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Tuesday 3 August 2021

Wes Streeting’s Sun Shame

Andrew Devine died last week. He had suffered life-changing injuries when he was caught up in the crush at the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough stadium before the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and had needed round the clock care ever since. He became the 97th fatality of the Hillsborough disaster.

Wes Streeting MP

As the BBC has reported, “In 2016, inquests concluded those 96 fans had been unlawfully killed. Senior Coroner Andre Rebello said the 55-year-old was the disaster's ‘97th fatality’ and as such, the conclusion was the same”. And in the 32 years since Hillsborough, one constant has endured alongside the memory of those who went to watch a football match and never made it home, and that is the shunning on Merseyside of the Sun newspaper.

Hillsborough memorial at Anfield

It was, after all, the Sun, edited at the time by the deeply unpleasant and still unrepentant Kelvin McFilth, that smeared Liverpool fans in the aftermath of the disaster. So it might have been thought that, immediately after the death of that 97th victim, politicians would stop and think before paying fealty to the Murdoch mafiosi.

The paper with which Wes Streeting is doing business

Sadly, this thought was apparently missed by rodent-like opportunist Wes Streeting, who was only too willing to appear in the Sun, proudly Tweeting out “Poorest kids hit hardest after Tory cuts to policing. It’s time to get tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. This is the Tories’ record. They’re the party of crime and disorder - good for criminals, bad for kids. Me in tomorrow’s Sun”. No link will be provided to that article.

Was he serious? “Yep. Voters read the Sun and we absolutely want to talk to them”. To the paper that not only ran the infamous THE TRUTH smear, but also both blackmailed and deceived the parents of 14-year-old Lee Nicol, who died at Hillsborough. The Sun hack pestering the parents had “stated that without a ‘good’ photo of Lee, the paper would have to use the one taken on the pitch”. A photo of their dead son.

So “To prevent the publication of the photograph of Lee’s death, they provided a school photograph, only to find that the Sun used both, and gave the explicit photograph prominence”. That grim snippet is part of the report from the Hillsborough Independent Panel. It has been available for six years. One wonders if Wes Streeting has read it.

It’s a racing certainty that Ian Byrne has read it. The MP for Liverpool West Derby, whose majority in 2019 was just short of 30,000, has made this observation: “Any Labour MP writing in this rag [the Sun] defies belief but in the week the 97th victim of Hillsborough was unlawfully killed shows little understanding or worse indifference to victims & survivors. I will be asking to address the PLP on what solidarity to my city entails”.

Moreover, not talking to the Sun doesn’t seem to be too harmful to Labour on Merseyside, where their vote share has gone from 39.9% in 1983 to 65.2% in 2019, with only Southport of the 15 constituencies held by the Tories. Those concerned about supermarket shortages and problems travelling abroad might also note that, free from the malign Murdoch influence, the area voted to Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

Far from needing to talk to the Sun - the paper that has trashed Labour relentlessly for the last four General Election campaigns - it is all too obvious that shunning the Sun and not talking to its singularly unprincipled hacks is the best course of action. Don’t buy the Sun.

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Anonymous said...


Just another red tory Quisling. Like the Starmer Quiff and his fellow apologists.

Which is why he and they are featured in the Murdoch Scum.

Hence Streeting hastily pushed up front today on the amber list "controversy". A crudely laughable pr attempt to "bury" Streeting's too-obvious red toryism. But Merseyside won't forget.... NOT EVER.

Gulliver said...

Setting aside for a moment the S*n angle, who is Streeting really talking to here? if I were a spite ridden Tory voter I'm pretty sure that if I wanted viscous crackdowns I'd simply vote for the party with a proven record of viscously cracking down on people and not the wet blanket shadow secretary who's just had an article published in the S*n.

If, on the other hand, I actually wanted our criminal justice system to work I'd be out there explaining how it was 10 years of austerity and chronic underfunding that is behind the current crisis. I mean, you can talk as tough as you like but if the courts can't deal with the current backlog of cases it's just that, all talk.

But then I remember that Streeting is from the wing of the LP who had no issue with the austerity agenda so I guess that's that.

Anonymous said...

Dogshit rag dogshit MP….spot the difference?

Anonymous said...

The most noticeable thing about Streeting and his type is how dead-faced they are. Not a trace of conscience or human warmth. Their only interest is in keeping their place in the corrupt useless club that is Parliament, a sort of Spiv University. A truly horrible, treacherous cabal of conmen and conwomen. Streeting is decidedly one of Them, an apprentice political traitor.

Anonymous said...

Since Starmer's been getting the '1997' gang back together, Labour MPs appearing in the S*n is part of that process in the hope that Murdoch will play nice. He won't.

Anonymous said...

Do people really want the proto-fascist Tories to continue in gov't for ever?
You don't get back into gov't if you don't appeal to people who voted the other way at the last election!
Talking to yourselves got the Topries an 80 seat majority!

Sam said...

News Corpse is basically now run by Rupert's heir Lachlan Murdoch. Having helped create so much dangerous dissension in the USA by promoting the divisive activities of Donald Trump let alone Covid rubbish on Fox News, Lachlan has now moved his family back to the relative safety of a huge Sydney mansion in Australia where he reputedly runs the empire from a high tech "basement" compound.
Labour MPs should think twice about giving any support to this family who retain no loyalties to the countries where their fortune is made.

Sam said...

re Anon at 17.47- Then Aussie PM Paul Keating warned aspiring UK PM Tony Blair at a conference in Queensland 2 decades ago that getting into bed with Rupert Murdoch would end in tears.

Steve Woods said...

To paraphrase John McDonnell, you can be a Labour MP or you can write for The S*n, but you can't do both.

Anonymous said...


Problem with that is...Bliar said it while tucked up in bed with Slurdoch and the tories.