Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Harbarrowboy's health: Did Mr Bumble shop the Storeyteller?

TRANSLATION: Did the Liverpool Echo's Joe Riley reveal that the source of an exclusive story about the poor health of the Culture Company chief executive, Jason Harbrow (sic) was the former Leader of the city council, Councillor Mike Storey, CBE?

That is the rather convoluted question we ask following mounting (sic, ed) allegations about the conduct of Mr Riley, Councillor Storey and the city council.

Readers will remember that the Storeyteller is well and truly for the high jump by the Standards Board when they eventually blow the cobwebs off their quills, loosen their starched wing-tip collars and finally give their verdict on their interminably long-running, long-awaited, long anticipated investigation into Bradley and Storey.

The Harbarrowboy, who pocketed £250,000 as a reward from the Lib Dim city council after cocking up Mathew Street, is now hell-bent on exacting his revenge on Storey, the Fireman and Colin CoverUp.

The Harbarrowboy has alleged to the Standards Board that, as well as being buillied by Bradley, the Storyteller told the Echo that poor Jase had suffered a heart attack when in charge of the Culture Co.

This was clearly contrary to Rule 37, Paragraph 47, Sub Clause 34, of the city council's Rules Which We Dream Up But Which We Only Ever Follow When It Suits Us, Otherwise We Tend To Quietly Forget About Them Because We Are In Charge You Know, Buster.

In other words, Storey broke all the rules by talking about a council employees health to the world's press. And the craven Echo.

This is what actually happened.

Bradley was riding in the city council Jaguar with the Storeyteller who was having a go at Jase and the Culture Company cock-ups, when Bradley told him told him that Jase had taken a powder and was in hospital with a dodgy ticker .

The Harbarrowboy had gone off work from the Fun Palace to have tests.

Bradley and Storey, thick as thieves in the Jag, then went into a huddle and began plotting what to do with such useful information. This was on Thursday night (28th June, 2007 - pre the Mathew Street debacle)

On Friday morning, on his way to the Executive Board meeting at the Town Hall, the Storeyteller (not untypically, ed) immediately rang Joe Riley to spill all the beans.

The Storeyteller told Riley that he and Warren did not want to be quoted in the Echo (not untypically, ed) but poor old Jase was on sick leave and looked to be on the way out.

Riley, not known in unholy Trinity Mirror as Mr Bumble for no reason, then set about trying to 'stand the story up' for Page One.

Like a true investigative journalist, Riley immediately rang the city council's newscentre for the truth (sic, ed) and told them something along the lines of: 'Warren and Mike have told me that Jase has taken a sicky with stress. Can you give us a quote?'

This was all news to the newscentre staff (not untypically, ed) and there was much huffing and puffing and phoning around by various functionaries. (Randy Newman was uncontactable in the morning for some strange reason.)

Uncle Tom Cobbley and all were involved and it was all hands to the pump as the city council leapt into action (well, stumbled about a bit, ed).

Mr Bumble phoned various council functionairies literally a dozen times, telling all who cared to listen that 'Mike' had told him off the record that poor Jase was on his last legs and could he have an official statement in response from someone who was vaguely in officialdom.

Apparently Mr Bumble, the Echo's longest-serving and most experienced journalist, did not realise that to all and sundry at the Municipal Buildings he was cheerfully and repeatedly breaking the First Rule of Journalism: Thou Shalt Not Reveal Thy Source.

Quite what the journalists union, the NUJ would make of all this is an interesting question.

Even more interestingly, CoverUp himself then woke up, lurched about a bit and then phoned the Echo, begging them not to publish the story because Jason was only just a bit off colour and would be returning to work soon. (Cover Up is not, surprisingly, a qualified doctor, but then he is paid £250,000 a year, plus Performance Related Pay, so he does know the health status of all 19,500 city council employees.)

Thus the story did not appear.

But poor Jase was forced - against a genuine doctor's orders - to return to work the next week to avoid shock horror headlines in the craven Echo.

The Harbarrowboy went bananas when he discovered the Storeyteller's role.

A huge internal investigation was launched into precisely who said what, when, to whom, and why, which involved interrogating anyone found holding a biro in their hands at 8.30 am on the morning in question.

Even the Jag's poor chauffeur was quizzed as a torch from the pound shop was shone in his eyes and Ken Unworthy wound up the rack.

The chauffeur 'didn't hear a sausage about Jase taking a sicky', of course.

Meanwhile the Harbarrow demanded that Cover Up take serious action against Storey and immediately report him to the Standards Board.

And guess what happened then?

Colin CoverUp wrote a formal letter of complaint about Councillor Storey to the Standards Board.

But he never sent it.

He put it carefully in his bottom drawer (shades of the Rottweiller McElhinney) and kept schtum.

And Cover Up never admitted he had never sent the letter to the Standards Board until confronted by the suspicious Harbarrowboy six weeks later when all the fuss had died down.

By which stage, poor old Jase was busily cancelling Mathew Street (in revenge? ed) and planning his lucrative exit.

The smiling assassin Hasitall has been dining out for the last three months on this story, telling anyone who will listen all the intricate and interesting details and highlighting both the actions of the Storeyteller and the complicity of Cover Up.

The Fireman appears to have got off the hook, so far - no doubt the Standards Board will be more interested in his email to Hilton calling for Jason's neck and the Perroni plot in the front room of his home in Wavertree.

Meanwhile Labour's Joe Anderson has well and truly fingered Cover Up for, er, 'covering up' for the Storeyteller and thus sealing his own death warrant.

So what lessons do we learn from this interesting city council saga?

1) Don't trust Storey.

2) Don't trust Bradley.

3) Don't trust Cover Up.

4) Be careful talking 'off the record' to Riley.

5) Don't go on the sick.

6) Always look after the chauffeur.


Prof said...

Upon reading this post I find I have the beginning of a tear in my eye. Are we about to see at least one chapter in this Kafekaesque story brought to a conclusion?

Perhaps Chaplinesque would be equally applicable, The Great Dictator or Modern Times.

Very nicely put together and if Joe is as you say, directly or indirectly, responsible for having exposed the cowardly vile and dispicable behaviour, then he should be sent a large bouquet and dinner with Vasilly.

Anonymous said...

If Harrowboy rids this place of the Storeyteller, Wally Bradlow and the remaining cabalists then I could almost forgive him for all the whoopsies and also for filling his pockets with our hard earned on the way out.

Tha Nation's Nancy said...

All together now: "I won't betray his trust/Though people say I must...."

Tori Blare said...

The cheuffeur knows better than to admit he knows anything at all!

Now that's a story to be told when he retires!

Anonymous said...

No wonder nothing was done about planning the mathew street festival at this time nad no wonder old Jase and Cover up dsay they did not know anything was wrong. They werte too busy taking sickies and covering up !!

Anonymous said...

You say the Fireman appears to be off the hook over the leaking of inof on jas's health but rmember after Storey was forced to resign over his previous misconduct, it was the fireman that imediately put him back into a position of power and influence in spite of him being disgraced.

Correspondent said...

So "Jase had taken a powder and was in hospital with a dodgy ticker."
Are we talking the sort of "powder" you used to take in a glass of water when you were a kid with an upset tummy, or are we talking the sort of "powder" which has done so much for the Colombian economy over the last three decades?

Anonymous said...

I thought he preferred cream to powder?

Trevor said...

No he had a dodgy pie

Anonymous said...

I thought it was Peroni

Leon said...

No the Peroni was me

The Driver said...

I know Nuthin' ..
u Ain't seen me!

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

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