HARK ... I have been over-indulging in spirits of late.

No, not that sort – but the ethereal kind due to A Christmas Carol in its various inspirational forms including Simon Callow's superlative one-man version to the current Liverpool Playhouse irreverent interpretation.

Its message from Charles Dickens rings clear - we must care more for each other.

Back in 1843, he was pointing the finger at governments – local, national and global. Eerily, he predicted the rise in homelessness and foodbanks ... ignorance and want.

He WAS the Ghost of Christmas yet to come.

Inspired by his ideology, here's my Inferno gift wish list to the movers and shakers to boost the local economy and improve Wirral well-being.

I hope Cammell Laird lands the contract to make the next Mersey Ferry. What a launch party that would be.

It would also put more focus on the positive side of Birkenhead – so often making the news for all the wrong reasons.

I want to see Borough of Culture really take off with sustainable home-grown ideas.

We have waited long enough for a clear direct arts policy.

Following its tenth year anniversary since re-opening, I want to see the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton have an even stronger commercial future.

Shows such as Evita and Blood Brothers have shown producers like Bill Kenwright are happy to come here.

C'mon Tranmere Rovers.

I will be cheering you on to become Wirral's own 'giants' when you take on Spurs in the third round of the FA Cup on January 4.

Nationally - my bucket list includes the setting up of a special Brexit TV Channel so our main news is not interrupted. Our domestic issues are being over-shadowed.

Oh, and we must Save the TV license for our over 75s.

There is money in the coffers – how else can they justify pay rises for the BBC bosses?

Long overdue, too, the Financial Conduct Authority is shaking up the 'dysfunctional' overdraft market.

My heart sank, however, when I heard that it involves consolidating daily and monthly loans.

Please can it not end up like a universal credit styled turkey.


PEACE on earth and goodwill to all.

Here's a Korea move with an optimistic difference.

Let's hope supreme leader Kim Jong Un's prezzie of a cute hunting dog to his oppo number in the South is not just a PR stunt.

It is, apparently, to improve once icy relationships between the two countries and it's much cheaper than sending pandas.

I will be on red alert should Kim suddenly send a Rottweiler to the White House.

That said, they already have one.


THE best concerts in 2018 were two orchestral gigs by Wirral's OMD celebrating 40 years at the top.

Their shows at the Philharmonic Hall were faultless.

The icing on the cake was seeing the band post the Wirral Globe review on their official Facebook page.

They referred to the Globe as their 'local paper.'

Pure class

Yesterday they were at the Cavern to launch their biographical book Pretending to See the Future.

OMD have never forgotten their roots or their fans.

So Happy 40th Christmas and a successful 2019 to Andy and Paul - our mighty musicians from Meols.


ISN'T it time Gerry Marsden was given a knighthood?

Now that he has retired from the touring scene, he will be sadly missed with his sparkling stage shows.

Gerry has done so much for Merseybeat music and charities.

I recall asking him to headline a concert for the Tsunami victims in 2004. When I rang him on a mobile phone he was in Spain.

Without hesitation he said "YES."

A few minutes later I rang him back saying: "Gerry, but you don’t know the date."

"Doesn't matter," he laughed. "I'll be there."

And he was.

Sir Gerry Marsden.

Yes, I like it ...


I HAVE never quite fathomed out the true meaning or logic of the song The 12 Days of Christmas.

The five gold rings appeal to me, but apart from that what would anyone want ten lords a leaping?

Now you still have time to hear an alternative version, The 12 Days After Christmas.

It is being sung by Liverpool-born mezza soprano Jennifer Johnston at the Spirit of Christmas shows at the Philharmonic Hall

This very funny version has a tinsel-coated tongue-in-cheek Wirral name check.

It is revealed all the bizarre items have actually been 'nicked from Birkenhead market.'


WAKE UP - here's a snooze report.

Before World Sleep Day in March, a brand new National Sleep Festival Day has been announced for January 3.

After all the prezzie deadlines and broken resolutions have gone into hibernation we are going to need restful kips, say the organisers.

I hope someone has bought me pyjamas for my stocking.

This is one wacky awareness day idea I am going to sleep on.


AND finally ...

Cue my all time favourite festive season song I Still Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake in which he declares with Dickensian wisdom that the Christmas you get you deserve.

That means there's nothing down for our politicians

So happy Christmas and healthy 2019 dear readers.

After a year of relentless Brexit and fake news you deserve it.

Peter Grant