Okay, so I haven’t update my blog in a while, but here we go. So, half-term has just finished, and it’s time to get my proposal ready for our project on Liverpool 1980’s. As you can tell by some of my posts so far, I’m going to base it on the Toxteth Riot’s, and try to explore whether it was important that the Riot’s happen. Our presentation has to be completed on Powerpoint and be ready by next wednesday, so I’m going to get started on that immediately and try to get it out of the way, so I can finish working on some of the other assignments we were given.
Other than that, we have Neil this afternoon, which if it is the same as last time, we will be discussing a current issue in the news as a group (Last time, we discussed Amanda Todd and whether Facebook should be closed because of it.) After that, we have tutorial, and I have no idea what’s going to take place during that time today.
That’s all for today, I think. I’ll be posting again more now that we’re back in College.
Margaret Thatcher told to ‘abandon Liverpool’ during the Toxteth Riots.
On the night of the 3rd of July 1981, Liverpool police decided to stop and question a local youth, whom had been riding down Shelbourne Road. With witnesses stating, especially amongst Liverpool’s Black community, that the police used their powers to the point of systematic harassment. For a number of weeks, people stated to reach their limits with the polices, under the ‘sue law’, ‘stop and search’ power of course, with tensions rising, over the next couple days, full scale riots broke out in Toxteth, Liverpool. There were three full days of pitched battles between police and angry crowds, during which police reinforcements were called in from all over the UK. However, other rioters from all over the Merseyside joined in, each with their own grievances against the police. ‘Nick’, a then eighteen year old, said: “What was scary about it was the police standing there with these batons, and then banging the batons on these shields, as if it was a war. I suppose that’s the way they had to try and intimidate people to get them off the streets. But I think it did the opposite. I think people started saying: ‘Look, that’s a gang, and we’re a gang.’”
Of course, with the mob mentality throughout Toxteth at the time, the riots spread like fire; by the end of it, 800 police were injured, 542 people were arrested, and 70 buildings were destroyed. Now, the questions I’m raising here isn’t how the riots began. No, my question is how and why were the riots aloud to get this far? Well, files released by the National Archives show that the Iron Lady’s government urged her not to waste money on the ‘stony ground’ of Merseyside; Sir Geoffrey Howe (Now Lord Howe) thought that using funding to rebuild the riot-hit communities would be a waste of money that would be better spent elsewhere; sending more money to Liverpool was like making ‘water flow uphill’, said the chancellor.
In one instance, the image of the police was destroyed; people knew they could riot and oppose the police, and throughout the UK, especially in Toxteth. Throughout the UK, TV showed the police cowering behind flimsy shields whilst being pelted with bricks and petrol bombs, and were powerless to stop widespread rioting. They appealed for riot gear, which they did eventually get, after days of non-stop rioting; CS gas, which had only previously been used in Ireland, was used for the first time in Britain. While Thatcher and her home secretary agreed sending in the Army ‘could not be contemplated’, even arming the police was considered to put a stop to the rioting. And yet, even though the riots reached the stage where arming the police was considered, Liverpool and Merseyside were still being urged to be left in decline during and after the riots.
So why was Liverpool being urged to be left to ‘managed decline’, and how did Thatcher respond?
To understand why it was considered to leave Liverpool to crumble, you have to realize that the UK was deep in recession during the time of the riots; unemployment was high, and resources were limited at best. In this instance, they simply didn’t have the resources to repair Liverpool, and many other cities, after the riots; too much damage had been done, and in a time of trouble, the UK simply didn’t have the money or the support to rebuild. Thatcher, it seems, didn’t like the idea of leaving Liverpool to fall, despite Sir Geoffrey urging that:
“We do not want to find ourselves concentrating all the limited cash that may have to be made available into Liverpool and having nothing left for possibly more promising areas such as the West Midlands or, even, the North East… It would be even more regrettable if some of the brighter ideas for renewing economic activity were to be sown only on relatively stony ground on the banks of the Mersey… We must not expend all out limited resources in trying to make water flow uphill.’
With Liverpool not considered a ‘promising area’, how did Thatcher respond to the needs of Liverpool, and to her chancellor’s urges? Thatcher dispatched Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine as ‘minister from Merseyside’, to lead a programme of urban regeneration. This wasn’t a popular choice to her fellow politicians; the assumption was that, to help Liverpool in any way, Heseltine would have to spend money, money that Britain didn’t currently have.
