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The Vote: Shanghai or bust?

Should we spend another £380,000 on a Liverpool Day at the China World Expo? It's a foxy proposition...

Published on July 22nd 2010.

The Vote: Shanghai or bust?

THERE was a time, many years ago, when Shanghai was controlled by foreign powers who valued its position at the mouth of the Yangtze.

if the local state controlled media is to be believed, Shanghai has put down her drink, winked at her mates, and is about to strut her funky stuff with the snotty nosed scouse lad who had the guts to ask. Serious. Long term.

They used it for their own ends as a pseudo colonialist outpost from which opium and other raw materials spewed across the globe to many other similar mucky brown rivers, including our very own Mersey.

But like all good rivers the tide went both ways and the ships that arrived laden also left laden, weighed down with the textiles and produce from our own dark satanic mills bound for the Chinese interior. To such an extent that cotton industry in that developing and industrially backward country was crushed under the weight of foreign goods.

How times have changed. Now, many years later, our opium arrives in false bottoms (no jokes please) and the North West's dark, satanic mills are “light and airy bijou apartments to let”.

Our once-mighty imperial rulers stand, like spotty boys at a disco trying to catch the pretty girl's eye. Well, one of them, after watching from afar, has swallowed their pride, sauntered over and said those all important words, “Do ya wanna dance?”

And, if the local state controlled media is to be believed, Shanghai has put down her drink, winked at her mates, and is about to strut her funky stuff with the snotty nosed scouse lad who had the guts to ask. Serious. Long term.

The only problem with this wonderful fledgling romance is that Shanghai is proving to be no cheap date.

It’s fair to say, this one isn’t going to end up with a bag of chips and a bus ride home. This one will need making a fuss of: a full sausage dinner, a bottle of Lambrini and a taxi.

But that’s not all; she also wants serenading by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and The Wombats (a popular beat combo m’lord) among many others, for one hot night, also known as Liverpool Day. If you don't know what that is click here..

One might wonder why not go the whole hog and chuck in a Ringo on the roof?

Now with all expensive dates there is a complicated mathematical formula that needs to be undertaken to assess if the expected expenditure is going to offer a suitable return, or, to put it another way: “Am I on for a shag or not?”

And this is the question that Liverpool has to ask before it sticks its hand in its pocket to provide for another £380,000 pickled egg.

Despite being strapped for cash, our leaders reckon she is a cert: they are of the belief that in the morning, when we wake, we will glance across at a tousle haired Shanghai, who will smile playfully and lean across, brush her lips against our ear and whisper: “Oh yes big boy, let’s go again.”

They reckon that in the pub later, Birmingham, London and Manchester will gather around and press us for details of how it went.

“Did you get anything?”

“Has she got a mate?”

“When did you last win the league?”

But, if they are to be believed we will lean back on the bar and smile smugly and say. “I think I’ve cracked it with this one.”

Or... we might just end up walking home, on our own. Skint.

Tony Schumacher

*What do you think? Should we cut our cloth according to our means, where Liverpool Day is concerned? Have we have spent enough already? Or should we speculate to accumulate the riches there to be reaped from this once-in-a-lifetime event?

Go on yer, vote on the homepage - and after this we might never mention it again.

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Samuel TweetJuly 21st 2010.

I'm thsick, thsick,thsick of Thshanghai.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2010.

My goodness.

steve faragherJuly 21st 2010.

thats the problem with chinese expositions you go to one and an hour later you want another one, I hope Roger Phillips passes on this one£3000 k for his travel could warrant a few searching phone calls

H BogartJuly 21st 2010.

Badges, we don't need no stinkin' badges

Captain KirkJuly 21st 2010.

Is this yet another case of boldly going where no-one else can be arsed? Has she already been felt up by our rivals, and found to be worryingly compliant? Are we the subject of mirthless jokes about our naivety in matters of love, as our so-called friends sup their beer and pinch our crisps, while we, remembering her first glance and forever looking for love, once more, set ourselves up to be unceremoniously dumped, and left broken hearted.

Recovering alcoholicJuly 21st 2010.

it's shit isnnnit?

Chinese TortureJuly 21st 2010.

