November, 2015

Today's the dayLook, George, we need to work with the Tories, so don't kick off in the meeting, okay?

Today’s the day

It’s crunch time for Liverpool as leaders of its six local authorities seek endorsement of its devolution deal from their fellow members.  As a betting man, Merrion managing director Dougal Paver believes it’ll get over the line. The cameras flashed, the politicians’ grins were as wide as the Mersey and the back-slapping was heartfelt: in spite of the nay-sayers, Liverpool’s six […]

Thank you for the music?Grafton St, Dublin, where buskers know their music (if not their fashion)

Thank you for the music?

Our regular guest blogger, John Flamson, offers an entertaining treatise on the merits, or otherwise, of trying to regulate the quality of buskers.  Enjoy. A couple of years ago there was a peaceful protest on Liverpool’s streets about the council’s proposed rule to restrict the busking community.  The authority believed that compulsory permits for street performers would enhance quality and stop […]

Please be upstanding for the Prime Minister of Yorkshire...Seconds out, round two

Please be upstanding for the Prime Minister of Yorkshire…

An outsider with an inside track reveals to Merrion MD Dougal Paver that Liverpool’s devolution negotiations are going well.  In Yorkshire, by contrast, a bare knuckle scrap is reported to have broken out. News reaches Merrion Towers that the latest round of discussions between Liverpool and Whitehall over the city region’s devolution bid are going well.  The second phase document was […]

The Turd in EdinburghNot hard to see how this got its nickname, then

Edinburgh’s ‘turd’ threatens UNESCO listing

What happens when cities design for the modern age?  UNESCO get shirty, that’s what.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver investigates their latest attack on modernism. The marvellous City Lab blog has a rather enjoyable piece here about Edinburgh’s Turd.  The picture above, from its architects Jestico + Whiles, really doesn’t leave a great deal to the imagination once you view it […]

Isn't all regeneration good?  That depends how you view itWhat's better: creative dereliction or jobs and regeneration?

Isn’t all regeneration good? That depends how you view it

Take a poor, semi-derelict and crime-ridden neighbourhood, apply money, skilled workers and vision and hey-presto! You have a ‘good thing’, surely?  Only if the beneficiaries come from a tightly proscribed group, according to one commentator. There’s a thoughtful fellow called John Harris who has written a series of absorbing articles about the regeneration of British cities for the Guardian newspaper.  One in […]

Bulls' testicles: proof of the glorious efficiency of marketsGreat with spuds and gravy

Bulls’ testicles: proof of the glorious efficiency of markets

Capitalism isn’t perfect, but give competition room to flourish and the public are the winners. Just wander around Barcelona’s marvellous Mercat de Sant Josep if you want proof, suggests Dougal Paver. Ask me at any point on any day where I’d like to be if I could be teleported there and then and the answer would be the same: “on a stool […]