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CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER
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The point was that in a piece about a general problem of cross-arbitrary county boundary lines drug supply Liverpool was chosen as the example. Just the English media have made themselves feel better about their country's stabbings, rioting and prostitution problems in the last year or two by scapegoating Liverpool in their reports on these national problems that aren't even especially an issue in Liverpool in comparison to other cities.

I wonder if the multitude of London drug gangs supply the Home Counties with drugs? Of course they do. Who supplies the tons of gak snorted in east Cheshire but Manchester's drug barons? No one of course. Having this at their doorstep of their media operations did not prompt them to save themselves the time and expense in coming to Liverpool for their story.
I think the danger here is that everything becomes seen as part of the same narrative, and we end up travelling in ever decreasing circles constantly looking for validation of our belief that 'they' are out to get us. What was interesting about this story is that drug gangs, facing saturation in the cities are moving out to take over the territories of smaller towns. That's far more noteworthy than looking for yet another example of an anti-Liverpool agenda in the media.
 

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No one is objecting to a news piece about big city drug dealers moving into smaller towns. We are objecting to their automatic choice of Liverpool as their example of bad stuff that happens nationally while they operate out of England's two most festering pits of crime, London and Manchester. And they do this again and again.
 

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No one is objecting to a news piece about big city drug dealers moving into smaller towns. We are objecting to their automatic choice of Liverpool as their example of bad stuff that happens nationally while they operate out of England's two most festering pits of crime, London and Manchester. And they do this again and again.
You don't know it was automatic. It seemed to be based on a journalistic lead, because they had an anonymous interview with a former dealer.

Anyway, Liverpool is one of the biggest cities in the country so it will attract it's fair share of negative stories. And I understand the concern. But we risk being too defensive and in its own way, that's hostile too. Part of being confident about our place in the world is not having to respond to every perceived slight.
 

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Liverpool isn't defensive in the slightest. That is one of the things English idiots who hate it think it is. It takes everything the English media throws at it without complaint. There is one exception in history which was to with the fans of a sport team rather than the city and concerned campaigners from various places. Otherwise Liverpool sucks it up.

Liverpool isn't represented as a big city in contexts in which being a big city is a good thing. It isn't just that being a big city means more bad stuff will happen here than a small place. Of course whenever something bad happens in Liverpool the BBC run gleefully to their media cars in a secure compound at Salford Quay (to prevent the inevitability of their theft or vandalism in one of the most crime-ridden districts in the UK) and hurtle down the M62 to cover it. That's not what I'm talking about. What I am talking about it their systematic use of Liverpool, a city they ignore as a general example of a big city in 'nice' stories as the key case study of where a national problem exists. I'm talking bit over your head at this point, but the fact the Liverpool is 'the other', something the English don't in their bones think of being kith and kin, is why this provides a very useful scapegoating mechanism as old as human psychology.

The rather patriotic media of the British state's number 1 and number 2 cities, London and Manchester, have a deep, unconscious much of the time, unease about the rampant crime, stabbings, acid attacks, riots and prostitution of those unhappy, but privileged by the state, towns. And in their country generally. How can they exorcise this angst? Well do a story about the national problem of something really horrible that scares them, ignore the country's two worst concentrations of these bad things (where they live) and then have an expose of what's happening in Liverpool. Mental peace is restored and everyone all over the country is talking about the safest big city in the country as being full of stabbing, riots or what have you. They probably walk home from the Tube or tram spot at the end of the night past yellow police crime signs thinking about how dangerous and crime ridden that Liverpool shithole is. This whole metropolitan city should not exist to provide at its cost a psychological crutch to a number of very silly and fearful people in London and Manchester.
 

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I'm talking bit over your head at this point, but the fact the Liverpool is 'the other', something the English don't in their bones think of the same as kith and kin, is why this provides a very useful scapegoating mechanism as old as human psychology.
Can't help yourself can you?

It's a fine speech. Don Draper would be proud. But my point still stands. Go too far with this narrative and every 'negative' story comes to be seen as yet another example to prove a pre-existing point. One we've heard, many, many times before. Where all journalists/civil servants/members of the establishment are working either consciously or unconsciously to do us down, because, well, they just hate us because we are different and they want to elevate some other arbitrary place in our stead. Or because they just need a convenient scape goat (the latest version of the theory). Liverpool is cast as the acceptable face of 'Other' - by the last ism yet to be given a name.

