Wednesday, January 30, 2008


LIB Dim chief whip Councillor Steve Hurst has apparently come up with an unusual defence to the charge of breaking election law.

Word has it that Hurst is insisting that, rather than posting illegal smear leaflets through the doors of homes in Belle Vale, he was actually removing them from the letterboxes.

"Are you 'aving a larfff?" said that funny little bloke from Extras.

Hurst's portrayal of himself as a public-spirited, anti-litter minded environmentalist, is of course, entirely plausible.

Indeed it is incredibly similar to the brilliant defence mounted by Jack the Ripper when caught standing over one of his lifeless victims, brandishing a bloodied knife in one hand.

"I was taking the knife out of her chest, mlud" protested Jack to the trial judge, "to help her breathe more easily. I just had to do it several times...."
Jack was of course promptly cleared of the murder charge and then went on to massacre a further 4787 ladies of the night with total impunity. (We have made all this up, of course, but you get our point, eds)

We await Hurst's trial in March with bated breath, when every detail of the disgraceful dirty tricks that happened in Belle Vale will hopefully emerge.

The seriousness of the charge facing Hurst has been underlined by the revelation that the Crown Prosecution Service decided to press a criminal charge against the Lib Dim councillor who is reponsible for internal party discipline.

You couldn't make this up! eds.

The police prosecution follows the extraordinary doorstep dust-up in Belle Vale ward during the local elections.

At least 10 witnesses are ready to be called to give evidence against Hurst.

Readers will recall that at the centre of the prosecution will be a fake leaflet purporting to be from 'a real socialist party - TUSP' which smeared the husband of Labour candidate, Pauline Watson.

Her husband is a local firefighter - like Hurst.

The leaflet was clearly an attempt to damage Labour's chances in the local elections - but thankfully backfired (literally).

Lib Dim Council leader Fireman Warren Bradley has so far failed to suspend Hurst, or even withdraw the whip from Hurst, even though he has been charged with a criminal offence.

Which reveals, interestingly, that Bradley has less of a clue about what constitues appropriate behaviour and Leadership skills than even Tory Leader David Cameron.

The leaflet also broke election law by carrying no imprint giving the name and address of the organisation which had printed and published it.

So far lazy chief executive Colin CoverUp has also done nothing about this - not even rousing himself from his slumbers to launch an official investigation (probably still too busy investigating the first Tony Parrish, ed).

We can only ask this question:

Where else in the world - but Liverpool - would a member of the ruling Cabinet be allowed to carry on in office when facing a criminal prosecution?

Sunday, January 13, 2008


BOTH former chief executives of the Liverpool Culture Company turned up on Saturday night for the Albert Dock party after the Arena show.

The 'off-sick' Jason Harborow arrived with an apparent retinue of supporters, including ex-Granada boss Sue Woodward and the woman pictured in our exclusive photo.

And Sir Diddy Henshaw was also present in the queue outside the Albert Dock with his wife Alison - although he appears to have turned tail and run for it, shortly after being spotted by our photographer.

Which was lucky for him, because according to reliable declarations from a string of enthusiastic volunteers, Henshaw would have ended up in the dock himself within minutes.The little man ducked and dived in the queue to avoid his photograph being taken and pretended to engage Professor Michael Parkinson in conversation as Lady Henshaw looked on anxiously.

Our spies then collected at the dock entrance, where Pete Price was interviewing random C list celebrities for telly, ready to give Henshaw an early bath.

Only to be left waiting, while Henshaw disappeared sharpish back to North Wales to count his money.

Still there's always a next time.

Between them, the two failed chief execs have trousered more than £600,000 of council taxpayer's money in the run-up to Liverpool, Capital of Culture 2008. Neither paid for their tickets to the Arena - their freebies were authorised by CoverUp.

But spare a thought for poor Jason.

He is in complete denial and appears to think he will be back in charge of CoC Up within weeks.

