Monday, September 17, 2012

Colluding in the coverup

On Thursday, we learned that the South Yorkshire police had engaged in an extensive coverup and victim-blaming operation in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster. Now we learn that the British Crown Prosecution Service have been aware of this for fourteen years, but have done nothing:

Senior lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) were handed detailed analysis of the police cover-up of the Hillsborough disaster 14 years ago but decided to take no action against any officers involved, the senior lawyer who led a private prosecution on behalf of the families says today.

In a withering attack on the criminal-justice system in The Independent, Alun Jones, QC says the Director of Public Prosecutions needs to explain why his office did "absolutely nothing" in 1998 after considering a line-by-line analysis of tampered reports by South Yorkshire police.

Meanwhile, it appears that the Cabinet office also refused to disclose information it held on the disaster, claiming that it was contrary to the public interest. We now know that that information was also deeply critical of the South Yorkshire police. But right up until the moment the Hillsborough Independent Panel released its report, the top level of the British government was colluding in the coverup.

The entire British legal and political establishment is rotten to the core. Whether it is from upper-class solidarity or a medieval conception of government which sees the people as subjects to be ruled rather than citizens who rule, the result is the same: faced with evidence of wrongdoing, they stand with each other rather than the public, and lie and smear and cover-up, all in the name of "preserving public faith". In the process, those responsible are not held to account, lessons are not learned, and wrongdoing continues. Then, when the coverup is inevitably exposed, causing an even greater loss of public faith - the establishment having been proven once again to be liars - they do not learn the fucking lesson. It is secrecy and unaccountability which destroys public faith in government - and openness, transparency, and accountability which enhances it.