Aside from maybe New Yorkers, you’ll struggle to find a city’s residents with more love and pride for where they’re born than Scousers. Of course, it’s not hard to see why – just one trip to Liverpool and a childhood spent watching Brookie (Is that ever coming back? Channel 5’s Family Affairs will be brought back before Sinbad, Jimmy Corkhill and co return to my TV screen) and I was sold – this was where I was spending my uni years and beyond.
After a few years living here (6 if we’re being precise and revealing just how old I am) you learn a few things and become just as proud to have a Liverpool post code. However, some people are still a bit behind with the times and can’t seem to understand that Liverpool is the Greatest City in England™.
Every now and again I hear a ridiculously outdated stereotype or myth bandied around about Liverpool. Because replying to every single moron who seems to think ‘Bin Dipper’ is still a valid shout is too much like hard work (seriously, it’s 2016 – give it up), here are some bullshit claims about Liverpool proved wrong.
“Scousers are thieves. You’ll find your car on bricks if you leave it parked in Liverpool.”
Whenever I hear anyone saying this I learn everything I need to know about who they are as a person; they probably declared ‘It’s political correctness gone mad’ on Facebook after Clarkson’s sacking, and their jokes are limited to material even the most sexist, racist comedian in Benidorm would deem ‘a bit dated.’
A common sight in Liverpool if you’re to believe Uncle Knobhead or Jimmy Carr
I’m not sure about the origins of the stereotype of light fingered Scousers but after my time living here I’m officially calling bullshit. I’ve never been robbed, stolen from, broken into and most times, when I’ve lost something in a club, it’s found it’s way home to me. I even once, in a hungover state, left a suitcase on the street with my laptop in it, and got halfway down the M6 before I realised my idiocy. By the time my mum had driven me back (on Christmas Eve no less – the little babe) I found it not on the street but safely tucked away inside my apartment block. Compare 6 years of crime free bliss to a trip to London last week where my Oyster Card (Yes, a fucking Oyster Card) was robbed, it’s frustrating to see this stereotype still alive and well.
Of course, break ins and theft still happens here, just like in every city across the world, – it’s not some 100% crime free utopia, but it’s safe to say you can probably park your car in town and the only thing you’re in danger of is receiving a parking ticket.
Don’t believe me? Here’s some articles to back it up!
“Everyone in Liverpool is on the dole and fiddling benefits.”
Firstly, shout out to anyone who can successfully fiddle their benefits – you should be running the country. When I needed the state, I struggled to even get what I was more than entitled to claim so god knows how anyone is ‘fiddling the country for thousands a month.’ (Please take this statement with a pinch of salt – no @ s claiming I support benefit cheats, thanks.)
Secondly, we’re living in a country where working families are relying on food banks and young people are being exploited by zero hours contracts – are we really still skitting people for needing the welfare state, which we’re all entitled too, when the country is owed more in tax evasion than we are benefit fraud?** (** According to HMRC figures for 2012/13, £1.2bn of benefit spending is lost due to fraud, while £4.1bn is lost through tax evasion.) Come on, guys – we’re better than this.
But I’ll entertain you and we’ll look at some facts. According to data released in 2014, Nottingham, Glasgow, Wolverhampton and Ayrshire all have higher rates of unemployment than Merseyside. The number of people out of work is falling across Liverpool, with a record number of people in work as of February 2015.
If you’re really attached to making fun of a city that suffers due government cuts and being ‘left to rot’ (Fuck Thatcher) then just make sure you’re from somewhere with a 100% employment record.
“All Scouse lads look like they’re about the climb a mountain”
“I will argue with anyone that there is no set of women that will dress better than scouse women on a night out. No doubt about it.” Jamie Carragher from his interview here.
* Actually, could be totally wrong about this and I’m sure working class led trends have inspired the ‘Casual’ look that posh boys from Kent love, but I don’t know enough about fashion to start veering off into a think piece about the history of male trends.While Scouse women get praised and raved about (apart from in The Daily Mail but who cares about them?), Scouse lads get a bad time of it now and again. Fair enough, the scallies hanging around outside St John’s aren’t exactly going inspire many catwalk trends* any time soon, but in their defence, they’ve ruined North Face for all the snobs from places like Cheshire so that’s good enough for me.
“Liverpool isn’t even that good of a night out.”
If you’ve come up for a night out, got a taxi from the Travel Lodge and been dropped off in Concert Square; not making it past Walkabout, then maybe. And that’s nothing against Concert Square – as soon as the sun’s out, I’m the first there for some cheap cocktails and day time drinking outside Modo. But let’s face it, Concert Square isn’t representive of Liverpool’s fab nightlife.
Next time you visit, get a cab to Seel St, start your night there and then see if you still don’t think Liverpool isn’t that good of a night.
“Why would anyone move to Liverpool when Manchester is only half an hour away.”
- The Manc accent isn’t exactly easy on the ears, for me personally. And I say that with a strong Preston accent. Those in glass houses I guess.
- Manchester is just a poor man’s London these days. Actually, you’ve got to have quite a bit of disposable income to live and play in Manchester. A flat in Manchester city centre is usually at least a couple of hundred quid more than what you’d pay in to live in Ropewalks or on the Albert Dock even. Liverpool’s falling victim to gentrification but things are nowhere near as bad as things have got in Manchester. If I was ever toying with the idea of going over to the dark side, I’d just go the whole hog and relocate to London.
- In Manchester you’re never more than 10 feet away from a lad who can’t get over the fact that Oasis have split up and has to dress as a Liam Gallagher tribute.* At least in Liverpool we love The Beatles but no one’s walking around with John Lennon glasses on 24/7
“Scouse Brows are vile – they look like slugs.”
What you’re thinking of are not Scouse Brows – they’re poorly imitated Scouse Brows. Vogue may have tried take credit for the trend of fuller, HD Brows and dub them ‘Power Brows’ but Scouse ladies have been ahead of the fashion pack for many years. I’m as loyal to my HD specialist as I am family members – I trust no one else with my brows and would never entertain the idea of having them done outside of Liverpool. Italians make boss pizza, Russians do good vodka, the Germans have their cars, and Scousers give better brow than anyone else. This is fact.
A real life prin with a perfect Scouse Brow on her wedding day. You’re welcome, Kate.
If you need any more convincing that Liverpool stereotypes are dated and best left in the ’80s, just take a look a the docks which perfectly symbolises how much the city has changed and grown over the past 30 years.