He went around the Albert Dock professing to anyone who would listen that he was 'fighting fit' and boasting of how much much he had contributed to the Arena show.

As someone remarked - "he might be physically fit, but it sounds as though he's gone a bit doo-lally".

The blog was well represented (purely on the grounds of reporting accuracy, you understand, eds)

Front line staff from the Culture Company were not invited to the piss-up - two free drinks and as much nosh as you could eat - but CoverUp was there, along with a myriad of 'senior' city council boring bureacrats and the usual Lib Dem councillors (so not much of a 'do' then? eds)

The Fireman stomped around, leaving his missus trailing, with a face like thunder (as well he might, according to tales from the fire engine room. Of which more follows soon, eds)

But there was no obvious sign of the Storeyteller.

However, as another spectator remarked: "He must be here if Bradley is here - there's no Punch without Judy".

Acting CoC chief executive, Donald Bullshitter was creeping up to Steve Broomhead from the NWDA, while Henshaw's former £500 a day personal spin 'matron' Alison Hastings, wife of Museums boss David Fleming, spent most of the evening constantly looking over her shoulder.

(Perhaps she was worried that Henshaw might need further attention? eds)

Other interesting snippets:
  • That PR bloke, Ben Lucas, from LLM, who trousered £323,000 for doing bugger all, was also loitering around some of the politicians looking for the next money-grabbing opportunity.
  • The great and the good had apparently been treated to a slap up meal before the show at the Malmaison as part of of a CoC Civic event. Labour leader Joe Anderson was not present.
  • A mate of Our Lord's, a bloke called Carl, who used to work with Redmond at Mersey TV, was given responsibility for organising the event. We don't know who gave him the go-ahead or why, or even if the event organisation was put out to tender.

And we have no idea how much it cost.
But we were reliably infomed it was in the region of £80,000.
And who paid?
Why you did of course.....!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


We reveal for your enlightenment, proposals by Ear to the Ground - the Manchester-based company - for the launch of Liverpool Capital of Culture tonight and tomorrow.

Unfortunately top record producer Mark Ronson - 'Valerie' etc - has turned down the opportunity to appear.

As has Ian Broudie, of the Lightning Seeds.

The Culture Company are desperately keeping the list of artists who will be appearing a closely-guarded secret.

So any appearances by anyone will look like a bonus.

Meanwhile, as you know, huge containers will open up outside St George's tonight spilling out Liverpool's cultural offering for 2008. Rather like vomit. (No mention of jobs or the millions wasted etc, eds).

There is huge speculation and joking in the Culture Company that at least one of the containers will contain all the people that have been hired and then fired (guest appearances by Jase, Henshaw, Robbing, etc).

The other will contain all the millions of pounds that has been wilfully and negligently handed over to them and wasted.

Meanwhile, this is a verbatim transcript of how the opening nights are being choreographed by the Mancs from Ear to the Ground.
(PS We know it's not really Gossip, but we couldn't fit this in anywhere else because all the blogs are up to date with important and good stuff and there is more to come. So stay posted, eds)

The provisional performance timeline;
18:30 Start of procession
Mark Ronson and the other artists will be on a ferry travelling down the Mersey. At key points there will be fireworks let off to animate the journey.
At the same time The RLPO will be split on to two open top buses that will lead 2 lantern processions to the arena. The processions will involve other celebrities and people from Liverpool.
19:08 St Georges Hall and the plateau : the city unites
The massed Liverpool artists will be welcomed by the people of the city in front of St Georges’ Hall. Projected clocks on the side of the building mark the countdown as aerial rockets are launched every one of the last eight minutes to the opening of the City of Culture.
Across the plateau there will be art installations and fairground rides, but until 20:08 they are still. Lights are focused across the buildings but again are dimmed, as sky trackers and huge spot lights scan across them.
Around the square huge close up projections of the faces of a cross section of Liverpudlians talk about what their city may become –their fears and hopes for the future.

