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Not Strictly Confidential

Shanghai "not a junket", Bill Davies in Chicago and bits and bobs of scurrilation floating on the pool of life

Published on October 4th 2009.

Not Strictly Confidential

News reaches Confidential that up to 40 Liverpool City Council staff volunteers are being sought to man the city's World Expo stand at Shanghai, next year, each taking almost a month out from their normal duties. “It's the chance of a lifetime,” coaxes the “on-message”. Flights and b and b included. Talk with your line manager.

Confidential emailed to confirm that this was the case, and was presently called back by a council spokesman who began by informing us that staff will have to work 10-hour days and will be greeting more than 400 people every hour : “It's not some sort of junket, you know.”

Well quite.

But given the parlous state of municipal finances and £120m cuts to make in the next few years, let's hope that those adventurous, chopstick-wielding staff check their air tickets closely to make sure they're not the one-way variety, and they don't find themselves up Suzhou Creek without a paddle.


Bill “shop 'til it drops” Davies buys historic US landmark in online auction and, alas, misses deadline to complete the sale.

The compulsive purchaser of many a landmark in Liverpool - Chavasse Park, Exchange Flags and the old post office in Whitechapel - has been criticised for leaving buildings empty for long years. But last month he was at it again, buying another PO, the Chicago Post Office building, for $40m.

Chicago Alderman Robert Fioretti said previous ambitious plans for the building, which is understood to have significant asbestos problems, had failed.

“I hope he's ready to proceed at a quick pace.”

Not quite. After putting down a deposit of $4m, e-bidder Davies failed to come up with the rest of the readies and Chicago papers are reporting that he has “decided to postpone”.

Maybe they've got it all wrong and money is on its way after all - it's just that in keeping with the building's history, Mr Davies has eschewed Paypal in favour of a good old-fashioned postal order. Let's hope so - negative feeback can be such a bitch.

News this week that the city could make food sellers stick to a strict dress code while serving up hot dogs at the Pier Head. Council bosses are keen to make sure vendors do not lower the tone of the waterfront.

Anyone hoping to sell food on the Pier Head could also be made to use “vintage”-style vans in order that there is no clash with their historic backdrop.

“A bit late for that,” the whole world shouts as the black blocks of the Neptune “mixed use” development rise ever higher on the World Heritage site on Mann Island.


Liverpool Lib Dem councillor Colin Eldridge's girlfriend hit the headlines earlier this week after she moved to Liverpool from the South West. Laura Gilmore sparked plenty of huffing and puffing after she reportedly filled an unadvertised, £30k job with the city council, for which no one else was interviewed.

For most, it's a hard decision to relocate to a new city, especially without work, and Laura, a Lib Dem party activist known as LibDem Laura is no different in her Twitter postings: “(LibDem Laura)....thinks moving house is rather stressful! I can't find a bloody thing”.

Happily, she wasn't talking about a job in the Lib Dem executive members office.


Liverpool is finally getting a giant ferris wheel down at the docks. This idea has been mooted for years so why the delay?

Perhaps because it was once thought to be a waste of money - at least in the eyes of one rather senior city councillor who told Liverpool Confidential, back in 2007, that why bother, Liverpool looks so ugly and unattractive from the air.

Who would argue? With such a proven head for heights, this particular councillor would know.


This week I'm hatin'
Swine flu. It takes all snorts (geddit!)
Eating food. Pass the sickbag, girlfriend!

This week, I'm lovin...
Tammy flue! A girl's best friend is her transvestite chimney sweep. Brrr!

Toy Story 3D. It's about toys, but they can speak and move. Only in America!

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

William McGonagallOctober 2nd 2009.

Ach! I have one reservation, Professor. The wifie reckons that One String Vest actually resembles Keighley Tech.

Liverpool wagOctober 2nd 2009.

Brilliant stuff Prof.

plastermanOctober 2nd 2009.

A poem well writtena point well madeits a shame the councillors' common sense did fadePoem over. But its does bring me to boiling point when I see some of the disgraces and missed opportunities built in and around the city. Stupid looking, and oddly shaped flats have flooded the city when much more important issues like the redevelopment of edge lane and it surrounding areas seems to slip under the radar, and the loss of an important historical landmark on Myrtle St was sanctioned in a ludicrous scene of democratic dementia.I'm pretty pissed at some of the ridiculous decisions that happen in this city, the architecture, in either way a desecration, is just one of those pionts that boils my blood.

Professor ChucklebuttyOctober 2nd 2009.

Well don't blame me, Bill. after you dictated it for seven hours, tt was abridged for me by Reggie McCough. He said your verse below was too dark and rambling and didn't scan. I know he just does limericks but read your original verse again for yourself."Had ye been at the demon drink when ye agreed the saleand do ye now cry out to the empty landings and wail, Good heavens what have I done to deserve such fate and curse the very name of the Grosvenor estate, for the priest has no doubt heard many a confession about sinful language from those who bought into such an overpriced eyesore at the start of a recession."By the way Bill, you had better not let Mrs Hewitt hear you mention the wifie. If she finds out that Jeanie is still on the scene, she'll have Derek Acorahcorahpuddytat round to cast her out as a demon.

Wee Willie WalmerOctober 2nd 2009.

You are all wrong. McGonagall was clearly confused and it was obviously comparing One Parky Vest to Aberdeen Technical college in his native Scotland. The uncanny proof is here:..........www.abcol.ac.uk/…/pic004.jpg…

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