It's torture, all of this Chinese stuff. The council is broke, so much so hundreds of council staff will be made redundant, services will be cut, voluntary organisations (in the vandguard of Cameron's so-called Big Society) will be starved of cash. The list could go on and on. And what do we do? Blow almost £400k on a stupid, pointless, senseless event in Shanghai. If the Labour cabinet agree to this the score will be this Anderson's 10 nil, Officers X1 One. Uncle Joe doesn't have a mint at his disposal, yet he's allowing himself to be seduced by the spin of the officers from Lack of Vision and their highly-paid advisors. Joe stand up to them now, say NO.NO.NO, enough is enough. We can't be spending money on a party when the city coffers are dry. Joe and his Cabinet cohorts will stand up and say its an investment for the future... as they would say in China thats borrocks, totally borrocks. The wrong decision will come back to haunt Labour as its obvious with those with eyes to see we are being sold a joey here.

Puzzled listenerJuly 21st 2010.

How can Roger Phillips be objective if a listener calls his show wanting to object to the spending of £380,000 of our money when his involvement in Shanghai will cost us £3,000? We know the Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo have jumped onto the Expo bandwagon with glee (meaning no objective or critical journalism there, but that's not a surprise), so it leaves Radio Merseyside as an alternative main-stream outlet, but even that door is now closed. Thank God we at least have LivCon to air our viewpoints. Joe, Roger, Post and Echo remember this - more people are so angry about this than any of you can imagine.

PR floozieJuly 21st 2010.

How much would it cost just to fly Steven Gerrard over and no-one else? Surely he, more than, say, Mike McCartney, would encourage more people in China to spend money coming to Liverpool, or buy city logo'd merchandise on the t'interwebs.

We Are The ChampionsJuly 21st 2010.

Did I hear someone talking about knockers? Well I wonder how many of you 'knockers' (I could use another word) have actually been to the Expo and seen what it is about? I have - on a recent holiday in China, and let me tell you that the market Liverpool is courting in China is absolutely huge.The Expo is the most incredible and vast exhibition of it kind - and being a sister city to Shanghai and having a palpable affinity with the city means Liverpool is a very well respected and appreciated participant in it. Respect in China is a very valuable commodity Liverpool has undoubtedly gained just by supporting the Expo.Should we spend £380,000 on the day a dedicated day? While some may say that is 10-15 staff salaries for a year, I feel sure this investment will help to generate business opportunities, investment and tourism if not as a direct result, as a spin off from the good will and contacts generated. Think of the fuss made about the Capital of Culture year - but is anyone in the know able to show that was a waste of money?As a point of interest - Steven Gerard was mentioned - did you know that none of the Northwest football clubs would support Liverpool's promotion at Expo because of there own sponsors - I am told some even attended on other countries pavilions, I find that disgusting and a kick in the teeth when it’s local peoples hard earned cash that pay for over priced tickets, inflated player fees and expensive ever changing kits.Also I am told that the Liverpool pavilion could not secure the rights to play Beatles music? Not sure who holds the rights to this anymore but surely the link with Liverpool is a mutually beneficial one. This all begs the question who is going to support, promote and shout about how great Liverpool is if the council and the other departments involved don't. Sounds like even people who live here don’t want to sometimes.Final comment - the Liverpool pavilion at Expo has some staff from Liverpool and some Chinese students. If these students are an indication of the youth of China, we better watch out. They are incredible - and not only young people in Liverpool and across Britain could learn a lesson from their drive and attitude. Some of our sour faced shop assistants, jobs worth administrative staff and work shy layabouts in general could learn a thing or two.Well done to everyone involved with Expo!

RatepayerJuly 21st 2010.

