integrity in them, they would do the honourable thing and resign now’

We are told that you have enough evidence in your bottom drawer (a la McElhinney) to hang both the Harbarrowboy and The Fireman.

We hope you get the chance to use it.

Although frankly, why you would want your job back with such a fundamentally discredited and corrupt organisation must be beyond the understanding of all reasonable people.

We hope that this is merely a negotiating position and that you will be able to move on to a successful career elsewhere, after the satisfaction of giving this lot a good kicking. (Shades of Matt Finnegan wethinks, eds)
You might also get your legal representatives to examine the Echo's disgraceful 'gardening leave' story and bills which they also posted that day which read 'Culture Chief suspended' (we thought they were talking about Jase at first! eds) You may well find yourself trousering at least five figures from Trinity Mirror.

Whatever, what is abundantly clear - and has been to anyone pausing on the dock road for a second - is that the Mathew Street debacle is not going to go away, is it?

We resisted the temptation to comment on the way the city centre was left a virtual ghost town on Bank Holiday Monday. Has anyone asked how much has this spectacular own goal cost the city in lost revenue?

The Harbarrowboy did himself no favours by his ridiculous and arrogantly self-serving assertion that "it was as good as last year".

Does he really think the people of Liverpool are so stupid? (Obviously, eds)

We do not need to intrude any further into such a public pantomime.

The facts, at least those that have emerged so far, speak for themselves.

So Lee, we continue to be on your side - and at your disposal, should you wish to provide us with copies of any of the incriminating documents said to be in your secure possession.

Give us a call - no names no pack drill.

We should also congratulate you for the Liverpool Confidential story which makes it clear the contempt which you hold for the Culture Company.

Judging by the startling, but extremely welcome, chorus of boos from the crowd on Tuesday at the mention of the Culture Company, your view is shared by the people of Liverpool. (Tony started all this, eds)

So where does this leave us now?
  • We await Cover Up's whitewash report.

  • Labour's Joe Anderson will get the chance to stick the knife in again at Wednesday's special Council meeting. Ring side seats are available now to watch the Lib Dems try to keep the lid on the simmering rows and rivalries amongst them and justify the Fireman and Cover Up's woefully inadequate council investigation into 'why no-one was at all to blame for the Mathew Street thingymajig, which was really only a slight error of judgement, honest folks and lets forget all about it and move on to another great firework display next year'. It promises to be another great birthday show.

  • The Culture Company is going to be wound up before the end of the year when we will all be treated to another great show along the lines of 'what an excellent job we have all done' (Tony was right about that, too, eds)

  • The Fireman is today strongly rumoured throughout the city to have decided to quit at the end of September, presumably post another humiliating by-election defeat, but having administered the coup de grace to Bonehead's Blockheads.

  • Then the succession battle will start (that's another Storey, eds)

  • Redmond may well accept the Echo's poisoned Culture chalice and ride (or slouch) to the rescue and thereby lugubriously position himself for a subsequent shot at being Liverpool's first ever elected Mayor. (Not if Joe comes home in May, he won't, eds)

  • The Harbarrowboy will go off for a well-deserved siesta, manana. Strong and persistent rumours have it that Jase and his family have applied some time ago for dual nationality and that the family have already de-camped to Spain to enjoy his burgeoning property portfolio. (Bloody hell, 2008 is obviously going to be so bad this fucker is leaving the country! eds)

  • And Cover Up will award himself another Performance Related Pay rise.

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

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