Saturday, February 23, 2008


While we're on the subject of the Harbarrowboy....
Below is his back of an envelope Briefing Report on the ill-fated plan to stage the McCartney Concert in Salthouse Dock (remember? the one where the Culture Company were going to stun all the fish and put them in a giant goldfish bowl, eds?).
While the amount of bullshit in the report below is truly astounding, it is worth reading all the way through.
From what we hear it will give you a full insight into the preparations now underway and the spiralling cost of the Macca concert at Anfield.
And it will help you to fully appreciate the gob-smacking stupidity of the people at the city council who are still in charge.
Particularly worthy of your attention - as the bankrupt city council now wrestles with a £60million hole - is the 'back of an envelope budget' that £150,000-a-year Jase has drawn up.
Thrill to some of the completely fictitious estimates he has made for revenue!
How many of these are going to come true for the Macca concert at Anfield eh? Eh? Eh?
We will not mention the totally unsubstantiated figures for estimated costs which Jase appears to have pulled completely out of thin air for the entertainment of CoverUp and his cabal.
They were so obviously and woefully short of the mark that the Salthouse Dock plan had to be scrapped six months later.
However, we learn that the McCartney concert is already costing the city council £7.5 million - but is likely to hit double figures before long.
We shall be returning to this subject in the very near future.
In the meantime, read the Harbarrowboy's report and weep - it will certainly give you little confidence in Jase and his Associates if you have been stupid enough to become one of his new clients....

