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Hillsborough


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#21 Dave T

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:22 PM

I know it's an emotive subject but please be nice to each other.  People should be able to make emotionally strong statements without pointing to other forum members and attacking them.

 

I have no time to moderate this just now but if anyone has a real issue with the posts above then hit the report button and John can deal with it!

I assume you hitting the like button to Phil's post was an accident then?



#22 ckn

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 05:26 PM

I assume you hitting the like button to Phil's post was an accident then?

Yes.  It was on my phone when I was trying to type something before I had to get in the car and drive.  I knew I wouldn't have a chance to visit the forum during the day so I had to get the point across.  Sometimes fat fingers hit the wrong buttons or tick boxes when you're in a hurry.


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#23 tim2

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:09 PM

Incorrect.  A section of the soccer support had stigmatised soccer supporters.  There were terrible scenes of soccer thuggery back then.  Granted, the majority of soccer supporters will have been fine but those who weren't - mainly young men - brought English soccer down into the sewers, frankly, both in this country and abroad.  The cages around soccer grounds were built to stop fans from spilling on to the pitch and having all out brawls with the opposition fans, which is what was happening.  It was getting out of control.  After Hillsborough the cages were all dismantled and in the years following the soccer thuggery reduced, a law was brought in banning soccer fans (and only soccer fans) from stepping on to the pitch and generally speaking, bar a few unfortunate incidences, English soccer fans have as a body been better behaved since then.

 

Instead of solving the actual problem, Thatcher's brilliant solution was to force all fans to carry ID cards.


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#24 JohnM

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 06:23 AM

Why politicise it, though? It was the last Labour govt that intended us ALL to carry mandatory Identity cards.

#25 Saintslass

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 06:47 AM

Instead of solving the actual problem, Thatcher's brilliant solution was to force all fans to carry ID cards.

I don't remember that - there were all sorts of things suggested due to the level of disruption the trouble makers caused - but even if that was the case, and even if all soccer fans had to carry cards, that is nothing new in terms of security.  We all have to show our passports these days to claim benefits, join an employment agency, obtain a library card, in fact pretty much anything, yet the only law I broke was underage drinking when I was 16!  The situation was bad back then.  I knew of people who were scared to go to soccer matches due to the violence that took place.



#26 Wolford6

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:21 AM

Have you read the Taylor report? Obviously not as it categorically refutes that claim. 

 

 

 

No and, at this stage, I'm not about to either.

 

However, please can you correct me if I am wrong in this hypothesis:

If only the correct number of fans with the correct number of tickets were on that terrace, presumably there wouldn't have been the horrible crush and consequence.


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#27 Bob8

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:47 AM

No and, at this stage, I'm not about to either.

 

However, please can you correct me if I am wrong in this hypothesis:

If only the correct number of fans with the correct number of tickets were on that terrace, presumably there wouldn't have been the horrible crush and consequence.

That is wrong.  It seems you have not heard about this news story before.

 

A stand full of fans was pushed into one small section of a stand.  Try pushing a litre is water into a pint glass in as orderly fashion as you like and get it to work.

 

The only evidence of disorderlyness found was when medics were sent to get blood samples from casualties to test for alcohol.  It was a very sober crowd.


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#28 Wolford6

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

Fair enough, I  didn't realise that was the case


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#29 ckn

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:01 AM

Fair enough, I  didn't realise that was the case

That's the heart of it.  We are a nation brought up to believe in respecting authority and that authority sometimes demands respect, one of those institiutions is policing.  If the public lost complete faith in the police then they'd need to at least double, if not quadruple, the size of the police force to contain the lawlessness followed by retribution that would happen when people realised how thin that blue line really is.  It's an instinctive thing in our culture that if someone in authority says something is true then we're inclined to have at least that tiny bit of doubt about any other version of the truth.  I really have no doubt that there are still plenty of people out there who read the infamous McKenzie Sun front page and that's the version they still believe because the police and an MP said it was true.

