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Tags Liverpool incidents , police misconduct charges , UK incidents

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Old 15th September 2012, 06:27 AM   #41
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Very true. The junior police were the people whose statements were falsified and whose evidence was disregarded. The trouble is, it's 23 years on. Most of the culpable senior ranks are going to have retired by now. Some of the juniors may be seniors themselves by now,which might colour their attitude. But more mundanely, the junior officers may simply not remember the details of who told them to do what, when, with enough clarity for that to be relied on at this late date.

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Old 15th September 2012, 06:39 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Read the report, why don't you? It's absolutely gripping.

The stadium was old and had been modified for various reasons over the years. It was an accident not just waiting to happen, but one which had already happened twice, just not so badly. That's a major point. The authorities were trying to claim they had no idea of the danger, which is quite a difficult trick to pull off when it had actually happened, most recently the previous year.

The event organisers are mixed up in it along with the police, though the major culpability seems to be with the police, to whom the organisers deferred. There is no evidence the fans did anything to contribute to the disaster. They weren't drunk, and they weren't violent, and they didn't storm the exit gate - all of which they were accused of doing by the police.

Travis, we know what happened. The story here is about the cover-up. The conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. This seems to involve the highest echelons of the hierarchy - the senior cops and the coroner and the expert witnesses. All colluded to blame the fans and conceal the culpability of the senior police. That's where the blood alcohol measurements come in. They were irrelevant, but the coroner ordered the tests to be done and then placed inordinate significance on levels which were essentially trivial in order to portray the victims as a rampaging drunken mob.

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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Cue ignorant reaction

YAY the fans, stadium designer and event organizers are all guilt free! It was entirely those bloody police who were at fault. They somehow violated laws of causality when they murdered people by testing them for alcohol in the morgue!
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Old 15th September 2012, 06:45 AM   #43
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Yeah, well, read the report anyway.

Here I go again. I read every bloody word of the report of the Shipman Inquiry, and a fair chunk of the appendices as well. I'm on page 199 of the Hillsborough report right now. I don't know why I find this quite so fascinating.

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Old 15th September 2012, 09:27 AM   #44
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I only vaguely remember reading about this; it wasn't covered extensively in the States and what coverage there was focused on the "drunken hooligan" aspect of the story. Apparently, though, there is much more to the story, and I certainly hope that those responsible for the cover-up are held accountable to the fullest extent.
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Old 15th September 2012, 09:34 AM   #45
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Goodness, JHunter, are you really acknowledging that there might have been a coverup? Even a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice?

What changed?

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Old 15th September 2012, 10:50 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by jhunter1163 View Post
Apparently, though, there is much more to the story, and I certainly hope that those responsible for the cover-up are held accountable to the fullest extent.
It's rarely, regrettably, the British Way. The "old-boys-club" mentality generally prevails.
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Old 15th September 2012, 11:04 AM   #47
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Can anyone answer this: the report says the ground lacked a safety certificate. Which authority was responsible for issuing these certificates, on what grounds was the certificate refused and why was football being played at a stadium without a current safety certificate?
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Old 15th September 2012, 11:17 AM   #48
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The safety certificate was historical, and had not been renewed subsequent to material alterations to the stands (in particular the installation of the radial pen fencing). I don't know if that amounts to not having a certificate or not.

Which page are you on?

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Old 15th September 2012, 01:48 PM   #49
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Shock horror The police and local authorities lie.
All those still alive who were in positions of authority concerning the tragedy should be bought to account...
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Old 15th September 2012, 02:12 PM   #50
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Shock horror, the police lie. Indeed, shock horror to many people posting in threads discussing miscarriages of justice.

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Old 15th September 2012, 10:09 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The safety certificate was historical, and had not been renewed subsequent to material alterations to the stands (in particular the installation of the radial pen fencing). I don't know if that amounts to not having a certificate or not.

Which page are you on?

Rolfe.
I have been dotting about, rather than reading straight through.

I find odd the concept of a system of safety certification that everyone is free to disregard. You would think it would invalidate their insurance or something like that. Come to think of it, I wonder what level of insurance the club had to carry, how the insurers themselves assessed the premiums and what conditions the policy contained.
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Old 16th September 2012, 01:44 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I have been dotting about, rather than reading straight through.

