After 27 years suffering mental torture, heartbreak, lies and frustration the families of the 96 Liverpool FC fans who set out on a spring morning to watch an FA semi-final, and never came home, have at last received some vindication.
Their loved ones died as a result of a catalogue of errors by those charged with ensuring public safety, a disaster which was further compounded by outrageous sensationalist and fabricated tabloid headlines, and a typical British Establishment cover-up to protect the government of the time and those involved in the decision-making regarding crowd safety on that terrible day.
We’ve seen these cover-ups before. We all know about them. We all know they occur and are not in any shape or form part of anyone’s conspiracy theory. We’ve all heard about “parties” involving exploitation and abuse by politicians, heads of sensitive government organisations and celebrities. “Parties” attended by long dead elephantine members of parliament, or others who, when exposed, conveniently develop illnesses related to senility which stops them from having memories of such events but doesn’t stop them voting on the passage of legislation or claiming expenses in the Palace of Westminster.
We are all aware of the catalogue of lost dossiers, discontinued investigations and closed enquiries, with little or no satisfactory explanation why, over many years.
We’ve seen the likes of the British state broadcaster dragged through the mud as revelations of horrific activities by some of its former celebrity employees come to light. Fact after fact slowly being teased out, from under a cloak of secrecy, and responsibilities for the health and safety of the public whilst exposed to these despicable individuals called in to question.
The recent tax avoidance saga, whilst I”m not suggesting in any way is anywhere near in the same league as sexual and physical abuse, is another example of an Establishment cover-up, it taking several days to get any sort of honesty out of the current tenant of 10 Downing Street as to the facts of his involvement in offshore investments. If he hadn’t have been persistently pushed we’d never have gotten to the truth. Evasion and cover-up is the default position of the powerful and privileged.
From a Scottish perspective we have a number of unanswered questions too. For example what did happen to SNP activist Willie McRae on a remote road in Wester Ross in 1985? Did he die by his own hand, or did he meet with foul play? If that is the case who did it and why? I’ve read the various theories and explanations but I suppose we’ll never fully know the true picture.
Is it too much, or too naive, to expect honesty, decency, integrity, compassion and transparency from those we elect into power, or those whom we as citizens allow to control our society due to their wealth?
I suppose we should take some consolation in the fact that sometimes persistency and determination, and being on the side of justice, wins out in the end, as in the tragic case of the 96 Liverpool fans and years previously, the exposure of the miscarriage of justice surrounding the Birmingham Six.
Rest in Peace 96 innocent souls. May your loved ones now sleep the sleep of the justified.