‘The Low, Dishonest Decade’

Another sentence delivered on the political crimes of the 1980’s as David Cameron apologises for the state murder of solicitor Pat Finucane in 1989.
People are very quick to claim they don’t condone what was unlawfully done during that period of time, but that we need need some ‘perspective.’ That this was war. In particular, the endgame of the Cold War, and all that meant. (And also, between the lines, they mean that Finucane was a rabid Fenian who was asking for it.)
I dare-say some Oxbridge monoculist will one day write off as mere collateral damage the Hillsborough and Orgreave victims, the state murder of Pat Finucane, the generations of those persecuted by the gutter press, the rewriting of history and national identity by media, politicians and police, the destruction and demonisation of the unions and all forms of workplace organisation, the disgusting era of charity-worship which gave Jimmy Savile and his tribe their benefit of clergy, and all the other outrages against human decency perpetrated in the name of defeating the Red Menace. All just sacrifices which were ultimately in the common good. Like the devastation of Caen by the allies in 1944.  The spectre of the Red Army’s tanks rolling through Kentish orchards justified the brutalisation of British culture, and the perversion both of justice and history.
The unmasking of News International and its poisonous relationship with politicians and police in the 80’s has shown that we know nothing about that time, having been lied to comprehensively throughout, and are in fact different – and worse – people as a result.
Until Thatcher, the general image of the Liverpudlian, the stereotype of the Scouser, was almost universally positive. From its entertainers to its sense of community and optimism, it was generally, if sometimes grudgingly, admired. Much of an entire post-war generation of adolescents probably wanted to be a Scouser at some point. But such an example of a strong community was at odds with the shrink-wrapped individualism demanded by the corporate balance book. The end-product, after a period of defamation culminating in Hillsborough, was epitomised by the Harry Enfield stereotype. The shameless, depraved, cowardly, moronic deadbeat who would piss on his dying brother. The Daily Mail Scrounger Kings.
As a city, Liverpool is beginning to repair the damage done to its image, and that of its people. But the wider damage done to our belief in human nature by the decade of lies will take much longer to undo. We are all, effectively, nastier people with lower ideals as a result of the lies perpetrated by the Thatcher/Murdoch alliance. That is what lies do.
So the duty of this generation seems to be to drag real history from the memory holes of Whitehall and the lead-lined vaults of Wapping Towers, and offer it up as evidence. Whoever is in the jury will be the judge.

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