We’ve heard the protestations from the Murdoch press at the continuing boycott of the Sun across much of Merseyside: they are truly sorry, they have now put the record straight over the cause of the Hillsborough stadium disaster. But every time they bring forth another excuse, the reality of their ingrained spite and disrespect for a community that dared to stand up to the bullying and smearing comes through once more.
The latest example of the disdain in which the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker hold the people of Merseyside came this week, although few have noticed it. The City of Liverpool posthumously awarded the 96 who died at Hillsborough the freedom of the city. Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and his wife Marina were also honoured. There was a special ceremony at St George’s Hall to mark the occasion.
Also honoured were James Jones, the former Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel, and professor Phil Scraton, who led the Panel’s research team. As the BBC reported, “Scrolls bearing the name of each victim were presented to their families along with a medal to denote the city's ‘highest honour’”. The event was covered by much of the media.
The Liverpool Echo, as sound as ever, gave the ceremony extensive coverage, including interviews with some of those attending. Although their report focused primarily on Dalglish - it was part of the paper’s Sports coverage - the Mail also recognised the honour given to the 96. The Mirror stressed the length of the fight for justice.
The paper’s report told “96 Hillsborough victims honoured with prestigious Freedom of the City of Liverpool award after 27-year fight for justice … The award was presented posthumously to the victims of the 1989 tragedy, as well as key figures in their decades-long fight for justice …The 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster have been honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool following the 27-year battle for justice”.
Even Sky Sports News managed “The 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster have received the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in an emotional ‘bittersweet’ ceremony … Families of those who lost their lives in Britain's worst sporting tragedy on April 15 1989 collected a specially designed scroll and a unique medal with the name of their loved one inscribed on it … It was the first time the city has posthumously awarded its highest civic honour”. But one paper ignored the event altogether.
Not only was there no trace of the ceremony at the supposedly upmarket Murdoch Times, there was nothing at all in the Sun, neither about the victims, nor the award to Dalglish. And while the protests keep coming about the growing boycott of the Sun across Merseyside, the paper keeps giving space to disgraced former editor Kelvin McFilth. Now it has deliberately disrespected the 96 - once again.
The people of Liverpool were right all those years ago. Don’t buy the Sun.