THE LIVERPOOL ARMS FAIR, 9/11, ANNIVERSARY OF THE US SPONSORED TERRORIST ATTACK ON ALLENDE AND CHILE IN 1973. So, there we were waiting for the march against The Arms Fair to reach us at the Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool. I noticed that we were all being filmed from an area belonging to the Cathedral. Young Alan goes to investigate. This area, devoted, I suppose, to Jesus, was fenced off from the public. It was open only to the police. Who might see the film? In 1919 Liverpool police went on strike in support of fellow workers who were on strike. As Minister of War Churchill sent a battleship and two destroyers up the Mersey in case they were needed to subdue who? The police!I remember Thatcher increasing the wages of the police as she used them against striking miners. Our current crop of Tories have not only not done that but have treated the police as an enforcement agency. Government wishes us to be docile. Is this the way to achieve it? If you see the police as bouncers should you not pay them well? The Police Federation might consider changing its name to Buy A Bouncer. Having a chat with a bobby he reminded me that they are no longer allowed to go on strike. Had several chats with bobbies. Possibly I am being fancible but, if allowed to make their own choices I felt that some would like to have been holding banners.Still, that film nags me. I was wearing red. Did they pick me out? Might I have to go on waiting for my Peerage; for my Knighthood; for my OBE? Getting tired marching we took refreshment at a pub that had sort of heard of red wine but looked at you strangely if you did not ask for ale. It meant that two of us missed Corbyn speaking. That reminds me of a problem with demonstrations and marches. Microphones and loudspeakers can be worse than useless. Get famous people to speak and the listeners mutter among themselves, “What were they saying?” His speech was on the plateau of St. George’s Hall, opposite Lime Street Station.
I caught no sight of Starmer. Must have missed the train.Best banner by far? MAKE SCOUSE NOT WAR.
SOME REFLECTION.There were so many different groups at the march/demonstration against the proposed Liverpool Arms Fair. Very prominent was a pro-Palestinian group. I was able to tell them that the Modern Hebrew word for ‘patience’, ‘savlanut’, has the same root as the verb ‘to suffer’. Being told to be patient while waiting for your human rights takes on a different meaning when you realise that. I was able to greet people in Welsh. There were groups from all over the country. I am sure that there were also many different agendas and interests and views. But from time to time some people can agree on issues that they see as key to humanity. Killing people is not good for us. Making a profit from killing people is even worse. That is what the Arms Fair is about. We have forgotten that the most despised people at the end of WWI were those that made a profit out of the war. Governments today are in cahoots with them.Liverpool has a Labour council. Its newly elected Mayor is, for the first time, female and black. I know that I should not attribute my prefered values to her simply on that basis. But claiming to be unable to stop a profit-making celebration of death taking place in a building that the city owns stretches my credulity. She claims to be upset by the planned Arms Fair so, if she believes that she cannot stop it happening, why not make a big fuss and resign? That would do wonders for her reputation and for that of Liverpool. Obama made a big fuss about closing Guantanamo Bay. He even accepted a Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently it was too difficult for him to close it and he turned his attention to setting a record for the killing of innocent people by drones. But just think of his reputation today had he resigned over the inhuman crime of Guantanamo. Few politicians with power allow such notions into their heads.Yes Liverpool needs money and Brexit was very bad for it and the whole of Merseyside and I understand the need for the city to become even more proactive, but an Arms Fair?Why not concentrate upon humane values? Liverpool has a slavery museum. It has more museums, art galleries, theatres, parks and trees than anywhere outside London. And the Mersey makes the Thames look like a tiny stream. It has, I hope, values that are widely welcomed and highly thought of. Why throw all that away?That word CORRUPTION is not confined to being slipped a backhander. If only it was. It includes betraying the values by which you claim to live. We have a national government that does this on a daily basis. Does Liverpool have to do the same? If either Benitez or Klopp stand for Mayor next time I would campaign for them. And I am sure they would give me a game. For my personal backhander just a new pair of boots would do.
By the way, I asked one banner holder what the day was the anniversay of. His response gave me my heading for this piece.
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Quite interesting piece Cliff. However, just a couple of corrections.
Firstly, the rally march ended at the Stebble Fountain, near the base of the Wellington monument. The final speeches, including Jeremy Corbyn’s, took place on William Brown Street in front of the Stebble Fountain, at the side of St George’s Hall. If you went there you would know that St Georges Plateau is completely closed off, which is why the rally ended at the smaller area in front of the Stebble.
Secondly, all speeches were well presented and very clear to all.
Perhaps Cliff, you spent too long imbibing
and that red vino went to your head.
Other than those “minor” points, a good article.