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It’s not football but has to be said…

In the UK, which I hate as a term as ‘united’ we are not, there is undeniable levels of class and crass cover ups. The Hillsborough revelations of the last 24 hours are sensational and tragic and unfortunately is anything but an isolated incident. There are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and the whole spectrum of the family and through to friends who found out on 12th of September that not only did criminal negligence by the authorities serve to put those who died to their death, they also found out that some 41 of the departed were denied access to the care which may have saved their lives. In essence those 41 lay dying on the pitch as the chaos reigned. If the thought of this brings, and justly so, a lump to your throat, then just think how the families feel.

How did we get into a position where the actions that followed could be allowed? A wholesale cover up by emergency services, the press, politicians and no doubt much more.

The problem as I see it has its genesis in the Thatcher-led Conservative government and its economic policy which set to accentuate the class-divide, trod on the downtrodden and create a culture whereby arrogance of those in power meant that there was seemingly no recourse for punitive actions that were so illegal they would make Ronnie Biggs blush.

Look at the actions of Thatcher’s government. They destroyed industry in this country. For a country which is quite literally built on coal her decision to import coal from Eastern Europe rather than make a deal with the strikers told you she was quite able to detach herself from reality when personal goals came in. She showed all the traits that you would associate with a psychopath; no empathy, no compassion and a focus on her ideology, however flawed. She wanted to crush the working class and the possibility of there ever being a true Labour movement again. And, for Labour supporters out there who say that there is still a Labour party, yeah right! Your history has about as much credence as Sevco’s.

She also sunk an Argentine battleship as it made its journey away from the Falklands and outside of territorial waters. Why? To win an election. This was mass murder on a grand scale. The papers covered this up too… funny that.

Then there was the Poll Tax and making Scotland a human guinea pig for the most flawed tax since feudal days. Knowing there was no need for Tory votes in Scotland – because there wasn’t any – she ran roughshod over our nation in an ill-conceived experiment that united Scotland in hatred off her, her party and her tax.

But, she kinda got away with it. No matter what Cameron and his ilk say, there is no way the upper echelons on the 1989 Tory Party did not know what had happened in Sheffield that fateful day. I don’t believe it and you, Tory bastards that you are, have a proven history of lying.

Thatcher’s government set in motion a series of actions and policies that tore apart the social fabric of this country. She made homeowners of the poor, giving them the illusion of middle-class with the poverty of working-class as she then tore their jobs from under then. She turned towns from hubs where doors were unlocked into dark streets adorned with twitching curtains as trust was replaced with fear and envy. In the City the Tory economics created a place where greed is good and your friend is only a friend if he/she can bring you financial reward.

In reality, a Thatcherite government would never happen in a world where social networking and mass media mean that actions can be scrutinised and bloggers drown out the establishment song of the compliant media. But it did and its shockwaves are still being felt. She created an environment through bombing warships, beating miners, destroying communities and pandering to the rich which meant that the police in Hillsborough felt that they could get away with it. Remember, the South Yorkshire police were Thatcher’s blackshirts during the miners’ strikes and the doled out beatings with impunity during this period, coincidentally not long before Hillsborough. They believed they were immune to the consequences of their actions because the Tories made it that way. It was just some daft scallys after all.

But the real story is today is no different. You have the hacking scandal, Iraq WMDs, the banking crash and even the arrogance of the old Rangers football club to show that people in power, especially where money is involved, still believe themselves to be detached from the consequences of their decisions. The follow up and punishments doled out after each of these serve only to validate this belief. Let’s hope Hillsborough is different and people see jail time. Unfortunately, we know Thatcher and her cohorts will never be brought to tell us what they really know.

Liverpool’s Justice for the 96 movement showed what can be achieved through dogged persistence. Celtic fans showed through their continual pursuit of the truth with regards to Rangers’ cheating what can be achieved.

No matter your creed or football affiliation, you too should never allow those in power hide the truth. You can play a part. You should play a part. You will play a part. If we allow a culture whereby a Hillsborough can happen again then we only have ourselves to blame. Think about what you can do to help prevent that, no matter how small.

