Friday, 19 April 2013

Cabin fever all over again

Very sad news – the death of Ann Williams, one of the campaigners for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.

In 1989, 96 fans from Liverpool Football club died in a crowd crush at the Hillsborough stadium, Sheffield. The deaths were unnecessary; the ground was old, the arrangements unsafe, too many people were sent into the wrong part of the ground, there were pitch side fences which trapped people, ambulance staff were not let into the ground – I could go on and on. On balance it was down to Police failures.

The disaster happened not long after the Miners’ Strike of 1984/5; South Yorkshire Police had been given a free hand at that time, and had not got out of the habit of bending the truth to suit themselves.

Their negligence and incompetence was made worse by a cover up and by a press offensive launched to rubbish the fans as drunken hooligans. This was supported by Tory M.P.’s and by Margaret Thatcher, whose animosity to Yorkshire, Liverpool and anything that represented the culture of those she fought, led her to support the cover up.

Ann Williams lost her son, Kevin 15 years old, and then spent 24 years fighting to right the wrong that was done. Last year she finally got the inquest verdict overturned in the High Court, she had hoped that her son’s new inquest would be expedited so she would get the judgement before she died – it wasn’t.

She died of cancer before she got the true death certificate she had fought so hard and so long for.

In those years she showed what can be achieved by determined people who won’t give up, supported by a close community. How it is sometimes necessary to stand up against the powerful and how sometimes you can win.

Now there is a women worthy of a state funeral at St Pauls Cathedral.

Meanwhile, late news;

Help, I’m trapped! Cabin fever all over again.

British Telecom have been messing about with the Telegraph Pole outside my Mum’s house for the last month – nearly every day.

Today, the tree they had been fiddling with just had enough. There was a big gust of wind, two trunks came down and with them went 4 houses phone lines.

Tree down over the pavement, phone lines down across the street, chaos, no phones.

I had to get the wires out of the way of the traffic, not so easy with a walking stick.

More importantly, my 93 year old Mum relies on her emergency alarm – or I do, so I can escape. When I told BT, it didn’t make much difference, they just disappeared.

Cabin fever.

Still, I often grumble about not having broadband – not now. Dongles rule.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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