Unlike Paulie, I thought that this week's swiftly released press notice by Nottingham City Council wasn't too bad in defending the city against the latest statistical bollocks condemning the place.
It did get me thinking about where I stand on Nottingham's reputation.
Well, I grew up in Nottingham in one of its roughest estates (Hyson Green), and then moved to an estate that has since become a not great area to live in (Aspley). I've had friends who lived in areas such as Sneinton, St. Ann's, Radford and the Meadows (for not UK/Nottingham aware blog visitors that last one is nothing like what you may imagine: it's scarcely leafy, let alone meadowy). But a lot of its bad rep is established by ongoing media attention feeding those numbskulls who want to beef up their own criminal reputations. Maybe I've been lucky, and I certainly would not proclaim I've never seen, heard or experienced any crime. But is it significantly worse than anywhere else? No.
But the repuation is utterly damaged. Would anyone be surprised if university applications to The University of Nottingham drop this year (since it relies almost entirely on non-regional applicants)? Or if Nottingham Trent sees a shift away to other regional universities or even more voational courses run via non-university institutions (since they do draw most of their students from the locality)? And how will Nottingham dig itself out long term from that hole of a diminishing base of graduates?
On those grounds, I can well understand why Paulie and others have been infuriated by the perhaps too lily-livered response of the council (and other bodies in the area). Whilst the statement was fine as far as it went, it was hardly the voice of a very angry body.
Maybe we're just too accepting of the criticism and don't want to be seen causing a fuss in reponse believing it will continue to draw attention to the poor reports. As somehow by ignoring them/diminishing responses, we may make the negative media attention go away.
Yeah, that's really working.