Aim: Mark Ronson to open the Liverpool Arena and European Capital of Culture
Date: 12th January 2008
The artists arrive and begin to flood out though the doors of the hall onto the steps, in front of the massed crowd.
The tiers of performers interspersed with two dimensional cut out figures of past and absent heroes, recall the famous cover of Sergeant Peppers Lonely hearts Club Band and Adrian Henri’s iconic Hope Street painting. This tableau of Liverpool artists, photoshopped prior to the event, is projected cross the building and accompanied by a soundscape of the people of Liverpool talking about what they so love about the artist’s work they have selected and how it has enriched their lives. These voices are layered and supported by the echoing sound of the sounds and songs of the city, its music, its football crowds, the bells of its cathedrals and favourite songs.
20: 05
A representative of the city makes a short inspirational speech, (so not the Fireman, then eds) inter cut by ever larger markings of the passing minutes. This speech welcomes the artists who the city’s people have chosen to honour at this historic moment (not Henshaw, not Storey, not McElhinney, not Hasitall, not Robbing, not Jase, either, eds) and what their work has meant to them.

It welcomes the artists and people of Europe and the world to come, enjoy and savour the culture of one of the world’s most unique cities.
The speech concludes, (thank Christ for that, eds) a wall of fountains lift off from the buildings, surrounding the audience in a ring of fire, as huge aerial shells light up the sky.
Through the smoke of this opening salvo a figure is illuminated high above the crowd
on the pinnacle of the Radio Mast. (Is it Cover Up? Perhaps it's Our Lord Redmond? eds)

He holds a guitar, and has a small guitar amp at his feet. (It's Hasitall!, eds) His image, projected across the projection screens, could be that of any of the tens of thousands of young aspirant guitarists, who have been the bedrock of the cities musical fame (Someone from Sirenz? eds)

After a moments pause he plays an opening guitar break. (Don't get too excited. It's Dave Stewart, Liverpool connection unknown. But that's a detail, eds)

