Wednesday 27 April 2016


I had intended to write something today about the outcome of the Hillsborough hearing.

That was until I read Mark Frankland's piece on it.

Now you'll know already that I'm a big fan of this guy, not only as a writer (his books are gripping reads, and available on Amazon) but as a food bank manager that goes just that step or two farther and provides for his clients more than just something to eat.

So I look forward to his posts, even if sometimes they make me angry, or sad, or just despairing of the United Kingdom and its foulness, and invariably make me cry.

It turns out that Mark was there that day in Hillsborough. At the match. 

Mark actually witnessed this stuff, and because he's Mark he got involved; wrote to his MP and ended up giving evidence to the court.

I'll not tell you more. 

It's a far better idea to read his own account, which you can do here (if you haven't already). He's a writer. He makes it real.

Suffice to say, I'm ashamed, once again, that we live in the kind of country where cover up by people at the very top is how we deal with incompetence and deceit in the very people we pay to competent and honest.

Any suggestion that leniency should be shown to people who put the football fans through this is, of course, beyond the pale in my opinion. Apparently the Daily Mail suggested that it may not serve the ends of justice for elderly men to be tried and possibly jailed for these crimes.


We allow policemen and women to have a measure of power over us. We accept a similar, although different, situation for elected officials.  In return we have the right to expect them to behave as if they deserved that privilege.

When they fall short, we need them to be dealt with in the most severe fashion. 
Thatcher has form on covering up horrific crimes.
Of course it doesn't happen. When MPs and Lords stole money from the state in far larger amounts than any benefit scrounger, a few, a very few, hapless misfits that no one liked were thrown to the wolves and imprisoned for short periods; Hanningfield served as little as 9 days for the theft of thousands of pounds, before he was released to continue with his fiddling. 

I wonder how many DWP clients who've fiddled that kind of money could say the same.

At the same time people who stole from us to have their moats cleaned or their duck houses maintained, their wisteria removed or their hanging baskets watered, got off Scot free.

This though, was murder, by some other name. That's more serious than stealing a few million.

Senior police, no matter how old and frail need to be made to pay. Politicians compliant with orders from the top (Thatcher) to hush it up and blame the fans for crimes, including inventing preposterous stories about urinating on, and picking the pockets of, dead bodies, likewise. 

It's no good saying that speaking up would have ended their careers. So what? They were condoning murder, and we were paying them to do it!

Oh yes, just one final thought... what did they tell the Queen... these right honourable???? privy councillors? 


  1. I doubt any of those involved, in the conspiracy to defame and blame the innocent, will do any serious time; though they bloody should. "I was only following orders" does not a defense make.
    One would have thought today, of all days, the Sun "news paper" would have printed an apology, front page, full size; for their part in the shameful treatment of the victims and their families.

    I often read Mark's blog, it's a real rollercoaster of emotions. His books are fantastically written, with a real feel for his chosen subject.
    I had the pleasure of meeting him, the other week, and he gave me a dozen, or so, of his books in paperback editions. I offered to pay, but he said I had been generous enough previously; of course I foisted a donation upon him.
    He is a very enlightened and educated man; with a history degree from Cambridge, and a previous life running a multimillion family business; which the BSE crises wiped out.
    If your ever in Dumfries, I recommend you pop in for a coffee and a chat; he will make you welcome and lighten your day.

    1. I don;t know what the English Sun had on its front page, but the Scottish one managed to avoid it altogether. I'm proud to say I've never bought a copy of the Sun in my life, nor shall I ever.

      I see your comment on mark's blog, Jim, and I know you have contributed when there's been an appeal.

      Mark doesn't ask for stuff often and unless it's needed. When he does I've no problem giving something becasue you can guarantee it's a good cause that needs funding.

      I was so delighted when Wings made a substantial contribution to his "keep the foodbank going" fund.

      I hope sometime to make my way to Dumfries, and when I do I'll be glad to go into First Base, roll up my sleeves and help out.

      Munguin is keen to go an have his photograph taken with Mark!

      As for the scum at the top of Yorkshire Police and the government of Mrs Thatcher... nope, of course they will end up getting off with it.

      It's rare that top people get done for anything... and I suspect that there is usually a reason if they do have to face justice... probably that they have upset someone higher up!

      It's called great British values of fair play and decency.

      If that prat Cameron tells me one more time that we are a Christian country I won't be responsible for my actions. He and his boss defile the word.

    2. The phrase "I was only following orders " is known in the legal profession as the "Nurenberg Defence ". I don't think any further comment is necessary.

    3. Nope.

      I think you may have an excuse if the alternative is to be shot...

      Anyway, I always say that the buck sops at the top, so you should start at the top and work down.

