A City On The Edge
A City on The Edge
The Liverpool City region is on edge; the edge of a physical and mental health crisis the likes of which have not been seen in many of our lifetime’s, as we enter an economic decline not witnessed for generations.

The City is filled with anger, frustration, and uncertainty towards how this Johnson government has failed our people.

The anger spreads to local leaders as government place the blame at their door, leaders who have neither the power nor the backing to negotiate on our behalf.

In these times of anger and uncertainty we are seeing groups try to take advantage of the feeling people of the city have, by hosting “demonstrations” purporting to be local but using racism and campaign images linked to Hillsborough to drum up support.

Do not let your anger lead you down this path.

Right now, people’s heads are spinning, with so many differences of opinion about why this is happening and what needs to change.

The one thing which is clear though, is that all of this division amongst communities, friends, families and colleagues is down to the government’s very purposeful misinformation strategy, spewed since the beginning of the pandemic.

While it appears they are bumbling fools, the misinformation and confusion caused by announcements around; “stay at home”, “go to work”, “see your family but only outdoors and dependant on which tier you are in”, has directly lead to the amount of division we now have.

This is nothing new:

Black v White

Muslim v Christian

Leave v Remain


Mask v No Mask

Lockdown v No Lockdown

These constant divisions, battles and arguments amongst communities has ensured our energy and attention are not focused directly on what is going on before us – the failure of the government to protect our health and economy, while billions of pounds are syphoned off.

As a city we have done everything that has been asked of us, isolating from loved ones, seeing family members into ambulances to then die alone in hospital, limiting numbers at funerals who are able to grieve.

We have complied with all the restrictions placed on businesses and services, as we were assured all this pain would be worth it to control the virus.

But while all this pain and suffering is happening the government have failed to invest in local health services and a functioning test and trace system which would have put us in a position similar to other parts of the world who now have some normality in their daily lives and are able to function as a society with the virus.

£12 billion has been spent by government on test and trace, which their own SAGE advisors have said has minimal impact and is likely to reduce even further as the virus spreads.

The money has been paid to the likes of Serco and other private contractors who have profiteered while people continue to be hospitalised and sadly die.

Conservative Baroness Dido Harding was appointed the Head of test and trace. In this role she works as a public servant and should therefore be covered by the civil service code, which states that civil servants should not “act in a way determined by political considerations”.

But Harding sits as a backbench Tory peer and takes the Conservative whip, operating there in a political capacity, voting in line with her party.

If anyone wants to raise concerns or complaints about this then the government’s own Anti-Corruption Champion is Dido Harding’s husband and a Tory MP – John Penrose

While this £12 billion is moved from the public to private profiteers and brand-new faceless companies are awarded hundreds of millions of pounds in PPE contracts, Liverpool City Region finds itself placed in the most severe Tier 3 restrictions.

Yes, there are areas of the country with a higher case rate per 100,000, but a key factor in Tier 3 was Hospital capacity in the region.

So, while other areas of the country have temporary Nightingale hospitals constructed within 9 days and now left empty, our City has hundreds of people hospitalised and a shell of new Royal Liverpool Hospital which has stood incomplete for 5 years.

Incomplete due to even more money being passed to failed private organisations this time Carillion, who once they collapse and run away with the money, leave behind a City with some of the highest areas of deprivation in the UK, with even less hospital capacity for the people of this city.

This is a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal between the government and Carillion which was championed by Mayor Joe Anderson in the local press and presided over by Labour life peer Baroness Morgan of Huyton, who sat on the board of Directors at Carillion.

A deal that should it ever have actually been completed would have left the Hospital with fewer beds than before it was built. Government and leaders have undermined our NHS and put lives at risk.

We need funding for a regional test and trace system to get on top of this virus and allow our communities to return to some aspect of normality currently enjoyed by countries who have managed this effectively.

The economy: Local businesses are now faced with uncertainty around their future. Having carried out to the letter all previous government instructions.

The Hospitality and Leisure industry face ruin even though this has been the industry where most restrictions have been imposed and complied with.

Further restrictions have now been imposed on bars, restaurants, gyms and other leisure services without any scientific data which highlights these industries as a risk compared to other industries.

The financial package for people in industries affected means they are expected to either live on 2/3 of their wage through furlough.

Or work in a business that has been allowed to remain open with dramatically reduced footfall, meaning even less hours are available for them to work.

Rents, mortgages, food and utilities will still cost 100% of what they always have done. People cannot be expected to live on what is currently being offered.

Over the last 25 years the City of Liverpool’s economy has been built on the Hospitality, Leisure and Travel sectors, we cannot stand by while it is forced to collapse through government failure.

We need financial security for all people and businesses affected by government restrictions. Once again, this government and leaders have failed this City.

In spite of these failures, the people of the City have come together to support each other, showing strength and resilience through the toughest of times.

Whether that be through the manufacture and distribution of thousands of pieces of PPE by volunteers, or community groups supporting the most vulnerable in their communities with food parcels and food banks.

It shows that when it is needed, we come together as a City to support each other and overcome even the most challenging situation. Let us do it again.

We need to set aside the confusion caused but government misinformation, come together as a City and oppose this failed Tory Government.

This is Liverpool, #ACityTogether.

+ posts

Founding member and former Chair of the Liverpool Supporters Union. Supported and campaigned with Anne Williams in her Hope for Hillsborough organisation.