Time was when it cost just a tenner and the promise of a better life to tempt British folk into a new life down under. Modern times call for modern measures, however, and an Aussie tourist board has found itself in hot water after besmirching the character of our cherished city.
Marketing gurus for the Australian city of Adelaide, looking for new ways to entice people southwards, are running an advertising campaign featuring legends such as "Sod London house prices", Stuff London traffic", and, most damningly of all, "screw working in Staines".
Not one to be so sanctimoniously sullied, the south-west London town has come out fighting. A council spokesperson led the charge:
[Staines has] got a lot of new development down by the river, it's got great transport links to London, and there is nearly full employment.
Hardly Churchillian in inspirational terms, but it'll have to do. However, those wily Adelaiders have retaliated. Asked about the choice of Staines, campaign manager Bill Muirhead said they picked the town because it "sounds nasty". Nasty? Whatever could he mean? Perhaps he's referring to the Great Plague of Staines that we reported last year. But you can't judge the town by that, surely?
Mr. Muirhead then went on to deride a host of other lesser-loved London burgs, declaring "it could have been Croydon or it could have been Sidcup". Them's fighting words, and Londonist thinks these Adelaide marketing folk, with their sunny days and sunnier smiles, have had it too easy for too long. We're siccing the Staines Massive on 'em. Anybody got Ali G's number?
Picture from Kaptain Kobold's Flickrstream