The sadly small smattering of the committed, converted & the affected who turned out at the steps of St George's Hall today in protest against the city council's cuts were largely regaled with rhetoric that was cliched & pitiful in equal measure. However, proceedings reached their nadir in a shrill, defensive rant from Joe "tea & sympathy" Anderson. It's one thing to highlight the devastating effects of the ConDem cuts in the city. It's quite another to do so while implementing them, as Anderson well knows.
Anderson's address wasn't so much a speech as a puerile whine of self-exoneration. The cuts? Nothing to do with Joe, even though he's now Cameron's Cutter-in-Chief in the city. Instead, he lobbed a couple of barbs at Degsy & Co. Forget the rather inconvenient fact that Militant haven't been around as a significant political force for 20 years or so. Anderson also declared opposition to both the Tories & "the Loony Left". It's nice to see him use a phrase first coined by that well-known champion of Merseyside, the Sun, back in the 80s.
Those who should know better, such as Anderson, are disingenuous; you can't rally the troops while depriving them of their rations. It's no exaggeration to say that empty rhetoric was the most "constructive" element of his address. Talk of mobilising the Labour Party & TUC was laughable back in the 80s when Thatcher was in her pomp. To invoke both in 2011 when the cuts dwarf those of that decade could be interpreted as a sick joke.
Be in no doubt, the cuts will be savage. Indeed, the shape of things to come was outlined by a Guardian article last week (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/feb/11/marmot-report-health-equality-data ).
In such a context, it is even more risible for Joe "tea & sympathy" Anderson to laud the legacy of Robert Tressell, the centenary of whose death in Liverpool has just passed (http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/news/details.aspx?id=193281 ):
"Robert Tressell's social commentary should not be underestimated and it's a shame that he only received recognition for his talents posthumously."
Robert Tressell, or Robert Noonan to give him his real name, would surely have seen the dark comedy in a supposed trade unionist implementing the millionaires' wishes whilst bewailing the consequences.