Republic of Liverpool - We're not English, we are Scouse

Republic of Liverpool - We're not English, we are Scouse

As it’s only a few days until England kick off their World Cup campaign, I thought I would get into the patriotic spirit and put it down into words why, I would say, a large number of Liverpool fans, especially local fans, do not get behind the national team.

In the 1970s, before Margaret Thatcher’s government, it would not be an uncommon appearance for union jacks to be waved in the Liverpool end, travelling Europe or on the Kop. Nowadays, they are scarce.

Thatcher’s rise to power led to the fall of national pride amongst the people of Liverpool. The ‘managed decline’ of the city led to spending being slashed, jobs lost and riots ensue.

Liverpool was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, ports of trade and employed tens of thousands of men. In 1982 the docks were closed, a year after one of the city’s biggest factories, Tate and Lyle closed. Unemployment levels were at a high and the city was poverty stricken.

The feeling was that the country was neglecting Liverpool and not treating it as one of its own. Why should we hold the union jack aloft, which is on top of 10 Downing Street, when this country does not represent our interests or take an interest in our welfare?

Liverpool has always had an image of an outsider from other parts of the country. Likewise, Liverpool has always relished in this outsider image too.  Paraded on the Kop in the 2007 European Cup semi-final was a banner stating, “We’re not English, we are Scouse”.

This outsider image comes from Liverpool’s roots that it is a city built on immigrants. Many settled here when they came into port through work and many of the Irish jumped on a boat here to flee the Great Famine of the 1840s. Most people from Merseyside have Irish relatives, if not an Irish surname.

The term Scouse comes from the Scandinavian dish Lapskaus, a popular meal on Merseyside, which is basically beef, veg and potato in a stew. The influx of sailors into the port of Liverpool brought about being accepting and embracing other cultures, from wider Europe, Chinese and the Caribbean.

In 1989, 96 Liverpool fans died at an FA Cup semi-final. The FA, very much the establishment, corrupt to the core, selected Hillsborough as the venue, seeing as though in the 1980s there had been delayed kick-offs due to people not being able to access the ground on time and a serious crush left 38 Spurs fans hospitalised. But the FA protest they did not know of these events in the few years before 1989.

The cover-up that followed for decades until the Hillsborough Independent Panel report led to the two-year inquests that found that the fans were unlawfully killed.

For years, the rest of the country has blamed Liverpool for Hillsborough, still to this day they do too, despite the findings. Why should a Liverpool fan, stand side-by-side with a southerner at an England game rejoicing in a rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, or even worse, God Save the Queen, when that southerner supports a football team that have probably (and the chances are they still do) have preconceived ideas about the people of Liverpool and sing ‘sign on’ to the tune of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. In a time of austerity, to mock a city for unemployment at what is supposed to be the working man’s game is an act of betrayal against its own social class.

It was The Sun newspaper that tarnished the city’s reputation and this is no coincidence it was The Sun that ran those headlines. Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch were chums and bounced off each other’s actions. In 1985, Thatcher won the Miners’ strike which gave Murdoch the courage to follow suit and take on the print unions a year later, know as the Battle of Wapping, which meant through newer technology being used, jobs were lost and the work cost cheaper. The blame could never be landed on the establishment, as this would have damaged her reputation and support and The Sun, who seem to back whoever is in power most of the time would be left with egg on their face too. How would they cover the story if the truth did come out? Well, eventually the truth did come out and their editor decided to be the only UK national newspaper to not cover the story on their front page.

The English faithful never fail to misbehave wherever they travel to follow the three lions. The spirit of St George fills their hearts with patriotism as they throw ale over tourists in Amsterdam and somebody’s bike into the canal. The Churchillian spirit fuelled by a few cans of warm Stella or Carling brings out the song about shooting down German planes.

Maybe the English fans cannot behave themselves around Europe because they get too excited when they see fine grains of sand, as they do not have the pleasures of living on the shores of the Mersey, where a barbecue on the beach is never far away in the summer.

An obvious factor in why Liverpool are more inclined to not support the national team than any other city is because the games are played at Wembley, therefore northerners are less likely to go and watch England play. Although, their recent friendly was played at Elland Road. In all fairness, if they played at more grounds around the country that could help the northern and southern divide when in football terms.

However, on a personal level, I like the division between the North and South, not to mention the division from the rest of the country to Merseyside.

If someone says they are from Kent, you do not think of any cultural connotations that are attached with Kent, rather rural cottages and men walking their whippets on a slackened lead eyeing up each other’s array of different coloured canvas trousers. Not to mention the tweed jackets and the jodhpurs.

Whereas if someone says they are from Liverpool, you think of the culture the city has through fashion, music and its multi-culturalism. The city has always looked out towards other cultures, a fine example being the new song that started in Porto last season, Allez Allez Allez, and became a song that will bring back memories of our European journeys last season.

In-Ger-Land have always looked in though. The originality, plagiarism and lack of humour you will see of English flags in Russia of St George’s cross with a Brexiteer town like Nuneaton on it does not compare to the flag display on the Kop.

The St George’s cross has become a symbol of the English Defence League, which gives warning signs of who follow the national team.

