Friday, January 06, 2012

Paul Hayward: Liverpool fans' raging at anyone daring to criticise Luis Suarez or the club is typical of angry times we live in

Monitor the thoughts on or around the Kop and you will find many Liverpool fans who were embarrassed by the unwillingness to at least acknowledge that an offence was indeed committed by Suárez in his choice of language. But this more balanced thinking was shouted down by the tribalists who regard all challenging comment as illegitimate and malicious and therefore to be met with abuse. Liverpool, the city, always stood up for free speech and independence of thought. Its political identity is framed by resistance to Thatcherism and free-market ideology. It has always felt like an independent republic with its back turned to England. Within that culture the best of its civic leaders encouraged tolerance, humour and generosity.

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