Thursday, 23 December 2010

Pickles at Christmas: Away from politics and hard hitting social comment for a traditional Christmas tale of horror and suspenders.

Eric Pickles as he sets about destroying public services thanks to Clegg and the Lib Dems.

But I am not writing about him, or the coalition or even life in the Anderson Shelter down in the War Cabinet as they face Kutskrieg with the Vestminster fokkers trying to destroy our vital port city. Even the poor Liverpool lib dems are in hiding and their recently installed Morrison shelter is falling apart as they try to come up with some kind of answer to the savage attack. 

No,  not so close to Christmas Eve, I'm going to ignore all that. And I'm taking a great risk here posting this Christmas Special but it is really just a link to my personal diaries.

I know some of you who look to me to find out what's really going on in the city may be disappointed. Those who expect the more serious political headlines and in depth analysis which is usually my subject matter, may think this is far too frivolous for a serious academic and commentator like myself.

I suppose I am following in the example of poor Mr Bartlett on his blog Dole Street Queues. who gets battered by mean minded comments from readers if he even slightly moves away from the intrigue and Machiavellingtons of local politics. If he so much as publishes a saucy limerick that he may have overheard from Flo Clucas or a CCTV picture of the rat catcher trying to grab Richard Kemp's moustache. (I don't know what Richard Kemp must think. Maybe he should tell us in a blog - better than having to listen to him.) there is an army of critics having a go at the poor bloke. Probably the Lib dems, as they are getting increasingly desperate since being betrayed by Clegg. 

But What does Richard Kemp Think? 
He must think we're bleedin' soft in the head!
Have you noticed how they are all running scared of the inevitable electoral annihilation since joining the Conservatives?  Very convenient these leaks, it means Clegg can still cuddle up to Cameron while they try to kid us that really they don't like the Tories or their policies, or that they think the cuts are too mean. 

They are desperate to show us that they are still nice and that they are there to stop the naughty tories, the nasty Mr Osbourne and Fatty Pickles from destroying people's lives in order to keep the bankers bonuses and make us and the poorest pay for their greed.

Well. Lib Dummo's  they are only able to do that because you are keeping them in power and handed them the keys to number 10, all to secure a place in history for Clegg and a few hypocritical traitors to the people who trusted you with their vote.  The country didn't go out and vote for a coalition, it was not your duty to help Cameron form a government in the interest of the country. But if Mr Clegg likes to believe that the risks being taken, and the misery and hardship that will be caused for hard working ordinary people is well worth the price for a little tinkering with electoral reform, a plank, he says, (Hmmm) then I am sure the unemployed, the sick, the vulnerable and the soon to be homeless will hail him as a hero when they see they have a second preferred choice on the ballot paper come the next election.  

But I am not going to talk about all that misery, as in the words of that great social reformer and political philosopher, Lord Noddy of Holder...


So instead, I am directing you to my Personal Diary at the link below.  A Christmas tale of terror and getting into pickles...that's Wilfred Pickles and a Bird of the same name, not Lardy Arse Eric.

The Story of my good friends Mr Clack and Mrs Hewitt, a pet Macaw called Wilfred, and lots of Christmas cheer and good will.


Here it is, click on the link below.

Tatty Bye Everybody Tatty Bye

Back in the new year to lift the lid on the wheelie bin of local politics and custard.

Be Nice to each other

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

By the Pricking of my thumb, the board of Governors must be dumb. Controversy as a Diddy disagreement emerges over appointment of new chair. Nightmare on Elf Street part 92 Diddy's Back

By Jove Missus, a new controversy has arisen for our beloved city, this time within the field of health. Well if you walk through a field you are bound to step into something unpleasant. I always thought the point of the health service was to make you feel better; well something’s just happened that’s made a lot of people sick.

The other day I read in Mr Bartram’s Ye Oldham Gazetteer Blog site “Dole Street Queues” that one of our long lost sons is possibly returning to the city. Blimey, it can’t be who I’m thinking of, it cost us a fortune to lose him the first time and now some idiots are trying to bring him back again. Give him even more of our money?

What am I talking about,  you ask, and not for the first time. Well, as you may know, there is a small building hidden in the grounds of Oldham Hey Hospital that I like to hop over to several times a month. It’s the “Knotty Ash Corns Clinic” or KACC. I am actually the patron of the clinic.


You have probably seen me on here many times talking about KACC. Well this time it’s a big one, with a lot of tensions and strains behind closed doors. You see a little object has re-emerged ladies and gents. You may have thought it had gone away but then up it pops again floating around causing great dismay like a bad spent penny. And by Jove, we spent a few trying to get rid of it last time.

