Howe dare he
Cabinet documents released under the 30-year rule show how Margaret Thatcher was urged to abandon Liverpool in the wake of the 1981 riots by her then chancellor Geoffrey Howe.
This city's papers, and many national titles, have carried the story with various characters from then and now giving their views on the revelations.
There was nothing much new here. The Iron Lady has been demonised on Merseyside for many years, but there were those surrounding her even more Thatcherite than she was, driven by an extreme form of neolibralism and disdain for the industry that made Britain a world superpower.
Howe and her were later to fall out, but in the early eighties, when his was a political star in the ascendency, his frank communications spoke volumes.
He wrote warning Mrs Thatcher "not to overcommit scarce resources to Liverpool."
"I fear that Merseyside is going to be much the hardest nut to crack...We do not want to find ourselves concentrating all the limited cash that may have to be made available into Liverpool and having nothing left for possibly more promising areas such as the West Midlands or, even, the North East." (I'll bet a few Smoggies, Mackems and Geordies will be rightly rankled by this patronising turn of phrase)
"It would be even more regrettable if some of the brighter ideas for renewing economic activity were to be sown only on relatively stony ground on the banks of the Mersey...I cannot help feeling that the option of managed decline is one which we should not forget altogether.
"We must not expend all our limited resources in trying to make water flow uphill."
It's that managed decline I find particularly distasteful. Talking about a city where people live and try to work as though it were a wasteful draw which must be allowed to wither on the vine.
He admits himself in his note the phrase was too negative and shouldn't be used "even privately".
But the idea mooted at the time that strikes, a Militant council and the riots meant Liverpool somehow deserved to be left to its fate was obviously given some credence by this country's leaders.
Shame on them.