Scouse Exceptionalism

Peter Hooton is super-optimistic about Corbyn (right however about UKIP) if his recent piece for Andrew Neill’s ‘This Week’ is anything to go by:-

Many words have been written about American exceptionalism (Seymour Martin Lipset wrote a book about it) but the only reference I can find to a similar phenomenon relating to Liverpool is this book:-

‘American exceptionalism’ is the idea that America is inherently different from other nations. The roots of this lie, as with so much about American culture, in religion.

The roots of ‘scouse exceptionalism’ are unclear to me (port city?) but it manifests itself in the characteristic way Liverpudlians so sharply differentiate between ‘natives’ and non-Liverpudlians. The worst insult a Liverpudlian can hurl is ‘wool’ it seems.

There is nothing wrong with a strong sense of regional identity but the nature of that identity is dependent, to some degree, upon the relative success of the region as a whole. In good times:- triumphant. In bad times:- ? perhaps serves to foster a nostalgic/romanticised view of Liverpool’s own past which, in turn, potentially could serve as a stumbling block to change/modernisation.

There are certainly political implications for ‘scouse exceptionalism’ – the idea that Liverpudlians have (and which is reinforced by non-Liverpudlians) that Liverpudlians are in some way fundamentally distinct from the rest of the country.  Separate and unique.

It is telling that in the 70s and 80s Liverpool was the most rebellious region of England opposing the death of one political consensus (45-79) and the birth of another (Thatcherite.) There is no doubt in my mind that a belief in ‘Liverpool exceptionalism’ fuelled this to some degree, as this article in which Peter Hooton features alludes to:-

The two questions that the likes of Peter Hooton need to answer is:- what did those rebellions actually achieve? and to what extent did the far-left politics of the time actually contribute towards Liverpool’s decline in the 1980s?

These are not academic questions. If Steve Rotheram (a supporter of the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn) becomes Merseyside metro mayor next year to what extent does that embolden the far-left in that region?


Im married to a Liverpudlian!


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