TO: Executive Management Team
SUBJECT: Liverpool Sound Music Event
DATE: 20 March 2007
The purpose of this paper is to provide the EMT with background on The Liverpool Sound music event and gain endorsement of the strategic direction.
a) The Event Overview
The Liverpool Sound will be a unique once in a lifetime festival to celebrate Liverpool’s global status as The World Capital of Pop, featuring events all around the city. The climax will be a spectacular concert broadcast to the world on bank holiday Monday, 26 May 2008. This concert will have a unique atmosphere as a live broadcast, in a world heritage setting. A surprising show with world famous contemporary stars who can talk of how the Liverpool music scene inspired them and their music and how that music has travelled around the world and come back home to be redefined in the place it was born. An international concert, world-class musicians, funny and famous hosts and a fantastic waterside location, all add up to a never to be forgotten moment in time. Where better to celebrate the sound of Liverpool – than in a place from where the city began. Salthouse Dock will become the biggest temporary stage and seating structure this country has ever seen seating over 25,000 people and giving the illusion that both artists and audience are floating on the pool that is Liverpool. The city itself becomes the frame for the stage. Behind the Liver Building, to the side the World Heritage site of the Albert Dock and from the stage a panoramic view of the City Cathedrals and the brand new centre.Less than a hundred years ago most of Europe travelled through Liverpool to get to America indeed nearly a third of all Americans can trace their family’s journey back to this port. From its origins as a slave trade port, the exotic was always part of the fabric of the city. As one of the first multicultural cities in the country the unique acceptance of the different in Liverpool meant that when “The Beatles” stepped off the plane in America and proudly talked about specific “Black” songs that inspired them it was a crucial paradigm shift for the way that Black music was perceived in America. If Liverpool loved this music then so could all of America. The musical links between Liverpool and America are incredibly strong and this concert will be an international demonstration of how this city has been one of the biggest influences in the world of popular music over the last 50 years.
b) BBC Engagement
The BBC is fully supportive of the event and are intending to provide 2½ hours of live coverage on BBC1 on 26 May, 2008 (May Bank Holiday). Radio TWO are planning to spend a week in the city and Radio ONE are also very interested and are researching the John Peel links that could provide special programming for them.
c) Artists
The key Liverpool artist (Macca, ed) is committed to the project and is providing personal support in the approach of key international and UK artists. A preferred participant list has been developed (with a priority shortlist) and approaches are currently being made. This process will take several months and there will certainly be additions and changes as the process unfolds. Booking artists of global stature always takes time and the key to this event being successful is the element of surprise and excitement when the line up is finally announced. A carefully executed PR plan for creating a real demand for ticket sales is vital and any supposition prior to the chosen dates could put in jeopardy all artist negotiations that have to happen behind the scenes.
d) Location
Following a review of all potential locations in Liverpool it was determined that Salthouse Dock would be the perfect option given that it is an iconic location in the heart of the World Heritage site and that it will provide an unparalleled, spectacular backdrop to television that will be beamed nationally and internationally. In one single camera sweep you can tell the story of the city. It is a unique skyline that can only be Liverpool. Music concerts are great for the international broadcast market, but to stand out from the crowd you need a great line up, a great atmosphere and a unique never to be repeated occasion. The Liverpool Sound ticks every box.The proposal is that both the concert stage and the spectator seats will be placed within Salthouse Dock which will give the impression that both are floating on the water. This will help create spectacular television and will showcase Liverpool’s waterfront.
Much work has already been done with dock stakeholders and consultants and it has been confirmed that these plans are feasible both from an engineering and dock operation perspective. We are still to finalise the formal license agreement with GSE and we expect that within the next few months.
e) Location Contingency
We have identified an alternative location (Queen’s Dock) as a contingency. This area was originally selected by Barrie Marshall as an alternative location for PM’s concert in 2003 when there were issues with King’s Dock. Plans and costs are currently being explored.
f) Additional Concert
We are currently planning that there will be a concert on during the weekend just prior to the key event. The purpose of this event will be to provide the BBC with a rehearsal evening at the venue, provide an opportunity for key international and Liverpool artists to perform at Salthouse, give more people a chance to experience a concert at the venue and provide another revenue stream to help offset the costs of creating the Salthouse Dock venue.
g) Music Festival
Given that a number of international artists will be coming to Liverpool some time in advance of the Monday concert, there is a unique opportunity to showcase these and other key artists across the venues of Liverpool in the week leading up to the concert. Initial discussions with television and radio broadcasters have also been very positive regarding their interest in these pre-concert gigs.
h) Event Charitable Structure
To gain participation of some of the world’s greatest artists in this event, it is important that we create a charitable dimension to the project so that the artists are compelled to perform for the cause as well as the uniqueness and profile of the event. Discussions have already been held with both LIPA and Nordoff Robbins (a global music charity that is widely supported by the global music industry) and they have confirmed their support of the event.We will be working with them further to identify the nature of the support and how we can collectively create a legacy for Liverpool and the UK. They also have realistic expectations on the scale of any potential support given the anticipated costs of staging the event. They are also very excited about the potential from national and international exposure.Whilst we are budgeting for a slight surplus on this event with the expectations that an element of this will go to the charities, we have budgeteda guaranteed commitment to the charities, which will both are important to the artists and the media. This is included in the budget outlined below.
