International break always seems to bring an unnecessary break from Premier League action.For some, this is filled with an opportunity to watch England and support their national team. For many Scousers however, supporting England is not an option.
Whilst people around the country are painting St Georges crosses on their faces and playing their brass instruments in support England, many Liverpool fans look at the national team with emotions ranging from detachment to ridicule.
Scouse not English.
For many years Scousers have moved away from any affiliation with England. Despite having numerous players on The Three Lions shirt and the last two captains originating from this fine city (admittedly the current England captain has had his Scouse passport cancelled)
For those outside of the city, the feeling towards the national team may appear confusing. In many countries they support their national team with great passion, with the country geared towards making their national team a success.
The ‘Scouse not English’ mentality manifests itself through football, but its roots stem from wider social issues.
I’d suggest the annexe of Liverpool from the rest of the country began in the 1980’s – the Tory government, led by one Maggie Thatcher, began an attack on our city.
Following the riots in 1981, the Tory government wanted to place Liverpool into a ‘managed decline’. This, despite their own Minister Michael Heseltine, reporting back to Government over his concerns about the Policing of the city. The cabinet papers note: “Mr Heseltine considered the behaviour of the police in Liverpool 8 to be quite horrifying. They were not acting in a racialist fashion. They treated all suspects in a brutal and arrogant manner.”
Thatcher and her government wanted to eradicate Liverpool; we were a city that refused to comply. Scousers refused to conform to their Tory rhetoric and stood up for what we knew to be right. Those qualities were resented by the Tories. The conflict between Liverpool and the government would continue for many years, manifesting itself most publicly through Hillsborough.
For those not old enough to link the two, the Governments disdain for this city was absolutely evident in their handling of the disaster. A disregard for people leading to a cover up that you would struggle to believe would happen in a 3rd world dictatorship. This is what the people of Liverpool have had to deal with for over thirty years.
It wasn’t always like this, back in the 1970’s it was not unusual to see a Union Jack flying on the Kop. Nowadays there is the occasional single Union Jack waved, this by a man who takes it as a show of support for his Armed Forces son, fair play.
The change in the fans mentality can also be evidenced through the ‘We’re not English we are Scouse’ banner that was displayed for many years at the front of the Kop – a signal for how the fans feelings towards national identity had changed.
Other aspects of the game also lean towards a lack of respect towards the achievements of this club by the establishment.
Let’s take a quick look at ‘Knighthoods’ – an opportunity for the FA and the establishment to honour those individuals who have achieved great things. Given that Liverpool is THE most successful English club, we must be over-run with Knighthoods………?
There should be no football biased in this, should there? If so, can anyone explain how Ferguson received a Knighthood after winning ONE European Cup, but Bob Paisley never, despite winning THREE?
Or how ticket tout Bobby Charlton became a ‘Sir’, yet Kenny Dalglish, a man who has done more for football on & off the pitch, hasn’t been knighted?
In fairness, I’m glad they’re not Knighted. Leave it to the likes of Jimmy Saville etc
How could we? Disregarded and neglected by successive governments many people within Liverpool have turned their backs on England. Liverpool is known for a collective community spirit, I don’t know any other city in England that would have fought against the establishment to uncover a massive injustice. We know what’s right and pushing us away, disrespecting us, won’t work – we’re a stubborn lot.
We may be located within England, but we don’t feel a part of it.
Written by @LeBigMc5Times