>> 20 Oct 2004

A Big(ley) Pain in the Rear

This guy is really starting to get on my nerves. Last week, Paul Bigley manipulated the memory of his lost brother to rally public opinion against the war in Iraq. Today, he has apparently rejected Boris Johnson's attempts at mollifying Scouse opinion by apologising for his (Johnson's) Spectator article, which accused Liverpudlians of 'victimhood.'

I happen to think Johnson was right. Liverpudlians do wallow in their own self-pity. It must be because so many people of Irish decent live there; for as we all know, nobody can exude pitiableness from every pore quite like the Irish. Those of us who remember a fantastic comedy series called Bread during the 1980's could not possibly imagine a more suitable location than 'The Pool' to contextualise the programme's central themes. Johnson has made a criticism of Liverpool - so what!! I think most of my fellow Yorkshiremen are parochial and undiplomatic; I think most middle-class Londoners are snobs with an unparalleled talent in unsociable behaviour. What of it? Are we now living in a society where to cause the slightest offence to anyone is tantamount to eating a bacon sandwich in the middle of Mecca?

Johnson was wrong to obey his leader's order and go to Merseyside. If I had been in his position, Michael Howard would have been told to 'shove it!' (with a typical lack of Yorkshire diplomacy). Boris should have stuck to his guns. By responding to his visit with anger and pettiness, Scousers have simply confirmed the stereotype exemplified in the Spectator article. As for Paul Bigley, I fear any further use of legitimate family grief for propagandistic purposes might make him a contender for the 'Doreen Lawrence Award for Publicity Seeking.'


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