Hillsborough! Dread word and I mean 'dread' in all its senses. For the benefit of my foreign readers I have provided a Wiki link to the subject which I have not read but, given the notorious controversy over this slaughter and the way in which Wiki reports are produced, I would urge caution. However, I would strongly urge everyone to read Anna Racoon's commentary on the subject which, whatever you think about her conclusions, does provide a superb insight, from an insider, of the deeply peculiar 'Scouse' mentality.
As a soppy-soft Southerner, myself, whose knowledge of football and football crowds is limited to what I hear on 'TOOORKSPOOORT' every morning and the 'telly' on an occasional basis, I have avoided this emotional minefield. But enough is enough! In the umpteenth investigation and report into this catastrophe, a committee led by the Bishop of Liverpool, and I know you will find this hard to believe, found the Liverpool fans totally innocent, and the South Yorkshire Police, the Emergency Services, the coroner, Sheffield Wednesday football club, The Sun newspaper, Kelvin McKenzie, some deadbeat Tory ex-MP and everyone else in the whole wide world, including me, er, and you, I guess, guilty! I have only one thing to say to this - BOLLOCKS!
What I have never understood about this entire farrago is that the families of the deceased have been waging a campaign to clear the names of their loved ones! But surely no-one ever supposed that they were guilty in any way at all. As a commenter at Anna Raccoon's writes:
“Those that died were not drunken thugs but those that caused their deaths were Drunken Liverpudlians that arrived en mass without tickets & stormed the entrances as kick off approached. I was there I came in from the Liverpool end, I was pestered for tickets from Liverpudlians pouring out of the pubs asking for spares. Of course the culprits then scarperred after the carnage & were not breathalysed. Quite why the dead would have their blood tested for Alcohol is pointless, they were there on time with their tickets. (My emphasis)
It seems to me to be a classic example of that old philosophical problem expressed in the analogy of a peanut resting on an anvil: is it the hammer that is the cause of the crushing of the peanut or the anvil? Whatever, the peanut is obviously completely innocent. In this case, the anvil was supplied by the Sheffield club and the local council, both of whom knew for months ahead that the ground was unsafe and that no safety certificate had been issued. The hammer was the late arrival of, shall we say, 'boisterous' Liverpool fans many of whom did not have tickets. Did they file in to their places in a normal civilised manner? Obviously not because there are 96 dead bodies to testify to the very opposite. Now, it wasn't the Sheffield authorities who pushed the crowds forwards, nor was it the South Yorkshire Police, and whilst The Sun and its editor are large public figures they didn't do any of the shoving either, and the well-behaved fans at the front who had arrived early with tickets certainly didn't misbehave. Nor did I, er, did you? No, I thought not. The stupid, senseless, irresponsible and - I choose the word with care - uncivilised shoving was from one source only - a mob of Liverpool football fans at the back of the crowd. It's interesting that none of those fans, or their families, seem to have come forward to proclaim their innocence. Why would they when all the attention has been centred on the dead who were then and always have been palpably innocent?
Needless to say, the behaviour of the 'authorities', using that word in its widest sense, after the event was as despicable as it was inevitable. Lack of a moral code is not confined to bankers!