“..the lies that it heaped upon the heads of the bereaved.”

The news agenda has been rightly dominated today by the damning revelations in the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report in relation to the conduct of the emergency services surrounding the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which took the lives of 96 football supporters.

It’s hard to believe that 23 years have passed since those horrible scenes were transmitted live to stunned viewers on a late Saturday afternoon. Like September 11th, 2001, it was one of those days in which many people will forever recall exactly where they were and what they were doing when the story broke.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said he was “profoundly sorry” for the “double injustice” visited upon the victims and their families, whilst then editor of The Sun, Kelvin McKenzie, has offered his “profuse apologies” to the families, a sentiment echoed by the current Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, David Crompton.

DUP North Belfast MP, Ian Paisley Jnr, had this to say in the Commons about the conduct of the media in relation to this incident:

However, the sad fact remains that there is no effective sanction against an unwise and careless media….that issue still has to be addressed, and The Sun still has to be faced with the lies that it heaped upon the heads of the bereaved.

I’m sure the Reavey family would approve of those comments, though obviously for reasons which would prove less comfortable- but no less relevant- for the North Antrim MP.

 

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve just had a long slightly adversarial chat with an old friend about the carelessness that those in privileged positions, aka authority, can have about the lives and fates those they have used or scrambled over to get to wherever it was they thought they were going.

    As you rightly point out Chris this is not just a problem for the media. Those in power or seeking power can also treat the lives of ordinary folk with utter contempt, and not always for anything approaching what we might describe as the ‘common good’.

    The fact we actually vote governments into power can also mean they are harder to call to account. Who for instance will call the people of the Irish Republic to account for putting Bertie back in 2007?

    So now, particularly in NI, we have a whole set of politicians who seem think that lying to the wider public is actually good for us, presumably because if we knew the truth we might actually then choose to vote for someone else. And someone who would not be as good for us as they are.

    Maybe it is good for us not to know the full gory truth of the past?

    The trouble is that just like the slack that was cut the Sun for a generation and more, one bye-ball leads to another then another and another until we discover that very little of what we thought was true about our local administration, for instance, is actually true at all.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Congrulations Chris,
    I just knew they there had to be some way for the tragic and deplorable events of Hillsborough to be twisted into supporting one side or the other in our own petty squabbles, but your ability to find such an obscure and manufactured connection surely earns this post a place of honour in the National Gallery of MOPE. You have excelled yourself this time.

  • Ruarai
  • “if we knew the truth we might actually then choose to vote for someone else”

    I doubt if knowing any more of the truth than we already know about some of our slightly constitutional politicos would significantly alter voting patterns; the choice also seldom whets the appetite. We’ll just have to muddle through. Let’s also not forget that some of our public servants might not appreciate full disclosure.

  • Mick Fealty

    DR,

    Any chance of playing the ball?

  • Drumlins Rock

    PS. Paisley is the North Antrim MP, not Belfast, it was another Paisley who made the wrong accusations, an apology is probably owed from him, it has nothing to do with his son.

    Possibly at the same time the Mid Ulster MP before he stands down could give one for the Kingsmills massacre itself? , of course the best way of fully clearing any unjustified suspicion is for the real culprits to come forwards and confess, I trust you will join me in calling for them to do so Chris?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick the Ball is totally out of court here.

  • DR,

    Totally agree. It’s pretty low. Since Chris can edit his own post, perhaps it’s time for him to reflect and reconsider. It’s dishonouring the families of those involved in that football tragedy.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m afraid we have a rule, which is not intended to disqualify contention but rather to encourage it.

  • Earlier today I noted that this is the second apology that David Cameron has delivered in a little over a year and I think he is to be commended for setting the tone.
    But I think Tom Bradby at ITN tonight was magnificent when he said that people might wonder what kind of country they lived in.
    He added “off the cuff” other miscarriages of Justice and because he was thinking on his feet the miscarriages were “Irish” linked. I think that was unfortunate because he could have just as easily referred to the Bridgewater Farm, Stefan Kiszko, Sally Clark, Barry George etc.

    And the question “what kind of country do we live in?” could just as easily be asked by Irish and British people…….politicians, bankers, Church people, journalists and I wouldnt say one was “better”.
    Is it all about despair……I dont think so. Because the vast majority of British and Irish people are decent and Britain and Ireland are two decent nations which have done more Good than Harm……..except of course to each other.
    Whatever our nationality…the point surely is that people need to clean out the stables and let better Angels prevail.
    Specifically on Merseyside the marginalised found their voice, rather like victims of Child Abuse in the Republic. And thats the key.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Lets just hope Liverpool folks aren’t reading this or you could be as popular Kelvin McKenzie.

