Hillsborough: Will the 96 get justice at last?

Nothing can undo the disgraceful cover-up of the Hillsborough disaster

Share

Revelations that the great Hillsborough cover-up has been broken, that at last there will be full exposure of attempts to obscure the detail of how and why 96 innocent people died more than 23 years ago, will create both expectancy and hope when relatives of the victims hear the first details of a report that we are told is exhaustive at Liverpool Cathedral this morning.

The expectancy is of the first proper accounting of the negligence and the inefficiency of the police and the emergency services which were so apparent to anyone who was present when a football field turned, on an afternoon of spring sunshine, into a killing field.

The hope is that is that for first time we will hear on official lips the word sorry.

A report that includes evidence of the doctoring of witness statements cannot bring back a single life of those lost so carelessly but it can make those relatives who have carried their hurt for so long feel that the fate of their loved ones has, finally, been recognised for what it was - not some unstoppable chain of misadventure, but a gross failure by those entrusted with the safety of the people.

You do not need to have lost a relative to feel this so intensely. It was sufficient to walk out on that field - as I did on that terrible afternoon - when there was no sight of an ambulances but just desperate pockets of fans fighting to save so many lives which were ebbing away before their eyes.

They were, presumably, these fans improvising stretchers out of advertising hoardings, the same ones who were accused of urinating on ambulance men and robbing the dead. Of all the lies and evasions of responsibility that day these were the most outrageous, and have inevitably lingered most poisonously, but the big and central one was that most blame could be attached to hooligan behaviour.

The report of Lord Taylor placed the burden of blame on the failures of the police - and no-one who was present to see the nightmare unfold could argue with that. Yet 21 years on, we still wait for that official atonement. We still wait for the word sorry.

That it may come today, so belatedly, is no reason for celebration. But this does not make in any less a requirement of decency - or a long over-due debt to the innocent dead.

 

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Senior Infrastructure Consultant

£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...

Public Sector Audit - Bristol

£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Banksy perfectly embodies our transitory age, but who cares? He is, most of all, an heroic anti-hero

Simon Kelner
 

It isn’t a proper rock gig if you don’t leave with your ears ringing

Chris Maume
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?