I have no doubt some people hate us. But most do not. And to believe such - that we have been cast beyond the pale - well that way leads to madness, IMO.

p.s. Maybe we should start a thread where we post negative stories about other towns? To remind ourselves we aren't the only ones.
 

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It's not just the BBC either. The Guardian, favourite newspaper of these types, quickly gets into gear when a negative story is needed from the provinces. Suddenly we hear from expert 'North of England' correspondents, who ordinarily try their best to consciously blank out Liverpool's existence.
 

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Well yes as far as they are concerned one of the biggest cities in the country is the tiniest, least significant place imaginable. Until it's time to talk about bad stuff. Then it's the gigantic powerhouse of whatever is troubling the English about their towns this week.
 

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Can't help yourself can you?

It's a fine speech. Don Draper would be proud. But my point still stands. Go too far with this narrative and every 'negative' story comes to be seen as yet another example to prove a pre-existing point. One we've heard, many, many times before. Where all journalists/civil servants/members of the establishment are working either consciously or unconsciously to do us down, because, well, they just hate us because we are different and they want to elevate some other arbitrary place in our stead. Or because they just need a convenient scape goat (the latest version of the theory). Liverpool is cast as the acceptable face of 'Other' - by the last ism yet to be given a name.

I have no doubt some people hate us. But most do not. And to believe such - that we have been cast beyond the pale - well that way leads to madness, IMO.

p.s. Maybe we should start a thread where we post negative stories about other towns? To remind ourselves we aren't the only ones.

I speak as someone who grew up in another part of the UK, but has lived in England 20 years, giving me a certain outside / inside knowledge. And I qill say this. This country is riven by snide little prejudices, right up to the top levels of those running it, and the prejudices against Liverpool are among the worst. It is completely irrational, but then rationality and the way England is run have never been close bedfellows
 

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Liverpool displacing local drug suppliers in North Wales.
Just proof that sans crippling regulations and given a level playing surface, Liverpool is the equal, nay, the master of business enterprise.:)
 

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It's not just the BBC either. The Guardian, favourite newspaper of these types, quickly gets into gear when a negative story is needed from the provinces. Suddenly we hear from expert 'North of England' correspondents, who ordinarily try their best to consciously blank out Liverpool's existence.

Smug and irritsting as the Grauniad and its readers can be, its attitude to Liverpool is nowhere near as bad as that of the Telegraph, Mail, Express or Sun. They don't even bother with the in-depth articles. To them, the very word 'Liverpool' is shorthand for crime and social decline
 

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I'm not sure that's fair really. Really hate-filled articles written about Liverpool in a broadsheet newspaper seem to be the province of its 'liberal' journalists. I don't recall reading vileness of the sort practiced by in the Guardian's Charlotte Raven or the late Edward Pearce in the Telegraph for example. The Times maybe (although not to the same degree), reflecting its role as a kind of semi-official voice of the liberal(ish) but sometimes Tory voting establishment. It is striking how many policy announcements as well as the approved line on something to do with national security appears there. Some foreigners with less naivety about how this country works than many of the English refer to the Times as being a semi-official newspaper. A slightly more conservative version of the BBC say. I see what they mean. The Guardian reflects the liberal section of the same cohort of people. The rest is just prolefeed. The Guardian and the Times are full of shit as well of course but tailored to a more elevated section of groupthnking idiot. Like the Economist say. Every word in that publication is bunkum but if you want to know what the received line on a subject is for dealings with government or the boardrooms of London or global corporations, use it as your crib sheet. You won't get fired.
 

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One bit of sad news from a few days ago is that the architect Will Alsop has died.

Alsop became famous, (or maybe notorious) in Liverpool back in the last decade for his 'Cloud' proposal which was selected for the 'Fourth Grace' to sit where the Mann Island buildings have since been built.

Though many people hated it, I thought that it would have been a great addition to the original Three Graces and often argued for it on this site. Unfortunately, cost issues led to it being dropped by Liverpool City Council in a very abrupt fashion.

