Anyone watching it now on BBC2 now?
Just so awful and terrifying. So very sad.
Yes I saw it last week. Heartbreaking. Just awful.
Publishing the blood alcohol levels of children!
The cover up is so tragic and cruel and utterly unnecessary! Why cover it up, the truth always comes out!
Thank you for acknowledging gaggiagirl I know I should go to bed but am just transfixed at the injustice.
It is tiger and so pointless, so very damaging to add insult to injury.
If you have the itv hub, the drama called Hillsborough is on until tomorrow I think. Chris Eccleston is in it. I watched that too.
I've watched both the documentary and the Christopher Eccleston drama. Both so emotive, and shocking. So shocking.
The policemen interviewed who were basically told to lie - it's just awful. And those poor families watching it unfold on the television. The sheer panic they must have felt, this was in the days before mobile phones so they would have gone hours without any information.
And the police descriptions of what they saw by the fences really shocked me, I'd never thought of it in those terms before. I also couldn't get over the bodies just being laid in a gym, we live in a perfectly well developed country, those families should not have had to identify their loved ones from Polaroid photographs in a gym. It makes me so angry.
I'd never really put too much thought into it all before, I remember seeing a bit of it on the TV when I was little, but nothing much sunk in.
These two programs have really brought to life the agony those families have endured over the years. That bloody man who was in charge of the independent enquiry arrived in Liverpool and made some crass comment about Liverpudlians being late. They were never going to get a fair hearing. And then all those documents just slung into boxes in the basement of the Houses of Parliament (I think thats where it was) what's that all about?
I was outraged at the cover up. Totally and utterly unbelievable.
Never any excuse for cover up and lies, and I've not watched this, but does it take into account the context? There was lots of football hooliganism in those days and the Heysel stadium disaster four years earlier caused by fighting (again Liverpool) was still in people's minds. We're looking back at 1989 with 2016 eyes. Football stadiums were a different place then.
Awful. It left me with some questions.
Why did the police just stand there looking at the people?
Why were they climbing on the wall trying to stop people who were trying to escape? How could anyone fail to help when it was obvious what was happening?
Why didn't they open the gates at once? It was apparent that people were dying and some of these officers went on to have breakdowns. So why didn't they open the gates?
Why didn't the people at the back turn around and walk out again?
How is it possible that some people report 'walking swiftly' into the stadium (at the last minute) while other report being swept in, even to the point of entering backwards?
Why did the police tell ambulance drivers that they couldn't come in because they were 'still fighting' on the pitch? Were they genuinely unaware of what their colleagues were witnessing?
The altered police reports scandal was published ten years ago. So why did people say 'there isn't going to be a smoking gun' before the most recent inquiry (or like Cameron, they're looking in a dark room for something that isn't there)? Why didn't that discovery change things at once?
The Interim Taylor Report published in August 89, just 4 months after Hillsborough concluded that the main cause of the disaster was the failure of police control, opening the secondary gates and not delaying kick off. Added to this was the poor quality of terraces, inadequate crash barriers and the 'pen' system. Once the central pens were full no order was made to close off the tunnel and direct fans to the side pens. Fans were just allowed to pour down the tunnel....Perimeter fencing at the front meant to stop pitch invasions effectively became tombs. All of this was known 4 months after the disaster and we now know to be completely accurate. The truth was always out there.
Why were they climbing on the wall trying to stop people who were trying to escape? How could anyone fail to help when it was obvious what was happening? The police assumed it was an attempted pitch invasion as control tower didn't tell them what was happening
Why didn't they open the gates at once? It was apparent that people were dying and some of these officers went on to have breakdowns. So why didn't they open the gates?** There were fences between the pens and metal fences at the front. There wasn't the right equipment available at the ground to allow rapid cutting of these fences
Why didn't the people at the back turn around and walk out again?** They didn't know what was happening up front - there was nowhere to go backwards as the number of fans was too great for the turnstiles - a failing by the FA
How is it possible that some people report 'walking swiftly' into the stadium (at the last minute) while other report being swept in, even to the point of entering backwards?** Those walking swiftly may have been on the fringes, those swept up stuck in the centre
Why did the police tell ambulance drivers that they couldn't come in because they were 'still fighting' on the pitch? Were they genuinely unaware of what their colleagues were witnessing?** There were only a couple of officers at the whole ground with radios which made it difficult to spread the word as to what was actually happening - and this was with Duckenfield having already said the gate was forced by hooligans. Fighting was the default thought for an incident.
The altered police reports scandal was published ten years ago. So why did people say 'there isn't going to be a smoking gun' before the most recent inquiry (or like Cameron, they're looking in a dark room for something that isn't there)? Why didn't that discovery change things at once?** The scale of the falsified evidence was only uncovered in 2012 by the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report. The families and many other people tried at many points since 1989 to get them truth out but the police did a bloody good job of trying to bury it.
Did you actually watch the documentary?*
I wondered whether you had watched the documentary too Gonetoseeamanaboutad
I did watch the documentary and didn't watch the drama.
