Tonight's opening was typical of the Culture Company's top down approach.
A massive crowd turned up expecting a great show.
But none of us were engaged.
No dancing. No terrace chants. No humour.
No emotional engagement with what is being done in our name, with our money, in our city.
Instead we were presented with a generally uninspiring, unfocussed, unintelligible series of set piece scenes.
It was cold and flat and, sadly, a bit dull.
It has also cost the city a fortune.
Ringo's appearance was a cynical attempt to cash in on the year - and promote his new single. Incredibly, the unknown MC told us, without a trace of Scouse irony, that Ringo's single was "on sale on Monday."
People in the crowd shuffled their feet with embarrassment.
As the patient and passive spectators were showered with confetti, one wag near us commented loudly: "That's council taxpayer's money."
The sound was crap, the fireworks flat and the music, too often, a lifeless thrash.
St George's Hall, as ever, looked wonderful.
People started leaving after 30 minutes.
By the end, most of us were dying to get off to the pub and drown our disappointment.
We have no doubt that the people of Liverpool will make the most of 2008.
But on the evidence of this damp squib, it will be in spite of the city council and the Culture Company and the hangers-on and the bullshitters - not because of them.
We will say no more, except to record the fact that Jason Harborow had the utterly astonishing cheek to turn up at the after show party at the Empire where he spent most of the time the time drinking with Hasitall and Colin CoverUp. No doubt negotiating his pay-off. We will post a picture soon.
We leave any further comment on what should have been an historic and celebratory night to you, the people of Liverpool. Feel free.
This is Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008.