Yes Missus, it’s the astonishing announcement by the Corn Clinics board of governors to appoint Sir David Haemorrhoid as the new chair. Honestly, they have, Sir Diddy! They want to give the job to that little pain in the…are they mad, have they lost the pot?

Sir Diddy whilst at Grotty Cash Council - Back Again ?
What’s he need another chair for, what’s wrong with the little stool?

I’m proposing to table a motion to The Regional Wealth Authority before it’s scrapped…oh that’s him as well. That should tell you enough, all he did there was made a funny film about obesity. Did you see it? I don’t know if that was really him or a pillowcase stuffed full of mince. Deliberately fluffing his lines, hoping to get £200 quid for it from You’ve Been Framed. Unfortunately it was considered too scary for the early evening slot.

But that’s it, when the Wealth Authority is scrapped he’ll be after yet another wage packet. How many is that? I thought we had already paid him the over £330 grand figure that he was demanding to clear off out of the city. Wasn’t that enough?

You see, you should never pay them off, they always come back for more.

 Who keeps inviting him back? Wake up and smell the coffers, as the Yanks say. He fills his own first. He’s supposed to have retired, hasn't he? That’s why before he left he was tearing round phoning the Echo, screaming and stamping his little feet threatening everyone over his pension.

Remember that Rolf Harris song?

“I want My Money Waaah ha ha haaa!”

It sounded just like that. He’s a one man PFI.

He made former leader of Grotty Cash, poor Mike Tory, appear a laughing stock. Well okay, you can’t credit him with that. Even Wally Bradlow, who took over, in what was his finest hour, he might have been a bit daft sometimes, but not daft enough to let him stay on. Church bells rang out, the day he went. And thanks to him and the crew he drafted in, the money nearly ran out too.

Friends in low places that’s what this smacks of. They say he was interviewed but I read a comment on the Echo site that he allegedly came third however “it was felt his connections helped make him the choice” What does that mean, did he have your knackers connected to a car battery until you said yes? Who were the other candidates then? King Herod? Typhoid Mary?

Diddy Fail or was he pushed?

You only have to look back at his track record. There’s about 20 tons of it still rusting after the Line One Tram debacle.

Now as fellow corn sufferers will know, this ridiculous appointment has come when we are right in the middle of the clinic’s £47.50 refurbishment, and my Project Manager, who has been an inspiration to the whole programme, and even chosen the paint, (Cornfield) has walked out in absolute disgust following this lunatic announcement. His brushes are still in a bucket of turps in the shed. Well I don’t blame him, if it wasn’t for my corns, I’d put my foot down too.

What can we do to prevent this? We can’t organise a protest march, not with most of the people using the clinic. Can you imagine it?

“Diddy-Diddy-Diddy, Out, Out, Owww, me corns!

Now according to the clinic’s motto, which is an old American Indian proverb

"Never judge a man until you’ve walked in his orthopaedic shoes"

as the Moccasins used to say. Well not in this case, not with my feet,  I’d never get into a pair of his size 5 Pathfinders. Although I am envious of the little compass in them which points to Magnetic Nat West.

Yes, it’s all right for him in his Cuban heels, marching from one pay packet to another. Mind you, he has to wear the heels; it saves taking a stepladder out to the cash point every half an hour to check his bank balance. Tell him he won’t need the heels and just give him the boot. (again)

He may indeed be well heeled, but in my opinion he has no sole. I really couldn’t think of anyone less suited to a job that relies on good PR and high profile friendly engagement with the public.

“But he turned the council around” they say.

What? You mean like as in “Turn around this is a stick up!” holding a gun to their backs before legging it with as much money as his little legs could carry.

“Ahh yes but he has great connections” they tell us.

Yes an umbilical cord to his bank manager.

For heaven sake, just plough back through the headlines and look at the kind of publicity that he brings. Have a look at the opinions of the people who matter, and the opinions of the public. Look at the on-line comments from readers of the Post & Echo.

Look at his major achievements last time he was here. Decimation of front line jobs while overseeing huge fat-cat pay increases for him and his mates. Cost us a fortune to get rid of most of them. Just have a look. Left us with the finances that would hardly cover the running of a corner shop. Is that what’s needed?

Are you going to set up Corns Direct with BT? That will soak up any funds you try and raise. How about a million pound training programme “The Alder Way” It’s okay, you can abandon it after a year, you wont have to go on it.

