On Hillsborough the Police and the Media

ChCLou-UoAAzO5MWhat does the Hillsborough ruling tell us about the police, the State, the law and the media? This week it was definitively agreed that the Hillsborough victims were “Unlawfully Killed” due to police negligence and the rejected claims that even in some small way the behaviour of Liverpool fans had contributed to the disaster. The episode feels like a lengthy extract from a David Peace novel, bleak, haunting, deeply sad. It reveals the dark side of British policing, unreformed, unaccountable, unacceptable. It shows that the militarised police force initiated by Thatcher to destroy the Miners has never been dismantled, it has instead been given more power and more weapons and now operates, hiding in plain sight.

Owen Jones has written that:

“At Orgreave, during the miners’ strike, in what the human rights organisation Liberty described as a “police riot”, there were mass wrongful arrests, for which South Yorkshire police (the same force responsible for the Hillsborough deaths) would later be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in compensation. Police statements were allegedly written under direction and altered, the victims were turned into aggressors, and the media echoed the police’s smear campaign. Sound familiar? The striking miners were, said Thatcher, the “enemy within”; Liverpool fans were thugs and scoundrels from a hated city. Hillsborough was the next stop from Orgreave.”

By 1991 South Yorkshire police had paid £425,000 compensation to 39 miners who had sued the force for assault, unlawful arrest or malicious prosecution. Still the police refused to admit any fault, and not a single police officer was ever disciplined or prosecuted. This is a pattern. Again and again the role of the media in failing to report, investigate or question official accounts is absolutely crucial. In the Orgreave police riot the BBC camera angles were crucial. Filming from behind police lines severely distorted both the sequence and the intent of striking miners making them out to be the aggressor.

That evening Margaret Thatcher said after Orgreave that there would be no “mob rule” by the miners.

The following year we had the Battle of the Beanfield, a violent police ambush in which women and children were attacked by baton-wielding officers who destroyed mobile homes:

So the events of Hillsborough need to be put into a wider historical contact of police brutality, state violence and media complicity. From the extraordinary role of the Met in the phone-hacking scandal, to the tragic deaths of Ian Tomlinson, Sheku Bayoh and others in police custody – and the illegal state activities of Mark Kennedy/Stone, we get an impression of police forces again and again out of control and operating beyond the law.

Trade Unionist Len McCluskey has said: “Terrible mistakes can be made, we know that. But what happened after that – the perjury and lies and perverting the course of justice among senior elements of the police force and senior elements of the government – it should all come out in the open.”

There is little previous experience to suggest that it will.

Joyce McMillan talks of the ‘the vicious, organised duplicity’ of the police. She writes:

“Let us not comfort ourselves with the belief that the demonisation of ordinary and vulnerable British citizens that happened after Hillsborough could not happen now. In fact, it happens every day, in ways that are less obviously catastrophic and more fragmented, but that still have the effect of destroying people’s lives while the rest of us stand by, read a few misleading headlines, and conclude that they must have deserved it. For in the end, we either found our politics on the idea of love and solidarity, and on a vision of humanity coming together to protect the weak and to solve common problems, or we found it on an idea of competition and cash, which permits the trampling and “othering” of the weak, and unbridled deference to the wealthy, whatever the content of their characters.”

Anyone who has not acquainted themselves with the realities and consequences of the ruling this week should watch this:

James Lawton has written that:

“The fight of the families has been extraordinary, but then who would easily let go of the fact that their loved ones had been wrenched away from them without cause. One memory that is particularly vivid is of a man in his shirt sleeves, torn – a bedraggled man who harangued a knot of journalists and kept insisting: “You have to tell the truth of what happened here today. Anyone who doesn’t should spend the rest of their lives feeling ashamed.” Yesterday shame could be measured against something that goes some way to redeeming a terrible story of broken trust and desperate self-preservation. The jury’s answers of yes to the charges of official guilt – and the emphatic no to the claims that even in some small way the behaviour of Liverpool fans had contributed to the disaster – carried us beyond a vindication of the families who refused to abandon the campaign for justice.”

What does Hillsborough tell us about the police, the State, the law and the media? It tells us that all are failing and in their failure they collude and connect to protect the powerful. There is a nexus of failure between police violence and and an unquestioning or complicit media.

The Justice for the 96 is welcome but it will be futile if it doesn’t aid to restore the complete collapse in faith in the rule of law and respect for the law-enforcement agencies.

