Robert Hampton

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15th April 2014

96 – 25
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There’s been only one thing on the minds of most people in Liverpool today – the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster. The memorial service was, as ever, a profoundly moving event.

At the inquest, “pen portraits” have been read out; moving personal testimonies from relatives of those who died. Click on over to the Liverpool Echo‘s web site to read the accounts from day four, day five, day six, day seven and day eight.

What comes across loud and clear is the sense of loss that is still keenly felt. Families lost brothers, fathers, sons, mothers, daughters, sisters amidst chaos and confusion.

With the inquests just getting under way in Warrington, there is a new sense of hope for the families. They are ordinary people who have found themselves in an extraordinary situation, and they have handled it with immense dignity. I don’t know how they do it, but I am willing them to maintain that strength through to the end of the inquests when, hopefully, they will get the closure they have been denied for so long.

5th January 2013

Plenty-Twelve

Continuing on from yesterday’s review of the year-type thing.

BBC Television CentreJuly (actually, the end of June, but I wrote the blog post on 1st July) saw me make a trip to the legendary BBC Television Centre to watch a recording of Pointless. It was a most enjoyable experience, even if the Central African Republic didn’t come up as an answer. I’m seriously tempted to go back as a contestant.

Liverpool’s Festival Gardens reopened after many years of dereliction. The government announced a whole load of railway improvement schemes, coupled with further plans to price-gouge passengers. I bemoaned the tendency for reviews to oversimplify things with a simple score.

I fretted about Global Warming (and now, after experiencing a week of unseasonably mild weather, I’m even more worried). Heat of a different kind in Liverpool city centre, as preachers continued to claim everyone was going to Hell.

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13th September 2012

Panel Game

"We Never Walk Alone" bannerYesterday was a momentous day for Liverpool as the Hillsborough Independent Panel delivered its final report. Shortly afterwards, David Cameron made a statement to the House of Commons, in a very subdued atmosphere – the only noise from MPs being the occasional gasp of astonishment as the revelations came tumbling out.

Regular readers of this blog (both of them) will know I’m not a fan of football. For me, however, the Hillsborough disaster transcends sport and is about wider issues. It’s about a disaster which could have been avoided, or at the very least reduced in magnitude, had the people in charge done their jobs properly. About victims and their families denied a proper account of what happened. About a complete failure of the government and judicial process to hold anyone accountable.

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