Robert Hampton

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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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11th April 2011

Hubble, Bubble, Royal and Trouble
Posted by at 7.42pm | In the News | 1 response

The Sun is alleging that local councils around the country are obstructing street parties by insisting that interested people pay out for insurance and other costs. Its editorial singles out Labour-run councils for “hiding their Stalinist hatred of all things Royal behind a smokescreen of health and safety.” (link goes to the Guardian; I refuse on principle to link to the Sun)

I suspect if councils are being unhelpful, it’s because they have been stripped of millions of pounds in funding by Murdoch’s mates in No.10. Personally I’d prefer that councils spend the money on important things like libraries instead of facilitating the consumption of jelly and ice cream in honour of the heir to the throne.

10th November 2009

Lest we forget… to use Tipp-ex
Posted by at 9.08am | In the News, Politics | 1 response

For possibly the first time since he took over as PM, I feel sorry for Gordon Brown. He takes the time to write a personal letter to the mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan, and gets criticised over bad handwriting and a spelling mistake.

Most other politicians would have dictated the letter to a secretary and had it typed. A few would probably have even used a form letter. Gordon Brown made as much effort as he could reasonably be expected to, and let’s not forget he is blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other. But that hasn’t stopped the Sun from launching a vicious attack on the Prime Minister.

To make matters worse, when he called to apologise, the paper recorded the entire conversation. Labour have accused the Sun of exploiting the mother’s grief, and I think they’re right.

It’s par for the course for the Sun, obviously, but please bear in mind that the Tories seem intent on destroying the BBC and giving Rupert Murdoch free reign over the media if they win the next election.