i) Company Structure
We are currently exploring with Hill Dickinson the best strategy for the structure of the entity that will both manage the key elements of the event as well as provide a charitable dimension to the overall structure. The current thinking is that a trading arm be established with surplus revenue following all identified expenses transferred to the charitable entity for distribution with agreed protocols.
j) Procurement
The procurement process recommended by the LCC Procurement team will treat the events as four distinctly separate areas:
• Auditorium Construction (Salthouse Dock)• Event and Technical Production• TV Productions and Artist Management• Venue Management
The Auditorium Construction would be a capital expenditure.
The Event and Technical Production will involve all elements of the event production including all associated equipment costs and staffing.
TV Production and Artist Management will consist of all equipment and staff costs for the production of the broadcast in all of its forms (live transmission, webcasting, CD and DVD) as well as all associated costs for the artists involved.
The Venue Management will involve all peripheral costs (staff, barriers, fencing, facilities including toilets) for both the Salthouse Dock event and any other activity across the city.
k) Key Staff
It is important to note that key staff will be required for this event to support the Culture Company team and this has been included in the outlined budget. These include:
• Executive Producer: This person has been in place for approximately 9 months, has already played a major role in developing this event. This person will be focused during the actual event primarily on the television and other broadcast production liaising with the BBC and other international broadcasters.(we shall return to this person soon, eds)
• Event Producer: This person will manage the staging of the event and all technical elements
• Musical Director: This person will be responsible for all the musical elements of the event including working with the Liverpool RoyalPhilharmonic Orchestra and other music partners in Liverpool
• Auditorium Construction: This company will lead the construction of the stage and seating within the Salthouse Dock
• Venue Management: This will be undertaken by the Culture Company Events Team
• Concert and Festival Promotion: We will be shortly inviting interested companies to support us with the promotion of both concerts (with a clear focus on the May Bank Holiday) as well as the Festival leading up to the weekendl)
Launch and Promotional Support
The current plan is that the event will be publicly launched at the end of September by the significant Liverpool artist. (Macca, eds) Given that the opportunities to purchase tickets will be limited (capacity of 25,000) this launch will include a call-to-action for all those who are interested in purchasing tickets to register via the Liverpool.08 website where their details will be captured and a lottery will be conducted with those individuals then contacted to purchase tickets. This has been the normal process for both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games’ Opening Ceremonies as well as recently for Glastonbury. Prior to any lottery, allocations will be made to ensure that a significant percentage of the tickets are available to local people. This process will be developed further and will need LCC endorsement of the strategy.The launch will receive significant global and national coverage and will provide a perfect platform to build awareness of Liverpool 08. A national marketing effort will also be required to support the launch to help maximise the response.
To begin preparing the ground for this launch we are planning for the ’08 website to have a World Capital of Pop page that will play selected Liverpool Songs and this page can then be used to get chat room discussions going on the songs that best sum up the spirit of the city. This is a great opportunity to involve everyone in the city in a discussion about what makes the city unique and why it is the World Capital of Pop.
From September, alongside the ticket launch, each month the 08 site will list a top ten from well known Liverpool faces e.g. Steven Gerrard, Daniel Craig, Anne Robinson, Johnny Vegas etc to build further excitement and interest. These contact details captured will provide a critical foundation for future national marketing efforts to encourage people to take part in 08 and come to Liverpool. It is anticipated that the launch and accompanying marketing effort could result in hundreds of thousands of enquiries.The Festival will also require its own marketing and PR effort, which will be developed following the initial launch
The Liverpool Sound Concert tickets (in some cases including accommodation and transport) will play a crucial role in encouraging ongoingmedia partner support and will be another catalyst to build further awareness and interest for Liverpool 08 and the 08 Programme Highlights.
The Business Plan
Event Revenue Estimates
These represent initial estimates of revenue and should be considered to be at the conservative end of the spectrum:
• Ticketing revenue: Anticipated revenue from two concerts with an average ticket price of £50 (this assumption has been supported by leading concert Promoters) £2.5 M
• Hospitality/concessions revenue: £ 0.25 M
• Merchandise/other: £ 0.15 M
• Global Television Rights. In addition to live BBC1Coverage, The Queen’s Jubilee Concert was able to secure sales of the global television rights. This was also a multi-artist event and The Liverpool Sound may have a more recognisable theme for international sales. The longest running radio programme in the US has been “Breakfast with the Beatles”. £1.25 M
• Event DVD: £1.0 M
• Local Broadcaster Support: Anticipated cost recovery from BBC £ 0.85 M
• Texting revenue: subject to securing a mobile telephone partner and protecting the rights of current CoC partners, there is a possibility of revenue from texting during the ticketing phase as well during the event £.0.25 M
• Additional sponsorship: subject again to protecting Current CoC partners, there is an opportunity to offset some production costs (eg travel, accommodation etc). Similar sponsorship was secured for the Queen’s Jubilee Concert and significant interest has already been received from companies who do not conflict with current CoC Commercial Partners £1.5 M
Total Estimated Revenue £ 7.75 M

