13 September 2012

I'm Very Sorry, It Was His Fault

As the new Hillsborough evidence is made public, Kelvin MacKenzie has "profusely apologised" for The Sun's infamous "Truth" article, printed shortly after the tragedy. So, just how "profuse" was MacKenzie's apology?

Amongst other things, the newly-released evidence shows that, in a bid to cover up their own failings, the emergency services (along with former Tory MP, Irvine Patnick) put about a story that the conduct of Liverpool fans was the sole cause of the crush, as a result of which, the emergency services could do nothing to avert the disaster and save lives. We now know this is not true - but we knew that all along anyway...

In 2006, MacKenzie stated he was "...not sorry then and not sorry now. All I did was tell the truth." The Taylor Report completely dismissed the fabrications which blamed the Liverpool fans; indeed, it has been a matter of public record for over twenty years that Kelvin MacKenzie did not tell the truth. All MacKenzie's 2006 quote revealed was that he was still not sorry and was still a liar.

So why his sudden change of heart? Why his profuse apology? Whilst the newly-released evidence demonstrated the lengths to which the emergency services went to cover up their failings, it only served to reaffirm the fact that Lord Taylor was entirely correct to dismiss the aforementioned fabrications. There is no reason why, after ignoring the Taylor Report for so long, MacKenzie should pick this moment in time to change his tune.

Robbie Fowler made a brilliant statement when he said that "For twenty-three years, fans were effectively branded murderers." MacKenzie knows that this is no small part due to him, so even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he genuinely didn't realise how wrong he'd got it when he printed that article, we can see how sincere his apology is when he states that "I too was totally misled..." before going on to blame everyone else for The Sun running with the article.

Yes Kelvin, you're clearly just as much of a victim as the fans who died that day.

The Liverpool fans have completely rejected MacKenzie's apology and they're quite right to do so - MacKenzie clearly doesn't care about what he did and merely sees this as an opportune moment to make a tactical retreat. Before printing the article, MacKenzie apparently deliberated for an hour over whether the headline should be "The Truth" or "You Scum". I can only assume he ran with the former because he realised the latter described himself.

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