Chinese Takeaway


EARLIER this year Eye 1335 noted that communities secretary Eric Pickles was “taking his time” deciding whether there should be a public inquiry into Peel Holdings’ £5.5bn Merseyside towerblocks, flats ‘n’ car parks scheme, Liverpool Waters. Eventually Pickles decided not to call it in. The local authority, he declared, was “best placed” to make the right choice. Peel and Mayor “Uncle” Joe Anderson believe that Chinese money will come flooding in to the scheme and rejuvenate the city.

In 2010 David Cameron visited the Shanghai World Expo, flying out with John Whittaker, chairman of Peel Holdings.1 In a bid to butter-up Chinese investors, Peel paid for Liverpool’s lavish pavilion at the six-month event.2 3 Bizarrely, Whittaker left Shanghai with an honorary degree – awarded by University of Liverpool (LU) vice-chancellor Sir Howard Newby, under the auspices of LU’s “joint venture” partner, “Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University”.4 Sir Howard will shortly join the board of Liverpool’s mayoral development corporation, a quango set up to do Uncle Joe’s bidding.

Chinese Takeaway

Newby (left) with Whittaker (right).

Murkeyside’s back-scratchers are fond of awarding each other “honours”. Anderson established a Liverpool “embassy” in London to brief potential Asian investors. It is run by Downtown Liverpool in Business, the “sexy networking” [sic] club founded by disgraced former Lancashire county council deputy leader Frank McKenna (Eyes passim),5 who last year bestowed on Peel his club’s annual “Business Award”.6 More recently McKenna gave a “Young Entrepreneur Of The Year” award to one Victoria Brown – his new wife.7 8 It’s just one big happy family on Murkeyside!


First published in Private Eye Magazine, 3/04/13, Issue 1339.