Senior policemen should be prosecuted (the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are investigating whether to bring manslaughter charges against David Duckenfield, the Chief Superintendent and match commander on the day) – and the system of overseeing and monitoring the police needs to be completely overhauled to breath life and restore credibility to a discredited system. That that is extremely unlikely to happen – and the amplified and continued demonisation of working people means that a Hillsborough or an Orgreave is very likely to happen again.

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  1. Frank says:

    I know this is terribly small beer but is there any truth in the Daily Record story that the Wings over Scotland editor blamed the Liverpool fans?

    1. Richard says:

      This is three years ago, but I understand he stands by it:

      I haven’t read what the Record are saying, but I would assume that they’re at best misrepresenting it.

    2. Onwards says:

      I read his article, and it basically *partly* blames those at the back for shoving.
      It’s not a popular opinion.. although factually true when you think about it in a clinical, pedantic way. I suppose it is similar to the Ken Livingston statement on Hitler. It’s true in a way, but you’re not supposed to say it.

      I know the jury cleared the fans entirely, but when you look at the actual footage of the crush outside the stadium, its hard to take that seriously. They are under huge pressure to give that verdict, knowing they would be treated as heroes or villains afterwards.

      Obviously, the police are 95% to blame for poor organisation, and for opening the gate allowing the crowd to rush in. But I think to myself:
      “Do I push and shove people in front to get in faster”. No, I don’t.
      Unless involuntarily when pushed from behind myself. So it starts somewhere. And the police opened the outer gate after *fears of fatalies* outside the ground from crushing at the turnstiles. They caused a bigger disaster by trying to prevent a smaller one.

      But when you have the question:
      “was there any behaviour on the part of football supporters which may have caused or contributed to the dangerous situation at the Leppings Lane turnstiles”, it’s pretty clear to anyone that the answer was obviously Yes.

      I wouldn’t go so far as saying the crowd were partly responsible for the deaths at the front of the crowded pens, because they wouldn’t have shoved forwards if they had known what was going on.

      A jury is sometimes influenced by other factors.
      In the original OJ Simpson case there was widespread racial hostility at the police, a mostly black jury giving an acquittal, and a jury member actually giving a black power salute to Simpson.
      It didn’t mean OJ Simpson was innocent.

      1. Except ‘Onwards’ when you say: “It’s not a popular opinion.. although factually true when you think about it”.

        But it’s not. It’s really not and this needs to be understood. Read this from

        this article here: https://onlinejournalismblog.com/2016/04/28/hillsboroughs-ending-and-the-story-it-tells-for-the-next-generation-of-journalists/

        “Truth is at the heart of a journalist’s claim to legitimacy. The story of how The Sun got it wrong is part of that bigger story:

        “The newspaper, edited at the time by Kelvin MacKenzie, who was personally responsible for the headline The Truth, ran claims from anonymous police officers that, as people were dying at Hillsborough, their fellow supporters stole from them, urinated on police officers and beat up “brave cops” trying to help.

        “The stories were initially defended by the paper as vital reporting of the truth, but it emerged in 2012 that they were sent by a Sheffield news agency, White’s, and run by the Sun almost verbatim.”

        Famously, the people of Liverpool boycotted The Sun and continued to do so for decades.

        But it was not just The Sun that got the facts wrong.

        In his detailed report on the disaster, David Conn reminds us that BBC commentators also reported police claims as fact:

        “This fiction, that fans without tickets had forced the gate, had already found its way to the BBC, reported as a version by John Motson, the television match commentator, at 3.13pm. Alan Green, commentator for BBC Radio 2, broadcast an unconfirmed report of “a broken-down door” at 3.40pm, then at 4.30pm he reported that police had said “a gate was forced” – the police story of misbehaviour settling on the initial public consciousness.”

        It is a very simple story: people lie.”

        1. Onwards says:

          BCE – That doesn’t address my specific point.
          We all know the police lied to the newspapers and reporters after the tragedy. No-one disputes there was disgraceful behaviour in blaming fans for appalling acts, and in covering up their own responsibility to control the crowd, which was the main cause of the tragedy.

          My issue with Question 7 is that it appears to whitewash the behaviour of ALL fans – including those who were pushing and shoving at the outer turnstiles.

          Look at the actual footage. Anyone neutral can come to their own verdict.


