Thursday, 13 September 2012


The thing that sticks in my mind about the Hillsborough disaster is that the police in the control tower were watching it happen. The commanding police officer, having seen that the paddock was already more than full, ordered another gate to be opened to let more fans in. And then he lied to the FA afterwards about this, claiming that the fans had forced entry when, actually, he had given the order for the gate to be opened himself.

And then there were the police officers trying to prevent the Liverpool fans from climbing over the fence whilst they could see the crush happening.

They were watching it happen.

Here is part of Adrian Tempany's description of being in the midst of that crush and of making eye contact with one of the officers who must have been within about ten feet of him...
"It was then that I caught the eye of a policeman just the other side of the fence. It was an unmistakable, meaningful moment: because for four or five seconds, across the heads of scores of people, we looked each other in the eye. I lost him when I mouthed the words, "Help us." He smiled to himself and shook his head at me, and walked on, a little uncertainly."
The difference between murder and manslaughter is not one to be taken lightly it must be said, but given the facts of the case, the word "neglect" has an awful lot of weight to bear.

Nicky Wire may have been right.

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