Friday, 1 February 2013
Guardian Northerner: Hebden Bridge residents launch campaign against Bernard Ingham
"A campaign has been launched in Hebden Bridge to get Sir Bernhard Ingham removed as a local newspaper columnist over his continued refusal to apologise for his words in the immediate aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster." Read more
Hillsborough: calls for local papers to end Bernard Ingham's Column
Friday, 11 January 2013
The campaign for the HB Times to drop Bernard Ingham is growing daily. Following the publication of this HebWeb news article on Tuesday, 7th January, a FaceBook page was created which now has gathered over 250 supporters in 4 days. Some have posted that they are boycotting the paper.
Dave and Viv Boardman have written again to the Editor of the HB Times urging them to drop Bernard Ingham. Here is what they have written:
I note that you put a handful of letters in about Ingham this week - but no comment from him or editorial justification for continuing to publish the words of someone who a major, historical public report has clearly shown doesn't let the truth get in the way of his version of events. The Hillsborough Independent Report clearly shows that he repeated untruths about football supporters and their families and friends. This is a serious issue: 96 people died and were treated like they were to blame for 23 years. Ingham was part of that conspiracy to blame the dead, their families and their community. Moreover he played a very powerful part - his job was to brief the press from the centre of government, and to set the agenda. He adds further insult by suggesting the issue doesn't matter. You were asked by other readers for your opinion. Yet you stay silent on the issue.
It is clear that this issue will not go away for the Hebden Bridge Times and other local papers unless he apologises or his column is stopped. You may be aware that there is now a Facebook page (I did not set it up), which is rapidly attracting support: Remove Bernard Ingham as a Hebden Bridge Times columnist. On this page and eslewhere people are starting to talk about a boycott of the paper. Not someting I am in favour of, but you have known for a while that he is not popular with many people. We are both keen supporters of the concept of local press. Both have worked on on local weekly newspapers many years ago, and between us have worked for national press as news, sports and music journalists and taught media studies. We know keeping local papers afloat is difficult these days, but by continuing to support Ingham you are putting people into a mood to boycott.
His complicity in the shameful Hillsborough cover up takes the issue well beyond popularity or otherwise of his views. As someone has posted on Facebook: "This is a straightforward issue of credibility, regardless of political standpoints. The guy lied, on behalf of the leader of the country, to the citizens of the country for many years. He has no place in our newspaper." Can you defend your stance of having him as a columnist in that context? Please do so if you think it is possible.
We still cannot understand why anyone who believes in a 'free press' would abuse that concept by allowing someone with Ingham's lack of regard for the truth and people to continually have his say. Without integrity what is a 'free press'?
If you feel the need to defend him, then do so: silence on an issue involving so many deaths and such a cover up is siding with what is clearly in the wrong.
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Update: The editor of the HB Times will be putting local concerns over this issue to Ingham.
Monday, 7 January 2013
Over the past few weeks, calls have been growing locally for Bernard Ingham's column to be dropped by local papers. For many years, his persistant attacks on wind energy have angered local enviironmentalists who point out that he has been a long term consultant for the nuclear industry. Currently, it his failure to apologise for his 'disgraceful' remarks following the Hillsborough tragedy that are angering people.
Dave and Viv Boardman are both from the Liverpool area but have made Hebden Bridge their home since 1999. They are calling upon local papers to drop Bernard Ingham's column if he won't apologise for blaming football supporters and for calling for the police to be compensated.
An extract from The Hillsborough Independent Panel Report shows that Hebden Bridge Times columnist Bernard Ingham knew within days of the tragedy that Hillsborough was not caused by football fans, but went to on join the conspiracy to blame the victims anyway:
"2.6.24 Comments made by Bernard Ingham, the Prime Minister's Press Secretary, in the aftermath of the disaster and some years later provide an indication of the discussion at the meeting. His Westminster lobby briefing of 18 April 1989 records journalists being informed that '[w]hat had happened on Saturday was not the result of obvious hooliganism but was more a matter of safety at sports grounds'.
2.6.25 However, this contrasts markedly with his position several years later when he wrote that during the visit to Sheffield on 16 April he 'learned on the spot' that '[t]here would have been no Hillsborough if a mob, who were clearly tanked up, had not tried to force their way into the ground. To blame the police is a cop-out'."
Ingham even went to to suggest the police should be compensated for their sufferings on BBC Question Time on 6 June 1996!
Dave and Viv Boardman feel his attitude to the victims, their families and the community is unforgivable and renders any views of his irrelevant.
"Being aware of the truth and peddling the opposite - in the context of 96 innocent lives being lost - quite frankly undermines the concept of 'freedom of the press' in this country as much as anything that came out of the Leveson Inquiry. Ingham was also involved in blaming miners for Orgreave when the courts dismissed charges against them.
"And what does Ingham say - Hillsborough, Orgreave and various other issues do not 'matter' to people. If anything this is even more offensive than his previous tactic of ignoring the anger people feel about his role in all this.
"I know the group editor does not believe in interfering with columnists in general, but can that justify continuing to push the words of the discredited on us? Can the Hebden Bridge Times and its owners please justify printing anything from Ingham that is not an explanation of this hypocrisy - alongside an apology from him for his disgraceful words?
"Even David Cameron apologised for the conspiracy, the legal system has acknowledged it was wrong to deny a proper investigation into the deaths by re - calling the inquests. . After Leveson, this is surely not the time for the press to be defending those involved in the culture of conspiracy against the innocent. Or is this newspaper group just another part of ongoing conspiracy against the British public?"