Bold-street-1It would appear that we have fallen out of favour with Labour Councillor, Rachel O’Byrne.

“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?

7 Responses to “Negativity is not a crime. Passivity is”

  1. goldenblls

    Nothing wrong with the Independents post. The same sentiments were just under the surface of many. If it gets discussing its all good.

  2. asenseofplace

    These articles are good things. Liverpool needs to grow up and be able to discuss things like we’re adults who can fall out occasionally but don’t have to end up hating each other. Anyone who’s read that Liverpool 800 history that came out a few years ago will know we have a long history of laughable ‘boosterism’ – talking Liverpool things up and dismissing any comments or critical statements as being in some way anti-Liverpool.

    Well get this, in my opinion anyone who comes on here and expresses their mind on these articles is almost definitely pro-Liverpool to care enough to go public with their opinions and engage with the rest of us. Discussion and debate might often look messy. But I think it’s actually cool. So well done for launching and defending a subject long overdue for critical debate.

  3. Mark Anthony Sullivan

    I don’t think you can build an economy purely on cupcakes and coffee, or complacency. It all looks fine if you’re in with the in-crowd, but it doesn’t solve the problems for those out in Croxteth, though it might make things look good for those attending the Echo conference centre. So keep provoking, especially if that complacency leads to those Independents who ARE providing quality and value, being undermined by those who aren’t and who are just relying on Independence being seen as a brand of quality by some with the right connections who will puff things up for a free lunch and not rocking the boat. Scousers shouldn’t fall into the trap of emporer’s new clothes, supporting whatever’s fashionable, but we shouldn’t also just knock things for the sake of them. It’s balance. You’re in the position of being journalists it’s your job to poke at the ants nest that you’re not part of. If you wanted to be in PR, you’d be writing for the local newspaper.

  4. Nessy76

    I didn’t fully agree with your piece on the independents, to my mind they are about supporting local businesses and the local economy, rather than being an overarching political or lifestyle issue, but I found it an excellent and thought provoking piece of writing all the same. More power to your collective elbows. And never forget, the only thing worse than being talked about…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.