I post this article under "Liverpool", and whilst that is practical the fact remains that this story has implications as far reaching as any, with connotations for society in its entirety.
What has been revealed in the documents being made public has shocked many. For there to be so much confirmed and further ambiguity emerging in the news that 41 of the victims may have been saved is viewed by some as a greater disclosure than could have been imagined.
Sadly, the information, the facts, the now received wisdom, is not as shocking. People who have followed the story of Hillsborough and the families' search for justice are not surprised the police have been involved in a cover up, not surprised that statements were amended, not surprised that lies have been told for 23 years. Sadly - most sadly of all - not wholly surprised that almost half of those who passed could have been saved had the disaster been handled better, even after the crush occurred.
Most of that which has emerged was already known. Through private investigations and off the record discussion it was clear that statements from police officers were changed under duress. Everyone knew that ambulances hadn't been given access to the ground. This isn't a great reveal, it is a country having the real ugly truth laid out in black and white.
Everyone was fully aware that what The S*n had printed was lies. The apology from their now editor is entirely worthless as it should not have waited until the report confirmed the details that everyone at the newspaper already knew (as for Kelvin MacKenzie, well...). Much more telling is was the layout of the rag's website, featuring news of the Hillsborough documents accompanied by a headline referring to a Merseyside-born woman being told to "Shut up and move on". An oversight? It wasn't a day for oversights. Deliberate? I'll leave you to judge.
And where do we stand now with the police? The "we" means the British public, British whether we like it or not, as the people of Liverpool were already well aware of what they were capable of. Now we, the British public, have to deal with the fact that the police spread untruths about the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, about the death of Mark Duggan, about the death of Ian Tomlinson and about the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans - all of which they were culpable in. How does a relationship between the public and those tasked with protecting the public move on from this?
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