The court ruling against Dr Billings’ dismissal of the Chief Constable Mr Crompton invites an examination of its context.
The Hillsborough Campaign for Justice persuaded politicians to release documents relating to the Hillsborough disaster to a newly created Independent Hillsborough Panel with salaries and expenses paid by the Home Office.
Its terms of reference were to “Manage the process of public disclosure ...” and to “consult with the Hillsborough families to ensure that the views of those most affected by the tragedy are taken into account”.
It reported in 2012 with interpretations of those events.
The catastrophe at Hillsborough was viewed through the lens of that day, but to me at that time it had more in common with the industrial catastrophes of the mid-20th century, which I followed as an engineering student.
Later these “accidents” came to be recognised as the culminations of the failings of all the bodies concerned who in prior decades had just plodded on without analysing what they were doing and seeking to anticipate and avoid upsets.
On that awful day, the police commander’s mindset was fixed on controlling standing crowds.
He was slow to correct his misinterpretation of an unforeseen event, and then paralysed.
Harsh words were uttered which have driven the Hillsborough Campaign for Justice.
Surely it is now time to put all this to bed.