Skip to main content

Yesterday a Hard hitting report was published covering the Hilsborough disaster, one of the UK’s worst sporting tragedies, where 96 individuals died in a disastrous crush at the Leppings Lane end of the Hilsborough football stadium.  Hilsborough was an old stadium, with a flawed design, and with a flawed safety plan,  and with the addition of terribly flawed policing on the day, was a disaster waiting to happen. Police opened a gate to relieve crowd pressure outside the ground, which forced people into one of the internal crowd areas, and that led to a crush against  fences and barriers.For a full view of what happened that day look Here for a view of the Incident, and here for significant exerpts from todays report

New details that have emerged from the latest report are that police  activity Caused the crush, then ineptitude resulted in 41 of the people who died not receiving the proper medical attention down to police and other emergency services having poor planning for such a situation, and poorer implementation.  

In the days following this disaster, police officers re-wrote their initial notes, to quote from the report "Some 116 of the 164 statements identified for substantive amendment were amended to remove or alter comments unfavourable to SYP." subsequent investigations have either managed to miss this entirely or fail to apreciate the scal of the changes.

As investigation into the cause of the tragedy commenced The local police started pushing out a selection of misinformation to distract from their failings.  They put out claims that the police had been attacked by fans while they had been helping the injured, that fans had urinated on police who were helping, that fans had been drunk, and that they had been stealing from the bodies of the dead.  All of these stories were pushed out through a local news agency, who didn’t pass it on until their reporters had been told this story by four separate senior policemen in the local force and by the local MP. all had provided the story unprompted,   The Agency passed this story on but with caveats that it was suspicious of the story. Several newspapers reported this with appropriate questions for the police, The Mirror going as far as to say that the  police were putting about a dishonest story. However the Sun, the Murdoch tabloid national Published the story in full with no dissent, under the Banner headline “THE TRUTH” and  Rupert Murdochs attack dog Kelvin McKenzie has never lived this down

Hillsborough Tragedy: Kelvin MacKenzie, Former Sun Editor, Apologises To Liverpool For 'That Headline'

The reporter who wrote the story,Harry Arnold, later said told the BBC he regretted the headline, which he insisted was MacKenzie's, but said he had written the story in a "fair and balanced" way.

"When I saw the headline, 'The Truth', I was aghast because that wasn't what I'd written. I'd never used the words the truth," he said.

MacKenzie told him not to worry and said he would "make it clear that this is what some people are saying".

Since that point  Liverpool and The Murdcoh empires relationship have irrevocably broken down. Sales of The Sun in that part of the country have dropped to close to zero. With a vast majority of newsagents throughout the city refusing to stock the paper. Immediately after Kelvin rang the Manager of the Liverpool side the phone call is reported to have gone like this
•    Kelvin MacKenzie: Kenny, we have a bit of a problem.
•    Kenny Dalglish: Aye.
•    KM: How can we resolve it?
•    KD: See that headline you put in, ‘THE TRUTH’? Just have another one, as big: ‘WE LIED. SORRY.’
•    KM: Kenny, we can’t do that.
•    KD: I can’t help you then.
Kelvin did eventually issue an apology, but then in 2006 at a business meal he said that the entire apology had been Ruperts idea and that he was "not sorry then and I'm not sorry now." It is not till today, Twenty three years after the original mistake that he has finally issued a full and unreserved apology, although even now, in a weasel way he has sought to shift the blame onto others.

Since then a Campaign groups of fans, supporters,  and politicians from The Liverpool area have worked hard, attempting to get some form of Justice for the 96 victims, decades of pressure finally resulted in an independent review, headed by the Bishop of liverpool, staffed by specialists in the Media, medicine and policing, along with Archivists and document researchers. The current reprot is the  outcome of two years of search through tens of thousands of documents.

Yesterday evening and Today, current and ex editors of the sun have come out to finally apologise,  but this is widely seen as far too little, far too late.  How a news organisation could in any way claim to have any reporting skills when it had misreported a story so terribly and refused to correct  the reporting for over 20 years, instead playing on a a created myth of  a city wrapped in self pity  is beyond understanding.  

That this has been allowed to go on for over 20 years is a stain that  Police , politicians and  media that parroted the line should be deeply apologetic for. And today a Former Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire force has come out to say that it is essential that any investigation is taken forward to prosecution of those responsible. However other Senior officers seem less than apologetic.

