Thursday, 20 September 2012

Breasts matter more than human life

What do Kate Middleton or Kate Windsor as she is now know, and the Hillsborough football stadium disaster, in Sheffield, in April 1989, have in common? Very little on the face of it. Kate Middleton was seven years old and was living in Berkshire, when Hillsborough happened. The only thing they have in common is that both made the news in September 2012, in the same week, and both received disproportionate coverage to what they should have received.

On Wednesday 12th September 2012, the Hillsborough Independent Panel reported its findings on the disaster after a two year long inquiry. The panel was set up in 2010. It found that up to 41 of those who died that day might have survived had they received adequate emergency care. Only one ambulance was allowed through on to the pitch and the authorities were simply too slow to react. It was also revealed that South Yorkshire Police carried out a systematic cover-up to exonerate senior officers and took part in a smear operation to put the blame on fans for being drunk and violent. Hundreds of witness statements from officers on duty were significantly altered, including 116 which criticised the match-day police operation and its leadership.

Coroner Stefan Popper sanctioned the taking of blood samples from the dead to establish alcohol levels, the panel said, and the Police National Computer was used to check the pasts of some victims in an effort to "impugn the reputation of the deceased".

I came to the conclusion many years ago that the Police played a part in causing the Hillsborough disaster. The officers who went to aid and attend the dying and injured were not responsible. They must be praised, but guilty are Duckingfield and the top brass. I salute the bravery of those parents and campaigners on Merseyside who have, with their own money, and with little support in the media, and often with slurs against them cast, by the establishment, the police, often an unsympathetic national media and they received no help from any government. They fought and fought and fought and finally have got the truth to be published and stated. This is a true David v Goliath story.

When the tragedy happened, the Sun newspaper printed one of the most evil headlines in British newspaper history. They said that Liverpool fans urinated on the dead, stole from the dead and violent attacked brave policemen. Last week, after 23 and a half years, they finally did so along with Kelvin MacKenzie, who stood by the April 1989 headline in December 2006.

If I had lost a family member at Hillsborough, I personally would never forgive them for what they said or wrote. The Police, the Sun or MacKenzie. Irvine Patnick, the former MP for Sheffield Hallam, who also spread these lies, has apologised. He should be stripped of his knighthood. Boris Johnson has apologised for saying in 2004 that people in Liverpool wallow in a victim status. Michael Howard, the former Tory leader, forced him to go to Liverpool and apologise then. There has to be apologies from Sir Bernard Ingham who helped to spread their vicious lies. Duckenfield has to be prosecuted, as does anybody else involved in this disaster. It won't do for there to be some cover up where everything is moved upstairs to some secret committee and thus is a bland whitewash. A full, free, frank, independent public investigation is needed and only that will be sufficient now.

But still, you might argue or ask what does this have to do with Kate Middleton?

There have been photographs of Kate Middleton, topless, which were taken outside an house in France, by a zoom lense, last Thursday. I refer to it was Breastgate or Kategate, and it was reported in the national media last Friday, and provoked an intense controversy. It whipped up days of endless coverage and minutes of airtime, in the national media, day after day and sparked off debates. In contrast, coverage of the Hillsborough findings received one days coverage in the newspapers and national media. Apart from some coverage in the national newspapers, last Sunday it more or less died off.

Doesn't it say everything about the media today, when an event where 96 people died, which has had been covered up for 23 and a half years, and vicious and evil lies have been told and repeated about it during that time gets one days coverage whereas a photograph of somebody topless in France has had blanket coverage, which only stopped because of the terrible and tragic murder of two female police officers in Manchester on Tuesday 18th September 2012. If that had not happened, and we of course, wish it had not, then it is very likely the Breastgate or Kategate scandal would still be receiving pages and pages of coverage and minutes of airtime.

Perhaps I am being paranoid or just silly, BUT, I wouldn't be surprised if the blanket coverage of the breastgate or Kategate scandal was a conspiracy, by the national newspapers, to take public attention away from Hillsborough because it was embarrassing to the establishment and some of the Police. Not one bit.


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