  • Mick Fealty

    Cleaning stables was Hercules’ fifth labour. Are we ready and/or willing to accept his solution as a remedy?

  • “Needs must”.
    To some extent Britain re-discovered the Better Angels in the past two months. And there is something about Hillsborough that looks shabby and venal.
    I think people are tired of venality….and todays verdict might be seen reflected in other “public moods” like Stephen Lawrence and the newspaper seller Mr Tomlinson (???) for example.
    I see that public mood change and be less on the side of “authority figures”.
    Im not good with classical references and Im not going to look up wikipedia and pretend I understand Hercules……so I will just say what I think I know in the context.
    The king Augeas (sp) thought the task was impossible because the cows er…..did what cows do……and in this context these Public Inquiries are not expected to succeed.
    Today (and others appeal cases, second inquiries DO actually get the result). How annoyed the “Establishment” will be is of course a doubt. But I cant really doubt the sincerity of Cameron (Augeas) today or last year. Nor can I doubt the sincerity of Matt Baggott or the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire.
    They seem genuine and deserve the benefit of the doubt.

  • “accept his solution as a remedy”

    Just a minute: “Next, he dug wide trenches to two rivers which flowed nearby. He turned the course of the rivers into the yard. The rivers rushed through the stables, flushing them out, and all the mess flowed out the hole in the wall on other side of the yard.”

    That’s not a solution – that’s pollution 🙂

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    “Maybe it is good for us not to know the full gory truth of the past.”

    Apparently, that’s the price of velvet…

    But, as you noted recently, “Failure to deal with the past is the Achilles’ Heel of the current arrangement”

  • Lionel Hutz

    Rather than making a loose comparison with the Reevey case, I would think that the comparison with Saville will be interesting in the next couple of weeks and months. The exposures are similar in so many ways. I wonder just how loud the calls will be for prosecutions, which of course are justified in both cases, although perhaps more obviously in the case of Bloody Sunday.

    Incompetence is not the shocking thing and leads to injury and death so often. But the shameless cover-ups….. It’s hard to get your head around that. And then the Omerta that follows. For 23 years, none of those officers who wrote statements in which they criticized the police that to step up publicly about what they had seen.

  • But what would the penalty be for lying, compared with murder.
    Yes, a cover up should be punished but, although that brought down a USA President, he did not get punished by a Court. Whether that was just because of President Ford’s pardon, I simply don’t know.

  • Dont Drink Bleach

    Chris,

    No mention of the lies peddled by Sinn Fein after the murders of Robert McCartney, Jean McConville and Andrew Kearney?

  • Thinking this morning of Hercules and his labours and having watched the great Mick Dennis review the Thursday papers, I dont think its entirely fair of me or anyone else to make too much of the comparison with Bloody Sunday.
    Mick Dennis (as Tom Bradby hinted last night) saw it as a wake up call about the venality of the State, Media etc. A moment of Realisation. Should last year have been a similar moment.
    Well YES (for us) and NO (for the English). This Hillsborough Moment might have the same impact on them. One of the phrases to emerge has been that the Sheffield police saw evey preparation and aftermath “thru the prism of hooliganism” and I wonder if the policing arrangements in Derry was “thru a prism of terrorism”……..these are totally different.
    But I think that the public mood here and in England is “no more”. English people cant really claim that what happened in Derry was not something in a remote and foreign place and “wouldnt happen here”. Nor can people here (especially nationalists) feel a paricular sense of injustice that “it wouldnt happen in England”. In a sense it did and that should be a unifying factor for English or Irish and (locally) unionist and nationalist.
    Kicking any subject into the long grass to hide or delay the Truth is no longer something which can be done without a degree of more intense public scrutiny.
    We saw that during the Olympics there was a sea-change in attitude a more communal spirit….and as the Daily Mail points out today Manchester United fans chant horrible things about Hillsborough. And for a longer period Liverpool and City fans have chanted obscenities about Munich Air Crash.
    A classic case of football fans not knowing their own clubs histories. That Manchester City allowed Manchester United to use Maine Road for matches and that only two clubs offered real help to United in the aftermath…..Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
    Therein lies the public mood. And not solely within the remit of governments.

