“Oh dear, Seven Streets, you used to be so cool,” the Allerton & Hunts Cross Labour Councillor. Assistant Cabinet Member for Employment & Skills laments on twitter.
Where do we start to unpack this beauty?
Can anyone point to any period in our 40 month life when we were even on first name terms with cool? When we were even allowed to peek inside the press tent, or wind our way into to the front of the Sound City queue with a hastily forged free pass? No, us neither.
She continues: “They seem to take great joy in being incredibly negative, it’s boring and fruitless.”
Negativity, Rachel, is not a crime. Passivity is.
We wrote about the ‘trouble with independents’ because we thought its world view was unnecessarily shallow and trite: where were the rallying cries to support independent plumbers, carers, cavity wall insulators and funeral directors, or for that matter, anything in Kirkdale?
Oh, wait, maybe they’re not cool. Why would we trouble ourselves with them, when we can get 50p off a nice slice of Gorgonzola?
We thought an independent crusade that focused on frappuccinos and vintage crockery oversimplified what was a real and pressing issue, and reduced our city’s economic challenges down to the mean streets of the Baltic and a few cupcake sellers up Bold Street. We thought it hypocritical of the indie people to bemoan our use of internet shopping while, simultaneously, using social media to up their business. One rule for one, eh?
But, hey, we’re happy to be called ‘mealy-mouthed shitheads’ on Facebook for airing our thoughts (actually, we are. That’s fucking poetry) – but, if we were to be honest, we’d much rather focus on the thought-provoking, intelligent and impassioned comments that our feature encouraged. There is a real conversation happening here. The city is talking to itself in a way that can only prove how much we care.
There is a debate to be had, for sure, about how we save the good, and steer ourselves away from the bad. The boys from Independent Liverpool are engaging with a part of that issue – and, hey, they’re doing just fine. Kudos to them. We were one of the first to support them. Then, over time, they made a few decisions we didn’t agree with, so we parted company. That’s ok. That’s what happens when you’re adults. It’s not a hate crime, it’s a conscious uncoupling. And this piece was our way of saying: there is more. There is more to life than the jam.
Fact is, Rachel, you’re displaying the same simpering cries as Joe Anderson, when he bemoans the fact that Marc Waddington’s not playing footsie with him under the benches at the Town Hall. Sorry, Rachel, politicians don’t have exclusive rights on complaining about the state of the world.
There are other facts: like the fact that, of our last 50 posts, 44 were positive, and 6 were critical.
But, fact is, you probably didn’t read them. But we need more negativity – because out of it comes the start of something better. Sadly, Liverpool ain’t Legoland. Everything ain’t awesome. I’m seeing it way too often in this city: bloggers (and professional journalists) giving glowing reviews to stuff because it keeps the ad money rolling in, award ceremonies black slapping mediocre members of their inner circle, decidedly second-rate buildings being approved because, well, because we’re happy to settle for anyone’s cash. If these don’t kick-start negativity as a precursor to demanding better, nothing will.
Fact is, a healthy, curious, give-a-damn citizenry wants to engage, wants to prod and poke, and deserves not to be patronised by our elected servants. We used to be cool? Sorry to disappoint you, that was never in our manifesto.
Remind us again, what was in yours?