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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wakeNow that's what you call a powerhouse

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wake

As research suggests the Northern Powerhouse is anything but, what has the north got to do to close the gap with the thriving south east, asks Dougal Paver. This blog doesn’t do gloom – and it ill-behoves me to start the week with anything but visions of sunlit uplands, much less share caution.  So you will forgive me the premise […]

Only land scarcity and a rising market will improve the Liverpool skylineThrough the fog of commentary rise some great - and some average - buildings

Only land scarcity and a rising market will improve the Liverpool skyline

As tower cranes once again punctuate the Liverpool skyline like a gloriously misshapen comb some are worrying that the standard of new buildings isn’t what the city deserves.  But they forget that the biggest determinant of design quality is the market price for whatever is being constructed. “Buy land,” said the wise old Irish farmer, “they’re not making any more of […]