Why was it  done and why was it allowed to happen? Well Liverpool was one of the centres of the Left in the country.  And the South Yorkshire police in the previous few years had been involved in Crushing the miners
Hillsborough and Battle of Orgreave: one police force, two disgraces | Football | The Guardian

They were two of the bitterest landmarks of the 1980s, but the connections between them have not previously been fully appreciated – theHillsborough disaster, 23 years ago this Sunday, in which 96Liverpool supporters died, and the "Battle for Orgreave" five years earlier, the most violent episode of the coal miners' strike.

Speaking to the Guardian, the prominent lawyer Michael Mansfield QC and the Merseyside MP and shadow cabinet minister Maria Eagle said they believed South Yorkshirepolice's conduct at Orgreave and in its aftermath, when it brought failed prosecutions against 95 miners, revealed a culture of malpractice with impunity that had not been remedied by the time the same force policed the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

The similarities between the events have not been fully explored, they argue, but the links will help to inform the Hillsborough families' fight for some form of justice – the full truth about what happened to the victims, and accountability from those culpable.

It has been argued that the police commanders were allowed to get away with it in case they were needed for further industrial disputes,  but the current report does not show that there is any written evidence of this happening.

So where next?  Firstly  The original flawed inquest result must be overturned, The decision by the coroner to say that all fatalities had occurred by 3:15 now looks like  an extremely bad decision that prevented investigation of the police and ambulance service role in the  fatalities. After this, If a case can be made for perverting the course of justice, then we must see those involved up before judge and Jury.  But on top of this, with yet another  example of the poor morals of the Murdoch Newspaper stable, people should commit themselves further to not Buying the Sun.

Further Worthwhile Reading

(updated after suggestions from Eurotrib readers)

Originally posted to ceebs on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:09 AM PDT.

Also republished by Murdochgate Investigators.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:09:48 AM PDT

  •  In another part of the forest (9+ / 0-)

    Two more arrests today by the Operation Elvedon team. This time of a "member of the armed forces" and their wife in connection with corruption in public office offences.

    This bit caught my eye:

    Scotland Yard said the arrests were the result of information provided by News Corporation's management standards committee [MSC], which was set up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

    The arrests take the number of suspects questioned as part of the two police operations to 46.

    The MSC stopped co-operating with the police (getting too close for comfort?) and the various investigations seemed to change up a gear with increased arrests. Make interesting speculation what the MSC found that halted its work and how many more are hidden behind that particular curtain.

    Continuing on a TV near you; "The Magical Mitt Sorry Tour (Underpants Edit)"

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:25:27 AM PDT

  •  Im very pleased that criminal prosecutions (8+ / 0-)

    are being talked about. Police seem to get away with lying constantly, whether about deaths in custody or resisting arrest charges.

    There was a case in the papers recently of a 17 year old afro carribean lad who had been stopped 50 times and arrested and charged several times in the last 4 years, with no convictions. The latest resisting arrest charge was thrown out when cctv showed the arrest and the violence meated out by the arresting officer without response. Surely the copper is guilty of assault, perjury and perverting the course of justice but as far as I am aware hes had a slap on the wrist.

    Mitt Romney, wasn't good enough to beat the guy that wasn't good enough to beat George W. Bush .

    by ewan husarmee on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:31:48 AM PDT

    •  looking on (7+ / 0-)

      Police websites, there are quite a few officers suggesting that if prosecutions were to happen the Police officers might respond by dropping politicians  in it.

      Fingers crossed that this will happen, and that paperwork doesn't go missing so it can't be handed to the defence ( as happened with the Officers in the Daniel Morgan case)

      Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

      by ceebs on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:40:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Should just make it clear (8+ / 0-)

    That although a lot of the violent clashes between the police and striking miners went on in South Yorkshire, the lower ranks of that force were not as involved in the brutality as those from outside the county. Notable among these were the Metropolitan Police's special patrol groups who saw themselves as an untouchable elite and the postings to Yorkshire as a country "busman's holiday" with even less prospect of comeback.

    The families of the Liverpool fans who died that day have waited far too long for justice. I find it extraordinary that they had to wait for two changes of governing party(s) to be heard. Labour had no reason not to denegrate the Thatcher government for their part in the coverup and indeed had many MPs from the area who were pressing for a re-investigation. Maybe it had something to do with them being in thrall to Murdoch and not wanting to further harm his business interests?