  • Dec

    ‘I just knew they there had to be some way for the tragic and deplorable events of Hillsborough to be twisted into supporting one side or the other in our own petty squabbles, ‘

    Why hasn’t a Unionist made a reference to the cost of the Panel’s report yet?

  • DoppiaVu

    DR

    As I logged in for my usual morning dose of Slugger, the thought running through my mind was “who’s going to be first to try to twist Hillsborough into an attack on Themmuns?” I can’t say I was surprised at the answer.

    FJH

    You make interesting points in your posts. A few random thoughts on some of the points you’ve raised:

    – Re: Cameron’s apologies. My own feeling is the same for both Hillsborough and Bloody Sunday. It’s really easy to stand up and apologise when you personally can’t be connected to the event that caused offense. So it’s a cheap way for a PR merchant like Cameron to deal with an issue and come out of it with credit. If I was a relative of the deceased from either event, I’d be looking for a lot more than a bit of Cameron spin. I’d be looking for people to be punished. Which opens up a whole other can of worms that Cameron isn’t going to touch with bargepole.

    Your other point about “the prism of hooliganism/terrorism” is a really valuable one. It is something that is easy for us to condemn in hindsight, but as we weren’t active participants in these events we can never fully understand the thought processes (and resultant actions) of those that were. I think that this general issue is consistently overlooked on Slugger with in the endless attempts to unpick events in the periods pre, post and during the troubles.

    However, that point does not apply to those who chose to ignore or cover things up afterwards – I’m thinking Widgery and North Yorkshire police here.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Hillsborugh is worthy of a post of its own. And so is the Reavey injustice. Making a tenuous link to score political points does no service to either.

  • damning revelations, indeed.

    But did they go far enough?

    Yesterday we had eighty minutes of handwringing, and conventional House of Commons pain and grief. The Hansard transcript extends to thirteen and a third thousand words.

    Do a word-search on it, and look for the missing word: “Thatcher”. Not once.

    And yet we know Thatcher went visiting Hillsborough on the Sunday. It was only on the Monday that the South Yorkshire Police “weeded” the individual policemen’s reports.

    Even when the Taylor Report came to Douglas Hurd, Thatcher refused to allow Home Secretary Hurd to be “Welcoming the broad thrust of the report”. Instead her edict was:

    The broad thrust is devastating criticism of the police. Is that for us to welcome? Surely we welcome the thoroughness of the report and its conclusions. MT.

    If that’s “playing the man” (well, OK, a coddled, cosseted, doddery, addled old lady), I”l take my card with honour. They weren’t playing the ball at Hillsborough after 3:06 pm on that Saturday, 15 April 1989, either.

  • GavBelfast

    A potentially good and timely postscript to yesterday’s momentous events from Chris Donnelly, made to look extremely insincere by the postscript at the end of it.

    Cheap, low and entirely out of place.

    What a political slum this is!

  • streetlegal

    There have been many such corrupt cover ups involving police and politicians the the UK. The case of abuse at the Jersey orphanage is another such case where the cover up has been allowed to continue up to the present day.

  • DoppiaVu,
    Thank you.
    As regards Camerons Apology/apologies..well I think that Trevor Hicks (and previously the Derry families) have for the most part accepted it in good grace. Indeed Trevor Hicks made the point in the live press conference that he did not care for Cameron.
    As regards the “prism”….I think we need to get away that everything of this nature….Bridgewater Four, Ian Tomlinson…..needs two enquiries/trials/inquests. At one level it could be said that one Enquiry hides the Truth and the second uncovers it….and that the dogs in the street know what happened.
    More reasonably a (first) Enquiry finds what it is looking for and the (second Enquiry finds what it is looking for also.
    This is of course hard on the last authority figure standing. The Chief Constable of South Yorkshire at the time is now dead. The senior man on the day is still alive. Many of the 120 or whatever police officers who saw their notes changed are still alive and in many cases still in the police. The senior officers who changed the record are in many cases still alive and possibly in some cases higher up the ladder in South Yorkshire and elsewhere. What happens to them.
    At this point I dont know if the Police Federation has issued an apology. Is the Sheffield MP who did those briefings still alive? An apology seems reasonable. And Ive heard Bernard Inghams name mentioned a couple of times.
    Kelvin McKenzie…….Trevor Hicks makes an assessment of him………..has apologised but he too was duped it seems. But now he knows as much as the proverbial dogs in the street. Essentially he too catches the public mood last night. He has a careeer..
    Court cases might be possible. Convictions? I doubt.
    All the usual criteria…….chance of fair trial, witnesses are dead etc etc.
    Malcolm Redfellow mentions Margaret Thatcher. Many would not disagree but the problem with this is that it puts everything else on the table.
    Since Hillsborough, I have been more than prepared to believe the police and others lied….and that conviction evolves. But …..in the context of Bloody Sunday people in varying degrees of reasonmention Claudy or Kingsmills etc. But I dont hear the word “Heysel” mentioned a lot.
    If Thatcher goes un-named, did anyone else notice Charles Falconer QC alongside Michael Mansfield and bereaved relatives yesterday.
    Wasnt he Lord Chancellor and/or Constitutional Affairs Secretary around the same time or just after the Hutton Enquiry was established.
    First Enquiry/Second Enquiry Syndrome?
    Will a new Enquiry be established in a few years time which overturns that Enquiry to reflect the public mood and/or the knowledge of the dogs in the street.
    If and when that Second Enquiry reports……then Margaret Thatcher will be long gone. And other politicians and authority figures will have passed on and gone into their own highly profitable dotage.
    Which is why Hercules really needs to get to work on those stables.

