October, 2015

No civic modesty hereThere's marketing puff and then there's miracle-working. (Pic credit: Nivea UK)

Modesty: an under-rated civic virtue

As the Paver family head to Barcelona for a short infusion of culture, sunshine and tapas its pater familias ponders the Catalan capital’s civic modesty.  After all, it’s got a lot to shout about. One of the early lessons on my marketing degree was that any claim you make about a product, service or place has to be congruous with reality.  People […]

The Baltic Creative workspacesNo shortage of enterprise here (Pic credit: Baltic Creative)

First, the wrong type of snow. Now, the wrong type of jobs

We’ve endured the wrong type of leaves on the track and the wrong type of snow.  Now it seems Liverpool is suffering from the wrong type of jobs, finds Dougal Paver. The excellent Centre for Cities this week published an analysis of employment growth among Britain’s SMEs – the engine of job creation in any open economy.  Their findings made for mixed […]

Cruising to successIt's not the leaving of Liverpool...

Cruising to success

It’s axiomatic that cruise ships bring prosperity to host ports, says Merrion MD Dougal Paver.  So why is it that not everyone welcomes them, he asks? There’s a certain delight – not to say drama – in walking through Liverpool’s handsome business district and looking up to see the world’s largest cruise ship parked at the end of the street.  […]

Weary waiterSoon to be replaced by a 22 year-old Italian.

Café society, revisited

We welcome back John Flamson with another thought-provoking guest blog on café society, Liverpool-style.  Enjoy. As the weather changes and our summer holidays seem a distant memory, we think fondly of the balmy evenings, pavement cafés, a cooling Pils or a warming Cortado.  And we imagine such simple joys in our own city of Liverpool. I repeat in full below […]

No-one claims the glory for Merseyside's plummeting unemploymentNothing to do with me. Or him...

No-one claims the glory for Merseyside’s plummeting unemployment

Unemployment on Merseyside fell by another 5% in September, yet you’ll find no politicians claiming the credit.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver has a theory why. Civil servants today announced another healthy drop in Merseyside unemployment – down 4.6% in  September and a whole 40% lower than a year ago.  For an area once bedevilled by worklessness that’s a staggering fall. […]

Bank of Liverpool porticoWe need to look to the powerhouses of old to find the ones of the future

How to fire up the Northern Powerhouse

Want to fire up the Northern Powerhouse, Chancellor?  Bung £25m into a kitty and task Merseyside’s private sector with matching it, then re-launch the Bank of Liverpool.  Shareholders will make a fortune, says Dougal Paver. Since the onset of the industrial age, 95% of the world’s trade by volume has been conducted by sea.  In my grandfather’s lifetime, Liverpool owned one […]

Chicago shows Britain the downside of spendthrift governmentNot waving, but drowning: wealthy Chicago risks following Detroit into civic oblivion

Chicago shows Britain the downside of spendthrift government

To paraphrase Maggie somewhat, ‘the problem with certain governments is that they run out of other people’s money.’  And you don’t have to be an economic basket case to do so, either, as spendthrift Chicago demonstrates. It’s a long while since I’ve been to Chicago and, whilst it was pretty darned impressive back in the nineties, I hear tell that […]

Bradford: Britain's most complete Victorian cityOnce the world's woollen capital.

Bradford: Britain’s most complete Victorian city

Not been to Bradford lately?  You should, suggests Dougal Paver. You can smell a place’s wealth.  It oozes from the pores of its buildings, the cut of its pedestrians and the purr of its motor cars.  Poverty does the same.  Aspiration, meantime, fights to be heard. Bradford is aspirational, but was once fabulously – and I mean fabulously – wealthy.  I was […]