Here’s a picture of it (copyright Google Earth.) You can read all about it here. There is too much about the slave-trade on that link for my liking but the rest is accurate enough. The general picture is of a large collection of ageing relics, in search of a reason to exist.
In about 50 words then; once, it was a marsh. There were a few fishing bothies, and the occasional landing of Norse traders, settlers and raiders, probably from Ireland, just a couple of fast longboat days away. Apart from that, nothing much happened for a millennium.
Then, King John needed a harbour under English control, to deal with Ireland. He was a much better and fairer Overlord to the Irish than is realised, better than his father, or his successors – insofar as a feudal overlord can be at all “good”. Liverpool got its charter in 1208. “Liverpool” meant at the time “the yellowish tidal salt marsh”: the liver-coloured polder. Old livers, of old dead people, can be quite cream-coloured, thus I am told by the more notable persons among medical physiologists.
With the Empire, Liverpool became the 2nd or 3rd most important/richest port in the world. The Germans duly demolished large parts of its docks and shoreline in 1940/41 and sporadically later. With a coastline like that, you could hardly miss, unlike the Ruhr. At the time it had (I recall) eight MPs, seven of whom sat for the Tories. All seats are now safe Labour, with the sociable democrats always second.
Then socialism came, undefeated and now crouching malevolently, behind the understandable and widespread groundswell of popular feeling that, with the War “won”, no human being really ought to have to do any real work under pressure, whether economic or mortal, ever again. My father, a returning soldier in 1945, confirmed this; he and many believed in a “Brave New World” and voted for it – his words not mine. The restraint-of-Trade Unions, exacting their pound of flesh for war work, got in on the act big-time.
The dockers, an especially important group in Liverpool, helped with their mates elsewhere to ensure the destruction of the city’s main reason for being. High taxation post-war, plus the aforementioned restrainers, put paid to the Lancashire textile manufacturers which created most of the port’s tonnage. The importation of Asian labour, in the hope that this would cut costs, has only served to let the Enemy Class do a multicult on what is left of the UK.
Then came Derek Hatton in the 80s, the Jag-juggler of gerrymandering junta-justice. This man could even thumb his nose at Thatcher, and he mostly got away with his further destruction of this once great city.
So, what’s left? (No pun intended there.) Well, er, there are quite a few imposing museums in the modern idiom; vast spaces, odd directional lighting, coloured steel staircases, wall-2-wall DVDs featuring something or other, and a few-widely-spaced items, guarded by miscellaneous and forbidding artificial policemen, who are impersonating the staff.
The Maritime Museum in the Albert Dock is not as Politically Correct as the one in Greenwich, since there is not too much about slavery, and, still quite a good bit about the Battle of the Atlantic. Occasionally, The Navy turns up and becomes a static exhibit for a week or so, when the ship is not under repair or its crew have been captured by the Iranians.
Recently, Liverpool became the “European capital of culture 2008”. I can’t find a local who knows what that is going to mean; except that there is much large building work going on, mostly of hotels and tower-flats – the city centre is chaos – and the Soviet has put up a number of £19,000 illuminated metal signs at its borders, welcoming you to “A Capital City”. No solar cells or little Cameroonian windmills on the tops of these – they are connected to the grid!
The Catholic Cathedral, “Paddy’s Wigwam”, is an inspiring religious building, and has arguably the finest modern cathedral organ in the world. Libertarians ought to be wetting themselves with joy, as this church was built entirely by individual private subscription, of pennies and shillings at a time, over decades.
There are three Universities. If I objectively judge what think about two if them, I could get “Boris’ed”. Apart from that, 2-shags-Prescott was going to demolish all the Victorian and Georgian terraced housing he could find, and turn the entire city into what Toxteth looks like, or Bucharest started to be under the ghastly “a-suit-a-second” pig Ceaucescu. Prezza didn’t succeed very well, thank goodness, as some of the Georgian stuff is finer than London’s.
So, what can these poor people do, trapped on benefits in a museum? The first thing is take responsibility for their condition, and stop wallowing in self-pity. I’m going to get “Boris’ed” now, I can tell! This is true, even though it may not be the fault of those currently alive to take it. If they don’t, then the Hatton-heritage harpies who think themselves nominally in charge of these people’s destiny, charge them (or us,) use them, and abuse them, certainly will not. These poor people ought to, at every opportunity, vote early and vote often, very often each time, on every day they can, to eject those buggers. As my reader knows, I regard the failure to not elect a socialist, any other kind of political imbecile, including nazi collectivist psychopaths, as a personal failure of responsibility. If they don’t know how to vote or what box to tick, then we should be like the SAS and pick up the weapons of the Enemy Class, for our use, and they should be “helped”. Whatever has become of the ancient Tory custom, which I knew as “kindly driving hundreds of old ladies to the polling station(s), and back” ? Perhaps Cameron does not get this, or perhaps Steve Hutton or whatever that guy’s name is does not want him to win, and is a plant?
Secondly, education ought to be entirely denationalised. This post is already way too long for me to go into the reasons here, and with which my Libertarian reader will already agree anyway, so it will be another time. But suffice it to say that people ought not to be forced to learn about how absolutely great governments are, in schools owned and run by the said governments. This would, slowly, lead us forward into the past, to a time when schooling was non-compulsory, taught what was important and needed, and caused a greater flowering of more ability in more people than at any time in Man’s history. The peak of Britain’s moral, spiritual and economic domination of the world – and I list them in that order on purpose – came probably just before the first Education Acts began to be able to muddy the waters, and when the state was yet small. As I said Enoch Powell said; “The rot sets in, but it takes quite some time”. Denationalised education will make better people, in time.
We would not live to see that even if we started now, but to get somewhere you have to start somewhere. So I fear there is no hope in our lifetime for poor old Liverpool. At best, it will become a “hot” conference destination, for a few years. It might even last until the Olympics 2012, if we are still so unfortunate as to have to host them. I hope Boris will cancel them for us, and cut our already considerable losses as a nation and as a people, in our rulers’ self-narcissistic chasing after this increasingly fascistic event.
In Liverpool, then, the bureaucrats, and a few of the “developers”, will make some money. I expect there will be more, and prettier, “escort” girls, for the same time interval, for the abovementioned, and for some visitors. So at least a little money may flow back into the local economy where it belongs. Things often get old, because they are good, and last long. But can we say this of poor Liverpool, at the moment? Not unless libertarian solutions are applied to it and soon.