Everybody’s heard of ‘Irish Stew’, right?
Most have heard of ‘Lancashire Hot Pot’.
In Liverpool, the land of one syllable, a variation on this stew of leftover meat and vegetables is called ‘Scouse’. The word fits perfectly within the vocabulary of Liverpudlians as they pronounce their ‘c’s as a kind of clearing flem from the throat noise and their ‘se’s as a shrill elongated whistle. But most importantly it’s really just a single syllable. Liverpudlians don’t like using more than one.
Historically, defined by the eating of this favourite local stew, Liverpudlians like to refer to themselves as ‘Scousers’. Well, ‘Liverpudlian’ is far too much effort to say. Far too many syllables.
So, Scousers are Liverpudlians, yet for some strange reason there are pockets of neighbouring areas that are trying to steal the label. This is very noticeable on television too.
I hate to refer to the X Factor, but last year a contestant Rebecca Ferguson came from the Anfield area of Liverpool. Yep, she actually was a Scouser, and so it was right for the show bosses to script the judges to encourage ‘the whole of Liverpool’ to vote for her. Well, that’s all assuming that encouraging voting based on ‘race’ or ‘neighbourhood’ rather than talent is a good thing.
However, this year, two contestants were being labelled by the show as ‘Scousers’. Winner Marcus Collins actually comes from Crosby in Sefton, up the coast a bit from Liverpool. The crooning ex-biscuit factory worker Craig Colton who was voted out before the semi-finals actually comes from Kirby in Knowsley, to the North-East of Liverpool.
Neither comes from Liverpool, yet both have been referred to as ‘Scousers’ and both have had the usual thing of the scripts encouraging ‘the whole of Liverpool’ to vote for them.
But why should Liverpudlians vote for non-Liverpudlians just because they come from neighbouring areas over voting for any of the other non-Liverpudlians?
There is a bizarre habit of people wanting to be Scousers. I suppose it’s complementary, but it is as odd as somebody from North-West London wanting to be called a ‘Cockney’. They just aren’t.
To the South of Liverpool there’s the River Mersey. South of that, there’s ‘the’ Wirral. Some of them call themselves Scousers. To the North of Liverpool is an area called Bootle. Some of them call themselves Scousers.
Yet none of them are. They are not from Liverpool.
If they are not from Liverpool, they are not Scousers, end of. They are trying to dilute and steal the Scouse identity. It’s time that true Scousers rose up against these pretend Scousers and said, “Noooooo!”. It’s time to protect the local identity and to stop it being eroded and stolen. It’s time to rise up and … Ok, who just said, “Calm down! Calm down, lad!”? You better have been a real Scouser.