The cruel and vindictive Scouse way

Just what is the cruel and vindictive Scouse way?

When a son and a daughter lost their widowed mother to a stroke, many very young Liverpudlians, alongside some not so young, thought it would be a correct response to laugh and celebrate and sing songs about how the witch was now dead. Oh, and, being the region with the highest record of alcohol and drug abuse, it was of course another reason, if ever one was really needed, for them to drink the pubs dry. Not at any point did they think of the grieving son or daughter, or the inappropriateness of their celebrations. Instead, it was far more important to spout their personalised and cruel vitriol about a woman who they’d never known personally, but had been a Prime Minister up to 23 years previously.

Yes, this is the cruel and vindictive Scouse way.

Fast forward to 2014 and thousands of homes being flooded and people, many unable to afford home and contents insurance, being left homeless as the water was relentless and destructive. Those living on the Somerset Levels or along the Thames whose lives were being changed and destroyed received no sympathy from Liverpudlians.

Nope, led by extensive reiteration from local radio presenters, the victims of the floods were declared to be ‘down south’ and so therefore outside of the boundaries of sympathy. Heck, they were rich scum, weren’t they? If they weren’t they wouldn’t be living in the south. So, according to local radio in Liverpool, they deserved all they got. “I mean, have you seen the size of the houses they live in?” asked one exceedingly wealthy radio presenter hoping nobody then commented on his own property portfolio.

Nobody spoke up to say that this attitude was unfair on the large number of single parent and other low income families and others who were struggling to survive before the rains came and took their homes, or that many of the homes were smaller than those that occupy the more wealthy areas of Merseyside. Nope, they were southerners, and so were instantly hated.

Yes, this is the cruel and vindictive Scouse way.

The Sun newspaper printed a story about how drunken Liverpool fans behaved during the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The story, like most stories in newspapers, was completely without foundation. Justifiably, The Sun newspaper disappeared from shops and newsstands across Liverpool in protest. A considerable ‘outrage’ was maintained by the local paper the Liverpool Echo, part of the arch rivals to The Sun, the Daily Mirror‘s stable of publications.

However, despite repeated apologies about the article that was printed 24 years ago, or the irony that one of The Sun‘s main printing presses is based in Knowsley and staffed by Liverpudlians, and even some Liverpool football club fans, there remains a fairly strong force of intimidation against anybody who dares sell The Sun. Across the years, newsagents, usually not from the angry Scouse heritage, have changed hands, unaware of the locally enforced rules about the stocking and selling of The Sun, and so have received threats and even had their shops catch fire as punishment at the hands of the bullies intent on censorship and Sallinestically deciding what others can read. To this day, in the more druggie and down-market areas of Liverpool, especially those adjacent to the football grounds, newsagents still ‘catch fire’ and there remain very loud and vicious campaigns against anybody daring to read The Sun.

Yes, this is the cruel and vindictive Scouse way.