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.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets
Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
Glastonbury 2015: The best bits you missed from Lionel Richie and the Dalai Lama to The Libertines' secret set
Glastonbury 2015: The picture of a man crowd surfing in a wheelchair is brilliant, but it wasn't taken at Glastonbury
Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James' Twitter Q&A didn't exactly go as planned
Guillaume Tell gang-rape scene causes uproar at the Royal Opera House
Glastonbury 2015: Shocking scenes of rubbish left strewn across campsite as clean-up begins
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS