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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are know Liverpool is brill place - dead cultured yet dead welcoming, outlooking but with a strong sense of identity, a spralling metropolis but with community spirit. But where did the old Scouse stereotypes come from?

Things are changing thankfuly. With City of Culture status, new developments, and clever urban planning on the go, far better marketing of the city as well, people from outside the city are finding out what we already know in the city - Liverpool is heart an soul of the country. And the most beautiful city in England.

But how did the city of gentlemen get the stereotype of being full of people on the dole, knicking your hubcaps, getting mugged and this stupid 'self pity city' tag (which means we can't defend ourselves or complain without being described as the self fucking pity city). Did all the stereotypes start in the 80s? And why? Was our crime really bad? Was everyone on the dole (more than other places?)

I just don't get when the stereotypes started about Liverpool and why? As I said perceptiions are changing, but for a long time Liverpool has had a totally undeserved bad image amongst people who never came here. Maybe this held us back from investment from outside in the past, and stopped people moving here, etc
 

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As the man (Dan) from the BBC emailed me to confirm the other week.

People are only interested in `BAD` news - and to quote him `What is good news for Liverpool may not be considered good news by others` - which says a lot towards answering your question.

When the `Mass Media` of the last few decades decided to have feeding frenzy of decay and despair and largely still do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pietari said:
As the man (Dan) from the BBC emailed me to confirm the other week.

People are only interested in `BAD` news - and to quote him `What is good news for Liverpool may not be considered good news by others` - which says a lot towards answering your question.

When the `Mass Media` of the last few decades decided to have feeding frenzy of decay and despair and largely still do.
But why did they decide to have a feeding frenzy? Is because of gritty dramas like Boys from the Black Stuff and Brookie and everyone believing we were like that? Where the hell did the hubcap/car stereos/everyone-wears-a-shellsuit thing come from? I don't know anyone who actually came here an didn't have anything but good things to say about the place
 

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Stereotypes are virtually all caused by either ignorance or propaganda.
The press like to stir up the propaganda, and a lot of people are too ignorant to go and find out otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
(Old) article from the BBC website -

Friday, 22 March, 2002, 14:51 GMT
'My Scouse pain'

by Finlo Rohrer
BBC News Online

It's International Scouse Day, a time for Liverpudlians to celebrate their unique heritage. But hailing from Merseyside's capital is not without its irritations.

Historically, scouse is just stew. But peer into the murky depths of the pan and you can see the outline of a much-maligned city.

The word itself is derived from lobscouse, a corruption of a Scandinavian term brought by the sailors during Liverpool's mightiest maritime years.



But Merseyside no longer conjures up images of shipbuilding excellence, big-spending cotton barons and a gateway to the Empire.

Latterday Liverpudlians travelling or settling elsewhere in the UK seem unable to avoid an altogether more negative reaction to their birthplace.

If I had a pound for every time I have encountered "calm down, calm down" or hilarious gags about stolen hubcaps and car stereos, I would own Liverpool.

Butt of jokes

It seems the Liverpool of the southern imagination is a place full of shellsuit-wearing rogues who prowl the streets looking for houses to burgle, their hands bedecked with glistening sovereign rings.



While Manchester has turned into the de facto capital of the North West, in its shadow, Liverpool has become the butt of a thousand jokes.

But the city sometimes does itself no favours.

Scouseness covers everything that is unique and amusing about Liverpool, yet it also provokes a morass of infuriating, introspective tweeness.

You may be surprised to learn that some of the most patriotic Liverpudlians cannot abide talk of jam butty mines and listening to Norwegian covers bands take on Beatles medleys.

Strictly professional

As a fundraising exercise for Alder Hey Hospital, International Scouse Day is highlighting the work of an outstanding children's hospital that has endured some difficult times recently.



But it is hard not to groan every time there is an opportunity for professional Scousers to come out of the woodwork.

Because of the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside, Liverpool is the city of "dey do doh, don't dey doh", "sound as a pound", and a place where you can buy books on how to Lern Yerself Scouse.

But we don't all speak like the cast of "Brooky", calling each other Tinhead and Growler, and we don't all think "civilisation ends at the Runcorn bridge".

Despite Liverpool's occasional insularity and reliance on the past, it has a buzz rarely matched by other cities.

Easy target

Much of the knocking that has created Liverpool's stereotypes emanates from the London-centric media.



When newspapers need a feature on juvenile crime, poverty, drugs or the inefficient workings of the criminal justice system, the lazy journalist looks no further than Liverpool.

Never mind that crime figures in Liverpool, still riven by genuine deprivation and unemployment, are not that much different from London's.

Some people still see as fact the fictional city evoked in the 1980s sitcom Bread, a place of work-shy, dole-cheating chancers who love their mum.

And the negative portrayals keep coming, with the police fly-on-the-wall Mersey Blues giving us "meeeerder", another stick for anti-Scousers to beat us with.

Culture capital

To be fair, it is not just Liverpool. For the most part, the metropolitan media have a mental map of the UK that features London and a large area of northern wasteland marked "here be dragons".



Never mind that Merseyside's capital is a strong contender for European city of culture.

Or that Liverpool's small population has produced the foremost pop band in pop history and a host of other cultural pioneers over the years.

The paintings of George Stubbs, the photography of E Chambre Hardman, poetry of Roger McGough and plays of Willy Russell show a city that has been a creative hub throughout the last 300 years.

The music of the Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunnymen, the La's and Shack have bubbled under great shifts in alternative music in more recent years.

Big hospital

Liverpool, as a city of fewer than 500,000 people, has punched above its weight culturally, scientifically and in sport.

It has one of the largest hospitals in Europe, a renowned school of tropical medicine, England's most successful football team and enough theatres and art galleries to shake a stick at.

Despite the economic destruction wrought on it, and the decay of its spectacular architecture, Liverpool remains a magnificent and powerful city which is a party capital and a good place to walk around.

Liverpool is not the city of thieves, dole cheats, drug dealers, rioters and strikers.

So stop giving us a hard time.

And one more thing... Scousers really are funny.



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Add your comments using the form below:

What about giving Londoners a break? Stereotyping us as narrow-minded media luvvies who never go outside the M25 is as infuriating as anything Liverpudlians have to put up with.
Ben, Britain

When people ask where I'm from, and I tell them, it's like I've painted a bulleye on my forehead for abuse.
James, Liverpool

Scousers are funny if you are laughing at them, not with them!
Paco, UK

I'd blame Harry Enfield.
Richard, UK

And guess what people say when I say I am an Essex girl.
K Holliman, UK

Spot on ! As an exiled ( and proud ) Liverpudlian living and working in Manchester, I am sick to death of the archetypal 'Scouse' jokes - in fact, I believe the word 'scouser' is now a synonymous with the 'scally' image. So much so, that I insist on being described properly as a Liverpudlian.
Eddie Harris, UK

Alternatively let's keep quiet about Liverpool and enjoy it for ourselves!
William Collier, UK

Calm Down, Calm down la! HA HA HA HA HA!
Chris, London

Well done, Finlo. A well reasoned and written article from a fellow scouser suffering the ignorance of the Sarf!
Alan, Scouse in Surrey
 

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Liverpool has been getting stuff written about it on the negative side since the Irish came to Liverpool, after reading some old Newspaper articles from the 19th century.

Is it because Liverpool isn't English but more of a 'celtic' City? Is Liverpool hated because our culture is different and shaped due to it being a port city, getting it's influences from all round the world? Did Liverpool get too big for it's boots on the 60's and had to be knocked down a peg or two by the Southern press? If Liverpool didn't get the negatives would Manchester get it instead? :)
 

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it was after the riots and turmoil, but i think Harry Enfield made it worse regarding the stereotype, but getting rid of brookside was a good idea
 

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Article By Brian Reade

LIVERPOOL'S A HUB OF CULTURE NOW, BORIS

LET me count the reasons why I couldn't drag myself on to the streets of Liverpool yesterday to hear the Shadow Minister for Culture beat his ample breast in penitence.

CBeebies' Balamory was reaching a cliff-hanger, an elbow scab screamed to be picked, my spoons needed scalding... And I couldn't think of anything less relevant to my life than the lazy, shallow accusation from an over-grown public schoolboy called Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, that I am a psychologically flawed grief-addict who fought his way into Hillsborough to kill his fellow football fans 15 years ago.

The foppish buffoon has been dispatched to our doorstep to give an apology he's been forced into, to a community he doesn't understand, about events he is too arrogant to interpret accurately, all so he can save his non-job in a pointless Shadow Cabinet. Yikes.

What was this circus all about? Liverpool people didn't wallow in Ken Bigley's death.

There was no sea of flowers or feigned weeping as happened throug`hout this country when Diana and the Queen Mother died. A small minority signed condolence books and lit candles but most reacted in a quiet, detached way.

If, as Johnson suggests, Liverpudlians "wallow" in victimhood, why didn't any mosques or Muslim shops get attacked in revenge for the execution, as would have happened in many towns not that far from civilised Henley-on-Thames? And as for most Scousers being furious with Johnson. They're not. Because they don't know who he is. (As one of the few people who got to see him yesterday said: "Is he the fat fella from Little Britain in a wig?")


Why should they care what's written in his little-read rag for the few mutants still residing on Planet Tory? How could they take seriously his attempt at considered commentary when he couldn't be bothered to check how many "more than 50" died at Hillsborough?


Which is why most Scousers had two reactions to Johnson's enforced visit. Astonishment that someone who looks like he needs a chauffeur to find his own arse could find his way to a city 200 miles outside Westminster. And total indifference. Besides, The Spectator's intellectually poverty-stricken diatribe was simply another attack by a small cabal of southern, right-wing commentators, not just on Liverpool, but the working class.


For decades these neo-Thatcherites have loathed what they perceive to be an over-sentimentalised, underclass fed on a "culture of welfarism".


Back in the 1980s, Liverpool was their manna from heaven. A chance to lambast every poor sod thrown on the dole by the decimation of our manufacturing base.


Kick Liverpool and you kick every dirty little proletarian who bloats the benefits bill. And you'll get away with it, because bolshy Scousers are an easy target.


Thankfully Liverpool is undergoing an economic and psychological renaissance and the attacks tend to be laughed at.


The city's moved on. It's the likes of The Spectator, stuck in a time-warp whinging on about some bygone golden era, which deserves our contempt or sympathy.


Which is why, instead of giving the Shadow Minister for Culture the time of day, I'd have given him a hub-cap and told to go back to his constituency and prepare for more prejudices.


While we get on with enjoying our international art biennial and our newly-christened World Heritage Status waterfront, shaping the biggest city centre re-development in Europe and preparing to be the continent's Capital of Culture.
 

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Again Brian Reade hits the nail on the head!

WHY WE NEED TO BE THE HUB CAP OF EUROPE

A WEEK on and still the questions trickle into my email system and letters pages across the land.

"Is anyone surprised the Scousers nicked it?" "Tell us your motto again: The world's hubcaps in one city?" "How will tourists know the exchange rate between the Euro and the Giro?"

Laugh? I haven't stopped since Liverpool was declared Europe's future cultural capital, not merely turning round the city's fortunes but turning the gag.

On a nation which has been peddling jokes so dated and corny most Scousers ceased taking offence at them 15 years ago. Our lack of laughter was nothing personal, we just didn't have the heart to tell you they were about as topical as banging on about Cockneys dying of the Black Death.

