Attempting to gain political favour by repeatedly lying about the Hillsborough disaster has exposed Paul Nuttall and his party, argues Dina Cottier
The people of Merseyside have an identity. We are quick-witted, tolerant, warm-hearted and absolutely resilient. Come to Merseyside and you will strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, if you do not have the right change for the bus, someone will help you out. The kind heartedness and generosity of Merseysiders is something that is envied in other parts of the country.
The wounds that the Hillsborough tragedy left on Merseyside still seem so raw, even after 28 years, but we have proved that the press and the establishment messed with the wrong city, and our resilience and our fight against injustice has become a part of our Merseyside identity.
After the Hillsborough tragedy in April 1989, the families of the victims, survivors and communities across Merseyside came together to fight against the absolute lies and injustice that they faced for 27 years.
The people of Merseyside have successfully banished a newspaper from going anywhere near the city – or its outskirts. Our two wonderful football clubs have recently joined in on the boycott, in solidarity against the lies and smears that Liverpool fans endured because of the Sun. The finger was pointed at the fans, and it took 27 years for the finger to be rightfully pointed elsewhere.
Anne Williams lost her son Kevin on that day, and since his death fought tooth and nail to get the justice he deserved, and sadly died three years before the truth came out. But she never gave up. Even if it looked like the truth would never come out, people like Anne and Margaret Aspinall to name only two, tirelessly fought for the truth to come out for almost three decades. Wonderful modern day heroes like Williams and Aspinall did not campaign tirelessly so that someone could lie about losing a friend that day to gain political favour.
Tabloids fabricated disgusting stories to make the people of Merseyside look like criminal hooligans, so not only did survivors have to deal with tremendous mental health issues, they also had to deal with the police and the press covering up the truth and the blame that was put upon them.
It is one thing to tell little white lies about having a PhD, to tell tales of how you played football professionally, but for a so-called scouser to lie about the Hillsborough disaster, is completely immoral and it will not wash.
Hang your head in shame, Paul Nuttall, and good luck to your excuse of a party with gaining favour with anyone in Merseyside ever again.
The United Kingdom Independence party are no longer a fringe party. They now pose a serious threat to Labour heartlands in the north of England. God forbid, if Nuttall wins next Thursday, the people of Stoke-on-Trent Central will have elected a pathological liar with no remorse, with no identity of where he comes from. There may be a very real chance that Nuttall could become a fully-fledged member of parliament, and that his lies will be excused and forgotten about, but we will not forget.
Gaining political favour by playing on one of the biggest tragedies in Britain’s peacetime history will not wash. Merseyside can see right through you and your party, Nuttall, and it is only a matter of time before the rest of the country can too.
The thing is Paul, you are not just messing with the people of Merseyside, you are messing with the truth – and you are messing with justice.
Dina Cottier is a member of Progress. She tweets at @dinacottier
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