I have been asked several times if I will be joining marches to ‘take control of our city’, ‘Put two fingers up to the Tories’ ‘Show that Scousers won’t be controlled by the Tories’ and the list goes on…. But you get my point!

I am not a highly specialised Epidemiologist, a prolific Scientist, a world leading health expert, a senior Politician or a city leader (who is privy to more information than I am).    I am not a journalist who has spent many hours (often in their personal time – Tony McDonough, Liam Thorp-Echo) analysing data to give an honest, clear and independent assessment of where we stand at the moment in this critical phase during a pandemic, as a community and as a region. I am not working in one of the hospitals who keep telling us that they are seeing cases rise and beds filled (ITU beds now operating at 95%), but I know plenty of people who do and I cannot imagine they are lying to me.

I am, however, one of those people who have had NO SUPPORT whatsoever from the Government, so feel more entitled than many to feel anger at the current shit show of an administration, no grant, no furlough, NO SUPPORT, nothing for 8 months to date for the Forgotten Ltd, and I am sure many more months to come. I have paid all of my taxes, on time and I am up to date.

I have also worked in media and hospitality in the city for 35 years and watched the City flourish into the vibrant city it was before the pandemic took hold, topping many leisure the tourism recommendation lists.   I have watched people I now call dear friends, dedicate their entire working life (35-40 years) to dragging this city out of the dark days of the 80’s and turn it into one of the country’s leading City’s for culture, tourism, sport, leisure, business and investment… and the list goes on!   At every turn, this journey was a tough one, Liverpool was NOT an easy sell back in the day and it took such dedication from so many to get us to  where we were pre pandemic.   It has taken many people, many organisations and many millions and millions of pounds worth of investment over 40 years to get the city to the point it was at.   We ARE world leaders for culture, tourism and leisure, our skyline is one of the best in the world, our heritage is the envy of many and our fight and our resilience is fearsome and legendary.

BUT, we ARE in the grip of a pandemic, regardless of how shit we think it has been handled by The Tory’s– and I want this city to bounce back as much as everyone else – I make a living in it!.   What I won’t do though is feed the southern narrative ‘Same old scousers ….. always moaning etc‘   What I won’t do, for a two minute slot on the news channels or a piece in the Echo, is damage the perception of the city at a time when we need all the support and investment we can get.   What I won’t do, is put myself or others in potential danger during a pandemic to make a point.   What I won’t do is be part of a divide and conquer mentality.   What I will try my best to do though, is support those who know more than I do what we need to do, to get through this quickly, bounce back stronger and faster, and fundamentally STAY ALIVE and KEEP OUR LOVED ONES ALIVE  in the process!

STAY SAFE! So, for the reasons above, NO – I WON’T BE JOINING A MARCH

I acknowledge everyone has their own opinion and this is just mine!

STAY SAFE EVERYONE…..

Words by Carolyn Hughes (@CarolynPR)