Maybe we should turn our attention to Thatcher now…



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John Doherty
11 years ago

As a 52-year old lifelong Tim (as were my father and grandfather before me) can I just say that not all who support the hoops are socialists. Some of us are very happy being conservatives with big or small C. By and large you do a good job of keeping religion out of the etims, but these increasingly frequent and strident left-wing rants are just tedious.

11 years ago
Reply to  John Doherty


Tyler Wilson
11 years ago
Reply to  John Doherty

John Doherty? Me smells me a Dermot Desmond!

11 years ago
Reply to  Tyler Wilson

John, i agree that our support can come from across the political spectrum, and from what i see etims has always given a right of reply. Perhaps there could be an article submitted about the C/conservative point of view or – to mirror John’s comment – a ‘right wing rant’?
I would also be interested to see who can point out what parts BF mentions of Thatcher that are not true, or not reasonable to assume.

11 years ago

The mantra “nothing ever changes” is what those above rely on us below to believe. Change comes from dedication and focus. They have never handed us anything. All that we gained in the past, all that we have now and in the future is testament to our struggle.

San Miguel
11 years ago

I am certainly no fan of Thatcher, and all the she stood for, but I think you are romanticising the past here.

Unlocked doors in the early 70’s ? Aye right, I lived in Drumchapel then and one lock wasn’t enough. It was also mostly the Met who attacked the miners in their struggle in their strikes , but Scargill had just as big as ego as she did . She had the power though.

Great to see the start of justice for the 96 victims , there should be criminal charges brought.

Try and keep to the football please Etims ?

11 years ago
Reply to  San Miguel

Football? Sorry i thought Hillsborough was an FA cup football match? Should etims just stick do doind a report on the abandoned match itself then and not look at the deep reason’s behind what the tragic events, what led to it, and now the subsequent cover up?

I know there are limits (possibly vague ones) but surely something like the Hillsborough disaster is the type of thing that shows football is not in isolation of society, but an integral part. Including the politics, history, culture etc etc of said society.

11 years ago

Really good article. It can help widen understanding of how senior police officers felt, and until now were, able to redirect criticism from where it should rightfully have been directed.
One period of Thatcher’s sociopathic reign over us was her handling of the hunger strikers in Northern Ireland. Without getting too into Irish republican actions or views of the time, I believe the Celtic family is one where we cab be proud of our Irish heritage but not a mouthpiece or focus

11 years ago

I don’t think the article is as much about Thatcher as it is about the simple fact that the truth has been hidden for so long, and those compliant have been allowed to grow old gracefully, whilst drawing their pension. Granted, it may be more political than a usual etims article, but the key isn’t in the text, its in the message.
Around the time Thatcher took over, a lot of things changed. Notably the collusion between government and the newcomer Rupert Murdoch. A lot of back scratching went on, Murdoch became obscenely powerful and influential, something which is only now being questioned by parliamentary commissions. No-one at the time asked why.
It wouldn’t have happened today. social media and internet bampots are far more influential now, hence the reason that I feel there are legitimate comparisons between Hillsborough and the events over at Ibrox.
Sure, its not really a football post as such, but more a reflection on how times have changed, but how government in those days, aided by a compliant press held sway. The last bastion of this today is of course the Scottish mainstream media, which in a country that is overwhelmingly non Conservative, can be absurdly conservative in its own way.

11 years ago

Good article, I agree with pretty much most of it, although I do remember some of the miners actions to be not exactly saintly too. I have lived on Canada for the last 12 years and whenever I try to explain why I detest Thatcher so much, the guys here just scratch there heads. ” But she was a great leader” is the usual response. I think I might forward this article to them, and maybe then they might understand. The recent truths about Hillsborough, have really shocked me as well. I used to think it was a bit of a witch hunt, but it has been shown it was a deserved witch hunt with the biggest witch at the head of it.

11 years ago

Very good article, Mate. As Ralph of Malph says, No one asked why at the time. And even if you did you might wait 23 years for the beginning of an answer.

