Quote from Boris Johnson The Spectator 2004

‘The deaths of more than 50 Liverpool football supporters at Hillsborough in 1989 was undeniably a greater tragedy than the single death, however horrible, of Mr Bigley; but that is no excuse for Liverpool’s failure to acknowledge, even to this day, the part played in the disaster by drunken fans at the back of the crowd who mindlessly tried to fight their way into the ground that Saturday afternoon. The police became a convenient scapegoat, and the Sun newspaper a whipping-boy for daring, albeit in a tasteless fashion, to hint at the wider causes of the incident

Boris Johnson has since apologised but the quote above was published in a newspaper The Spectator in 2004 when he was the newspaper’s editor

Boris Johnson was at the time shadow minister for the arts and vice-chairman of the Conservative party, ran the editorial after the death of Kenneth Bigley, an engineer from Liverpool who was killed in Iraq after being held hostage.

96 men, women and children died at Hillsborough on the 15 April 1989

Ken Bigley

Via Wikipedia

Kenneth John “Ken” Bigley was a British civil engineer who was kidnapped in the al-Mansour district of Baghdad, Iraq, on 16 September 2004, along with his colleagues Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong, both United States citizens. Wikipedia

Born: 22 April 1942, Liverpool
Died: 7 October 2004, Latifiya, Iraq
Spouse: Sombat Bigley 

Not making any political statement here. The ballot box decides winners, not me. The above quote from Boris Johnson (top of page) however, is currently flying around the internet as a meme, as if it’s still current news.

THE BLURB

This is the definitive, unique account of the disaster in which 96 men, women and children were killed, hundreds injured and thousands traumatised. It details the appalling treatment endured by the bereaved and survivors in the immediate aftermath, the inhumanity of the identification process and the vilification of fans in the national and international media.

In 2012, Phil Scraton was primary author of the ground-breaking report published by the Hillsborough Independent Panel following its new research into thousands of documents disclosed by all agencies involved. Against a backdrop of almost three decades of persistent struggle by bereaved families and survivors, in this new edition he reflects on the Panel’s in-depth work, its revelatory findings and their unprecedented impact – an unreserved apology from the Prime Minister; new criminal investigations; the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s largest-ever inquiry; the quashing of 96 inquest verdicts; a review of all health and pathology policies. Paving the way for truth recovery and institutional accountability in other controversial cases, he details the process and considers the impact of the longest ever inquests, from the preliminary hearings to their comprehensive, devastating verdicts.

Powerful, disturbing and harrowing, Hillsborough: The Truth exposes the institutional complacency that led to the unlawful killing of the 96, revealing how the interests of ordinary people are marginalised when those in authority sacrifice truth and accountability to protect their reputations.

Reviews

“This book is dynamite. A brilliant achievement, a real page-turner” (Jimmy McGovern)

“A painful but compelling read . . . an impressive amount of new information [which] should be compulsory reading for everybody in football” (The Sunday Times)

“I read this book in a fog of anger . . . A scarcely believably story of incompetence and mendacity” (The Independent)

“It cannot fail to make anyone who reads it feel shocked and furious” (Sunday Mirror)

“An invaluable summary of the availably evidence” (When Saturday Comes)

Book Description

Published to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, which took place on 15 April 1989

The author Phil Scraton

Photo via Liverpool Echo

Phil Scraton is Professor of Criminology at Queen’s University, Belfast. His latest books are Power, Conflict and Criminalisation and The Violence of Incarceration.

Biography via Wikipedia

Phil Scraton (born 3 May 1949) is a critical criminologist, academic and author. He is a social researcher, known particularly for his investigative work into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. More recently, he was a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and headed its research. Currently he is Professor Emeritus, School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, and Director of the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative.[1]

His research includes the investigation of and inquiry into controversial deaths, most notably the Hillsborough disaster on 15 April 1989 in which 96 football fans were crushed to death. He has also researched deaths in custody, the marginalisation and criminalisation of children and young people, the politics of imprisonment, and the analysis of disasters and their impact on the bereaved and survivors.[2]

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