  • Anton Graf von Arco Valley

    Quite the little campaigning site we got here then?

    3 campaigns in one week or so.

    1) Stigmatizing certain men by implying UVF membership
    2) Stigmatizing those that lay tributes to Billy Hunter
    3) Reavey family via spurious Hillsborough blog

    Good going.

  • salgado

    I saw this earlier today, the editorial in the football magazine When Saturday Comes following the release of the first report in 1989.
    http://www.wsc.co.uk/wsc-daily/1152-september-2012/8991-post-hillsborough-disaster-editorial

    “The key ritual of this organised disinformation is an inquiry. “Experts” are called forth (in this instance, few people other than football fans have any relevant expertise to offer). After accusations are made and refuted, a report is produced and the cheapest and most politically expedient bits form part of a new law. The rest is made voluntary. Identification of the real culprits is lost amid desperate, scurrying attempts to avoid blame.”

    It seemed to fit with what FJH was saying about enquiries finding what they are looking for.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Let’s not forget there was a “scrutiny” held by the Blair Government into Hillsborough…
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9751000/9751530.stm

    “At the 1997 Stuart-Smith scrutiny, the Home Office told the South Yorkshire Police to release all the files about our children. We were assured that everything was there…”

    Read More http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/2012/09/11/video-hillsborough-mum-anne-williams-on-her-search-for-justice-ahead-of-the-independent-panel-s-verdict-100252-31815172/#ixzz26GnjxxHr

  • tacapall

    Is anyone really surprised by these revelations and how far the British establishment would go in order to cover up its misdeeds either in Ireland around the world and within its own borders indeed Britain hasn’t earned the term Perfidious Albion for nothing.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15260803

  • between the bridges

    as CD has decided to bring armagh into the equation, there are others seeking an apology..”Relatives of Kingsmills massacre victims are seeking an apology from the Irish prime minister for what they describe as the Irish Republic’s “blatant inaction” over the killings” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-19583201

  • between the bridges

    sorry wrong link, perhaps mick could edit…http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19581668

  • HeinzGuderian

    Those trying to score cheap,political points out of this tragedy,really should hang their heads in shame.
    The op started the ball rolling,and the ‘usual suspects’ help it gather pace.
    Slugger really has sunk to a new low.

  • Mick Fealty

    Gav,

    “What a political slum this is!”

    Ouch! I certainly take your point, but it is also important people have the freedom to state their own points of view.

    And it is just as important to try and bring these points to earth. This is some of what I’ve tried to do in the first response to Chris’s post above.

  • wild turkey

    ‘And then the Omerta that follows. For 23 years, none of those officers who wrote statements in which they criticized the police that to step up publicly about what they had seen.’

