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
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.
“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)
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.
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.