Don't take it from people like me who live in Liverpool, ask the thousands of students who choose to stay and make their home there, hoteliers who pack in tourists, clubbers, fashion gurus, the Unesco bigwigs who are about to give its waterfront World Heritage status, and the developers tripping over themselves to cash in on the rebirth of this globally-famous city.

The dwindling band of cynics, most of whom have never visited Liverpool, are more comfortable dwelling on cartoon stereotypes than those facts because it gives them an air of superiority. For them, Liverpool will always be a mythical hell-hole of robbers, whingers, doleites and slums. They like it like that presumably because it makes them feel better about the characterless town they live in.


The same prejudices surfaced when Glasgow was made European City Of Culture in 1990, and when Manchester hosted last year's Commonwealth Games.


How could such a grim Northern city put on a world-class event, they mocked? And then it put on such a professional show it makes London's Olympic bid look like a kids' plan for the school egg-and-spoon race.


But then, being riddled with outdated preconceptions has become the new British disease.


Many of those who deride the return to greatness of our old industrial cities have the same unfounded fear and loathing about Europeans. They don't trust them. They don't want them. They somehow feel threatened.


So they play up the prejudices over German aggressors, French militants and lazy Greeks whose aim is to sponge off Britain and drag our proud nation down.


Now where have I heard all that before, Mr Angry of Kensington?


The tragedy is that these people can't see how they are turning into their own nightmare stereotype. The way Liverpudlians were demonised, as insular whingers living off past glories, is precisely how our vocal band of Euro-haters now appear to the wider continent.


And the longer they sit back clutching their pounds, reminiscing about a lost empire and refusing to re-define our destiny, the more Europeans will see them for the sad, cringeful joke they are.


It is time Britain got a grip of itself and its future. Time to stake its place at the heart of a new Europe. As unbelievable as the irony may seem, Liverpool already has. The rest of Britain has to follow suit. Shell-suit if you like.


Little Englanders of the world disband. You have nothing to lose but your prejudices. Because, if you don't, you will become a laughing-stock, the butt of lame gags about your lack of jobs, vision and relevance to the real world.


Jokes like: "What do you call a Brit in a suit? A museum attendant."
 

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Rudi said:
We are know Liverpool is brill place - dead cultured yet dead welcoming, outlooking but with a strong sense of identity, a spralling metropolis but with community spirit. But where did the old Scouse stereotypes come from?

Things are changing thankfuly. With City of Culture status, new developments, and clever urban planning on the go, far better marketing of the city as well, people from outside the city are finding out what we already know in the city - Liverpool is heart an soul of the country. And the most beautiful city in England.

But how did the city of gentlemen get the stereotype of being full of people on the dole, knicking your hubcaps, getting mugged and this stupid 'self pity city' tag (which means we can't defend ourselves or complain without being described as the self fucking pity city). Did all the stereotypes start in the 80s? And why? Was our crime really bad? Was everyone on the dole (more than other places?)

I just don't get when the stereotypes started about Liverpool and why? As I said perceptiions are changing, but for a long time Liverpool has had a totally undeserved bad image amongst people who never came here. Maybe this held us back from investment from outside in the past, and stopped people moving here, etc
You have a point. From the city of good humour and the mop tops to public enemy No. 1 in a few short years.

One, is that is was contrived. To kill Sheffield you import cheaper steel from the Far East. That they did and it near died. To kill a mixed economy like Liverpool you set up a scab ports like Felixstowe to take away port trade and then character assassinate the city and its people - the London based press never had a good word to say about the place. Manchester based media didn't help either, not that they were laying in clover. Industry and commerce fled because of image and no one dared invest or setup in Liverpool as it was full of strikes. The fact was that less man hours were lost in Liverpool to industrial disputes than any other city.

It’s a filth hole they all said, yet huge swathes of the city are declared World Heritage Sites. They steal a lot – Manchester especially perpetuated this myth, when Manchester had a higher crime rate. The Irish were hated because of bombing campaigns, so all Liverpudlians are Irish, etc, etc.