Event Cost Estimates
The team consulting on this project have, between them, worked on numerous global television events of a similar stature (e.g. Live 8, Party at the Palace, The Prince’s Trust, Nelson Mandela 46664 Concerts from South Africa and The Grammies.) This expertise and experience is also backed with the engineering skills to manage specific aquatic concerts. With this detailed background knowledge of what it takes to create a global television event, we anticipate the event budget to consist of the following:
• Auditorium Construction £ 1.55 M
• Television Production and Artist Management £ 2.45 M
• Event and Technical Production £ 1.25 M
• Venue Management £ 0.85 M
• Marketing costs: Campaign to support PR efforts £ 0.3 M
• Charity Commitments £ 0.3 M
• Contingency £ 0.66 M
Total Estimated Costs £ 7.36 M
Total Estimated Surplus £ 0.39 M

Thursday, February 21, 2008



Jase, who according to an anonymous whistle-blower knows all about the Fireman's Freebie, has meanwhile moved into new offices at the Corn Exchange.
He has also unveiled a web site for Harborow Associates, complete with details of his Spanish address - which he shares with one of his business partners, Roz Hughes.
Below is an extract from the site, if you can't be arsed looking.
Needless to say it is full of the most self-important bollocks that you will ever have the misfortune to read.
Together with the ugliest prose, including schoolboy spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
Eeeeh bah gum.

Harborow Associates was established at the beginning of 2008. A team of world-class professionals have been pulled together to offer a range of services specialising in sport, leisure, tourism, events and culture for the public and private sector. Jason and his team have a unique range of experience in the sector areas and have consistently provided eye-opening results on a range of different projects and campaigns. Our team have a track record second to none and results proven over time.

Monday, February 18, 2008


WE interrupt our hunt for Sheriff Bradley, the cowboy Fireman, to bring you exciting news of his bete noire - Jase the Harbarrowboy.

Seems Jase is still hanging around these here parts (quit the cowboy talk, we've moved on to another subject, eds) and has got himself a nice sinecure in Chester.

Jase is working for a £15,000 project fee for his old mucker Chris Brown, former Head of Marketing at The Mersey Partnership.

Jase is 'developing some event ideas' for Chester Racecourse for Brown who is boss of Visit Chester.

So we can now look forward to Chas Cole also being invited along shortly to see if he can attract any old 80's rock bands along to play at Chester racecourse.

As long as Phil and Chris can each wangle a gig for their lads, should be no problem.

Failing that Jase will no doubt suggest some mad rugby playing idea which can involve his many rough and tough mates.

Also look forward to some bizarre crackpot idea like those huge US trucks being brought along to churn up the racecourse and jump over 20 blondes (supplied by the Rotteweiller of course, eds)which have been laid head to toe along the length of the final furlong.

Or fierce ceremonial battles being staged down the home straight between Roman centurions and the invading barbarian hordes (voters from Liverpool, eds).

PS we couldn't resist including this advert that Jason has now sponsored for some posh suit makers in Liverpool. Follow the link, or read below... SUITS FROM JUST £695 TO £1,500!

Why Choose GUI?
Total convenience to suit you
GUI Couture represents the ultimate in convenience for busy business men and women. We will arrange a consultation for you at your office or home, or our fitting studio in Liverpool city centre. We make ourselves available to suit you, and will happily arrange appointments during weekends and evenings.
Premium quality from the fabrics to the finishing
Our range of fabrics is astounding, from pure new wool and cashmere to special blends incorporating Lycra for extra fit and comfort.
Quality is paramount in our entire offering from fabrics to finishing, and everything in between. Whether you select our basic Essential service, or our exclusive Platinum experience, GUI Couture never compromises on the quality of service or care received by our customers.
Looking great, every day
Ever dreamt of having your own style consultant? Now you can. Our experts will help you understand what suits you and why, and GUIde your choice to ensure you look great in everything you wear. For special occasions they will assist in designing a totally unique outfit so that you stand out from the crowd.
For organisations with teams of front line staff where initial impressions are everything, GUI Couture offers a specialist Corporate Image Consultancy Service, to ensure you get the best response from your customers every time.
Loose on the waist, tight on hips?
Do you know anyone who fits off-the-peg clothing? Most of us will be larger or smaller in the waist, back, shoulders or thighs, and longer or shorter in the arms and legs than the so called ‘norm’. Even people with the same measurements will have a different body shape, stance and stature, and GUI Couture will solve these problems of fit by ensuring each of our customers is professionally measured to create a garment designed to give you the ideal fit.
Feeling great from the minute you step out the door
Research has shown that successful people feel good about their presentation and image. Whether your job involves important meetings, sales pitches or interviews, GUI Couture can help you feel and appear more confident, boosting your potential. We will dress you for success, boosting self esteem and enhancing personal pride.
“I am delighted with the suit Guy tailored for me. It is a perfect fit and is everything I wanted it to be; well styled, individual, unique to me. The service Guy provides is first class."
Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Liverpool Culture Company

WE couldn't make it up....

