Sorry isn’t enough
Published at 11:52, Monday, 17 September 2012
“I’M sorry”, the whispered response came from the chastised child after much waiting.
You couldn’t help thinking that the child wasn’t really sorry. They were apologising because that was what you do when you get caught out.
Apologising only because that was what is expected. We’ve all seen it, we accept the apology and move on, but the half-hearted words don’t really suffice.
Or we can press the child further, “How sorry?” After a while we are supplied with “really sorry”, because the more words you add to the apology the more sincere it becomes?
This week, following the publication of the Hillsborough report, there’s a lot of apologies, all of them with added words.
David Cameron has said he is “Profoundly sorry”. “Profuse” apologies, have been offered from the then (1989) editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie. There have been “heartfelt” and “profound”apologies from the same paper, under current editor Dominic Mohan.
But unlike the naughty child, who may sulk for a minute or two before issuing that “more sincere”apology, this has taken 23 years.
“The Truth”, to borrow that awful newspaper headline from all those years ago, has been known by many for a long, long time. By those charged with safeguarding the public in 1989 and those that have covered up their errors since. But nowhere more so than in the homes and families of the 96 people who lost their lives on that spring afternoon in Sheffield.
The horrific reporting by one tabloid at the time of the incident is a black mark that any apology, however “profound”, may never erase. Not just for the families of the 96 victims, the City of Liverpool, but for our society as a whole. The decision to run that day with that headline, “The Truth”, when even the journalist who wrote the article had more than a passing doubt that it wasn’t, marked the beginning of a downward spiral for Fleet Street.
The published report makes harrowing reading. I recommend that anyone interested should get a copy and read it, it can be downloaded free from government websites.
The shocking failings and cover-ups from South Yorkshire Police, the ambulance service, the stadium owners and others must never, ever be allowed to happen again. Unbelievably, there are records of three similar incidents in preceding years that could have also cost 96 lives, they were incredible “near misses”, but the lessons were ignored.
The altering of witness statements and official records is a despicable crime, the attempt to shift the blame onto innocent dead people even worse.
Criminal prosecutions must now be sought, the original inquest needs to be called into question and the errors and cover-ups that have caused 23 years of increased pain for the families of the 96 victims needs to be put right – we need prosecutions and people brought to account for their actions.
Something more substantial than just adding extra words to apologies.
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. How is this going to compare to the cover up that is 9/11 ? Makes your blood run cold. Times moves on, but the lies and cover ups just get bigger !