    Lionel.
    for any of the officers to step up to the plate would have been a serious, and probably fatal, CLD (career limiting decision). doesn’t excuse the lack of honourable behaviour but….

    i do not know why, but when reflecting up the the self serving filth who manipulated, lied and covered up in this affair, i keep thinking of christmas in romania 1989.

    happy holidays

  • Mark

    Like most people I remember exactly where I watched the Hillsborough disaster unfold . It was a FA Cup semi final so it was shown live on RTE . As FJH notes above , Heysel is rarely mentioned these days but it was on that day and it was in the context of ” those scallywags are at it again ” . The perception the media had of Liverpool fans wasn’t a positive one . Fourteen of their fans were convicted of involuntary manslaughter after the Heysel disaster . Documentaries of Liverpool’s success in winning the European Cup was normally followed by proud stories from fans about how they ransacked the clothes shops of Rome and Paris to help themselves to top designer clobba . When the ban after Heysel came into effect , the sports writers blamed Liverpool fans as their junkets around Europe following English Clubs came to an end . So when their ” sources ” in the police fed them lies about what happened at Hillsborough , they were only to happy to print them .

    When all is said and done , the police are the real culprits and heads should roll . Any cop still serving who doctored notes / lied should be sacked immediately . Criminal charges should follow . Kenny Dalglish came in for a lot of criticism recently over the Saurez affair however he was a tower of strength for the families of the deceased in the days and weeks that followed Hillsborough . I remember he made sure that at least one player from the club attended the funerals . The strain of that day more than likely cost him his job but it also cemented his reputation as a legend on Merseyside .

    Lazy journalism and vindictive policing has caused a lot of heartache in Liverpool and while yesterdays apologies are the least the establishment could do , they’re at least twenty years too late .

  • Mark @ 4:04 pm:

    Fair enough. Except:
    ¶ Ordinary coppers put in their note-books, and in 116 out of 164 cases were told to re-write them to fit the script.
    ¶ Something similar happened in the ambulance service.
    ¶ Similarly, we must wonder whether the Sheffield Coroner was offered “advice” on whether and why 3:15 pm was a suitable “cut-off” time to discontinue investigating reasons for cause of death.
    ¶ Someone prompted the only Tory MP, Irvine Patnick, in Sheffield to go public.
    ¶ Someone briefed White’s news agency who seemed to have reported fairly what they were told. Even White’s were profoundly unhappy about the spin put on their feed by The Sun and the London Evening Standard (Roy Greenslade has given a detailed account, plus original documents on his Guardian blog).
    ¶ Every other news outlet, except the Sun and the Standard treated the spin with profound suspicion.

    So why did just two just papers, both Tory-leaning, go against the flow?

    When all of that is stood up together, it has characteristics of a Grand Co-ordinated Cover-up. From where, and by whom, was it ordered and co-ordinated?

    In short, who was the “someone”?

  • Reader

    Malcolm Redfellow: In short, who was the “someone”?
    Given the large number of senior people with serious errors of judgement on that day, why try to narrow it down to a single person with no connection to events on the ground? Unless you have a favoured scapegoat in mind.

  • I think there is something about the City of Liverpool. The people are friendly and Ive always enjoyed being there.
    But not that long ago Boris Johnson was complaining that Liverpool people should accept the original Hillsborough verdict. Which makes Camerons forthright apology all the more interesting with Johnson hovering over Zac Goldsmiths seat and not too subtle attempts to become Tory Leader.
    The point Id make about Heysel was that Liverpool fans that night did not readily accept those manslaughter verdicts. They advanced the notion that the perpetrators were actually the victims of Belgian Injustice.

    There is of course Liverpool-Manchester rivalry……the cities not the football teams. And dare I say it from the Toxteth riots (1981ish) onwards there seems to be a martyr complex and a maudlin sentimentality and jolly Scouse scallywags. Maybe Ive just watched too much Brookside, listened to too many Spinners records, laughed too much at Harry Enfields Scousers and read too much by Fritz Spiegl.

    Theres always a tendency to dismiss Liverpool as serial complainers but that image has been shattered.
    On this occasion they have been badly dealt with.

  • For once, Reader @ 6:44 pm, you read me aright. Had you missed it, try my post @ 12:23 pm.

    Review my previous Sluggerdsom outings. You may perceive I’m not constitutionally a “conspiracy theory” man.

    This time, though …

    The “official” version currently seems to be that the “authorities” — police, ambulance service, NHS, Sheffield Council, Sheffield Wednesday FC, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all — individually, without putting heads together, separately evolved this coherent and cohesive presentation. That was then “sold” as a job-lot to influential outlets in the Tory press. Somehow, by the alchemical magic of theatre, that choreography, give or take, was the “authentic” version for the better part of a quarter-century (for public performance, at least).

