Liverpool City Council leader Joe Anderson's efforts to paint himself as some kind of anti-cuts crusader - whilst implementing the cuts - continue. His latest stunt is to ask people to march, tomorrow, for "a fair deal for Liverpool." This has to be shown up for the pathetic charade that it is.
I've already written about why Anderson is not to be trusted, and his crocodile tears should be scorned. And I'm far from the only one who thinks the same way. By all accounts, his appearence at a recent Liverpool Trades Council meeting was brave to say the least, and not one person there fell for his "I'm so sorry, but my hands are tied" act. People are more than aware that this is cheap electioneering ahead of him making unpopular decisions, and nothing more.
Nonetheless, he continues to ham it up. The BBC quotes him as saying that having to make cuts of £91m is "absolutely heartbreaking," and that "it hurts me and it hurts other people, I know that, but they're the types of decisions we are having to make." The blame, as ever, lies anywhere but with him.
And yet, whilst he's telling us that this "hurts like hell," what he's asking people to march behind him for tomorrow - even on the presumption that he can do nothing - isn't opposition to the cuts altogether. It's for, as the Facebook event states, "that the city isn't forced to implement the Government's cuts in just two years; and that we are not given the biggest cuts in the country, but rather only the average cuts in the country - which would reduce our cuts by some £26million." In other words, we accept the ideological framework laid out by the government, but simply ask for less of the burden to fall on this particular area of the country.
If that wasn't wet enough, pile on top the request that "members of all ... political parties" take part. Thus the march "will be led by the Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and Liberal councillors who worked together on the budget." Or, to you and me, the bastards putting the cuts in place!
This march is a clear attempt to divert anger at austerity measures down channels that are safe and acceptable to the ruling class. Implicit in the invitation to march is the idea that the cuts are neccesary, and our only concern that we face more than other parts of the country. Thus, rather than marching against all politicians and their class war agenda which is going to hit the most vulnerable hardest, we are to march in the name of Liverpool City Council's electoral ambitions.
Fuck that for a game of soldiers.
I fully intend to be there tomorrow, but only because there will be plenty of people along for the ride who risk being duped by this nonsense. The media narrative is the same as the political narrative. The Liverpool Echo states that the council "has tried to protect frontline services," but "finances are stretched almost to breaking point because the Government withdrew funding," reinforcing Anderson's line. On the ground, where people are angry and scared enough to come out on the streets, that must be challenged.