Podcast: The Mersey Beat

Ooooh. A map. Image: Wikipedia.

It's another metro mayor special: this time, we're off to Liverpool.

Officially, of course, it's the Liverpool City Region. Unofficially, it'll probably end up being called Merseyside. It was nearly called the Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton & Wirral Combined Authority; there but by the grace of god.

Anyway. Whatever it is, on 4 May, it's getting a metro mayor. Specifically, it's almost certain going to be Labour's Steve Rotheram.

To talk about this not-particularly-close election, I've dragged in two of my colleagues from the New Statesman's politics desk: Patrick Maguire, who himself hails from the Sefton; and Stephen Bush, who's just returned from a trip to the Wirral.

We talk about how Rotheram is campaigning more like it's a marginal than a sure thing; how the other parties are responding; and how, in British local government, one-party states inevitably throw up other forms of opposition.

We discuss the May government's attitude towards these new metro mayor posts created by its predecessors; and chat about what kind of relationship the new mayor of the Liverpool City Region is likely to have with Joe Anderson, who is the, er, the existing elected mayor of Liverpool.

Also, for some reason, Power Rangers. 

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Enjoy.

 

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason.

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Here are all the names of London tube stations that we’ve just stopped noticing are weird

What the hell. Swiss Cottage. Image: Oxyman/Wikipedia Commons.

Angel

 “The next station is Gnome. Change here for Elf, Cherubim and Gnome.”

Arsenal

Would be a lot less weird if it wasn’t a good eight miles away from where they actually built the arsenal.

Bank

It’s like something from a kid’s picture book where everything is labelled incredibly literally. Was even sillier when the next station along was still called Post Office. (It’s St Paul’s now.)

Barking

Disappointing lack of doggos.

Barkingside

Same, also a surprisingly long way from Barking.

Bromley-by-Bow

But not by Bromley which, once again, is eight bloody miles awy.

Canada Water

No.

Chalk Farm

Chalk isn’t a plant, lads.

Cockfosters

...

Elephant & Castle

What.

Grange Hill.

Hainault

Hang on, that’s in Belgium isn’t it?

Hornchurch

There are literally horns no the church, to be fair.

Kentish Town

Actually in Middlesex, nowhere near Kent.

Knightsbridge

Not only no knights, but no bridge either.


Oval

Might as well have a station called “oblong” or “dodecahedon”.

Oxford Circus

Plenty of clowns though, amirite?

Perivale

Does any other London suburb promise such a vertiginous drop between name and reality?

Plaistow

To be honest the name’s fine, I just wish people knew how to pronounce it.

Roding Valley

The river’s more than 30 miles long, guys, this doesn’t narrow it down.

Seven Sisters

None that I’ve noticed.

Shepherd’s Bush

“Now where are those sheep hiding now?”

Shepherd’s Bush Market

Because one bush is never enough.

Southwark

1. That’s not how that combination of letters should sound. 2. That’s not where Southwark is. Other than that you’re fine.

Swiss Cottage

Sure, let’s name a station after a novelty drinking establishment, why the hell not.

Waterloo

Okay, this one is definitely in Belgium.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason. 

Want more of this stuff? Follow CityMetric on Twitter or Facebook