Wednesday 21 July 2021

Lambasting Liverpool

Dawn and I had a fair amount in common ... a shared South Welsh/Irish heritage via peri-urban council estates; swearing; and a deep love for Liverpool ... Whenever we met up in Liverpool, you could see Dawn revel in its doolally joie de vivre, its Irishness, its Catholicism, and the simple fact that it’s a place where being a socialist doesn’t make you a weirdo.

Maybe that recent endorsement goes some way towards explaining one or two other current news items concerning Liverpool ... 

Liverpool has been stripped of its coveted world heritage status after Unesco blamed years of development for an “irreversible loss” to the historic value of its Victorian docks. The UN’s heritage body concluded at a meeting in China on Wednesday that the “outstanding universal value” of Liverpool’s waterfront had been destroyed by new buildings. The decision is a humiliating blow for the city and gives Liverpool the ignominious distinction of being only the third place to lose the status in nearly 50 years. 

And this:

“Nothing less than a full reset of the Labour Party in Liverpool is needed.” [The report] recommends that Labour nationally takes over candidate selection processes in Liverpool until June 2026, and that it immediately fast-tracks outstanding complaints in the Liverpool City region, completing them within six months. The panel led by former government minister David Hanson says it received evidence identifying a “toxic culture” within the Labour group on the council and “dysfunctional governance running throughout the organisation”. Looking at local party meetings, the internal investigation was “told of a toxic atmosphere in some meetings, not welcoming to members, where often members especially women were targeted for bullying or abuse”. The panel was “presented with evidence of a history of antisemitism that already has led to expulsions and suspensions”

Scouse takeaway:  mmm...
Such a pleasant place!  (And we haven't yet wheeled in David Olusoga to tell us about the slave trade.)   Personally, I'm extremely partial to Beatles music which goes a long way to redeeming other shortcomings: but (strange factoid) Liverpool is, I think, the largest city in western Europe where I've never done any business.  I do have friends there, though.  And scouse is, errrr, a remarkable foodstuff ...

Yet I imagine there are C@W readers with more positive things to say about the place ... so do please let us know!  

"Did you tell me once Father Jack had a trial for Liverpool?"   "No, Dougal, he was on trial, in Liverpool ..."



Bill Quango MP said...

Neighbours sold their softy southern home and moved to Liverpool.
Where they purchased a decent sized replacement, only now mortgage free.
They have two children in the quality grammar schools for free. Instead of school fees at 10k a term.
They both have good jobs a d have more disposable income now, than they have ever had.

The only downside for them, is 400 miles from everyone they knew.

Anonymous said...

Being rude about Liverpool? You realize this means you have to go there in person & apologise? Else you'll never be Prime Minister!

dearieme said...

Where is there in the South that's 400 miles from Liverpool? Or do you mean South Belgium?

I've never been to Liverpool but as a boy I was driven through the Liverpool Tunnel a few times, going to North Wales and back.

Apart from that I know it mainly for its sentimental self-congratulation and criminality.

Oh, and a late friend was from Liverpool - an intelligent, interesting woman, nothing like the stereotype that Scousers promote for themselves. But then she'd left there as a young woman.

E-K said...

I've never been to Liverpool.

Anonymous said...

That scouse looks good - 2017 was a great year for potatos.

Graeme said...

I spent a night in the "historique" part of Liverpool about 15 years ago. It had that Unesco feel of being unnaturally clean. It also seemed to shut down at 9pm. A stroll around the streets in the centre of the city and nothing, absolutely nothing was open. I found nothing to like about the place

Thud said...

Being a socialist in Liverpool may not make you a weirdo but being a Tory makes you an outcast even to some family ( I have family long established in what passes as the labour party here) and friends but politics aside it is quite an amazing city. As for scouse, in our family it has been the main Saturday meal since getting off the boat from Ireland, with homemade beetroot its a filling and very tasty meal.


Liverpool is much more interesting than Manchester and the beer and pubs are better too.

lilith said...

I don't know much about Liverpool (never been) but I have observed that Liverpool FC fans have a sense of humour bypass when it comes to being ribbed about their team. Most other fans take it in good spirit. It appears that there is NOTHING FUNNY about Liverpool FC.

patently said...

I started work in the patent profession in the early 90s, at a firm with offices around the country & including Manchester.

All new filings went via the London office, and it was noted that every single anti-theft device we filed a patent application for came via the Manchester office, with a client address in Liverpool.

I recall something once being said about the identity of the mother of invention?

Elby the Beserk said...

Have a Scouse mate, dockers son and former LFC 1960s hoolie. He was quite clear that what Johnson said about Liverpool was completely correct, and he cho9uld never have apologised.

Seems to me Scousers have "Eternal Victim" branded on their heads. Or arses. Whichever is the smart bit (but then I'm a Manc manqué*, so am not going to like the place anyway).

* Brought up near Stockport, father and grandfather both in the rag trade, and roots back on both sides to Victorian times. City fan.

Bill Quango MP said...

Son is a Liverpool fc fan.

“Forgive him, Lord, for is he but 12. And knows not what he does.”

Anonymous said...

