Last week the people of Liverpool got a verdict about the 96 people who died at Hillsborough in 1989 that mainly gave them what they wanted. What they needed. But it’s not enough.
I didn’t know any of them, indeed I’m only a ‘New Scouser’, so all I recall of the disaster is the horror of what was reported at the time ‘down South’ and then not a lot. As a Londoner it wasn’t in my backyard, so meh.
As a recent migrant, a ‘New Scouser’, settling in Liverpool, I discovered, as I made friends, well, acquaintances, that this wasn’t just something that happened in 1989 and had been forgotten. Shame on me. Indeed, it was a living horror story, an evil extreme pain that wouldn’t stop its awful vicious hurting. I was shocked to see this and to realise how much these people were hurting. Why was this happening?
When it comes to these awful events, Liverpudlians, despite the faults and flaws they may have at other times, are an extremely tight family. An extremely wronged family. This is something that outsiders don’t even slightly appreciate. It is a magnificent strength that I’ve not seen anywhere else.
But then, of course, these 96 souls and their families, friends, loved ones, neighbours and colleagues, were so unfairly let down. Repeatedly. Again and again.
Instead of being allowed to rest in peace, there were lies and innuendo playing on the stereotyping Liverpudlians are long used to. Liverpudlians are paranoid, especially of ‘the South’, at the best of times. This time they not only had just cause to be, but ‘the South’, the establishment, really was against them. It wronged them again and again. How on earth was this allowed to happen?
Last week’s verdict shouldn’t give them closure, but should go some way to helping. They now know that none of the 96 were in the wrong. This verdict says that they were 100% victims. They were unlawfully killed.
But, by whom or by what? Somebody or some body is guilty. Nobody set out to kill the 96. But somebody or some body killed them.
That’s where it goes next. Who is guilty?
Plus, who was behind the hurtful lies, slurs, innuendo and deliberate moves to shift blame and cover-up the facts? This corruption has to be addressed. They must go to prison.
And finally, although nothing can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, these survivors need compensation.
This all needs to be done within 27 months. Taking 27 years to get to this point is disgusting and unforgivable.