Initially, I had best point out that I will do my best to refrain from profanities. I will also state that some points that are made are from sources way beyond my scope, ie stolen,some are from friends, some from tweeter people and of course you may, hopefully, find some from me.
Brian Reade wrote that 15th May 1989 changed football forever. I believe that 12th September 2012 will prove to change British Justice forever.
A summer of highs, more highs and can we get any more high came crashing down to earth yesterday, with the revelations brought by the report into the Hillsborough disaster.
We had the Olympics, where nigh on most of the country realised just how much we loved being from our little Islands. Then came the Paralympics which confirmed everything the Olympics made us think. We are British and damn bloody proud of it. Brad Wiggins had won the Tour de France, then the icing on the cake came when, bleary eyed, a whole bunch of us stayed awake till silly o'clock, to see Andy Murray win his first Grand Slam. Yes I have probably forgotten other things, but I am sure you get the drift. Patriotism had reached new levels. Our sportsmen and women (not to mention helpers) had made us proud of good old blighty again.
Then in good old British tradition (we really do not like being top dogs do we) we shoot ourselves in the foot. And what a shot it was !
In revealing the full details of previously hidden documents (question 1, why where they hidden) the Hillsborough Independent Panel not only made a multitude of people happy, they also uncovered the biggest cover up in British legal history.
So we are good after all. For all the wrong reasons.
Millions of people yesterday waited for what the report would offer. Some, myself included, feared that it may not bring to note all that was required to bring a new inquest. Instead, it shocked virtually everyone with the intensity the revelations brought.
Not only had, at last, did it reveal that 96 people did not die accidently, it showed that 41 of those that perished that awful day, could have survived !
Not only did it confirm what Lord Justice Taylor stated in 1989, that the root of the disaster lay firmly at the door of South Yorkshire Police. They went and dug out documents to prove it.
There where more revelations than in any holy book.
I am sure I could go on and on about various details from yesterdays report and I will be touching on them as I go along, but let us look at a little history first.
A knight of our realm, nay two knights of the realm, there may even be more, seem to have an issue with football supporters turning up at the "last minute" for football matches. I myself, in the days of not being a father and single and able to afford to go to football matches, made heavy weather of getting into football grounds. Constantly slipping an extra pint in at the King Harry, before 3 o'clock or 7.30. Battling through queues hoping it wasn't a lockout (in non ticket matches) Is that a crime ? In the eyes of South Yorkshire Police and Sir Norman Bettison and Sir Irvine Patnick it is. Hell, even a supposed auspicious Lord, by the name of Justice Stuart-Smith have passed comments about the late arrival of football supporters to grounds.
Well, as we knew before, but for the record, on the day of 15th April 1989 the M62 motorway, probably the main route between Liverpool and Sheffield, had major roadworks taking place. To compound this, there had been a road traffic accident. This delayed thousands of people travelling. Not a public house, which may have been the reason for my lateness, if I had not had to sell my ticket for the game. Besides, Leppings Lane, at that time, was not exactly a drinkers paradise between the railway stop off point and the ground, this known due to having been a previous visitor to Hillsborough and pen 3,and noting the lack of drinking hostelries. So, messrs Patnick, Bettison, SYP and Stuart-Smith, how did you come to these conclusions ? Let me guess, you made it up.
Before moving on, question 2, How where both Patnick (instigator of the article in the scum) and Bettison (involved in the investigation of SYP of whom he had been a part in April '89) made Sirs ? Surely to get the honour of a knighthood, you have to have done something remarkable in service to Country or neighbourhood and be squeeky clean. Not have hanging around your neck, the slur of being a liar or of being devious in public office. Who made the decision to knight both of these parties and why ? As both should be stripped of the title post haste.
See, the can of worms, does not seem to end.
So we have a build up of people outside the ground. Those naughty people getting caught in traffic jams. The time reaches 2.52 pm and the Chief Superintendent David Duckinfield makes a decision that changes football and justice forever.
His decision ? Open exit gate C to relieve the pressure building up outside the ground.
At this juncture all could have still been fine.
A man with a brain and any miniscule knowledge of football games (it seems later he didn't even have that) would know, that football fans like being "behind the goal" The singing and chanting always started there. On FA Cup Semi Final day, people are pumped up, a game away from Wembley, the crowd are all up for cheering the team on to a win. Pens 3 and 4 are behind the goal.
