Welcome to Liverpool Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Liverpool ConfidentialNews & Comment.

Wow! You're joking! People used to really think that?

Blogs we love: city songwriter Alun Parry on floods, hurricanes and why we never learn from hisory

Written by . Published on February 13th 2014.

Wow! You're joking! People used to really think that?

SO yesterday was my birthday and I was looking forward to a lovely night out with friends. My plan was to gather at the Egg Cafe, Liverpool’s eating place for veggies. 

I even had them put aside a portion of Fennel Bake, my favourite dinner! Then I was going to head off to The Philharmonic Pub for drinks. 

Did they really decide to f*ck up the planet
even when they knew they were f*cking it up? 

I was excited. I even had friends travelling from Manchester and Lancaster to spend time with me.

But then the winds came. And the red alerts. And the warnings of “don’t travel unless absolutely necessary.” 

Everton cancelled their home game because the weather was unsafe. Up the road in Manchester, Manchester City did the same. Staff at the Philharmonic Hall were sent home early for their own safety. 

There would be no birthday gathering for me. The weather had other ideas, and boy did it blow.

Meanwhile, the other half of the country was under water. 

How weak we are in the face of nature, especially a nature so ill treated by humanity, that climate change wreaks such a terrible response.

Although, climate change doesn’t exist does it? That’s what the powerful tell us, those whose short term interests are tied in with the destruction of the planet. 

They have built a whole ideology and pseudo science around denying it all. 

It is the latest in a history of the powerful taking positions that we look aghast at 50 to 100 years on. 

The sort of standpoint that forces our children to look wide eyed and say: “Wow! You’re joking right? People used to really think that?” 

Yes, they really did. 

Childsweep2'Good ideas' of the pastThey thought children should work in factories or up chimneys. They thought maternity pay should never be paid. They thought people should be captured and kept as slaves. They thought apartheid should exist.

They thought women shouldn’t have the right to vote. They thought that the minimum wage should not be introduced. They thought that gay people should be imprisoned or, later, not allowed to marry. They thought the poor should be sent to the workhouse. They thought that people should not get health care when they are ill, unless they could afford it. 

And we look back at them aghast. Really? They thought this? 

Our force of collective humanity won changes to all of this, and swept these backward, venal ideas aside. 

It seems almost a characteristic of right wing thought that we look back at it open mouthed and shake our heads that there was ever a time when anybody seriously thought these things were okay. 

But there was. And indeed there still is. 

'Good Ideas' Of The PastAnd thisWe have today’s issues, where history will one day shake its head at the positions of the powerful.

Did they really do that? Did they really imprison people in detention centres simply because they were seeking asylum here? Did they really have people dependent on food banks to survive? Did they really have a bedroom tax? Really? A bedroom tax?? Did they really give billions in bonuses to bankers while driving the poor to suicide? Did they really have people on zero hours contracts? Did they really say that people dying of cancer were “fit to work”? 

And did they really believe that there was no such thing as climate change even when we were frequently under water or hidden away from winds?

Did they really cut down rainforests? 

Did they really dump waste into the sea? 

Did they really decide to f*ck up the planet even when they knew they were f*cking it up? 

There has always been an exasperated “really?” that gasps from the future. 


It is the sound that guides us as we stand today for justice, peace, love and care for the planet.

Those of us who connect to that gasp have always been the ones on the side of history, and on the side of humanity. 

Our forebears stood in solidarity with the amazed gasps that they knew we would one day utter.

This gasp from the future remains our guide and our battleground today. 

About the author

Alun ParryAlun Parry

The post above  is the latest from Parrysongs.co.uk, the blog of Liverpool-based Alun Parry who is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost folk songwriters, specialising in stories of social history and the human condition.

Outside of music Alun is a social documentary film maker who also runs creativity and wellbeing workshops, and is a trainee psychotherapist. He was the founder of fan-owned, non league football team AFC Liverpool.

As a birthday offer, Alun's latest album, (rather ironically) titled When The Sun Shines, is available half price, for just £7.50 before Valentine's Day ends here 

You can see him live with Joe Solo at the View Two Gallery in Mathew Street on Feb 28 as part of a gig to celebrate Liverpool Acoustic's birthday 

Alun will also be performing in a full spoken word plus music show called Love Hope & Resistance at the Bluecoat on May 1, “a celebration of solidarity and the human spirit”.

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

15 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TrickyFebruary 13th 2014.

Great piece Alun. I watch the news every night now and see these scenes of devastation. People will play these newsreels over and over in the years to come and wonder why, with the benefit of all our knowledge and education and free media, why we still let our beautiful blue planet be destroyed for the sake of a few with vested financial interests.

AnonymousFebruary 13th 2014.

Don't catch fire while you're doing all that hand wringing lads, the carbon will be all over the show Was the ice age due to us? And the extinction of the dinosaurs?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 13th 2014.

Oh great, someone who can't read properly.

Ignorance is blissFebruary 13th 2014.

I don't understand why the first "anonymous" would post something so ignorant quite honestly. No, the ice age and the extinction of the dinosaurs weren't down to man, because, if you look at your encyclopedia, anonymous, you will note that man didn't exist in any significant way. Quite aside from that, it is deniers like you with your ridiculous swipes that play straight into the hands of those who would have us believe that this is nothing to do with their interference. I guess the lesson here is, if you can't say anything intelligent, don't say anything at all.

AnonymousFebruary 13th 2014.

I blame the use of fossil fuels for non-essential fripperies and trivial purposes Things like travelling from Manchester and Lancaster for someone's birthday for instance Unless you do it on a bicycle of course. Or a f*cking electric car that makes no emissions, unless you count the ones upstream at the coal fired power station that made the electricity to charge the f*cker up. Sorry for the profanities, just trying to get on board with the vibe

Sid BonkersFebruary 13th 2014.

John: your ill-thought ramblings dominate this whole website ...

4 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyFebruary 13th 2014.

I'll be sending in an invoice then.

AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

Be careful John you can't earn more than £5 a week on the dole

John BradleyFebruary 19th 2014.

Wow you think it could be worth that much.

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2014.

You're not worth tuppence Bradley

AnonymousFebruary 13th 2014.

Good article, liked

GerryFebruary 14th 2014.

Passionate piece Alun. Don't let the sceptics grind you down

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 19th 2014.

Is that Gerry or Garry?

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


Remember your username is firstname.surname.last4digitsofemployeenumber@mysainsburys.co.uk…

 Read more

Once you log in you will be able to access information that is unique for your role Like any other…

 Read more

This online payslip process not only makes the payroll system comfortable, it also saves a lot of…

 Read more

Mycoles Logging In For The First Time -Registration If you are logging in for the first time. You…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2022

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code