If it’s going to hit the fan then Liverpool will be first in – the rebel city - then other cities would follow suit. Ridicule the city, say they are thick Irish, and the others will not.
 

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The lack of media in the city to self promote and defend the place from the barbs enabled the insecure and jealous the opportunity to have a pop with no fear of comeback.

It'll take years to shift it.
 

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Somebody will have to do his PhD thesis on it Rudi. It's difficult to credit sometimes, but here's my take:

Partly it was politically motivated: back in the 80s the right-wing press liked to attack the city as it represented in their minds resistance to their beloved Maggie. Of course, we know that Liverpool's history is as a Tory city built on capitalism and the main reason why a gang of Trots briefly held power in the city was that Labour's historical weakness in the area allowed a small crew of entryists, some of whom weren't from the city, to seize control of the local party.


Scapegoating is an age-old mechanism for getting people to identity with their masters and against people less fortunate than themselves. Liverpool is a very distinctive place and its people stand out. It was easy for the press to use Liverpool as a scapegoat. They will always be mediocre individuals who will lap up the targetting of any group in order to attempt to feel better about their sorry little lives.

During the 80s the pro-Thatcher, Murdoch stable of newspapers led the charge with attacks on the city appearing in The Sun and The Times. Rather than attack Hatton and his crew alone, they attacked the city itself and its people.

As for why some of the so-called liberal press has, from time to time, ignorantly attacked the city - something that Tony Sebo has noted - it's more difficult to ascertain the motive, as there'll be one.

Some of the nastiest things written about Liverpool in the liberal Guardian and Observer newsparers have been by people with a Manchester connection (can of worms, I know), but it's true that anti-Manchester feelings aren't uncommon in Manchester just as some Liverpudlians have a prejudice against Manchester.

A frequent espouser of the most bizarre and incoherent anti-Liverpool rants has been the Salford-born writer, Edward Pearce; one of the nastiest pieces of anti-Liverpool bigotry appeared in The Guardian, written by the Manchester-educated Charlotte Raven. The concentration of regional media in Manchester will always, inevitably introduce an anti-Liverpool bias into the selection of stories and the way that the city is reported on.

This all illustrates why, when you have too rival cities with a tetchy and historically competitive relationship, creating a region around both and locating all local broadcasting news media resources in one of those cities is not going to do the other city any favours.

The Manchester thing isn't everything, however, there must be more to the it. There's more 'side' to anti-Liverpool reporting and I'm not sure what it is.

A subconscious or otherwise anti-Irish racism thing? A realisation that in this post-PC world, racism and many other prejudiced reporting is no longer acceptable and therefore due to a basic horrible human need to scapegoat, alternatives must be found?

Or sheer class-based snobbism, as Liverpool is viewed as (another partial untruth) a working class city, and its appears to be acceptable to hate the white working class as a group (all this "chav" stuff) when other prejudice is unacceptable?

I'd be interested in Sebo's take on this, as it's he who regularly reminds us that the liberal press has been as bad as the right wing in its misrepresentation of the city.

Add in the more recent "victim culture" bullshit, which, interestingly is what the KKK says about southern blacks when they complain about anything and the BNP about ethic minorities and the circle is complete.

Frequently attack Liverpool with bullshit prejudiced articles and, if anyone complaints, apply the "victim culture" stereotype as well.

For the record, crime rates in Liverpool have never been particularly bad in Liverpool compared with the other big cities, including the press centres of Manchester and London.
 

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Myths need to be fed and perpetuated in order to continue.

Some months ago a misunderstanding took place whereby some rags in an alley were mis-reported as being a dead baby. A few locals left flowers, out of respect. The BBC national news website reported this tiny little story concerning a small number of people, and linked it to other past "stories" concerning the so-called “sentimentality” of Liverpool, with particular reference to Boris.

