THERE are some things that are so obvious one can forget to say them.
One being that the Mathew Street Festival’s days were numbered.
This week, the council finally gave up the ghost of Bank Holidays past and announced that life for the Festival as we know it was over.
For once, Mr Brocklebank is in full agreement with the council’s decision, having had to take to his horse and gallop out of town for three days every August, lest he wanted to spend them wading through the rivers of vomit and who knows what else that floweth through the streets of this fair city.
After all, the Festival (which was costing around £750,000 a year to run), did nothing for Liverpool’s image. Mr B always shuddered to think what people from the other parts of the world would make of the place, were this weekend of debauchery their only experience of the place.
And let’s not forget that with money too tight to mention, many people were beginning to wonder how city bosses could continue to justify spending scant resources for seemingly the benefit only of bars and burger vans.
However, just in case landlords for whom having their premises packed to the rafters is not enough and so inflate their prices as well should worry that the ringing of the tills could abate, there will still be a Festival of sorts – the Liverpool International Music Festival, no less, which will still no doubt see thousands of inebriated souls swaying through the city streets come August Bank Holiday.
As one town hall colleague of Mr B’s remarked with an adjunct to a quaint old phrase: “You can’t polish a t***. But you can re-brand one.”
READERS will remember a time when the Wavertree Cricketers’ Club was often in the headlines over its connections to the British National Party.
Firstly, its decision to host the British National Party’s annual conference provoked anti-fascist demonstrations (including from the then council leader, now mayor, Joe Anderson) outside the premises.
Then came the revelation that the BNP’s candidate for mayor, Mike Whitby, was renting a pigeon shed in the grounds of the club, which was his sole eligibility to enter the election – this being the same Mr Whitby who later had his door kicked in by police investigating allegations of electoral fraud (the investigation was later dropped through lack of evidence).
Given that every time the BNP hit the headlines the Cricketers was inevitably mentioned, one would have thought that the club’s owners would have written off hosting party political events as a bad job.
But no – they are now preparing to play host to UKIP.
Some local Labour activists have been quick to use the fact to haughtily imply similarities between the BNP and the anti-Europe party and to infer that the venue must somehow have a soft spot for politicians of dubious moral conviction.
What the Labour members in uproar on Twitter haven’t mentioned is where, in 2010, they themselves had a little shindig . . . that being, of course, the Cricketers.
Proof that the venue really will take anyone.
LABOUR are not alone in trying to imply similarities between the BNP and UKIP.
After all, David Cameron once implied many of UKIP’s members were in fact “closet racists”.
But Mr B recalls how, at a previous UKIP conference in Southport, an extremely senior member of the party apparently suggested the same – albeit sarcastically.
Being driven back to their hotel a little worse the wear for drink, they screamed from the car window a phrase often slung at the party’s members, who were at the time gathered outside.
“Racists! Racists! You’re just the BNP in suits!”