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Socialism on Trial : Liverpool City Council 1983 - 1987: Demonstrations in support of the Liverpool Councillors' battle against Thatcher Click here for Video introduction by Terry Fields. File size1.6Mb; Running time 4.37

Socialism on Trial 

Liverpool City Council: 1983 - 1987

On March 12, 1987, for the first time in history, in spite of massive support shown by the polls and demonstrations of upward of fifty thousand on the streets of Liverpool, five Law Lords upheld the decision of an unelected district auditor who surcharged and expelled from office 47 democratically elected Labour councillors. The 47 Liverpool socialist councillors were faced with imprisonment, bankruptcy, and victimisation.

From 1983 until their removal the 'Liverpool 47' built five thousand houses, created thousands of jobs, opened more nursery schools than any other city and they refused to transfer the burden of Tory government cuts on to the backs of the working people of Liverpool. 

Liverpool's 47 socialist councillors adopted the slogan of ‘Better to Break the Law than Break the Poor’ which was first used by the jailed councillors of Poplar in 1919. They were the only council who succeeded in extracting extra funding from the then Tory government. 

Because the Liverpool 47 socialist councillors carried out their socialist promises the achievements of that council have been buried in an avalanche of distortion.

The purpose of this website is to rescue from obscurity the great events and the personalities of those years and to open them to the scrutiny of anyone wishing for a serious examination of this key period in Liverpool’s history.