I find odd the concept of a system of safety certification that everyone is free to disregard. You would think it would invalidate their insurance or something like that. Come to think of it, I wonder what level of insurance the club had to carry, how the insurers themselves assessed the premiums and what conditions the policy contained.
Weren't many stadiums in a poor state back then (see Bradfod fire)?
I'm sure you wouldn't have to push it too deep to see that many of the institutions -like the FA- responsible with the venue's security failed to enforce their own regulations about certificates and what not.

Something that was not exclusive to the UK at the time, judging by the Heysel tragedy or what happened at Furiani, France in 1992 (The Bastia club, in Corsica, added a temporary stand for receiving an expected cup semi against the Olympique de Marseille. The construction was shoddy and the stand crashed under the weight of the audience: 18 deaths and more than 2000 injuries...).

As much as I may whine about how the UEFA or FIFA are pushing for unnecessary stadium construction, it's difficult to blame them for tighter health & safety standards.
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Old 16th September 2012, 02:39 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Laeke View Post
Weren't many stadiums in a poor state back then (see Bradfod fire)?
I'm sure you wouldn't have to push it too deep to see that many of the institutions -like the FA- responsible with the venue's security failed to enforce their own regulations about certificates and what not.

Something that was not exclusive to the UK at the time, judging by the Heysel tragedy or what happened at Furiani, France in 1992 (The Bastia club, in Corsica, added a temporary stand for receiving an expected cup semi against the Olympique de Marseille. The construction was shoddy and the stand crashed under the weight of the audience: 18 deaths and more than 2000 injuries...).

As much as I may whine about how the UEFA or FIFA are pushing for unnecessary stadium construction, it's difficult to blame them for tighter health & safety standards.
Andy Burnham, the politician who ordered the Independent Hillsborough Report, was on the radio this morning saying the lack of a safety certificate was the key fact in the whole thing, which makes it odd that, admittedly on a cursory reading so far, I have not found a proper exposition of this issue.

He also told an interesting story of being in the crowd at an FA cup 3rd round tie in the Leppings Lane end (supporting Everton) the year before the disaster. He said he had not seen a single minute of the second half because he was crushed tight against his father and sister and could only see the backs of their heads. One of the points the report emphasises is SWFC's resistance to suggestions that the capacity be reduced.

I was once briefly in a similar situation leaving a football match in Cardiff. We were outside the ground after the game and the throng of fans had to pass between two coaches, which made the way narrower. In between the two coaches the pressure was tremendous. At some moments you could take your feet off the ground and be held up by the fans around you and then there would be intense pressure waves which prevented breathing and were very frightening - and we were just passing between two coaches with a pressure release a few yards ahead of us.

I agree with Burnham btw. that things are far safer now. I attend matches at Fulham and there is simply no comparison to the old days. The fans themselves are much better behaved, the all-seater stadium prevents surges or over-crowding and the whole atmosphere is a world away from what it used to be. I said upthread the polce were more concerned with order than safety at Hillsborough but that was unfair because order is an element of safety and a significant minority used to compromise everyone else's safety in those days, ironically providing cover for the smears we are discussing. Now it's great to see so many women and kids at the games. It's really completely different.
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Old 16th September 2012, 04:02 AM   #54
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I was at Celtic Park that day and there was a crush leaving the ground with a few minor injuries. Such was the frequency of such events I doubt it would have been reported even if the tradgedy at Sheffield hadn't occured. The only ground at that time that was safe was Ibrox - and that cost 66 lives.
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Old 16th September 2012, 04:02 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I feel a little bit sorry for The Sun as they ran the story based partly on information from four senior police officers. They have now apologised and I hope they use their clout to make sure the police responsible for the lies told after the disaster get soundly punished.
I have no sympathy for the Sun. According to a sub-editor interviewed a couple of days ago, there was considerable scepticism about the accuracy of the information received from the senior police officers but Kelvin Mackenzie insisted on running the story "as is" because it was the story he wanted to publish.