 

At the time, what started as probably a bit of incompetence mixed with a few truly naive decisions caused the start of the tragedy, what then happened was a mixture of outright incompetence and some dangerously biased decisions that resulted in the outcome on the day.  If the authorities had acted appropriately on the day by realising the shocking mistakes that they had made and treated it as a disaster rather than potential violence control issue then around 41 of the 96 people to die would probably have been saved.  In the days immediately after the tragedy, if the authorities had co-operated in looking for the bad decisions that caused deaths and genuinely looked for way to never let it happen again then it would join the likes of the 1971 Ibrox collapse as a sad and tragic event that was a force for good in making stadia and match events safer rather than also having an open wound that never really heals.

 

What happened though was that the mid-level police managers in fear for their careers went so far out of their way to cover their tracks that they'd happily smear the reputations of the dead if it gave them a tiny bit of cover.  Lies, deceit and criminal perversion of the course of justice by tampering with police and witness statements that would see anyone else end up in jail.  The highest level police managers bought into this and went along with it.  The media did the same, not once showing any evidence that they considered that the police might be making things up.


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#30 Bob8

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:26 AM

The initial enquiry into whether lives could have been saved was set up with a very strange premise, that everyone who died had died pretty much straight away and there was therefore nothing that could be done to save them.  In other words, a trial was set up in wish the conclusion was already decided.  Any eveidence that contrdicted the verdict was therefore not considered.  Frankly, how the managed to keep a straight face and sleep at night is a mystery.


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#31 Griff9of13

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:30 AM

No and, at this stage, I'm not about to either.

 

However, please can you correct me if I am wrong in this hypothesis:

If only the correct number of fans with the correct number of tickets were on that terrace, presumably there wouldn't have been the horrible crush and consequence.

 

As Bob8 has already said the problem wasn’t too many people entering the stand it was too many entering a small section of the stand. The lower part of the Leppings Lane end was divided into 4 pens. The entrance to pens 2 and 3 being via a central tunnel with the entrance to pens 1 and 4 to the extreme left and right of the back stand area. The unfortunate thing was that there was no signage, stewards or police to help direct fans when they came through the turnstile away from the only obvious entrance, the central tunnel. So eventually what happened is more and more fans entered the ground heading for the only obvious way to the terracing – the central tunnel, leaving pens 1 and 4 only half full at best. Those entering the tunnel had no way of knowing there was absolutely no room in pens 3 and 4 until they emerged from the tunnel when it was too late.

Outside the approach to the Leppings Lane end was notorious as the road layout combined with a large wall protecting the river had a funnelling effect on people approaching the ground (see below). This was exasperated by only about half the external turnstiles open on the day. To elevate this in previous year barriers of police were deployed on the approach to break up and slow down the crowd on their way. This never happened this time. 

 

hmap.jpg

 

It must also be remembered that there had been crushing incidents there in previous years, but fortunately serious injuries were avoided by the actions mentioned above.


Edited by Griff9of13, 04 April 2014 - 09:30 AM.

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#32 Dave T

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:25 PM

Yes.  It was on my phone when I was trying to type something before I had to get in the car and drive.  I knew I wouldn't have a chance to visit the forum during the day so I had to get the point across.  Sometimes fat fingers hit the wrong buttons or tick boxes when you're in a hurry.

Aye, I do it pretty often!!! Can be annoying particularly when it is something that you actually disagree with!



#33 gingerjon

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 08:32 PM

That's the heart of it.  We are a nation brought up to believe in respecting authority and that authority sometimes demands respect, one of those institiutions is policing.  If the public lost complete faith in the police then they'd need to at least double, if not quadruple, the size of the police force to contain the lawlessness followed by retribution that would happen when people realised how thin that blue line really is.  It's an instinctive thing in our culture that if someone in authority says something is true then we're inclined to have at least that tiny bit of doubt about any other version of the truth.  I really have no doubt that there are still plenty of people out there who read the infamous McKenzie Sun front page and that's the version they still believe because the police and an MP said it was true.

 

At the time, what started as probably a bit of incompetence mixed with a few truly naive decisions caused the start of the tragedy, what then happened was a mixture of outright incompetence and some dangerously biased decisions that resulted in the outcome on the day.  If the authorities had acted appropriately on the day by realising the shocking mistakes that they had made and treated it as a disaster rather than potential violence control issue then around 41 of the 96 people to die would probably have been saved.  In the days immediately after the tragedy, if the authorities had co-operated in looking for the bad decisions that caused deaths and genuinely looked for way to never let it happen again then it would join the likes of the 1971 Ibrox collapse as a sad and tragic event that was a force for good in making stadia and match events safer rather than also having an open wound that never really heals.