This malicious, city-bashing non-story was written by the BBC newsgathering team in Manchester. Initially the BBC refused to confirm this when asked (and they are the most paranoid and secretive European organisation to survive the end of the cold war) . The BBC report on Liverpool as if it is a foreign or alien city to them, and with prejudice. Unless and until Liverpool City Council in particular become far more aggressive in countering this kind of hostile mis-reporting, it will continue. It is one of the responsibilities of the Council to promote economic well-being, and that is totally undermined by not countering continual slurs and requiring they be withdrawn or balanced with more objective coverage. They need to get busy on that. I’ve suggested that the 21st Century Society could help with such a role, if it wished to. It could have its own little “anti-defamation” team of volunteers, a bit like the jewish Anti-Defamation League. I know I'd be happy to spend a bit of time helping on that.
 

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liverpolitan said:
Myths need to be fed and perpetuated in order to continue.

Some months ago a misunderstanding took place whereby some rags in an alley were mis-reported as being a dead baby. A few locals left flowers, out of respect. The BBC national news website reported this tiny little story concerning a small number of people, and linked it to other past "stories" concerning the so-called “sentimentality” of Liverpool, with particular reference to Boris.

This malicious, city-bashing non-story was written by the BBC newsgathering team in Manchester. Initially the BBC refused to confirm this when asked (and they are the most paranoid and secretive European organisation to survive the end of the cold war) . The BBC report on Liverpool as if it is a foreign or alien city to them, and with prejudice. Unless and until Liverpool City Council in particular become far more aggressive in countering this kind of hostile mis-reporting, it will continue. It is one of the responsibilities of the Council to promote economic well-being, and that is totally undermined by not countering continual slurs and requiring they be withdrawn or balanced with more objective coverage. They need to get busy on that. I’ve suggested that the 21st Century Society could help with such a role, if it wished to. It could have its own little “anti-defamation” team of volunteers, a bit like the jewish Anti-Defamation League. I know I'd be happy to spend a bit of time helping on that.
Speak to professional exiled Liverpudlians in the south. They have to be miles better to be regarded as equal. They say if they were black they would have legal cases against many organisations. Many go on to work for themselves because of prejudice, and many succeed too.

I met one girl, a graduate, who was told at an interview she would not be getting the job because “they found her accent offensive”.

Liverpudlians should clamp down on prejudice at all times. It is the only way. It worked for the blacks and Jewish.
 

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Quote: Poli.
"It could have its own little “anti-defamation” team of volunteers, a bit like the jewish Anti-Defamation League. I know I'd be happy to spend a bit of time helping on that."

Certainly I think that this is something that most Liverpool Forumers are already doing.....and what we must continue to do.

Some establishments do have their own agendas and deeply held bias.

All to often there seems to be an agenda of convienence regarding the reporting of Liverpool.

"Bury the good news (reduce it to the minimum)"

and

"Dig up the bad news (maximise it as much as you can)"

And until some media institutions have new blood it will mostly remain so.

If they can ban `Fox hunting` they can `Ban Liverpool Bashing.`

Until then we`ll just take it on the chin and rise above it.....and report it and respond to it.

Who was that nice man who was going to defend himself with the sword of truth.....no wonder his arse was aiken` he must of sat on it instead.

"Lies" and "The Truth" make for strange bed persons.
 

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I don't think it will ever be possible to reduce the venomous hatred the city seems to attract down to some core 'reasons'.

It could be rooted in the city's 'differentness', a common spur for resentment and even hatred, at least partly. I did reasie theissue about bigotry being displayed in the 'liberal' media, though this is not to say it is confined to them. What I would say is that the worst and openly hateful, spiteful gutter journalism reseerved for Liverpool has come out of those leftist papers. One reason for that is that as it has been less and less acceptible to openly display bigotry it has to be mainfest somewhere..... and it is still acceptable to disparage Liverpool in a way it would not be acceptable any more to target others.... ?