Other newspapers bothered to dispatch some reporters to the scene and ended up with a more accurate picture.

Kelvin Mackenzie's apology was the kind of non-apology that Michael Schumacher has made in the past. His apology was essentially "I'm sorry that the information I received from reliable sources turned out to be inaccurate so whaddaya gonna do ?"

That's why the apology didn't go down well.
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Old 16th September 2012, 04:29 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I have no sympathy for the Sun. According to a sub-editor interviewed a couple of days ago, there was considerable scepticism about the accuracy of the information received from the senior police officers but Kelvin Mackenzie insisted on running the story "as is" because it was the story he wanted to publish.

Other newspapers bothered to dispatch some reporters to the scene and ended up with a more accurate picture.

Kelvin Mackenzie's apology was the kind of non-apology that Michael Schumacher has made in the past. His apology was essentially "I'm sorry that the information I received from reliable sources turned out to be inaccurate so whaddaya gonna do ?"

That's why the apology didn't go down well.
I completely agree with this. Kelvin Mackenzie deserves nothing but contempt imho. He can apologise as much as he likes. He was editing something calling itself a newspaper. Newspapers are written by journalists and journalism is supposed to be a profession. Swallowing, without independently checking, stories from vested interests, publishing them as ' the truth' is a complete dereliction of his profession, having the same moral quality as the cops doctoring witness statements.
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Old 16th September 2012, 05:12 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by commandlinegamer View Post
The desire for justice for the 96 victims has not been diminished by the previous incomplete, inaccurate or even made up inquiries: I don't think this is over by a long shot.
I'm very doubtful that any action will be taken against those who gave dubious expert evidence. There are too many previous examples of this happening, for example James Cameron: twice censured by Royal Commissions.

Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I have been dotting about, rather than reading straight through.

I find odd the concept of a system of safety certification that everyone is free to disregard. You would think it would invalidate their insurance or something like that. Come to think of it, I wonder what level of insurance the club had to carry, how the insurers themselves assessed the premiums and what conditions the policy contained.
From the report:
Quote:
During this period [1981-87] the Leppings Lane terrace underwent a series of significant modifications and alterations, none of which led to a revised safety certificate.
Quote:
While safety was the responsibility of stadium owners, they were required to comply with national guidelines and to obtain safety certificates based on regular inspections from local authorities. All modifications were subject to agreement between owners, structural engineers and local authorities in consultation with other agencies, including the police, fire and ambulance services
Quote:
Sheffield City Council had a statutory duty to issue, monitor and revise the stadium’s safety certificate. LJ Taylor found that SWFC and the Council failed in their respective duties as the safety certificate ‘took no account of the 1981 and 1985 alterations to the ground’. In fact, the certificate in force was issued in 1979 and had not been updated. There was no FA procedure for checking its validity. In conclusion, LJ Taylor considered the ‘performance by the City Council of its duties in regard to the Safety Certificate … inefficient and dilatory’.
There's more information in the 'Certification for Hillsborough' section and subsequent sections, pages 66 onwards.
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Last edited by catsmate; 16th September 2012 at 05:16 AM. Reason: Forgot to reply to commandlinegamer's point.
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Old 16th September 2012, 08:24 AM   #58
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I don't understand any of this. I get that opening the big exit gate is what caused the disaster. It doesn't seem to have been done in a criminal or even malice manner. Why couldn't the police just admit they messed up rather than put the victim's and their families through so much grief?
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Old 16th September 2012, 08:55 AM   #59
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It wasn't so much opening the exit gate that caused the disaster, as failing to close the entrance to the tunnel at the same time.

Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Why couldn't the police just admit they messed up rather than put the victim's and their families through so much grief?

Because they were fallible human beings in a position of authority. They screwed up very badly, and 96 people died as a result. So they went into damage limitation mode, instituted a cover-up, and set up a deliberate line of attack with the aim of blaming the victims.

In this they were immensely aided by the local Coroner, who massaged the medical evidence to suit the police, and several expert witnesses who dutifully produced reports showing what the police had told them they would like to have shown.