I hadn't put a couple of those points together, such as there being nowhere to go backwards and the 'hooligans forced the gates' lie leading to ambulance drivers being barred from the scene.
The 'why did the police stand and watch?' answer doesn't satisfy, though. The police who were talking on that documentary were keenly aware that people were dying - so aware that some of their lives were completely changed as a result. Even watching on the rather poor quality video footage, it is clear that people are being crushed (rather than attempting a pitch invasion) just feet from where the policemen are standing. The 'I didn't notice anyone dying' story doesn't tally with the 'I was so traumatised I had a breakdown' story. So I ask again, if they watching people die just inches from them, why on earth weren't they pulling people out?
Have just remembered that one policeman describing trying to pull people out but they were wedged too tightly together. What I mean is, why weren't all the police trying to help these people who were dying (from their own descriptions) quite horribly only inches from them?
On the footage, where it apparent that people are dying, they are standing halfway up the fence apparently admonishing (with finger wagging) people who are trying to escape by 'crowd surfing'.
Because what was happening was unthinkable. And although the police right up near the crush DID help the ones who formed the line in the middle clearly weren't expecting to see a crush, they expected a pitch invasion. Have you ever seen the famous experiment where a small group are so engrossed in their own actions that they don't notice or recall a man in a gorilla suit run around them? It's because it's so very different to what they're expecting, so the mind discounts it.
I'm assuming something similar happened. The police were fed a narrative about violent thugs, pitch invasions and dodgy Scousers, and they reacted initially to that.
I've no doubt that your average jobbing copper is just a normal person and doesn't want to see people hurt and dead and for those police that were there and DIDNT help, because they didn't know or couldn't see what was happening, that must be a terrible, terrible burden to live with.
I understand what you're saying and thank you for responding. It doesn't go far enough for me though. If you look at the footage, it is really really obvious that people are crushed and the police standing just in front of them are doing absolutely nothing, though I appreciate that some must have been doing something. It seems that, with the mindset you've described, they put those peoples lives second to 'losing control' and allowing it to look as if the perimeter line had been breached.
Anecdotally, one fan remembers tearing a board off the barrier to make a stretcher, only to have a policeman stand on top of it and say 'you can't destroy the stadium'.
Perhaps people are much more susceptible to carrying out atrocities (such as the inaction in this instance) if there is a mindset of 'they are dangerous things that must be controlled' than most of us realise.
It is still very hard to understand because these people were screaming for help and, by the policemen's own accounts clearly dying.
" It seems that, with the mindset you've described, they put those peoples lives second to 'losing control' and allowing it to look as if the perimeter line had been breached."
Yes but probably not consciously. And yes, with that groupthink, that's how atrocities occur - when the good man does nothing.
The brain seeks to normalise. A policeman at a footie match with thousands of Scousers (and the prejudice/perjorative that goes with that) sees a hoarding torn down and tries to stop them. Football fans smashing the stadium up fits the rhetoric of the time far better than a colossal police fuck-up, resulting in people dying.
The unthinkable happening in plain sight naturally does lead to mass denial and counter stories - after all how could ALL those police get it so wrong, how could ALL those Scousers be innocent?
To extrapolate further, how could millions of Jews, Poles and gypsies be systematically murdered, their assets seized, by a democratically elected government in a developed culture? How could an entire nation collude in such a way? It's unthinkable. Yet true.
I was thinking of that analogy too. Sometimes I fear we're forgetting the lessons of the second world war.
But there is something unspeakably evil about standing on that board in front of a dying man and I find it impossible to completely understand it as group think. As you say, there is always the possibility and the moral obligation in each one of us to be 'the good man' regardless of pressures.
That said, I'm sure some of the police have struggled under the burden of conscience since it happened and that must be difficult.
What dreadful things we are all capable of when we allow ourselves to see anyone as less than human. The parallel with refugees crammed into lorries, waste houses and tiny boats comes to mind.
This was the age of Thatcher. All football fans were 'hooligans' and needed to be treated like the animals they were. Herded into pens and imprisoned on terraces with perimeter fencing with spikes at the top to prevent pitch invasions. The media narrative emanating from the top was that they were sub-human, scum and were effectively paying to be treated like prisoners and demonised in the press.
Undoubtedly some fans did cause trouble but the vast majority just loved football and supporting their team. But all were tarred by the same brush.
Police are hierarchical and follow orders. There was no way that individual officers could have influenced the orders and I suspect once they realised what was going on they were overwhelmed by it. In fact it was the leaders in the general population who reacted quicker. Those fans who were natural leaders who started to rip down advertising boards - individual Police Officers helped as did other fans. Medics in the crowd came forward.
Once the Taylor Report came out the Police should have held their hands up and admitted their mistakes. But no that did not fit the political climate of the time and so it took the families another 27 years to get the justice that should have been theirs from the date that report was first published.
Luckily the landscape has changed beyond recognition - stadiums are now all-seated - perimeter fencing were removed almost straight away and safety is paramount with Stewards and Police in high attendance at big sporting events.
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