When you suddenly become one of the great cities of Europe, there are always going to be a few doubters. Alex Smith reports on the bloggers putting a damper on Liverpool’s moment of glory
You can win the title European Capital of Culture, you can even build an enormous arena to kick off the celebrations, but you can’t make everybody happy. Kris, a blogger on the Liverpool Echo’s message board (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk), has given his verdict on the Liverpool arena after attending an event there last week, and he was well underwhelmed. While he gave the building’s exterior the thumbs up, he found the seating narrow and cramped. He wrote: “The cynical will be forgiven for saying that the whole idea of making as much cash with as little effort as possible was proven.”
The cynics are in evidence elsewhere. Michael, on forums.icnorthwest.co.uk, writes: “We whooped for joy when we heard the news in 2004. Since then we have all lived in a building site and, held up in endless traffic jams, have been perfectly positioned to watch work progress slowly.”
The big worry for Mark Thomas on the Liverpool Daily Post editor’s blog (www.ldpeditor.merseyblogs.co.uk) is the physical state of the roads and walkways. “If visitors to Liverpool next year encounter filthy pavements, it will mar their experience, however magnificent the events and exhibitions they attend might be.”
The MySpace page of Phil Redmond, the deputy chairman of the capital of culture committee, takes an interesting approach to persuading the doubters. With tongue firmly placed in cheek he writes that the project is “where rich people make loads more money out of the city while the good taxpaying citizens pay the costs, and our wages, with hefty council tax rises”.
Getting into his stride, Redmond goes on: “We also tag onto already existing projects in the city and put our logo to them to make it look like we are great!”
Redmond says he’s thinking of doing a grown-up version of Grange Hill called Capitalist State based on the events at the council and its quangos leading up to 2008 …
Grange Hill’s Mr Bronson: the man to sort out Liverpool?