Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Section_31

The Post

Recommended Posts

Breaks my heart when I see what has happened to the Echo. When I wrote for LDPE about 20 years ago it was still just about a proper local newspaper, but you could see which way the wind was blowing. Trinity Mirror seemed to be in a desperate race to the bottom. To some extent you could understand it because people just straight up stopped buying newspapers, and if you want quality journalism, you have to pay for it. If nobody wants to pay for it, then it stops being any good. Nowadays it's all just clickbait rubbish, although the Reach websites are just about the worst on the whole internet, so it's not even "good" clickbait (why oh why don't more media outlets copy the straightforward style of the BBC or Mail websites?)

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stopped buying it over 25 years ago. It was poor then but infinitely better than the absolute shit it is now.

Some fella was knocking on doors trying to sign people up for delivery round our way ages ago, when I said no thanks he said I don't blame you mate, it's shite, which speaks volumes.

 

Edit,  I miss the old Pink though.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The latest from The Post. Feature on Liverpool’s markets. 

 

 

Liverpool's markets have been condemned by staggering arrogance and complacency


‘What the people of Everton really deserve is a 24-hour McDonalds next to a school’

 

The Post

 

Aug 5

 

Dear members — today we’ve got a rare treat, a weekday David Lloyd polemic. In this piece he takes aim at the continual mismanagement of Liverpool’s markets, following a city-wide consultation on how to bring them back to life. It includes an alarming phone exchange with then-council Cabinet Member for Regeneration Malcolm Kennedy, who labels David a “pussy”. 

But first, your Friday briefing, including the fascinating and saddening case of Liverpool’s Chinese seafarers who the government coercively deported following the Second World War.

 

Your Post briefing


A far right extremist who posted death threats about MPs online was photographed outside the office of Ian Byrne. In a statement, the West Derby MP said he was informed of a “possible threat to the life of [himself], [his] family and office staff”. Byrne praised organisations within the Jewish community who flagged the incident to himself and Parliament’s counter-terror unit after the man — who had posted comments about the murder of Conservative MP Sir David Amess, suggesting he would not be the last to be killed — was noticed in the vicinity of Byrne’s constituency office. He had also been “posting vile threats” to the Jewish community on extremist websites. 


Liverpool City Council’s audit committee met last night to discuss the Mazars report into the energy bill fiasco that cost the city upwards of £16 million and has cast a shadow over its politics in recent months. Speaking via dial-in (a fact that irritated Lib Dem council leader Richard Kemp no end) Nigel Layton of Mazars reiterated the findings of the report, that there was no malpractice or cover-up from the council but that former chief executive Tony Reeves had failed to implement the necessary mechanisms to avert such risks. Layton came under fire from all quarters, with audit committee chair and Lib Dem councillor Kris Brown saying he “expected a little bit more,” given the cost of the report, Kemp saying Mazars failed to conduct a wide-ranging set of interviews and Wendy Simon of Labour saying that the report doesn’t give adequate recommendations on how issues can be fixed. “Some staff are fearful of the commissioners,” she added, implying that this was an overlooked issue.

 A secret government programme “coerced” Chinese seafarers into boats leaving Liverpool following the Second World War. After decades of denial the Home Office has admitted that the seamen — who had responded to calls to serve in the British merchant navy and then remained following the war — were secretly rounded up and put on cargo ships taking them back to the East. Many of them had married and started families in England. Labour — who were in power at the time under Clement Attlee — and the Home Office have admitted that the until-now classified files contain a strong element of anti-Chinese racism. “The language used to explain and justify the proposed operation to repatriate surplus members of the Chinese pool is clearly racially inflected and prejudicial,” says the report. 76-year-old Yvonne Foley had campaigned for the report to be opened for years after her Shanghai-born ship engineer father, Nan Young, was repatriated in 1946. She said the report was “very well balanced” and its findings vindicated her beliefs and research.

Sahir House — a Merseyside charity founded in the 1980s to help people living through the HIV epidemic — is under threat of closure. Sahir CEO Ant Hopkinson said the charity has had its income cut by two thirds this year after losing its “single largest source of funding in one fell swoop,” and was now experiencing a cash crisis. Sahir House currently provides sexual health services and LGBTQ+ support, recently giving out hundreds of at-home oral HIV self-tests at Liverpool Pride. Hopkinson said it was a “very worrying time”. 