As it echoes across the space, flares are released from the building tops all around the crowd, illuminating 200 young guitarists that appear on the rooftops surrounding the crowd below.
Together they play a ‘Liverpool Concerto for guitars’. Their silhouettes fill the skyline of St Georges Hall, Lime Street, the Holiday Inn, The Royal Court, St John’s Car Park, The Empire
As they play a further ten famous Liverpool guitarists are lifted into the air on scissor lifts between each of the pillars of the Hall.
Finally a rhythm section joins in as Ringo Starr is illuminated on the roof above the
Portico, with a support band made up of iconic Liverpool musicians.
From the Portico Roof, Cilla Black steps forward and welcomes the crowd. She is
joined by Atomic Kitten who perform a new version of ‘Step Inside Love’, produced by
Ian Brodie (They can't spell his name properly, but never mind, he's not tuurning up anyway, eds) which is released into the charts the following day.
As the ‘concerto ‘concludes, three cherry pickers rise up into the air. They carry Roger McGough, Levei Tefara and the young winner of a competition run through Liverpool
schools. They who recite three inter locking short poems commissioned specially for the event.
Then as fireworks lift off the building, Dave Stewart, and Ringo Starr perform their new collaboration ‘Liverpool I left you, but never let you down’ , from the St Georges Rooftop, again to be released as a single the following day and delivered at no cost to the event. (Utter Bollocks of course, eds)
There follows a commissioned piece for lone saxophone and a massed Liverpool choir climaxing with the lighting of a large, crane hung ‘08’ fire sculpture and an intense three minute firework display that lights up the sky.
The opening is finished and attention focuses to the evenings main performance.
21:30 The opening of the arena
For the press and VIP’s, the 1000 people who have won tickets through a city wide ballot, and the 7,000 ticket holders, the focus of the evening now shifts to the opening of the New Arena.
For its first public performance, the City commissions an extraordinary new work, a
contemporary reflection and ‘re-invention’ inspired by the musical heritage, reworked,
mixed, stirred and put together again in a radical new way, both a tribute to the past
and mirror to the future.
The concert brings together Mark Ronson, (oh no it doesn't, eds) Vasily Petrenko, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, choirs, a cross section of the city’s principal and most famous
musicians from the last forty years and a range of prominent musicians from around
the world.
Staged on an eight tier high and twenty metre wide scaffolding structure, it vertically stacks choirs, musicians and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra vertically in to the air, and through the use of theatrical scrims projects on to them, through them and over them a collage of extraordinary images of the city.
At the centre of the project sits Mark Ronson (oh no he doesn't, eds) While based in New York Mark traces his roots back to Liverpool where his family is from. While growing he became a close family friend of many of Liverpool’s most influential musicians. Today, as a producer
and DJ he has become one of the most influential figures in contemporary music and
production. (But he won't be in Liverpool anyway so it doesn't really matter, does it? eds)
His speciality is the reinvention of songs of the past, fusing them with new beats, rhythms and influences and working with a range of the world’s most prominent vocalists and artists. Past work has included re-workings of ‘Hey Jude’ and the Zuton’s ‘Valerie’ re-recorded by Amy Winehouse. He currently has a number two in the charts, a recreating of a Smith’s song, and an acclaimed new album ‘Versions’. (Good idea (ish) but he isn't here is he? eds)
Mark will work with classical composers, the RLPO and wide selection of contemporary and popular musicians and singers to create this re- imagining of the cities music, a homage its power to inspire new generations of artists. It will range from early traditional Liverpool songs and lullabies, through the songs of the Mersey Sound, to Eric’s and Cream and unsigned new Liverpool bands. It will feature many of the most loved son and daughters of the Liverpool music scene and integrate spoken word and text, featuring the array of writers, poets and playwrights for which the city is famous, figures such as Roger McGough, Willy Russel, Alan Bleasdale and Jimmy McGovern. ('Who invited him then?' - Joe Riley)
The selected song line will be ordered and chosen in such a way to tell the story of the city and the influences that will forge its identity and future, as it explores different ways to re-invent and re-generate itself. (Utter bollocks - ways to waste taxpayers money, eds)
This story will be visually told through a collision of images drawn from the amazing range of visual artists, film makers and photographers who have been inspired by the city’s qualities and identities. It will draw widely on the current Tate exhibition ‘The Centre of the Creative Universe’.
However, like the music, these images will be forged together, in new ways and forms,
manipulated and re-invented with the latest developments in digital film technology, and cutting edge artists from the city.
Initial thoughts for songs include
1. The Beatles Eleanor Rigby
2. The Zutons Valerie
3. Elvis Costello Shipbuilding
4. Echo and the Bunnymen Killing Moon
5. The Farm All together now (hey, that's us! eds)
6. Space Female of the Species
7. The Las There she goes
8. The Undertones Teenage Kicks (John Peels Favourite Song)
9. George Harrison My Sweet Lord
10. Paul McCartney Live and Let die
11. The Real Thing Can you feel the force
12. The Coral Bill McCai
13. The Dead 60s Riot Radio
14. Cilla Black Step inside
15. K Klass Let me show you love (last song played at cream)

