We’re not English, we’re Scouse

 June 7, 2010         2 Comments

I’m never sure what to make of this sort of stuff, which is often focussed around football.

There are a few areas around the country that are fairly unimpressed by the England football team, but none so much as Liverpool in my experience.

There are a lot of obvious reasons for this: the large proportion of people descended from Irish or Scots stock; the individual Liverpool identity that resulted from the melting-pot of various cultures and creeds afforded by the docks; the sense of betrayal by Tory governments and national press; and the overstated sense of importance that many Reds display about LFC.

I think there’s also an impression that the England footy team is primarily a Southern- or even London-centric outfit.

So, this sort of thing is rooted in football, but it’s deeper than that. It’s about Liverpool pride. But it’s something that makes me feel a little uneasy too. Sure, it’s meant as light-hearted, but anything that defines people by a shared trait also excludes anyone not sharing that trait. It’s an explicit rejection

Consider the implications of a poster reading ‘We’re not English, We’re Catholic’; ‘We’re not English, We’re Muslim’; or ‘We’re not English, We’re Black’. To take it a step further, what about ‘We are not Europeans, We are English’? Can’t we all be both?

Comparable? Perhaps, perhaps not. Not meant seriously? Fair enough. But there’s more to it than meets the eye, and it never fails to make me feel uncomfortable.

Comments

  1. Yeah, that poster grated with me too. A local beer and business I love, pandering to the small-minded and xenophobic. Disappointing, like.

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