Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Self-Congratulation: A Case Study

It may be the start of a new year but you can be sure that the Oldham Echo will continue to work hand in glove with the Fib-Dems on Dale Street in civic delusion. Take today's soft-focus piece by Catherine Jones in which she allows Claire McColgan to deploy the sort of jargon & bollockese that would've made my old English teacher explode ( ):
" 'My role is to steer for the city council but obviously to work in partnership with people,' she explains. 'I'm not the artistic director for the city, I'm facilitating and driving the cultural work which is very different.
" 'It's about making the connections both within the city but also nationally and internationally.' "
Jones serves up yet another wasn't-culture-year-great piece & is happy to let McColgan spew forth even more drivel; clearly Jones forgets the old journalistic rule that a little scepticism should be injected to counterbalance a torrent of PR bilge.
McColgan trills that she wants the city's waterfront to be "the South Bank of the north."
The South Bank may have its weaknesses, yet it hasn't allowed its most distinguished features & landmarks to be overshadowed by vulgar & crass additions.
She goes on to exhume the old cliche about culture year rescuing the city from the dark days of decline & adds:
" 'In 08 we all came together. There was just one voice that came out of Liverpool that said "look at us, we're fantastic".
" 'Nobody who lives in this city wants it to fail. You want it to be the thing that's the success story in the country.'....
" 'Our main job is to engage with that kid in Croxteth who doesn't feel the city centre is for them,' " McColgan opines.
There's so much nonsense in that passage that warrants attention. Firstly, we didn't all come together & pat ourselves on the back; long before Ringo warbled on the roof of St George's Hall some of us were sounding the alarm bells. Secondly, saying that nobody wants the city to fail is such an inane truism that it shouldn't even be uttered. Thirdly, "that kid in Croxteth" has good reason to feel that it's no longer his or her city centre -- look at the monstosity that is Grosvenor-pool. No amount of engagement will alter that.
Jones goes on to reflect in awe-struck tones:
"Capital of Culture is, amazingly, two years ago now."
Yes, Catherine, it is amazing. It may have something to do with the fact that the gap between 2008 & 2010 is, "amazingly", two years.
However, let's leave the final word in this apologia for journalism to McColgan as she says in her cosy chat with Jones:
" 'As a city council first and foremost we need to deliver for the people of the city, that's why we're here.' "
Give me strength.

No comments: