Get over yourselves, Scousers. Seriously. You're just embarrassing everybody now. Public mourning is a dire, foreign weakness, which has no place in British society. We used to pride ourselves on our unmatched ability to bottle it all up while less-civilised races took to self-flagellation in the streets. We watched, amused and superior, as unwashed aliens rended their garments and ululated. And we congratulated ourselves with a wry smile and barely a twitch of our moustachioed upper lip, in the knowledge that when it all got too much we had a bottle of decent Scotch and a service revolver in the top drawer of the bureau. ("I am just going outside and may be some time.")
We already have a national day of mourning, which has stood for almost a century. On Armistice day this nation (and many others) honours the millions who knowingly volunteered their lives in the cause of freedom. There is no separate, national commemoration for the Second World War, nor for any other conflict and rightly so. If we continue - and we have started - to demand two minutes of silence for every inconsequential localised mishap we would spend our entire lives standing to meaningless attention, grizzling to ourselves and bewailing our lot.
The way a nation mourns is a measure of its character. I cannot possibly know the grief of the survivors of Hillsborough, but neither do I want to know, or to share it. It has no meaning for me and millions of others except, like the thousands of scruffy, pathetic ad-hoc roadside shrines, to illustrate how far this country has slipped from its former majesty. So, Liverpool, if you really want to do the right thing by the Hillsborough ninety-six, you should show a bit of dignity and a bit of backbone and lick your wounds in private.
Postscript: In a hilarious encore, the people of Liverpool gave the world this story: CLICK "Merseyside Police told the community on Monday to "stop grieving, it's only a chicken"."