There is a further list one the last page.
We need Marks input on songs that he feels his unique style would do the most justice. These are quite famous songs and should only be looked as a starting point.
The inevitable conversations between Mark and other artists will lead to gems being uncovered that will produce a truly unique performance. (ie, 'we have no idea what to do next,' eds)
There is the potential to use other songs not from Liverpool but performed by Liverpool artists
It is important that the whole evening does not rest on the legacy of The Beatles.
The quality of artists that collaborate on the evening is crucial to the success of this event, using Marks contacts alongside our own something great can be achieved. (But won't be, because Mark is not doing it, eds)
23:00 Performance over
Rehearsal time
We would imagine 4 full production rehearsals taking place in the Arena with the
orchestra 8th – 11th January.
It is possible to arrange a number of days working with the RLPO whenever Mark is available.
It is also possible to arrange meetings between Mark and Vasily Petrenko the principle conductor of RLPO
Performance Rights
We have a dedicated lawyer who will sort out the publishing rights for the chosen songs
The CD and DVD rights are to be negotiated and will form part of the negotiations of
Marks fees for the studio, rehearsal and performance. (And there's the rub, eds)
10,000 seats at the arena
The provisional allocation is
1,500 VIP / rider (oh aye, who is this lot then? Will Tony Parrish get a seat? eds)
1,000 giveaways to the people of Liverpool (Gee thanks, eds)
7,500 paid seats
Hospitality packages are available and are still to be negotiated.
40,000 people around the city watching on large screens (high dependency on weather
in January) (This figure appears to have gone down to 25,000, eds)
Liverpool Capital of Culture will be promoting and ticketing the whole event and taking the revenues. (With The Rottweiller's LDL, raking off their mark-up, eds)
The Liverpool Capital of Culture will be underwriting the whole event and taking out event and cancellation insurance
The event will be produced by Ear to the Ground.
Once contracts have been signed EttG will be the sole point of contact for the event
Media Coverage
To be decided upon Mark and other artists involvement
Next Steps
To organise a face to face meeting with all parties to finalise the contracts as soon as possible
Nigel Jamieson
Nigel Jamieson is one of the world’s leading event and theatre directors.
His work has included creating the central component of the Opening Ceremony of 2000 Sydney Olympics Games, directing six segments of 24 hour worldwide Millennium Broadcast, and Artistic Direction of the 2002 Closing Ceremony of the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
He directed Jose Carreras at Ankor Wat ,Cambodia, has worked at the Royal National
Theatre, and created the London Festival of New Circus and the London International
Workshop Festival. His recent production ‘Honour Bound’, about Guantanamo Bay
opens its2007 European Tour at the Vienna Festival prior to a major tour culminating
at London’s Barbican Centre.
Ear to the Ground
Ear to the Ground is an events agency that conceives and produces experiential activity using its understanding of contemporary culture.
They confidently combine innovative concepts with a solid production foundation to inspire both clients and audiences.
The company was formed in 2002 by Jon Drape and Steve Smith. They met in the legendary Hacienda where Jon was the in house venue manager and Steve had filled it with one of his many club nights. That was then, today Ear to the Ground has a wide portfolio of events ranging working across many sectors, art, fashion, film alongside music.
David Norris will be leading the project from Ear to the Ground.
Richard Mc Ginnis
Richard Mc Ginnis is a Liverpool based promoter with over 11 years experience in the city. Behind Liverpool success stories Chibuku & Circus, through these events has won every major dance music award out there from Mixmag club of the year to BBC Radio one House Rules Club of the year. Richard is also talent booker for the legendary Liverpool dance festival Creamfeilds now in his 4th year as talent consultant as well as being one of the owners of the extremely successful Manchester based Warehouse Project at Boddingtons. In 2006 alone he was behind no less than 200,000 ticket sales
Liverpool Culture Company
The Liverpool Culture Company is the organisation set up by Liverpool City Council to
deliver the culture programme up to and beyond 2008 (God help us, eds)
They are working closely with all their stakeholders - including cultural organisations, communities, artists, schools, businesses, commercial partners, funders and our fellow Merseyside boroughs - to help Liverpool shine on the world stage by delivering the best-ever European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Liverpool Culture Company has a broad remit and the definition of culture covers everything from artistic performance to heritage, health to tourism.
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one year during which it is given a chance to showcase its cultural life and cultural development. A number of European cities have used the City of Culture year to transform their cultural base and, in doing so, the way in which they are viewed internationally.
Conceived as a means of bringing citizens of European Union closer together, European City of Culture was launched on June 13, 1985 by the Council of Ministers on the initiative of the Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri. Since then, the initiative has been more and more successful amongst European citizens and has had a growing cultural and socio-economic impact on the numerous visitors it has attracted.
The Song List
Boo Radley Wake Up Boo
Cilla Black Liverpool Lullaby
Classic song In My Liverpool Home
Echo and the Bunnymen 7 Seas
Echo and the Bunnymen Killing Moon
Elvis Costello Shipbuilding
Elvis Costello I can't stand up for falling down
Frankie goes to Hollywood Relax
Frankie goes to Hollywood Two Tribes
George Harrison My Sweet Lord
Gerry and the Pacemakers Don't Let the Sun Catch you Crying
Gerry and the Pacemakers Ferry across the Mersey
Gerry and the Pacemakers You'll Never Walk Alone
Isaac Hayes I love Music
Jimmy Osmond Long Haired Lover from Liverpool
John Lennon Power to the People
John Lennon Starting Over
John Lennon Whatever gets you through the night
John Newton Amazing grace
The Undertones Teenage Kicks
Julian Cope World Shut yer Mouth
K Klass Let me show you love
Ladytron Seventeen
Lighting Seeds/Ian Brodie Footballs Coming Home (Football moment)
Lightning Seeds/Ian Brodie Marvellous
Marc Almond/Gene Pitney Anyone who had a Heart
Paul McCartney Live and Let Die
Pete Wylie Heart as big as Liverpool
Screaming J Hawkins You Put A Spell On Me (Listened to by the Beatles)
Space Female of the Species
The Beatles Come Together
The Beatles Revolution Cream
The Beatles Working Class Hero
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles Yesterday (Ray Charles Version)
The Farm Altogether Now
The La's There She Goes (Gabrielle's version)
The Mighty Wah! Story of the Blues
The Real Thing Can you feel the the Force
The Real Thing Children of the Ghetto (Mary J Blige version)
The Zutons Valerie
Possibly using just the rifts and samples of The Beatles songs to abridge the performance.

