Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Different Days

Yesterday, I went out, as you do, to a train station, as you do, and met a poet there, which I don't often. We then went off to a colossal steelworks, visited a local history archive, listened to an academic sing folk, popped into an old vicarage for tea with aristocracy, then travelled through a field of gambolling lambs to enter a dragon's cave.
I got all my drinks paid for all day. How brill was that?
By the time I returned home I had two reasons to visit Broadcasting House next week.
The only things that went wrong with the day were that I ate some jalapeno peppers that evening which unsettled my night and that, despite my confident assertion that Liverpool were capable of beating Chelsea 4-2, they didn't. They could have though so my assertion stands and they tried heroically in an astonishing game.
Usually humdrummery really.

Today was harder. The usual horror of the Hillsborough anniversary took me right back to 20 years ago when three of my relatives were in that ground and I was manning the 'phone in Sheffield to many more, waiting to see if they came home. They did, others were not so lucky.
When they eventually managed to return the police were still claiming fans had broken in through the gate that they'd opened to crisis manage the crush which poorly planned crowd management had caused. They just moved the crush, creating a deadly bottle neck and treated those trying to escape it as criminals.
My father, who'd seen the gates opened, 'phoned the local radio when he got back and told them the police were misleading the media.
Because he was well-spoken, articulate and corroborating other testimony the person he was speaking to simply called out “We've got comformation. Run with it!” and did, without even checking his name.

Today, I saw a policeman on the news defending the actions of an un-numbered officer attacking a female demonstrator in London with a baton, explaining that we didn't necessarily know what provocation he'd received and whether he was hitting this woman to fend off others nearby who were 'demonstrating against him'.
The lessons of 20 years ago have not been fully learned. The public en-masse are not necessarily the enemy of the police.

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