To be honest, Alt+F4, I think you need to shake off this mindset that authority is always right and would never do anything dishonest, and that anyone who suspects police or other official misconduct is a conspiracy theorist. There are multiple examples of this sort of thing.

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Old 16th September 2012, 09:38 AM   #60
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Thanks Catsmate. I will look at that. I have been thinking about other safety regimes involving safety certification and gas safety certificates come to mind. If a landlord doesn't get one it's no big deal - until one of his tenants dies from asphyxia when it's manslaughter, ruin and several years in prison, just as it would have been for some if the truth had come out in 1989, which is why it didn't.
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Old 16th September 2012, 09:42 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
To be honest, Alt+F4, I think you need to shake off this mindset that authority is always right and would never do anything dishonest, and that anyone who suspects police or other official misconduct is a conspiracy theorist.
I guess I have that mindset because I work for the government and would never, in a thousand years, do anything to cause harm (in any form) to anyone in the discharge of my professional duties.

As for Hillsborough, wouldn't it have been easier for the police and ambulance corps. to have just admitted at the time they were wrong, mistaken and made very poor choices?
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Old 16th September 2012, 10:21 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
As for Hillsborough, wouldn't it have been easier for the police and ambulance corps. to have just admitted at the time they were wrong, mistaken and made very poor choices?
Several people had failed systematically in their duty, on several years. The police, certainly the Football Association and numerous other people... and all this despite the issues of crowd-control and safety deficit in stadiums having been brought to the forelight 4 years earlier (and coincidentally shaming the whole country).

In more ways than one, it was actually easier to sell the narrative of the football fans being at it again. Considering the times, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the first thing some thought upon hearing about it, to be fair.
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Old 16th September 2012, 10:44 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
I guess I have that mindset because I work for the government and would never, in a thousand years, do anything to cause harm (in any form) to anyone in the discharge of my professional duties.

And I'm sure there are many others like you. However, you honestly have to be living in a cave not to realise that there are self-serving duplicitous jobsworths out there, and scum like that have a tendency to rise to the top.

Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
As for Hillsborough, wouldn't it have been easier for the police and ambulance corps. to have just admitted at the time they were wrong, mistaken and made very poor choices?

No, not really. Consider. It worked for 23 years. That's a long time in the span of the career of someone who is already in a senior management position. Time enough to retire and get a nice pension. In fact, they won't have believed they'd ever be held to account. It wasn't supposed to work that way.

This is a good article discussing these issues.

Now that we know the truth about Hillsborough ... what's to be done when liars infest the corridors of power?

Originally Posted by Ian Bell
Class is the reason the conspirators got away with it, and got away with it for so long.

Rank incompetence killed 96 people at Sheffield Wednesday's ground in April 1989: that much has been clear for long enough. But those were not just any people. They were football fans, Liverpudlians, mostly young, and mainly working class. You could say what you liked about them.

You could say it, and law-abiding readers of sanctimonious newspapers were always liable to believe it. Hooligans in waiting? By definition. Crazed with drink? As always. Capable of robbing the dead or of urinating on heroes struggling to save lives? Scum like that are capable of anything.

The real scum were in uniform that April day, but they understood the assumptions and the prejudices well enough. British society runs on them. Who would ever trust the word of football-supporting yobs over an MP with a knighthood, or a distinguished chap with braid on his cap? With public trust comes licence, eternal and unchallenged, to abuse the public's trust. What are the mere public, after all? [....]

The conspirators understood all this. They understood, what with their power, their badges of rank and authority, that they ran little risk of being challenged. They understood the uses of deference, why it is held to be necessary and why, in Britain, it is promoted ceaselessly. That's also why, on these islands, even our cover-ups have cover-ups.

Many people are shocked, but they are shocked for different reasons. Some are appalled because those with a duty to protect the public and uphold the law failed miserably in the first task and ignored the second. Evidence of the failure was tampered with on a massive scale. The dead, unable to respond, were defamed. In effect, they were wrongfully convicted to protect reputations and careers. Honest people are shocked by that.