      OK, so the top was the Thatcher woman, and she's beyond the courts now, but Hurd is still there. And the rest of the Cabinet that was bound to be privy to their deceit.

      So let's start there and work our way down.

  2. Tris, I was following the announcement of the findings of the Hillsborough tragedy inquest. Actually I dont follow or play football. The club I supported is just to spite my Man U supporting friends.

    I have heard of Hillsborough but did not care (for the lack of a better word) to follow the resulting legal dispute that ensued (I was six in 1989). I just know that this was/is a long and protracted legal saga with the British/English justice system.

    The legal saga must have been of unique importance to the State as it taken 27 years. Typical to British/English justice system and those following, delaying is the tactics you resort to when you have nothing else.

    However watching the announcement and the subsequent press conference by the family/victim support group, it dawned to me the gravity of the tragedy and this inquest findings. This is about normal everyday people going against the State and its proxies. It took the united tenacity and preseverance, and 27 years for the family of the victims/survivors to get to this. And they won. Finally.

    I have to commend the figures (their names elude me now) that spearheaded the campaign. So many lives were put on hold. So much time wasted. Imhope theybcan finally grieve, have a peace of mind and move on. God knows how it felt to have the burden removed.

    At the risk of trivialising the tragedy, I can draw some parallel between this tragedy and the struggle for Scottish independence. I think Mark Frankland's blogpost capture the essence of the struggle succintly. We are going against the might of the State and all its proxies. This can be overcome only if we are united in our tenacity and preserverance. You can bet the State is a bitter sore loser even when it knows this is a losing battle beforehand. They will chuck everything at us.As with the tragedy, this is far from over.

    It took 27 years for the victims/survivors to get justice. They fought as one, even though it was bleak at times. That is why we must never give up on our dream for and independent Scotland. For those who came before us and for those that will be after us. It is coming. I just hope it will not take us another 27 years.

    1. Apologies on the error. On the train, an iPad and an empty stomach

    2. Agreed on all accounts. It's hard to take on the Establishment anywhere. The Old Boys network in the British/English Establishment is a particularly hard nut to crack. There's always someone who went to school with, or was "up" at Oxford with...someone and who can pull some strings.

      In this case the strings were pulled by Thatcher. Imagine the relief of beating the almost unbeatable.

      I can see the parallels with independence, and I don't think it is trivialising to draw them...although I can understand why you might worry that it was.

      No one died in our struggle, but there were lies aplenty, as we find out every day.

      Hope you got something to eat!!!

  3. I too read Mark Franklands comments. I was struck by his fury that it has taken this amount of time to get to what was known at the time. It is a catastrophic joke that it takes a legal system this length of time to arrive at a conclusion that should, ought to have been, arrived at within weeks.

    The state deliberately grinds out justice slowly when it is embarrassed. The murder, by the state of Jean Charles DeMenzes, the interminable time to resolve pneumosilicosis cases, the list of the law failing the people is almost endless.

    I am away to buy Andy Wightmans book entitled 'The Poor had no Lawyers'. For this is not new, it is a long standing stain on our democracy.....

    1. I highly recommend the book. You will be furious by the end, I promise you that

    2. Yes, Douglas. I think that the it is the exception, rather than the rule, that someone from the Establishment goes down, particularly when they are against some ordinary chap

      Firstly the system militates against it. It's cmplex and needs legal brains behind it. Then there is the ridiculous cost of justice. (Consider the Carmichael case, and how that could have been done without the crowd funding).

      That book (of which I've never heard) sounds like it would be worth a read. Must get it.

      Abu. As a lawyer, would you say that justice is equally difficult to get for the ordinary person in Malaysia, when he/she is up against the state?

  4. Tris

    It's bloody awful what happened and how it was covered up but are any of us surprised.

    The McCrone Report, Belgrano, MPs exspenses, Saville, Chilcott, Birmingham 6, Orgreave during the Miners Strike, Unionists and Greenpeace being infiltrated and spied on, the list is endless.

    This country has a history of the few protecting their own interests or the establishment, we saw it in their actions during the referendum the lenghts they will go to. The fact this took 30 years to get to this point is a national shame and they had to be kicked and screaming to even hold an inquest. I feel for every single family, they deserved better, no one set out to deliberatly make the disaster happen but for the state to allow a cover up and the demonisation of the victims is unforgivable.

    I hate this country I really do. It disgusts me and is slowly unravelling before our eyes.


    1. I can't imagine how it must feel to have someone you love killed by police incompetence, or to have them slandered by self interested police, a self interested government, and then called drunks by the repugnant Bernard Ingham... the man with the purple nose of all purple noses.

      It's not something you can understand until you've been through it.

      Like you, though, I feel for them and like you, I hate Britain for its hypocrisy.