In May 1983, in the wake of her victory in the Falklands, Mrs Thatcher won the second of her three general election victories. Liverpool, going not for the first or last time against the grain, elected a Labour council that vowed to be different. In an environment of mass unemployment in which Liverpool felt abandoned by an indifferent government, the council resolved to join others across the land in refusing to set a budget that would hurt the poorest. It was at first wildly popular, but the scene soon became set for a battle between the city and central government that would shape the future of Liverpool. Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the 1983 election, Militant Liverpool: A City on the Edge sets out an even-handed assessment of events with oral testimonies from many of the key protagonists. Thirty years on, Liverpool has to some extent reinvented itself as a visitor destination, but it is again facing major spending cuts while its deep seated social problems remain. This book sheds new light on what is for some a dark period in the city’s past, best forgotten, while for others is a memory of the city that refused to lie down and die and a continuing inspiration.
Published to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the election of Liverpool's 'Militant' council. Includes interviews with the key protagonists from both sides, including Derek Hatton. A balanced account that sheds new light on an explosive period in Liverpool's history that shaped national perceptions of the city.
List of Workshop Participants 1 December 2011, University of Liverpool Heather Adams James Dillon James Hackett Paul Lafferty Dave Lloyd Ian Lowes Tony Mulhearn John Nelson Harry Smith List of Interviewees – 2012 John Airs Gideon Ben-Tovim Mark Campbell Ray Costello Louise Ellman MP John Flamson Maurice Gubbins Derek Hatton Mike Henesey Mike Hogan Malcolm Kennedy Peter Kilfoyle Paul Lafferty Paul Luckock Steve Munby Michael Parkinson Tony Rimmer Jimmy Rutledge Alex Scott Samuel Sam Semoff Jerry Spencer Tunde Zack-Williams
Compiled from interviews with major and minor players, Militant Liverpool offers a punchy and at times gripping account of a city in revolt: the passion, the argument, the high hopes and the bitter disillusion. There's lots of talk now about Liverpool "getting its mojo back". Militant Liverpool makes the case that this process may have been going on for a long time and, for good and ill, Hatton and co were part of it.
Jamie Kenny, The Big Issue in the North
The Big Issue in the North
This is an important book not just because of its analysis of the politics of Liverpool but also because it asks questions about the nature of socialist politics . People and history may scorn the role of left wing activists in groups such as Militant but how is it that they spoke to the needs and hearts of working class people in the 1980s? Why is it the Labour Party commands so little respect from working class people? And at a time when the term working class gets thrown around in the media why is it they have so little involvement in left wing organisations?
An enjoyable and timely read; I read it twice in order to write this review, and the first time I found that I could not put it down. The work is also a good way into a subject that is well known, but perhaps not fully understood, by many.
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