Yesterday the jury at the coroner's court enquiry into the deaths of 96 Liverpool FC fans at Hillsborough stadium found that they had been unlawfully killed. This should have come as no surprise to anyone who had followed reports either at the time, or over the intervening 27 years, but it is a major victory for the families of the bereaved. The court has acknowledged that the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their kin had been systematically covered up and lied about by the police. Again this should come as no surprise.
To understand the circumstances surrounding the coverup, it's first necessary to understand the relationship between the Conservative government, the police, and the city of Liverpool. Margaret Thatcher government had a relationship with the police of the day so unhealthy that it bordered on corrupt. Police became overtly political. At the same time, the city of Liverpool was something of a bête noire for the government. It was the red socialist thorn in the steely paw of monetarist theory. Make no mistake about this: the establishment hated the popularity of left wing politics in Liverpool. It was well understood at the time, and has persisted amongst the right even to this day. Denigrating the city is still a dog whistle, a half-remembered ancestral response among certain commentators.
So if some of the police of the day allowed those 96 people to die, or even caused their deaths, it was never going to be a big deal. After all, the dead were only Scousers. The thin blue line had their protection. Thankfully, some small modicum of justice has at last been served, and it seems like this protection might finally be stripped away.
This is something the people of Liverpool have always known. They have known that they were at odds with the establishment, and that institutional corruption has led to 27 years of lies about that fateful day. They have known precisely who it was who tried to deny them justice for 27 years: the Conservative party, the Murdoch press, and their allies in the South Yorkshire police. They have borne the slurs, the lies, the schemes and machinations of these parties for a generation without ever losing hope, because they came that most unfashionable of things. They became a community. And outside St. George's Hall in Liverpool they came together and sang the song that has become the city's anthem. Taken from today's Channel 4 news broadcast, here is the city of Liverpool singing You'll Never Walk Alone
There is such thing as society.The City of Liverpool - You'll Never Walk Alone(alt)