I am loyal to my native city, but can see why people sneered when Liverpool was declared the European Capital of Culture for 2008. Of course it has some grand old buildings, world-class museums and a fine classical orchestra. But these are not what Liverpool stands for in the national imagination. In the eyes of the outside world it remains a city of slums and car thieves, overrated comedians and tiresome insularity. As the banner says at Anfield, home to one of our brave yet underachieving football teams, “We’re Not English, We Are Scouse”….
It is scruffy, careless, brazen and kind. This city has soul. It knows how to throw a party. For all that it’s heavy, it is extravagantly welcoming to anyone without airs and graces. After all, it has been entertaining sailors for centuries. If you want a quiet life, then don’t choose Liverpool. But if you’re on board for the mind-scrambling adventures of an unknowable, violent, tragicomic, globalised 21st-century world, here is a city that knows no other state of being.
more from The New Statesman here.