Non, Je ne regrette rien

There are times when apologies are needed, there are times when an apology needs to come from the top, the American President Harry Truman had it on a sign on his desk meaning that under certain circumstances, he was the one with the ultimate responsibility. Whilst this is true, it doesn’t mean that it should or ought to be used by Presidents or Prime Ministers to issue apologies willy nilly for the faults of others…


David Cameron is set this week to offer an “expression of regret” over the failures of the police and other public bodies in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, government sources have indicated.
The Prime Minister is set to make a Commons statement on Wednesday in response to an independent report into the FA Cup semi-final tragedy in which 96 people died.
The report, by a panel chaired by James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, examined around 450,000 documents held by South Yorkshire police, the ambulance service, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, the coroner’s office and other bodies, before producing its conclusions.
Downing Street sources said that Mr Cameron was not expected to see the report until after this weekend.
It is, however, widely suspected that it will hold South Yorkshire police to account for refusing to accept responsibility for the disaster and instead falsely putting the blame on drunk and ticketless Liverpool supporters.

Whilst I know that families of those killed have campaigned for years against what they considered some sort of cover up by the servants of the state to hide their failures on the day, I don’t believe that any expression of regret from the Prime Minister is needed or warranted, the head of the South Yorkshire Police perhaps, but the PM, no. In the same way I don’t believe Tony Blair should have apologised for slavery, nor anything else that the government was not directly involved in. Prime Ministers should apologise or express regret for personal failures of the government, for wars (in living memory) So the PM should be apologising for the government on behalf of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not for something he could not influence and which the government had nothing to do with.

An apology or expression of regret if ever there were one necessary needs to come from those responsible, in this instance the government was not responsible for the circumstances on that day, the blame if it lies anywhere lies with the South Yorkshire police for not realising the crowd dynamics at the moment the crisis began and not acting quickly enough to alleviate them.

8 comments for “Non, Je ne regrette rien

  1. September 9, 2012 at 6:40 am

    He might want to explain however, why the criminally negligent acts of the police that day which killed innocent people have taken nearly a quarter of a century to be finally exposed.

    He could say “this was a vile state cover-up and henceforth, following any immediate criminal prosecutions, any inquiry will be completed and published within 12 months of that date because the failure of the state to investigate itself in a timely manner is utter bollocks that won’t happen again”

    But he won’t, so it’s all just empty words.

    • September 9, 2012 at 7:24 am

      Exactly, why bother, other than I don’t believe this was a vile ‘state’ cover up, rather a ‘police’ cover up.

  2. September 9, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Let’s not forget the fans who poured into the ground without tickets, the fighting between fans that the police were trying to deal with, the pickpockets and drunks who made matters worse, and the poor safety design of the ground.

    Just like Bloody Sunday, when McGuinness – armed with a sub-machine gun – organised the nail-bombing and petrol-bombing of troops who weren’t supposed to fire back, the forces of law and order are expected to take all the blame.

  3. Greg Tingey
    September 10, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Ian Hills

    [This comment has been moderated. Using the term “scum” for one of our readers is not on and if it happens again, comments by this reader will be banned – JH for the admins]

    If we are talking about police murders, then why is the police commander rerponsible for Menezes’ death not in jail?
    Or the man carrying a chair-leg shot in cold blood?
    Or the manslaughterer of Ian Tomlinson?
    Or the scot-free murderers in Special Patrol Group?
    Etc … err … ummm ….

    • Greg Tingey
      September 12, 2012 at 7:53 am

      I DID NOT call Ian Hills a scum – IF YOU ACTUALLY READ my original comment, you will see I wrote:
      “Scum” ( sorry “Sun”) reader …..
      The named non-newspaper is referred to, throughout Liverpool & Birkenhead as “The Scum”, even by Tranmere & Liverpool supporters, I’m told.
      It was a specific reference to the events of that day, and the lies it perpetuated, and that Mr Hills seems to have swallowed whole.

      We might see, later today, whether the police senior offcials were telling any true stories, won’t we?
      Could be interesting.

      • Tatty
        September 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm

        As one who hails from Merseyland I can confirm this paper is indeed referred to as “The Scum”. It’s hard to find someone who didn’t know or know of someone who died in the tragedy so it’s an inevitable and indelible part of our history now.

        Doesn’t stop us buying for it “free” Alton Towers tickets occasionally though….

        Hypocrites, aren’t we 🙄

  4. Greg Tingey
    September 12, 2012 at 8:39 am



    I SHOULD have written …
    “Tranmere & Everton”

    Footie is not my interest, as should be obvious!

  5. Greg Tingey
    September 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    And now we know.
    Staments were “amended”, searches and enquires were deliberatly targeted at discrediting the dead.
    Even Kelvin Mackenzie calims that he was lied to by the Police & swallowed it whole (!).

    After this, and Menezes & …
    can we EVER believe anything the police tell us about a public death, where they are directly involved, ever again?
    If so, it is a very worrying development.

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