And what is he saying to try and convince us that he’s Father Christmas come early, a short-arse Hairy Poppins, wanting to prove his life long connection and devotion to the place? Well he says he was treated there when he was little. When was that a fortnight ago? Did he have to have his chin removed due to an in-growing toenail?

Or was it in the very early days when he was inspired by the treatment he received – leeches.

Other Candidates for the post

Now I’m not a particular fan of J. F. Kennedy, nothing against her either, and to give her credit, she stood firm during the last Cuban Heel Crisis, when she heard the bray of pigs diving into the NHS trough, but I’ve heard she was a possible candidate for this job.

So, a former Minister of State for Health up against a former glorified Pen Pusher, who only cares about his state of wealth? And the job goes to…. yes, the man with the biro? I don’t know if she was right for the job but if it all came down to connections, surely there are a few better connections to be gained by appointing somebody like Kennedy, or was there an assassin from the grassy Knowsley calling the shots? I hope none of them selecting him were previously selected by him for their current roles.

Next thing you know, they’ll be erecting a little statue of him in the grounds. Well if they do, I’ll nick the fishing rod and kick over the toadstool.

This is a public relations disaster as far as I and many people in the city are concerned. Do they seriously expect us to believe that the pool of talent in the region is so dried up that they have to dredge it to this level?

The governors need to think again and everyone connected to or who supports the place should write to them, the local papers, the websites, their councillors and their MPs. Tell them what you think. Call Roger Fillets or better still, Pete Price. While we are at it, ask to see the records of the candidates and interviews. Who exactly is on the panel that made this decision and more importantly, what medication are they on?

 Remember this could cause very bad publicity, the Corn Clinic is right next door to our proud, famous and much loved children’s hospital. You can’t dump toxic waste on a site like that.

Blimey, I thought we had problems with the Corn Clinic, I've just seen this look at what's happening next door to us

Tatty Bye Everybody Tatty Bye

Be Nice to Each Other

Thursday, 14 October 2010

As the city honour Macca with a new sculpture, the Professor examines our obsession with The Fab Fortune - The BTs and asks; Have we been sold a Lemon for a MacCartload of Cash? Liverpool Direct Questions

The I.T. Dog
By Jove Missus, what a beautiful day!

What a beautiful day for running naked into the council chamber, grabbing the Liverpool Direct contract and saying “what’s the chance of a cover-up?" 

What a beautiful day for emptying a pint of milk over the councils interim Chief Executive and saying;
“How’s this for a whitewash?”

What a beautiful day, ha ha, yes, what a beautiful day for wearing a pair of glass underpants and saying..... 
“How’s this for transparent bollocks?”

Yes missus, you’ve guessed it, I’m back to talk about my favourite subject –

No not The Beatles!

I am here to talk about the other Fab Fortune The BTs. It has been a very  poignant week for BTs fans in Grotty Cash.  A week that saw the unveiling of a beautiful new piece of art for the city and a celebration of Peas. (The Professor adopts a slow gravel voice)
“I want some peas missus, get me some peas. I love peas.”

Yes ladies and gentlemen, this week we honoured one of Grotty Cash’s favourite sons. The Working Cash Hero himself, Macca.

Dr MacAlotamoney
There was a moving ceremonial unveiling of a monument to honour his achievements and of the rich legacy he has left for his retirement – which can’t come soon enough.

The city was honoured by the attendance of Maureen Lipmann herself, dressed as BT with her son Ology. She spoke warmly of the love Macca always had for the amount of cash he could squeeze out of the city and of the fun side to his personality, how in the early days in the back bedroom of Auntie Diddy’s home on Menlove Revenue the walls shook with laughter as they started to create their first big hits:

Please, please Fleece me
LDLeanor Rigs it
Hey Screwed
Doctor Rob It
Eight pay-days a week
The continuing story of Bung a high bill...and
We can’t work it out.

She said she remembered Macca writing the line,

“Yesterday, all the money seemed to come my way, now it looks like more is on the way, if Joe don’t see some sense today”
And with that, she pulled the string stolen from a tramps dog to reveal the beautiful erection on Chavastminster Park, as the crowd roared with laughter. (which unfortunately caused several bits to drop off)
Monument to Macca and The BTs unveilled
In this same week, it was important to also remember the role played by another man who gave the BTs the opportunity that put them on the road to shame and fortune, the man who under the hypnotic powers of evil impresario Sir Diddy Henchman, made them what they are today, yes missus, the man who couldn’t manage the BTs, Brainless Mike Epstrorey.

