In a move that will stun many in Merseyside’s ‘alternative’ sub-culture, Quiggins co-owner Pete Tierney has publicly declared his support for the far right British National Party, giving his longstanding slogan of ‘save our culture’ a sinister new connotation.
Posting on his YouTube channel three days before council elections in which the BNP were standing several candidates locally, Tierney told viewers that he had “fought hard” to maintain the “cultural identity” of Liverpool, but had become “disillusioned” with the “LibLabCon” of mainstream politics. “The tsunami’s coming”, he declared, “and it’s called BNP”.
Many of Tierney’s former backers will not doubt react with disgust and disbelief when they discover who his new pals are. But despicable though it is, there’s a definite political logic to his decision. After all, he’s certainly not the first small business owner who’s turned to fascism. Historically it has been the Pete Tierneys of this world that have bankrolled fascist movements, hoping for protection against big business. However, when fascists get into power, they inevitably turn against their former backers, as they struggle to run a capitalist economy in crisis.
The Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative big business parties have each played a part in Quiggins’ demise. It was the Lib Dem council who drew up the Bluecoat Triangle Plan as part of their successful Capital Of Culture bid. This meant that the Quiggins market in School Lane would have to be demolished, to make way for the Liverpool One project of the Tory aristocratic Duke of Westminster. In May 2004, the Labour government backed this proposal, and Quiggins closed its doors on 1st July 2006. Since then, Tierney has been looking for a permanent city centre site, and sought the lease on the former John Lewis store on Church Street. Unfortunately for him, the ever-expanding Rapid Hardware beat him to this piece of property.
The 2008 Capital Of Culture award has tightened the grip of big capital on Liverpool. Small business has felt itself increasingly marginalised. However – as this revelation demonstrates – working people cannot defend small business without playing into the hands of the most reactionary interests. Our culture is not something that can be bought from a shop, no matter how ‘alternative’ that shop seems to be. It has to be created in opposition to the profit system.