Brian Mackie
11 years ago

I was trying to explain this to the wife and how where we are with society today and it goes all the way back to Thatcher. The b that she is (not the wife, love her to bits) destroyed this country,shafted the working class and moved everything to London (or there abouts). Unfortunately Blair followed in her footsepts and lead us into more illegal wars. Murray was the same, create a big lie, get in bed with the bankers, get the MSM on side, everything will be fine, nothing to see here,………..until….

11 years ago

I am reluctant to claim that all the ills of today’s society lie at the door of the Thatcher government. Throughout history, there are numerous examples of governance that have contributed for centuries to the destruction of the moral fabric. However, a distinct trend appears in the 20th century that probably played a greater part in the destruction of an ethical and caring society. Governments more and more throughout the century abandoned any responsibility for moral codes of behaviour and this in spite of inordinate increases in legislation and imprisonment. This was paralleled with the gradual decline in and deregulation of religious education (here I am referring to the moral standards of behaviour taught by religions and not their doctrinal or dictatorial dictates). Even if one accepts there is an argument for taking religion out of society and there is an extraordinarily large support today for such an action, a replacement moral philosophy must fill the void otherwise there is a ethical free for all as seems to be the case over the last 30 to 40 years. Charitable and voluntary organisations were more and more handed the burden of caring for the weak and neglected and often without the financial support that was needed. People for whom governments once accepted responsibility were left to seek help from wherever and whoever it might be available and yet government funding was not forthcoming to make this possible, at least not on a consistent basis. Under Blair this approach became like the rolling snowball growing larger and larger by the hour until he managed to pass the buck to everyone and everybody except government. It is during his watch that we first hear the deceptive term “The Third Sector” which was used to con charities and voluntary groups into believing they were genuine partners in government, a notion that was never in the remotest reaches of his mind. This ideology took on a rolling snowball effect under Blair who relinquished a whole range of services to The Third Sector and, like a modern day Pontius Pilot, willingly washed his hands of what were traditionally government’s historical responsibilities. It also gave him the opportunity as was his constant wont, to claim that failure was the fault of others even though much of the promised financial support was not forthcoming. However, it must be said that the foundations for this approach to moral and caring responsibility was most certainly cemented in the Thatcher years. The principle of “man mind thyself” was not only blatantly obvious during that time when high flying yuppies, with their Porches and fortune-making investments were the heroes of the day, but became a directive from the ‘lady’ herself. It was this selfishness that paved the way for not caring about the truth, justice, morality and and a total rejection by much of society of responsibility for others. Thatcher quoted the well known prayer of St. Francis but if ever there was a hypocrite in this regard it was the woman who then went on to be the absolute antithesis of St. Francis’ example. To return to my snowball analogy, it is without doubt during the later half of the 20th century that the snowball reaches its zenith but grounds had been prepared for many centuries. If the excavations and infill were carried out throughout history, I would agree that the Thatcher and Blair years laid the tarmacadam and asphalt finish.


11 years ago

Bedford Falls, take a bow. Standing ovation from me in my living room here. YNWA.

11 years ago

bedford falls..grow up son.

It sounds as if u got your understanding of british politicts from wee tommy sheridan and that bunch of corrupt chancers. But I here your own politics are that of the scots nats…a poisonous cancer in scottish society. Nothing but a middle class clique of failed social workers and accountants who know how to spend other people money, and blame the english for all their problems.

11 years ago

What I can’t understand is why the evidence wasn’t shredded and why they have released it now. I know we’re paranoid, but can’t help feeling that there’s something fishy going on (again).

Thatcher destroyed british society – Blair aided and abetted her (and destroyed the Labour party at the same time).
The party when thatcher dies will be bigger than the one when rangers died (check out Frank Turner’s song, “thatcher f…ed the kids”.

darren russell
11 years ago

Don’t agree with all of this bf but this is the type of article which makes etims essential reading, some excellent replys above also

Bondi B.
11 years ago

I’d gladly do a Highland jig on the auld boots grave.

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