Croydon is made a national laughing stock, Part 94. And Part 95

One in the Eye again: Croydon’s a source of endless amusement

No sooner had the nation’s best-selling satirical magazine had a good laugh (again) at Croydon’s expense after featuring the latest example of the council’s bungled handling of vast amounts of public money, than the borough has popped up again in the pages of Lord Gnome’s fine organ for another thorough-going bit of ridicule.

Two weeks ago, on Private Eye’s regular Rotten Boroughs page, posters that supposedly promote Croydon as London’s 2023 Borough of Culture were derided as baffling, “pathetic” and “meaningless”, as they took centre stage in what the Eye called its “Quiz of the Week”.

The former public schoolboys in their Soho offices had stumbled across some of the posters at a “sarf London” railway station.

They enjoyed a jolly good laff at Croydon’s evident mishandling of £1.2million of public money on the late-starting Borough of Culture, including squandering £135,000 cash on a marketing contract which had delivered a set of posters that leave punters none-the-wiser about what it is they are meant to be publicising.

Answer: all of the above…

Asking what the posters were meant to convey, the magazine’s multiple choice quiz included as option C: “Two fingers up to the public from a council which has gone bankrupt three times in two years, has debts of £1.6billion and recently put up Council Tax by 15per cent”.

For those unable to read upside-down type, the correct response was, “All of the above”.

Mugged off: Borough of Culture posters have left the public baffled

But the poxy posters, part of a campaign masterminded by the marketing geniuses at the Grey Label PR agency, have attracted more attention in the latest issue of the Eye, out today.

The Rotten Boroughs page – where the council and its CEO, Katherine Kerswell, seem to have a season ticket, they appear in it so regularly – this week includes a “Star Letter!”

Lord Gnome’s correspondent is one SJ Conway, who describes themself as “a former resident of Croydon… (now Bristol)”.

Bristol’s Conway writes… “You ask why Croydon council has been liberating others’ money in the cause of sharing their recent baffling posters.

“As a former resident of Croydon, who has been mugged more than once while living there, I can confirm that ‘This is Croydon and you’re welcome’ was a favourite catchphrase among the plundering youth of the borough in the early noughties (I am referring of course to the muggers and not to the local councillors of today).

“I would wonder at the rather obvious metaphor the council seems to be going for with its message.”

So now you know…

  • Check out our Croydon Insider podcast special, where our panel discuss the faltering start to the £1.2million Borough of Culture programme:

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at
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  • Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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4 Responses to Croydon is made a national laughing stock, Part 94. And Part 95

  1. Paul Harper says:

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this latest podcast. Well done!

  2. JC says:

    Excellent podcast – much appreciated.

  3. Lewis White says:

    The Croydon poster designers actually got the words and use of apostrophe correct.

    Even quite heducated people nowadays write it down now as “Your welcome”.

    Clearly, we should be grateful.

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