It may be the season of goodwill but the howlers from Oldham Hall Street continue. Slow to report last night's breaking story about the 1981 Cabinet Papers on Liverpool (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-16355281 ), today's editorial in the Oldham Echo declares (http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/views/our-view/2011/12/30/toxteth-riots-so-who-didn-t-care-100252-30032078/ ):
"It can now only be revealed, 30 years after the event, that the then chancellor, Sir Geoffrey Howe, thought we should basically be left to rot."
Not true, guys. This blog & others have quoted Howe's comments on several occasions over the years; Peter Kilfoyle, former Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, referred to the "managed decline" remark in a House of Commons debate during the 90s.
Howe has been on BBC Radio today, saying he has no recollection of the comments. That form of words should not be confused with a denial.
As an aside, Michael Heseltine & most of the broadcast media have today made the lazy & sloppy association between the Toxteth riots & Militant's reign in the city. Whatever one may think of the record & legacy of Messrs Hatton & Mulhearn, the fact is that the city council was under Liberal rule at the time of the riots. The then council leader, & well-known local businessman, Trevor Jones escorted Heseltine on his visit to the city in July 1981. The Militant-led Labour group didn't take control of the council until May 1983.