          “6. At the turnstiles the situation was serious, described by Lord Justice Taylor as an ‘unmanageable crush’.

          He stated that fans climbing up and over the turnstile building or on to the dividing fence were escaping the crush rather than gaining free entry as most had tickets.”

          8. At 2.47, Superintendent Marshall, the senior officer responsible for policing the crowd in Leppings Lane, ‘realised that the crowd had become unmanageable’. He ‘feared fatalities would occur’ and ‘radioed control to permit the gates to be opened’.

          That is my only problem with the verdict. It appears to whitewash the behaviour of all fans, with the Jury denying any responsibility at all – especially at the turnstiles. Yet anyone watching the original footage can see the actual situation with their own eyes.

          I can understand why the Jury felt pressured to answer in that way.
          Does it make it right ?

  2. What are they misrepresenting Richard?

    1. Richard says:

      OK, I’ve gone and read the Record’s article (though I hate to give them the traffic) and, sure enough, they are misrepresenting. They are trying to claim that Stuart said that the dead fans were responsible, thereby whipping up anger amongst their readers.

      Stuart is quite clear in his article: “They, alone, played no part in their fate.” It is not the dead fans he blames but those at the back who continued to push.

      The Record has no time for such distinctions and is just happy to take a cheap shot at its opponent with deliberate obfuscation.

      1. Well the court ruled – after a lengthy investigation that “the Hillsborough victims were “Unlawfully Killed” due to police negligence and the rejected claims that even in some small way the behaviour of Liverpool fans had contributed to the disaster.”

        In the face of this – to carry on a vindictive smear against the fans (any of the fans) is just completely wrong.

        If you have held a position that you then find to be disproven by the facts the only thing to do – especially when the situation is so terrible – is to apologise.

        1. Richard says:

          I’m not going to get into the rights or wrongs of his behaviour. I don’t support that argument nor am I trying to defend it.

          My concern is more with the Record, which is stridently carrying on the behaviour for which you rightly call the press out in this article. The simple fact is: if the media had done their job, properly investigated and accurately reported, this whole stinking 27-year-old mess could have been avoided.

          No matter how much they may simper about justice for the families in a vain attempt to capture the zeitgeist, it is thanks to their efforts that the families will never now get proper justice as it will be impossible to hold all those responsible to account.

        2. yesindyref2 says:

          Was this article about Hillsborough or about that rival blog, WIngs? Pray, do tell.

          1. Awizgonny says:

            I’d like to know that as well.

          2. It was nothing do with Stuart Campbell’s disgraceful views, but if you feel the need to defend in public you are very welcome to. I’m sure you’ll take this opportunity to attack me too. Again you are very welcome. I’m not sure why you feel this is helpful but I’m sure you’ll explain

        3. yesindyref2 says:

          Good Heavens BCE, that’s the most disingenuous comment I’ve read in the last half-hour. Here’s the first 3 comments in this thread as at 13.40 Sat 30th April 2016:

          1). Opening comment to the thread says about “… Daily Record story that the Wings over Scotland editor blamed the Liverpool fans?”

          2). Reply – single reply – “… but I would assume that they’re at best misrepresenting it.

          3). Your posting (not threaded in reply (you can click on the box that says “reply”) but clearly is a reply “What are they misrepresenting Richard?”

          So you are asking how the Record of all papers is misrepresenting the blogger of a well-known pro-Indy blog. It’s well known you have your “disagreements”.

          But the article is titled: “On Hillsborough the Police and the Media”, so you have chosen to narrow “media” to Wings over Scotland, and the Record’s misrepresentation.

          As for “defend in public” what a daft thing to say – why on earth should I, it’s not me that wrote his article 4 years ago.

          And if you don’t want criticism “you’ll take this opportunity to attack me too” then don’t run a blog, or close it to comments. I’ve done the same on Wings, Newsnet, CraigMurray and elsewhere. Plus of course those on the other side, the Herald and Sunday Herald – and Guardian. Even rarely the Scotsman ugh.

          Unless you’d prefer all your commenters to fawn sycophantically over every word?

          1. Frank says:

            I raised the initial question and having looked into it, I think it’s right to point out that the Wings over Scotland editor – who is not an inconsequential figure in the independence movement, has views on Hillsborough that most people (except perhaps for the Police Federation or South Yorkshire Police) find repugnant.

