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Tuesday 26 April 2016

Taxi For Kelvin MacKenzie

The verdicts from the new inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans as a result of a crush at Hillsborough stadium in April 1989 have dominated the headlines from the moment the verdict that all 96 were unlawfully killed was read out in court. Broadcasters and newspaper websites are leading on the news. Even the Murdoch Sun covered it.
The verdicts were reported; those who had been at the conclusion of the inquests were quoted. The article carried many photos from today, and the day of the disaster. But absent from the coverage was the role of the Sun itself, and especially the driving force behind that behaviour, its editor at the time Kelvin MacKenzie. It was he, and he alone, who took the fateful decisions which pinned the blame on Liverpool FC’s travelling support.

As I posted last year, the Sun had already disrespected the dead fans at the start of the week following the disaster, showing some of those crushed against the fence at the front of the central Leppings Lane end pen. Other papers decided the photographs were too graphic and refused to run them. Not Kel. His motivation was to sell more copies and stuff the niceties. Then came the planted smear story.

South Yorkshire Police, with the assistance of local Tory MP Irvine Patnick, had concocted a narrative which blamed the Liverpool fans, in the process attributing actions to them which, if true, would repulse all those upstanding and decent readers who were still prepared to trust what the Murdoch press printed. Everyone in the Sun newsroom apart from MacKenzie knew the story was a deliberate smear. But nobody would stand up to him, such was his bullying and authoritarian manner.

The revulsion across Merseyside was immediate, and sales of the Sun there have not recovered to this day. They are unlikely to ever recover. Other papers which had used the smear story realised their mistake, withdrew the claims, and apologised. The Sun had that chance. It declined and doubled down. It took twenty-three years for the apology to come. Even then MacKenzie claimed he was right, or that it was someone else’s fault.

In any case, the lack of sincerity in that apology was demonstrated when MacKenzie was gifted a twice-weekly column back at the Sun, a berth he still occupies. Now that today’s verdict of Unlawful Killing has been given, it is time for the Sun to show that it really is sorry about its actions in the week after the Hillsborough disaster, and all the years the paper spent ignoring their mistake, it must show Kelvin McFilth the door.

He has shown no contrition whatever since his return to the Murdoch fold. Indeed, hardly a column passes without sneering, demeaning and degrading references to Liverpool and those who hail from the city. After all, the Sun’s former stablemate, the late and not at all lamented Screws, was closed for less. The time has come for Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks to not just say sorry, but show they mean it.

News UK must sack Kelvin MacKenzie. You can help by signing the petition HERE.


Anonymous said...


What do you think of these apples? Posted in Guardian

Trevor Kavanagh, the Sun’s political editor at the time of the Hillsborough disaster, has blamed the police and other authorities for misleading the newspaper and defended his role in the story that led to the infamous 1989 headline, The Truth.

Asked if he was sorry about his involvement, he said: “No, I’m not sorry at all. I didn’t have any involvement at all apart from to say that Downing Street had been told [the same thing].”

Kavanagh, political editor of the newspaper between 1983 and 2006, told the Guardian: “We were clearly misled about the events and the authorities, including the police, actively concealed the truth.

“The impact on the reputation of the police service in general has been enormous and continuing and I think that’s a price that the whole of society is paying.”

Kavanagh also defended his old boss and former editor of the Sun, Kelvin Mackenzie, responsible for writing the headline above disgraceful allegations against Liverpool fans.

“I don’t think Kelvin committed any crime and he has made his position abundantly clear many times. We have apologised many times and tried repeatedly to make amends.”

In 2012, 23 years after the disaster, the Sun offered its “profound apologies” under a headline Hillsborough: The Real Truth following an independent report into the deaths.

The paper is still subject to a boycott in Liverpool and families of the victims believe the episode shows the worst excesses of press wrongdoing.

Kavanagh, now the paper’s associate editor, was also appointed to the board of industry regulator Ipso last year. An opponent of the Leveson inquiry into press misbehaviour, Kavanagh said on Tuesday that the press should learn not to trust the authorities: “We were perhaps too ready to accept the evidence from senior police officers at the time”.

Asked to comment on Tuesday’s verdict, the Sun made no comment.

Anonymous said...


The above was posted here at 1526


Anonymous said...

The roots of this deception run much, much deeper than mere pieces of inhuman detritus like MacKenzie and Kavanagh.

Remember, Kavanagh is now part of IPSO too. He should of course be sacked from that body. But probably won't be.

One of the important links to real culpability for the cover up is in the two now notorious tories, Irving Patnick and Bernard Ingham. The former an MP who lied to everybody, the latter Thatcher's "press secretary" (read: chief liar) who wrote some utterly reprehensible and loathsome letters to victim families. Patnick is conveniently dead, but Ingham still exists and is available for questioning. The questions for Ingham concern what action he took in the aftermath, who he consulted, and which members of the cabinet concurred in his behaviour.

Questions need to be asked too of Jack Straw, a New Labour Home Secretary who incredibly appointed South Yorkshire policeman Norman Bettison as Chief Constable of Merseyside. Bettison has long been a key suspect in the organised police lying and alteration of rank and file police reports. Straw, even in the face of the Taylor Report and its conclusions of the causes of the disaster and its aftermath, was later quoted, "Scousers are always up to something."

It is impossible to believe all this just "happened" and has no connection. But what are the connections and who was at the very centre of it all?

Those people are just some of those responsible for the poisoning of this country and for the socioeconomic divisions that plague us and which has produced a mainstream media of deep evil.

By comparison, the Hillsborough families emerge as true and honest citizens who faced the most awful tragedy, fought the liars and cowards, and managed to bring us a step nearer the truth. There are not enough words of admiration in the world for them and their courage.

This is a first step in the right direction. But that's all it is, a first step. You watch the establishment now try to squirm and lie its way out of this too. There is a long, long way to go yet.

Anonymous said...

Forget the 30 year rule. Open the official papers now and lets shine a light on Ingham and his cronies,

Don't forget Boris was still peddling the 'drunk fans were the problem' line not too long ago.

Anonymous said...

Watching that coward yet again scuttling away, once more blaming anyone but himself, spoke for itself.

The lying, two-faced, hypocritical, cowering pig's head. And if he wants to sue me over that description I'll be delighted to meet the cunt in open court.

Anonymous said...

Game of Thrones watchers: please help design an appropriate walk of shame for Kelvin "Liar McLieFace" McKenzie...

Pier Head to Anfield, wearing only an Everton FC scarf?

Anonymous said...

McKenzie does't seem to have been that contrite, he wrote this in the Sun last October:
'I NOTE that David Cameron is threatening to create dozens of new Tory peers to push his tax credit cuts through the revolting House of Lords. I’m available. Lord Kelv of Anfield has a ring about it, don’t you think?'

He's a card, eh?