1980s Liverpool: The English city that wanted to break away from the UK.
I recently read an excellent and thought-provoking BBC article by Helen Grady. It was about Liverpool’s desire to break away from the rest of the UK in the early 1980s to escape from Margaret Thatcher’s disastrous government, which also forms a sorry backdrop to the proceedings I write about in Bombed Out!
I have edited the article here and put a link to the full article below.
All black and white photos are copyrighted to Dave Sinclair who will shortly produce a book of photographs of Liverpool in the 1980s.
It’s not just the accent that makes Liverpool feel a bit foreign to outsiders. Geographically and politically, Liverpool is a city on the edge of Britain.
At no time was this truer than in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Once the great port of the British Empire, Liverpool lost 80,000 jobs between 1972 and 1982 as the docks closed and its manufacturing sector shrank by 50%.
Screenwriter Jimmy McGovern recalls typing a CV for his brother in the early 1980s.
“From 1976 onwards it was this litany – Birds Eye, [Fisher] Bendix, Leyland, every one of them – reason for leaving: factory closed, factory closed, factory closed.”
The unemployment and poverty caused by the collapse of Liverpool’s economy produced the ideal recruiting ground for an ultra-left-wing movement operating within the Labour party. Known as the Militant Tendency, it had sprung from a Trotskyist group called the Revolutionary Socialist League and its goals included widespread nationalisation and embarking on a massive programme of public works.
One of its most influential figures in Liverpool was Derek Hatton, a former fire fighter who was elected to the city council in 1979.
Full article and photos here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/history/1980s-liverpool-the-english-city-that-wanted-to-break-away-from-the-uk/
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