Thursday, February 14, 2008



I snapped this long-haired bloke wondering up and down Mathew Street in the wee small hours of the morning, obviously the worse for wear. He was in his cups and muttering something about losing his barrow and something else about a camel. Then he slurred a few words I couldn't quite catch about forgetting all about his Ford. I presume he has a Mondeo? Although he was in no condition to drive anything, obviously. And he was clad in very strange full-length leather gear - not unusual for Mathew Street at that time of night, admittedly. Do you think the cowboy Fireman could have grown his hair this fast, or was it a wig? The 'tache is obviously a cowboy thing. He looked very lonely. The last time I saw him he had staggered all the way up to Dale Street and was hammering on the door of the Town Hall. Perhaps he is holed up inside there now? I think we should be told....

yours ever,

The ghost of Lee Forde


Dear Tonys,

He isn't at home at all. I spotted him just this last week in Hawaii - he has gone out there to visit his old mate Charlie, who has obviously coined it in so much from the city council, his property speculator mates and English Partnerships, that Charlie has now amassed enough wealth to start his very own cowboy ranch! As you can see, I managed to take a quick snap of the cowboy fireman Sheriff Bradley when he was out at the coral (I thought they were an up-and-coming new Liverpool combo? eds) admiring Charlie riding his latest mount. Although Bradley is obviously dying his hair now to try and disguise his exact whereabouts, close examination of my photo will reveal the truth. As ever.
Don't ask me what I was doing in Hawaii, it's top secret at the moment, but look out for some bold and imaginative new proposals for the Mersey on the front page of the Echo in the not too distant future....


a developer friend of Charlie's

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


The mystery of the cowboy Fireman's whereabouts deepens.

Seems that he may not have gone off to his brother in law's wedding in Mexico after all, despite what he told friends.

Nor may he have gone off on a walking tour of the Lake District, as he told his Executive Board on Friday.

Nor headed off to Jason's gaff on the Cala Menor in Spain, as claimed by one of Jase's mates.

In fact, it seems the Fireman Bradley could, amazingly, be sitting at home with the curtains drawn, after he apparently did a Greta Garbo act and told officials: "I vant to be alone."

One theory is that Bradley is firmly ensconsed in Wavertree, drinking Peroni and talking to the parakeet and not answering his council mobile phone (which is probably bugged anyway, eds)

Perhaps he is taking the opportunity to reflect on:

  • his own personal behaviour

  • his failure to keep his promises

  • his stabbing Lee Forde in public

  • and his failure to deal properly and decisively with the civil war between councillors and officers which is now a running sore seeping from the very fabric of the Town Hall.

We doubt, however, whether he will demonstrate any self-awareness whatsoever. Much less will he apologise to those he has wronged. Indeed it is revealing that no-one appears at all certain of his whereabouts at all. Because no-one can now believe a single word that he says.


Dear Tonys,

Jase's mate is bullshitting you. Bradley is definitely in the Americas. I was on holiday in New York recently, desperately trying to find this twin city agreement with Liverpool, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this familiar figure racing past. It was the cowboy fireman for sure - he was behaving like there was a house on fire. Which there may have been. Or maybe he was just trying to avoid the DA? Here's the evidence, anyway.



