I can’t resist a comment or two on the ridiculous issue that is happening in Staines. Some of the worthies of this town near Heathrow want to change the name to try and remove the image that the comedian, Ali G, has placed on them. And what do they want to change it to? Staines-on-Thames which sounds like something nasty is floating down the river.
Every stand-up comedian worth his or her salt is going to make Hay with this (I bet Hay-on-Wye won’t object to having its name used.) There will be laundry jokes and comment about whether the town can be prosecuted for polluting a waterway. What we are left with is a pompous group who think that a minor change of name will make things different. If they were concerned, why didn’t they suggest a name change when Ali G was current? It seems ages ago that he used that persona. Talking about quick reactions. Snails move faster
And why do they want the name change? Because it might bring investment, business and, dare I say it, tourists. Or it might be that people want to avoid any place where councilors and business leaders are so devoid of common sense that they can’t see it might have the reverse effect.
Thankfully there are still people with common sense who have called the idea pretentious and absurd. I add a few more. Lacking in business acumen for one, short-sighted for another.
Consider the legacy of Ali G. He made the name of Staines known to millions around our countries let alone abroad. So trade on that fact. Slogans like “Is Ali G right?” How about “See The Staines, Ali G doesn’t talk about,” “Staines: it will leave a mark on your memory,” or even “Staines: the place Ali G loves to hate.” It would generate so much useful publicity. Headlines like “The Town with a Sense of Humour” and “The Brains in Staines Attracts Tourists Again(s)” All right the last one isn’t the best but you see what I mean.
Instead, potential visitors are left with the thought that Staines is petty and narrow-minded