Saturday, January 12, 2008


So, how was it for you? The sporadic live TV coverage given to the Liverpool08 opening ceremony on BBC News 24 revealed a somewhat tawdry affair, despite the best efforts of the BBC reporters to talk it up (since when was the Beeb in the PR business?). At best, I found it cliched. At worst, I found it lacking in any originality. As for Ringo's [mimed] warbling, his dirge served to remind the watching millions why he wasn't given songwriting duties with the Fab Four.

However, there is criticism & there is criticism. One is based on the principled, informed stance of local blogs such as Liverpool Subculture ( ), &, by the way, check out the latest nuggets unearthed by Tony Parrish from last night, & there is criticism based on ignorance, snobbery & a loathing for one's birthplace. An example of this can be found in a sour & curmudgeonly post on the Guardian's Arts blog by Liverpool-born writer Beryl Bainbridge: .
It begins forebodingly, "The reason I can't muster any enthusiasm [for 2008] is because it is no longer 'my Liverpool'."
So why is it no longer Beryl's Liverpool? Simple: change; the passage of time. Oh, & her longtime residence in leafy Hampstead. Where Cilla & Tarby are Professional Scousers, Beryl is a reluctant, perhaps self-denying one.
She goes on to get her civic & cultural history wrong, confusing the separate identities of the Playhouse & the Everyman. For good measure, she goes on to maintain that "ordinary Liverpudlians" don't go to the Phil's classical concerts. This "ordinary Liverpudlian" gives the lie to that. Bainbridge also asserts that the middle class have mostly left the city, a point which will be news to the residents of Woolton, Mossley Hill, Allerton & other petit-bourgeois enclaves in the south end of the city. It could also be noted in response to Bainbridge's generalisation that the residential developments in the city centre are certainly not marketed at a C2 demographic.
Bainbridge's malevolent missive concludes with two sentences which encapsulate her rank inconsistency & make her diatribe all the more risible: "But all this is only the opinion of somebody who left Liverpool 40 years ago. I wish them the best of luck with their celebrations."
If, however, it is an attempt at sarcasm, it has all the impact of a eunuch in a brothel.

1 comment:

The Artfinder said...

I can't think of many things more patronising than the expression "ordinary Liverpudlian" - with the possible exception of the phrase "the people's opening"