Mike Epstrorey The Man who made Macca rich and helped launch the BTs
So it was fitting that in the same week Liverpool Directly honoured Macca, that we also held a ceremony to recognise Epstorey’s role in creating the BTs, with the re-naming of a well known derelict theatre building. When deciding how he should be honoured, the current leader of Grotty Cash Joan Sanderson (Doris bloody Yule, to his mates) said the choice of building was obvious.

And so the former Inept-loon Theatre on Hangover Street was re-named  "The Storeyteller."

New Council Leader Joan Sanderson shows how the Lib Dems almost killed the Liverbird

Local Isle of Man based hack, Roley Joe Riley has already got his flask and duvet ready to sleep through the first performance, when it re-opens next year with a production of Jimmy McCracker’s “Old Chas Cole” This was one of Macca's favourite's he told me.

A free parking concession will be available to all patrons and fellow joggers who attend. The refurbishment of the theatre, when complete, will also see the installation of a disabled shower room for VIPs reflecting Macca’s commitment to a quality opportunity.

Press coverage
Now you would think missus, that with the mood of celebration and festivity in the city, particularly as the unveiling of the Macca sculpture also coincides with what would so far this year have been his 70th Million, that the local press would be joining in the festerings. But no, that would be too much to hope for.

I don’t know what it is with these miserable bloggers but that young chap from Oldham, Dave Barkalot, who works on the Daily Post, has been publishing all sorts of nonsense about the BTs in the press and on his blog. This has encouraged a whole load of cranks to write in saying that far from being our proudest sons, that the BTs have been given a ticket to take the city for a ride. Liverpool Direct £78 Million, One way Only, no returns available. 

Echo Comment: Kraptonight

As usual, the cranks are hiding behind silly aliases, too scared to come out into the open just because Macca would have them in concrete boots in an Octopuses Garden. How are Dolan and Cosgrove doing on the Ex-Factor? Anybody know?

Barkalot, in his blog, which, following the council cut-backs, is due to be re-named “Dole Street Queues” published a secret report that more or less says the city has been getting ripped–off by £10 million a year overcharge on top of the £78 million we pay the BTs for answering the phone and reading a script from bit of paper. It would have only been £48 Million but the council  had to amend the contract to say that they were required to read it out loud.

Well it’s claimed that this damning judgement, like all the other damning judgements, had been kept from the public, whilst at the same time in a complete volte face, the new administration were negotiating a brand new album possibly called: Revolver Held to the Head or The Whitewash Album or more appropriately HELP! Or The Robber R Souls Album.

Well yes, we all know it’s a complete rip-off, the whole BTs industry, The BT’s Experience , The Hard Days Blight Hotel and The Tragical MikeStory Tour. But look at the benefit it has brought to the way we do things in Grotty Cash…er……..well whatever they are, we won’t be able to do them for much longer as we’re skint. And some people are saying that the BTs is part of the reason for it.

LDL Finance Department

So I hope you will all write in to Dole Street Queues, or your local councillor to try and make sure that Uncle Joan, does the right thing and continues to let the BTs bleed us dry. Otherwise what will we do on BT’s day if they take all our phones off us and switch off our computers?  Thank goodness the BTs have banned Barkalots blog from the council. 
Cross Party Meeting to discuss the BTs amidst  fear that Wally Bradlow may be excluded

So at the moment Joe and all the gang are having an all night party review of the BTs contract.

Cllr Bonnie Radford raises a burning issue
But at least this means that my old mate from the Libertines, Councillor Bonnie Radford will be there to put some pressure on them. Nobody can keep his gob shut, which in this case, is probably a good thing.

As for the current lot in charge, I know that over the years they have not been big fans of the BTs and many of them said that their contract with the city and the money it was costing was an absolute disgrace.

Well it’s one thing saying you didn’t like the BTs when in opposition, but don’t try and convince us now you have the opportunity to do something about  it that Simon and Garfunkle were better, by constantly playing The Sound Of Silence. I’ll have the Environmental Health after you – it’s deafening!

Dave Clarklett City Head Hitter
 Anyway, Missus, here below is the link to all those moaning comments and miserable bloggers writing in and whining about the truth to Dave Barkalot on his blog page, "Dole Street Queues."

I always said that the Daily Post and Echo was a quality newspaper. Well done, finally somebody there is prepared to try and Oldham to account.

Tatty Bye Everybody, Tatty Bye !