Post Picks

 Floating Art is hosting a Japanese painting workshop on Sunday at Leaf on Bold Street, where you can learn to use traditional materials like Gansai Tambi, sumi ink and rice paper boards. It’s beginner-friendly, so if you’ve never flicked paint on a bamboo fan before, fear not. The class lasts for two and a half hours and more information is available here.


Indian Women at Sea — a collaboration between Join Believe in Me CIC and Western Approaches — tells the story of how women across the Commonwealth contributed to Second World War efforts, including those who were allowed to join the Indian Navy. The day is split between a guided museum tour in the morning and activities in the afternoon. It's on Saturday, and free to register.. 

 

 There’s a two-day workshop at Rixton Clay Pits Nature Reserve teaching you how to identify dragonflies and damselflies, for all those bugged by the prospect of a weekend minus…well, you know. Tony Parker — the Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at World Museum, Liverpool — will be the man in charge. Click here for tickets.


Netwalking — a masterpiece of a portmanteau if ever we’ve seen one — is a group in Liverpool who meet every Saturday morning in Sefton Park to walk and talk. You might even cross paths with the Netwalker of the year, Mark Waldron. Get tickets here.

 

By David Lloyd

 

Of all the fucked-up regeneration schemes the city witnessed under the tenure of former Cabinet Member for Regeneration and former Lord Mayor Malcolm Kennedy, the treatment of our historic markets surely ranks as one of the most shameful.

Which is odd, really, because the former councillor for Kirkdale-upon-Madrid must have frequented many a thriving market from his sunny Spanish constituency (Kennedy resigned in October 2021 after it emerged he’d been living full-time in Spain for 17 months, attending council meetings online). The El Rastero flea market draws a crowd of thousands every weekend — it’s a bit like Great Homer Street market used to be; at the heart of the community. The San Miguel market sees the very best local produce showcased to a hungry crowd of locals and tourists alike. A bit like St John’s market used to be; at the heart of the city. Some markets are proud city-run affairs, others allowed to bubble up organically, and incubate the city’s burgeoning communities. Like Granby Street remains.

Councillor Kennedy must have slapped on the SPF, taken a stroll around his bustling, essential neighbourhood markets and thought: what the people of Everton really deserve is a 24-hour McDonalds next to a school, a bookies and a Greggs. And the historic market that defines their community should be pushed to the outer limits of the street, and reduced in size, to make way for a lovely new car park.

 

 

Then, buoyed by his success, Kennedy must have thought that what St John’s market needed was a series of empty white boxes with as much atmosphere and interaction as the shuttle docking hub in 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

He must have thought that because, well, he was the chief of regeneration. Project Jennifer — the Great Homer Street regeneration scheme — was his £150 million Big Thing, and the regeneration of St John’s Market was his vision (well, his and Joe Anderson’s. Because every Laurel needs his Hardy). 

Sometimes, when you’re knee-deep in a story, it’s hard to take a step back and really see it. You can become so invested in it that it becomes obfuscated by your own narrative. A little distance brings perspective. A chance to take stock and see if, maybe, it was you who lost the plot. Not our elected elders. 

Which is why, on the publication of the council’s new report into the (sorry) state of the city’s markets I thought it was a good time to take a fresh look at what Kennedy said to me when we spoke about all things markets half a decade ago. 

The report — The Future of Markets — follows a city wide consultation of traders and punters to understand what we need to do to bring our markets back to life. But to really appreciate that, it helps to acknowledge — fully and honestly — how we got here. The council blames “covid”, “changing shopping habits” and, well, frankly, us for their demise. Surely as regeneration chief most of the blame lies at Kennedy’s feet. That’s what we paid him for.

‘Everyone knew, a decade ago, that bright new markets were thriving in Lisbon, Barcelona, Altrincham, Accrington…’ 

 

What’s even more staggering is that the council seems to have had a Damascene moment when looking at the responses to its survey. People wanted exciting places to visit, places that sell things we want to buy. Places that were easy to get to. Who knew?

Well, we all knew. We knew that before they pissed £2.5 million up the wall on the catastrophe of St John’s renovation. We knew that before they ring fenced Greatie into a pig pen at the edge of the street. But Malcolm Kennedy knew better.