As the nations’ pride seems to rest on a football team that has not won anything in over 50 years, we remember those who died in Grenfell tower a year ago, the majority being immigrants and the working class. Could you imagine a fancy sky-rise block of apartments occupied by bankers going up in flames due to inadequate materials used on the building which the residents had written to the council about multiple time warning of inevitable fires?

Reports emerged fire-proof cladding would have cost about £5000 more, which would have saved 72 lives that the establishment viewed as less valuable than the products of incest in Windsor. In 2016, Buckingham Palace was announced to have a taxpayer-funded 10-year renovation cost £369m.

Looking at these comparisons, God Save the Queen seems like a sick mock at those whose lives that were not deemed to be valuable enough to save.

After all, these immigrants and refugees fled here, to the self-professed Land of Hope and Glory, in order to give their families a fair chance in life.

So, when all the patriots sing ‘Its coming home’, ask yourselves what exactly is coming home. The survivors of Grenfell won’t be going home. More than 60 families haven’t been given a home to go to.

When morals and politics cross in football, there are bound to divisions, but when a team playing the ‘working man’s game’ that represent the establishment and a country governed by the rich and for the rich, they will never have my support.

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Comments

9 responses to “Republic of Liverpool – We’re not English, we are Scouse”

  1. Red Ted says:

    I am Scouse not English and very happy to be so. Of course being a Scouser means that I know scouse is made with lamb, and in my mum’s case scrag end.

  2. John Thompson says:

    Great article, hits the bulls eye for me, although, in many ways we still play the FA’s game and encourage the coffers ‘gravytrain’. Liverpool or London, we all agree to their rules just so we can go see a football match. As much as we feel detached, we pay extraordinary amounts to sit in the stands for a couple of hours, we don’t seem to mind players agents fleecing us for millions. We accept players receiving mind blowing wages and moving clubs to receive even more without a thought for ‘loyalty’. Do fans even realise that every single penny of a club’s spend originates from their ‘hard earned’. Who is it that pays for those Nike ads? Yep you the fan when they price their boots accordingly.

    I guess when it comes down to it, we simply are just part of the establishment, and willingly so. Watching LFC for the last 60 years, I am now well aware that its no longer a working class game. YNWA

  3. Mark says:

    Absolutely BRILLIANT READ!!!!! YNWA Milko from Australia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Deco Farrell says:

    Great Read I’m Irish and Hardcore Lfc family member and I don’t look at Liverpool like it’s in England we Call Liverpool the Capital of Ireland over here. YNWA

  5. Freud says:

    The narcissism of little differences.

  6. Alan Mason says:

    I am a Londoner, not Scouse sadly, although I was married to a Scouser for thirty years. Frankly, I do not like the national anthem as it puts value into a royal figure. I would much prefer that the Land of Hope & Glory should, in this day and age, take preference, as that reflects on the country as a whole.

  7. Freud says:

    Ah the narcissism of little differences.

  8. Cliff says:

    That was a very interesting read I have to say.
    I have to disagree with a few of the descriptions of Liverpool, anybody reading that would think that liverpool is a great city for equality because of the so called rich history of multi-culturalism.
    I’m from Liverpool (born and bred) and I’m also a mixed race man (white Irish and black African) growing up in my own city I can remember a time not long ago when leaving the toxteth area of the city was a dangerous thing to do in Liverpool for a black or mixed race person.
    That was only just over 20 years ago, when I’ve visited London I’ve noticed that for people of colour and different religious backgrounds, London is a lot more hospitable.
    Manchester is also another city that has an abundance of different cultures (more than liverpool) I love liverpool because it’s my hometown, but unlike the majority of severely patriotic scousers in the city, I know it still (just like anywhere) has major faults.
    I’ve also noticed you’re not the first person to link the Hillsborough disaster with the grenfell tower disaster, the circumstances are so different it’s almost impossible to link the two.
    The hillsborough campaign group have done a terrific job in finally gaining the truth from the establishment regarding the 96 who lost their lives.
    They’ve fought their fight, now let other people fight their own, also why do you care about the grenfell tower families ? This is what you posted “Why should a Liverpool fan, stand side-by-side with a southerner at an England game rejoicing in a rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, or even worse, God Save the Queen, when that southerner supports a football team that have probably (and the chances are they still do) have preconceived ideas about the people of Liverpool and sing ‘sign on’ to the tune of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. “

    It’s very contradictory to the message you’re trying to get out I’m afraid.
    I’ve also saw this “However, on a personal level, I like the division between the North and South, not to mention the division from the rest of the country to Merseyside “
    I’m very confused, do you see where I’m coming from with this ?

  9. Levi Brady says:

    To your comment cliff… The cultural and footballing division between the north and south doesn’t mean that they grenfell disaster should be swept under the carpet. Hillsborough definatley links to grenfell. Both are deaths of gross negligence of a tory government and effects have ended up with deaths of the working class people. Open your eyes Clifford

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Categories: Liverpool FC Opinion.' 'Tags: Featured, Hillsborough, Liverpool, Scouse, and thatcher.
Published by Anfield Index
Updated: 2018-06-17 10:15:31
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