          2. The article doesn’t mention Stuart or his views at all. In the article I talk about the BBC and the Mets relatonship with the tabloids, nothing to do with WoS.

            I’m not sure who I am speaking to – but whoever you are – you can criticise all you like. It does seem a fairly redundant line though. Your criticism seems to be that I wrote: “What are they misrepresenting Richard?”

            Is there anything of any substance that you disagree with in the article?

          3. Awizgonny says:

            If the article in question had nothing to do with Wings’ blog, then the Editor could either have simply said that, or not conjoined with the comments by way of a leading question and shoehorning in his evaluation of Wings’ blog post.
            Given that there have been several posts on Bella’s Twitter account which obliquely but very clearly single out Wings in this matter, without mentioning Wings by name,it is perfectly reasonable to ask the question as to the purpose of this article. The Editor’s response in the comments section, using highly evaluative, falsely presumptuous terms as to the beliefs and purpose of those who asked the question can do nothing but strengthen the suspicion that the publication of the article and the recent series of comments on Twitter re Wings are related.

            That’s what happens when you don’t talk straight from the start.

            PS If you want to know who I am, please feel free to email me if my email address is in your files, or I will be more than happy to email you as to who I am.

          4. You can remain anonymous if you feel the need to.

            If you want to defend Stuart’s views on Hillborough feel free, but I think continuing dialogue with you may force me to self-medicate.

  3. bringiton says:

    History tells us that when the security forces are seen to act outside the law,the London establishment changes the law.
    There may well be a few scapegoats in this case but the overall policy will continue.

    1. Mike says:

      Indeed it already is in the case of the allegation made with regards to the State sanctioned cover up of paedophile gangs within the House of Lords preying on vulnerable children in care.

      Where is the investigation? Where is the media coverage?

      This unholy Trinity between the Police the Media and the State defies any claims that the UK is a Democratic socially acceptable State.

  4. Mike says:

    This may be the time to start putting pressure on the Police and Media to begin highlighting the so called investigation into the allegations of State sanctioned Paedophilia within the House of Lords.

    After this long awaited expose of failure of accountability how can we trust any investigation on the State itself?

    I don’t even know if there is a continued investigation into these allegations. Seems to me there was an immediate media blank out on the subject.

    Its only when the public push and keep pushing do these revelations come out publically.

  5. Alan Ganley says:

    Richard says: ‘The simple fact is: if the media had done their job, properly investigated and accurately reported, this whole stinking 27-year-old mess could have been avoided’ There is something fairly obvious here: why didn’t they? The answer is obvious too: they were told not to. And it is surely too obvious to tell you by whom. Here’s a test for the media of whatever stripe. Come together as a conglomerate and work together with a spirit like that shown by those who supported Hillsborough, with the intention of investigating miscarriages of justice (the boundaries don’t have to be too narrowly defined). Publicise the fact and ask the aggrieved to make contact and print the findings. This would not be at all difficult. With little effort one can discover umpteen such cases on the internet. I can tell you – such an idea or any close variation would never get off the ground. Similar outfits have already been closed down. I would love to be proved wrong.

  6. Mike says:

    And here we are again.

  7. w.b.robertson says:

    Some 60 years ago, a high ranking court official explained to me that the responsibility of the police was to investigate and report ALL relevant evidence to the Crown authorities. Over the years this concept has done a somersault. Police now concentrate purely on evidence (real or otherwise) that supports a prosecution. Then at the end of major cases, a senior cop stands on the steps of the court and talks about “a result” and “justice for the family” or “a victory” etc. Any hope of reforming the police culture will need to start at the basics.
    And stop daydreaming about bold reporters going where angels fear to tread. The Lord Clyde judgement of 1960 put the fear of death into journalists…and recent events show that the Establishment is still conducting its modern day witchhunts.

    1. What’s the Lord Clyde judgement WB?

  8. C Rober says:

    So the bigger question is , are the unelected media , top civil servants , police and elected politicians still ruling the UK with collusion and ensured protection , just like in the 80s – and long before then?

    Offshore taxes news burns out , replaced with the slop that the media wishes the pigs to eat up , this is something that needs to change.

    Now that paedowatch was closing in on top politicians of history , that news line has changed , the accusers now being portrayed by the media as fantasists , they need to constantly find other distractions from real news . No retractions needed , seeds planted , nothing to see here , move along.