Well, well We Are The Champions. Let's assume you went to Expo at no expense to your good self, you must feel as though you earned your freebie, if that is the case.Of course it is good for Liverpool to be at Expo, but we have to cut our cloth according to our means. Shanghai has a population of at least 18m, Liverpool has a population of less than half a million. There are villages in the greater Shanghai area bigger than Liverpool. In the real, hard world, the benefits of Liverpool being at Expo will be miniscule. The benefits we have been promised are highlighted in reports, so called independent, commissioned by the very people behind this enterprise. As well as trying to convince us of the value of being at Expo they also need to be reassured themselves that's it is worth every penny.And I absolutely dislike the way We Are The Champions is critical of non-visitors having their say 'not having been there' Would You (We Are The Champions) have gone there had your way not been paid for.You talk about the business opportunities we will gain. If that is the case why has the business community of Liverpool, Merseyside and the North West refused to dig deep into their own pockets to fund this? Answer, because they themselves were doubtful of the value of spending money on Liverpool being at Expo. The reason the council is being asked to stump up this extra cash is because business has not come up with the money. If the Chinese government want us to be there, why don't they pay for our Liverpool Day. It's already cost us around £3m so they should chip in. Sorry We Are The Champions, your arguement doesn't wash.

Phil McCrackenJuly 21st 2010.

We Are the Champions - come on it's you Dougal isn't it!

We Are The ChampionsJuly 21st 2010.

Ratepayer - you are entitled to your opinion however - how dare you assume that my view are coloured by havuing my trip paid for - I did not! As i said in my initial rant, it was a holiday paid for in full by me.Secondly I spoke specificly about the football clubs in the area supporting differnt countries delegations instead of Liverpool.And thirdly - to be so egotistical as to suggest that "If the Chinese government want us to be there, why don't they pay for our Liverpool Day" - the key word in that sentence is OUR. It's and opportunity for us to promote ourselves. Imagine if noone was to come to the 2012 Olympics unless we paid for them to because we want them there.Utter tosh!

RatepayerJuly 21st 2010.

here's a good idea We Are The Champions. If you feel it is necessary for us to have an 'Our' Day at Expo, why not help pay for it yourself. The vast majority of people in our city will NEVER be able to afford a holiday trip to the East Coast in England let alone a trip to the Far East. I agree it would be nice to have a Liverpool Day, but we cannot afford it. Simple. We as a city are skint and are wondering how the hell we can continue to provide essential services for our people.

Hooray HenriJuly 21st 2010.

Good to read the debate about Liverpool and Shanghai. Let me throw in the thought that Liverpool University believes in the value of collaboration with China - it shares a campus with one of that country's leading universities, not far from Shanghai. As a result, thousands of students from mainland China will be spending a year or more in Liverpool. Delusion or far-sightedness? As Big Brother would say, you decide.

RatepayerJuly 21st 2010.

Hooray Henri you are absolutely correct, and the collaboration between the University of Liverpool and China is fantastic. Those thousands of students you mention, however, will spend time in Liverpool whether or not we have a Liverpool Day at Expo, or indeed, even if we were not present at all. Imagine how much good the University could have done promoting Liverpool as an academic city if it had been given the £3m we have spent on Expo. The vast majority of visitors heading to Expo are ordinary, everyday Chinese folk. Of course there may be the odd few enticed to come here to study or even visit, but that still does not represent good value for money. We just need to be honest with ourselves and accept our presence at Expo 2010 is an expensive exercise at best and at worst a waste of money we desperately need right here in Liverpool.Oh and We Are The Champions: I did have a caveat rather than make a complete assumption your particular journey was at taxpayers expense.

AnonymousJuly 21st 2010.

The (Labour Controlled) City Council Cabinet has today approved the £380,000 budget for the Liverpool Day event at Expo. They agreed the sum to 'maximise the benefits of World Expo for the City" Enough said.

scouse690July 21st 2010.

TO....We are the Champions, Hooray Henri..please, please, please just CALM DOWN... (taking the P...)The facts are that Warren Bradley decided (on our behalf and with our tax payers money) to do the EXPO in China.WHY??? We have the oldest Chinatown in Europe...the links are already here!Why go over there with "goodness how many so called delegates" when surely it would've been better to bring them here? We could then show them , at first hand, how good we really are.Lets face it, if you're selling a product, bring the customer to the product...don't do "A Warren" and go on your hols and get your photo taken at every opportunity..not productive and only looking after himself!! LIVERPOOL is our City and our priority, we have so much to entice investment here, why go looking? when we can invite them in and take a look for themselves?

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