Be nice to each other.
Duck Billed Platitudes

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Another £330k for Liverpool Day at Shanghai Expo. Is it justified or a criminal waste and should we bring back the scaffold or leave them there?

By Jove Missus, I make no apologies for returning to the subject of Shanghai, because as I said last time, our £3million Liverpool Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo is money well spent, particularly if they now want to send me back on another freebie for a special Liverpool Day grand finale.

So stop moaning about job cuts and services under threat, you can worry and moan about that when me and our local celebs and freeloaders are back. But don't moan too loud as I will have had a skinfull by then and my head will be banging. Now I know the council is skint with a deficit of £125 million over the next 5 years, and that’s before the Cleggeron cuts. So what’s another £330k to finance our special Liverpool Day? A couple of day centres maybe 30 /40 jobs or one Chief Executive and a cleaner - that’s not too much to sacrifice for a nice little party for your favourite stars and the local hangers on is it?

Let me tell you some of the line up; I tell you the people of Shanghai won’t know what’s hit them. As my mate Pete Priceright would say, “They’ll Knock Us Out” Besides me and the Did Hee Men, there will Radio Yangtzeside’s Roger Fillets, if we can get him off the phone.

And as well as a Martial Arts display by the Unarmed Wombats, The whole of the Royal Tandoori Philharmonic Orchestra will be flown over for the day to knock out a few tunes for us.

But there is not just me for comic relief, no Missus, one of our brightest funnymen will be going over there to entertain the influential business community of Shanghai. 

According to a reliable soy source, who acts as my right hand man and pencil sharpener, Mr Stan Broadman (left) will also be flown out to perform cultural anecdotes about Liverpool Chinese Chip shops.

"The Geeeermans"
 Yes the Fokker will be jetting off to Shanghai from Arthur Askey International Airport (Above us only Bees) with all your favourite stars.

The show, which will focus on Liverpool’s bright future, will be compered by Brian Inglis from TVs All Our Yesterdays. But best of all missus, the star attraction will be the greatest musical group the world has ever seen, who are re-uniting for Liverpool Day.  Yes it’s true! The Liverpool lads who shook the world and changed the face of popular culture forever.............wait for it!
     The Scuffles !  
Now obviously it's not the original line up of Arthur Scargill,
       Woody Allen and Alan Price. (Pictured above)

No it's the later and much better version, "The Bootleg Scuffles" starring Mike McSpielman, John Bucketawaterman and my very good friend and poet Reggie McCough. They will be going over to perform some of their greatest hits and maybe a few of Reggie's mucky Limericks. (although hopefully not the one about the man from Hong Kong)

So c’mon ladies and gentlemen lets sack a few people so we can raise the money and have a bit of fun in Shanghai on the last day.

Now because we are very close, my good friend Reggie McCough, has sent me a sneak preview of a specially written new version of their number one hit  “Lilly We’re Skint” and so here it is below for a good old singalong.  C’mon, cough it up for McCough!

“Lilly Free Drink”    By Reggie McCough

Opening chorus

We’ll drink and drink and drink
up all the free drink and drink and drink
If they send us off to Shang-a-hai
For it’s another - Municipal Cock up
Where the cost has - gone too high.          

Poor Warren Bradley - took it very badly
When he slid right down his po-oh-ole
For they invented - Municipal Cock ups
That’s why the Lib dems - lost Control

The Daily Post has - writers who ghost as
Editorials that are spin eh hin
But I think that - we know who’s behind it
And just who tells them - what goes in

They said our pavilion – that’s cost three million
Could make us fifty - in your dree e eams
But in ano-ther - Municipal cock-up
It’s just got Beatles - and Football teams

So - we’ll drink and drink and drink
up all the free drink and drink and drink
If they send us off to Shang-a-hai
For it’s another - Municipal Cock up
Where the cost has - gone too high.

For Liver-pool day - they want us to pay
Three hundred grand, they must be nu-u-uts
While at the same time, the deficit budget
Means that we’ll pay it - with job cuts.

Now isn’t it funny - how we run out of money
And we hear the - same old cry- i –y
Yet we can pay out - 78 Million
To LDL who - bleed us dry

Roger Phillips - must see that this bill tips
Common sense right over boar-or-oard
And this Expo folly - has cost too much lolly
That we really - can’t afford

The Philharmonic - can fly back supersonic
When they offend them with their show –o -ow
For in another - Municipal cock-up
They’re playing Ying Tong - Diddle i Po

Shanghai will be baffled - when they see the Scaffold
They’ll be asking - which one’s Pau-a-aul
They’ll say pull the other- that’s only his brother
And line us all up against the wall

We’ll drink and drink and drink
up all the free drink and drink and drink
If you give more cash to Shang-a-hai
For it’s a Lib Dem - Municipal Cock up
The cost for you is - far too high.

