Warning! This article has some content, language and descriptions that some might find upsetting or disturbing.
The name Kelvin MacKenzie alone generates emotions amongst Liverpool people and fans that are extremely difficult to translate into print, purely because of his inexcusable behaviour he has delivered to the people of Liverpool.
For those readers who are unaware of Kelvin MacKenzie and his connection with the City of Liverpool and the football club all will be explained in this article.
In April 1989 Liverpool Football Club and its people changed forever, the Hillsborough disaster claimed 96 Liverpool supporters lives and left a city devastated to this day.
MacKenzie was the editor of The Sun newspaper at the time of the disaster and was solely responsible for the publishing of the front page headline called “The Truth” which listed three sub headings
Some Fans Picked Pockets of Victims
Some Fans Urinated on the Brave Cops
Some Fans Beat Up PC Giving Kiss Of Life
The accompanying article claimed that ticketless and drunken Liverpool fans were responsible for the disaster, having supposedly tried to fight their way into the stadium by rushing the turnstiles and attacking policemen and stwerads outside the ground.
More specific allegations were made by MacKenzie, he claimed that during the disaster itself Liverpool fans who had escaped the crush and managed to get onto the pitch area had stolen wallets and other items from the dead, and that they had urinated over policemen and the bodies of dead fans and had beaten policemen, ambulance men and rescue workers attempting to save the lives of other fans.
But one of the most single dispicable allagation from MacKenzie was a claim the Liverpool fans had abused a body of a dead girl after shouting “throw her up and we’ll fuck her” to policemen moving her dead body away.
MacKenzie claimed the sources for these allegations were stated to be anonymous high-ranking police officers from Sheffield Police and Irvine Patnick, who at the time was a Conservative MP from Sheffield who wasn’t even at the game.
The coverage and the allegations caused intense uproar on Merseyside and widespread condemnation from many commentators. The Press Council described the allegations as “lies”.
The official government enquiry into the disaster dismissed the allegation that drunken or violent Liverpool fans had been responsible for the disaster and concluded that inadequate crowd control and errors by the police had been the primary cause of the tragedy.
After the disaster Rupert Murdoch ordered MacKenzie to make an apology, MacKenzie when on BBC radio 4 and said “It was my decision and my decision alone to do that front page in that way and I made a rather serious error”.
MacKenzie appeared before a House of Commons National Heritage Select Committee and told them “I regret Hillsborough. It was a fundamental mistake. The mistake was I believed what an MP said. It was a Tory MP. If he had not said it and the chief superintendent (David Duckenfield) had not agreed with it, we would not have gone with it”.
MacKenzie would discuss Hillsborough again in 1996 on BBC radio 4 but this time saying “ The Sun did not accuse anybody of anything. We were the vehicle for others”.
As a result of The Sun’s coverage of Hillsborough the paper is still virtually unsellable in most of Merseyside costing News International millions of pounds per year.
MacKenzie would reignite raw wounds in Merseyside by commenting at a after-dinner speech to Mincoffs Solicitors LLP in November 2006, he told guests “All I did wrong there was tell the truth. There was a surge of Liverpool fans who had been drinking and that is what caused the disaster. The only thing different we did was put it under the headline “The Truth”. I went on The World at One the next day and apologised. I only did that because Rupert Murdoch told me to. I wasn’t sorry then and I’m not sorry now because we told the truth”.
In January 2007 MacKenzie appeared on BBC TV’s Question Time programme, held in Kent. Towards the end of the program, MacKenzie was asked by presenter David Dimbleby about The Sun’s claims about the Hillsborough disaster. MacKenzie stated that he stands by his allegation that ticket-less fans were the cause of the disaster but that he does not know whether the other allegations about theft from the dead and fans urinating over victims and policemen were true. Clare Short MP suggested MacKenzie should apologise to the bereaved families and survivors who say that his claims cause them distress and hurt but he refused, claiming that it would make no difference anyway due to the bad blood between himself and Liverpool Football Club.
MacKenzie suggested that those who feel angry at him should instead direct their anger towards “someone who caused the disaster”. MacKenzie was heckled by some members of the audience while Short was applauded when she repeated her suggestion that he should retract his claims and apologise, but MacKenzie remained adamant that he had nothing to apologise for.
Just so readers can grasp the type of creature Kelvin MacKenzie is here is a quote made by him in the early 80s on the subject of how he perceived his target audience and how he approached the profession of journalism.“You just don’t understand the readers, do you, eh? He’s the bloke you see in the pub, a right old fascist, wants to send the wogs back, buy his poxy council house, he’s afraid of the unions, afraid of the Russians, hates the queers and the weirdos and drug dealers. He doesn’t want to hear about that stuff (serious news).
MacKenzie’s lies are still believed by some people who don’t know the truth about Hillsborough or have not been educated by people who know what really happen.
But there are people who MacKenzie can never mislead, the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) who are the torch holders of hope, a beacon of justice and the forefront of everything that’s decent about the City of Liverpool and its supporters. Then you have the Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC) a fantastic group of people who’s only quest is to secure justice for the 96 fans who never returned home and to educate those who don’t know the real truth about Hillsborough. Combined with the incredible Members of Parliament who spoke so emotionally in the Houses of Parliament for justice and full disclosure you have a force that MacKenzie cannot even begin to understand.
Kelvin MacKenzie could never have anticipated the backlash his lies would have on the people of Liverpool and what he never expected was a togetherness that would last 22 years, it doesn’t matter if your a Red or a Blue it doesn’t matter if you live in Huyton or Honolulu it doesn’t matter if you were there or not we are all Liverpool and we stand together as one.
Kelvin MacKenzie will never be able to break us or mislead us with lies in the same way he did others and we will not stop until he is made accountable for his lies.
Everyone needs to boycott all his TV & radio shows which including Sky press preview ITV’s This Morning and BBC Radio also The Daily Mail who incredibly still let him write.
I Brian Reece accuse Kelvin MacKenzie of being a racist, a liar and falsification of the truth, if am wrong Kelvin MacKenzie I challenge you to sue me.