So the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report has finally been released, and as expected the fans who fought for their lives that dark day in Sheffield have been exonerated. About time? No. About time would have been 23 years ago.
I’m sharing this link as Gabriele Marcotti has expressed my feelings on this far better than I ever could. I won’t say too much on this matter (not much for me, anyway…) as there are people closer to this issue who can give a far more informed opinion than I can. There is already plenty of comment and debate out there, and I hope there will be a lot more informed discussion over the coming days and weeks.
I would say, however, that closure may be some way off. While I’m glad that the truth has finally come out, it has only served to make me angrier that after 23 years all we are getting are more apologies and hand wringing. Politicians are great at stating the obvious but is anyone going to take responsibility? Perhaps the best we will get is that a select few will be made accountable. The level of deceit and wrongdoing is so breathtaking however, that it would be ludicrous to expect culpability to rest with one or two individuals. I hope this is not the outcome of the investigation that must now take place, as it would only create scapegoats instead of providing justice. Blame must be apportioned, but not in the form of a witch hunt.
One thing is certain, the findings of the Hillsborough Report are not the final words on this matter. Let us hope though that it is perhaps the beginning of the end, and at that endpoint there is indeed closure for the families of the 96, if not some peace.