Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Open Season On Scousers With The Guardian

After the ill-informed, pitiable rant from Beryl Bainbridge last Friday on Liverpool's culture (or lack of it, she asserted) on the Guardian Unlimited site, its Comment is Free (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ ) section gives political "commentator", Edward Pearce the chance to hurl some more mud at the city:
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/edward_pearce/2008/01/scouse_proud.html .
Pearce opens his ejaculatory spurt of vitriol thus: "OK, Liverpool is European capital of culture and, for a year, we shall hear the razz and witter of glorification. Is there, though, a chance that we might then have a decade of silence about the place?"
Fat chance, Edward. What's your problem? I note from your profile on CiF that you hail from Oldham. You wouldn't be suffering from a case of civic penis envy, would you?
Pearce goes on to sniff: "Liverpool is a prickly, truculent place, best appeased. Accordingly, it enjoys an indulgent, ill-balanced press. There is a feeling that somehow we owe it consolation, that we should make it up to Liverpool for some undefined wrong. That has generated a highly enjoyable culture of victimhood."
Well, yes, it is "prickly" & "truculent" in both good & bad ways. But "best appeased"? There's a disturbing implication there that Scousers are genetically aggressive & to be avoided, don't you think? As for the city enjoying a favourable press, ah yes, I recall all too well the Sun's immaculately balanced coverage of Hillsborough. Then there's the victimhood jibe. It's a cliche which does, alas, have some credence; far too many Scousers for my liking still wallow in a fog of fatalism, intoning their mantra, "There's nothing down for us".
However, it's worth noting that the victim mentality, along with the exponential rise in the use of heroin, was a toxic by-product of the Thatcher years. Edward Pearce, it should be noted, was a Thatcher acolyte. Moreover, Pearce's latest rant doesn't entirely surprise me; I recall a Guardian article he penned a decade or so back in which he suggested the best thing Liverpool could do was fall into the Mersey. Laugh? I nearly subscribed to the Spectator.
CiF pays its contributors for their posts, usually it's around £80, although it can vary; I suspect that Pearce got more due to his "status".
There's a word for the likes of Pearce, but I've always felt that Anglo-Saxon epithets reveal a limited vocabulary.

1 comment:

pedro said...

Another excellent post. I've been reading your blog for a few months now and it is, without question, the most intelligent 'Liverpool blog'.

On the subject of the rapper, it was surely a spoof - mimicking those Welsh valley boys Goldie Lookin Chain?

The organisers had to inject some 'street' into the event and this kid was it.

It wasn't a big deal and shouldn't take the shine off a good show.