The less honest you can spot them easily enough are dismayed that the truth is out, finally. They worry that the public might begin to catch on. Perhaps the commonality will begin to notice that there is a pattern to these things. People might even start to realise that all the promised remedies bring no relief. How many years did it take for the facts of Bloody Sunday to emerge? When will the truth be told about the decision to join the Iraq war? How many conspiracies against the public interest by bankers, politicians, cops, tabloids and tycoons does it take?

This is just the latest in a procession of these cases. The cops insist that things have changed, but the evidence of knee-jerk cover-up in the Jean Charles de Menezes and Ian Tomlinson cases gives the lie to that.

Channel 4 did an article about this a few days ago. In the middle they included Lockerbie as one of the examples of screw-up and cover-up that was still waiting to see the light of day. You might think about that for a few minutes.

Rolfe.
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Old 16th September 2012, 10:59 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
I guess I have that mindset because I work for the government and would never, in a thousand years, do anything to cause harm (in any form) to anyone in the discharge of my professional duties.

As for Hillsborough, wouldn't it have been easier for the police and ambulance corps. to have just admitted at the time they were wrong, mistaken and made very poor choices?
But you are displaying the mindset in a mild form.

It's not whether you would actively do harm - it's what position you would take in the event of possible (but not initially definitely proven) misconduct (whether of commission or omission) on the part of a co-worker (who might well be a good friend) between the extremes of "Caesar's wife" and "my colleagues, right or wrong".

As to admitting a mistake - yes it would have been; but hierarchical authoritarian organisations value honour over integrity and will always prefer being convicted, so to speak, of malice after a protracted fight than admit incompetence up front. It's "better a dead lion than a live donkey - because by fighting and winning you get to be a live lion and anybody who wants a fight had better be prepared for a long and hard one"

ETA - on the subject of cover ups. Ludovic Kennedy, speaking of the Profumo/Keeler/Ward scandal said something to the effect that when the British Establishment decides to close ranks, there is never any need for battalion orders: everybody knows what needs to be done and can be trusted to act on their own initiative to do their own part.
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Old 16th September 2012, 11:36 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Consider. It worked for 23 years. That's a long time in the span of the career of someone who is already in a senior management position. Time enough to retire and get a nice pension. In fact, they won't have believed they'd ever be held to account. It wasn't supposed to work that way.
My belief is that the truth will always come out...eventually. What would have happened if the police, ambulance corps. and others had come clean at the time? Reprimand, demotion? Isn't that better than orchestrating a massive cover up? Decades of lies is a difficult burden to bare, unless all involved are sociopaths, which I find difficult to believe.
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Old 16th September 2012, 11:53 AM   #66
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Whether you or I think it would have been better and/or easier to have been completely open from the start, that's factually not what happened. Factually, the SYP ran a top-down, orchestrated cover-up, involving lying and fabrication of evidence on an industrial scale. Factually, the Coroner, expert witnesses and certain newspapers colluded in this.

It's not the first such example (look at the Birmingham Six and Bloody Sunday among others), and it won't be the last. We know the same approach was taken with the Jean Charles de Menezes and Ian Tomlinson killings. The Harry Stanley killing is also almost certainly another example, with an extra serving of "blame the victim" in that one.

This is why I and others find your implacable rejection of suggestions of police cover-up and misconduct in other suspected miscarriage of justice cases to be so ill-conceived. There is extremely good evidence of police misconduct in both the Amanda Knox and the Lockerbie investigations, but your invariable response is to stick your fingers in your ears and refuse to look. You constantly assert that a court verdict is invariably right, and nobody should question it.

History gives the lie to that. It is only by concerned and informed members of the public making damn nuisances of themselves that inquiries like the Bloody Sunday and Hillsborough ones get set up in the first place. The biggest friends of the bent cop are people like yourself who shout "conspiracy theory, not listening!" whenever someone questions an official story.

