This is the second time I have gone through Spice to touch on a topic that is so specific to Scousers it is often hard for the rest  of the country to understand. I am always surprised when other people don’t understand my hatred for The S*N Newspaper so I’m hoping this little bit of writing can convince you to ignore it just like me

For those that don’t know, The Hillsborough disaster resulted in 96 people dying and then thousands working tirelessly for almost 30 years in order to find out who was accountable. The inquiry into what happened that day concluded this year, proving the fans were not to blame, but it must be remembered who was the first to place that blame years ago.

For more information on the disaster – Hillsborough: The story behind the sadness

Beginning of the Feud

Tensions began between the publication and Merseyside years before that horrible day. The newspaper, from the 80s onwards, was the bastard lovechild of Thatcher and Murdoch. A right wing battering ram, ignoring the necessity of impartiality, it was the ultimate camouflage for what our government was doing to the North. Whether or not you agree with Thatcher’s politics for our country as a whole, if you think she cared for cities like Liverpool and Newcastle, you are brain dead. The S*n filled the emotional gaps, where sympathy may develop down south, turning the poor and vulnerable into whining little peasants.

Their coverage of things like the mining strikes and docks closures painted Thatcher as the Queen of all things good and proper, ignoring the struggles of the local people. Do I expect them to chastise a leader for every tough decision? No, but I do expect them to stop bending over for their pleasure.

When it got personal

The horrific climax was of course “The Truth” headline. Labeling the Liverpool fans as thieves of the dead and drunken murderers, I still don’t really understand how Mackenzie thought he could get away with it. We were an easy target following the Heysel disaster 3 years previous, many around the country blamed us for the English ban from European football, we were already in the shitter and they wanted to flush the chain. But to the extent they did it, it’s almost laughable.

The S*n presented cold hard evidence of the savages being savages, rounding us up for slaughter in the eyes of society, “forget about the Scousers, look what they do to their own”. But there was no evidence, it was just lies.

That is of course what this ‘publication’ specialises in. Sensationalism sells, so editors of this rag need to have a better poker face than Lance Armstrong if they are to blag their way through a few headlines. The work of those at newspapers like The S*n can have hideous effects on people’s lives, but no one really seems to stand up and take notice. I am going to make this plain and simple, if you know it is all lies and overly opinionated, why do you read it?

Scousers decided they would not. This lie was one too many, and every Liverpudlian of my age should thank the generation who protested, because without them fighting back, my life could have been very different. We still have a negative reputation around the country, a lot of it hyped up by what The S*n said. Like a bad penny that got more confident each time it returned, we were borderline obsessed in proving what they said was wrong, and now that we have it, there is still no real apology.

Taking the fight to them

But some do continue to ignore The S*n’s mistakes, even on Merseyside. It is this that really pisses me off. People in the city do still buy it, the statistics are readily available, the boycott is not as widespread as you may think. When a national paper has decided to take it upon themselves to turn your friends and family into the nation’s favourite scum, why would you continue to put money in their pocket? I’ll never understand this but if they can’t take it upon themselves to join the fight, we’ll do it for them.

Some newsagents have refused to stock it for years. But impressive campaign groups like @totalexlipse96 and @ShuntheS_n are starting to make some real progress in shaming people away from the paper. You have to remember though that it is a hard decision for the stores to stand up to the corporations. Some smaller chain owners might not be from the local area and therefore won’t understand the importance and it is even harder for larger supermarkets like Asda and Sainsburys. They might please their customers in Merseyside, but what kind of response do they expect from the rest of the country when they ignore the nation’s bestseller?

The people power really is starting to power up, and I have massive respect for those who have decided to be proactive rather than reactive to the headlines. They have already succeeded in ridding the paper off many of our shelves and don’t look like stopping anytime soon. Like many campaigns a familiar face in support really does help, with a little bit of luck, #ShuntheS*n received this.

It is quite ironic that what was initially seen as a massive coup for Murdoch and co is now waking a lot of people up to how bad they are. Their purchase of talkSport led to several presenters, most notably Colin Murray, quitting the popular radio channel in respect to the Hillsborough campaign. This goes hand in hand with other journalists like Tony Barret leaving their employers in the search for more respectable coverage of the disaster. Jurgen Klopp’s recent rejection of a S*n journalist was also a massive step in making it clear to the country we have not forgotten.

For those expecting everyone to do this, let me tell you how hard it would be. Most journalists go into the profession because they love a story, they have a passion, they want a voice, not the money. But when the shit hits the fan, you need a paycheck, so this is not an easy decision. Some may praise them for their commitment to what is important, others will call them disloyal and traitors.

What EVERYONE needs to remember

But at the end of the day, this is the general public fighting against corporate corruption. And don’t we all bloody love that. The S*n creates sales by forcing ‘popular’ stories to their and the nation’s headlines. This attention then spoon feeds their chosen politics onto the readers, with subtlety no longer necessary because the groundwork had already been done.

Bad leaders breed bad media and bad media breeds bad people and this is something that needs to stop. I’m not saying everyone that reads the S*n is a bad person but I am saying they are the front runners in misinformation.

Forget, for a second, all about Hillsborough. Concentrate on all the other things they do wrong. Page 3 champions, sickening paparazzi tactics, xenophobic headlines, corrupt connections with government, all the bloody lies about Brexit. This newspaper is the numero uno at turning their own opinion into popular opinion, but it is not a piece of journalism. The S*n is the easy option and not what we should be reading, whether you are from Liverpool or not. So why not give the campaigns a follow and move your attention elsewhere?