Posts Tagged ‘Hillsborough inquiry’

A monumental cover up

September 23, 2012

Hola. Hope you are well.

I’ve been in two minds whether to write about the  findings from the Hillsborough report but considering what was disclosed it feels wrong for me not to comment on it.

I was only 14 when Hillsborough happened and yet knew it wasn’t the fault of the Liverpool fans. I knew this from the moment the police put a statement out saying the Liverpool fans forced the gate open and then had to backtrack on this, when it was proved that the gate was opened by the police, without having anyone there to direct the Liverpool fans to the empty parts of the ground. If I could see the Liverpool fans weren’t to blame, when I was 14, why didn’t the authorities?

Why in a country that prides itself on fair play has it taken 23 years for the truth to come out, not justice, just the truth. I can’t imagine that in any other walk of life that 96 people can die and it takes 23 years for the truth to come out. I’m no expert on the legal system but how has this been allowed to happen? If the files were there to be viewed, why has it been left so long for them to be disclosed? Why have successive governments come and gone and they’ve not demanded the files be released?

The police come out of the report shockingly. What most surprised me was to what lengths they went to in an attempt to discredit the dead fans, by running criminal checks, and the coroner running tests to establish alcohol blood levels on all the deceased including Jon-Paul Gilhooley, who was only 10 years old. Not forgetting the fact that 116 of the 164 statements police officers made were doctored. I’m of the opinion that if you’ve mucked up, don’t make things worse by trying to cover your own back and shift the blame onto the victims.

The police  (with the help of  at least one Tory MP) also fed the press untruths, which leads me to Kelvin Mackenzie and The Sun newspaper and that front page headline.Instinctively, as a human you would probably question whether during a tragedy such as this, would you be robbing from the dying and/or urinating on the police. If you were the editor of a national newspaper,you’d think before giving the go ahead for such an explosive and hurtful piece, you’d make sure you had evidence to back up what you were saying. There were after all TV cameras there, so he could have looked through the tapes. Which makes me think, Kelvin Mackenzie was either grossly incompetent or guilty of maliciously spreading untruths against the dead.

There are of course other newspapers who ran similar headlines but it was only The Sun, who tried to pass these unfounded allegations as fact. Plus the other editors have had the good grace to disappear unlike Kelvin, who regularly appears on This Morning, Sky’s Press Preview and various BBC programmes.

If I were to end on a positive, I would say that the spirit of the families and the supporters for the justice campaigns has been unbelievable. I’m not sure if I’d been wronged by the system I’d have the energy to keep going for 23 years. I’d also say the response from other clubs and their fans, including historical rivals like Everton and Man Utd, shows that despite the team you support, we as football people know right from wrong, which is more than can be said about those that sought to cover up the truth.

Til next time, stay safe!