 

What happened though was that the mid-level police managers in fear for their careers went so far out of their way to cover their tracks that they'd happily smear the reputations of the dead if it gave them a tiny bit of cover.  Lies, deceit and criminal perversion of the course of justice by tampering with police and witness statements that would see anyone else end up in jail.  The highest level police managers bought into this and went along with it.  The media did the same, not once showing any evidence that they considered that the police might be making things up.

 

That's a very long and very balanced post but I can't agree with it.

 

Incompetence implies that the controlling mind was doing their best but didn't have the capabilities to do better.  I don't believe that.  I believe that the way the police acted that day and on other days was criminal and I believe that the way football fans were herded into pens not fit for animals was criminal.

 

In short, it wasn't incompetence, naivite or any soft word that caused Hillsborough.  It was the deliberate actions of people that could only ever lead this way.  If it hadn't been at Hillsborough it would have been at Old Trafford.  Or Anfield.  Or Maine Road.  It had already been Ibrox and elsewhere.  Or it could have been any of the other stadiums that were falling apart, unlit and unsafe - the only new bits on them being the metal used to hem in crowds that could never give in a surge or when deliberate acts led to overcrowding.

 

And then to insult the dead.  Was that incompetence?  Was it middle managers?  No.  It was the middle managers, the rank and file who'd done jack all to save any one *and* their bosses.  And the establishment behind them.  And the media nodding along.  

 

Were they naive?  Were they a bit lazy?  No.  They were part and parcel of it as they went along cheering the brave boys in blue.  It made me sick then and it makes me sick now.  And to see posts from people on here who can't even be bothered to go and check the facts ... frankly, there aren't words.


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#34 ckn

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:06 PM

That's a very long and very balanced post but I can't agree with it.

 

Incompetence implies that the controlling mind was doing their best but didn't have the capabilities to do better.  I don't believe that.  I believe that the way the police acted that day and on other days was criminal and I believe that the way football fans were herded into pens not fit for animals was criminal.

 

In short, it wasn't incompetence, naivite or any soft word that caused Hillsborough.  It was the deliberate actions of people that could only ever lead this way.  If it hadn't been at Hillsborough it would have been at Old Trafford.  Or Anfield.  Or Maine Road.  It had already been Ibrox and elsewhere.  Or it could have been any of the other stadiums that were falling apart, unlit and unsafe - the only new bits on them being the metal used to hem in crowds that could never give in a surge or when deliberate acts led to overcrowding.

 

And then to insult the dead.  Was that incompetence?  Was it middle managers?  No.  It was the middle managers, the rank and file who'd done jack all to save any one *and* their bosses.  And the establishment behind them.  And the media nodding along.  

 

Were they naive?  Were they a bit lazy?  No.  They were part and parcel of it as they went along cheering the brave boys in blue.  It made me sick then and it makes me sick now.  And to see posts from people on here who can't even be bothered to go and check the facts ... frankly, there aren't words.

I see where you're coming from but the way I interpreted everything I've heard is that there was probably a handful of very serious mistakes about the whole setup, crowd control and ground stewarding.  The problem is that when the mistakes became apparent the first instinct of the middle managers in charge, especially Chief Superintendent Duckenfield, was to treat the crowd like potential football hooligans and cover up those mistakes.  Those instinctual bad decisions cost the lives of 55 people and were material in most of the injured people being injured.

 

The second, more deliberate, set of actions by those in charge at the ground to not allow help in and to treat it like football hooliganism were nothing other than deliberate and criminal and cost the lives of 41 further people who could have been saved if the police had treated it like a tragedy rather than act of hooliganism.  Of those decisions, the police decision to only to allow one ambulance of the 44 that arrived to help probably cost most of those lives.

 

The third set of actions after the scale of the tragedy became known by the middle managers and their senior management bosses were a clear perversion of the course of justice in every single action of the police from the moment it was escalated out of the hands of the Chief Superintendent Duckenfield's control right to the inquests and beyond.

