Back in January 2015, after two people from Merseyside appeared together on a BBC Question Time panel, the Liverpool Echo told readers “Question Time Scouse takeover with Esther McVey and Paul Nuttall - readers respond”. The problem for whoever at the Echo put that out there was that neither Nuttall, who would later become leader of UKIP, nor Ms McVey, were even slightly popular with their fellow Liverpudlians.
She's a wool! A horrible Tory wool!
So it was no surprise when a Tweeter called @lipglossjill snapped back “they're not proper Scouse one’s a horrible Tory wool the other’s a bad Bootle UKIP meff”. Nuttall has ever since been known as the “Bad Bootle Meff”, the expression being defined by the Urban Dictionary thus: “n. Derogative. Meff is to describe an alcoholic homeless person, or a 'tramp' who lives in a house … The word first originated in Liverpool, England, where it is still used as an insult”. But the description of Ms McVey was unfair - at the time..
A “wool”, or “woolyback” is someone from out of town, someone who is merely pretending to be Scouse, whereas Ms McVey is a real Scouser, even though may other Scousers would rather not admit it. However, though, that has just changed after Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson let it be known that he was revoking her “Scouse privileges”.
I kid you not: as the Echo has now told, Anderson has written to all Tory MPs warning “While convention might dictate that members of other parties only comment from afar, I feel compelled to write to all members of the ‘selectorate’ and intervene on behalf of the millions of people in our country who face, in the words of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ‘destitution’ … On behalf of the people of Liverpool, and the most vulnerable in our country, I write with a simple plea: anyone but Esther McVey”.
Why he has urged this course of action is not hard to understand. “From the Bedroom Tax to Universal Credit she has been the torch bearer for austerity politics which have caused untold misery and suffering up and down the country … Policies that failed to tackle hardship and were so misguided that the UN special rapporteur concluded they were systematically entrenching poverty”. And there was more.
“Policies that have systematically targeted the poor, punished those trying to work their way out of poverty, hassled disabled people into illness and castigated single parents trying their best to bring up their children … The prospect of someone with such a record rising to the most powerful position in the country will send a shiver down the spine of the millions of people living hand to mouth just to get by”.
Well done that Mayor
And while Paul Nuttall has gone the way of all other UKIP MEPs - political oblivion - Ms McVey is now the sitting MP for one of the safest Tory seats in the UK. It needed the particular talents of Neil “A liar and a cheat” Hamilton to lose Tatton. There is next to no prospect of removing Universal Credit’s cheerless cheerleader any time soon.
There is, though, the knowledge that she has been formally disowned by her home city, to be forever known as that “Horrible Tory Wool”. Because she’s no longer a real Scouser.
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