No sooner has the city of Liverpool agreed to perpetuate a tired old stereotype of itself by staging another Beatle Day this summer that a Lib Dem councillor has suggested there be a special day each year, celebrating, yes, Liverpool itself (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/05/13/time-for-liverpool-to-have-its-own-day-100252-23609692/ ).
The "Self-Pity City" jibes of the national press through the 80s & 90s, sadly, had more than just an element of truth. Now, it seems, we are christening ourselves "Self-Regarding City".
The Oldham Echo's piece, however, reads more as a cross between a kite-flying council exercise & another typical Lib Dem bread & circuses PR stunt to disguise the fact that Liverpool City Council remains one of the worst-run in the country, barely a year-and-a-half after its ignominious bottom ranking (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7232000.stm ).
The Echo article gushes:
"Following on the success of the Liverpool capital of culture success [SIC!], there are moves towards establishing a special day devoted to the city and its people."
[The Oldham Echo's sub-editing operations must have been closed down altogether for that howler to get through.]
So who is the Lib Dem civic champion calling for an annual "Our Liverpool" day? Step forward, Councillor Paul Twigger, a representative for Knotty Ash (he's one of yours, Professor Chucklebutty!).
Councillor Twigger thinks that last year proved two things about Liverpool:
"One -- that it has got its pride back. Two -- that it knows how to celebrate."
He doesn't think it would be an excuse for a mass piss-up on the city centre's streets. Really, he doesn't.
Twigger is backed up by his Lib Dem colleague, Councillor Paula Keaveney, one-time Mastermind contestant, who exclaims:
"The possibilities are endless."
Yes, they certainly are, Paula. How many arrests for drunk & disorderly behaviour would be made? How much damage to property would occur? How would the Oldham Echo play down the trouble that ensued from a civic gimmick which it backed?
However, the Echo piece hints that Twigger & co. are ready to row back hastily on their suggestion if it's seen for what it is:
"Because the idea is still in its infancy, there is no suggestion about what day it would be held or how it would be celebrated."
Translation: We know this shallow gimmick could be rumbled, so we can conveniently shelve it without too much hassle or embarrassment.
There is a post-script to add about Councillor Twigger. Just over a year ago he used the franking machine at Liverpool John Moores University to mail Lib Dem election leaflets &, in doing so, charged the cost of the election mailshot to the university (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2008/04/26/councillor-sent-election-leaflets-from-jmu-100252-20823617/ ).
Councillor Twigger did apologise for his actions...when confronted with the evidence.
The city's civic future is truly assured with ingenious, resourceful & innovative figures like Councillor Twigger.