Monday, February 11, 2008


Dear Tonys,

Re:Your search for the missing cowboy fireman.
Me and my business partner Jase were having a break in Spain - he's been through a tough time recently and needed to put his feet up a bit - when we went out for the day to watch a carnival parade. As Jase was munching on an ice cream watching the parade go by, we spotted this menacing figure in the distance. He was wearing a mask so it was difficult to be entirely sure, but Jase went several shades of white (which shows how shocked he was) and nearly choked on his Mivvi. Now he swears blind it was Sheriff Bradley - and you know he's not a bullshitter. See what you think - sorry it's so far away but Jase has now promised to buy me a new camera with his winnings from the council. So not all bad news.


Jase's mate


Dear Tonys,

We were recently on holiday in New York when we spotted a familiar figure walking down the sidewalk. But he seemed to have swapped his Everton scarf for rather more unusual attire. However, the resemblance was unmistakeable - the publicity-seeking, the arrogant swagger, the selfish streak a foot long (missus! ed). It was none other than Sheriff Bradley! Having escaped from the worst local council in the country, the cowboy fireman now appears to have begun a new career in New York. We knew that you and Chucklebutty would require some photographic evidence - so here it is below!

best wishes,

anti-cabalists on tour

Saturday, February 09, 2008


MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of the cowboy Fireman Bradley today.

He vanished like the Lone Ranger soon after the city council was officially ranked the worst in Britain.

The mystery deepened after two contradictory explanations were given for his sudden disappearance (and recent failure to appear in cheesy city council photo opps).

The first explanation for his absence, which he gave to members of his Lib Dim Executive Board as he departed on Friday, is that he has gone off on a week-long 'walking holiday' (yes, we did say 'walking', eds) to the Lake District.

The second explanation, which we have from totally authoritative sources, is that he has in fact gone to Mexico (Viva Zapata! eds) for his brother-in-law's wedding.

The second explanation seems to us to be the most likely since, as we all know, there are already quite a few other cowboys 'down Mexico way'. But who is Tonto?

Perhaps the Lone Ranger is planning to be at The Last Gunfight at the OK Corrall?
Anyroadup, we are now launching An Official Public Appeal for anyone who spots the cowboy Fireman anywhere in the world in the coming week.

Please let us know where and when - preferably by supplying photographic evidence. (You can post us some links in comments, eds....)

The cowboy Fireman's disappearance is perfectly understandable however.

Pressure is mounting on all sides as the Standards Board begin their investigation into his plot to oust the Harbarrowboy.

The Lone Fireman has already been going around in recent weeks, stetson in hand and Tonto at his side, begging for character references from the great and good.

He will then submit any references he gets (and we shall name names, eds) to the investigators as part of his defence.

The Storeyteller tried the same trick three years ago, but it did him no good whatsoever.
Legendary solicitor 'Sexy Rexy' Makin has also become the first public figure to call for Bradley (and Hilton's) resignation.

This has been the view amongst the great and the good for some time - but none of them have had the bottle to go public.

Unlike Rex.

Interestingly, the arch hypocrite, arrogant and pompous Councillor Richard Kemp (not our favourite person then? eds) who has a lucrative little sinecure with the Local Government Association which enables him to hold forth on any subject in his typically puffed-up way, has also broken cover for the first time.

He has ludicrously demanded a public apology from the Audit Commission for ranking Liverpool as the worst council in the country.

This has only succeeded in attracting even more negative headlines.

Kemp does not yet appear to have learnt the first rule of Public Relations - when buried deep in hole, stop digging!

Readers will recall that Kemp - being the true liberal he clearly isn't - publicly argued for the original Tony Parrish's 'Liverpool evil cabal' blog to be banned and for the people of Liverpool to be denied the truth about Henshaw, McElhinney and Halsall.

Kemp is also the architect of the disastrous Boot Estate fiasco.

We would really, really, really, love it if he made a serious bid for Bradley's stetson.

For Kemp appears to be supremely arrogant enough to actually believe he should be Leader!

Meanwhile watch out for the spin machine going into overdrive to give the impression that Bradley is still present and correct in Liverpool.

Already a press release has been issued pledging that Bradley is personally going to plug the £60million hole in the council's budget.

This was a desperate attmnpt to convey an 'I'm in charge' impression after Bradley had run for cover from the Audit Commission and refused to be interviewed.

