Why Boo Royalty?

Posted on May 18, 2022

Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp says there is a reason why his fans booed the national anthem. He has been quite clever to not get drawn into it further, because the populists are loading their guns. It’s a free hit for Johnson. He knows scousers hate him, and the feeling is mutual. This means he can play the part of the populist Royal and gain more votes than he loses.

I believe that to understand why the booing happened, people need to be bold enough to look further than an impulsive reaction born out of perceived disrespect. That would mean taking the partisan nature of football out of the equation. Then, trying to understand Liverpool as a city and its historical relationship with the establishment. 

A Fraught History

Only then can we see the complex and fraught history that Liverpool has experienced with a Conservative government. Notably going through a deep recession and then the Hillsborough disaster. That’s why Klopp says there are reasons for booing that go back before his time.

When the full truth emerged from Hillsborough, I tried to digest it like this. I imagined a scenario where I was at a football match with my son when he was 15. Feeling that surge when my team had an early chance, followed by losing him in the crush. Then, finding out later in the day that he was dead. 

Then, as I tried to come to terms with the trauma of it all, learning that the hierarchy in the police, the government, and sections of the media, were fabricating a conspiracy. They were attempting to blame me and the others attending, for the death of our children. I can’t begin to explain the disdain I would feel for the establishment if that had happened to me. 

Tories and the Crown

Of course, political parties are supposed to be independent from the crown, but we know that’s not true. The links between the Conservative Party and the Monarchy are more than a bit tenuous. Most Tory MPs are ardent royalists and supportive of ancient laws of land ownership and repression. 

The Conservative party are, in their own minds, the hierarchy, and they exist to maintain it. They believe they are better than the working classes. Some people choose to accept their place in society, whilst others try (and normally fail) to oppose it. The cover up at Hillsborough might have been instigated by Thatcher’s foot soldiers, but it went so high, the monarchy would have known about it. At best, they ignored it.

The choice to accept you are of a lower class than the establishment order, is a free one. The personal decision to bow to another human and singing a song to God, to save that person, is an individual right. This is just an opinion, but I find it degrading and more than anything, plain silly; especially in the 21st century.

Non Subservient republicans

And that’s where I can see why Liverpool supporters sometimes let off steam when the establishment are in the same vicinity as them. A large section them are not really into subservience, making them feel more like republicans.

There is denialism when it comes to establishment cover ups. Liverpool supporters are still seen by opposing fans as always being the victim. The perception still lingers that Hillsborough was, deep down, their fault. The images and headlines from newspapers (notably The Sun) backed by statements from the police and the government of the time, are still, to this day, what certain sections of society want to believe.

It doesn’t take much reading to understand that Liverpool fans were stitched up by the establishment in the worst possible way. If the same thing had happened to any other working-class football club, their supporters would feel the same. Hillsborough was the perfect storm. Thatcher owed the South Yorkshire police a good turn after the miners’ strike five years before. The victims were scousers, and everyone hates a scouser. It was an easy one to twist the truth with.

So, as an answer to the question, I’m guessing that’s why Liverpool fans boo the establishment. If we’re talking about disrespect, they were given plenty of it when mourning the loss of their children.

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