 

In no way am I excusing the criminal and disgraceful actions of the police involved but I'm in no real doubt that it all started with serious misjudgements rather than deliberate actions.  My mind refuses to accept that anyone could do those things deliberately in the cold pre-match preparations, they'd have to be psychopathic in nature to have done that.  Once the tragedy started though, the first instincts were to cover up then then the pressure to keep lying made it easier to keep lying than tell the truth.


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#35 Saintslass

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:06 PM

 And to see posts from people on here who can't even be bothered to go and check the facts ... frankly, there aren't words.

Really.  And what were these facts we were supposed to know at the time exactly?  And how were we supposed to check them? 



#36 JohnM

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 10:02 PM

There aren't words, GJ? Makes you wonder about the purpose of the new inquest when they could have just asked your opinion.

Edited by JohnM, 04 April 2014 - 10:05 PM.


#37 gingerjon

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 07:22 AM

I see where you're coming from but the way I interpreted everything I've heard is that there was probably a handful of very serious mistakes about the whole setup, crowd control and ground stewarding.  The problem is that when the mistakes became apparent the first instinct of the middle managers in charge, especially Chief Superintendent Duckenfield, was to treat the crowd like potential football hooligans and cover up those mistakes.  Those instinctual bad decisions cost the lives of 55 people and were material in most of the injured people being injured.

 

The second, more deliberate, set of actions by those in charge at the ground to not allow help in and to treat it like football hooliganism were nothing other than deliberate and criminal and cost the lives of 41 further people who could have been saved if the police had treated it like a tragedy rather than act of hooliganism.  Of those decisions, the police decision to only to allow one ambulance of the 44 that arrived to help probably cost most of those lives.

 

The third set of actions after the scale of the tragedy became known by the middle managers and their senior management bosses were a clear perversion of the course of justice in every single action of the police from the moment it was escalated out of the hands of the Chief Superintendent Duckenfield's control right to the inquests and beyond.

 

In no way am I excusing the criminal and disgraceful actions of the police involved but I'm in no real doubt that it all started with serious misjudgements rather than deliberate actions.  My mind refuses to accept that anyone could do those things deliberately in the cold pre-match preparations, they'd have to be psychopathic in nature to have done that.  Once the tragedy started though, the first instincts were to cover up then then the pressure to keep lying made it easier to keep lying than tell the truth.

 

I'd add one final thing which is to say that the structural and operational procedures in play made an event like Hillsborough probable regardless of whether there were good men on the ground.  That there weren't good men did not help.  But what passed for safe stadia in those days was nothing of the sort, what passed for effective stewarding was a joke and what passed for reasonable crowd control - well, actually it simply didn't exist.

 

In all of those cases deliberate decisions were made by organisations and people to create that situation.  Those decisions led to the farce of crumbling, unsafe stadia holding far too many people and doing so with little effective understanding of how to handle any issue - let alone a major crisis - that presented itself.


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#38 getdownmonkeyman

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 09:56 AM

To add a little bit to the discussion, South Yorkshire Police's cover-up commenced on Saturday evening. Kelvin McKenzie/The Sun got the information from Sheffield MP Irvine Patnick who had been fed the information from those up in the command in South Yorks Police. It was a co-ordinated, organised smear campaign from the off.

 

I am no legal-eagle, but I am struggling to see how a charge of corporate manslaughter has not been brought against Duckinfield and Norman Bettison.

 

I still find it incredible, after all this time, there has never been an ounce of culpability/remorse shown from South Yorkshire Police.



#39 Bob8

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 11:08 AM

One of the most breath-takingly evil aspects was that they were able to organise medics to take blood samples form the dead to assess their blood alcohol level at a time when they could have been treating people. 

 

This thread has altered my mind slightly.  I suspect going to a Catholic school at a time of the Northern Ireland troubles probably made us let unquestionably accepting of the British Government version of events.  However, that Kelvin McKenzie and many others are walking around free and without decent concerns for their lives shows which side is law abiding and the limitations of justice.


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#40 Dave T

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 12:55 PM

Really. And what were these facts we were supposed to know at the time exactly? And how were we supposed to check them?

i read GJ's post as talking about people now not checking facts rather than at the time.Could be wrong tho.




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