Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Failings of Andy Burnham

Just what was Andy Burnham playing at yesterday?

I didn't get to see the live coverage from Hillsborough yesterday and still being without Broadband at home* was unable to do more than throw up a few Tweets from my phone as I watched the news coverage. First off I would say that most of the people present at Anfield would have had no problems with the Sports Minister a lifelong Evertonian being present at yesterday's memorial service to the Hillsborough victims 20 years on. After all the grief engulfed the whole city as well as us fans not from Merseyside. The problem came when he opened his mouth on the platform.

In actuality the problem came from whatever clandestine invitation was sent to him to speak, as well as his acceptance of that offer when he had nothing new to add. In the build up to the event anybody who was watching coverage realised two things. First yesterday was supposed to be about remembrance of the 96 lives that were lost as a result of what happened on April 15th, 1989. But also underlying a lot of the coverage was that this anniversary was being used to make calls for an inquiry into what happened after 15:15 on that day, as well as the actual decisions made by individuals from 14:45 up to that point and beyond.

If the Sports Minister didn't have anything to add to that second issue, and he didn't, he should have sat there head bowed like 35,000 others. Then he went unto the News programmes afterwards and spent most of his Time ducking and diving behind the Taylor report. But as I said on Saturday though the Taylor report had gone some way it had not gone far enough.

There is the question of the vetted statements from junior police officers. There is the lies about just how Gate C came to be open which the Duty Officer told and the three letter titled red top took as gospel. There are the 40 ambulances equipped with oxygen that were denied entry to the pitch and may well have saved lives.

Andy Burnham may well have been trying to deflect attention from the email fall out, which I notice is still higher up the Times than Burnham managed today. It does however show that Labour are once again failing to listen to the people.

*Hopefully that will be resolved later today.

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