    A convenient hypothesis. Or, to look at it another way, it’s the cock-up theory of history. Writ large. But well greased.

    Despite the odds, despite repeated attempts at “expert” enquiries — all nearer to the time, all (allegedly) with a access to the documents —it took a Bishop, a civil liberties lawyer, two archivists, a TV producer and a newsman, a medical officer, and two Northern Irish bods (an ex-copper and a QUB professor) to crack it.

    My point was, and is, there had to be a steer — controlling hand or hands — then and on-going; and it can only have come from the Belly of the Beast. That takes us into the “conspiracy theory of history”, and no cock-up.

  • Ruarai

    Guys,

    I agree that the parochial lens on “outside” events can appear bad form, particularly at raw moments where said events merit their own focus.

    But blinkers are bad form too. Hillsborough cannot be fully appreciated by looking at it in isolation from the broader Thatcher era.

    Former Home Secretary Jack Straw: “The Thatcher government – because they needed the police to be a partisan force, particularly for the miners strike and other industrial troubles – created a culture of impunity in the police service. They really were immune from outside influences and they thought they could rule the roost and that is what we absolutely saw in South Yorkshire.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19569749

    Only by considering the broader context can events like Hillsborough and its cover-up be properly understood and addressed.

  • Reader

    Malcolm Redfellow: For once, Reader @ 6:44 pm, you read me aright. Had you missed it, try my post @ 12:23 pm.
    I hadn’t seen that one. Good grief. If the PM hadn’t turned up the day after the disaster you would surely have complained that her absence was sinister – should Boris have returned to London during the rioting? So Thatcher’s presence explains nothing. And when would you have expected the cover up to begin? (the lies started on Saturday, didn’t they? Then the lawyers arrived during the working week.)
    And your quote from Thatcher is not damning at all – did you imagine she should have been pleased by the content of the report? The precision of her chosen words is miles away from the waffle we hear from recent generations of politicians.

  • The buck stops with the head of an arms length agency. So, if that was the Police, it would be the C.C. The present one, if not involved at the time, needs to take action against those still employed. If involved, should be honourably required to resign. The same goes for the Emergency Services.
    Finally, if any politician, presumably a Minister or even a Prime Minister, was involved in ordering a cover-up, they too need to do something to restore their honour (if it can be). Since presumably they are all now retired, decency requires them to confess their sins and apologise. That is, of course, if they are sorry. If not then the only thing left is for the current generation to “name and shame” them.

  • Reader @ 8:52 pm:

    I think that adequately defines our two entrenched positions. So I’ll not quibble.

    Even the Taylor Report damned the chief superintendent’s “indecisive” behaviour at Hillsborough that afternoon. Incredibly, Bettison is still maintaining it was down to fans’ behaviour — even though the SYP ordered the turnstiles opened to admit more into the already-bursting Cage A.

    Taylor, so mild elsewhere, seems to have been angered by the police and the way they duck all responsibility when giving evidence. Hurd, a decent (if cowed) man in this and elsewhere, thought the Chief Constable should have the decency to resign. He was, of course, over-ruled.

    One of the main areas where official documents have notably not been fully released concerns the briefing Thatcher had that Sunday from the SYP and its Chief Constable (let alone any later exchanges). The Information Commissioner ordered these documents should be released. The ConDem government seems intent on appealing that as far as they can go: all the way to Europe, perhaps? As they say elsewhere: “Not in my name”.

    Do I have a personal gripe here? You bet I do. Several of my cousins were south Yorkshire miners. One was at Orgreave. Remember Orgreave? Remember the SYP’s Peterloo-type cavalry charge and flailing batons? That’s when the SYP arrested and charged a beaten, floored, stomped protestor with “damage to a policeman’s boot” (a charge which not even the SYP felt able to proceed with).

  • GavBelfast

    Mick (and others),

    Having been to hundreds of football (and other sports, but let’s stick to football) matches over the years, a few where things have got a bit ‘hairy’, I have long had a sense of “there but for the grace of God” about what happened at Hillsborough.

    What happened on Wednesday stands on its own feet, and tawdry postscripts from the likes of Chris Donnelly are just cheap and wholly inappropriate.

  • andnowwhat

    As far as the press is concerned, what’s changed? Well last year, or so, we had the disgraceful behaviour of some in the press of Christopher Jeffries regarding the Jo Yates murder.

    I think journalis should become a chartered profession with a professional body able to withdraw a journalist’s right to work within the profession.