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Wednesday 27 April 2016

Murdoch’s Hillsborough Shame

After the verdicts were given in the new inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans in a crowd crush at Hillsborough stadium 27 years ago, every daily newspaper had more than enough time - the news came before noon yesterday - to read, digest and present the story in their first editions. Most of the nationals did just that. There has been some sincere and well-crafted journalism - with one glaring exception.
Pride of place had to go to the Liverpool Echo, the one paper that believed in the innocence of the 96 from the very beginning. The headline, with the backdrop of St George’s Hall in central Liverpool, told “Heroes fought for justice, and at last a city is vindicated. Now, the pressure mounts on the cowards and the liars … ANGELS & DEMONS”. The Echo’s front page from April 19, 1989 is also included, to show its prescience. Its message would remain unheeded for many years.
We challenge the London papers and Sheffield Police … PRODUCE YOUR EVIDENCE” read the headline, going on to tell prophetically “A POISONOUS smokescreen is being put up around the Hillsborough disaster”. Today, most of those “London papers” came clean, and prominently, on their front pages. But not all of them.
The Guardian told simply “After 27 years, justice”, with David Conn’s excellent analysis adding “As years of Police lies and blame unravelled, it was the honesty and humanity of the families that shone through”. The Mirror went with “FINALLY … JUSTICE FOR THE 96 … Families of Hillsborough’s victims have had 27 years of sleepless nights. Now it’s time for those guilty of criminal negligence and a cover-up to have theirs”.
Below the Mirror headline is the chilling sight of the Leppings Lane stand tunnel entrance, which led to the central pens in which the fatal crush happened. Titles including the i, New Day, Daily Star and Metro gave their front pages over to the news. The Telegraph put it on the front page. The Express and Mail gave prominent front-page signposting to articles on inside pages. Even the FT had a front page item on the verdicts.
But for the newspaper group whose best-selling title willingly became part of the smear and cover-up for so many years, there was not even a mention on its front pages. The Murdoch Times - although a small item at the top of the page appeared in its second edition - decided that handbags, the weather, and Philip Green’s knighthood were more important. And the Sun - well, the Sun went even lower.
Their most important story, another invention from the paper’s alleged “Westminster Correspondent” Master Harry Cole, was that the Prime Minister and some others have been using WhatsApp. The Murdoch shilling takers’ craven cowardice was not a coincidence. Faced with the choice of showing dignity in coming clean, or chickening out, they chose to run off, so no-one could see the yellow streaks on their backs.

Damn you Rupert Murdoch. Damn you, and damn all the creeping vermin who sail with you. The families of the 96 can stand tall, while you can only crawl.


Anonymous said...

Doubtless Murdoch and his collection of gutless creeps will crawl even further under stones in the hope everything will be gone by the time they try to come out.

But this must not be allowed to fade, no matter how much the guilty continue their efforts even now to manipulate the circumstances.

To be sure, people like Duckinfield must be held to account.

However, that is only the beginning. THE COVER UP AND LIES WERE JUST AS BAD. Those responsible should also be identified - and we already know who some of them are, including that wizened Nazi Murdoch and his jobsworth liars and cowards - and also held to account. Would that there could be legislation against "Unlawful lying and deliberate misrepresentation in the media." If the latter was the case, at least half the "profession" of "journalism" would find itself banged up with Sweet Pants in the Scrubs - at absolutely no loss to our nation. Even that would be miniscule punishment compared to the generation long horror they deliberately visited on decent and honest families.

At the core of this there is an evil network that begins with Bernard Ingham and extends right through the tory party and New Labour. It may or may not be a conscious set up, but it's there nevertheless. Meanwhile, typically when faced with exposure, Ingham cowers in silence like the disgusting liar and coward he's always been. So does Jack Straw.

It is altogether just one symptom of the kind of society we have allowed them to create, a rotten-to-the-core, corrupt system of self aggrandisement and theft, of cowardly propagandists and neoNazis.

It is time to array them all in the full glare of honesty. Then compare them with the conduct and dignity of the families, never forgetting that the innocent families and victims have to bear this tragedy for the rest of their lives.

The guilty must no more be allowed their freedom than the guilty were at the Nuremberg tribunals. If this utter tragedy is to have any meaning at all people like Murdoch, Ingham and Straw should be dragged kicking and screaming into a court of law and made to pay for the lives they have ruined. The cowards, the thoroughly disgusting liars and traitors to everything that matters to an honourable and decent society.

We are only at the beginning of that process. IT MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO FALTER NOW.

We owe that as a minimum to those who have suffered so much for so long.

Anonymous said...

Finally, justice is slowly being served.

I don't rate The Guardian but I do admit there are some good ones working there.

I think feminazis prevented the paper from doing a lot better.

asquith said...

Yes, but DID Rita zzzzzz with Jay? Priorities, people.

Anonymous said...

Apologies if this is a double post.

On to Orgreave then - but don't forget the Poll Tax riots in Trafalgar Square a year after Hillsborough.

This contemporaneous documentary shown on C4 a few months later presents a (un)surprisingly familiar story.....