Sorry if this turns into a rant, but I feel very strongly on this issue, so my apologies in advance if I get a wee bit angry at times.
Just to clarify, I am not a Liverpool fan, I am a hearts fan. This however has no bearing on the depth of emotion I feel on this subject.
I sat watching, mouth agape, quietly trying to take in the events of April 15th 1989. For those of you unfamiliar with this date, it is the date of the hillsborough disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death.
I knew, watching those images of fans being carried away on improvised stretchers made from advertising boards, that this would change sport forever. I knew, seeing the crushing in the terrace that this was not going to end well, and i knew almost for certain who would get the blame for it, even before the sun started spouting its usual pish.
I still get goosebumps thinking back to that day, and indeed have goosebumps as I write this.
I knew. I just knew, as I’m sure anyone who watched it did, exactly what would follow.
The Sun, (a British tabloid, ((I won’t say newspaper, as it isn’t worthy of the title)) notorious for its page 3 girls and it’s hack journalism) immediately jumped on the story and twisted it quick to point the finger at the Liverpool fans and praise, and I quote “brave cops” Clearly more interested in selling papers than they were the grieving families.
Whilst I have no doubt that many officers went above and beyond the call of duty in trying to help the victims, I have serious doubts as to whether people were urinating on policemen, beating up policemen trying to resuscitate a helpless victim, and stealing from helpless victims. This is NOT my experience of the Liverpool supporters family, and they ARE a family I might add.
Yes, scousers get a bad press as being scallies and thieves, but I have never met anyone from Liverpool who was less than warm and welcoming. It is on this experience, that I can say with the utmost confidence that THESE THINGS DID NOT HAPPEN.
Seriously? You think people in that situation, no matter WHERE they are from would be doing that rather than trying to help people? Human nature does NOT work that way, no matter how bad a person you are.
The Sun, which in truth I wouldn’t even buy if I was out of toilet paper and desperate for a dump, has issued an apology, 23 years after publishing what can only be described as downright lies. But I can’t help thinking this has more to do with saving their own skins rather than actually meaning it, in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that closed the news of the world.
To me, this apology means fuck all. It is nothing more than the sun doing what they need to do to cover their own arses.
This is clearly the worst cover up in modern British history. Innocent fans, who could not answer for themselves, we’re blamed, while South Yorkshire Police, we’re praised. As stated before, I have no doubt the police did act in an appropriate manner afterwards, BUT, they must also accept responsibility for opening the gates and letting the extra fans into the terrace.
To add insult to injury, a recent report claims 41 lives could have been saved.
The fact prime minister, David Cameron, has issued a public apology, shows the depth of feeling 23 years after the event.
Mr Cameron said “On behalf of the Government – and indeed our country – I am profoundly sorry for this double injustice that has been left uncorrected for so long.”
The Prime Minister added: “What happened that day – and since – was wrong.
“It was wrong that the responsible authorities knew Hillsborough did not meet minimum safety standards and yet still allowed the match to go ahead.
“It was wrong that the families have had to wait for so long – and fight so hard – just to get to the truth.
“And it was wrong that the police changed the records of what happened and tried to blame the fans.
“We ask the police to do difficult and often very dangerous things on our behalf, and South Yorkshire Police is a very different organisation today from what it was then.
“But we do the many, many honourable police men and women a great disservice if we try to defend the indefensible.
“It was also wrong that neither Lord Justice Taylor nor the Coroner looked properly at the response of the other emergency services.”
Cameron said that the Hillsborough disaster was “one of the greatest peacetime tragedies of the last century”.
Announcing that the report will be debated in the House of Commons soon after MPs return from their conference break in October, Cameron said: “The conclusions of this report will be harrowing for many of the families affected.
“Anyone who has lost a child knows the pain never leaves you.
“But to read a report years afterwards that says – and I quote – ‘a swifter, more appropriate, better focused and properly equipped response had the potential to save more lives’, can only add to the pain.”
And he added: “Not enough people in this country understand what the people of Merseyside have been through.
“This appalling death toll of so many loved ones lost was compounded by an attempt to blame the victims.
“A narrative about hooliganism on that day was created which led many in the country to accept that it was somehow a grey area.
“Today’s report is black and white.
“The Liverpool fans ‘were not the cause of the disaster’.
“The Panel has quite simply found ‘no evidence’ in support of allegations of ‘exceptional levels of drunkenness, ticketlessness or violence among Liverpool fans’, ‘no evidence that fans had conspired to arrive late at the stadium’ and ‘no evidence that they stole from the dead and dying’.”
It is not Mr. Cameron‘s job to apologise for these people. They should be doing it themselves, or is that just me? BUT fair play to him for that, and the reaction of the people of Liverpool seem to echo my sentiments.
These people need to be held to account over these deaths. The FA officials who planned the match (who KNEW Hillsborough had NO safety certificate) the policeman who opened the gates, the reporters who published the bullshit.
There has to at least be a new inquest. Knowing all we know now about hillsborough and the mis-management that preceded the match that led to all the deaths, the original verdict of accidental death holds no water for me.
It wasn’t an accident. And while they weren’t killed on purpose, it could have been prevented. There were two empty terraces that had NO-ONE in and the fans were directed into a full area.
The whole affair was badly managed from the start, and 96 innocent people died as a result.
For the 96, and for their families, this need re-investigating, and those responsible need punishing to the full extent of the law.
Justice For The 96 can only be achieved in this way.
“At the end of the storm Is a golden sky”
And it would seem that golden sky is about to come into view for the families at last.