Sooooooo - weeeeeeeee’ll - need a sodding drink
‘Cos we’re on the brink the brink the brink
Of death caused by - a thousand cu-u-uts
Admit the Expo’s a Municipal Cock up
And - show – us - that - yooooou’ve – got some guts.


Well you can vote on the money or read more here.

Tatty Bye Everybody Tatty Byeeeeeeeee !!!!!!
Be Nice to each other.


Ahh well looks like they have now decided to pay the £300k and have the party. I knew they would. It is a no win situation at this stage I suppose. It's still all the fault of the lib dems and spin merchants for getting us into this and the fault of those Big Businesses who have profited out of the Liverpool land grab and other get rich quick schemes but were not prepared to put anything into this jaunt.

The biggest joke is that the Lib Dems who started this whole thing and comitted the city to bankrolling a major part of it, whilst knowing the state of the finances, have called in the decision and are opposing the spend with a typical display of hypocrisy and political opportunism, saying the money should not be spent.

Oh well I will shut up about it now as I can't side with those two faced gits.

So good luck to all the artists and musicians being sent over.
Have a safe journey and I genuinely hope you have a good time.

Now what shall I wear?

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Liverpool Show and The Shanghai Expo. New, modern, looking to the future, says Bessie Braddock at the Liverpool Pavilion (stand)

There’s a far away pavilion by the river in Shanghai

That they said would make our future rich and bright

A showcase to the world as our wonders we unfurled

And for three million quid we hoped they’d got it right.

We would show the world with pride

the jewel in Merseyside

A forward-looking city standing tall

Not dwelling on the past but moving on at last

Away from just the Beatles and football.

By Jove Missus, it's me, back again.
With one or two thousand words about the Shanghai Expo. I know you have been waiting for an update but when I returned, I got my hand stuck down a grid and when I rang the emergency services, they just put bollards and hazard lights around me. Left me there for months! Eventually I managed to pull the grid up but I can't get it off,  so here I am  back and still a bit drained.

Now Missus, remember the Liverpool Show?

The one in the Mystery (Wavertree Playground if you were posh) Well that’s a bit like the Shanghai Expo that’s been going on. You must remember the Liverpool show, the proper one, the one they used to have years ago, they always had the Army there with big guns, tanks and military vehicles - as displays I mean, not because people got a bit boisterous in the candy floss queue.

The highlight on each day of the show was when they did the raffle to find the person that had actually bought a ticket to get in. That’s right, remember we all used to sneak in climbing over the wooden temporary fences and dodge the coppers. I got caught on them a few times. Half the men walking round with no arse in their kecks and the women who had just climbed in, trying to look inconspicuous with their skirts still tucked in the back of their knickers.

They had all sorts going on, Motor Cycle Display Riders, Show Jumping and the Red Devils? You must remember the Red Devils; they used to parachute into the arena. They were always scared to jump, I heard, and so the co-pilot used to set their shoes on fire. When they bent down to put them out, he’d boot them out the door. You could see the smoke as they were coming down. I mean fancy joining the parachute regiment if you are scared of heights.

Mind you, during the war Mr Clack and I ended up as paratroopers, you see at that time they still used carrier pigeons to send messages and we read the notice wrong and thought they were looking for parrot ropers. I thought that’s better than being shot at.  Take a nice packed lunch a bottle of pale ale each and spend the day walking around a nice forest with a net shouting c’mon Polly.

Well it was an easy mistake, I mean Parrots would be more suited to the campaign in the east than pigeons, and you wouldn’t have to write out the message as they can talk, you just tell them what to say.

Anyway, when we realised our mistake we soon started the training. It turned out being a paratrooper wasn’t too bad after all as you only had to jump off a wooden horse while counting. Well I took a chair to step onto, but I knew the counting bit off by heart.

Then one day, to say well done to everyone, they took us by plane for a weekend break in France. I was just looking for my seatbelt as they said we were about to arrive and this mad bugger opened the door and a few people started jumping out.