    Only then does a snippet of what is news really broadcast , if by deliberate accident , ie a school/hospital being bombed in Allepo , and even then its still political spin meddling , while avoiding the friendly fire “western” armies that have done the same from appearing in the western media .

    Media is a bedfellow in the programming of the masses.

    The strikers , Liverpool fans were the Elites enemy of the day , Thatcher prepared for that war against them , from media to arms , with Oxbridge control of the media jobs that mattered within the BBC and the judiciary. Even today , with the likes of soaps and BGT etc , the masses still have their chewing gum for the eyes , the box in the corner , is still giving them their opiate of choice , propogandatainment.

    Today with technology in mobile phones , the people film news for the ALT media , perhaps things would have been different then , remember that when the Police illegally ask you to stop filming , they as history show are protected by those that command them. And remember that the Tories/Libdems put into place an offswitch for the internet and mobile towers – just after the London riots after seeing the Arab spring movement.

    One only needs to watch the news to see it is both directed and controlled , I cite especially that Both the likes of STV and BBCS News , they will often show identical news items…. like there is no other news in Scotland. IF this one thing does not reek of a state news control then nothing does.

    Only in Scotland could the news programs actually be bettered by employing a North Korean to edit it.

    Sky , including Murdoch printed news empire , is perhaps the Uk biggest single directive of news and therfore politics outside of the BBCivil service.

    There is a reason why Murdoch is called the King Maker , and perhaps a reason why the Sherlock episode involving media tycoon , holding all the cards on politicians , seemed so close to the bone when i seen it recently.

    Moffat , creator of Sherlock , is no stranger to the inner workings of politics , where the likes of his other work “The Thick of it” took “yes minister” on a more realistic track , so much so it was more documentary than mockumentary.

    So It is time to bring legislation in Holyrood , to prevent such media monopolies from directing the electorate bringing them to an end?

    It is of no surprise then that the SUN , the carrier and promoter of the “fans scum” headlines , is Murdoch controlled just like the NOTW was , and again where no convictions were seen through illegal or other reporting.

    Self regulation is not enough , and as the phone hacking scandal shows neither is the English courts to bringing those to task with a conviction. Thankfully the power of the printed press is in decline , but without making the printed press websites paywall based then it will continue , if not more so as legislation hasnt caught up with internet retractions yet.

    Holyrood has that power to legislate , to make every Scottish based digital newspaper paywall , and hasten the demise of the biased and corrupt media , as well as to create a legal independent press complaints body , removing even state control in the process.

    It also has the power to make the BBC subscription based , not a licence based one feeding BBC London , ironically using the likes of a sky card . It needs to start thinking about how to have the SBBC outwith Westminster control , just like how it has started to create the Scottish DWP by the back door next year , even if that one is a potential poisoned chalice.

    In the next parliament , should the SNP be in control , it needs to tackle Westminster and the media with the legislation it has , at the very least to be a thorn in the sides , and with that will come further membership , power , and the confidence from the electorate themselves in an independent Scotland being better than the Union.

    1. Drew Campbell says:

      Steven Moffat, head writer/producer of ‘Sherlock’, had nothing to do with ‘The Thick Of It’. The latter show did star Peter Capaldi who now plays Dr Who, another show run by Moffat, but aside from that I don’t think there’s a connection.

      Sorry to be picky but, you know, facts is facts.

      1. C Rober says:

        Your right it was the wee scottish italian , not Moffat.

  9. yesindyref2 says:

    BCE. No. No problems with the article. It’s your blog and if you want to write about Hillsborough in it that’s up to you, even though it’s got nothing in itself to do with Independence (wait for it). Everyone who puts the effort into a blog is entitled to go off topic occasionally, that’s life. In this case you make it relevant to media coverage and that is relevant, we all know what the media coverage of Indy was, is, and will be like.

    But Rev’s views on Hillsborough, Rangers and celtic as in the language are his, just as your views on Hillsborough are yours. Personally the reason I looked at this article at all was because I’d seen a short comment about the Rev’s article and views which I never read at the time and still haven’t, in a posting in the Herald and when I saw the title of this article I thought to myself “I wonder if this will turn into an attack on a rival blogger with whom the author of the article has had a dispute over tactical voting?”.

    Well, it seems my nose was on full nostril.

    1. Thanks for telling me I can write what I like on my blog ‘even though it’s got nothing to do with independence’. LOL.

      ‘Everyone who puts the effort into running a blog is allowed to go off topic occasionally’ – this is just hilarious.

