Thursday, September 30, 2004

Liverpool as seen on C4 News

Last night Channel 4 news argued that it is only now that Liverpool is recovering from the excesses of the Militant Tendency led by Mulhearn and Hatton (or Ant and Dec as nobody called them at the time). That is to confuse the outward display of a reaction to depression and decay with the depression and decay itself. Major decline in local industry in the 70s and 80s led to mass unemployment. Despair led to support for a rather reactionary and workerist left sect that offered hope for Liverpool's working class communities through a series of transitional demands such as no redundancies, nationalization of the top 200 companies, and a 35 hour week. The transitional demands served two purposes: to attract the working class; and to expose the inadequate nature of the Labour Party leadership.
Militant's reactionary nature can be seen in the way it rejected campaigns on racism, feminism, peace and sexuality as "distractions and irrelevancies"1.
The regeneration of inner Liverpool is a product of reformist policies and investment led by property developers that may, or may not, improve the lives of people on the outer estates. To argue that regeneration has been delayed because of the 20 year Militant Tendency hangover is to ignore the deep economic and industrial decay in the city.

1 David Coates. "Parties in Pursuit of Socialism". Coates, David and Gordon Johnston et al. A Socialist Anatomy of Britain. Cambridge: Polity, 1985. 213

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