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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Hillsborough the truth finally is outed and highlights shameful role of the state

The report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel has ripped aside the tangled web of lies and cover-up woven by the South Yorkshire police, the government and the army of lickspittles in the press who denigrated Liverpool and the victims of the man-made catastrophe in 1989 that was Hillsborough. Kelvin McKenzie, then the editor of the Sun and Murdoch's bag carrier who peddles his poison to the highest bidder, was the most vocal with his tissue of lies about that tragedy. 96 football fans lost their lives, those deaths affected thousands of people. Many continue to suffer extreme trauma as a result of their experience. Some suffered personality changes and went to an early grave. The families of the 96 greeted the report with relief and euphoria. Having campaigned in the face of impossible odds for 23 years, this was to be anticipated, but the relief and sense of victory and exoneration throughout Liverpool was palpable. This fight for the truth has united Liverpool and Everton fans alike. Fans who oppose each other in a football sense came together as football fans feeling a huge injustice over Hillsborough. Yesterday was a shocking day and a groundbreaking day in many ways. The independent report uncovered some very startling home truths on South Yorkshire police and the wider role of the state. Trevor Hicks of the family support group, who lost two daughters, reported that three family members fainted when evidence was revealed by the panel that with the correct support from the emergency services 46 of the victims may have been saved. This information added to the sense of anger and outrage which permeated the city. A question uppermost was that, of the 48 ambulances which rushed to the stadium, only two actually made it onto the pitch. Even the tops of the ambulance service were implicated in the subsequent cover-up. The police, the Sun, with Thatcher and her government implicated in the cover-up, were subject to excoriating condemnation. McKenzie's apology and the Sun's later apology was contemptuously dismissed for the hollow gesture that it was. There can be no doubt that the instructions for the cover up came from the very tops of the state machine. The brutal anti-working class culture of the South Yorkshire police force which played a leading and pernicious role in crushing the miners in their struggle to defend their jobs and communities was laid bare by this report. Michael Mansfield QC, who assisted the families, clearly identified the link. The police authorities revelled in an atmosphere of impunity which flowed from the anti-working class outlook of the then Thatcher government. Liverpool was also the city where the Militant-led socialist council in the mid-1980s had resisted the attacks of the Thatcher government by mobilising the support thousands of working class people. By falsely accusing Liverpool football fans as being drunken hooligans, the ruling classes also intended to denigrate the city's tradition of militant struggle. The next stage of this campaign will be to call for those implicated in this cover-up to be subject to the criminal law. Even the chief constable of the South Yorkshire police has been compelled to accept that those engaged in unlawful activity will be subject to prosecution. Cameron's frank admission of the cover-up and his apology surprised many. But if he had attempted to continue the cover-up his government could have fallen, he had no choice in the face of the evidence but to admit the truth. Parallels can be drawn with French author Émile Zola's article J'accuse (1898) in which he exposed the role of the French state in the anti-semitic frame up of Alfred Dreyfus. The furore which followed brought down the government. Not only are the families to be applauded for their courage and tenacity in the pursuit of justice, but a debt of honour is owed to them for showing that working class people fired with courage and determination can render the forces of the state accountable. The police officers involved in this awful cover up who colluded with the state and politicians at the time should not be allowed to get away with this. The Hillsborough victim’s families have the truth now, now they want justice and I and the socialist party fully support their fight.

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