We got a shock at first but then Clack and I realised and gave the pilot a round of applause. It must have been the smoothest landing ever. You would swear we were still flying. So we got our flight bags and magazines, made sure we had our holiday money safe 100 Francs each and headed for the exit. It was very windy and so foggy that we couldn’t even see the steps. Next thing we knew, we woke up in a field in need of a change of trousers and surrounded by Germans having their dinner. Luckily I had my accordion on my back, yes I know a parachute would have been better but I had too much to carry and anyway I immediately launched into Lili Marlene and Clack started playing the spoons. Saved us, so it did. They thought we were a concert party. Three months we entertained them until they threatened to shoot us. Me finishing every night singing:

"Fröhlichkeit Fröhlichkeit das größte Geschenk, das ich besitze. Ich danke den Herrn, dass ich habe gesegnet. Mit mehr als meinen Anteil des Fröhlichkeit"

It wasn’t the last time I sang “Happiness” for a German audience, I’ve told you before about my one-man show in Germany, the one in Spandau. A mix up in the booking and the one man was Rudolph Hess. Miserable bugger, he was. To try and raise a smile, I changed the lyric to Happy Hess but they had to restrain him and carry him back to the cell.

Anyway that’s another story. I was talking about the Liverpool Show….wasn’t I…hang on, I’ll check back..

Yes, they had all sorts of stalls and exhibitions, you could have a fight in the evangelist tent, see all sorts of crafts and displays.  And there were  odd-looking ladies or blokes with a funny accent demonstrating food mixers.

There was always some bastard juggling as well. I hate people juggling in front of me, coming right up to your face with their gobs open as if it's astounding. Sod off!  I fixed them one year, I borrowed some grenades off one of the army blokes and said, here juggle these while I try and find the pins.

What’s the point of jugglers? It’s just showing off. But showing off was what the Liverpool Show was all about.

And showing off Liverpool was the aim of the Shanghai Expo.  
A chance, they told us, to display Liverpool to the world.

The Chinese were very pleased to have us and even made a scale model of ex city council leader, Wally Bradlow to use as the official mascot. A blue one as well, because he supports Everton.
The mascot is called "Ego" in Chinese, which means Wally.

An inflated Ego, full of hot air

So there we were, on display to the world. The only thing is that a lot of the world decided they couldn’t be bothered to show up, nor could any of the other cities in England. So it is just us and of course the thousands of bewildered Chinese people passing through…well maybe not thousands and not regularly passing through exactly, the estimates were a bit wrong and, as it turned out, our pavilion was on the other side of the river to the main Expo. Oh and it wasn’t a Pavilion, it was a the corner…basically it was some odd looking woman or a bloke with a funny accent demonstrating a food mixer. Well not far off.

The idea they said was to show the world the new regenerated vibrant Liverpool, as a place to do business. A modern thriving city looking to the future, with great things to offer investors.

 To show once and for all that Liverpool was a great modern premiere European city with far more to offer than the tired old clichés of football and the Beatles.

So, as the giant video screen showing a film of Paul McCartney making rude gestures with his thumbs, welcomed the Chinese people that had got lost and ended up on the wrong side of the river our Expo began.

They crowded around the the wallpaper paste table and deck chairs that was the Liverpool stand and gazed in awe at how much the city had to offer. This was  depicted in the giant murals of John Paul George and Ringo, interspersed with photos of Googie the Liverpool Duck,  Liverpool and Everton football players. There is even a complete wall sized portrait of Liverpool FC with Bill Shankly in the middle!  All of this and the sound of the Kop singing “F*** off back to America” to a tune sounding similar to one from West Side Story.

My word! There's modern forward looking Liverpool. The entire stand almost 30 years out of date. Precious memories to many of us maybe, but a selling point to Chinese investors? 

Where were the Diddymen?  Where was Arthur Askey?

But that’s not all, to get away from the football theme there is a penalty shot game. This is where China’s top businessmen and politicians can try and kick a football into a net. The Daily Post said this was one of the highlights for all of the businessmen visiting the stand, who really enjoyed it. Yes, I am sure they did.

There was something similar at the Wirral Kite festival the other week. Get the ball passed the goalie for 25 pence a go, helping to raise money for kids who need specs. Odd but I didn’t notice the chairman of the CBI or Sir Alan Sugar or the Chief Executive of Peel Holdings jostling to have a go. You would have thought the bloke from Peel holdings would have flown in from his tax exile home to have a go at that. Only 25p which is a hell of a lot cheaper than having to fly all the way to Shanghai.
                                          "On me head son!"

So they tell us it has been a huge success, even though something like only a fifth of the predicted numbers have visited the stand and that it wasn’t actually a business Expo at all.

