Friday, 14 September 2012

Here comes The Sun

I love the news... hell most of the time current affairs are the subject of this blog... I even like amusing satirical or deliberatly (and obviously) faked news that has the purpose of making people laugh.

I have in the past waged a small war against the Metro newspaper... but let's face it - it's free and I now even read it in Portuguese on the train in Brazil! I have made my peace.. the news may be a bit shit and nothing positive really comes out of it, but on the whole the news is pretty much genuine... The war is over - for now.

While I argue all news can never be truly objective and will always maintain an air of subjectivity due to the writers own opinions, this doesn't stop me reading it... in fact I enjoy the subtle ways in which the wording of a sentence betrays the thoughts of the journalist... I however do not enjoy the made up ramblings of journalists who invent stories...

Lets now turn the clocks back 23 years, when I was but a wee lad. I was 7 and one shocking day something came on the news that shocked me and stayed in my memory to this day. 96 people were crushed to death during a football match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool. 96 people lost their lives. It is the most sporting related casualty the UK has ever witnessed. Luckily I didn't read the Sun otherwise I might have had to re-learn the truth I had always known 23 years later...

'The Truth' showed that the South Yorkshire Police acted with dignity and integrity trying to help the fallen victims battling against vicious Liverpool fans who were, among other things, pissing on police and looting the pockets of the fallen victims... All 96 were dead before the police could get to them and the Conservative party were in no way involved in a cover-up.

For 23 years the Liverpool fans protested their innocence.

Roll on 23 years and an independant commission discovered a different chain of events. The Sun then published their retraction, 23 years too late...

'The Real Truth' showed that the South Yorkshire Police altered statements and falsified reports to improve their reputation. That the proud Liverpool fans were wrongly accused of such heinous acts and have had their names dragged through the mud for 23 years. That somehow the Conservative MP of the time for Sheffield Hallam was involved in passing the story out and that The Sun's story was in fact a crock of shit.

There was more... Not all of the 96 were dead when the police got to them... upto 41 were still alive and could have survived if reactions by the emergency services had been improved.

The Sun helped, among other papers and people at the time, to tarnish the reputations of not only the victims, their families and Liverpool fans alike but also the police who are honest in the country. The apologies have flowed... the Prime minister, the opposition, the former leader of the paper... but the damage has been done.

You cannot repair 23 years of hurt... no apology is enough. There is now a protest on Twitter to stop the sales of The Sun newspaper, and so soon after the News of the World scandals... Support this protest, seek justice for the 96 and their families. I am not a Liverpool fan, but I am a human being... I am ashamed of my countries behaviour during this crisis. It is time for the people responsible in this cover-up to be held accountable from the police to the politicians. Thank God for the exhonoration of the fans that day but as Trevor Hicks, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group said this is "too little, too late"

Do yourselves a favour - always question 'the truth'

Follow me on Twitter - Roy Woodhouse

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