There are many lessons to be learned from the decades of deceit and denial that followed the tragedy of the deaths at Hillsborough in 1989, but the biggest may be that corruption is potentially endemic in every power structure from Nairobi to Colombia via Sheffield and FIFA – check your history books and prove me wrong if you can.
For that reason, we should continue to name and shame and vilify, even if there may be limited opportunity now for punishment of those who so cruelly slandered the dead to save their own skins.
Nowhere can be guaranteed to remain honest and decent unless every level within every organisation feels free to tell the truth and question those above them without fear of dismissal or reprisals.
When at the highest level there is pressure downwards to save face, to preserve a fragile status quo, to avoid Pandora’s box opening up again and letting Hope escape as well as everything else, then it is a battle against the odds to make things right again.
The fact that all those family members and their supporters from Liverpool contrived to remain strong after innumerable knock backs is welcome evidence that David can still topple the institutional Goliaths that try to corral us into subservience.
The perpetrators may not all be bad people, the ones that try to cover up the unpalatable truths, but that in many ways makes it worse.
Weak, fearful, self-protecting people who don’t want to upset the owners of national newspapers who had bought into and promulgated the lies and excuses of the incompetent; a blinkered 10 Downing Street that had benefited from the South Yorkshire Police’s assistance in breaking the miners’ resistance, so were happy to characterise the dead as ‘tanked-up yobbos’ – the complicity in the lying and covering-up spread throughout the ranks of the powerful and yet the truth has finally emerged – which is the one shining light to give us hope.
The British people will still stand up for justice. This is why I continue to tell my family to stand up against the unreasonable, the unkind and the plain wrong.
They have always known that if they don’t, I will. Bullies, cheats, the incompetent and liars can only triumph if we let them.
However hard, it is better to blow that whistle until someone pays attention than allow them to crush our spirits and bear false witness.