Yes she did. Have you ever tried not being scum?

Last week I wrote something about how in the 80s it was just Liverpool earmarked for managed decline, but this time round no-one is safe, for the simple reason that the Tories don’t need or even want the cities anymore, such is the level of support for them in the shires. And here we are a week later, with Manchester singled out for punitive measures for having the gall to argue for the fair treatment of its businesses and staff who are being forced into closure and poverty. This morning Robert Jenrick, a leading light in this cabal of corruption, went on Radio 4 and was allowed to lie unchallenged for 10 minutes. I know in the grand scheme of things – where Churchill’s grandson is running Serco and where contracts for more than a hundred million quid each are being dished out to anyone who was at the right dinner party – that the few million Burnham was fighting for must feel pitifully small to Jenrick; after all he made 45 million for his mate Richard Desmond just by trashing the rules on a single planning application, but why did the BBC let him get away with it?

Is there a formula or isn’t there? Manchester had ex treasury officials do the maths and came up with the figure of 90 million to keep people out of poverty. They were offered 55 million by central government, which wasn’t acceptable. Jenrick said the PM then offered 60 – this was horse trading, no formula existed and it was being made up on the fly. Liverpool got 44 million for 1.5 million people; Manchester were offered 55 for 2.8, which was then raised to 60.  But this isn’t about the figures. If Manchester needed 200 they’d be offered 100. If they needed 50 they’ve be offered 30. The government would rather try to turn people against the mayor and have us all talking about that than the absolute bollocks they’re making of this crisis, and the fact that Tier 3 restrictions won’t do anything without fast testing and track and trace working. And they’d rather we all died or went bust than admit the devolved nations are battering them on every metric. This is why the honourable lady just called you scum. 

If the government think they can make Scousers turn on Mancs and vice versa they’ve got another thing coming. Yeah we argue about footy and who’s had the best bands and nightclubs, but deep down we’re the same and we’ve got each other’s backs. If you draw a line from where the Mersey meets land, drag it around Runcorn, under and over Manchester and back to Liverpool, in that relatively small patch of land you’ve got more people than Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, with a shared identity that’s just as strong, and we won’t be putting up with this shit much longer before an independence movement starts here. Already, there are rumbles.

First we need to get our head round the multiple divide and conquer techniques being deployed by these charlatans. This attempt to get Liverpool and Manchester to distrust each other is just the latest in a series of plays. First we had ‘Workington Man’… those hundreds of villages in the north that were convinced the cities are full of metropolitan elites acting against their best interests. The reason QAnon took off so big in the states is that people in one horse towns in the middle of nowhere have been brainwashed by facebook that the cities are full of paedos, having orgies and harvesting blood and body parts. This isn’t a million miles away from what Boris sold to turn the Red Wall, Blue. They’ve used the same language, platforms and strategies to win a new rural base over here. Then, the youth were targeted and blamed for the second wave. They couldn’t stay in and behave responsibly so now we’re all fucked. Suddenly it’s an old v young thing, when the reality is they got sent back to uni and school with zero preparation, so the colleges and landlords would get paid in full. Look at London now. The Tories threatening to steal TFL from Khan if he doesn’t impose their will. They know what they’re doing: they want him to have to take the blame for their bullshit. This is the like a school bully asking why you’re hitting youself as he slams your fist into your own balls. And then there’s the left wing of the labour party, who now hate Starmer as much as they hate Boris. The party is in tatters. As soon at Burnham appears on the TV fighting for his people there’s some kid on twitter who misses Corbyn saying Burnham’s anorak is an insult to homeless people. Fuck this shit. We’re going to keep getting ridden by the Eton Old Boys until we park this nonsense and unite.

The government are laughing because all the potential opposition is fragmented to the point of being useless. It’s when dissenting voices are so distrustful of each other that the Tories can get away with such heinous abuses of power and corruption. When was the last time that you heard it said on the news that pound for pound we’ve got the worst Covid outbreak in the world? Both in terms of deaths and economic impact? It’s forgotten about while everyone focusses on these petty scraps in the middle.

We all feel so powerless in the face of so much mis (and dis)information from the media, the BBC and the lack of cohesive opposition. Everyone I speak to asks what can we do, what happens next, how can we fight back when we’re all locked away in our own little bubbles. Well start by accepting that doing nothing is unacceptable. Treat everyone who sees the common enemy for what it is with respect. Try to understand that if you had a problem with someone with a different philosophy, with an upbringing from a different part of the world, someone with a different history to you who you might not have got on with before, if they are trying to stop this madness then they are now your friend and you need to park all previous hang-ups and move on together. Write shit. That’s why I’m writing this. Write to your MP. Challenge on Facebook. Send it to your dickhead uncle who still loves Boris. Tell him how fucking angry you are. Make friends with people who feel the same, on the socials, in reality. Rage. Don’t feel defeated, prepare, because soon there will be public unrest, this will end up on the streets, and it’s our job to make sure we’ve got the strength in numbers when that time comes. 

John Crump