      So I’ve attacked a rival blogger by not mentioning him?

      Too bizarre

      1. Awizgonny says:

        This all getting a bit…

      2. yesindyref2 says:

        BCE. Cough. ‘tinternet is NOT a write only medium. It helps to read what’s there first.

        I did say “(wait for it).”, you didn’t, you jumped. Had you read further before posting you would have read: “In this case you make it relevant to media coverage and that is relevant, we all know what the media coverage of Indy was, is, and will be like.”.

        For the rest of your posting I refer you again to the very first three postings below the line, the third of which was yours.

        Why would you be interested in how the Record might be misrepresenting what the Rev Stu has to say, when your own article is about Hillsborough the police and the media (from the context that being the MSM)?

        1. I don’t really understand your strange obsessions. I think the expression is ‘jog on’.

  10. yesindyref2 says:

    Now you’ve read through that I daresay, I think all you bloggers are very important to the Independence movement, the wide all-encompasssing Indy grassroots (pity there aren’t any very active conservatives small c). And you’re going to be needed sooner than many people think.

    So I suggest if you want to attack each other you should get a room, as they say, rather than using blog articles or twitter, whether directly or indirectly. I suggest using plastic containers for the plentiful drink, and having some neutral people standing by with the high pressure water hoses. Pies and bovril half time.

  11. w.b.robertson says:

    Re the “Lord Clyde” judgement. Scotland`s No 1 law lord ruled in a case involving the Daily Record that where a criminal offence was suspected, the police – and only the police – had the right to make enquiries. The judgement meant that journalists had no right to probe a situation (even if they were unaware at the time that it could involve possible criminal proceedings.) It was a draconian measure – and while I understand it was later given a more “liberal” legal interpretation, it remained untested – and enough to still intimidate publishers. The Clyde judgement also opened up a new can of worms, in that it allowed the courts to put individual journalists in the dock, rather than the editor or publisher. In the Record case, one journalist personally was accused and fined £500 if my memory is right.

  12. Awizgonny says:

    BTW I’m confused. Bella, when it published articles on the SNP manifesto, said it would be posting on the manifestos of the other parties.

    Can you direct me to these articles, please?

    1. They’re coming, don’t worry

  13. Jamie McIntyre says:

    The police did not act on their own initiative when it came to the miner’s strike, their actions were politically guided and motivated by the tory government, foolishly provided with succour by Neil Kinnock because he detested Arthur Scargill. Out of Kinnock and Scargill, whom was proved right?

    Governments in Westminster know their misdameanors can be hidden for as long as necessary, e.g. Iraq War, Dr Kelly’ death, Levison, Saudi arms deals etc. South yorshire police is not different, hence the 30 year delayed release of cabinet papers.

    I’d be interested to see an inquiry into the political interference in the police by Westminster. Police is a devolved matter, but the metropolitan police have their noses in some Scottish matters.

    Hillsborough is and was complete shocker, 27 years to get justice, public bodies lying, thatcher and binghams involvement, press collusion, every day public citizens being targeted by the establishment and dead people being slurred. Only the people emerge here with any dignity or characters intact.

    As for the record, here we have a paper using this disaster to try and smear someone who often successfully ridicules them (the record) for deceit and complete lack of honour and fact in how it reports Scottish news. Why would you expect of the record, honour or decency?

    Be cautious about providing credence to smears, if anything we learned anything from Hillsborough, it’s to treat smears with extreme caution!

    Perhaps the r

  14. Frank says:

    Isn’t it absolutely disgraceful that in the same week as Hillsborough, Nicola Sturgeon decides to pose with a picture holding up The Sun. I will vote SNP once on Thursday but will do so with no sense of conviction whatsoever.

    1. Mike says:

      No she didn’t it was a photoshop fake. The original photo had her holding a photo of herself infinity.

      Catch up Frank.

      1. Frank says:

        Mike do you care to provide any references for that claim?

        1. C Rober says:

          It wis the sun she was holding up , bogs was oot again.

  15. Gary Elliot says:

    Well done to Bella for tying the Battle of the Beanfield into the context of Hillsborough and Orgreave – I think about the only outlet I’ve seen doing that. The important thing about the BotB was the way ITV stifled *their own staff’s* reports and also the way that eyewitnesses were demonised and marginalised by the authorites.

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