Stuff all the claptrap that has spewed forth over the years, about the police control room not having cctv working (more lies) and not knowing the composition of fans in the lower west stand. Anyone in that ground could see that the central pens where overcrowded whereas the pens on the flanks of the stand had plenty of room for people. That was basic common sense. How NOBODY saw this is beyond me. Nevertheless, all it would have taken was to have stewards in the mouth of the tunnel to guide people to the flanks of the stand, explaining it was full. They didn't. A few basic thoughts went missing from Duckinfields head and disaster approached.
Now correct me if I am wrong, but from my experience, normal human nature when making an error is generally, shit ! do this, do that, sort it out, correct the mess and prey you come out smelling of roses.
Duckinfields was to take up the Ostrich position...shit wasn't an expletive, it became an act. A performance acted out in front of millions of people.
Ok, he had messed up. Humans make errors, not always of this magnitude, but errors all the same. Salvation was till at hand Mr Duckinfield. Compose yourself and dictate officers and paramedics to invade the place. Sort out the injured, save the dying, yes we know now that some had passed away prior to 3pm but was that down to a crush barrier collapsing, we will never know.
Get help in their and save what you can. Take the flak afterwards. Yes you will be castigated, but in some quarters you may even be praised for quick reactions and saving a catastrophe.
People have said that he froze, people said he had lost the plot and couldn't think what to do next. Remember, Duckinfield was inside the ground, the information of the problems outside was being relayed to him via officers on horseback outside. He did not need cctv to see the mess before and after his decision to open gate C.
But if he froze, if he lost the plot, question 3, Who gave the order for a huge amount of officers to stand, arms linked, across the pitch at the half way line ? Supposedly to stop the alleged pitch invaders from the West Stand from attacking the Nottingham Forest supporters in the Kop end !
Was there any inclination, within the officers present, to think that trouble may occur between rival fans ? Did Peter Beardsleys shot against the crossbar after 4 minutes really make the police think, whooaaa the Liverpool fans are really angry at that and are going to attack the Forest fans ? Because at that time people where trying to get onto the pitch.
Did they not notice people being dragged up into the Upper West Stand ?
Did they not realise, that when the game was halted and they performed their version of the hokey cokey on the half way line, that people where getting out of those pens, merely to lay down on the pitch and breath ? To drag out friends or fellow fans who where in trouble ?
Did human nature not take hold and make them realise, these people need help ?
They stood and watched a disaster unfold before their very eyes and a large amount of SYP have blood on their hands for not only not helping, but from that moment on, the cover up was being put into motion.
Yes, many SYP officers worked tirelessly to try and help, so please do not think I am castigating SYP carte blanche. But how can another human being stand and watch another die without helping ? That happened at Hillsborough on 15th April 1989. Under orders or not, they deserve every nightmare they will ever have of that day. And more.
Paramedics. Question 4, Who gave the order for only one (yes 1) ambulance to be allowed onto the pitch ? A football pitch has a pretty big surface area and can accommodate plenty of ambulances. Over 40 where supposedly situated outside the ground, the majority in Leppings Lane and Pennistone Road. Why where the medics and ambulances not allowed onto the pitch ? At the time the ambulance arrived at 3.13pm, surely even the most dimwitted police officer knew what was, or had, unfolded in front of them. Even a public address announcement,in the stadium, for medical help, did not come until 3.30pm Yet still, no more ambulances or paramedics arrived on the pitch in front of the West Stand.
The alleged cut off time in the inquest, gave time of deaths at no later than 3.15pm (now proven to be bollocks) so in the eyes of the coroner, some people who passed away where still alive at 3.13pm. Even under those circumstances, Question 5, Why was it not mentioned in the inquest that people still could have been saved and therefore culpability had to be taken into account ? The answer to who gave direction of no more ambulances has to be given. And also questioned as to why this was not made public in the inquest to prove that it was a shambles.
Who then started the ball rolling in bringing about the cover up ?
It has been said that Peter Wright (now deceased) was the Chief Constable of SYP in April '89 and was constantly accused for being the main culprit in bringing about the public perception that the Liverpool supporters brought the tragedy upon themselves. Duckinfield, it is said, now made the claim that Gate C was "kicked in" by the fans. I think it would be quite difficult to make such a claim without vandalising the gate yourself after the fact. I do not recall seeing any pictures or video evidence showing this 8-10ft metal concertina gate having been disturbed in any way other than having been opened.
Bernard Murray, Superintendent at the time, was also involved (both he and Duckinfield where found not guilty of manslaughter charges in 2000) Paul Middup SYP Federation Secretary helped brief the Sheffield news agency, Whites, pinning the blame for the disaster, firmly in the hands of the Liverpool supporters. Irvine (yes just plain Irvine at the time) Patnick Conservative MP for Hallam (Sheffield) then became a source of the rumour mill about Liverpool fans which set in motion the scums roving reporter writing an article, that has took him just under 23 years to say it was only a report into allegations (did he sense the shit was about to hit the fan) and ultimately that headline in a daily rag.
