After the long campaign for justice over Hillsborough, & Wednesday's potentially pivotal memorial service, the news that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is to waive the normal 30-year rule for cabinet papers & ask for the Hillsborough documents to be released now is to be cautiously welcomed:
I say cautiously because the authorities have displayed an unerring willingness over the last two decades to save their own pathetic skins & thus deny justice to the families.
The Guardian report highlights a hitherto overlooked detail from the immediate aftermath of the tragedy:
"The documents to be released could include police files and the records of the other emergency services, government departments and local authorities.
"The families say they are particularly keen to see the minutes of a meeting between the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and South Yorkshire police officers, which they say took place on the Sunday morning after the disaster."
The minutes could bring to light the level of involvement which the government had even at such an early stage in the disaster's aftermath. It's no secret that Thatcher kept the police force sweet with generous pay awards & allowances in the run-up to the miners' strike five years earlier. One of the forces most closely involved in the policing of the dispute was that of South Yorkshire. If all the information is released, & it's a big if, such material would still be political dynamite.