    Continuing on a TV near you; "The Magical Mitt Sorry Tour (Underpants Edit)"

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 06:50:48 AM PDT

  •  Ay ceebs, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ceebs, cotterperson, semiot, Woody, Creosote

    It's all I can do not to shout at people when I see them buying the Sun "Why are you buying that unholy piece of excrement!"

  •  interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Woody, Creosote

    A British disease? | Alex Thomson's View

    What is it with Britain? Because whatever else went wrong at the Leppings Lane tunnel, it points yet again to a dispiriting and deeply corrosive British disease.

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:10:08 AM PDT

  •  I am slow but I am glad to get the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    semiot, Woody, ceebs, Creosote

    background on this song:

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 08:59:47 AM PDT

  •  Thank you ceebs. (0+ / 0-)

    Enormously valuable, maddening, and sad - and the connection to the Sun underlines the utter absence of decency and illumination.

    My heart aches for those lost in the terrible events in Liverpool.

    •  That (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Steve Bell cartoon, the figure on the Left is Kelvin McKenzie, and the one on the right is Boris johnson, the Mayor of London, and possible next leader of the Conservative party. (manipulated by rupert)

      Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

      by ceebs on Thu Sep 13, 2012 at 04:53:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and it appears (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that at least one of the campaigners from the families of the dead have had their phone hacked

    Twitter / e_p_smythe: Ive just asked if ...

    Ive just asked if@sheilacoleman96 had had her phone or pc hacked '@sheilacoleman96 Yes. Story too long for here though'#leveson
    David Allen Green and Tom watson appear to be on the case

    Twitter / DavidAllenGreen: Did one of the Hillsborough ...

    Did one of the Hillsborough campaigners have their phone/pc hacked? Worrying tweet: #Leveson#JFT96
    Twitter / tom_watson: @e_p_smythe Please dm me your ...

    @e_p_smythe Please dm me your email address.

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 05:18:30 AM PDT

  •  Brits article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Inquiry Finds Police Cover-Up in Deaths of 96 Fans at Hillsborough - The Daily Beast

    One of the biggest sporting disasters in British history has now also been described as a major scandal. On Wednesday, a panel of experts investigating what happened at Hillsborough soccer stadium in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, on April 15, 1989, issued adevastating report, which found that British police and other public agencies covered up and misrepresented how 96 Liverpool supporters were crushed to death due to overcrowding during a soccer match.

    Back in 1989, the death of the Liverpool fans was almost immediately blamed on the victims. British soccer at the time was rife with accusations of hooliganism—and Liverpool—as the source of major opposition against the right-wing government ofPrime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was portrayed as a haven for Britain’s feckless, violent, and drunken underclass. Britain’s best-selling newspaper, The Sun, under the leadership of its chief editor, Kelvin Mackenzie, claimed that drunken fans had robbed personal belongings from the dead, urinated on them, and attacked police officers and emergency responders. Other newspapers also ran these allegations, but only The Sun put them on the front page with a blazing headline: “The Truth.”

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 09:11:26 AM PDT

  •  Another paragraph (0+ / 0-)

    with great thanks to Brit.

    Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, called today for a full public inquiry, on the scale of the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics which that followed the phone-hacking scandal last year. Like phone hacking before it, the Hillsborough report draws attention to the longstanding cozy relationship between politicians, the police, and the media in suppressing potential criminal wrongdoing—only in this case the victims of the smear are no position to fight back. “It was one of the biggest scandals I can remember,” said former Sun editor David Yelland in an interview with The Daily Beast. “No one should remain silent.”
    [my emphasis]

    Raging dry rot everywhere.

  •  ceebs!! I am so sorry that I missed this when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you published it. I don't know, exactly, how that happened but I am so glad to have read it.

    It seems to me, that slowly, a little bit of justice is being brought into the world. I hope so. That is, in part, due to you five or six intrepid reporters who have kept us in the loop on all of this stuff (so complicated).

    I think you should republish this. it is a very important and well-written diary and the two links at the end are to great articles.

    The Right Wing (in the U.S. and abroad) and people like Murdoch and his henchmen and corrupt cops that won't take responsibility for their actions are just people who can't or won't see the oranges. How sad for them, because seeing the oranges is what makes us human and makes life worthwhile.


    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:00:03 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site