(And the cost...............? eds)

Monday, January 07, 2008


EVERYTHING Fireman Bradley touches seems to end in tears at the moment.
Witness Saturday's keenly fought junior football tussle between Dingle Villa and Mosspit Juniors.

Who was that familiar fella running the line during the game (and coming in for some fairly direct critiscism from spectators about what he could do with his little flag?)

Step forward none other than our Mathew Street hero, the Fireman Bradley, coach to Mosspit Juniors, whose son keeps goal for the side.

And who, on the other side, was that talented young central midfielder for opposition Villa?

Step forward, none other than Michael Anderson, son of Labour leader Joe Anderson.

Young Michael, the Villa skipper, had the greatest of pleasure in scoring the first goal against Young Bradley.

(You couldn't make this up, could you? eds)

Proud Councillor Anderson had more cause to chuckle when his lad's side easily ran out eventual 3-1 winners.

Any suggestion that MossPits are now looking for a new coach is entirely without substance. (But of course, the Lib Dems are, eds)

Sunday, January 06, 2008


THE cost of the opening ceremony is spiralling out of control and has already touched £3million.

That's quite an achievement, since only four months ago the official estimate for the opening ceremony was just £1.3million.

So the cost has already more than doubled and appears to be well on course to treble.

The Culture Company is throwing money at both the event in the Arena and the open air event at St George's (for us plebs, eds) in a desperate attempt to avoid a massive CoC Up.

It will be interesting to see how the city council explains this lack of basic financial control and management when it goes cap in hand to the Government asking it to bail out CoC to the tune of £20million.

It is the outdoor public event which, predictably, is causing most concern.

One of the highlights (sic, eds) is Ringo standing on top of the roof of St George's Hall to wave to the swooning crowds below. (Pictured - waving, not falling, eds)

(And thereby promote his new album Liverpool 8, eds)

But old Ringo is getting on in years now and is apparently getting a bit dodgy on his pins.

He apparently doesn't fancy scrambling across the roof like a teenage cat burglar. Some alarm has been expressed in the Ringo camp at the fate which might befall him.

