I'VE NEVER had much time for Liverpool and its inhabitants.

I'm tired of their forced jocularity and their braying celebrities, all of whom flee to leafy Surrey as soon as the bank account permits. I'm tired of their whining grief addiction and their interminable minute's silences (if, indeed, a minute's silence can be interminable).

I'm sick to the back teeth of their self-righteous football fans demanding "Justice for the 96" when any sane person would ask: "What about Justice for the 39?", namely the dead Italians of the Heysel Stadium disaster (And what is this "justice" they demand anyway? Kelvin MacKenzie's head on a stake?).

I was therefore unimpressed when the place was awarded Capital of Culture status for 2008. Oh joy - a Beatles theme park, Jimmy Tarbuck's stand-up act projected on to the Liver building, and that thin, bespectacled bloke from the Scaffold reciting bad poetry in front of a tracksuit-clad audience.

That'll impress the Europeans.

It comes as no surprise then to read that they're already managing to cock the whole thing up. Plans for a new £65million Museum of Liverpool have hit the rocks after the uber-trendy, weird-bearded curators decided that as well as a pair of Roman sandals, the first Ford Anglia built at Halewood, one of the world's oldest locomotives and Yoko Ono's All You Need Is Love counterpane from the Montreal peace bed-in, the museum will also "celebrate" the dark side of Liverpool life. And dark it is.

The poverty, the slave trade, here we go again bloody Hillsborough, the racist murder of Anthony Walker and the appalling saga of the Jamie Bulger case. All suitable entertainment for Japanese tourists, I'm sure you'll agree.

Unfortunately none of the black polo neck-clad Guardianistas bothered to mention this to Jamie Bulger's mum, Denise Fergus. They obviously take the view that such public hand-wringing is a cathartic condemnation of the Thatcher Years (even though she'd gone three years previously) and is there for all Lefties to use and abuse as it fits their political agenda.

We'll leave the final word to her: "I am boiling with rage. What kind of callous people would think of doing this in the name of art and culture? They must be mad if they think I am going to stand by and watch them do this to the memory of my precious son."

And you can't say fairer than that.

WHY ARE the police wasting their time "questioning" Celebrity Big Brother housemates about the barney between Jade and Shilpa or Shipla or Sheila or whatever her name is?

We've got kids getting shot in their beds, paedophiles running amok, and the worst burglary figures in Europe, yet politically-correct Plod finds time to quiz a dopey nude model from Liverpool (yes, I can see a trend here) about a few off-hand comments delivered for the entertainment of the masses on a television show.

They'll leave you at the mercy of the local hoodies, refuse to come out even if you've got an armed robber cornered in your kitchen, and dismiss rampant vandalism and anti-social behaviour as "not worth the trouble", yet in a cell somewhere Jermaine Jackson is getting the third degree - probably aided by the use of coshes - just because he uttered the words "white trash". It's madness.

I'll tell you who they ought to be having a look at - Tory MP James Gray. And as the libel lawyers go into a panic, allow me to explain.

Mr Gray is the gentleman who dumped his wife for his mistress while she was receiving treatment for breast cancer.

Last week he narrowly survived an attempt to sack him as member for Wiltshire North, although there are dark mutterings about his ability to hold the seat at an election.

It now emerges that Mr Gray, in common with many other MPs, has for many years been using his Commons staff allowance to pay his wife £2,400 a month to be his secretary.

Unfortunately, and according to "friends" of the woman scorned, she denies that she's actually carried out the role for the past two years beyond answering the occasional phone call.

It should be further noted that the home in which the dumped wife lives is also subsidised by the taxpayer (you and me) to the tune of £21,000 a year.

Mr Gray says that he has secured the permission of Commons officials to continue the payments until his divorce is settled - even though he's given her notice to quit her alleged "job". Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.

Whatever the Westminster wastrels think, this man has handed over £60,000 of our money to a "secretary" who freely admits that she doesn't do the job.

So, all in all, and taking into account the venom of a soon-to-be-ex-wife, I think I'd rather see Inspector Knacker digging around in this stinking trough instead of using a cattle prod on Dirk Benedict from the A Team.