Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/851/20430

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 April 2015

26 years after the stadium disaster

Heartbreak, disbelief and anger at Hillsborough inquests

The 26th anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium disaster in Sheffield, when 96 Liverpool football supporters were crushed to death, takes place on 15 April. Responsibility for this disaster rests with the South Yorkshire police chiefs and the political establishment at the time, who connived to cover up their failings and instead blamed the victims.

Tony Mulhearn, former Liverpool city councillor, and TUSC candidate in the forthcoming general election, comments on the latest revelations from the current inquests into the 96 deaths.

Below, are reprinted extracts from articles in the Socialist following publication of the Independent Panel Inquiry findings in September 2012.

In December 2012, after years of campaigning by the Hillsborough disaster survivors and the victims' families and supporters, and the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report, the High Court quashed the "accidental deaths" verdicts of the original inquests. It ordered new ones to be held, which began on 31 March 2014.

The inquests into the Hillsborough stadium deaths are entering their second year. They have been the scene of heartbreak for the families of the victims who have been compelled to relive the horror of those appalling events.

Reflecting the unprecedented levels of publicity given to the cover-up, the coroner told the jury they would have to investigate each of the 96 deaths. He added: "We shall consider the experiences and deaths of each one of those 96 individuals."

The human aspect of the inquest was underlined by Steve Kelly, who lost his brother Michael aged 38. He told the court: 'In life, he was an individual. In death, he is a number. I want to remove that sequence of numbers from him. I am here today waiting to reclaim my brother.'

The callous disregard for the grief of the bereaved was endemic in the whole police operation. This was revealed by Leslie Jones and wife Doreen who had been brought the body of son Richard, 25, to identify. He said: "Doreen tried to get down to give him a cuddle. But the police officer pulled her up roughly and said: 'Sorry, he's the property of the coroner now, you can't touch him'."

Layer after layer of the cover up has been peeled back, revealing a conspiracy whose objective was to make the victims responsible for a disaster which was the result of grotesque neglect by the authorities at every level, all the way up to Margaret Thatcher. It was the former Tory Prime minister who made the infamous remark: "The police should not be seen to be responsible."

The facts of the cover-up are in the public domain and well documented. However, in a rare revelation by a senior participant, retired chief superintendent Duckenfield, who originally claimed that the fans had forced open the gates, accepted that he had lied and that his failures were the direct cause of the deaths of 96 fans.

That the inquest is so meticulous and searching is a tribute to the courage of the families and the incredible levels of mass support from the fans and the wider population.


Hillsborough - eventually, the truth

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.

Many who survived the day continue to suffer extreme trauma as a result of their experience. Some suffered personality changes and went to an early grave.

Yesterday, the radio airwaves were alive with ordinary people expressing their outrage at the events which followed the tragedy.

The police, the Sun, with Thatcher and her government implicated in the cover-up, were subject to excoriating condemnation.

The Sun's later apology was contemptuously dismissed for the hollow gesture that it was.

Role of the state

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.

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.

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.

Tony Mulhearn

The Sun's vile slanders

On the day after the Hillsborough disaster the Sun's front page falsely claimed that drunken Liverpool fans had urinated on police, pick-pocketed dead victims and prevented police resuscitating some of the victims.

It took Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun, nearly 25 years to claim to be "sorry" for his paper's coverage of Hillsborough.

Nothing he ever says will atone for the impact of the Sun's disgusting coverage of the tragedy in 1989.

Sections of the media believed - like the police and often in collusion with them - that they could act with impunity.

The Sun was not alone in regurgitating the lies that South Yorkshire Police peddled through a local news agency.

But MacKenzie's role in the "reporting" of Hillsborough was the most vicious hooligan act in the sordid history of Britain's tabloid media.

It was left to the people of Liverpool to rise up in united anger to boycott the Sun. The paper's circulation in Merseyside fell by more than 200,000 (40%) within days.

Ken Smith

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 8 April 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS fees warning: Vote TUSC

NHS: Anti-union blacklisting threat

Immigration: Workers' unity needed

No end to austerity from 'The Magnificent Seven'

Will SNP deliver on "anti-austerity" promises?

Looking after the millionaires, not the millions

Hillsborough inquests: Heartbreak, disbelief and anger

Them & Us


Socialist Party review

Art review: Adventures of the black square

Art review: Searching for the marvellous


Elections 2015

Manchester says: End cuts - tax the rich

Speaking up for public services and young people

Lobbying for affordable housing

Election hustings: we shall be heard!

EDL would be stopped again in Walthamstow

Renationalise rail


Socialist Party workplace news

Low pay? No way!

NUT: teachers want action on cuts and workload

Stop Sodexo's probation jobs cull

Whipps Cross hospital trade union activist reinstated

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Nigeria: Ruling party crumbles in historic election

Israel/Palestine: Palestinian Land Day

Australia: marching against racism

Ireland: supporting striking Dunnes workers


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Election fundraising

Fighting Fund success


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 April 2015   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Hillsborough:

triangleHillsborough justice eluded

triangleAberfan disaster novel reminds us Grenfell was not an anomaly

triangleSix charged due to determination of justice campaign

triangleFight the Sun's bigoted lies

State:

triangleBelarus: Mass opposition continues to defy repression by Lukashenko's regime

triangleEast London Socialist Party: TUC 2020 - The state of the unions

triangleIran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

trianglePalace letters show the monarchy is a weapon for capitalism

Police:

triangleNigerian police repress peaceful anti-government protest

triangleFight racism, Trump and capitalism

triangleBlack Lives Matter: Fighting injustice, fighting for our rights

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool Council must save care homes

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: The Labour Party - what is its future?

Government:

triangleThailand: Youth rising against hated junta

Working class:

triangleTV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

Yorkshire:

triangleYorkshire: Celebrating the life and ideas of Leon Trotsky

South Yorkshire:

triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

Media:

triangleThe role of the Socialist during the corona crisis

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

23/9/20

Housing

Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Testing shambles: unions must fight back

23/9/20

Universities

Covid and the campuses

23/9/20

Coronavirus

North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence

23/9/20

NHS

Fund NHS and pay rise now

23/9/20

Coronavirus

Tory Covid chaos

23/9/20

Banks

'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

23/9/20

Amazon

News in brief

23/9/20

Schools

Johnson's schools social-distancing lie

17/9/20

Britain

Britain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end

16/9/20

NHS

NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

16/9/20

Covid

Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

16/9/20

Covid

Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

16/9/20

Profit

Under the microscope

16/9/20

Covid

'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999