They do not hide their class contempt

And speaking of Bradford – let’s also speak of Liverpool. Suzanne Moore is one of many who wrote about the ugly class prejudice in the lies told about the Hillsborough disaster.

Finally, 27 long years later, the cold class contempt that Hillsborough came to signify is laid out for all to see. Those who died did not die because they were “animals” or drinking too much or behaving badly. They were unlawfully killed. Their families did not grieve too much because they were from Liverpool and therefore emotionally incontinent or full of working-class mawkishness; they grieved because they lost their loved ones in absolutely horrific circumstances. Still, to read the details of how these people died tightens my stomach. Of the 96 who died, 37 were teenagers. The reality is that the dead were all sorts of people from different backgrounds. But very quickly they became no longer individuals but part of a mob who somehow deserved this awful fate. As life was squeezed out of them, then too their humanity was taken from them by the police, by politicians and parts of the press.

The lies the police told to cover up the way they botched their job that day was that the people who died were a drunken mob who crashed through a gate without tickets. The reality is that the officer in charge ordered the gate opened and then did nothing to direct traffic to the sides where there was space.

It must be somewhat galling for those in power now to have to accept this ruling, for they do not hide their class contempt either. They have elevated it to actual policy: all schools must be modelled on the schools they went to, but with fewer resources. All hospitals must be run to make a profit. Taxes are for the little people. Those who don’t “get on” have only themselves to blame. An increasing range of theories come into play about why poor people are poor, which is never to do with lack of money but lack of civility. Or perhaps there is something wrong with their actual brains! Imagery of working-class people invariably invokes moral deprivation by showing a tendency to excess.

The Guardian’s 11 minute video is well worth watching.

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