As for the Manchester press I see this as nothing more than the resentment their elites have always had toward Liverpool... it irks because our own city is only now emerging from a prolonged decline.. but in the past it never bothered me. An interesting point about the 'inter city hatreed' that is supposed to be rife between Liverpool and Manchester, until quite recently it was always one way traffic. I grew up not thinking about Manchester as a 'rival' still carrying my deluded notion that Liverpool was on a different level (a higher one)

I also do get a strong impression when some of the more thin skinned forumers come over to this one that they often get so riled due to their hard earned sense of superiority... don't you get that impression also? You get the distinct subtext of "how dare you scruffy oiks compare your shithole city and culture with us....know thy (sub-regional) place"

The only sort of positive I can take is that when people feel they know a place, they form an opinion on limited aspects of that.... and once you do this it is easy to parody such 'one dimensionalism'... the fact that it was they who created the limited picture does not come into it.

As for the whinging, well there has been a lot to take issue with..and the easiest way to dismiss legitmate calls is to dismiss them as 'irrelevant whinging'... job done. Metro has used this tactic on the media thread... and is a tactic that used to be regualrly used to dismiss claims by blacks about police harrasment, prejudice in the workforce etc..."ah, there's nothing wrong, just a ******/scouser with a chip on their fucking shoulders... you don't have to really listen"



All I can say to that generalisation is to add that there has been quite a lot to whinge about over the last 30 years....
 

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Dot be so pessimistic. I reckon its likely that in time peoples perception of the city will change. Remember how fickle people can be.
In the Beatles heyday things were different.
I reckon a couple of universally liked 'A' list celebrities along the likes fo Billy Connelly/Peter Kay to come out of the city would go some way to changing the stereotypes.
 

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majormystery said:
Dot be so pessimistic. I reckon its likely that in time peoples perception of the city will change. Remember how fickle people can be.
In the Beatles heyday things were different.
I reckon a couple of universally liked 'A' list celebrities along the likes fo Billy Connelly/Peter Kay to come out of the city would go some way to changing the stereotypes.
Peter Kaye? Please. Liverpudlians permeate show buisness. Not short of famous people from here.
 

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John-MK: stop being a ****.

I dunno majormystery, Paul O'Grady is difficult to dislike.

I'm not sure, really, however, whether Billy Connolly and Peter Kay really do Glasgow and Bolton much good. Connolly (who was funny once) came to fame with a wild hard-drinking, swearing, working class Glaswegian image.

Peter Kay is entertaining, but would you want people thinking that Phoenix Nights represented your town?

Sometimes, entertainers can reinforce negative stereotypes.

You might be too young to remember horrors such as the comedy thick Irishman, Jimmy Cricket (he wore wellies, one with a big letter 'L' on his right foot, one with an 'R' on his left). There was obviously a market for a thick Irish stereotype back in 70s racist, anti-Irish Britain. He's just the worst example, but you know what I mean.
 

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Sterotypes thrive in areas of maximum difference. In Liverpool's case, the accent is different from the surrounding area and the rest of the country. It's culture is informed by Celtic, American, African and Chinese sensibilities. It's humour is anti-authority, sceptical and sentimental in a country that is largely conformist and afraid of emotional expression. Its music has produced more number ones than any other city. Its reputation for possessing a strikeprone workforce is longstanding. The 'scally' sterotype is more recent. My take on this is that the majority of the people who left the city from the 70s onwards weren't educated middle class professionals (they mostly never left) but people without much education and poor skills. The type of scouser who pitched up in London, wherever, was likely to be of the hardcore scal variety. To over-generalise for the purpose of making a point, IMO ex-pats tend to come in two main varieties. The first rubbishes the city and what according to them it has become since they left. Fucking filthy shithole couldn't wait to get out. The other type, especially when aled up, tends towards over-sentimentality a la snotty noses on scotty road. Exposure to either variety in the context of pre-exisitng awareness of 'difference' = sterotyping
 
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