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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 January 2012

Liverpool's managed decline: Tarzan to the rescue?

Tony Mulhearn, Former Liverpool councillor
The campaign built by Liverpool city council in 1983-87 to win extra funding inspired thousands of workers, photo Dave Sinclair

The campaign built by Liverpool city council in 1983-87 to win extra funding inspired thousands of workers, photo Dave Sinclair   (Click to enlarge)

In a breathtaking example of Tory mendacity former 'Minister for Merseyside' Michael Heseltine claims he rescued Liverpool from 'managed decline'.

This fate was proposed by chancellor Geoffrey Howe following the 1981 Toxteth riots, as shown by recently released government archives. But the blunt fact is that the decline continued.

In the two years after the riots not a single house for rent had been built by the Liberal/Tory alliance which controlled the council; council rents were the highest in the UK outside London; 5,000 council jobs had vanished, and some 30 million had been slashed from Liverpool's rate support grant by Heseltine's Thatcher government.

Youth unemployment in some areas of the city was in excess of 50%, and the defeated Liberal/Tory alliance had left behind a financial gap of 10 million pounds of unallocated cuts.

This was the dark scenario inherited by the newly elected socialist Labour council in May 1983.

Unlike the capitulation of today's 'Labour' councillors, that scenario was not used as an excuse for doing nothing, but as a reason for carrying out their election promises by launching a programme of action which included: building houses, freezing rents, creating jobs, expanding services, and opening six new sports centres.

By contrast Heseltine planted hundreds of trees.

If Liverpool's dogs could vote no doubt his Lordship would top the poll.


Liverpool A City that Dared to Fight

Liverpool - A city that Dared to Fight

Liverpool - A city that Dared to Fight

By Peter Taaffe and Tony Mulhearn

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In The Socialist 4 January 2012:


Anti-cuts campaign

Defend public sector pensions - "action must be escalated"

PCS Left Unity open organising conference in defence of pensions

Reject pensions 'deal' - fight until we win


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Hands off the NHS!


Socialist Party feature

A world in turmoil


Socialist Party news and analysis

2012: Millions face poverty and homelessness

Liverpool's managed decline: Tarzan to the rescue?

"Seismic collapse" of private pensions

Them & Us


Socialist Party events

National meeting for women in the Socialist Party


Socialist Party workplace news

Unity against wage cuts in construction

Cuts used to attack trade unionists

Fight job-cutting academies


International socialist news and analysis

Nigeria: Boko Haram's Christmas Day bombings

USA: Occupy movement links with working class


Socialist Party reviews and comments

Review: Days of Hope

We're not scroungers!


 

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Related links:

Liverpool:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Lessons from Liverpool City Council 1983-7

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Liverpool City Council in the 1980s

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: Antisemitism and Labour

triangleSave Free School Meals!

triangleLiverpool Uni staff set to fight 220 job losses

Council:

triangleBromley library workers win strike campaign

triangleCoventry TUSC: Council cuts - how can we fight back?

triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: What would a socialist council look like?

triangleVictorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist

Jobs:

triangleGender pay gap figures show need for trade union action

triangleRetail crunch: even giants not immune as 21,000 jobs disappear

triangleVictimised recycling strikers uncowed as Hull strike wave builds

Government:

triangleMay elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleObituary: Maureen Mulhearn 1945-2018

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