Right of Reply
The `Brookside' creator replies to Beryl Bainbridge's dismissive remarks about scouse accents
Friday 05 March 1999
But before anyone gets too carried away please bear in mind that, by her own admission, Beryl herself was snatched away from the centre of the universe to be educated on the periphery. She could, therefore, by scouse definition, be not one of God's chosen, but no less than a woolyback. So for her to worry about how people speak in Brookside, is a bit like sheep worrying about why they can't understand the bulls.
Still, the real issue to be teased out of all this is that attached to any attempts to eradicate our individuality. I am a great supporter of anything that raises literacy. I have often said that literacy is the second most important thing after sex. Through sex we procreate. Through literacy we convey our ideas. Neither requires elocution lessons.
But I am a great opponent of anything that attempts to homogenise our national culture, which should be a collective mass of individual effort. Regionalism provides a rich tapestry of differing dialects. We all cherish our rights to individualism while at the same time we enjoy belonging to our tribes, whether based on sport, religion, politics, age, nation or region. To most people the way they speak is a symbol of regional pride.
It is no coincidence that television's most popular programmes - the soaps - trade on regional identity, and accents. As Beryl may have discovered, you challenge that at your peril.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 5 New Apple TV release date and price: streaming box and games console will launch in October
X Factor hopeful Mason Noise: 'How is Cheryl Fernandez-Versini in the music business, let alone a judge on the show?'
Wes Craven dead: Why Johnny Depp owes his career to director’s 13-year-old daughter
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
VMAs 2015: Taylor Swift and her buddy Kendrick Lamar clean-up at awards - full list of winners
James Bond is a 'very lonely, sexist misogynist', says Daniel Craig
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms