The Police manipulated and changed the evidence to put the blame for the Hillsborough tragedy onto football fans. This has not come to light until 23 years later after the tragedy. Believing that we live in a modern democracy in 2012 this sounds like a holiday crime novel. Yet tragically not.
How could the cover up have survived an enquiry, external scrutiny and all the people who must have known what was going on. How did this not come to light earlier?
To look at the cover up alone is not enough. It is the environment that it is held in that gives us a clue.
Was it a culture of Police impunity which created an environment where the power of the police was unassailable?
In these corrupt actions there must have been an understanding that the cover up could be successful. This understanding cannot have appeared overnight. Through the 1980s the seeds of possibility must have been nurtured, to arrive in 1989 believing that this cover up could escape scrutiny. What happened in these years before 1989 to create a culture where a cover up was possible? What other smaller (?) cover ups were there to pave the way for this big one?
Marc Dreier, a Manhattan attorney started a fraud that netted over $750 million over 6 years. His intention at the beginning was to pay back the relatively small sum he had borrowed. But incrementally the figure crept up to the point where it became unsustainable. The programme partly presented his crime as a set up. He went to a good college where expectations of success were high. He managed to bluff himself into buying his first office property with a fantastic piece of luck: the PA of the landlord had gone to high school with him and she recognised that he had been picked as one of the students most likely to succeed. She convinced the landlord to give him the chance. This reputation gave him the office space.
Mr Dreier described a line: the line that not many people are presented with, that is crossed into criminal activity. His point was that if we were all presented with this line at some time in our life: would we do any better? He agreed that many people would not cross the line: he commended them. But he held onto the idea that some people would succumb.
There is little comparison between the repercussions of what police did that day at Hillsborough and what Marc Dreier did. 96 football fans died at Hillsborough, and Marc Dreier’s behaviour did not kill anyone: yet the unknown far reaching human toll must be significant.
Yet when the policemen responsible and Marc Dreier are in their prison cells; might they not be having similar thoughts? Who am I? When was I presented with the line? How did I cross it? What is different between me and others who would not cross the line?
What made me do it?
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2012
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.