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Old 16th September 2012, 11:53 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by anglolawyer View Post
I completely agree with this. Kelvin Mackenzie deserves nothing but contempt imho. He can apologise as much as he likes. He was editing something calling itself a newspaper. Newspapers are written by journalists and journalism is supposed to be a profession. Swallowing, without independently checking, stories from vested interests, publishing them as ' the truth' is a complete dereliction of his profession, having the same moral quality as the cops doctoring witness statements.
Another little vignette from the same rag in the same year as the Hillsborough tragedy: in the autumn it came out that the 4 people convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombing had nothing to do with it, and they were freed amid huge publicity. This coincided with an ambulance drivers' strike, and police officers stood in to drive the ambulances.

The Sun's opinion column at the time showed their partisanship: "our police take a lot of criticism these days. But how many of the Guildford Four were driving ambulances in London yesterday?"
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:08 PM   #68
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I think my brain just seized up. That's despicable. These young people languished in jail for about 15 years for something they didn't do, having been convicted on false evidence invented by the police or beaten out of the suspects while in custody. But that's fine because some other police were assigned to drive ambulances one day, and the hapless victims of police brutality weren't. Apparently.

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Old 16th September 2012, 12:17 PM   #69
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I think that people act in their own self interests and in this particular case the best act of self interest would be for those who allowed this disaster to happen to just say, "yeah, we f-ed up". Since there was no criminal intent I doubt there would have been much more than a slap on the wrist....unless there was/is something else going on with that particular police force that I'm not getting.
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:25 PM   #70
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Whether you're right about that isn't the point, though. They didn't do that. They lied and covered up and blamed the victims. They actually did that.

If we'd been discussing this a few years ago, and some posters had pointed to the limited evidence that was already out there that that was what had happened, and expressed the opinion that the cops had been dishonest and deceitful to cover their own backsides, would you have dismissed that argument? I think you would. I think you would have said just what you're saying now - that you don't think that would have been a sensible thing to do, therefore it didn't happen.

Welcome to the real world.

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Old 16th September 2012, 12:30 PM   #71
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Over on the Guardian CiF page, posters are pointing out the police lies and dirty tricks that were used against Scottish Nationalists in the 1950s to 70s.

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I AGREE

The British state and its henchmen "do what they have to do" to protect the establishment. The sooner we're out of there the better.

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Old 16th September 2012, 12:33 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Over on the Guardian CiF page, posters are pointing out the police lies and dirty tricks that were used against Scottish Nationalists in the 1950s to 70s.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

The British state and its henchmen "do what they have to do" to protect the establishment. The sooner we're out of there the better.

Rolfe.
The British police, it is now clear, exist for the sole and exclusive purpose of repressing the working class. Scotland has a working class that needs repressing just as much, if not more, than their southern counterparts.
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:37 PM   #73
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I'm a New York City public school teacher of high school and a life long New Yorker, so yeah, I understand the real world. What I don't understand is people going against their own self interests to carry on a cover up that would certainly one day be uncovered. I understand that they did do it, I just can't imagine why. Why hurt so many people, including themselves?

Most of my family work for The City of New York. Those that work for the fire department retire when they can because they understand that eventually, everyone's luck runs out. Didn't those who conspired in this cover up realize the same thing? Maybe I was wrong in my previous post, perhaps this is a case of widespread sociopathy.
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:43 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
This is why I and others find your implacable rejection of suggestions of police cover-up and misconduct in other suspected miscarriage of justice cases to be so ill-conceived. There is extremely good evidence of police misconduct in both the Amanda Knox and the Lockerbie investigations, but your invariable response is to stick your fingers in your ears and refuse to look. You constantly assert that a court verdict is invariably right, and nobody should question it.
Madam, you do not know me. My opinions regarding Knox and Lockerbie do not say that I, "constantly assert that a court verdict is correct". If you want to know my options, please feel free to come to Queens, sit on my sofa and listen to...all...of them.
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:53 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Maybe I was wrong in my previous post, perhaps this is a case of widespread sociopathy.

I think actually you're wrong in believing that these people must inevitably have known that they couldn't cover this up forever. For many people, it is a valid strategy to cross each bridge as you come to it, and remain optimistic that each bridge will prove to be negotiable.

I don't think they cared about the people they were hurting because they saw Liverpool football fans and their families as some sort of sub-human low-life, rather than as the very public they were paid to protect.

