The Hillsborough Panel’s report exposing a systematic and pernicious police cover up has in its aftermath generated a growing list of personalities apologizing for their part in blaming fans for causing Britain’s most horrific peacetime tragedy. As many have put it, this was the mother of all cover ups.
Add Boris Johnson to that list along with Kelvin Mackenzie, the editor of the Sun, who earlier profusely apologized for writing ‘The Truth’, a planted story by the SYC, blaming drunk, violent fans invading the pitch for causing the deaths of other fans.
Johnson, London’s mayor is a former editor of the Spectator and in 2004 ran this piece which lambasted Liverpudlians for barely failing to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Ken Bigley, a fellow Liverpudlian, at a soccer match. Bigley was murdered in a particularly gruesome way by Iraqi insurgents and his death was televised on the internet. This indifference was traced to the welfarism infecting the city which Johnson said led to the feeling of “vicarious victimhood” that allowed fans to escape blame for their own role in bringing about the Hillsborough tragedy.
It would appear as if Johnson, like Paul Ryan, loves some Ayn Rand. Masters of our own destiny sounds nobler than fighting for JFT96. Who knows better than conservatives that trusting the people is the right thing to do, eh? But are they right kind of people? Here is Johnson’s apology a week later. It is hard to find it in all the word salad of self aggrandizement and third person references. But if you have a whole day and a particularly powerful microscope. Eight years later he is a bit more clear and forthright in his contrition.