Anorak News | Drool Britannia

Drool Britannia

by | 24th, May 2005

‘WHICH of the following words do you think best describes the British peoples: uninhibited, tolerant, exhibitionist, passionate, aggressive, sentimental, hospitable and friendly?

Next stop the Hanging Gardens of Bolton

Take your time. You can’t be wrong. Britons are all those things. According to the new edition of the Lonely Planet guidebooks for backpackers, we are not a bad bunch.

Sure, you might get your face smashed up in the town precinct, mooned at and cried on, but you’ll be simply joining in the fun. Our mindless pissed-up fight is your mindless pissed-up fight. Come one, come all.

Britain hits you “like a breath of fresh air,” says the blurb. Leeds is the “Knightsbridge of the North”, Liverpool is no longer a city “full of smart-ass scallies who would as soon nick your phone as tell a joke” and Nottingham “draws movers and shakers from all over the region”.

It all sounds wonderful. But before Londoners turn as green as their wellies, they should pause for a moment.

And in the silence, we hear David Else, the guidebook’s co-author, explain his work, saying that “while we are still very honest and opinionated, we now waste less time with negatives”.

He continues: “If a place is bad, we simply leave it out. We‘re not putting a spin on anything, just trying to guide our readers to what is best?”

Of course they’re not. And in an instant we understand.

If by publishing this work, Else and his team can send the great unwashed backpacker to some dim and distant region of Albion, then so much the better.

It’ll leave more room in ugly and uninteresting London for the paying, sweet-smelling guests…’

Posted: 24th, May 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink