You really know that civic life has plumbed dispiriting depths when the leader of Liverpool City Council resorts to the lexicon of the playground. Joe "Tea & Sympathy" Anderson reacted to the presence of protesters outside the Echo Arena last Friday with a rejoinder which, I suspect, won't be regarded as the ultimate bon mot (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcNLz8C5RAw ).
The purpose of Cllr Anderson's visit to the venue wasn't to see Sir Macca (that's next week), but to talk to multi-millionaire Tory minister Francis Maude. Something tells me Joe didn't train his infantile invective on a key figure in the ConDem coalition. While it would have achieved nothing for Cllr Anderson to indulge in name-calling with Maude, I'd wager that an excoriating denunciation of the ConDem cuts wasn't issued by the city council leader.
Giving the clearest indication of what he views his priorities to be, Cllr Anderson has defiantly stood by his charming message to those outside the Arena (http://blogs.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/dalestreetblues/2011/12/liverpool-council-leader-joe-a-2.html ).
Declaring that he has "no regrets", Joe is in bullish mood, according to David Bartlett:
"Cllr Anderson said he was responding to shouts of 'Nazi scum' as he entered the waterfront venue, with a protest taking place outside."
Granted, the video is rather brief, so we don't know what was said before the filming began. However, having viewed the clip a few times, I can't hear that particular insult being voiced in Cllr Anderson's direction.
Cllr Anderson goes on to display his gift for cognitive dissonance:
"Today [Cllr Anderson] said: 'The irony is I agree with 95% of what they are saying, but I disagree with them shouting abuse in an obscene way.' "
Just a thought for Joe to ponder: if he agrees with almost all the points made by the protesters, why doesn't he make the relatively short intellectual jump to the logical conclusion here & endorse a programme of resistance to cuts the magnitude of which Thatcher would envy? Moreover, while alleged abusive language can't be condoned, he should ask himself which is the greater obscenity, a few choice, though ill-advised, words on a windy waterfront outside the Echo Arena, or a meek acquiescence to a programme of cuts which will consign thousands to the dole queue & cause misery to those most dependent on council services at the behest of a Tory grandee sitting smugly inside the venue.
Concluding his illusory case for disparagement, Cllr Anderson sneers:
" 'I have been fighting for social justice for longer than some of these people have been alive.' "
Classy, Joe, classy.