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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 March 2012

Smear campaign on Hillsborough?

John Cosgrove

Football rivalry is common in Liverpool between Liverpool and Everton supporters.

But fans stand shoulder to shoulder on the Hillsborough disaster of 1989. So recent "revelations" on Hillsborough have been greeted with anger.

A leaked document says that the then chief constable Sir Kenneth Oxford told Margaret Thatcher's aide, within days of Hillsborough, that the main cause of the tragedy that cost 96 lives was that Liverpool fans were "drunk" and "ticketless." He hadn't attended the game nor did he carry out any investigation in the days that followed.

These were lies and factually incorrect comments. The inquiry found the disaster's major cause was South Yorkshire Police's failings in crowd control. The media in the past tried to shift the blame from poor policing to the fans. As the inquiry found that Liverpool fans were not to blame for what happened, who was?

No individual has ever been named as having a responsibility or duty of care.

The panel from the inquiry sifted through over 400,000 government documents on Hillsborough and many are still to be examined. So Merseyside people wonder why our chief of police's feeling that it was Liverpool fans' faults has been leaked? An attempted smear campaign?

Prominent public figures will surely be named in the documents. So the one leak from 400,000 that blames the fans is publicised.

In 1989 we called for a labour movement inquiry to determine who really was to blame, and we are still determined to win justice for the 96.

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In The Socialist 21 March 2012:


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