Hit or Miss? Ali G's home town renames itself 'Staines-upon-Thames'

Tough on Staines Spelthorne Borough Council has decided to 'rebrand' Staines in a bid to rid the town of its Ali G associations.

The Surrey town is to be re-christened Staines-upon-Thames to highlight its attractions and history. The idea came from local business, backed by a council-led public consultation, and was marked on Monday in a celebration including boat races, maypole dancing and music.

HOW I SEE IT - Debbie Flynn, CEO, Brighter Group

Just as TV character Mrs Bucket called herself Mrs Bouquet, Staines' council, by adding 'upon-Thames' to its name, is equally pretentious. It creates horrible mental imagery, giving comedians and satirists a whole new lease of life.

Apparently, the rename is aimed at distancing the town from Ali G's 'Staines Massive', but that was over a decade ago and, apart from avid YouTube fans, has faded from the public's memory. The name change just reminds us of it, so it is actually undoing what it is supposed to achieve.

It also shows how out of touch local government is. Here we are in a double dip recession and 'austerity' is on everybody's lips. Meanwhile, the council spends public funds changing the name of its town to something far too pretentious for its own good.


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