COLUMN

Children of a monster society

Allan Fotheringham December 13 1993
COLUMN

Children of a monster society

Allan Fotheringham December 13 1993

Children of a monster society

ALLAN FOTHERINGHAM

People love to run away from things. They don’t like reality. Better to deal in clichés. Better to quote the convenient psycho-babble, comfortable to the soul, easy to assimilate.

Such as with the horrible details out of Liverpool, with the tabloid headlines of the “Baby Killers,”—Child A and Child B as they were known through the trial—the little “monsters” who as 10-year-olds snatched and murdered in sickening fashion two-year-old Jamie Bulger.

Social workers were eloquent in their explanations as to “strange” circumstances that brought about such a horrendous crime. One of the police inspectors involved concluded that these were just two "freak” boys who happened to have coincided in life—mutants who had come together by accident.

Well. We wonder. What is freakness? These were two young future thugs, granted—prematurely nurtured to trouble. Both from broken homes, both from a rough and hopeless background, in a neighborhood so violent that neighbors tried to assault the police vans carrying the kids and the parents having to be moved elsewhere for their safety.

Liverpool was the mouth to the Industrial Revolution, the mighty port that brought the fruits of the British Empire to the cotton mills of the Midlands. Today it is a broken city, its docks forlorn. Nazi bombers, naturally, targeted it, knowing it was the key base for crushing the German U-boat menace that almost decided the War.

Liverpool since the War, sea power no longer ruling the world, has become a sump hole. Its unemployment rate ranks near Britain’s highest. Liverpool’s young, school rejects at age 15, destined under Thatcherite philosophy to become consigned to the dole for the rest of their foreseeable lives, are deadbeats.

They are the now-famous louts, the yobbos, the unemployed whose only thrill is to, each Saturday, turn English soccer stadiums into bloodstained abattoirs.

On May 29, 1985, the Liverpool soccer

club—the most skilful and admired team in Britain—travelled to Brussels to play Juventus of Turin in the European Cup final, the greatest prize in football outside the World Cup.

They were accompanied by thousands of Liverpool fans, drinking from the time they left on Liverpool trains, on the ferries to Belgium, intoxicated well before the game and attacking Juventus supporters with everything from iron bars to bowie knives. When the drunken mob, even before the game started, charged the Italian fans, a wall collapsed and 39 innocents were crushed to death—32 Italians, four Belgians, two French, one Brit.

As a result, the world soccer authorities banned teams from England—home of the game—from European competition, reinstating them for play on the Continent only two years ago.

In April of 1989, the Liverpool team trav-

elled just an hour away to Sheffield, where they were to play Nottingham Forest in the semifinal of the national championship, the Grey Cup of soccer. Thousands of Liverpool “fans”—i.e. louts without tickets—drank so furiously in Sheffield pubs before the game that the publicans’ barrels ran dry.

When they stormed an already sold-out stadium, frightened police opened a gate and the mob rushed through a tunnel into a fenced-off enclosure that contained some 8,000 supporters, all the younger children of course eagerly pressed against the fence facing the field.

As the mob drunkenly fell against the barricades, families at home were given a world first: watching on live color television their own children crushed to death with police inches away helpless to save them. Ninetyfive people died, most of them kids, Liverpool once again involved.

What is quite apparent here, and what is quite obvious here, is that this is a monster society. Britain, as a whole, is quite monstrous. George Orwell created a sensation in 1937 when he wrote The Road to Wigan Pier while demonstrating the ratty, despicable conditions under which the working class in the north of England actually lived.

In 1993, it is actually not that much different. England still lives under a monster class system that is abided in no other comparable society such as France, Germany, Italy or Spain.

In none of those countries is there such a disparity as the one between the dispirited Liverpudlians and the stockbroker/rockstar belts of Kent.

There is nothing more monstrous than the monster top of it all, the dysfunctional Royal Family

that retains monster estates with beaters driving pheasants into the waiting shotguns of toffs who wear ties to gun doomed birds.

The doomed toddler who perished on the Liverpool railway tracks and the dumb fatalists who put him there are products of the same stream. It is not just a dysfunctional family at the top. It is a class system that exists nowhere else in the world while pretending to be democratic.

The Royals go to Ascot. (They are not much for opera.) They send their minor bloods to Wimbledon. They tend to horses and dogs. They wouldn’t know Liverpool if they found it in their soup.

They think, as the tabloid writers do, that the stupid little boys who steal a boy from a mother in a mall are merely products of their own mental deliberations.

I don’t think so. I think they are a product of something else.