I think the message from this and similar affairs is that official misconduct can and does happen, no matter how much that may seem to some people to be against the perpetrators' self-interest. The best friends of these miscreants are the people who "see no evil, hear no evil" and insist that the official line must be accepted.

We as sceptics must understand that we should be led by the evidence, not by preconceptions that someone "just wouldn't do that". If everyone were to declare that the Great and the Good must not be challenged, and we as the mere hoi polloi should never presume to examine the evidence for ourselves, then they will indeed get away with it in perpetuity.

The Bloody Sunday and the Hillsborough inquiries didn't come out of nowhere. They came out of many years of campaigning by people who had been hurt and their friends. Campaigning by people who knew the evidence, and knew what it pointed to. People you would have dismissed as conspiracy theorists, I suspect.

Don't base your judgement on assuming that everyone is as pure-minded as you are. Examine the evidence with an open mind, and base your judgement on that.

Rolfe.
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:55 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
I'm a New York City public school teacher of high school and a life long New Yorker, so yeah, I understand the real world. What I don't understand is people going against their own self interests to carry on a cover up that would certainly one day be uncovered. I understand that they did do it, I just can't imagine why. Why hurt so many people, including themselves?

Most of my family work for The City of New York. Those that work for the fire department retire when they can because they understand that eventually, everyone's luck runs out. Didn't those who conspired in this cover up realize the same thing? Maybe I was wrong in my previous post, perhaps this is a case of widespread sociopathy.
This is ridiculously naive.
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:58 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
Madam, you do not know me. My opinions regarding Knox and Lockerbie do not say that I, "constantly assert that a court verdict is correct". If you want to know my options, please feel free to come to Queens, sit on my sofa and listen to...all...of them.

You're right, I don't know you in real life. I expect I'd like to, if I ever was in New York, which is rather unlikely.

I base my judgement on observing your forum posts, and observing that in just about every thread where a miscarriage of justice is being discussed, you appear and take the line that the convicted person must be guilty because the court said so. I don't ever remember you actually discussing the evidence at all, or at least not in anything approaching depth.

So yes, I do think that reports such as Hillsborough are relevant in this context. Examine the evidence, don't just assume that all suggestions of official misconduct are "conspiracy theories".

Rolfe.
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Old 16th September 2012, 12:58 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm currently on page 95. Shocking, and yet in a way I'm not even slightly surprised. Bloody Sunday, the Birmingham Six, Harry Stanley, Jean Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson. The police have repeatedly shown themselves to be primarily concerned with covering their own backsides, and willing to lie and distort the truth to do that.

Rolfe
They have had a tendency to be a corrupt bunch, yes. However, they have also repeatedly shown themselves to be fine public servants who often put their lives on the line to protect law abiding citizens.
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Old 16th September 2012, 01:00 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Alt+F4 View Post
My belief is that the truth will always come out...eventually. What would have happened if the police, ambulance corps. and others had come clean at the time? Reprimand, demotion? Isn't that better than orchestrating a massive cover up? Decades of lies is a difficult burden to bare, unless all involved are sociopaths, which I find difficult to believe.
Those involved would not have seen this as a massive cover up. They are not sociopaths. They are senior managers in a job which gets regular criticism a lot of the time for much of what it does, often damned if they do, damned if they don't. They are used to dealing with those who have hindsight on their side, which you get at courts everyday. They are used to dealing with what they would see as damage limitation and protecting the image of the police.

Then there is the issue of scapegoats, the police tend not to do that. They do not pin the blame and hang one officer out to dry as a sacrifice for errors. They do close ranks and to an extent think, there by the grace of God go I.

This time they went OTT, and blamed innocent people, but there are many other incidents from missing persons enquiries to murder investigations where mistakes are made and the police try not to let on what happened.

Indeed, I suspect that the police on that day are haunted and racked by guilt over what happened.
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Old 16th September 2012, 01:03 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Undesired Walrus View Post
They have had a tendency to be a corrupt bunch, yes. However, they have also repeatedly shown themselves to be fine public servants who often put their lives on the line to protect law abiding citizens.
That is very true, the police are a very good example to use when explaining the meaning of cognitive dissonance .
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