It hasn’t been without controversy though, as they have now run out of money and the planned finale (Liverpool Day -whatever that means?)  which involved flying out Cilla ,Tarby, Jerry Marsden and the Luciana Bergers as well as my good friend Vassapoint Petrochemco and his Orchestra, may have to be cancelled. They said they were about £400k short, with not even enough to buy the packet of sparklers for the closing ceremony.

Come on soft lad, you've a council meeting to go to

But not to worry, it has been fantastic. Well worth the £3 million quid. Now I know it sounds a lot but ex council bleeder…er leader, Wally Bradlow and ex Chief Executive, Hilton Stilton, ensured that there were accurate financial forecasts showing the returns on this investment. And by Jove we will thank them for it in the future. You see it has been shown that for our £3 million pounds, which is nothing financially these days, we spent more than that paying off Henshaw, Halsall, Robin Archer and Jason Harbottle. Dr McAllmoney costs us twice that a month £6.5 million for putting people on hold at Liverpool Direct while they take the priority calls from Leicester or somewhere, to come and put a plug on a bath or fumigate a chicken coup. While we pay for their time Ha ha! Mind you he's now temporarily replaced Hilton Stilton. I doubt he'll complain about the £78 million a year he was raking in for LDL.

"Just look at where we were 10 years ago, where are we?"

You see the thing is, that for our three million pounds spent, the financial experts used by the council, confidently predicted a return of up to four and anything up fifty million pounds of investment back over the next ten years.

Now before the cynics start, yes there is a bit of a gap between four million and fifty million, and the phrase “up to four” clearly includes the figure Zero.  Well you have to allow for a margin of error. Or should that be huge, gaping - can't see the other side, pass us your binoculars..better still your crystal ball - chasm of error? So who were the experts giving this predicted return? Russel Grant? Mystic Meg?

But don’t worry, all those who flew off regularly to Shanghai to be wined and dined while setting this up and agreeing to pay for it have either already left, been kicked out of office or will be leaving soon, so they won’t need to explain. They’ll be fine don’t worry about it.

     Almost unbearable excitement during the planning meetings

As we were stuck with it, the new bloke in charge, Joe Handyman, has had to keep the spin going. Once it’s over it’ll be forgotten about. And don’t forget, some people have already done very well out of it, the ones who got the PR contract and of course the Oldham Echo and Daily Post, who haven’t had to come into work for months as all the stories have been written for them.

So as far as I am concerned let us raise our glasses high to the Shanghai Expo, where once again the glorious leadership decisions of the previous Glib Dum administration has been Expo'd.

A special thank you to the kind and good people of Shanghai for smiling politely and kicking the ball in the net when prevented from leaving the stand by the city council staff until they did it.

     Just kick the f***ing ball will ya mate!!!

Meanwhile back in Grotty Cash, Liverpool, it's all change here now down at the fun palace. The Lib Dums have been binned. I am going to miss Wally Bradlow. I wonder if he is on Bookface? I am sure his new friend is. I’ll have to check as I haven’t been on for a while, not since this group on there started calling for me to be sacked. You see I got into  a bit of trouble after I put an advert on Ebay to try and flog some awful, tatty old garden gnomes that we had in the garage.  But I accidentally uploaded a picture of the former Lib Dem cabinet instead.

       Ebay. No longer wanted. Liverpool Lib Dems, any offers?

The Gnomes society was furious. I got Mrs C to say it wasn’t me and that the matter was now closed but the swines on Ebay said it was me that did it, so now she’s furious with me as well. She says I’ve made her look a complete lying pillock. I am beginning to think she only ever went out with me was because I was head of the Jam Faculty at Grotty Cash University and now that I have lost my faculties she doesn’t want to know.

But thank goodness that after being kicked out in May by the electorate the Lib Dums voted by a huge majority of three votes (two being him and his friend) to keep Wally on as local party leader. Well we need something to cheer us up now that his party has given power to those who almost destroyed the city the last time they were in office.  So with the Conservatives in power and ready to slash the money going to Liverpool, all thanks to the support of Clegg and the Con-Democ-Rats it could well be back to Geoffrey Howe's managed decline. It's a good job Wally has a hotline to Clegg to protect us from the savage cuts...oh, but then again it's Clegg helping to make them. 
The Great Nana!

Now, where’s me Beatles tape, I am going to listen to that on my Walkman on the way to Mr Clack’s to watch the football.

Tatty Bye Everybody Tatty Bye

Be nice to each other.