The press release was very helpful to those Labour supporters amongst us who would be truly horrified if the Government decided to bale the Lib Dims out of the mess and crisis they have created in Liverpool.

Why should the Labour Government save the necks of the Lib Dims in Liverpool?

But now that Bradley has promised to personally find the dosh and make the cuts, all the MPs can go back to representing their constituents.


No more crisis meetings with Hasitall and CoverUp Hilton ringing their hands and begging for help?


Bradley's going to sort it.

So that's alright then.

Meanwhile, we hope that Inspector Clueless will busily step into the breach to solve the mystery of the Fireman's continuing disappearance.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


GOSSIPERS worried about the condition of accused law-breaker Steve Hurst can rest assured.

It looks as though the Lib Dem Chief Whip's failing health is gradually improving, since he apparently felt well enough to attend a neighbourhood meeting this evening.

Councillor Hurst appeared perfectly relaxed and composed throughout the meeting and exhibited no signs of the unfortunate stress which has forced him to go on sick leave from the fire service.

This now makes it three council meetings he has felt well enough to attend while on sick leave from the fire service.

There is also some further good news for Councillor Hurst, who has so far escaped suspension from the Lib Dem group despite facing a criminal charge accused of election dirty tricks next March.

His Lib Dem colleagues are having a whip round to help him out (although he is still on full pay with public money from the fire service, of course).

If by some remarkable travesty of justice, Councillor Hurst were to be found guilty next month of producing a disgusting nasty and untrue little smear leaflet in Belle Vale last May, it would tend to show his Lib Dem colleagues to be a bunch of unprincipled, cynical, nasty little bastards who believe in nothing but themselves and cannot distinguish right from wrong.

Monday, February 04, 2008


WHAT are we to make, dear Gossipers, of the appearance of accused law-breaker, Councillor Steve Hurst, at last week's full council meeting?

We only ask because, sadly, Hurst is currently on sick leave from the fire service with stress, pending his forthcoming and keenly awaited trial next month.

Hurst, the Lib Dem Chief Whip responsible for internal Party discipline, is, you will all vividly recall, accused of breaking election law by delivering a disgusting and thoroughly nasty little smear leaflet against the Labour candidate and her fireman husband through the letterboxes of houses in Belle Vale.

His understandable stress at the prospect of facing a trial with 10 witnesses ranged against him, seemed to miraculously disappear last Wednesday when he was able to take his seat in the council chamber, without any apparent ill-effects.

(Sadly, many public spectators were in need of emergency treatment after listening to Fireman Bradley, eds)

Even more astonishing was Hurst's appearance the week before at a day-long Planning Committee meeting.

Again, Hurst appeared to demonstrate remarkable resilience and good health.

Perhaps he finds attending boring council meetings an effective therapy for the terrible curse of stress-related illnesses?

If so, perhaps Hurst has unwittingly discovered a cure - and we should therefore make compulsory attendance at council meetings now immediately available on the National Health Service?

Any appalling suggestion that, in fact, Hurst is swinging the lead from the fire service and thereby ripping off the public who pay his wages, is of course, without any foundation, whatsoever.

For what could his motive for that possibly be?

Some suspicious people would suggest that perhaps Hurst was going to use his illness in mitigation to try to win a sympathy vote. Or even, perhaps, it would make him unfit to stand trial?

If the outrageous suggestion that Hurst was swinging the lead were true, it would then also have to be true that Hurst suddenly went on the sick when he was tipped off by an insider that Fire Chief Tony McGurk was about to suspend him, pending his criminal trial.

That couldn't possibly be true. For it would mean that Hurst did not want to attract more damaging publicity and increase interest in his trial through being officially suspended by the fire service.

And that would be an outrageous slur on a fine and upstanding public servant - rather in the mould of the beyond-reproach Fireman Bradley.

Meanwhile Fireman Bradley, who is obviously a far better judge than Fire Chief McGurk on what is appropriate behaviour (and is clearly better able to judge Hurst's innocence ahead of a trial), is still refusing to suspend Hurst from the Lib Dem group pending the outcome of the prosecution.

And nor has Cover Up yet launched a council investigation.