Everyone knew, a decade ago, that bright new markets were thriving in Lisbon, Barcelona, Altrincham, Accrington… It wasn’t brave, outlandish or naive to suggest that markets might well play a key role in our future regeneration, Liverpool being a mercantile city and all. That independently-run schemes, championed by market traders, entrepreneurs and retail experts, not bureaucrats, might just hold the key.

But Malcolm Kennedy didn’t agree.
 

He called me a “pussy” for even suggesting that all was not well in the city’s markets back in 2016. This was the sexist language, and level of engagement, of the former custodians of our heritage. And we wonder why they left us in special measures.

When I eventually did track Kennedy down, I asked him: why couldn’t the city allow independent markets to spring up and fertilise communities themselves? Why did we need to be at the mercy of his and Joe Anderson’s wrong-footed and lacklustre interventions? 

Sir Ken Dodd with Lord Mayor of Liverpool Malcolm Kennedy at a civic lunch to mark his 90th birthday at Liverpool Town Hall. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images.

Wouldn’t some fresh blood be exactly what the city needs?

“No,” Kennedy said, “I don’t believe in competition. I believe we made the right decision partnering with Geraud,” he said, talking about the city’s tie-in with Geraud markets — who’d been in charge, doing little, as St Johns’ crumbled. 

The conversation took place when Kennedy’s Project Jennifer scheme was taking a decidedly market-hostile turn. 

Originally, Great Homer Street’s bustling market — which had served its community for over 180 years — was to be, quite rightly, the hub and heart of the scheme.

The market, affectionately known as “Paddy’s Market” by generations of canny Saturday shoppers, is one of the oldest in the city. Great Homer Street itself was once lined with department stores, a Woolworths’, bars and dancehalls. The axis of the city has shifted constantly around it, but the vast, open-air market had always remained.

“The provision of a new market facility in a prominent location has always been and remains a fundamental part of our vision for the rejuvenation of Great Homer Street. [We aim to] develop plans for a first rate, modern facility situated in the heart of the new scheme,” developers St Modwen said when the first JCB trundled on site.

Before long, Kennedy switched sides, and opted for a super-sized Sainsburys, and a ground level car park to go where the traders were promised a purpose-built new venue. The market could stay, but it would be reduced in size from 175 pitches to 72. 

Fruit and vegetable stall on Raleagh Street. Photo: Getty Images.

Market traders in Great Homer Street were told that if they didn’t move from the street they’d kept alive the council would have their licences removed and they’d be trading illegally. The alternative? A tiny new site, ⅓ of a mile away, on the edge of the scheme, in Dryden Street.

“Do you want to move to Dryden Street?” Kennedy asked the traders at a meeting.

“No,” said all but two of the 180-plus traders.

Kennedy’s response? “Well, when I was 12, my dad told me that we had to move house, and I had no say in the matter, and I didn’t like that either.”

Like it, or lump it.

So when I read on Liverpool Express about what the council now says regarding Great Homer Street, I shudder. 

“It is a meeting place for locals, a vibrant and busy space during trading. However, there are capacity issues. The market could double in size to match demand but not in the current form and location.” 

San Miguel Market near Plaza Mayor in Madrid — a market Kennedy could have taken inspiration from. Alas. Photo: Getty Images.

There’s no apology. No mea culpa. No recognition at all that they could have had all this seven years ago. But Kennedy knew better. Kennedy opted for a strip mall of bookies and fast food chains. 

“A larger Greatie market…can no longer be afforded in the revised scheme,” he said. “The space that would have been taken by the market will now be offered as a retail unit.” 

When I read of how the city’s promising to spend £1 million on finally getting things right, I’m reminded of the last question I put to Kennedy: Isn’t it because of the city’s inept meddling that our markets are dying?

“Oh, sod off, you’re talking crap.” Kennedy said, before slamming the phone down.

If you know your history, you wouldn't let our council within an inch of any of our markets ever again. It's the very definition of madness. How many traders have lost their jobs? How many small businesses have gone to the wall? As other cities manifestly get it right, we're plagued by broken promises and failed schemes. We’re left to piece the shattered remains of our markets together again while Kennedy basks in the Madrid sunshine, his work complete. 

The future of the markets, safe in our council’s clutches? Sorry, that’s one thing I’m not buying. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×