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New Hillsborough insult by former Sun editor is another kick in the teeth for victims and families seeking justice

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BY JOHN GUBBA

It really does beggar belief that Kelvin MacKenzie is seeking recompense from South Yorkshire Police because he says he has suffered “personal vilification for decades” as a result of the Sun newspaper’s discredited reporting of the Hillsborrough disaster.

Who does the former tabloid chief think he is? At a time when we should be supporting the demands for justice by the families of the 96 fans who died in April 1989, it is an insult of staggering proportions that the man whose newspaper helped support the cover-up that blamed the victims for their own death is seeking to line his own pockets.

MacKenzie. lest anyone forgets, was the editor who penned that offensive front page headline “The Truth” following the tragedy, claiming that Liverpool fans urinated on police officers resuscitating the dying and stole from the dead.

He did so ignoring desperate pleas not to run the headline from his own reporter Harry Arnold, who told the BBC: “When I saw the headline ‘The Truth’ I was aghast because that wasn’t what I’d written.”

The story was based on quotes distributed to all the national newspapers by a reputable Sheffield news agency. But the rest of Fleet Street made it clear they were allegations and none gave it anything like the prominence of the Sun’s story.

Now, writing in The Spectator,  MacKenzie is claiming he was the victim and he wants an “apology and recompense.” It is no surprise that his demands have sparked an angry response on Merseyside.

Sue Roberts, secretary of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, said: “The gall of that man to paint himself as a victim and for him to ask anybody for an apology – it beggars belief. He was responsible for a story which was part and parcel of a cover-up designed to blame innocent victims for the disaster. He is trying to turn the tables, he is trying to excuse his role in the cover-up and it stinks.”

McKenzie’s arrogance was highlighted by Channel 4’s Alex Thomson  last week when he unsuccessfully asked the former editor for an interview: “Mr Mackenzie explained he was in the middle of writing an article for The Spectator and did not wish to do a TV interview with me. He then added: “F*** off.”

The truth – it’s 23 years too late! But let’s finally give the victims of Hillsborough the respect and justice they deserve!

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Mirror-ing the infamous headline of 1989 when the Sun got it so badly wrong this time the truth about the outrageous cover-up that blamed the victims for their own death

Mirror-ing the infamous headline of 1989 when the Sun got it so badly wrong, this time the truth about the outrageous cover-up that blamed the victims for their own death

BY JOHN GUBBA

How the outrageous lies that were encouraged by Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government in the wake of the Hillsborough tragedy of 1989 have been covered up for so long is one of the biggest scandals of our lifetime.

Thank God that the Truth has finally come out. Now the demands for Justice will follow and it is time for the brave families who have campaigned for 23 years to be given the respect they deserve.

As Hillsborough Family Support Group campaigner Trevor Hicks, whose two daughters were among the 96 killed before the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, has said:  “It was a contrived, manipulated and vengeful and spiteful attempt to divert the blame.”

It is almost beyond belief that South Yorkshire Police and the Ambulance Service were allowed to cover up their gross negligence, in the full knowledge of the Tory government.

Many of us have never ever doubted that the establishment wronged the victims. But the scale of the scandal is breathtaking.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel found that South Yorkshire Police and the emergency services made “strenuous attempts” to deflect the blame for the crush onto victims. And the report found 116 police statements were “amended to remove or alter comments unfavourable to South Yorkshire Police”.

How the shameless Sun ignored The Truth and blamed the victims for their death

How the shameless Sun ignored The Truth and blamed the victims for their death back in 1989

For the Sun newsapaper to fuel the cover up with their outrageous claims that the victims were an unlawful bunch of drunks responsible for their own deaths is probably the biggest insult ever by any media organisation in history. It is no surprise that copies of Rupert Murdoch’s shameless rag are still being burnt on the streets of Merseyside.

Only now the truth is out has the newspaper’s editor Kelvin McKenzie finally had the decency to say sorry. But it is too late.  It is too late for the families who have spent most of their adult lives campaigning for justice. The damage has been done and the new revelations that 41 of the dead could have lived if the tragedy had been dealt with correctly only makes the pain worse.

The day of reckoning has arrived for the guilty men and women who tried to blame the victims for the tragedy, and then successfully covered up their failings with the tacit support of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

May the 96 who died at Hillsborough finally Rest In Peace.