McKenzie (sorry Mr Hicks,I disagree, he is not a low life, he is pond life, but you have more dignity than me) then fanned the flames with his "The Truth" headline, that he stood by until 12th September 2012. The grieving process was not allowed, the culprits not only caused this to happen, they now blamed the Liverpool supporters for causing the deaths of their own fans. They tried to pin blame on the dead by taken blood samples for alcohol, making strange comments, asking strange questions. But that is what happens in a cover up.
They already had previous problems with some football fans, as an excuse for saying their was trouble caused by the Liverpool supporters. It was not a shock. Even the disgusting comments in the story published by McKenzies editorial where part of the cover up. As Hitler once said "The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it" South Yorkshire Police, members of Her Majesties Government and McKenzie (and his rag) told one hell of a LIE.
Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
The FA. Question 6, Who allowed Hillsborough to be used as a venue, not just for an FA Cup Semi Final, but for any game whatsoever ?
Now known that this shithole (I am relating to the ground in the 80's when I visited it) of a ground, had no safety certificate and was so unprepaired for large crowds (see Manchester United-Derby County 1976 Tottenham Hotspur-Wolverhampton Wanderers 1981 semi's at Hillsborough) that it was a disaster waiting to happen. The Leppings Lane end (West Stand) turnstiles where crammed, what few of them there where, into a small corner of the area outside the ground.
How a ground that has no safety certificate, can profit from holding a semi final is beyond belief.
People at Sheffield Wednesday, the Football League and the FA have some pretty serious questions to answer.
Wednesday took the cash and run, or at least tried too. Someone at Sheffield Wednesday should have informed the FA of their position. Then again, it is also the duty of the Football League to know the standards and particulars of grounds under their control, which Hillsborough was at the time. And also a duty of care, at the very least, for the FA to know the standard of grounds being used, in what was their crowning glory competition.
The police, the Government and the press. Question 7 Who had the power to keep up the pretence and allow the cover up to happen ?
Yes, we now know that the SYP falsified documents and instigated the cover up and lies.But a whole system was set in motion through this.
Does SYP, or did should I say, really have the power to make the world wonder what really happened and hide the truth from the families for so long ? Can they keep the truth from Judges (if you read the Taylor report, a lot of his conclusions come from common sense aswell as facts)
Can they keep this information from the Government ?
Can they keep documents from lawyers who failed, uncomprehensibly, to gain a manslaughter verdict against Duckinfield and Murray ?
Can they keep the press from any investigations to find any information ?
Yes, they can make the West Midlands police investigation into them, a sham and show them as not at fault for anything.
So do West Midlands police have questions to be asked of them for not finding what the Hillsborough Independent Panel found ? After all, they are the police, they know where to look for information. Oh who am I fooling... all good boys together. And let's not forget SYP's part in the battle of Orgreave in 1984
In which case, is Britain a police state ? Or was, until 12th September 2012, Or did higher authority know more ?
Yes, the hooded claw (sorry I cannot say her name) was slammed in Liverpool for knowing more and keeping things quiet and allowing her beloved police look good. But let's be sensible. If she knew, so did John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Four different PM's did the square root of jack (stolen from James May) to get these documents and the truth out there.Together with various Home Secretaries.
At the 20th Hillsborough Memorial Service at Anfiled, Andy Burnham was severely booed when he tried to make his speech. He was part of the establishment. part of the Government that had failed the families. He finally got to say that he would do all in his power to get the documents released. Cheers abounded around Anfield. Was there a chink of light ? Someone in Government who cared ?
Well, Andy Burnham, together with Steve Rotherham, you should be saluted and thanked profusely for keeping your promises and delivering THE TRUTH !
Other than the ones from David Cameron and Ed Milliband, who remembered his predecessors had let the families down, I would send the rest to the nearest shredding machine. Not worth the video tape or paper they came on.
The ticking time bomb started by David Duckinfield at 2.52pm on April 15 1989 has now exploded. For SYP and various authorities, the shit has hit the fan, it is now a matter of sorting the wheat from the chaff. Oh and the end of some Knighthoods too I would presume.
I agree with Henry Winter, I cannot ever see the families ever getting closure. But now they have the truth and the very real chance of bringing those who wronged them, to justice and let them bear the fruits of their evil, then maybe it may just help heal their pain.
Prosecutions are an no brainer now. It is just who and when.
Well done every single one of you. You should be very proud of yourselves.
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