Can you hear that scraping sound? Listen carefully, you might just make it out amid the cacophony of noise emanating from Oldham Hall Street. That, I'm afraid to say, is the sound of the remaining fragment of wood which once helped forme a barrel being scraped by Ali Machray & his minions. When all else looks bleak play the tribal card, even if it carries inflammatory consequences (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/lifestyle/14-reasons-liverpool-better-manchester-6652568 ).
To call this execrable offering juvenile is to insult most adolescents. Ben Turner is the "journalist" responsible for this inane & irresponsible piece. Adding more fuel to the fire, the Echo hack (they don't employ sub-editors anymore) responsible for the headline can't resist appending, "Scousers v Mancs" at the end of it.
If you required definitive proof that the Oldham Echo has finally descended to the level of a worked-up, under-educated cretin who foams at the mouth at the mention of Manchester, here's the evidence.
You could argue that this hitherto unplumbed depth of tribal aggression isn't so surprising. Who can forget the bellicose bullshit scribbled by Echo hack Nick Peet after a curtailed Morrissey gig at, of all places, the Echo Arena in 2009 (http://condensedthoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/oldham-echos-mood-music.html ).
Turner's 14 "reasons" for stirring up a tiresome & tedious battle are wearily predictable (guess what, the Beatles came from Liverpool). However, it's worth citing one of Turner's claims:
" 11 Liverpool, not Manchester, has the largest collection of Grade II-listed buildings outside London."
Ah, these will be the listed buildings that the Oldham Echo has shown such a cavalier disregard for, preferring to champion monstrosities like Grosvenor-pool. Additionally, the paper that "speaks up for Merseyside" has made no secret of its disdain for UNESCO's concern at what has been inflicted on the city's waterfront (http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/liverpool-on-unesco-in-danger-list.html ).
Paddy Shennan (hello, Paddy!) prepared the ground two days prior to Turner's spasm of spite with yet another bout of nauseous navel-gazing (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/lifestyle/how-scouse-you-take-scouseometer-6555993 ).
Paddy eagerly asked:
"How Scouse are YOU? Here's your chance to find out with our fun (FUN-that means not to be taken too seriously for any non-Scousers reading this) Scouseometer test."
I'm so glad that Paddy's invitation was just a bit of "fun"; indeed, there is so much "fun" to be gained from emphasising differences rather than similarities in a way which would find favour in the Yankee Bar on Lime Street. As for the much-vaunted Scouseometer, I was strangely immune to its appeal. Perhaps my Scouse credentials should be disputed due to a quaint belief that there is more that unites than divides Liverpool & Manchester, & that irresponsible rabble-rousing from the likes of the Oldham Echo should be referred to the Press Complaints Commission (http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/makingacomplaint.html ).
A compelling case of compare & contrast presented itself on the day that Turner's puerile projectile was vomited onto the city's streets. Just 35 miles down the East Lancs, in a city whose name shall be uttered with unrestrained hostility by all right-thinking Scousers, Joe "Tea & Sympathy" Anderson was meeting his counterpart along with business leaders. Their ideas certainly warrant critical scrutiny & informed criticism However, they view efforts to perpetuate this tiresome tribalism with no little disdain. The meeting was mentioned in the Manchester Evening News (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/manchester-liverpool-should-unite-say-6652374 ).
It would be welcome if Ali Machray & his "crew" of feral terrace taunters were aware of the MEN piece. After all, the paper is owned by Trinity Mirror.
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