Friday, February 22, 2008


City council leader Warren Bradley has admitted that council taxpayers footed the bill for two free tickets he got to see Cirque du Soleil's Beatles 'Love' show in Las Vegas.

The tickets, which cost between $102-$165 each, were paid for by city council taxpayers while Fireman Bradley was on holiday in the States with his wife celebrating his 40th birthday.

A mystery, but public-spirited, Culture Company employee has blown the whistle on the jaunt in an anonymous, un-dated, note.It reads:
"I feel I need to bring to your attention a very serious and probably criminal act by the Leader Mr Bradley. Given his recent press comments about honesty and success in driving out respected officers we can no longer stay silent.

"Last year he visited the USA for his “40th birthday” with his wife. Whilst there he visited Las Vegas. He contacted the Capital of Culture office and demanded we pay for 2 tickets for a show he wanted to see. We were told to pay for the tickets as the leader felt they were too expensive. There is a record of this payment.

"Why? This was a private holiday and nothing to do with 08. When is this corruption going to stop? The Chief Executive, Jason, has all the details. Please investigate this matter and stop this abuse."

So the Fireman has now admitted that he blagged two free tickets to see the show while on his jollies.

Labour councillors say that he has defended his 'freebie on the rates' by claiming that he was asked to go and see the show as part of his official council duties as Leader.

Presumably the Fireman maintains that forking out for free tickets is the least the city council can do when its conscientious and hard-working Leader decides to break up his holiday by going to see a terribly tedious show somewhere in the middle of the desert and having to drag the missus with him (lah, eds)

Whether he has any evidence to support this bizarre assertion that it was all part of his official duties we do not know. Is it minuted? Does he have any non Lib Dim witnesses?

Nor do we know how many other freebies the Fireman has blagged while Leader of the city council - or whether this freebie show was unique.

And if this was the only freebie he has blagged, why this one?

We do know, however, that former Culture Company chief executive Jason Harborow had already twice travelled to Las Vegas to see the show and talk to Cirque du Soleil - once in the company of Clare McCogloose.

This was despite the fact that Cirque du Soleil had made it clear when first approached about bringing the show to Liverpool in 2008, that it could not physically be brought out of its home at the Mirage hotel in Las Vegas.

Quite what is the exact justification for Councillor Bradley and his wife getting free tickets to see the show a third time, is anyone's guess.

The Fireman certainly did not need to see the 'Love' show to assure himself of Cirque Du Soleil's professionalism and expertise.

That is beyond question.

Nor did he need to see The Beatles show to decide if it was suitable material for a Liverpool audience in Capital of Culture year.

That too is beyond question.

Nor is a decision to try and bring 'Love' to Liverpool something that he should or would have taken personally.

If such a thing had been possible, the decision would have been taken either by the Harbarrowboy and/or the Culture Company Board.

If Bradley wanted to know anything more about the show, he could simply have Googled the reviews and web sites from the safety of his home in Wavertree.

Why didn't he?

We have no information that he had any official meetings with Cirque Du Soleil representatives while in Las Vegas.

Did he? With whom? When? Where?

If he did not have any meetings with Cirque du Soleil while on 'official council business', why ever not?

Did he inform the chief executive of the city council of his free tickets?

Have they been declared in the register of Member's Interests?

Did any Culture Company official arrange or timetable this show?

How has the cost of these two tickets been met, precisely, by the Culture Company?

Who approved it and why?

What paperwork exists?

Did the Fireman report his in-depth 'findings' about 'Love' when he returned to Liverpool after seeing the show? Is this minuted? Is there a report? If not, why not?


Because unless and until these questions are satisfactorily answered, the suspicion will be that Councillor Bradley abused his position as Leader of the Council to gain an advantage - contrary to the Local Government Code of Conduct.

Some of his Lib Dim colleagues will no doubt say that the $204-$330 total cost is neither here nor there. (Why didn't Bradley pay for them then? eds) Especially when the city council is now £60million in the red and going cap in hand to the Government to be bailed out.
But it does indicate an arrogant, seemingly routine abuse of council taxpayer's money by the Lib Dim Leader of the council.

We do not believe an internal council investigation, along the lines of CoverUp's discredited Mathew Street 'probe', will be sufficient to allay justifiable public concern. Only an independent enquiry will do.

We also believe that the District Auditor should be asked to investigate.

It may be that another official complaint needs to be made to the Standards Board to allow a further investigation.

We await developments with interest.

But one thing is clear, the old Beatles song was wrong:

If you are Lib Dem Leader in Liverpool, money can buy you 'Love.'


Anonymous said...

jesus h. that's a good one!

Oceans Eleven said...