So all kinds of extra safety measures are now being introduced to try and persuade Mr Starkey that he will be pefectly safe in the hands of the Coc Up brigade.

(If he believes that, he's dafter than he looks, eds)

One of the biggest financial headaches is that the CoC Up brigade failed to hire all the massive plant equipment that is needed for a major outdoor event.

So now they are having to pay over the odds and virtually bribe plant firms to come to the rescue.

Amazingly some companies have told them to **** off, after earlier experiences with the dolts in charge.
Anyway it's clear now, reassuringly, that Ringo never forgot Liverpool 8.
But whether he will be able to find the time in a busy promotional schedule to visit some of the three bedroomed council houses in Liverpool 8 which have still not got central heating (this is the 21st century isn't it? eds) is another question.
The city council certainly appears to have forgotten Liverpool 8.
Quite how many new central heating systems £3million could buy is anyone's guess, of course.
Still, the tenants of Toxteth can always jig about in their front rooms while they listen to Murkeyside or City endlessly playing Ringo's latest album in a desperate effort to take it to No 1.
We're sure that will keep the whinging tenants warm enough.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


THERE will not be a warm welcome back today (Jan 3rd, 2008) for Donald Bullshitter who returns to the Fun Palace after two weeks holiday in the US of A.
'Acting' CEO Kris Donaldson, has been "out of the office'' since Monday 17 December.

Not bad in the run-up to one of the most important year's in the city's history, eh?

Bullshitter is paid £150,000 a year and has had an annual 10 per cent Performance Related Pay bonus since he was first appointed Marketing Director in 2004.

Which means he is now on more than £200,000 - and can still bugger off on a holiday just days before the Offical Launch of 2008.

He must be worth his weight in bull shit.

Sir Diddy Henshaw famously said of Bullshitter within weeks of his appointment that he 'would not pay him in washers'.

Amazingly Bullshitter has survived for the last four years despite his obvious incompetence - people are taken in by the American accent and think he must know what he is talking about.

Bullshitter will now be ready to tour every TV studio to get his face on our screens in 2008 - he is obsessed with self-publicity. And the simple hacks think his Stateside drawl shows Liverpool has gone all international.

In fact, it is Donaldson who is the mastermind behind the 'Look of the City' project, which the craven Echo publicised so dismally the other day.

This project involves covering up urban decay and council neglect with huge hoardings, so visitors think everything is hunky dory in Liverpool.

Part of this project also involves putting absolutely useless shite and drab hoardings in the windows of the boarded up houses on Edge Lane - well done Elisabeth Pascoe - as well as hanging even worse flags from the lamp posts.

Some of the crap flags have already been blown off, with the rest left tattered and torn by only mild winds.

Quite how much this lacklustre project has cost so far is anyone's guess and will be kept secret by the city council.

Interestingly, marketing staff at the Fun Palace who have been left holding the baby in Bullshitter's absence, have been told they can have all the holidays they want - but only in 2009.

Meanwhile a word of praise for one person - the NWDA's representative on earth in the Culture Company, one Bernice Law.

She has been working around the clock on the Official Launch to try and stop it becoming a total disaster.

By all accounts, she is not a bullshitter and has been trying her best against all the odds.

Clearly her boss NWDA Chairman Bryan Gray will have much to thank her for if she manages to pull it off.

There is another good thing to be said for her.

She has made it crystal clear to Fun Palace inmates that she has seen right through the Great White Hope - Our Saviour, Phil Redmond.

(Incidentally, perhaps we should re-christen him 'Our Lord' - since he is banking on a peerage in the next New Years Honour List, eds)

Bernice apparently finds Redmond an "insufferable, self-obsessed incompetent".

No news there of course.

But re-assuring that she has such good judgement.

'Our Lord' is meanwhile still wafting in and out of the Fun Palace, trying to hijack projects for his greater glory and to give the impression that he is in control.

Watch out for plenty more bollocks from him.