Letter: A Liverpudlian writes, more in anger than in sorrow

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The Independent Online
I FEEL that I must put the record straight regarding your article 'A City Acts Up' (Review, 28 February). That Liverpool is characterised by a 'peculiar kind of martyrdom' and has the 'capacity to turn a deep personal tragedy into a communal wake' is an insult to its people and contradicts your devotion of five pages in the newspaper to the state of Britain. The murder of James Bulger touched a nerve throughout the country, shown by the formation of Mothers Against Murder in many areas including southern England.

The few hundred people who embarrassed both themselves and their city outside South Sefton Magistrates' Court should not detract from the fact that the overwhelming majority of people did not feel the need to demonstrate in this manner.

Much has been written and printed about Hillsborough and reality has been obscured by tabloid excesses. There was a collective anger against the authorities, primarily the police and the Football Association, and claims made at the time by those present were fully vindicated by the Taylor Report. Rather than a 'collective self-pity', there was a collective sense of grief and loss as 95 people were killed on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Sheffield. There was, and still is, an overwhelming sense of injustice about Hillsborough which until resolved to the satisfaction of those most closely involved, will not diminish.

Contrary to popular belief, Liverpool has much more to offer than working-class deprivation and football. It has two of the most popular universities in the country and the highest student population in the UK. Liverpool also had the first Chief Medical Officer in Dr William Duncan. Pioneering projects in special needs training originated in Liverpool which is also the home of the Royal National School for the Blind in Wavertree. There are many theatres, a museum to compare with the best in Britain and fine Georgian and Victorian architecture. We in Liverpool do not want your pity or your disparaging remarks.

Karen Martin

West Derby, Liverpool

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