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The Stirrer’s Talk-In Radio Blog (8)

UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARY

18-04-2009

Stirrer editor Adrian Goldberg reflects on the week’s biggest phone-in topic on his show at Talksport Towers – the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough Tragedy.

Apparently, there were groans at the producers meeting when it was suggested I might want to talk about Hillsborough – and specifically the issue of Justice For The 96.

“Hasn’t that been a bit overdone?” asked one hack. “Maybe you should focus on the question – is it time to move on?” suggested another. Yeah, right.

Being an arrogant sod – at least when it comes to radio phone-ins - I knew in my water that there was still unfinished business surrounding the death of 96 Liverpool supporters at that ill-fated FA Cup semi final two decades ago. And so it proved.

Part of the fuel for this particular fire comes from The Sun’s disgraceful front page article in the aftermath of the disaster – headlined, ironically, “The Truth”.

It claimed that drunken Liverpool fans (including some without tickets) were to blame after arriving late at the ground and trying to force their way in.

Others, it said, pickpocketed and urinated on the dead.

The paper’s editor at the time (and current columnist) Kelvin McKenzie still refuses to admit he was wrong – and sadly his prejudiced and inaccurate view still holds sway in the popouar imagination.

No matter that as Stirrer blogger Dave Woodhall pointed out, these myths were comprehensively demolished by Lord Justice Taylor’s report (see link here).

More uplifting was the gracious response of Liverpool supporters and other fans to the debate. They were thankful that even after all this time, the issue was still being aired and given decent discussion time.

Indeed, it spilled over into a second night’s discussion when supporters at the memorial service booed and jeered Gordon Brown’s emissary Andy Burnham.

Callers were split on whether this had been an appropriate response to a government minister paying his respects, but once again there was no shortage of opinion.

Time to move on? Not until one of the great injustices of recent social history has been addressed.

This week’s To Five Phone-In subjects

  1. Hillsborough
  2. Whistleblowers (Jacqui Smith, Damien Green and the nurse who was struck off)
  3. Are bad kids made by bad parents?
  4. Singing sensation Susan Boyle
  5. Carry On Movies (following the death of producer Peter Rogers)

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