A WHILE BACK, I wrote on this subject, and have been waiting ever since to see if anything would change. But it hasn’t.
There is nothing wrong with civic pride, which is why almost every county, town and city in the United Kingdom display “Welcome to…” roadside signs, and take the opportunity to express their area’s unique selling proposition.
For example, Dumfries and Galloway have “The Natural Place”. Staffordshire has “The Creative County”.
Closer to home, Perth has something like: “The Heart of Scotland” while Edinburgh has two: “Inspiring Capital” and “Festival City”. Of course, Glasgow and Mr Happy grabbed the brilliant line “Glasgow’s Miles Better.”
So, what about West Lothian? Oh dear, oh dear. Driving into the county – from any direction – you are greeted by “Welcome to West Lothian” and the strapline “UK Council of the Year 2006”.
What? Is that REALLY the best Oor Cooncil could come up with? And another thing: what happened to the years in-between? I mean it IS 2011 now, you know. How long are they going to bang on about their wee award from back then, slapping it on every letter, brochure and border signpost?
Is this really the measure of Council imagination and creativity? (And PLEASE don’t go out and hire some firm of consultants who’ll charge a fortune to come up with something even less inspiring than the roadside slogan we have at the moment – if that’s possible.)
I mean, when you consider that Neolithic pilgrims from all over the UK would trek to the important ceremonial burial site of Cairnpapple in the Bathgate hills, we could surely have something like: “Attracting Visitors for Over 4000 years”. Or how about the fact that the shale on which the county is built launched the oil industry? That would give us “First Oil Capital of the World”.
There, I offer these suggestions to the Council for free.
Of course, we could incorporate “Silicon Glen” into a slogan, and even the simple “West Lothian Works” would be acceptable.
But, no, we are stuck with the ludicrous and redundant “UK Council of Long Long Time Ago” slogan.
Let’s face it: that turgid little phrase says less about the area and its people than it does about our self-aggrandizing bureaucrats – in so many ways.