"We've got Di Canio, You've got our stereos" was a cruel football chant that of course I'd be sure had absolutely no basis in reality :-). Except that I've only once visited Liverpool, stayed with a friend for a weekend. He'd just bought a secondhand car that week, which was stolen as he was picking me up from the train station.

To be positive: well the police were very nice about it when he reported it, as he had parked it somewhere near their copshop where they said they had to risk parking their own cars sometimes, so they could sympathise.


andrew said...

Never been to Liverpool.

I was in Newcastle (upon tyne) 3 weeks ago and ... it was really nice and so were the people, and the beer, and the curries (but not the pizza, they seem to be only offer deep pan there - that was 100% of a sample of 2)

We went under the tyne tunnel once and I made the obvs joke about going back 30 years, but my car was older and scruffier that most around me. As was I.

formertory said...

Grew up in that part of the world and while I'll concede the points about Liverpool FC fans and Scousers / victimhood in general, I will say that when I went back there for a few days just before this COVID nonsense started I was amazed how the place has improved.

The Albert Dock area is really quite smart (derelict, when I last saw it, and if driving past you had to keep moving faster than about 15mph otherwise the local scallies would have the wheels off your car). Paddy's Wigwam and the Anglican Cathedral (both of which I remember being taken to see as a child when they were in the final stages of construction) are magnificent. The Anglican is the longest Cathedral in the world, and the fifth largest by volume. Go sometime in the next 100 years because reportedly, after that it'll be in the Mersey - having been built on a hill, and somewhat heavy. The Walker Art Gallery and St George's Hall are very fine, too. The Philharmonic Hall was breathtaking last time I saw it and the Philharmonic Arms over the road was a spectacular example of what a pub could / should be.

Always good for a laugh was the joke from decades ago about the McLaren F1 team who, moved by a desire to give yoofs from a difficult area a start in life, hired a few lads from Liverpool to apprentice to engineers. On their first day, within 10 minutes, the new apprentices resprayed the F1 cars, stripped them down and sold all the bits to Williams.

Matt said...

Spend a few of my upper teenage years in Runcorn and went to Liverpool a lot (this was the late 80s).

Runcorn was a total shitehole full of cast out Scousers and Plastic Scouser / Wooly backs. Warrington next door was (very) marginally better but was full of cast our Mancs (and locals).

If you wanted a definition of the Grim North this was it. Off to Mr Smiths at the weekend for a lot of cheap lager and a fight.

As for cuisine, I give you Scouse Eggs -

Don Cox said...

There is also a very nice small art gallery, the Lady Lever Gallery, not far away in Port Sunlight.

Don Cox

formertory said...

@Matt Runcorn was a total shitehole full of cast out Scousers

Yes, it was in the period 1964 - 71 when I was at grammar school with hundreds of them. My mother was scandalised when I developed a scouse accent. It still reappears somewhat if I find myself talking with someone from that part of the world.

DJK said...

Don Cox: The Lady Lever is a delight, as is the Walker Gallery in Liverpool itself. In fact, Port Sunlight is well worth a wander.

phil5 said...

Me neither E-K, nor Newcastle though that actually looks more interesting with its Get Carter affiliations.Nor Durham now I come to think about it, home of the Great Sage.

Matt said...

@ formertory

I find myself in agreement with your mother. When with Scousers I find it more amusing to talk with an RP accent as it really seems to set the angry feckers off.

Anonymous said...

At the height of the Battle of Britain, just after Dunkerque with military dying in droves and civilians under attack and left homeless and bereaved, the Liverpool dockers went on strike for better pay and conditions.

Remember that.

lilith said...

Bill, there is very little chance your lad will grow up without a sense of humour but allowing him to support Liverpool is simply a safeguarding issue....

E-K said...

I wonder if Bobby Willis ate Scouse.

Bill Quango MP said...

For retailer planners, managers, buyers, Manchester was the conference hub of the nineties and millennium years.
Every symposium was in Manchester. The most redeveloped city in Europe.

Money well spent too, it seemed. One of the very few cities that caused an Oxford Circus professional to reign in their indifference to other centres. The Court of Manchester was a worthy rival to the older, richer, shabbier court of West London.
Until the new centres, Westfield, etc put London superiority back into first place.

I have never attended any work event in Liverpool. Just never featured.

Swansea ( yeah..I know..but for a short while it was the future)
Untold M25 shopping centres and tributary parks were the primary choices.

“ Go to this non event in Sheffield Quango. See if you can learn anything.”

Take the grey suit and drink coffee and eat pastries all day. Beats working. But never Liverpool. Not once. And in my long retail career. I never worked for a firm that even had a store there. Until the very tail end.
And I sold shell suits and fat ass Beyoncé jeggings for years. You’d expect Liverpool to be a target city for a store featuring that kind of ‘calm down, calm down,’ clobber.

Never was.

Never Liverpool.
Not once.

Thud said...

So half the people commenting have not been to liverpool, the other half have not been in decades but all have firm but baseless opinions, smart bunch.

Nick Drew said...

That's the wonders of www, Thud! A microcosm of the 21st century.

(Sorry, it's my fault, I started this one)