I don’t do nepotism, but when my brother sent me a message yesterday about his and other Scouse families treatment by Thomas Cook I knew something was wrong. More so, because he’s a laid-back kind of guy with most things not bothering him – someone, who doesn’t panic or worry unnecessarily.
With the school holidays in Liverpool having commenced, my brother and sister-in-law decided to take their three school-aged children to Tenerife with Thomas Cook via Manchester Airport. Those of you who book package holidays will know that when you do so, you tend to fly out and in with the same passengers. On this flight, there were several families from Liverpool.
The first message from my brother was to say that the start of his holiday had been delayed due to the flight, and of course this does happen and often there’s nothing the airline can do for a number of reasons.
But, this wasn’t the reason for his text.
Whilst boarding the plane with his family three hours after it was due to leave Terminal One, he was amazed when he heard the Thomas Cook ‘Customer Service’ Representative say to the ground staff that … “I’m not a Scouser, all they do is moan like them lot earlier” in response to the several Liverpudlian families that had complained about the lack of customer service from Thomas Cook.
Now, this comment is the reason for my blog.
I have read in various British newspapers and magazines over the years, this myth that Scousers like to moan for no reason whatsoever. It is untrue. Remember, when London’s current Mayor Boris Johnson was editor of The Spectator magazine and insulted the City of Liverpool when one of its own Ken Bigley died brutally in Iraq?
Johnson’s editorial stated the city “cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, thereby deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance about the rest of society” and that Liverpudlians “wallow” in their “victim status”, adding it is part of the “deeply unattractive psyche” of many in the city.
And, we all know the lies The Sun newspaper spread after the Hillsborough football disaster when 96 people died.
My brother like those other families from Merseyside getting on board TCX2348 had not only a right, but a duty to complain when the standards set by Thomas Cook fell short. To be insulted in such a way is distasteful and disrespectful, because passengers had asked for refreshments during the summer whilst sat in an airport with children.
It’s not about the money, but the principle.
As a city, Liverpool has suffered greatly over the decades for one reason or another especially around poverty. It is starting to rise again, but it was a place forgotten by the British establishment. At one point during the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher’s government actually thought about abandoning it after the riots. Like, some deceased ridden place.
As a Scouser I write with authority when I say Liverpool is not a place where people moan for the sake of it, but when they feel an injustice – big, or small. It’s a place where the passion to do the right thing runs through your blood, just because. I cannot think of another town or city in the UK where people in the face of adversity like with Hillsborough, would persevere for accountability over so many decades seeking justice and the truth for their loved ones.
Liverpool, is a city with accent and attitude with Britain’s original immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean and China spicing it up. It’s independent, and physically tough. The famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung called it ‘the pool of life’.*
So, my brother along with the other three Scouse families were right in addressing Thomas Cook’s shortcoming’s not because they are from Liverpool but because it was the right thing to do. No refreshments were given, after all.
For me and I blog about this regularly, big companies like Thomas Cook do not underestimate the power of social media. My blog is short of 90,000 visitors, in which I raise issues of public importance that others who should do not.
It’s a small voice, but one which speaks for the average man and woman on the street.
I hope Thomas Cook addresses the concerns of my brother and the other families, whose start to their holiday should have been one of joy not upset. After all, my brother and his wife have had to work hard all year to be able to take their children on holiday and spend some quality time together as a family. Something, Mr Cook shouldn’t take for granted.
Liverpool – The World in one City.
A place I’ll always defend until my last breath, upon which I will no doubt return.
Take care, Max.