In the Mail this morning I recommend Peter Oborne's account of the aftermath of the Hillsborough findings. Like Oborne, I too believed plod's account at the time (a lying travesty of evasion, distortion, invention and calculated dishonesy) which shamefuly the plods' lawyers even tried to maintain at the inquest. It wasn't as if I was stupid or naive or even trusted Plod; I'd trained as a mining engineer in south Yorkshire when the coal miners went on strike, and I'd seen at first hand the real suffering of folk in the pit villages around Doncaster and the bastardy of the drafted-in plods - Maggie's Army. I'd been stopped on the A1 regularly on the Friday night drive home to Suffolk every time plod spotted my safety gear in the car and knew what it felt like to be seconds away from the primitive threat of thuggish violence if you gave the wrong response, or cheeked them. One learned to be humble, contrite, apologetic and big-up the southern middle class accent.
I came across the same plods, this time experienced and combat-hardened, during the Wapping dispute in London. Driving from central to south London via Blackwall Tunnel meant running the gauntlet of checkpoints, and vans full of armoured plods with clubs round every corner. So when Hillsborough happened, I had no reasons to imagine plod was a creature elevated in any way from the extinct neanderthal primates. Yet I did believe their Hillsborough lies - that the fans were drunk, rowdy, that they were out of control, had rioted, and the 96 dead were none of Plod's fault. God forgive me.