I don't know if it was before or after the cancellation but I remember one quote from Alsop that is worth bearing in mind - 'Liverpool people have got it into their heads that nothing good can happen in their city'.

I think about that when reading some of these posts. Sure there is prejudice about our city - often from people who have never been here - and whenever a journalist or broadcaster comes up with something that can be interpreted in that fashion, you can be sure to read it on this forum.

I'm not convinced that Liverpool attracts noticeably more negative media coverage than any other city of comparable size.

What I would be more likely to accept is that Liverpool gets more overall coverage than cities such as Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol or Newcastle.

There is something about Liverpool and Manchester that seems to attract more attention than other English cities.

As for London. I was there last week and reconfirmed for me just what an amazing city we have as capital. But what are the main stories coming out of London? Knife crime and Grenfell Tower dominate.
 

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“I don't know if it was before or after the cancellation but I remember one quote from Alsop that is worth bearing in mind - 'Liverpool people have got it into their heads that nothing good can happen in their city'.”

I think that’s been drummed into some by one thing or another over the last few decades.
 

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Afterwards. It was an emotional and quite prejudiced reaction to his project being canned. I can appreciate his annoyance with what happened. City of Liverpool asked for bids, chose his bid despite it being the least popular and then made the cold-eyed managerial decision to cancel it once the chief executive at the time, Sir David Henshaw, concluded that the economics of the project did not stack up. Probably the scheme never did, there wasn't enough public largesse on offer to make even Alsop's, the cheapest of the bids, wash its face financially and the whole Fourth Grace wheeze had the ultimate purpose of helping Liverpool win the ECoC award. The council got off lightly in the circumstances. If I remember correctly at the time, some in Newcastle quite reasonably asked for bids to be reopened but of course got nowhere.

Reading retrospectives of Alsop's career this week it does seem that his Fourth Grace not being built ultimately appears to have been a turning point in his career. It was all more-or-less downhill afterwards although the 2008 recession and so on was the real villain here. One has sympathy for Alsop as he was treated shabbily. That an Englishman of his background and class responded in the immediate aftermath of the decision of a bunch of faceless bureaucrats, mostly not from Liverpool, with an uncomplimentary characterisation of an entire people, who had nothing to do with either the selection nor cancellation of his project, is rather telling. His anger was righteous, how it instantly and automatically manifested itself reveals things about the psychology of this country and Liverpool's weird predicament within it.
 

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Soz old bean. I meant to say 'point'. That is every point you made in that post above. I have amended. In the round you say lot of credible stuff in your posts generally. Post drunk, edit sober as Sir Winston Churchill almost wrote.
 

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One bit of sad news from a few days ago is that the architect Will Alsop has died.

Alsop became famous, (or maybe notorious) in Liverpool back in the last decade for his 'Cloud' proposal which was selected for the 'Fourth Grace' to sit where the Mann Island buildings have since been built.

Though many people hated it, I thought that it would have been a great addition to the original Three Graces and often argued for it on this site. Unfortunately, cost issues led to it being dropped by Liverpool City Council in a very abrupt fashion.

I don't know if it was before or after the cancellation but I remember one quote from Alsop that is worth bearing in mind - 'Liverpool people have got it into their heads that nothing good can happen in their city'.

I think about that when reading some of these posts. Sure there is prejudice about our city - often from people who have never been here - and whenever a journalist or broadcaster comes up with something that can be interpreted in that fashion, you can be sure to read it on this forum.

I'm not convinced that Liverpool attracts noticeably more negative media coverage than any other city of comparable size.

What I would be more likely to accept is that Liverpool gets more overall coverage than cities such as Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol or Newcastle.

There is something about Liverpool and Manchester that seems to attract more attention than other English cities.

As for London. I was there last week and reconfirmed for me just what an amazing city we have as capital. But what are the main stories coming out of London? Knife crime and Grenfell Tower dominate.

All you have to do is look at the reaction to any new build to see how much large chunks of the city believe everything that happens is part of some great secret plan to somehow fleece them. Any new development and there is a talk of brown envelopes or money laundering.

The Cloud though was crap, it was architectural masturbation which put function at the bottom of the list.
 
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