By Karl Coppack
The findings of the HIP brought a mixture and relief and anger for Liverpool fans throughout the world. Relief that the decades of lies were over and the deceit was finally at an end and anger at the people who perpetrated the biggest cover up in years.
When the apologies came it was hard to take them seriously. McKenzie’s apologised before but will turn again when someone offers him a large cheque and a microphone. Few suspected that he’d claim to be the 97th victim but it’s all about the controversy with that particular piece of pondlife.
The FA’s apology was nothing but comical in that it took them two goes before they got the hang of it (unless we can accept an apology on ‘probability’ when guessing what they meant) and Boris Johnson was merely covering up for his old pal Simon Heffer’s lunacy. If it makes you feel better to apologise then so be it but in this case sorry seems to be the weakest word.
Of course, the apologies were a step in the right direction and are either accepted with good grace, or with a sense of schadenfreude at the guilty twisting in the wind or rejected altogether but at the moment it’s the wrong people who are wringing their hands.
Bettison, Duckenfield, Thatcher et al. Where are you?
We have the truth now. We have it in 165 statements. We have the nod from the football community who applauded or sang our anthem. You can’t hurt us anymore. The people know what happened. This is half the battle. The next half is justice, not the seeking o apf long overdue apologies. The real criminals are on the run and it’s their names that should be roaring out on the front pages, their names that should be in thread titles on the nation’s football fora and their names that should be echoing around the phone-ins and on panels.
The simple truth is that Boris Johnson, The Sun and every other McKenzie/Cohen wannabe did not act in a manner that resulted in the deaths of ninety six people in April ’89. Nor did their rank stupidity and incompetence cause forty one of those souls to die when they could have been saved. They face charges, not criminal charges but ethical charges against humanity and decency. They are despicable characters and will always be remembered for perpetuating a crucial and vicious myth that caused untold hurt across a city and beyond but they did not cause the deaths that day.
Let’s concentrate on those who did.
Step forward Mr Duckenfield, Mr Bettison and the FA.
Your crimes are manifold. From ‘freezing up’ to cover up to safety certificate fuck up. You are the people who have hidden behind the above. They’re scum but you’re a thousand times worse.
Make no mistake about the significance behind the findings. It’s more frightening than we can possibly imagine. I blush at the enormity of the parallel but here it is – this is Watergate. The comparisons are obvious – the crime or criminal ineptitude followed by a gigantic cover up which is finally revealed for what it is. The British Government politicised the police and used them as an agent to further their interests. They were Caesar’s Praetorian Guard during the Miners Strike five years earlier and that closeness and mutual dependence was still in evidence. The findings of the Panel point to that civil ‘special relationship.’
Did it continue past Thatcher? Hard to say but where was Labour’s independent panel post 1997? Anne Williams was told that a fresh inquest into her son was ‘not in the interest of justice.’ In the interest for whom? Simply put, Jack Straw was also part of the cover up. There’s nothing to see here save for the monumental embarrassment that covered the tracks of their political rivals. Not quite so rivalled after all then.
If lurid and grotesque accusations are one way of diverting the cause of justice then another is, to quote General Melchett, ‘a total pig-headedness unwillingness to look facts in the face.’ Look at the Telegraph on Thursday and the absence of the report on the front page. Nothing happened. Hillsborough was a sports story as far as they’re concerned, something that wasn’t newsworthy enough to keep the young royals away from the headlines. An enormous government conspiracy hidden by a feelgood story of a couple on holiday. They were laughed at as it was nothing but a nose thumbing at the beginning of justice but every paper has been guilty of that prior to 12 September 2012. Where was their outrage at the accusations then?
No, it’s the power that should be examined far more than the decoy men. Kelvin McKenzie is being used, willingly it seems, as a tool (and what a tool he is). He may be in the Texas School Book Despository but he didn’t pull the trigger. He’s just the lightning rod that goes looking for the lightning.
Don’t get me wrong, I despise The Sun and their ilk but they’re little than a patsy to deflect the blame.
Those responsible are not going to give up because of the truth. The cover up will continue. A few token suspensions and maybe a little jail time here and there to placate us but there is still so much to do to get to the kernel of truth.
So let’s not be distracted by gobshite pundits and gobshite papers. Norman Bettison is still employed to serve the country, not just his paymasters. Norman Bettison is still employed and is looking after you even now. Duckenfield was paid off despite gross incompetence which led to death and injury on an enormous scale. There are still bigger truths to find. There is still so much work to be done.