Self-described ‘hack’ offends entire city in one tweet

Ex-Guardian (now New European) writer Michael White has what can be described as a prickly and condescending manner in his Twitter interactions, such as this patronising interaction with what turned out, embarrassingly, to be a fellow journalist who was suggesting he should read something informative:

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Yesterday, however, he managed to offend both the living and the memory of the dead of an entire city in 140 characters.

His tweet in response, to a Scouser who – understandably as well as correctly – was lambasting Tories for the damage they have done and the worse they wanted to do, was a dismissal of the experience and integrity of all Liverpudlians:

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That comment about a city that suffered smears and lies from the mainstream media about the tragedy of Hillsborough was bound to cause outrage – and did. You’d think Mr White would see the sense of a quick apology or at least retraction, but he appeared instead to ‘double down’ with a further spiky – and to some, hypocritical – tweet to the person whose comment he had seen fit to jump in on to begin with:


As Marc Letford points out, it’s hard to see the threat in the comment he was responding to – but what does he mean by ‘You’re not at home now‘? An insinuation that Mr Flanagan is a perpetrator of domestic violence? Another insult to Scousers, implying that Liverpudlians are inherently violent? Something else? Whatever he meant, it felt unpleasant.

The people of Liverpool are among the warmest and most welcoming you’ll find anywhere – and if they bear a sense of grievance, it is with ample reason.

They’re also an example to others in many ways; for example, they have no truck with Murdoch publications, most are wise enough to be deeply anti-Tory – and they won their dignified fight for Hillsborough justice years after many people would have given up in despair.


Warm, welcoming and dignified are not words that I would apply to Mr White. However, he describes himself on his Twitter profile as a ‘hack’ – and we don’t feel inclined to argue.

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  1. Michael and his fellow writers in the Guardian and other right wing papers can’t see what the problem is, and as a result view everyone who highlights societal issues as vexatious complainants.

    People like Michael can’t see what the problem with neoliberalism is, because they do very well from that economic model.

    They don’t want the boat to be rocked and turned over because its their boat. Their perspective of the boat is from a first class cabin. Sure, they’ll make a comment now and again about Uber and other workers with no rights slaving away in the bowels of the boat, but they will still catch Uber taxis to expensive restaurants and put their large bills on expenses. They will pay lip service from time to time to give the impression that they have a social conscience but really they think, because of their own experience, that everything is just hunky dory and others are just whingeing.

    Their basic worldview is that it is in the interests of the UK to kow tow to American foreign and economic policy. It follows that they believe that the United States’ perpetual wars, which cause global insecurity and increase terrorist acts against innocent civilians, are a price worth paying.

    They have no real problem with economic equality, as their pension pots and bank accounts are brimming over with funds and inequality accelerates their accumulation of assets. Their dirty little secret is that deep down they know this to be the truth, which makes them gutless, bought and paid for cowards.

    They choose to bury these truths in their minds and focus instead in the upside. They are wealthy, so what’s the problem, why is everyone complaining all the time? Why can’t they just shut the fuck up and stop rocking the boat?

    All failed orthodoxies have bitter and deluded endings. Neoliberalism is no different in that sense to the other failed orthodoxies which have preceded it.


  3. What’s white’s on about with Drogheda?

    Was hammond in charge of parliamentary forces when they committed the massacre there in 1649? Was the EU around in 1649?

    No. So why mention it, white? Because of Mr Flanagan’s Irish name – or Mr Clifford’s first name??

    Can’t have been because of the tories ruining a city in the UK as Drogheda’s not part of the UK.

    What sort of *ahem* ‘witty and original retort’ would white have made if indeed they HAD been talking about Drogheda – Even though it’s obvious (see above) that they weren’t…

    See where I’m coming from, here, white? Get the picture?

    Probably not. You see- you’re so far up your own ‘arris that you’re still looking for the light switch.

    Not clever enough to be an idiot.

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