While other mischievous mouths might suggest Mike Storey has been trying to consign Merseyside to oblivion for years, the Liverpool Echo reports that the deputy lord mayor wants to chuck the name into the dustbin of history, alongside the metaphor of eternal gibberish.
Storey wants Merseyside to rebrand itself as Greater Liverpool as it has better name recognition value. Says the man:
“Go back to the 1980s and 1990s and Liverpool was seen as a basket case. Use the name anywhere outside the UK and people still had high regard for it.”
Now, this quote is interesting for about 17 different reasons. First there’s the suggestion that within the UK Liverpool has a bad name.
Then there’s the implication that Liverpool was off its rocker for the last couple of decades.
Finally there’s the suggestion that outside of the country everyone had a lot of affection for the city.
Without putting too fine a point on it, is that actually true? There are certainly reasons for believing not if you go back 20 years.
Certainly Storey has a point about Merseyside – it’s a pretty generic term and plenty of mail still turns up in the city addressed to Liverpool, Lancashire.
And ‘Merseyside’ doesn’t exactly have a glowing reputation either – it’s constantly referred to in Private Eye as Murkeyside due to its labyrinthine political intrigue.
What all of this means, of course, is that the Wirral will cease to be called, er, Wirral, and have to go under the name of long-time rival Liverpool – and the same goes for St Helens, Knowsley and Sefton.
There’s probably a very tedious debate to be had about this, and the implications for whether those jealously-guarded CH postcodes remain or not, but frankly it ain’t that interesting.
All of which makes me wonder why people like Storey insist on having these interminable debates on subjects like this – about which no-one outside council chambers, phone-in shows and Merseyside newsrooms gives a flying one.
And blogs, obviously.