Last week I wrote one of my occasional articles for the Citizen, which appeared in the paper yesterday: you can read it here.
The Citizen is pretty good: they publish the articles pretty much as I write them with minimum editing. They do, however, always change the titles. This is generally fine, because I am pretty rubbish at coming up with decent titles.
Yesterday, however, I was less happy.
The article that I wrote was about how we have some excellent pubs and restaurants in the city and, when you encourage people to come into the city, even those from Cheltenham who tend to look down upon Gloucester, they tend to like it. The gist was, if we stop thinking of ourselves as inferior to Cheltenham and show some pride and appreciation of what we have, perhaps other people might be more willing to give it a go too.
So, what title did the Citizen come up with? “Is a Night Out in Gloucester Better than Cheltenham?”
No, no, no,no, no!
Not only is this an invitation to the many trolls that infest the on-line pages of the Citizen, it is also not helpful to my message.
If we want to encourage others to come into the city and enjoy what it has to offer, we are not going to do it by chanting “our city’s better than yours”.
This is just going to work to entrench existing biases and hostilities.
Cheltenham and Gloucester are both good places for a night out: they are just different. Can we just accept that and work to complement each other rather than constantly squabbling!