Alexei Sayle got into trouble in Liverpool for questioning Scouse commitment to culture - he dismissed his critics by saying "You've got to remember that a lot of people who write in to newspapers or call phone-ins are actually nutters" - and Martin Parr got into trouble for showing that New Brighton - just across the Mersey from Liverpool - was anything less than a garden of earthly delights.
First of all, The Last Resort was in colour but more importantly, it portrayed the people of Liverpool without resorting to the Noble Northern Savagery that was expected of photographers - it's grim up north, but it's grim in black and white, goddamit!
The Last Resort also helped make Parr the quintessential eighties photographer - not a Thatcherite, but certainly a man of the times in terms of his opportunism and relish for extending photography beyond its very narrow limits.
For which all of us in the UK should be grateful - Martin is a spark of life, a mischief maker in the machine.
Recently Parr gave a talk at the University of Wales, Newport (possibly the only university campus
in the world that was built on a Roman Cemetery. If you've seen the Amityville Horror or if you study at Newport, you'll know why that's a bad idea!), and somebody asked Parr if his current success was due to his work or "The Martin Parr Brand".
He didn't answer the question then, but he has indirectly on other occasions - he says his best work (The Last Resort) is probably in the past, and to be sure, he's milking the Parr personality and Parr style for all its worth. But at the same time, the Photobook Histories, the curating and the public face of Brand Parr do add up to more than a hill of beans - British photography life would be tremendously dull without him. And given his perverse nature, he'll probably come up with some fabulous new take on the world and surprise us all.
So God Bless Martin Parr - but not too much. He can bless himself if he's not blessed enough.