Friday, June 12, 2009

Spin Over Substance?

The Oldham Echo's sickly sister the Daily Post today carries a piece by David Bartlett, stating that, despite taking up his new position as Health Secretary, Andy Burnham will continue to campaign for the release of all the original Hillsborough documents in their unaltered & unedited forms ( ).
I'm not calling into question Burnham's personal sincerity on the matter (those of us who attended the 20th anniversary memorial service at Anfield will readily attest to his own commitment on the issue), but it does read uncomfortably like yet another New Labour spin missive which Bartlett regurgitates faithfully. Pressure on the government to fulfill their pledge on the documents will, of course, continue, & Bartlett, to his credit, does mention the march on Parliament for justice over Hillsborough on Saturday June 20, linking to the march's website ( ).
In the meantime, reminders of the need for movement on Hillsborough should be addressed to the new minister at the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Ben Bradshaw ( ).
Bartlett's article repeats the ficticious claim that Burnham was "heckled" at the service in April:
"The Newton-le-Willows-born Everton fan, who was heckled at the recent Hillsborough memorial service at Anfield, has also revealed the way he was barracked was helpful because it helped 'lift the lid' off the feeling justice has still not been done.
"Mr Burnham said: 'The 20th anniversary service of Hillsborough was absolutely a difficult experience.
" 'If I was not a minister, I would have been shouting at the minister.' "
According to my mini-reference version of the Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus, "heckle v interrupt (a public speaker) with aggressive questions and abuse."
Burnham's address was "interrupted" by the crowd, but not in an aggressive manner towards him personally ( ).

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