You just knew there would be tears and tantrums when the makers of Monopoly announced an on-line poll to create a UK-wide version of the popular board game.
Inevitably, the likes of Liverpool and Leeds are left grumbling and moaning about the fact that they occupy Monopoly’s equivalent of the cheap seats – Old Kent Road and Whitechapel Road.
There’s also a bit of chattering about the fact that the most expensive squares on the board – Mayfair, Park Lane and Bond Street – are occupied by St Albans, Exeter and Nottingham respectively. The nation’s capital only make it into a decidedly middling Northumberland Avenue.
Elsewhere, Birmingham has grabbed Leicester Square, Keele has Fleet Street, Manchester is on Whitehall and Cardiff has Euston Road.
It is quite refreshing to see London languishing so far down the pecking order, plus the raised eyebrows about the complete absence of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle from the board.
But what does this all mean?
Well, nothing much.
It simply means that the civic leaders and residents of St Albans, Exeter and Nottingham did a good job of mobilising support. Liverpool, despite taking “bottom” spot, can apparently be grateful to eagle-eyed members of the 2008 City of Culture planning committee for spotting their city’s poor showing and generating sufficient last-minute response to make it on to the board.
It is all a bit of fun at the end of the day, isn’t it?
Not for some, apparently, who will no doubt try to engineer some sort of socio-economic or political statement out of the results.
The new UK Monopoly board could even become a key factor if Gordon Brown calls a General Election in the coming weeks, providing a sort of “state of the nation” snapshot of modern society – or not, obviously.
For the record, here’s the board:
Bond Street Nottingham
Oxford Street Cambridge
Regent Street Sheffield
Coventry Street Oxford
Leicester Square Birmingham
Trafalgar Square Norwich
Vine Street Lincoln
Marlborough Street Plymouth
Bow Street Derby
Northumberland Avenue London
Pentonville Road York
Euston Road Cardiff
The Angel, IslingtonMiddlesbrough
Whitechapel Road Leeds
Old Kent Road Liverpool