Overall, the Toxteth riots were a turning point, both politically and socially; the public image of the police being unstoppable was shattered, and the Government showed that it was willing to consider letting one of its major cities decline. Surprisingly, that very same city has undergone massive regeneration since the Riots of 1981, becoming Capital of Culture in 2008, the very same city that was considered to be just ‘stony ground’ and not ‘promising’ enough for help.
(Okay, that’s the first story on Liverpool. I didn’t really have time to go into much detail on this story, so excuse it if it isn’t too detailed.)
This morning, Neil decided it was time that we all started to work independently during our morning tutor sessions. So, after having another look at the assignment brief, we’ve had to research on what our final presentation on Liverpool and Globalisation will be about.
So far, I haven’t came up with any solid ideas; I’ve thought of perhaps doing the history of Liverpool’s docks and how their trade helped fuel Liverpool’s Globalisation? Or maybe Liverpool’s history of business and industry? Another idea was to look at Liverpool’s population itself, taking into account religion, nationality and so on, because the people are a key aspect of why Liverpool is such an important Globalised city… but like I said, I haven’t quite decided yet.
I did find a website that seems to give a brief insight into Liverpool’s history of business and prosperity, immigration and growth, people, and so on. I’ll post the link here if anyone wants to take a look; I’ll definitely be using the site for information. (http://liverpolitan.im/main/liv_19_2.htm)
That, and a few videos which I’ll be posting, is all I’ve got to post this morning. The assignment is quite open, so its been difficult to find just one aspect of Liverpool’s Globalisation to choose, without being too vague.
Okay, so today with, Craig, we had to go through media legalisation. Our task until next friday is to find two controversial stories to do with Liverpool since the 1950s. I’m probably going to do, to keep it in tone with what I’ve done so far, the Toxteth riots. I haven’t decided on my other story yet, but I’ll figure it out before next friday.
Besides that, I’ve been researching in depth the causes and effects of the Toxteth riots with Tom (?), and we’re still going through Globalisation with Neil. I’m keeping my blog as up to date as I can, but I’m starting to think that I need to do something more productive with my Skillbuild hours; instead of just doing research for Liverpool, I’m considering learning how to use photo-shop more effectively, and possibly learn how to do camera work; I still haven’t decided. Still, we’re finished for today, so my next update will be monday.
Oh, and we have someone new on our course, Tommy. Check out his blog at ‘tommyralstonmedia.wordpress.com.’ I’m helping him catch up on the six weeks he missed.
On to the weekend.
Okay, so this morning, our task is to research two legislations to do with the media; ‘Official Secrets Act of 1989’ and the ‘Video Recording Act of 1984’. Tommy (I’ll tag his WordPress in the post) and I have to research both, and list some bullets points on them. As we weren’t in last week, we only had forty-five minutes to complete this, so we didn’t have time to do a full presentation on them; we instead researched them, and listed the key points. So, here we go, lets start with:
‘Official Secrets Act of 1989‘ (I’m gonna shorten it to OSA):
Coming into place in March 1st 1990, this replaced the OSA of 1911, under which ‘it was a criminal offence to disclose any official information without lawful authority’. Under the act of 1989, it became an offence for:
‘a Crown servant, Government contractor or member of the public who has, or has had, official information in his possession, to disclose official information in any of the following categories if the disclosure is made lawful authority and is damaging. The categories are:
-Security and Intelligence
-Information which might lead to the commissions of crime
-the special investigation powers under the Interception of Communications Act 1985 and the Security Service Act of 1989.’
Okay, so this means that anyone under those categories who has official information to do with the above categories, cannot disclose this information into the media without the permission of the law, as it may be ‘damaging’. Essentially, this limits freedom of speech, if the law decides that the information is dangerous.
Next, we have the Video Recording Act of 1984, establishes some criminal offences in relation to video work in the UK. These criminal offences include:
-Supplying or offering to supply an unclassified video work.
-Possession of an unclassified video work for the purpose of supply.
-Supplying or offering to supply recordings of classified works in breach of the classification.
-Supplying or offering to supply a work otherwise than n a licensed sex shop.
– Supplying or offering to supply a video recording not complying with the Video Recording Regulations of 1985.
-Supply or offering to supply a video recurring containing a false indication as to classification.
Before this law, there was no law against who you could distribute videos to, meaning people could release films on video or cinema release without the approval of the BBFC. What was worrying about this, was that any persons of any age could acquire these films, which could essentially contain anything, however obscene the video may be. This law made it so videos had to be classified by the BBFC, who would decide whether the films could be shown to the public, and what age restriction would be placed on the film.