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Wednesday 15 July 2015

Burnham, The Sun, And Hillsborough

Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun are a strangely sensitive bunch for a group of supposedly grown men who revel in their ability to indulge in thuggery towards others, and there is no finer example of this phenomenon than the mean-spirited and vindictive campaign being waged against Labour leadership front runner Andy Burnham right now, because he will not bend to their will.
Such is the hair-trigger of pure petulance that characterises the reactions of those in the Baby Shard bunker that when the Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow mused “Burnham has received some grotesquely negative coverage in the Sun (they seem to be waging a vendetta against him over Hillsborough)”, the paper’s managing editor Stig Abell reacted immediately - and furiously - to refute the idea.

Abell, who took a double first at Cambridge, is the supposedly more reasonable face of the Sun, especially when put alongside the unappealing convocation of thugs, bullies, spivs and other assorted chancers that make up the paper’s roster of dubiously talented hacks and pundits. His response to Sparrow was unequivocal: “What utter nonsense. We think he's a hypocrite and said so”. That, though, does not answer the question.

This was confirmed when a “Sun source” contacted the Guardian man later to protest a little too much: “he thinks I’m wrong to suggest that the Sun is pursuing a vendetta against Burnham over Hillsborough. He asks, quite reasonably: ‘What on earth have we to gain by trying to defend our terrible Hillsborough blunder now, when we’ve already apologised for it five times and are as supportive as anyone now of the new inquest and investigation?’ He also points out that the paper fully supports the new inquest”.
Well, the Sun has bugger all choice but to support the new inquests, especially because they are happening, whatever any of Creepy Uncle Rupe’s faithful retainers say or do. And they can protest all they like: the Sun disrespected the 96 when it re-hired Kelvin McFilth. Sparrow concluded “Hillsborough clearly is a factor in the mix”.

He was right. This is what Burnham said about why an Inquiry into Hillsborough did not happen earlier: “I am saying that it seems there was a decision to leave it alone. I don’t know all of the background to the decision-making, but in 1998, after the Stuart-Smith inquiry, a decision was taken to draw a line under it and to leave it in that position, [I was told] I was better not to carry on looking into it. That was the wrong decision”.

The clear inference is that The Blessed Tone did not want to upset Murdoch at a time when his Government enjoyed the Sun’s support. So it is indeed about Hillsborough, although when Sparrow concludes “it is not a straightforward matter of the Sun simply pillorying Burnham in retaliation for his Hillsborough campaigning”, he is also right. It is also about the Murdoch thugs exercising control over politicians.

Andy Burnham refuses to allow Rupe’s boot boys to exercise that control over him. They also do not want any revelations over Hillsborough to see the light of day, if it can be prevented. That is the fact of the matter, and it cannot be airily dismissed by a single dismissive Twitter comment.


Anonymous said...

If Andy Burnham never does another decent thing in his life, helping to expose Mackenzie's and the Sun's part in the disgusting Hillsborough neocon propaganda campaign will suffice.

So the Sun has "apologised." So fucking what. If everyone of those scumbags lives to be a hundred and fifty they'll NEVER be able to cleanse themselves of their guilt. What they visited on the victims and their families would stand comparison to anything Goebbels and Riefenstahl did for the Nazis. For that the culprits will always be roundly loathed on Merseyside and by anybody with a sense of decency. The same applies to other Murdoch gobshites like Andrew Neil and Edward Pearce and fellow travellers like Ian Jack.

The fact is, the Hillsborough Disaster has exposed corruption at every level of neocon "society," everything that has poisoned this country since 1979. There isn't a part of our culture which has escaped the effect. Scarcely a week passes without yet another horror surfacing or more far right propaganda that tries to conceal it or divert attention. Murdoch's boot boys, liars and corrupters are merely the the unprincipled megaphone.

When it comes to the crunch, the establishment and its apologists always hate those they most wrong. They're nothing but a gang of cowards.

And that of course is why the Sun and its liars hate Andy Burnham so much. Almost alone amongst Labour politicians - there are some other honourable exceptions - he has stood up and at least had a go at the Nazi gobshites. If only the rest of the Labour Party could summon the same courage we might get back on the road to genuine democracy and decency............

But don't hold your breath.

Andy McDonald said...

There was a bit in yesterday's character assassination where, with the usual weasel words, the Sun tried to make it look as if Burnham had blocked calls for the Hillsborough enquiry. 'Faced angry families' or somesuch.

Well, yes. 'Faced' as in 'met and worked with'.

And as the above poster points out, the Sun keeps underlining the fact that it was wrong and has apologised. And again, so what? It engaged in a deliberate smear of an entire city (where, it should be said, may partner and many of our friends hail from) purely because they were northern and a bit lefty.

Richard Gadsden said...

If the Sun actually wanted to make good with the Hillsborough families, then it wouldn't be just pointing at the half-heared apology it made years later.

It would certainly be paying out compensation; it would certainly remove anyone involved in the newspaper at a senior level at the time - starting with Rupert Murdoch - and publicly commit to never employ them again; it would probably want to remind its readership of its sin on a regular basis. Perhaps by inserting an apology onto its masthead, the way that newspapers will put "newspaper of the year" on the masthead - so "We're sorry we lied about Liverpool fans at Hillsborough" under the Sun logo on a permanent basis.