Paul Weller has praised Liverpool FC supporters for booing the national anthem at the recent FA Cup Final at Wembley.
Liverpool were crowned FA Cup champions on May 14 after beating Chelsea 6-5 on penalties. Some fans who attended the match expressed their feelings towards the government by booing during ‘God Save The Queen’.
While performing a headline set at Lytham Festival last Sunday night (July 10), Weller asked the crowd (via the Liverpool Echo): “Have we got anyone here from Liverpool tonight?”
He continued: “I would like to say whoever booed the national anthem: thank you so much. Thank you from west London, for standing up to those fucking… anyway, that is another story.”
Weller went on to instruct the audience to “please rise now for the new national anthem”, before launching into set closer and Jam classic ‘Town Called Malice’. You can watch fan-shot footage of the speech and performance below.
Liverpool fans’ booing of the national anthem became widespread in the 1980s when the Margaret Thatcher-led Conservative government discussed plans for a “managed decline” of the Merseyside city.
Those ill feelings intensified due to the Tories’ failings in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
More recently, controversial comments Boris Johnson published about the murder of Liverpool engineer Ken Bigley in The Spectator resurfaced when he was appointed Prime Minister in 2019.
Writer Simon Heffer and then-editor Johnson produced an article for the magazine that included statements on the “economic misfortune” of the city and the “deeply unattractive, psyche among many Liverpudlians”.
The piece went on: “They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they wallow in it.”
Many people from Liverpool think that there are widening inequalities for Merseyside under the Conservative government.
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Explaining the meaning behind ‘Town Called Malice’ previously, Weller said: “I was trying to capture a sense of the anger that I felt – that a lot of people felt – about Thatcherism and the way that she and the Tory Party at that time were trying to dismantle the communities of the working classes.”
Back in 2015, Paul Weller questioned former PM David Cameron’s claim that he was a fan of The Jam’s 1979 track ‘Eton Rifles’. “I just think, ‘Which bit didn’t you get?'” the musician said.
Boris Johnson resigned from his role as PM last week (July 7) amid increasing pressure in response to the Chris Pincher scandal. Many figures from the world of music took to social media to express their relief at the news.
A leadership race is now underway, with Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid among those to be running for the top job.