I remember being 14 years old and watching with disbelief scenes from Hillsborough playing out on the telly. Images from Sky News yesterday (15 April 2009), of the 20th anniversary memorial service, and of course the events of the disaster, brought back a lot of that disbelief. It was like footage from another planet. 1989, a number, another summer, last century.

It’s astonishing to think that so much has changed in the last 20 years as to effectively mean we are actually on a different planet. Not just with regard to the seismic impact of Sky on association football – another article, another blog. This is an unprecedented period of information exchange. As John Mackin says in this excellent article at the Liverpooltv site,

back in 1989, before mobile phones and digital cameras, before the internet, before every major event being recorded and disseminated in a hundred different ways, the ‘facts’ were in the hands of a select few who could, and did, manipulate the situation.

How fortunate we are to be around as the information explosion happens, that knowledge is available at the touch of a button, and that we live to see it. Since then, ‘the people’ (with all the relevant geographical caveats) have more access to information, the truth, than ever. Yet, as recent events illustrate, those supposedly entrusted with looking after the people are still expected, and in some cases it would appear willing, to do what ‘the select few’ dictate. We can at least, as Mackin notes, make steps quicker than we could to bring some sort of reckoning to bear on people’s actions.

Justice, as ever, continues to be generally evasive. Meanwhile, a musical nil desperandum gesture of solidarity and hope to Liverpool supporters, from a Leeds fan:
96 tears – too many teardrops for one heart to be crying.

x

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