Following the inquest verdicts into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989, where it was concluded that those fans were unlawfully killed, the BBC completed a documentary on the tragedy, the events leading up to the fateful April day, the smears and cover-up, and the long fight that faced the families and their friends which culminated in the day when justice was finally delivered.
So this morning it might have been expected that the Sun and its columnists might have thought twice before offering up yet more clumsily structured excuses. It was a false expectation. Less than an hour after the BBC2 documentary ended, today’s column from still unrepentant former editor Kelvin MacKenzie was published. It’s clear that he had written it before the documentary aired, and in full knowledge that it would be aired.
Kel damns himself as he tells “Superintendent David Duckenfield had stuck to the line from day one that it was the Liverpool fans who had forced open the gates when, as he finally revealed at the inquest, it was he who gave the order … Why didn’t he say this on the day of or the day after the tragedy? I presume the officers who actually opened the gates knew it was a lie”. Kel knows someone else who knows it was a lie, too.
Under that photo is the caption “Opened the gate … Superintendent Marshall”.
Kelvin MacKenzie saw that front page before committing it to publication the evening before. He approved every last detail within it. Yet now he whines “Why didn’t they say something? What about [David] Duckenfield’s superiors? Didn’t they hear anything?” But his reporters must have heard something, because the information that he claims was withheld from him was there on the front page of his own paper.
So when he blubbers “I fell for the lies lock, stock and barrel”, he is flat out lying. The decision to smear the Liverpool fans and airbrush out the less convenient parts of the story was his, and his alone. He chose not only to accept the smears and deflections, but to maintain that storyline when all other news sources were rowing back on it. And here we are 27 years later, with this amateur human being still lying to cover his backside.
To still peddle those lies the morning after the BBC broadcast that documentary shows that MacKenzie, and the paper that employs him, have no shame. Don’t Buy The Sun.