I was just saying the other day that that lightning looked more like Las Vegas than Liverpool. Do I win some tickets?

Anonymous said...

he can't possibly survive this

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

the Lib Dims are scoundrels arent they

Anonymous said...

what option does he have but to resign?

nil desperandum said...

This won't make him resign. The emails didn't. Mathew St didn't. Audit Commission reports haven't. Bradley has absolutely no concept of public duty. His parents, Pam & John, didn't either. And the LibDim group as a whole are terrified that, if Bradley did resign, one of them would need to replace him. So no pressure from them either.

The only people to dump Bradley are the people of Liverpool. But don't hold your breath. These same people also think Superlambanana is a work of art, and Peter Price is a local hero. Don't bet against the LibDims being returned to power under Bradley - with the rest of the country looking on in gob-smacked amazement

Radiorogerside said...

Well then craven Echo get of your asses and let the Liverpool council taxpayers know about this little jolly. You can always use ..a source within the Culture Company reveals details, exclusive, blah..blah..He is a busted flush now, so you no longer have to pander to his whims to get any exclusive stories. Or are we waiting for the Storeyteller! It has suddenly all gone quiet the spin from the Fun Palace. Meanwhile I will see if our newsroom knows jase is esconsed back in Cheshire yet!

Only one of the Tonys said...

you may be right

Anonymous said...

As a council tax payer I demand tickets to see 'Love' when next in Las Vegas.

Chances of that... ?

What else has he blagged? An investigation is definitely in order.

Warren Bradley do the honourable thing RESIGN!

Cirque Du Deceit said...

You know, part of me thinks that this isn't calculated abuse on his part but that it demonstrates the total stupidity of the man, combined with puffed up self importance and a good dollop of arrogance. Didn't he say something along those lines about Sir Diddy?

In his simple thought processes, here is a show about the beatles, it has been mentioned at meetings, the missus would like to see it, so would I and we should. If it might come to Liverpool it is like me doing research so it can be paid for by COC and I will be able to say yes I have seen the show and impress people next time it is mentioned.

Maybe I am being far too generous but what strikes me everytime I look at his actions and responses since becoming leaderm is the low level of intelligence and the lack of any kind of analytical ability. He can just about recite a lib dem mantra...just, now and then but so could a Parrot.

His basic idiocy was perfectly demonstrated in the appaling interview with Roger Phillips reprinted in this blog.

Nevertheless it remains an abuse and being an idiot is no defence.

By remarkable co-incidence the council message of the day I am told was about Whistle blowing particulalrly in relation to financial irregularites. Coincidence or is somebody wanting to start building up a case?

I will take the councils concerns about financial irregularities seriously the day they publish the secret LDL report.

Actually I am more interested in why harrowbarrow had to see it twice and why Cogloose had to see it at all. Was she trying to get Adobe Acrobat and got mixed up again?

All of the Tony's are united in saying this... said...

We agree. He is thick, lacking in judgement and arrogant. But as you say, so eloquently, being stupid is no defence. Liverpool desevres much better than this. And interesting developments at the council....

Geoffrey Crayon said...

We have Drummond 'FIAT LUX' Bone and Tom 'arms length' Bloxham on the culture board.

Reassurance for the stupid at least.

Tony Parrish47 said...

They were both kicked off ages ago to make way for Our Lord

Barren Wadley said...

What show? where?
What wife? What holiday?
Ive never heard of the Beatles
Ive never been to Las Vegas
Ive never been to America

Anonymous said...

Thats nothing ! Robyn Archers personal expenses in her last year were £65,000.

Why does nobody ask the right bloody questions?

Jason and Claire Mac were joined at the hip doing trips all over the place, probably comforting each other and sharing their massive understanding of the arts as they are well know with in the industry as doyens of the artistc world.
Thats probably why he stopped being joined at the hip with Zena Harrision his advisor on all things corporate once he changed hats he changed friends.
Poor old Mrs H could not cut the mustard in the arts world nor the corporate world so she pissed off to spain - makes sense to me.

Just like Jane Casey and Lord Redmond of Tyrley Garth are also heraled as experts in artistic creativity. - MY ARSE

Optimist said...

Id like to see that. Do you think the council would give me a rebate for the ticket price from my council Tax?

Anonymous said...

I'm not one for Cllrs of 'independent means' - that way brings us those used to privilege and protection. A less representative state of the city with the rich in charge of the poor.

However, there is some truth in the fact that if you have a £25k per annum employee and give him an extra £30k a year or so for "leading", you create someone who could conceivably abuse their position and lose touch with the average everyday person they once were.

Is this what has happened? Perhaps.

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

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